Friday, July 6, 2018

Rewind by Carolyn O'Doherty

Alex is a spinner meaning she can rewind time to view past events (but no more than a day or so). The world fears spinners so she and the others are locked up together in a facility. On those rare occasions when they are allowed to go out, they must wear a band that keeps them from rewinding time.

Upside to being a spinner: they assist the police in solving and preventing crimes. Alex is one of the better ones, so she gets to help with murders and bomb attempts.

Downside: spinners eventually get the disease and die before they are 20 years old. And they have a implanted chip that tracks them.

Alex is happy with her assigned police officer, Agent Ross. He is not afraid of her abilities and sees their potential in helping him track a criminal he has wanted to catch for a long time. Ross even bends some rules so Alex can help.

But it's a dangerous world when you are pursuing powerful criminals in a world where most people do not like your powers already. Even the facility is not safe when Alex can't trust the staff to do what is in her and the others' best interests. KJ, her best friend, is the only person she truly trusts, but things have been strained between them since he has shown interest in another girl.

Can Alex avoid the disease and help catch a killer? Or will Alex have to escape from her confined world? And who will help her?

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

It's been a while since I read this. I am finding it difficult to describe. I really enjoyed it, but is so different from what I normally read. About 40 pages in, I almost stopped reading it. It was just a little too odd. I liked the author's language and unusual descriptions enough to keep going. And I am glad that I did.

Miracles happen. In this small Colorado town, they really do. So much so that people come from all over to have miracles performed for them. What they don't know is that they must finish the miracle themselves or forever be stuck in some in between state. For example, one lady is in a perpetual state of being rained upon. Wherever she goes, whatever she does she has a rain cloud over her head.

The miracles are performed by one chosen member of the community. Once the miracle is performed, the members of the community must never talk to (or show concern for) the ones in limbo or they might find themselves stuck as well.

So that's just the basic explanation. There is a lot going on in this book. But the narrative is driven by two strangers who come to the small village. One looking for a miracle and one just looking for a truck he was told he could get. Someone showing up who is not looking for a miracle never happens, and it creates changes in ways no one could have foreseen.

This is an incredible book with a setting, characters and story I could come up with on my own. Really amazing.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.

Game Theory by Barry Jonsberg

Jamie loves math. Recently, he has become interested in game theory, the strategy of determining your opponent's actions. He practices it with his clever, precocious younger sister, Phoebe.

Jamie's older sister, Summerlee, buys a lottery ticket on her 18th birthday and wins 7.5 million dollars. Already rebellious, the money causes her to break free of her family. Against her parents' advice, Summerlee lets the world know that she won and goes on a spending spree.

One day when Jamie and Phoebe go to the grocery store together, Phoebe is kidnapped. The sudden horror and remorse Jamie feels is gut wrenching. Phoebe is the best of the family. Even Summerlee who can be nasty to anyone is never cross with Phoebe.

Is the kidnapping related to Summerlee's sudden financial windfall? No one knows for sure, but they do know that the kidnapper(s) will only speak with Jamie. Maybe he can use game theory to outwit the kidnapper and get Phoebe back. But dealing with the kidnapper without the police is a risk.

This is a story filled with tension and suspense. So if you are looking for something with some mystery that is a little different, check this one out.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Surface Tension by Mike Mullin

Jake loves being on his bike. He lives for it. He is an amateur competitive cyclist and is hoping to make the USA team and go to Belgium. Jake also has a beautiful girlfriend. So his life is pretty good. Until...

Jake is riding one morning on what are normally deserted roads when he encounters a group of tanker trucks. It is his misfortune that the trucks are part of a terrorist attack that brings down an airplane leaving the nearby airport. Without giving too much away, let's just say that Jake wakes up in the hospital with no memory of what happened.

Betsy's life is pretty good, too. Her mother disappeared along time ago, but her dad has given her goals. She wants to become the first female member of the Sons of Paine, a patriotic group who want to make the United States a better place. Her dad is an important member and gives her a task to prove herself - killing the only witness to the plane crash, a guy about her age named Jake who managed to escape.

The author has written a suspenseful tale of a young man who is in danger at almost every turn. The terrorists want him dead, and the FBI wants him for questioning. It becomes difficult for Jake to know who he can trust. And since so many people think his head injury is causing him to hallucinate or remember things that never happened, no one really trusts him.

We also get the viewpoint of Betsy, a young women who has grown up learning to hate Muslims and thinks nothing of killing innocent people for the end goal of finally eradicating them from the United States. But all is not what it seems even for a young women willing to commit terrorism.

A bonus for me is that this story is set in Indianapolis and mentions many places. I know the city well, so I enjoyed having the characters go to so many specific locations.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.