Haunting the aisles of my local bookstore is no longer enough for me — I carefully plot strategies to acquire the latest paperback release in my favorite science fiction series, hot off the press. While I drool over the December releases, just a month away, I can relax with views of deliberately-destroyed buildings in Las Vegas, or explore the deeper meanings of Batman and the Flash, as conceived by Alex Ross.
Tuesday, November 22
The Lighthouse by P.D. James, the 13th Adam Dalgliesh mystery, borrows elements from previous plots. James "sticks closely to formula in the shape of her mystery story but injects her characters with a range of emotions and subtlety of motive that lifts the proceedings well beyond the level of a puzzle and its solution. In the past, she has often isolated her group of victims and suspects by homing in on a particular profession, but this time she uses an even more classic mystery device: an isolated location... But it's what happens between the lines that gives James' stories their punch: the tension between Miskin and the ambitious sergeant... and, of course, the personal lives of the various suspects." —Bill Ott, Booklist
Darth Vader is back, "badder than ever," as the Emperor's ruthless black-cloaked enforcer in James Luceno's Star Wars: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, the sequel to the novelization of Episode III. A conclusion of sorts to a literary trilogy (Luceno's Star Wars: Labyrinth of Evil and Matthew Stover's Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith) "chronicling the creation of arguably the most popular — and complex — villain in the history of genre fiction... picks up in the last hours of the Clone Wars as Vader is charged with tracking down and annihilating the last of the Jedi Order." —Barnes & Noble review
John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father by Peggy Noonan is the speechwriter and columnist's personal tribute to the late Pope, who arrived in office in 1978 just as she returned to the church. "Noonan is better at flashing insight and anecdote than at sustained argument and narrative. Her memoir of the late pontiff is, then, scrappy, though lyrical passages about John Paul's exceptionally didactic charisma and her own growth in faith predominate... many may feel Noonan focuses too much on her own doings... Uneven though it is, this is an absorbing personal tribute to a remarkable figure." —Ray Olson, Booklist