The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch

 

Summary: In Jeff Hirsch’s novel The Darkest Path, In a dystopian version of America’s future,  Callum Roe, a sixteen- year-old former child soldier struggling to survive in the midst of the Second American Civil War, which is between the Glorious path who wanted total control over America, and the U.S federal army who wants to restore peace and is the remainder of America’s army. Callum and his brother (James Roe) were taken away from their family 5 years ago and were forced to serve in the Glorious Path, but when Callum finds out what is in store for them in the future, he escapes into a long and tiring journey to seek his long-lost parents with the odds of survival stacked against him. Sadly, his brother James doesn’t believe him and decides to remain in the Glorious path. Along Callum’s 2,147 mile journey from Arizona to New York (location of the U.S federal army) he befriends a dog named Bear and murders his Commander/trainer who was going to train him into a killing machine. Together, they must overcome fate’s test for friendship, betrayal, and loyalty in ways you would never think were ever possible.9780545512237_xlg

 I decided to read this book because of its positive reviews by the people who read it and an interview of Jeff hirsch talking about the book. Another reason is because Jeff Hirsch is one of my favorite authors when it comes to books, one of his most recent books was the eleventh plague, which received some rewards and a lot of amazing reviews for it. Amazingly, The Darkest Path showed some signs of similarity to the eleventh plague genre-wise, which made me think Jeff Hirsch likes post-apocalyptic subjects. One reason why I kept reading The Darkest Path was because I was so intrigued with the plot due to its fast paced/heart pounding events and how it kept me at the edge of my seat…literally. Secondly, The Darkest Path got me so emotionally hooked, I had to shed a few tears along the way to process the unfortunate moments the book has to offer which was not common when I read books! Lastly, as I continued to read Jeff Hirsch’s story, I got pulled into Callum’s point of view and felt, saw, heard, smelled, and tasted throughout his journey. I believe this is for anyone who wants a face paced, heart pounding, and emotional ride into a post-apocalyptic version of America’s future. I would also recommend this book for fiction/adventure readers, if you are not looking for any of these, I would definitely still pick it up because trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Reviewed by Edmund W.

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Prey by Michael Crichton

Prey is about a man named Jack Foreman, who has recently been fired from his job as software developer working in a time period in which the computer industry made a huge boom. Now a house-husband, Foreman deals with the kids and also with having a wife that works long hours. The company that Julia Foreman, Jack’s wife, works for is Xymos. This company is currently working on microscopic cameras that can be used by the military. These cameras can’t be destroyed, and they are controlled by algorithms that were written by Jack and his team at his former company. When the code goes wrong, Jack is called to Xymos on a contract to work to solve the problem. The problem seems to have no solution at first, as it seems that the company knew about the problem but never did anything to solve it. Instead, it continued to build the cameras without fixing those problems. Unfortunately, those cameras escaped, and due to the software algorithms that Jack writes for his old company, they are able to reproduce and also grow by feeding on live prey. The cameras have become an indestructible killing machine and it is up to Jack and his former team, which has actually moved to Xymos, to solve the problem in 24 hours or less…

I was able to relate to this book a lot, as I work on scripting algorithms myself. I apply some of the programming methods vaguely referenced in this book to my own code, and as a result, my programs run a lot more smoothly now. As someone who works on a team with the occasional fool in the tech world (robotics), I enjoy relating to Jack’s problems with people on his team. The thriller in this book is that of a whole new level. As a reader of many fiction books, I know that in most cases, the characters will solve the problem no matter what. The thing with this book is, though, that you never know what Xymos has hidden from us next. The problems keep on piling on, and as the situation becomes more desperate, a reader like myself truly enjoys poring over the plot and soaking in the mystery. This book has truly changed a lot for me this past month. I can write algorithms a lot smoother now, and I learn from Jack that working on a team is more than just carrying when no one does anything. It is more about trusting your teammates that the job will be done. I learn from this book that during stressful situations it is important to remain calm but it is understandable to break down at times. It is all about getting up and continuing to work harder, putting in as much steam as you can. I truly enjoy thrillers, and Michael Crichton has written several other amazing thrillers that I have read as well, including Jurassic Park, and I was truly looking forward to this experience. The book looked like it would be about aliens based on what it said on the back cover, and as a result, I was very excited, as I always am at the mention of anything unusual, including the extra terrestrial. The book contained a lot about the writing of algorithms, and as that is something I do, I wanted to see more references to that. I was in luck, as Crichton continued to include code bits and pieces here and there across the book. The thriller got to me, yes, but it was primarily the programming portion of the book I enjoyed the most. I would give this book to a person that loves technology, loves programming, or just wants to read a thriller in general. If you love seeing characters deal with problem after problem, this book is for you. People who love books about family and how it must stay together would love this book as well. Prey contains a lot about office politics and busy life in an industry, so adults can relate to this book as well. Any of the people mentioned above really would be possible people I would give this book to next.

book reviewed by Deep Sethi

From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz

from_the_corner_of_his_eyeBartholomew Lampion, a six-year-old boy, who is born blind, has his eyes removed. Regardless of his physical disability he is a brilliant child. One day he begins to regains his eyesight. Around this time, coincidentally, a series of murders take place. The relentless killer’s victims are both female and are found bludgeoned in their homes. The mysterious murder case draws detective Cain to Bartholomew’s hometown. As Bartholomew grows older and begins to mature he is able to provide insight into the murder. This insight into the murders provides Cain and the town’s people with a new perspective as to why the murders were occurring. Detective Cain’s slowly begins to uncover the truth about the murders by using the connections that Bartholomew provides. These connections allow Cain to finally make sense of the murders. This book novel provides the readers with vivid descriptions of the gruesome crime scenes, allowing the reader to feel as if they were there. Which in turn intimate knowledge of the crime scenes allow this surreal book to come to life. This book is recommended to readers who enjoy John Grisham and Stephen King novels, as well as various other horror and mystery novels.