Wednesday, September 26, 2012


If you've read this blog for any length of time, you may or may not recall that I've reviewed other books in this series:  the first two books and the third book.   This is the fourth book of the series, and in my view, it is the best yet.  To me it looks like Mr. Pearson took the plotting of this book very seriously, not allowing it to become overburdened with details and keeping the story moving (my criticisms of the third book) and kept it consistent and sensible (my criticism of the first book).  (I liked the second quite a bit; I thought that was well done.)

In this story, it seems like the Keepers themselves are being compromised in some way, and when they discover that a couple of new evil Overtakers have taken over the leadership of that group, they learn why:  the Evil Queen (from Snow White) can cast spells.  And the OT's can now access the DHI servers and can become DHI's themselves.  And they have a plan, and the Keepers are having trouble ascertaining exactly what they're trying to do.  The OT's are keeping the Keepers off balance with recruits from their high school and with continual wrenches thrown into their best efforts to guard the Kingdom. 

The story takes a logical and welcome step forward with the addition of the "good" Disney characters, who will hopefully play a major role in the next book (which has been out in hardcover for some time now), and I look forward to reading further in the series.  I've known that Mr. Pearson is a very good writer from reading a few of his adult novels, and was waiting for that talent to manifest in this young adult series.  It has done so in this book, I feel.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Lincoln Child's UTOPIA revisited

I'm sort of a book nut; I've got thousands of the things laying around.  I mostly read mystery and thriller fiction, but at a given time I could be reading something in any genre:  I read a lot of science fiction, horror, and some fantasy.  (I read a lot of books on Disney, many as I can...)

A while back I made this blog post about the Lincoln Child novel, UTOPIA, and talked generally about the story, which was a thriller about terrorists holding a huge indoor theme park sort of built into a canyon near Las Vegas hostage.  It was a good taut story, in my opinion, with interesting characters, from a really good thriller writer (Child is well known for his collaborations with Douglas Preston, stories featuring Agent Pendergast).  One of the major characters in this book is not a person at all, but the theme park where everything takes place.  Child delves into the details of the place, and I have always found it to be a repeatable read for me.

This is a scan of the drawings at the beginning of the book, depicting the park as it is designed.  You can see that there are four distinct areas to the fictional park.  The first, Boardwalk, is sort of a carnival area with thrill rides and an aquarium.  From there you can go to Camelot, which is sort of self explanatory.  Gaslight, a third area, is an area themed to a part of London, England, and last is Callisto, a space station/skyport futuristic area.  A fifth area is scheduled to open, themed to Atlantis.

I think that the detail of the drawing is really well done.  It's a very thoroughly thought-out concept brought into book form.  According to Child, there are no plans for future novels set in Utopia.  But I wonder about Child's obvious fascination with the art form known as the "theme park".  Where did his inspiration for this come from?  There are some obvious (to Disney fans, anyway) comparisons to be made between the found of this park and Walt Disney. 

I'll just reiterate:  it was a fun read and I probably will read it again someday soon.