Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton; 2017; $28.99; 295 pages; Harpers, New York, NY; 978-0-06-247335-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Sellwood; 11/3/17-11/7/17

Why did I read this?  Because Michael Crichton was a very good author before he passed away in 2008. This is a book that he had been working on for fifteen years when he passed away.  His wife discovered it when organizing his archives.

Entitled rich kid, Yale student, William Johnson, goes west on a bet with an early paleontologist and ends up in an three or four episode arc of the TV show Deadwood.  Johnson gets caught between two egomaniac and paranoid paleontologists.  He has to learn photography and what it is like not to be a spoiled rich kid.  He ends up in a showdown with a Dick, Dick Curry, that is.  This is not up to Michael Crichton’s usual level and it feels like let’s see how much we can make with another Crichton dinosaur book.  This should have stayed in the archives.  As with most Michael Crichton books you will learn something.

Grade C

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen & Owen King

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen & Owen King; 2017; $32.50; 702 pages; Scribner, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-6340-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 10/8/17-10/19/17

Why did I read this?  Because I think that Stephen King is one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

Women all over the United States are falling asleep and being enveloped in cocoon like webbing.  Most of the action in this takes place in a small rural town named Dooling.  The main action takes place at the women’s correctional institution there.  A women walks nude out of the woods after destroying a meth lab and the cooks at the lab.  She has some kind of immunity to and control over what is just happening.  There are confrontations between the forces of good and kinda good with a couple of psychopaths thrown in for measure.

I was thinking that this might be like The Stand, which had a great deal of action leading to the climax, unfortunately it was not to be so.  Much of the action seemed forced and some of the characters felt shoehorned in.  A good two to three hundred pages could have been left out.

Grade C

Fighting American by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby

Fighting American by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby; 1945 & 2011; $19.95; 200 pages; Titan Books, London, England; 9780857681157; purchased from Multnomah County Library, Title Wave Used Bookstore; 8/18/17-8/19/17

Why did I read this?  For a couple of reasons, first because it was written and drawn by a couple of graphic novel legends, Jack Kirby (who would be 100 today, August 28, 2017) and Joe Simon.  My favorite comic book character is Captain America and Fighting American was created and published while Cap was on Hiatus in 1954.

I was not impressed at all with this.  It is way too goofy for me.  This appeared campier to me than the 1966 Batman TV show with Adam West.

Grade C, only because of who the creators are.

Warning Order by Joshua Hood

Warning Order, A Search and Destroy Thriller by Joshua Hood; 2016;  $25.00; 337 pages; 978-15-5011-0828-0; Touchstone, New York, NY; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Albina; 8/2/17-8/4/17

Why did I read this?  Because I read the first book in the series and was giving the author another chance.

Once again Mason Kane is out for revenge and  is single minded, hard headed and anti social. Someone in the administration is trying to pull the U.S. back into full scale war in the middle east.   Mason Kane is supposed to be the main character in this series but to me he is the least interesting character in the story.  Mr. David, Renee and Zeus are much more interesting and I look forward to when they appear in the story.

Grade-C

Codex by Lev Grossman

Codex by Lev Grossman; 2004; $14.95; 348 pages; Mariner Books, Boston, MA; 978-0-15-602859-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 3/14/17-3/21/15

Why did I read this?  I am going to an event in Cannon Beach in May featuring five authors and Lev Grossman is the one I had never read anything from.

Edward in getting ready to transfer from New York to London in his job as a financial planner when he is approached by an English couple to unpack and catalog a collection of books.  Also he is supposed to see if he can locate a particular book in the collection.  As he gets involved in sorting the collection he begins to wonder about the particular book and begins to do some research into the book and enlists some help from a scholar.  He also gets involved in a MPORPG video game, which seems to tie in somehow to the book.  As he gets further into things,  the situation gets even stranger.  I was completely befuddled by the  ending of the book.  I read the last four pages of the book at least three times to try and understand what happened.

Grade-C