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Book Reviews by praetorian2004

Comets by Joseph Allen Costa is a collage about Roberto's life, who we meet as a teenager working in his father's cabinet shop. Roberto's life careens through the struggles of Italian, Cuban, and American cabinetmakers, especially the challenges of his father. The various characters have their own particular troubles, all of which deeply shape their characters and their interactions with Roberto. Through these struggles, Roberto learns and matures. His own mistakes are instructive. His father's weaknesses and strengths mold the son.

The Maltese Attack by Jay Perin is a political and historical thriller. The book centers on U.S. Senator Temple in the midst of deep tensions between Libya and the United States during the 1970s. Gaddafi had gripped the region with his tyrannical power. Major oil companies and holdings were constantly at risk of succumbing to Gaddafi's shrewd tactics. Senator Temple has to navigate the tenuous situation politically and economically. Haunting him is a poor decision made in the past to let an oil tycoon on the loose.

Mystic Invisible by Ryder Hunte Clancy is a fantasy story about a young boy named Monte. Monte belongs to a wizard family. His parents work for the IMB, a special investigation unit of the wizarding world. Monte and his family must travel to Scotland where old witch tales are actually true. Monte's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Darrow, with help from Monte's uncle must investigate the mysterious disappearance of young boys on the Ben Nevis. The wizards and witches know it's the work of the ancient Cat Sith.

No One Gets Out Alive by Harry Tinders is a humorous look at present-day cultural and political problems. It isn't that he doesn't take the present-day cultural and political problems seriously; he takes the issues seriously, but he presents the issues in the style of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Surely what we're missing in all the debates of the day is a sense of humor, satire, and, most of all, the willingness to listen to opposing ideas. The setting of this short story will sound all familiar: a polarized world.

Black Oak is Chapter 1 of the Loveless Chronicles by Titus Murphy. The story is set in present-day Wichita, Kansas, but has its beginnings farther back in the Great War of 1782.  The Great War was waged between three sects of Witches, Hunters, and the wolf-like beasts called Jackals. The Witches and Hunters were paired up against the Jackals. They were successful in warding them off but unprepared for the power of the Riffs. The Riffs are powerful creatures that are part vampire. The story moves forward to 1815, providing more background to this ancient conflict.

UnEntitled by Alex Richwagen is a practical guide to personal success in corporate America. This practical guide covers a range of every-day topics from mentorship to promotions to interviewing well. Each chapter has been sharply crafted so there are no wasted words. The sentences and ideas are punchy and pithy. The emphasis in this book is on "personal" success but not individualism, where a person starts looking out only for himself or herself. The goal of personal success and leadership is the good of the company (if it's a good company) and the building up of others.