Monthly Archives: December 2013

Early Christmas

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a pleasant – and unexpected – surprise this week.

When my wife and I got home from work the other night, there was a small package sitting on our front steps. We figured it was something from Amazon we had ordered for Christmas and brought it in the house. Upon closer inspection, we saw that it wasn’t from Amazon but from Random House Publishing and it was the size and shape of a book. Surprise!

Well, actually it was, because when we opened it we found an “Advance Reader’s Edition” of Dean Koontz’ new novel, “Innocence” which was just released on the tenth of this month. It’s a beautiful, paperback copy with the same cover art found on the hardbound edition, except for the reader’s edition seal with “Not For Sale” in it. Yes, I had a big grin on my face.

I’ve been looking forward to this book for several months now. Not just because it’s a Dean Koontz book, although that’s certainly enough reason for me, but because this is supposedly something different for Mr. Koontz. Something other than a typical Dean Koontz book. I was planning on using some Christmas money to purchase it later in the month, but that won’t be necessary now.

As happy as this made me, I haven’t a clue as to why I received this in the first place. The package was addressed directly to me from Random House. There was no note attached to it, save the promotional message in the front of the book from the executive vice president of Ballantine Bantam Dell telling me of the virtues of this new novel. No help.

I only have two guesses. First, I may have won some sort of contest that I was unaware of. I’m always clicking “like” on Dean Koontz’s Facebook page and I may have entered myself without even knowing it. Second, Random House may have a marketing assistant in charge of monitoring book bloggers with tiny followings. Whatever the case, I’m extremely grateful.

My first impulse was to start reading “Innocence” that very night, however, I’m currently well into T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King,” so Dean will have to wait for a bit. But you can bet I’ll be cracking that cover very soon (depending on what other books I get for Christmas!) and passing along my review to all of you.

I hope all of my fellow book junkies out there get the books they want this Christmas. Whether they’re from someone they know or not!

Oh, and one final piece of info. I emailed said executive V.P. a brief thank you note for the book. You know what? She had the grace to reply. That’s what I call class, people. Random House gets a big thumbs up from this house.

Merry Christmas everyone, and blessings in the coming year!



Posted by on December 22, 2013 in What I'm Reading


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True Confessions


Lucifer (Photo credit: vcuevas)

I have a confession to make. Well, two actually.

First, I actually enjoyed Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.” Sorry. I liked the characters, the plotting and, yes, even the speculation. I even enjoyed “Angels & Demons.” So when I saw “The Lucifer Code” by Charles Brokaw (Forge, 2010) with its jacket touting that “Brokaw can play this game a lot better than most of [Brown’s] imitators,” I bought it. Hey, it was only a buck.

Second confession: I bought it at a dollar store. I know, that should have told me something. But a brand new $25.99 hardcover for a dollar? I’m just weak. As weak as this book.

Brokaw’s previous book, “The Atlantis Code,” (I know. Original,huh?) got pretty good reviews, judging from the back of the dust jacket. Publishers Weekly called it a “rollicking adventure,” and Deepak Chopra said . . . .  well, that should have told me something too. The main character of both books, Dr. Thomas Lourds, must have liked his Atlantis adventure as well because he and his supporting cast mention it at least once a chapter.

I’m going to save anyone interested in this book a lot of trouble right now. Spoiler alert: Ready? Lucifer is the vice president of the United States! Believe me, I didn’t spoil much. This book could have been titled “The Lucifer Morris Code” because Brokaw telegraphs the bad guy nearly from his first appearance.

OK, let’s make it three confessions. I actually read the whole book. There were a few decent action sequences, a couple of humorous situations and some interesting information passed along. But I really kept going because I was hoping for a decent payoff when Lourds finally confronted Lucifer. A big finale. Wham! Bam!


I’m going to donate this book to the local library’s ongoing book sale. Who knows? Somebody out there may like it. But I’ll be wearing sunglasses and a hat when I drop it off.




Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Book Review


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