Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Author Spotlight: Pam Funke

The World at War by Pam Funke
ISBN: 978-1475102260
Publisher: CreateSpace
Softcover (528 pages)

Purchase the book here:
Amazon | CreateSpace | Amazon UK

Contact the Author: Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Book blurb:

The second book in the exciting The Apocalypse series.

Join General Alexander Ludlow as he continues on his mission to save the world. At least that is what he thinks that Operation Dark Angel is all about. He is however starting to suspect that this mission is not all that it's cracked up to be. The world is in complete chaos as major nations wage war on each other and the world is on the brink of World War III.

The Group is secretly continuing Operation Dark Angel with much success. Unknown to the rest of the world they are the ones who are behind the strange and devastating attacks on Israel and around the world. What is it that they are really after when they are supposed to be bringing peace to an out of control world?

Italian President Nicolaitanes Balac is steadily gaining political power and recognition. The entire world is watching this one man and wondering if he will be the one to save them from the chaotic spiral that the world is headed towards. Is he really who he appears to be or is he something more sinister? Can he save the world? Do we even want him to? Is this who mankind should rely on for help or will this be the worst mistake that mankind has ever made?

 Chee Tsang, China’s Chief Executive, gathered the country’s military officials together. He was ready for payback. How dare Israel attack his beloved country? Beijing is now just a smoldering disaster zone. This fact alone both angered and saddened him.

General Baojia Chan stood nearby looking over intelligence and working out a war strategy in his head. First we will attack Israel with missiles then a surprise attack with our massive army.
“General, I want your opinion about something. What will we gain from this? How will this attack on Israel benefit the people of China?” Chee Tsang asked.
General Chan looked back at the papers he was reviewing before looking at Mr. Chee Tsang. “Well, I think that this will only work as long as we contain the element of surprise. We then enter the country from here and here,” Baojia said pointing at the military map.
“I see. But would we not have a greater advantage point from here and here,” Chee asked.
“I have planned for the Immediate Action Unit to drop forces in at those locations,” General Chan replied.
“But I thought that we primarily used them to protect the country from terrorism, riots, and the like. If we use them in our attack, won’t that leave the country defenseless?” Chee asked.
“Yes, the IAU is primarily used for that purpose but as they are extremely good at tactical maneuvers we will be using them to strengthen our military forces. The Snow Leopard Commando Unit will be protecting our country while the military is deployed,” Baojia replied.
“Very well then, how long before we can make this happen?” Chee asked.
“It is being done as we speak sir. In a matter of hours we will have our troops in the air,” Baojia replied.
General Chan has done well, although I wish that he had waited for my approval. Chee turned and faced General Chan. “You are doing a fine job. As I am not needed here I will be off taking care of more pressing issues. Do not disappoint me,” Chee said. He then turned and left the room.
General Chan turned back to his staff. “How much longer before the planes are loaded with the troops and equipment?” he asked.
“Sir, they will be ready for takeoff in approximately two and a half hours,” the young soldier replied.
“Excellent. Now I want you to launch the missiles at Israel. We will start by creating chaos and panic and then the real fun begins,” General Chan ordered.
“Yes sir,” the soldier replied. He then typed in the target locations, the order codes, and hit send.


Meanwhile in Russia, Adolph Christophe, Sergei and Anya Petrov watched as missiles appeared to approach the United States, England, France, and Japan. Adolph watched as the imaginary missile attack from China, Israel, Iraq, Turkey and Canada happened on screen. How is it possible that Sergei was able to achieve this? Won’t each of their security measures in place realize that none of this is real? This is unbelievable. While they watched their monitors and various news feeds on the television nothing seemed to indicate that the current attacks were anything other than real. This puzzled Adolph a little. How are they all being deceived so easily? Well it is of no consequence to me. Although I do wonder how it is being achieved.
Although he knew the truth, various countries were running amuck as they thought that their allies were attacking them. What he wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall and actually witness the panic and confusion going on in these countries.


Janet Chu, the current director of The United States’ Homeland Security, was currently in a secret meeting with representatives from each of the 50 states. They were finally going to have a temporary President, Vice President and presidential cabinet as their previous ones had been killed during the attack on Washington D.C. The United States was a little chaotic and definitely needed some guidance. The people of the United States would be given the opportunity to vote for someone more appropriate later.
“Does anyone have any experience that would govern them as a potential Presidential candidate?” Janet asked.
A couple of hands went up. Janet rubbed her forehead in frustration. How are we going to fill all the positions? “Okay, let’s do this. Those of you that raised your hands a moment ago, I want you to give us a brief description of your qualifications—a mini campaign if you will. Then after each of you has had your turn, we will vote for the position of acting President, acting Vice President, et cetera,” Janet said sitting down.
“Okay,” they replied in unison.
Approximately ten people stood up each giving their mini campaign in turn before returning to their seats. Janet had to admit that she was very impressed with a few of them; it was going to be difficult to vote.
“Now before we vote, I want to remind you that it is imperative that we be fair and think before we vote,” Janet said.
Before they could even start casting their ballots, multiple alarms went off across the room. Everyone in the room tensed up; no one said a single word. Janet got up from her chair trying to remain calm and walked over to the computer monitors. She looked at the radar screens then at the man sitting before the computer.
“Tell me that is not what I think it is,” Janet said.
“Ma’am, I really wish that I could. But we have ten missiles flying into our airspace,” Joe Hogan said panicky.
“Quickly deploy the interceptor missiles,” Janet replied.
Joe looked pale. “I did ma’am, they had absolutely no effect,” Joe replied.
“Where did they come from Joe?” Janet asked.
Joe looked like he was ready to pass out. “Iraq and Canada,” Joe replied shaking.
“Are you telling me that those missiles came from our own allies?” Janet yelled pointing at the screen.
Joe was almost afraid to answer, “Yes ma’am, I’m afraid that they have.”
Janet looked back at the representatives; they all had the same expression on their faces. Janet hesitated for only a moment, “Joe, I want you to return fire immediately. Defend our country.” Within minutes real missiles were now being launched by the United States targeting Canada and Iraq.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Amulet, by Alison Pensy

This modern fairy story by Alison Pensy is adorable! Faedra Bennett, who lives with her father in an English cottage, discovers something life-changing about herself on her eighteenth birthday, including the fact that her best friend--a dog that arrived during her mother's wake eleven years ago--is not an ordinary dog! He's her shape-shifting guardian, Faen. And yes, he's sexy, strong, and honorable and already knows Faedra inside and out by the time he reveals himself to her. Now it's her turn to get to know him and her new role as custodian to an important object that is the key to saving her world and Faen's. I loved every minute of it and can't wait to read the next book in the series!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

Jay Asher's debut novel was brilliantly conceived. I can't say enough good things about the idea of having a teen boy (Clay) listening to the last thoughts of a girl (Hannah) who, by the opening of the novel, has already killed herself. Like Clay, we can't wait to find out how different people and events contributed to Hannah's decision. The book is hard to put down. In the beginning, the use of audio tapes threw me off, because I couldn't imagine how a twenty-first-century teen would have access to such an outmoded form of technology. Nor did I have confidence that the subsequent teens in the tapes would have access to a machine they could use to listen to them. Asher gets around this by having Tony's story, which I won't divulge here, but it still required a leap of faith on my part. The language of Hannah and Clay compensated for my leap of faith, pulling me into realistic teen drama, teen thoughts, and teen emotions. There was never a moment while reading from either Hannah or Clay's points of view that I didn't hear and imagine a real teen. In spite of the realness of the teen voices, I still didn't always get a full sense of the characters, which took something away from the ending, since I couldn't recall Skye. Although I appreciated this clear sign that Clay had indeed been transformed by the tapes, I still would have liked more. I was disappointed not to see Clay encounter the others in the tapes. Over all, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and recommend it to everyone, teens and adults alike.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Infernal Devices, by Cassandra Clare

When a seventeen-year-old Tessa leaves New York to find her older brother in London after their aunt dies, she's abducted by the dark sisters and tortured into learning about a power she never knew she had. Little does she know that a terrifying mastermind plans to use her power to destroy the entire race of Shadow Hunters, known as the Nephilim. I absolutely loved this trilogy. The setting, the plot, the narrative style, and the characters were brilliantly done. I especially loved the characters, which were amazingly distinct despite a large cast. My favorite characters were Tessa, Will, and Jem. They were all three so good, that you couldn't help but love them. All three books also continued to add new twists and turns to the story. Even the Epilogue of the last book has a surprising twist, and I loved it! I highly recommend this series to young and old alike.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Audiobook Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of the audiobook edition of The Gatekeeper's Sons, I'm holding a giveaway. Enter to win a $20 Itunes giftcard, a $30 Amazon giftcard, and a free copy of the audiobook. The contest ends in one week, on June 17th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Expats, by Chris Pavone

Expats, by Chris Pavone, is about an American family in which the wife and husband have careers they keep secret from one another until everything comes to a head in Europe. Shortly after resigning from her CIA agent position, Kate is surprised when her husband, Dexter, says his job requires them to move to Luxembourg. With two little boys, Kate agrees to make the move only to find intrigue follows. Unsure whether her suspicious nature is making her paranoid or if her snooping is warranted, she nevertheless snoops to uncover one secret after another.

I truly enjoyed watching Kate unravel the mystery surrounding her and found the book difficult to put down, especially during the second half. The author does a remarkable job of making what would seem an unbelievable tale believable by crafting consistent characters with realistic motives. Although I sometimes was jarred by the movement in time and felt the ending was abrupt, I loved the story and would recommend it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

It took time for me to warm up to the narrator (Death) and his habit of stopping the story to ruminate and make comments. I even had a bad dream that he had pinned me down and was forcing me to listen to his tale as he lay on top of me in my bed. But at some point, he became endearing, like the hot-mouthed Rosa. I fell in love with the characters and was enthralled with their joys and sorrows. I miss them now that I've finished their story.

The narrator's descriptions were also a pleasure, and I felt the author found a way to infuse originality into a story humanity has needed to tell over and over since the Second World War.

The Book Thief is a beautiful testament to the power of words--to their ability to kill and to save lives. It is also a beautiful testament to human beings in exactly the same way.