Book Reviews: "The Blue Star," "The Good Guy," and "Blasphemy"

Summer is fast approaching, and that's prime novel-reading season. I've read three novels in the past month or so, something of a record for me, and wanted to share some observations in case you're getting summer book-buying fever. (Note: There are no plot spoilers in these mini-reviews.)

The Blue Star - Tony Earley
A review copy of this book arrived, unsolicited, on my doorstep in late February. I knew nothing about it or its author, and the jacket blurb telling me that the writer was also responsible for Jim the Boy did little to work up my enthusiasm for the thin volume. I finally threw it in a suitcase and determined to work my way through it during a trip, more out of a sense of obligation than anything else...and ended up kicking myself for ignoring one of the more delightful books I've had the pleasure to read in a long time.

There's nothing particularly dramatic or edgy about The Blue Star, which is set in a small North Carolina town during the run-up to America's entrance into WWII. Tony Earley has crafted a character-driven novel that's beguiling in its simplicity, and soothing in its pace. If you're a fan of Jan Karon's trillion-selling Mittford series, I think you'll find The Blue Star has the same ambiance. I recommend it highly for a stress-free warm weather indulgence.

Ant Rating: Rating: 5 Ants

The Good Guy - Dean Koontz
Koontz's novel is almost a year old, and so all of his fans have already read it. But if you don't fall into that category, and you're looking for an edge-of-the-seat "action/suspense" novel that grabs hold and doesn't let go, you won't be disappointed in this one.

Koontz creates one of the most creepily competent bad guys since Hannibal Lector, and pits him against an enigmatic-but-just-as-competent ñ are you ready? ñ good guy. The result is not art, but it's a perfect poolside page-turner.

Ant Rating: Rating: 4 Ants

Blasphemy - Douglas Preston
Then we come to this waste of paper by another well-known creative type who seems to be just phoning it in. Preston has authored (or co-authored along with Lincoln Child) some very good novels, but this isn't one of them. He's pulled in every stereotypical character and every lame plot twist you can imagine and concocted a big mess. My advice is to avoid it like the plague. Try Tyrannosaur Canyon if you want some of the same characters in a better setting.

Ant Rating: Rating: 1 Ant

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on May 2, 2008 3:03 PM.

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