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The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 202/502 pages
The Guilty (Will Robie)
David Baldacci

Lucifer is having a complicated adventure

Lucifer Vol. 2: Children and Monsters -  'Dean Ormston',  'Ryan Kelly',  'Peter Gross', 'Mike Carey'

 

A new image of Lucifer from the mind of Neil Gaiman. This is a continuation of the series Sandman. 

 

The story began when Lucifer is in the void with nothing except his wit. He got no weapon and has no cloth.

 

Then he found the Windowless castle that hold his wings. 

 

He wants it back.

 

In the world, Lux being the center of strange attention because of the gate to the void.

 

Then there are monster who wants death because she was cursed. 

 

The story is rich and the last one about the committee of Angels want to come down to LA and fight Lucifer.

 

Interesting. 

 

Angels are assholes. 

 

It is better to be logical and interact with humans, instead of treating them like toys. 

 

That what the Christian bible god did, playing with humans like toys. So careless.

 

The re imagination of Lucifer is fun.

 

5 stars read. 

Reading progress update: I've read 113 out of 208 pages.

Lucifer Vol. 2: Children and Monsters -  'Dean Ormston',  'Ryan Kelly',  'Peter Gross', 'Mike Carey'

Lucifer is went to the void through the gate to find his wings. 

 

He faced some wicked gods and need to find the way to fight them with only his wit, as he is naked and has no weapon.

 

Of course he did it. 

 

The story is interesting and the illustration is fine. Lucky to find this at all on sale. 

 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

The truth is life changing

The Stranger - Harlan Coben

A stranger told Adam the truth about his wife, that she has faked her pregnancy to get him stay in the same town.

 

Adam confronted his wife. Now she is gone and left a text saying she needed some time alone. 

 

Adam, not forgiving his wife, but loves her too much to give up on her chase after his wife.

 

More people were blackmailed for secrets that they don't want anyone to know.

 

Revealing of secrets need maturity, something that these characters lack of right now. 

 

So where is Adam's wife?

 

Now more characters are looking into the secret and secrets teller calling himself the Stranger. 

 

Johanna is a detective who is now helping Adam

 

Good that she is there. More cheats and lies and truth. 

 

Actually, a pretty good story based on truth and lies. Just not totally there as all of the characters lack something that make them more likable. 

 

A solid 4 stars read.  

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading progress update: I've read 145 out of 370 pages.

The Stranger - Harlan Coben Life changing events by the action of a stranger. First, the stranger told Adam that his wife has faked her pregnancy and miscarriage so that he would not relocate to another city. Then, the stranger told the soon to be married bride that the revenge porn was uploaded not by her ex-bf but by her future husband. But why. Is honesty really the best way forward? I like the stranger as he picked to reveal the truth and let the cause of event take place naturally. Another stranger is telling a woman that her daughter is involved in an online prostitution and asked for money. That's should be a different stranger as the style is really different. The story unfold so far has led the readers to believe it is the same person. Nice solid read so far.

Nick Stone is being hunted

For Valour - Andy McNab

Nick Stone story. Many chapters. The ending has twist. The good about this one. The story is a mystery. A good friend died and left a son who serve in the army. Now the son is in trouble and was charged for manslaughter when his friend died in a training exercise. His other good friend Trev is tellhing him that Sam was being set up. Now they started to investigate who is covering this up. The problem is, they were being chased, and shot at. The not so good bits about the book. The story is a bit too jumpy, more or less like a boring episode of amazing race. Being chased is not tension enough if one does not know who chase them. Or were not prepare enough for the chase. It is more like a incident report instead of good story telling when there are not much dialogue or interaction between characters. So, even the story is fine, it is not as enjoyable. We still not know how Nick Stone would react to tihngs. He also got beaten up a lot. The reader like me, need to care much more about the characters in order to get into it. Still, the story is about some misguided notion of honor. Really not a motivation. Conclusion Readable. Like a B action movie. 4 Stars.

Reading progress update: I've read 202 out of 502 pages.

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction - Neil Gaiman

He is a SF writer and proud of this.

 

SF is an interesting, scenario extending novel. What if? What if this go on to the extreme? 

 

I like his take on SF. And it should be a genre to be celebrated. 

 

The favorite and worst quote from SF writers is interesting too.

 

Enjoying this. 

Reading progress update: I've read 72 out of 507 pages.

For Valour - Andy McNab

Nick Stone story.

 

Just a lot of hard work, with personal sacrifice and solider thing that live hard. 

 

What is going on? 

 

What is the mission? 

Valerian adventure with Laureline

The Empire of a Thousand Planets: Valerian Vol. 2 (Valerian and Laureline) (Volume 2) - Jean-Claude Mézières, Pierre Christin

Watched the movie, and give this a try.

 

Not bad. Two partners who like each other going to places for an adventure. What they brought with them is Earth values. 

 

Valerian bought Laureline a gift, a pocket watch. That got them into trouble.

 

The story inside is fine and it is good to have read some graphic date from the early 70s. 

 

So a 4 stars read. 

 

 

 

January 2018 Wrap up

The Escape - David Baldacci A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon Clark the Shark - Bruce Hale The Midnight Line - Lee Child The Last Mile - David Baldacci No Is Not Enough - Naomi Klein The Thirst - Jo Nesbø, Neil Smith The Fix - David Baldacci

For January 2018, some really good books and some disappointed ones. 

 

5 stars read

 

The Thirst - Jo Nesbø,Neil Smith The Thirst - Jo Nesbø,Neil Smith  

 

Harry is now teaching in police college and has been happily married for 3 years. 

 

Now a new killer is out and it is hard to catch. The chief of police now threatened Harry to get him back to the force to solve the case. 

 

The plots is interesting when the killer is clever and do not care about who he kills but only how he kills. That's make this killer hard to catch or predict.

 

So Harry is going after all the leads. And then tried to out the killer but setting a monkey trap. 

 

Really good story. Good writing and good translation. 

 

The Escape - David Baldacci  The Escape - David Baldacci  

 

A John Puller story about his brother Robert Puller escape from prison.

 

Robert was jailed for treason. A charge that John never really believed but wasn't sure about his innocence either. 

 

John was order to go after his brother. But in the meantime, find out more evidence that his brother is framed. 

 

His love and trust of his brother and the loyalty to his job is in direct conflict. And there is a possibility that if Robert resists arrest, he would let Robert kill him to get away. 

 

Strange. But like the innocent and stubbornness of John Puller. 

 

Of course, Robert is the clever one, and tried to find out more about who wants to kill him during his escape time. 

 

And who betrayed Robert. Must be someone high up. 

 

More dead bodies and a lot of attempt to kill John later, they solved the case. 

 

Happy endings. Good story. Lot of plot driven page turning. 

 

A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon  A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon  Clark the Shark - Bruce Hale  Clark the Shark - Bruce Hale  

 

Two good children books. 

 

A bad case of stripes is being different and being who you are. 

 

Clark the Shark is being big and having behaviors that bother other children. Shark didn't mean to and he changed his behavior after he is made aware of it. 

 

4.5 stars read

 

The Escape - David Baldacci  The Escape - David Baldacci 

 

An Amos Decker story about a ex-football player Melvin Mars in dead row. 

 

He was almost executed. 

 

Another person confused to the crime he was accused of. Then he was free from jail.

 

Then the twist came. The confession was a lie. He was paid to confess to this crime. 

 

More players in the background. A bit strange of their intention. 

 

Amos Decker got help from Melvin to solve this case. With a lot of conspiracy theory thrown into it. 

 

A free man now is free. Good ending.  

 

 

 

The Fix - David Baldacci  The Fix - David Baldacci  

 

A woman is murdered in from of the FBI headquater. 

 

Amos Decker is trying to find who kill the woman and why.

 

It is a mystery. And involved in old spies and spy habit for spying.

 

The only down side is it is a bit to far out. 

 

Amos Decker is also a new apartment, from Mars who he helped saved in his last book.

 

A story about how to catch old spy and found out their identity. 

 

The clue is a bit strange, but still interesting. 

 

Solid read. 

 

4 stars read 

 

Jack Reacher story about John got dumped and reacted strangely. 

 

So Jack got dumped. He drifted. Got to a pawn shop. Saw a West Point ring, woman size and wanted to find the owner.

 

The finding of this woman led him from the pawn shop to a criminal group that sell stolen items to a local drug distribution gang.

 

In the meantime, a PI was hired and looking for the same woman.

 

A lot of twists and turns later. 

 

He found her. But she is in another kind of trouble. Jack wants to help. 

 

Of course he did. A solid read overall. 

 

3 stars read 

 

No Is Not Enough - Naomi Klein  No Is Not Enough - Naomi Klein  

 

This is really disappointing. 

 

She is repeating herself on what she had written in Shock Doctrine. 

 

The first two third of the book is like that with some updates.

 

The later one third of the book is about hope. But it failed to raise any hope. 

 

She has to know that the Trump supporters are not going to read her book or understand what is trying to say. With that large population of ignorant people that are known as Trump supporters in US. There is very little hope. 

 

Therefore, a 3 stars read. There is not enough good and solid information in this book to make it good. 

 

Summary 

 

Not a bad month for reading. A lot of solid read. Slightly off from the plan as the new books came up. 

 

I like plot driven story. Airport read when one is not at an airport. David Baldacci is a good writer for that. 

 

Looking forward to more read in February. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 138 out of 502 pages.

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction - Neil Gaiman

I switched to this edition. I got this book for over a year and has not complete it yet. 

 

Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. 

 

Interesting that he first know Stephen King as a fan, and then get to know him as a man. He also a friend of his son Joe King. 

 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

John Puller and Robert Puller team-up

The Escape - David Baldacci

John Puller has a brother who is in prison for a crime of treason. 

 

The good brother Robert escape from prison. 

 

Originally, he was ordered by his CO to not investigate the escape. 

 

That John got a visit from 3 generals that ordered him to do just the opposite. He is order to investigate the escape. 

 

For John, this is a puzzling development 

 

He wanted to believe his brother's innocent. But the evidence is a against him.

 

So why an innocent person run? 

 

He is being paired up with Knox from another agency. And John did not trust her. But it is in his nature to tell the truth and be nice and up standing to another he is order to work with. So he shared information with Knox, only to find Knox has lied to him. 

 

Damned. 

 

A dead man was found in prison on the night of his brother escape. It is very likely that his brother killed him.

 

But why? Who is the person? 

 

The dead guy is not in any data base John has access to. So, it is very likely that he is a foreign agent. 

 

The more they investigated, the more persons died that are linked to the case. 

 

A general was found died in John's room. 

 

Then he found out the two witnesses in his brother court martial trail might be lying in court to frame his brother.

 

The more John investigate, the more convinced that he is of his brother innocent. And John regret not looked into this sooner. 

 

In the meantime, John got kidnapped and was warned off the case. 

 

Then he received a message to tell him not to trust Knox. 

 

Then his brother contacted him. The two brothers reunited again. To investigate and to find out why all the dead bodies. What is the game plan? 

 

Then the story take a turn to WMD investigation in the past and the current possible terrorist attack. 

 

How many plot twists could nicely fit into a 600+ pages book.

 

Knowing that they have to find the terrorist's plan is important. 

 

Putting a reason for treason, be it money or blackmail is also added elements. 

 

Then a completion with confrontation with the baddies. 

 

That's make pretty good story. Kind of satisfactory. Would make a good movie or mini series. 

 

5 stars read. 

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading progress update: I've read 602 out of 671 pages.

The Escape - David Baldacci

I still don't like Knox.

 

They are much closer to find out who is the traitor. But still don't know who the traitor is working with.

 

And Knox seems to be working from a different angle. Make me like her even less. 

 

 

The brother Pullers are still in character. But a bit unprepared for the twist and turn of the events. 

 

The traitors now have their hands on some biological weapon. WMD indeed. 

 

Could they find the traitor and know the target soon enough to stop the plan? 

 

Only 80 pages to go and I would find out. 

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading progress update: I've read 498 out of 671 pages.

The Escape - David Baldacci

John is now quite certain that his brother is innocent. 

 

Robert, his brother was threatened during trial that if he fight, his family would be harmed. 

 

After further investigation, the two witnesses against his brother were both dirty. 

And now, the other side is trying to kill of the witness. 

Knox was injured. Now the two brothers have to find who are killing off persons link to the case, and how they are connected. 


Clark the Shark - Bruce Hale

Clark The Shark Read by Chris Pine. Written by Bruce Hale and illustrated by Guy Francis.

A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

A Bad Case of Stripes read by Sean Astin written by David Shannon. 

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading progress update: I've read 160 out of 432 pages.

The Escape - David Baldacci

So far, John is being first ordered not to take the case of his brother escape. Then 3 higher rank officers ordered him to take the case.

 

And he got a tail. Knox was ordered to work with John. And Knox was a liar. 

 

John confronted Knox, as he is not ordered to work with her. 

 

Good call. 

 

Now, another dead body was found in John hotel room. 

 

Getting interesting.