New Book Reviews

Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

This first novel, written by a veteran of the U.S. attempts at rebuilding Afghanistan, does an admirable job of introducing the daily life of Zulaikha, an Afghan girl born with a cleft palate.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I am leary of most critically acclaimed books, as I generally don't care for them. I often find them pretentious and stuffy. I am happy to say that The Help is a happy surprise.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Now that Riordan has finished his popular Percy Jackson series, he's decided to take on a new Pantheon, Egyptian gods. The Red Pyramid is the first entry in this new series, the Kane Chronicles. Sadie and Carter Kane are brother and sister, raised apart after the death of their mother. Carter travels with his dad, Sadie lives with her grandparents in London, seeing Carter and her dad twice a year. It's on one of these bi-annual visits that the siblings discover their dad has been leading a secret life; his prestigious career as an Egyptologist is actually a cover for his work as a magician. A trip to the British museum leads to disaster; the release of Set, the Egyptian god of chaos, as well as Osiris, Horus and Isis, all of whom have been imprisoned for years in the Duat (the Egyptian underworld). As if that weren't bad enough, Julius, Sadie and Carter's father is also banished, trapped in a sarcophagus. Aided by the cat goddess Bast and their uncle Amos, another Kane magician, as well as some of the members of a shadowy magical society called the House of Life, Sadie and Carter must fight demons, minor gods and sometimes each other, to free their father and stop Set from destroying the world.

Interred with their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrel

I confess, I picked this one up off the bargain table at Barnes and Noble, so I wasn't expecting much. It was actually delightfully engaging. An intriguing blend of history, fact and theory, this first novel combines the academic world which has sprung up around Shakespeare the man and Shakespeare the works with a fast paced murder mystery. Although the big 'twists' at the end are of the fairly predictable sort (no spoilers here!) the road to them was still a fun, if at times bumpy ride.