Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Dubious Crime by Gerald Kubicki ****

A Dubious Crime by Gerald Kubicki is an action, adventure, alternate history, paranormal mystery. The main character Colton Banyon is reminiscent of Indiana Jones. While he is the guy you want on your side in a fight with guns or knives or anything else or nothing, he also has that omniscient strategic view that makes him a natural leader.

Colt comes to his omniscient point-of-view in a straight forward way. He has a Wolf, a spiritual guide that can see what is happening anywhere. For example, if you were going to take down a warehouse of bad guys, Wolf could see where everyone was hiding and all their weapons. This can be convenient. In addition, if you want to investigate something, Wolf can look back in time at the amazing rate of two years every hour.

Following the Bond tradition, Colt is accompanied by a number of beautiful women, including one retired porn star, who are always ready for recreation or business, such as distracting the bad guys. Pink panties seems to be the distraction of choice, but not the only one.

In summary: here is an adventure with everything: World War II atrocities, global legal conspiracies, international gangs, and military actions. In addition to the action, the supernatural is represented with ancient artifacts stored in Area 51, spiritual omniscient beings, and 8,000 year old transmitters. Throw in some macho leading men and hot, barely dressed women and you have an action adventure that never stops and rarely slows.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Lake House Secret by Debra Burroughs ****

One of the great injustices of the world is that the best written books are read the fastest, and the worst written books the slowest. The result is that, on average, more time is spent reading books we don't enjoy that much, while flying through the enjoyable ones. The Lake House Secret by Debra Burroughs is one of the good ones.

Jenessa Jones was already laid off from her reporter's job in Sacramento when her  father died. She left the big city to return to the small town of Hidden Valley, the place where she'd grown up. There she reestablishes relationships with rich, bad boy Logan Alexander (who got her pregnant in high school), and sweet Michael Baxter who has blossomed into hot young man after a stint in the military.

On the girlfriend side, her relationship with old friend Ramey St. John picks up where it left off over a decade ago, until Ramey's mother's murdered body is discovered to have been buried long ago out by the Lake House. As Jenessa uncovers the mystery, her relationship with Ramey is strained by the secrets she is afraid to share.

This is a excellently written book and a pleasure to read. As a hybrid mystery-romance, both the mystery and the romance seem suffer from the combination. The mystery is missing the plot twists and reveals that a mystery reader might expect. Alternately, the romance lacks to passion that a romance reader might desire. Regardless, the book is a page turner and fun read.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Robots Like Blue by Anthony Deeney *****

If you are a reader of both fiction and nonfiction, Robots Like Blue by Anthony Deeney is the book for you. The book switches back and forth between exposition on theory and philosophy and the narrative story line of super-intelligent robots. Both aspects are well written and enjoyable. 

Deeney brings the robot to life with insights into the their internal perceptions.
Humans cannot know how bewildering it is to burst into existence ... Disorientation is normal at startup. Please be calm. ... It is necessary to avoid startling and upsetting your owner.
In between philosophical discussions of Turing tests, Leibniz's mill analogy, and John Searle's Chinese Room, the plot unfolds around whether robots are self-aware and whether sufficiently intelligent robots still need the Robot Laws made famous by Asimov.

For an updated view on robot ethics, this is the book.

Highly recommended to intelligent readers ... and don't we all fall into this category?