September 21, 2020 · 12:13 pm
Artemis, the second book by Andy Weir, is every bit as entertaining as his first effort, The Martian, especially if you’re into any form of science, math, space, or feats of engineering.
A crime novel set on the Artemis moon settlement, Weir’s writing treats us to vivid depictions of what it could be like to live there. Weir’s main character, Jazz, is easy to like and fun to follow. Jazz is extremely intelligent and has a dry sense of humor, much like Mark Watney in The Martian. Unlike Watney, however, she is prone to lapses in judgment that could subject her to her biggest fear–deportation to Earth–and endanger not only her own life, but ultimately put the entire population of the settlement at risk.
19 Crimes wines are named after infamous criminals whose offenses earned them the ultimate sentence–transportation to the Australian colonies. With its fruity and vanilla flavors, appropriate labeling, and price point, I recommend 19 Crimes Pinot Noir to accompany you as you explore Artemis with Jazz and her unlikely allies.
July 21, 2015 · 4:36 pm
In Phantom Instinct the thrill ride starts on page 1 with mass murder that seems random, but quickly becomes personal for Harper Flynn. With her hopes pinned on a man who sees a threat where there is none, who can’t decipher between friend or foe, the ride is treacherous indeed for Harper and the people she loves most. This latest thriller by Ms. Gardiner offers true heroes—normal people who work daily to overcome their imperfections—and a team of heartless, highly intelligent, ruthless, and focused villains.
Harper and Aiden are each broken, working to heal and move forward. Harper overcame a selfish and drug-addicted mother and years in juvenile detention to make something of her life. Aiden demonstrates early on that he is willing to sacrifice all in the service others. This willingness left him damaged in ways that he could never have anticipated. They are supported by characters whose heroism becomes evident as the story unfolds: one who is willing to give her life for a girl she doesn’t know, and another who finds his courage when our heroine needs it most.
Ms. Gardiner’s tale starts at the top of a steep hill, then continues to build speed and momentum until, like a roller coaster, you know there’s a big drop coming–something truly scary and stomach twisting–but you can’t wait to get there. The end provides a twist so unexpected that I didn’t believe what I was reading (and re-read it just to be sure).
Phantom Instinct is an exciting, fast-paced read. Based on its breakneck pace and mind-bending plot twists, I’d recommend Whiplash red zinfandel to accompany it.
Enjoy, and happy reading!
June 26, 2015 · 9:01 am
In Sorrow’s Anthem, Lincoln Perry, a former Cleveland police officer turned PI, is determined to clear his childhood friend’s name after watching him die brutally at the hands of police officers. He soon finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that reaches far beyond the death of his friend.
As Perry begins to unravel the threads of the events leading to his friend’s murder, he finds that they extend more than a decade into the past and far deeper into the Cleveland law enforcement community than he imagined. It becomes clear that proceeding could lead to his own death, but due to a sense of loyalty mixed with more than a little guilt, Perry can’t rest until his friend’s name is cleared.
These same emotions lead him to pursue this case with less caution than it deserves, causing him to knowingly walk into dangerous situations without proper preparation and backup. He knows this, acknowledges it, and does it anyway. The risks he takes as a result cost him dearly, and the truths he learns are, as is often the case, things he would rather not know.
In Sorrow’s Anthem, Michael Koryta has created a great crime thriller. Lincoln Perry is a likeable character despite his flaws. You can’t help but admire the depth of Perry’s loyalty to his friend and his old neighborhood. It’s a fast paced read that includes at least a couple of twists you won’t see coming, which is always a plus. It was my first ready by Koryta, but it won’t be my last!
This crime thriller pairs perfectly with Conundrum, a rich, complex, and mysterious red blend. Enjoy, and happy reading!