Brilliance; One Authors Take on Using Differences to Fuel Wars.

One of my favorite things about reading is that authors have the ability to discuss world problems in a fictional way. If you’re a thinker and the author is a decent writer you begin to contemplate and compare real world events to the events of the book.

Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance pits Brilliants against Normals in a way that Gays vs Straights, Blacks vs Whites, or Christians vs Muslims happens everyday. It showcases examples of ways that governments capitalize on fear and people’s differences to create wars that benefit the governments. Mr. Sakey does a great job exhibiting in his writing how a few human lives are  sacrificed “for the greater good” in order to further  political plans.

As I read this book I kept thinking that  if more people could realize that these examples are happening everyday then we would stop allowing our countries to instill fear in us in order to further separate us and make it easier on them to satisfy their own crude agendas.17171909[2].jpg

This book is the epitome of “fiction is the truth in the lie” and I liked it so much that I just purchased book two.

Aside from the political undertone which was handled brilliantly, Brilliance is written really well, action packed, and exciting to read. I gave it four stars.

The Affair A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

I’ve been a Jack Reacher the novel character fan for a long time. I’m such a loyal fan that when Tom Cruise was cast as Reacher I vowed to never pay to see the movie. Any true Reacher fan knows that Tom is nothing like the novel character. So far I haven’t watched it and I have no real plans to do so. A few months ago I was in the library for a Kitchen Table Meeting and they happened to be having a book sale. *cue my fangirl scream* Of course I purchased as many books as I figured I could sneak into my house without AB noticing as possible. One of those library finds was the Audiobook version of The Affair by Lee Childs.

Though this book is number sixteen in the series it is written as a prequel and gives us the back story to our beloved hero. In this book we are introduced to a different Reacher, one who is still enlisted in the military and sent to Carter Crossing Mississippi, a small town which would not exist if not for the fact that they have a flourishing Army base. Fort Kelham houses elite Army Rangers who operate covert operations which if exposed could place the US in a very unsavory position. All is well for the small town and the base until the girlfriend of one of those elite rangers is found murdered with her throat slit from ear to ear. A war tactic any Ranger worth his salt could perform in his sleep. So who done it? The ranger? Another ranger? Or hopefully for the military’s sake someone from the small town of Carter.

Reacher has one directive: go to Carter undercover, make friends with the local police, find out what they know and prevent them from uncovering anything that could harm the Army’s reputation. This should be simple enough but the local sheriff is a breathtakingly beautiful woman named Elizabeth Deveraux who is as determined as Reacher is to unwrap the different layers of this mystery which turns into more of a conspiracy when they realize that the dead woman’s boyfriend is the son of the senator who chairs the Armed Services Committee. Even more so when it’s discovered that this woman also had a relationship with the senator in question.

Reacher and Deveraux find themselves in a race against time as more people are killed and someone attempts to bury the truth as fast as Reacher can uncover it. In this book Mr Childs shows readers that Reacher has always been committed to the truth even if by exposing it he will lose the one constant thing he has had in his entire life; his military career.

This book is definitely one of my favorite Reacher novels. I spent a lot of time counting the hours until I could get into my car and get transported back to Carter Crossing. It has inspired me to start from the beginning and reread all of the novels, Killing Floor here I come.

The Affair

The Affair

War is Hell.

It’s pretty interesting to me that I have grown big enough cojones to even write this post. Firstly, if you speak any negative feeling about war, people assume that you are putting down the military. Which in America these days seems to be punishable by death. Secondly, I’m not sure how I chose to read two different books in the same week which contained characters whose lives were destroyed by war.

Eye of Vengeance is the story of crime reporter Nick Mullins who is covering the story of a convicted murderer’s assassination. Over the next couple of days other criminals are gunned down in the same manner and Nick soon realizes that each of these people were the subjects of his old in-depth crime stories.

Michael Redman is an ex-cop and former military sniper who draws the distinction between being a swat team member on the police force and having to follow strict rules and regulations before killing someone. While also being a sniper in the military and being directed to kill people without knowing if they committed a crime, pissed off the wrong person, or are just someone’s mother/sister/child who lives on the wrong side of America’s enemy list and is in the right place at the wrong time.

During an interview Redman informs Nick that War is Hell. A quote that he attributes to William Tecumseh Sherman. I rated this book a five, which I very rarely give but this book more than deserved. It made you feel something. I never wanted the “villain” to get caught. I actually felt bad for him. Also anytime a book leads me to do further research it has served its purpose.

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“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” William T. Sherman
Deadline by Sandra Brown doesn’t contain this quote in so many words but when a character describes how the person who wrote letters to the families of the deceased members of his squadron, always cheered everyone else up, always stayed positive, and was just a funny well-loved guy; gets to the point where he asks the reporter to meet him on a ridge then proceeds to blow his own brains out, I’d say that the author has definitely just described that war is indeed hell. Of course this book is another five-star rated book.

Because I may get some slack for these reviews let me just say that:

I support our troops. The ones who do their jobs without raping and torturing people. The ones who joined the military out of love for our country, because they wanted to make something of themselves, because they needed the money for school, and for whatever reason they deemed important enough to join. However, I don’t support these wars we keep embarking on. Is there a ship sitting at the port waiting to pillage, plunder, and rape our women either physically or metaphysically? I would support a war on this but with the way the politics game is being played I can’t believe any reason we’re given for going in to someone else’s home and killing their citizens while concurrently screwing up the lives of our citizens.
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Poetry and Other Such Things

To my Uncle Otis who taught me that broken and repaired things are stronger than the original

I see you
Notice the way you managed to make a way out of nothing
Allowed this country to tear you in two
punch rocket holes in your soul and still manage to avoid being another man standing on the corner begging for dollars with “Help a veteran signs”
Can’t imagine that this was easy
Not easy like raising another’s child
Not easy like trying to steer black boys straight when the world is crooked
Not easy like burying someone you’d put your all in to while expecting them to out live you
Not easy like repeating the cycle
I see you 10487444_261613754027876_7712151747494812132_n
And I wonder if it’s hard for you
Harder than the trauma that exploded your torso
Harder than returning to a country who begged for your representation
While never planning to represent you
I see you like I saw you then
The first time I realized that this country is built on the backs of the souls of those broken and repaired
The first time I realized that the strongest souls are those who were once broken and are now repaired
3/22/14 ADJP