Monday, July 21, 2008

When Not in Rome, and Sick.

I may be the only person to have caught the flu in July. I caught it on the airplane flying home to Kauai. There was a woman on the plane across the aisle who spent most of the flight face-down on her service tray. I hate to leap to conclusions, but I'm thinking she might have been unwell. Two days later, so was I.

The major remaining issue is a cough, which unfortunately enjoys waking me up in the middle of the night. Three times I have ended up on the bathroom floor next to the toilet, just in case the coughing evolved into barfing.

The cough has also torn something in my rib cage, which makes the coughing pretty @*#$&( painful. Moral of our story? Get your flu shot. Every year. Especially if you're made of gristle.

Nothing writery has been going on, but great times for the readery stuff. I'm slowly trying to clean the house while ill, which works about as well as you might imagine. It does allow for much listening to audiobooks. Hope the neighbors enjoy my taste in fiction. And the fatigue of manual labor while ill means I get to knock off early and spend the remains of the day reading.

You see what I did there. In any event, here is my completed reads for the past month, including flu days:

Sebastian Barry - The Secret Scripture
Eli Gottlieb - Now You See Him
E.L. Doctorow - City of God
Thornton Wilder - Bridge of San Luis Rey
Jack Kerouac - On the Road (Original Scroll)
Barbara Kingsolver - The Poisonwood Bible
Carson McCullers - The Member of the Wedding

Currently Reading:

Katherine Anne Porter - Ship of Fools
Robert Penn Warren - All the King's Men


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Another Review...

Oh, happy day...

Jul 02
Published in Uncategorized by apexrev
In The Face
Lorelei Armstrong
ISBN: 9780979372056
Iota Publishing
Reviewed By Jennifer Walker

Official Apex Reviews Rating: (4 1/2 stars out of 5)

If you had the option to surgically enhance your child so he would grow up with beautiful, perfect features, would you do it? What if there were a risk the procedure could go wrong and your child could be hideously disfigured for life – would it be worth the risk? In the world that Lorelei Armstrong has created in In The Face, "shaping" has become a common practice conducted by legitimate surgeons and fly-by-night hacks alike. Hopeful, well-to-do parents take their children to "shapers" in the hopes of having a beautiful, perfect child who will one day make it big in the movies.

One of these children is superstar movie actor Evo Selig, the crowning glory of shaper Jai Varent. Evo is perfect from his hair to his toenails and irresistible to almost everyone who sees him – male and female alike. The only problem is, some of his fans become so obsessed that they create simulated movies to play out all of their fantasies with Evo, then sell them on the black market. This practice is a minor annoyance until a dead body shows up on Dr. Varent's patio – and the security footage shows it was Evo Selig who left it there.

Closer examination of the footage shows that it was yet another simulation, which must mean that someone is out to get Evo – or Dr. Varent…which is it, and why? Detectives Terry Cleinrath and Daniel MacEvoy are put on the case with the strictest orders to keep it quiet. The two must prove that Evo is innocent and find out who the real culprit is, which plunges them into the world of studio politics, illegal simulations, and obsessed fans.

Ms. Armstrong's vision is close enough to modern day that the reader can imagine it happening within the next hundred years, yet far enough off to be a fascinating look into another time. Although people still drive cars as we currently know them, computer technology has vastly evolved – in a very believable way. Films are altered by computer to change the time of day or weather, and computers operate on voice commands. Chat rooms have evolved to virtual reality experiences in which you can talk to other people avatar to avatar, and you might even meet the fabulous Evo Selig himself.

Ms. Armstrong spins an intriguing mystery with surprising detail of her future world. The descriptions of the shaping process are fascinating, and her attention to detail regarding the murder investigation and movie filming sequences are excellent. All in all, In the Face is a fascinating read for fans of mysteries with a futuristic twist.