Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Illuminated


Chain letters have evolved. The letters that used to come through the mail to your house threatening death and destruction if they weren't forwarded on have mutated into emails promising fulfilled wishes if forwarded and death and destruction if not reposted on MySpace. They have also evolved into snail mail trees. Several weeks ago, I received a letter from my Aunt Sandie. In it was an invitation to join a recipe tree. If I send the letter on to six more people and include Sandie's address, then send a recipe to the person who sent it to her (her mother), I should receive 36 recipes in the next couple of weeks. I thought it sounded like a cute idea, so I went through with it. No threats of death and destruction, just the possibility of great cookies and desserts. A week later, I got the same letter from Aunt Sue, who had received it from Sandie. I had to be a little more creative with my choices from recipients this time, because obviously as this was going through the Lockstein family we were going to be hitting the same people repeatedly. But I did it again. I still haven't received a single recipe. Yesterday Mia got a letter from her cousin Abby in the mail for a sticker tree. Send stickers to the top person on the list, mail letters to six more people and put your name on the bottom of the list. I'll send out the stickers and the six letters, hopefully Mia will get some stickers in return. It's all in fun, after all, it only costs a few stamps, and a page of stickers or a recipe.

Illuminated
by Matt Bronlewee is a fast paced suspense thriller. August Adams, an archaeobibliologist, is bringing a rare Gutenberg Bible to a client on a plane to New York. The plane ride is turbulent, but no more so than August's encounter with another passenger who triggers danger to his profession, the book, and his family. Rival secret societies, The Order of the Dragon and The Orphans, are in pursuit of the book and are willing to cross any line to get it. As August puts together the puzzle pieces to understand why this book is worth dying for, his ex-wife, another antique book expert is in the fight of her life for another Gutenberg edition, and their son is held captive for their cooperation. Bronlewee mixes suspense with history in an intriguing way making for a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. While there are a few moments of implausibility, just suspend your disbelief and go along for the ride. August learns to think quickly on his feet, but he also learns that he loves his ex-wife and son enough to sacrifice anything for them. The ending gets a bit choppy and would have been improved by another 50-100 pages. Once I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down, and Bronlewee ups the drama by pointing out that Gutenberg really does have an enormous amount of mystery in his life. Dracula, Jan Huss, the Templars all make appearances in this fantastic first novel.

I'm off to the doctor's this afternoon. This is a relationship that I need to end, so I get to break it to him that I'm seeing someone else. Where is Doc Baker from Little House on the Prairie when you need him?

1 comments:

Matt said...

Thanks for posting about ILLUMINATED! I saw your question on myspace...and YES, there will be a follow-up to ILLUMINATED, called HOUSE OF WOLVES, which will release August 12th, 2008. August Adams will have a whole new adventure on his hands!