By Gary Roen
Its been a long time since I read “Brothers Keeper” but it is as wonderful a story as it was when it originally was released. Westlake was one of the comic geniuses in the genre of comic crime capers novels. “Brothers Keeper” was a bit different in how it unfolds with a group of monks who will do just about anything to save their monastery in New York from becoming a new high-rise building. They don’t all agree how to protect their worship center but they are forced to consider some drastic measures to do so. I hope that Hard Case considers other Westlake novels to bring back into print in the near future. “Brothers Keepers” is more timely today than ever before and well worth the time of anyone who wants to read a master at the craft of writing.
“Jordan” is a well-crafted tale that races along with believable characters caught up in many different conflicts until the final page. The lives of Petra Simmons and her brother change drastically when they help a seemingly homeless woman. The female does not at the time know who she is or why she is there. A very special power is revealed a short time later that causes many different problems for the brother sister and the mysterious lady. “Jordan” is a fast paced read that shows humanity at its best and worst in a story that concludes with a satisfying ending.
The Writers of the Future program that was created by L. Ron Hubbard has brought into the field of science fiction more authors than any other way in the past. After five years, it expanded to include artists as. Now in its 35th year this collection is one of the best ever, because it also includes several stories by established writers some of who were earlier winners. There are as well, nonfiction pieces on the craft of writing by Mike Resnick and others who are involved in many other ways behind the scenes. The new talented writers and artists grace the pages of this wonderful collection that continues to get better with each edition. For anyone who wants to read some great science fiction or fantasy “Writers of the Future Volume 35” is a great place to begin.
Fans of the long running series have another resource for new stories of the Enterprise crew under the command of Captain Picard in “Available Light.” Once again, the situation is grave as the crew face overwhelming odds in a story that races along to its ending. “Available Light” could have been a great episode of the beloved series.
“Wine Country Table” is a wow of a book because it reveals so much about the areas of California that are known for their production of wine. The author goes into great detail of the farms, owners and stories that make up the world of wine production in California, “Wine Country Table” also includes wonderful pictures was well as foods that go well with particular wines as well as recopies. “Wine Country Table” is a wonderful collage guaranteed to enhance everyone’s enjoyment of this superb substance that has many positive health aspects.
A young girl named Clara looks out of her window to see a hot air balloon land in her neighborhood. Nothing unique about that, until she sees who is aboard. A polar bear and a monkey who are on a mission to enlist the aid of as many humans to save the planet we all live on. “Clara & The Climate Changer” is a charming children’s tale that with a better edit would be a fantastic kid’s book. Where the problem for me at least, is the overuse, of certain words throughout the book. An example on the first page is constantly saying voice in paragraph after paragraph. Even though the audience is younger writers still have an obligation to take the reader on a journey that is filled with as few pitfalls as possible.
His Royal Dogness, Guy The Beagle The Rebarkable True Story of Meghan Markle’s Rescue Dog by Guy The Beagle, With Michael Birumm and Camille March Illustrated by EG Keller www.simnandschuster.com 9781982114626, $17.99, www.amazon.com
“His Royal Dogness, Guy The Beagle” is a wonderful tale of a canine who is adopted at a shelter who becomes a part of the royal family in England. Told in the first person or the first dog the story begins in Kentucky where the teller is adopted by Meghan who goes on to become a princess by her marriage to Prince Harry. “His Royal Dogness, Guy the Beagle” is fun reading for all ages to enjoy. Reviews by Gary Roen