The Operator (There Peri Reed Chronicles #2) by Kim Harrison

Book Description:

Published: November 22, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

On-the-run ex-agent Peri Reed returns bigger and bolder than ever in this second highly-anticipated installment in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison’s new suspense trilogy, The Peri Reed Chronicles.

Peri Reed’s job eats her mind, but for a special task agent in hiding, forgetting the past can be a blessing.

Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and the agency who turned her into the very thing she fought against, Peri abandoned the wealth and privilege of Opti for anonymity riddled with memory gaps and self-doubt. But when a highly addictive drug promises to end her dependency on those who’d use her as a tool for their own success, she must choose to remain broken and vulnerable, or return to the above-the-law power and prestige she once left: strong but without will—for whoever holds her next fix, will hold her loyalty.

Yet even now as then, a love based on lies of omission might still save her life.

Review –

Poor Peri finds herself in hiding after leaving Opti fearing her handlers will erase her memories. Both Opti and the CIA want her on their team, but both have their own agendas making Peri very much a pawn. Peri may be the ultimate weapon, but she isn’t going down without a fight.

The beginning started a little slow ,but it was neat seeing what our girl Peri has been doing without Opti. The story began to take off at the thirty percent mark when Bill and his newest Drafter, Michael, try to bring Peri back into Opti. Bill tries to lure her in with the promise of not being dependent on an Anchor. After a near escape, she reaches out to Silas, and the two soon find themselves unwillingly assisting the CIA. Peri wants out but both sides are determined to have her. Neither would be beneficial and both spell an end to her freedom. The tale that unfolds has twists, turns and hold your breath moments. Peri must use her wits against both opponents and time is running out.

The storylines of the Operator are more intense than those of The Drafter. We have intrigue, treachery and action-packed scenes that will leave you breathless.  Peri interacts with friends and co-workers from the past, and we meet new acquaintances as she tries to determine who is her ally and who has their own agenda. Allen, Bill, Helen and Michael are pretty obvious but then there is Jack. Jack the hallucination and Jack the man, her former Anchor, betrayer, and lover. Secondary characters are developed enough that readers will become emotionally involved. I found myself fearing, caring or utterly loathing them.  Harrison provides some of their points of view which help validate Peri’s concerns.

Peri is tested when Opti dangles a big carrot in front of her offering something she desires. We get a taste of Peri’s strengths and her brilliant mind. The obstacles she faces only prove how truly badass she is. The last three-fourths of the book had me holding my breath as we faced trials, deceit, and danger.

The Operator wrapped up nicely but has me eager to return for more.

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Outlander (Outlander Series #1) by Diana Gabaldon

Book Description:

Published: June 1, 1991

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.


Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

From Publishers Weekly

Absorbing and heartwarming, this first novel lavishly evokes the land and lore of Scotland, quickening both with realistic characters and a feisty, likable heroine. English nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall and husband Frank take a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands in 1945. When Claire walks through a cleft stone in an ancient henge, she’s somehow transported to 1743. She encounters Frank’s evil ancestor, British captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall, and is adopted by another clan. Claire nurses young soldier James Fraser, a gallant, merry redhead, and the two begin a romance, seeing each other through many perilous, swashbuckling adventures involving Black Jack. Scenes of the Highlanders’ daily life blend poignant emotions with Scottish wit and humor. Eventually Sassenach (outlander) Claire finds a chance to return to 1945, and must choose between distant memories of Frank and her happy, uncomplicated existence with Jamie. Claire’s resourcefulness and intelligent sensitivity make the love-conquers-all, happily-ever-after ending seem a just reward. Doubleday Book Club main selection, Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review –

Five stars ***** hands down. 

There are really no words to describe this book, for who can resist a man with a Scottish accent and in a kilt no less.  The narrator, Divina Porter, does a magnificent job with the voices and accents of all the characters in the audio version that I purchased from audible.com  and makes the sights and sounds of the past become the present for the time your listening.

I don’t have Showtime so haven’t seen the series but as soon as it is on DVD I’ll be first in line to get a copy and I have already started the second in series, Dragonfly In Amber, which has the same narrator and was surprised where it picked up and can’t wait to see what happens.

If you haven’t read Outlander, don’t be intimidated by the length of the book (800+ pages) or audio (33+ hours) because the journey you will take will be well worth it.

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The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness

Book Description:

Published: July 15, 2014

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Review –

This is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy and I hated to see it come to an end because of the magical intertwining of reality with witches, vampires, time travel, romance,hatred, America, Europe, wars, marriage, births, deaths, and wonderful characters with such energy and chemistry. Truly a work of art.  I rate it 5 stars *****

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Wayward (Wayward Pines #2) by Blake Crouch

Book Description:

Published:September 17, 2013

Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amidst picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden…except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture.
None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they’re trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.

Ethan Burke has seen the world beyond. He’s sheriff, and one of the few who knows the truth—Wayward Pines isn’t just a town. And what lies on the other side of the fence is a nightmare beyond anyone’s imagining.

Review –

This is a FANTASTIC  series and will be made into a television program in 2015 on Fox and I can’t wait.

All of the people of Wayward Pines are there because of one man, who considers himself a God. He  and several hundred people were placed in suspended animation and awakened  1800 years into the future because said he could see the end of the world as humans had known it. When he was “brought back” he and his minions had to rebuild the entire town and put up a high high electrified fence around it to keep out the “abbies”, the abortions of previous humans, who are now monsters  and prey on the new town inhabitants.

Only a handful of people know the truth and Ethan takes it upon himself to tell everyone the real history of the town and of David Pilcher, the man responsible. Some don’t belive at first but eventually they do and when Pilcher  sees that they will all turn against him he does a horrific thing. HE TURNS OFF THE POWER TO THE ENTIRE TOWN INCLUDING THE FENCE THAT KEEPS THEM SAFE.

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The Sun, The Moon, And Maybe The Trains by Rodney Jones

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Book Description

Publication Date: September 29, 2012
John Bartley’s days are filled with working in the mill or the garden, and he can’t wait to see Zella at the next barn dance. But when he stumbles through a hidden portal in the forest, everything he’s ever known falls behind him. A hundred and thirty-four years behind, to be more exact.
Tess can’t quite believe John’s tale of time travel. Does he really not know what a cell phone is? A car? Indoor plumbing? To convince the girl he’s swiftly falling for that he’s not crazy, John must delve into Tess’s history–his future–and solve the mystery of his hometown’s demise. But when they learn its fate, each faces a sudden, wrenching choice. Save their love, or save the past?
Review –
This is a story involving time travel. From the past to the future and back again and then from the future to the past and back again.  Sounds too good to be true-yup, things do not always go smoothly and add in a love story, maybe one-sided but maybe not and you have a wonderful, fast read, perfect for any warm weather day.  I loved it.

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

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Book Description

Release date: July 10, 2012 | Series: All Souls Trilogy

“Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown”—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

 

Review –

I was tempted to give this book a FIVE STAR rating but in good conscience I could only rate it 4 3/4 stars because I thought too much time was spent in the past and in places it bogged down and was boring.  All in all, though it was fabulous and it was interesting  to read the descriptions of the places and people of the times and made me realize how fortunate I am to live in the present.  I am looking forward to the third book and wish the author would write a bit faster.

11-22-63 by Stephen King

Book Description

Publication Date:November 8, 2011

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.

Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment—a real life moment—when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best.

Review –   Another 5 star ***** book.  Fantastic, Riveting,Hard to Put Down, Compelling, and Thought-Provoking.

I started this months ago and  since I have a bad habit of reading many books at one time, this one suffered and I laid it aside. Time passed and I decided to finish all the books I had started and then instead of starting something new-to go back to this one.  Once I picked it up again the pages seemed to turn themselves and I couldn’t believe how fast I finished it.  It has it all, Time Travel, Adventure,Romance, and a Chance to Change History.  But it that really a good thing?  I won’t give anything away but I have always felt that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had done even one little bitty thing differently in my past and I’m very content and happy in my life.  I know this is a long book but it feel so good to hold and it really is worth the effort. *****