Monday, August 16, 2010

Reviews from Barry

THE OVARY WARS, Mike Hogan, Peppertree Press, $15.95, 300 pages, ISBN: 9781936051847, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

It’s strange how some books come up with new ideas, yet remind you of other things you may see in the world or remember reading in other books. Sometimes the plot devices, however farfetched, come into fruition. More than once, a book has had terrorists sneak bombs into sports venues in order to forward their agendas. One book I read in the 1960s featured people strapping bombs to themselves and setting them off at crowded locales to show their commitment to their cause. No one ever thought “suicide bombers” would ever become a daily news item. Mike Hogan has come up with a new plot device that I hope remains in fiction.

American Kirby Wadsworth is a firm believer in population control and knows that his theories would never work, unless they were done covertly and kept completely under the radar. During a sabbatical in China, his plans are brought to the attention of the Chinese government and they begin a series of tests to try out Wadsworth’s solution. After a successful test on a group of Chinese women, they move forward with their plans to use the new drug to bring the United States to its knees.

As the cover states “How does a terrorist kill four million people? He Stops them from being born.” Ovamort causes the ovaries to shrink and die and makes the woman infertile, not temporarily, but forever. No births would turn into a population decrease, unemployment in certain sectors and a reduction in the need for goods.

The FBI gets involved and they finally tract down what is going on and eventually, after a couple of timing miss-steps, solve the case. Hogan also details the plight of a successful OB-GYN whose practice goes away with the declining birthrate. It’s a stunning and harsh look at what could happen.

This is Hogan’s first novel and he is off to a grand start. This novel should raise some discussion and I’m sure it will give each reader something to think about. Be on the lookout for it or contact www.peppertreepublishing.com for more details.

THE PAINTED DARKNESS, Brian James Freeman, Cemetery Dance, 176 pages, $19.99, ISBN: 9781587672088, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

In the introduction by Brian Keene, he discusses art and makes his stance that good story telling is an art form just as much as paintings are. I’ve felt that way for years. Sometimes when you see a painting, you look at it and if it makes a good impression on you, it stays with you. Many books do the same thing and the ability to be a true wordsmith is the same as being a renowned artist. Either painting or book, an impression can be made and it can stay with you for years. That’s the lesson to be learned with THE PAINTED DARKNESS and it is also the heart of the story.

Freeman tells the story of Henry, who is so scared as a child, that he can only convey what he has seen in his drawings. As he grows up, he buries his memories and is now an artist who paints dark works for a living.

One night after a fight with his wife, she leaves taking their son with her. Henry tries to work out his frustrations, but his oil furnace in the dirt floored cellar cries for attention. As Henry goes to service the furnace, things begin to happen that cause Henry to remember that stormy, snowy day when the monsters first came out. Now it is returning and it is up to Henry to remember what brought them out the first time and if he can survive the confrontation.

Freeman has written a memorable tale of how our fears contribute to our creativity and what can happen if we wait too long to confront the. It is a touching and terrifying novel that will make an impression that will definitely last.

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