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Chris Ryan Extreme: Hard Target: Faster, Grittier, Darker, Deadlier
Chris Ryan
Progress: 112/448 pages
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker
Progress: 11/576 pages
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 202/502 pages
SPOILER ALERT!

Alex is 14 and he is a spy

Scorpia - Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider is a spy when he found out that his uncle was killed in Stormbreaker. 

 

Now he is a spy and going back to school. He want to catch up with his homework and school. Now he has a chance to go to a field trip in Venice and found out that a secret organization Scorpia. 

 

Scorpia is an assassin organization with a beautiful and beautiful woman on the board. Alex just happened to get into their party, and then almost got killed. 

 

This beautiful woman turned out to know Alex's father John. The secret is out when she shown a video on how his father was killed by the people he know in M16. 

 

Alex joined the organization as an assassin trainee for a few weeks. When he found by the trainer to lack of killer instinct, he was sent to killed the team leader Mrs Jones, the one who had killed his father. 

 

So he did found Mrs Jones and failed to kill her. Mrs Jones told Alex of an alternative story of the death of his father. Alex then regret to have joined the bad guys in the first place and now he was sent back to the bad guys as an undercover agent. 

 

The plane is to stop the team to kill children in Britain in the scheme to force the government to un-friend the American gov. 

 

The back and forth and running around is a lot of fun. The plot twist is good too. Overall, a very readable book.

 

The ending left with a cliff hanger. Good one. 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 304 out of 359 pages.

Scorpia - Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider go on a field trip and meet Scorpia. 

 

His father is a member of Scorpia, so so he was told. 

 

So what is Scorpia. An assassin organization. 

 

Strange. 

 

So they wanted to turn Alex and let him work for Scorpia instead of MI6 by showing him the video on how his father was killed. 

 

Of course, there is an evil plot. 

 

The bad guys want to kill children in way to blackmail the country to cut tie with the American. 

 

Fun read. 

Blue books

Broken Promise: A Thriller - Linwood BarclayThe Fate of Ten - Pittacus LoreMen Explain Things to Me - Rebecca SolnitThe Last Dragonslayer - Jasper FfordeRatBurger - David Walliams  Cold Blood: Nick Stone Thriller 18 - Andy McNabThe Hit - David BaldacciAcceptance (The Southern Reach Trilogy) - Jeff VanderMeerThe Stranger - Harlan CobenThe Fix - David BaldacciNo Man's Land - David BaldacciPrivate: No. 1 Suspect: (Private 4) - James PattersonEnd Game - David BaldacciThe Burning World: A Warm Bodies Novel (The Warm Bodies Series) - Isaac MarionTwo Kinds of Truth - Michael ConnellyThe Midnight Line - Lee ChildThe Wolves of Midwinter - Anne Rice

        

SPOILER ALERT!

Jack is a supsect of murder

Private: No. 1 Suspect: (Private 4) - James Patterson

Jack ex-gf Colleen is found dead on his bed. She was killed right before he got off the plane and get home. He didn't discovered her body until he finished his shower.

 

He called his team. 

 

After confirming that he didn't kill the friend, they gather a few evidence and proceed to start investigation. Jack is not the no. 1 suspect. 

 

The police is gunning for his arrest as the lead inspector Tandy dislike him a lot. 

 

Another case is on going, David, a young actor was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. 

 

If that is not complicated enough, a body was found in a hotel, and it is not the first time. Knowing how negative publicity would kill the hotel business, Jack team, Private, is hired to find the serial killer active in the hotel. 

 

So...

 

A lot of short chapters, not a style I prefer. Yet the plot is moving along fine. 

 

The shortcoming would be, there isn't enough clue to the readers to find some of the killers. 

 

The serial killer in the hotel, the clue is to commonality of the cases. Hiring sex worker is the key to find how it is link back to all the previous victims. 

 

David case is even worst. We didn't find out who he really is, and only know that he is surrounded by agents who spoiled him. 

 

And for Jack, the surprising part is that Jack did have sex with her recently, and he is currently dating Justine. 

 

Not that loyal in that regard. 

 

Then all the cases were solved on belated clues and then a chase to get to the killers.

 

Not a bad read. But not really my thing. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 98 out of 432 pages.

Private: No. 1 Suspect: (Private 4) - James Patterson

Jack is the top guy in Private, a PI firm.

 

Colleen was murdered in his bed while he was still on the plane back.

 

He got showered, found the body and know this is a setup.

 

Called his team and they helped to gather evidence. 

 

The setup of character is both show their loyalty and omit of justice. 

 

The team is ready to make this go away if Jack is involved in this killing. 

 

Now he has to proved his innocence. 

 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

Finding Blue Man

End Game - David Baldacci

Blue Man is missing while on vacation. 

 

Robie and Reel are tasked to find him. 

 

The excuse of keeping it in house is a bit weak, but that's explained why the agency only sent two agents to find the man.

 

He knows secrets and he might be in danger. 

 

That brought Robie and Reel to Blue Man hometown.

 

The not so good part is Reel is acting strange toward Robie. 

 

Robie as being Robie knows something is wrong but not really know how to get the truth out of Reel. 

Robie is not that articulate, and Reel is worst. The thing is, Robie is task orientated and not that complicated. 

 

Even after we know how screwed up his childhood is for Robie by having a horrible father. 

 

Reel last mission is brutal and she is suffering from surviver guilt. 

 

The bad guys are skinheads. Who picked fights and have guns. Not a problem for Robie. And there are more people missing. Witnesses to a mass kidnapping with captives being transported in van.

 

Robie and Reel is trying to find the Blue Man. Yet got distracted with helping a couple, Holly and Luke to runaway from the skinheads.

 

And they met a woman who was once engaged to the Blue Man.

 

Things got interesting. Molly the town sheriff is having a fling with Robie. 

Robie and Reel obviously have feeling for each other. It is hard to be that close to someone and rely so much on a person for not having some sort of feeling for the person. 

Is it love? Humans are animals. And for survival, it is good to pair up with the one who one could reply on for survival. Good match. 

 

More interesting still when Reel frozen up while being chased by bad guys. 

 

Robie step-in and saved them both. Reel is having trouble and Robie has similar doubt on his ability before.

 

Old missile site is being bought up and turned into luxurious survival real estate. One could survived bombing in a silo with steel doors and build in security. 

 

So what's going on in there. 

 

Then everything come together. Missing Blue Man and others, silo and the skinheads. 

 

All in one big pot of bad guys with Robie and Reel being captured. 

 

The sick game of manhunt with uneven odd. 

 

If the writer is not ready to kill of the main characters, then it is fun to read how the main characters survive this one. 

As for characters development. Reel shows her vulnerable side and how she struggle to deal with survival guilt and how she feel about Robie and how much it would hurt if she loses him. That's wouldn't change if they are together or not. Robie is struggling with his feeling too. He act like a horny guy who has sex with one woman while thinking of another woman. Don't know where the writer is going with that. As for Blue Man, not so much as a machine now that we know more about his background. As for character development, Blue Man is acting like a man who accept his actions, which is a good thing even if the actions lead to grief. 

 

Still. It is a good and fun reading. 

 

4.5 stars. 

Reading progress update: I've read 309 out of 580 pages.

End Game - David Baldacci

Blue Man is missing.

 

Robie is tasked to find him. He is not investigator, but he care about Blue Man.

 

Reel is also tasked to work with Robie. Reel is pissed at Robie for some reason.

 

Blue Man went fishing, then went missing. They went to where he fished. Found his ex gf and know some other bad guys being active in the area. Skinheads and religious nutjobs.

 

Reel and Robie got into the trouble when helping a woman Holly and his skinhead bf Luke.

 

Holly is the sister of the local sheriff. 

 

Now they are in way more trouble when they got the attention of the skinheads who tried to kill them. 

 

They got rescue by undercover agent. 

 

Robie almost got killed. 

 

Kind of a strange story when there isn't a lot of honest people in town. The charm of the small towns not there. 

 

Young Zak got trained as an agent

Agent 21 - Chris Ryan

Zachary's parents were killed in a mass poisoning. 

 

He was left with his aunt who didn't like him or wants the responsibility. 

 

He now being target to a Bourne like agent who faked his death and trained him as a agent at 13.

 

The training part is okay. But to treat a boy that young with such intensity and taken away his freedom, that he couldn't go back to his old life is a bit much.

 

His being an agent is only like a boy trying to please the adult around him. Unlike adults, couldn't use normal incentive to draw him in. He has an account but he only want some toys. He is not old enough to need to spend any real money yet. 

 

So what is his motive? 

 

To get a new family, to be adopted with someone who care for him.

 

That's the part is not so great. There is not enough moment to show him that he is wanted as a child.

 

His trainers fit the bill. Still not enough moments build in to justify that one.

 

So he got close a drug lord by befriending his son. 

 

That's part is easy enough. Again, the teenager is pretty good by Cruz not liking him even after Zak saved his life. 

 

Found a mistake. Cruz should have called Zak Harry Gold, his undercover identity. But one of the dialogue outed him.

 

The rest is pretty good. A bit too typical. Like a B teenage young spy movie. 

 

4 stars. 

 

An acid trip approach to investigation

Authority: A Novel - Jeff VanderMeer

Everyone in the book seems to be lying or on some kind of acid trip.

 

The main character is "Control" who is now interviewing "the biologist" found alive facing the walls in the parking lot after the exploration in Area X from Book 1. 

 

So what do the biologists know what's going on in Area X. 

 

She wouldn't tell or say she couldn't remember. 

 

Control knows she is lying.

 

Control also has a past. He was a bright star and his mother works in the same field too.

 

He didn't like the assignment. The coworkers Grace disrespect him.

 

He answer to the "Voice" that he thought was his mother.

 

A lot of strange stuff. A proper sci-fi kind of tale.

 

Could they escape the influence of Area X? 

 

In the last episode of Survivors...

Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer

That's what the book is like,

 

The strange life form found on walls are not scary. It is a bit creepy.

 

The worst are the manipulative humans who would harm their own teammates.

 

Being hypnotize is a mistake. The biologist found out the hypnotic suggestions when she tried to find out what happened to her husband. He was in the last team of scientists going into Area X.

 

So what happened? Not a lot of answers. Just they seems to be on drugs and not really seeing straight. 

 

Still a good read because it play with the characters' minds and the readers's too. 

The movie is based on the book with the same name. 

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline  Ready Player One - Ernest Cline  


The movie is awesome and quite loyal to the book.

 

The reason is probably because Ernest Cline is the script writer. Stephen Spielberg as director would also be the reason. 
 

It is a wonderful movie. Couldn't find a 3D tickets and have to settle for 2D instead. So I bought vibrating seats. 

 

Kids live in virtual world and make virtual friends. Adults who are not in the game world wouldn't really get why is it so important to the kids, and why playing fair is so important. 

 

The movie reminded us of the good games we had played with friends, real life or online. And the skills we got that couldn't be used in real life at all, probably because it would not work.

 

I love the part when he used virtual fight skills to beat the bad guys who had all the money to buy the extra equipment but lack the game time experience to actually use them. 

 

The going into movie part is really good time. Like it a lot. 

Image result for Tye Sheridan gif

 

Reading progress update: I've read 75 out of 195 pages.

Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer

Psychological thriller with Sci-Fi element. 

 

The psychologist seems to be manipulating the follower explorers to take more risk they are comfort with. 

 

And they are exploring something biological, a tower that is actually an underground tomb with writing on walls. 

The building of atmosphere through plot and dialogue. Pretty engaging so far. 

 

 

Human in trouble and Lucifer got involved

Lucifer, Vol. 8: The Wolf Beneath the Tree - Ryan Kelly, Ted Naifeh, Peter Gross, Mike Carey, P. Craig Russell

Hard to explain this. 

 

The wolf wants to end all humans by poisoning the tree of life. 

 

To stop that, Michael reluctantly work with Lucifer. Michael also has a daughter who wants to help.

 

Interesting but a bit bloody. Unnecessary so. 

 

When supernatural beings act humans, this is the story we got on how they could use and misuse their powers. 

March Wrap-up

5 books read in March. All good ones. 

 

1 Literature 

 

Call Me by Your Name - André Aciman  Call Me by Your Name - André Aciman  

 

Read it before watching the movie. Really good on summer romance. Saying this is a gay romance is correct and incorrect at the same time. 

 

yes, it is about two guys falling for each other. But this is mainstreaming of a subject matter. Like The Shape of Water is not a disability film, even the main character has an disability. So, if An incident of a dog in the night time is not an autistic film, why is the film with two young men falling in love is a gay film.

 

The book is a slow dance of love and how one could find out if the love interest is responding positively to the love. 

 

3 crime novels of 4.5 to 5 stars

 

The Poet - Michael Connelly The Poet - Michael Connelly 

 

Jack is a journalist and he was informed that his twin brother Sean, who was a cop, had killed himself.

 

Jack had a hard time believing his brother would kill himself, so he started his own investigation.

 

Turned out there is a killer out there who would set trap and killed cops. 

Running after this killer is the work of a journalist. So he agreed with the FBI to withhold the article if they allowed him to sit in their meetings. 

 

So he followed the killer closely. And this is really good story with the release of finding the killer. Plots twists are expected. 

 

5 stars read. 

 

The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith  The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith  

 

Another 5 stars read is Silkworm following Strike as he found he was commissioned to find a missing writer by his wife.

 

Turned out this writer was a drama queen and had tried to runaway to get attention.

 

So Strike didn't get the police involved at first. Then he found the writer, who was murdered.

 

The way he was murdered made it so unique that only a few persons would have done it. 

 

Now Strike needed to find who did it. 

 

Again, a lot of characters developments and twists. 

 

The Hit - David Baldacci  The Hit - David Baldacci  

 

Fun read with Robie being ordered to fun after a rouge agent Reel.

 

Reel did tried to kill Robie by setting trap. But good that she failed. 

 

Then Reel tried and save Robie's life. It changed Robie's mind and that Reel had been turned. 

 

The good that the situation had forced them to team up. And once they do, they were really good at getting the bad guys. 

 

4.5 stars read. 

 

the last one is a children book, Fun read by the same writer who wrote Harry Hole series. 

 

Bubble in the Bathtub (Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder) - Mike Lowery,Nesbo Jo  Bubble in the Bathtub (Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder) - Mike Lowery,Nesbo Jo  

 

Unexpectedly good. 

 

Story about a brother and sister team who tried to use bubble bath time machine to find the missing Doctor Proctor. 

 

Fun as in doing things like children. The inventions are cute and funny. 

 

5 stars. 

 

 

 

Myron try to find a runaway husband and got into troubleb

Live Wire (Myron Bolitar, #10) - Harlan Coben

Suzze, the former tennis queen, is pregnant his husband Lex the rockstar has runaway after a meannie posted a comment on FB saying the future baby is not his.

 

That's got Myron into trouble, when he run into a club and found the drunk husband and his sister in law Kitty. 

 

The running around bit in reviewing a mystery. Myron almost got a serious beating. Fortunately, he has a Blackberry link to Win and Win comes to save the day. 

 

So, Win is being drawn into the investigation because Myron care so much about his client. 

 

The story is a bit clever and it is fun to read how the pair of non detectives go to get in and out of trouble.

 

 

Robie and Reel team up

The Hit - David Baldacci

Reel has killed her handler and runaway.

 

Robie is tasked to find her.

 

While hunting her, more mystery death. 

 

Reel saved Robe life when he was pinned down.

 

Then Robie returned the favor. 


When they could not trust anyone but the Blue Man, they have to team-up and rely on each other to do what they do best. Escape at tight spot and killed whoever is out to get them. 

 

It is a fun ride. A lot of details into a conspiracy on high level.

 

As usual, they are really good at their job. 

 

The underlying of the story is good too. 

 

Robie is more human than he admitted to himself. He kept in touch with FBI agent Vance and now Julie, the teenager who he saved. 

 

So he has to care in order to keep him human. Being a killer and effective does not mean losing is humanity. 

 

Overall, a good story.