Book Review -- In the Blood

Title: In the Blood
Author: Adrian Phoenix
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Oversize paperback, 385
Published: 2009
Opening Lines: "Jon Bronlee cracked open the door and peeked out into the motel parking lot."

Dante Lives

Vampire. Rock star. Begotten son of the fallen angel Lucien. Dante Baptiste struggles with nightmares and seizures, searching for the truth about his past. It is a quest as seductive as his kiss, as uncontrollable as his thirst, and as unforgiving as his determination to protect one mortal woman at any cost.

Knowledge Kills

FBI Special Agent Heather Wallace now knows the extent of the Bureau corruption that surrounds her, but worries she is losing the battle. And when Dante and his band Inferno come to Seattle on tour, Heather can't help but her drawn back to the beautiful, dangerous nightkind. But what Heather and Dante don't know is that new enemies lurk int he shadows, closer than they think . . . and even deadlier than they fear.

Destiny Unfolds

Shadowy government forces have pledged to eliminate all loose ends from Project Bad Seed -- and Heather and Dante are at the top of the list. Elsewhere, the Fallen gather in Gehenna, intent on finding their long-awaited savior, the True Blood nightkind whom Lucien DeNoir would die to protect. And a damaged and desperate adversary, with powers as strange and perilous as Dante's own, plots to use Dante as a pawn in a violent scheme for revenge. But only one of these lethal forces holds the key to Dante's past -- a key that could finally unlock the secret of his birth and the truth of his existence . . . or destroy him completely.
~ Jacket copy

Thoughts: I'm not sure what it is with this series, but the last two books have taken me forever to get through. However, I've loved every minute of them! Maybe my mind is intentionally slowing down, so I can savor the book that much longer ^_~

This book picks up shortly after Dante tells Heather to run from him. She finds herself back in Seattle on medical leave. After being unable to give the full reason behind her miraculous recovery, she is trying get back in favor by working on the cold case file of her mother's murder while on leave. During this process, she starts to learn how underhanded and corrupt the Bureau -- at least the people she's working for -- really is. And, to make matters worse, they try to get her father into the mix, which also causes him to bring along Annie -- the severely bipolar sister -- as his "ace in the hole."

Meanwhile, Dante has a falling out with his father. Unable to talk him out of going on tour with Inferno -- and ending up in Seattle -- Lucien realizes that he is not fully able to protect Dante. This, of course, leads to a separate part of the story that finally involves the Fallen.

Man, even trying to write about the plot of this book is insane! It is complex, has a lot of twist and turns, involves a few different story lines, etc. However, I never felt lost and it all fits together nicely in the end!

My appreciation for Von keeps growing. I really like him as a character, and I feel that the author has done a good job fleshing him out from the first book. It was also nice to meet the other members of Inferno and see that they are not all nightkind.

The author seems to love her whack-job villains! Athena is just disturbing, brilliant, and interesting. I wonder how much of her insanity was due to the biological tampering and how much was just already genetically determined in her DNA. After her constant droning about Dante making them into a holy trinity, I loved the ending and found it very fitting. In addition, the symbolism to Scripture with the Maker and the three headed beast was not lost of on me! Honestly, it made me laugh considering the history involved with those three!

I was happy to see that Heather was finally able to accept her feelings for Dante and refuse his command to run. In addition, it was nice to see that even Von could understand the importance Heather held in Dante's life and was willing to try and force Dante to see/accept it.

After the ending in the book, I am really curious to see where she goes in the next. The addition of Cortini presents an interesting plot line, and I really want to see how it plays out. Also, there is going to be some ramifications for Dante's reaction to the Fallen who came for him on the hill. I doubt Gabriel and the Morning Star will be too thrilled.

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane
Current Pages: 20797
Current Progress:

58/50 books


Theme Thursday

Theme Thursdays

Theme Thursdays is a fun weekly event hosted by Reading Between the Pages. It will be open from one Thursday to the next. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:
  • A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
  • Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
  • Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
    Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”
This week's theme:

FEELING (Happiness, sadness, surprise, etc )

Here's my Theme:
Lilith looked at him. Emotions danced across her face -- resentment, sorrow, bruised pride -- but her gold-flecked, wide gaze was steady. "And now?"
In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix, 152


Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the follow:
  • Grab your current read
  • Opening to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Share Title & Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Here's mine:
"Holy fuck," Annie breathed. "It wasn't the tequila and oxy. You really are that fucking gorgeous."
In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix, 183


The Taba Convetion -- Author Guest Post & Book Review

Title: The Taba Convention
Author: Stephen Ayers
Genre: Political thriller
Pages: Oversize paperback, 308
Published: 2011
Opening Lines: "Peace in the Middle East had always seemed impossible, a dream that could never approach reality."

"Two deadly adversaries, one horrific conspiracy against Middle East Peace.

"Disillusioned with the continued killing in the agency, Jordan Kline resigns to take up hotel management studies. Now the General Manager of the Sands Eilat hotel, Jordan enjoys life with his girlfriend Irit in the Red Sea resort town.

"An ex colleague is taken out on the Arava road, the long desert road leading from the Dead Sea to Eilat. On his way back from Tel Aviv, Jordan witnesses the dying man's last words. They are words that will push Jordan reluctantly back into the world he had turned his back on.

"Jordan unravels a deadly conspiracy that threatens to engulf the Middle East in war. He becomes the most hunted man in Israel. Forced to use all his cunning, Jordan must stay one step ahead of men that kill to fulfill their deadly ambitions. The only problem is that Jordan does not know who they are, and time is running out as the historic date of the Taba Convention approaches."
~ Jacket copy

Thoughts: I need to preface this by saying that political thrillers are usually not my cup of tea. I admit, going with my hubby to see the newest Jason Bourne movie was fun, but I've never felt the overwhelming desire to actually read the Bourne books. Needless to say, I was rather surprised that I was willing to take on this book request. I say this because I am unsure how much my inexperience with political thrillers will cloud my review.

The Taba Convention follows Jordan Kline, a retired Mossad agent, in his new job as a hotelier. After stumbling on a brutal car accident involving an old fellow Mossad operative, he is drawn into a thick political plot. After some digging, he discovers that this plot is meant to stop the Taba Convention, which would set back the peace treaty in Israel/the Middle East. Feeling responsible, Jordan charges headlong into the action to try and stop the conspiracy.

Good basis for a plot, considering all the stuff that has been happening in the Middle East for a long time; however, I felt that the author didn't give Jordan enough incentive to actually throw himself into this conspiracy. A lot of the book, Jordan talks about this retirement from the Mossad and wanting to close that bloody chapter of his life. He is fully content and happy in his life as the Sands GM and with his girlfriend. So, for me, I could not see why Jordan would drop everything to take on this fiasco. I found myself constantly asking myself why he was doing what he was doing. In addition, I wondered by Alex and Shalom were so quick to join Jordan on his crusade. Aside from overriding boredom after leaving their previous jobs, I couldn't come up with a reason. However, I did wonder whether some of Shalom's reasons had to do with his age.

I felt the book started out pretty slow, and I found myself kind of lost and confused at the beginning. For me, it took nearly 100 pages for it to pick up. Usually, if a book takes that long to catch my attention, I'll put it down. However, I admit, I'm glad I read further. When the book finally picked up, it was a thrill ride! I was surprised at the depth of the plot! Okay, I knew full well that it was a big deal, but the big guns involved where a surprise to me.

Now, to address my biggest pet peeve of all: grammar! I found the grammar, as far as quotes lasting over multiple paragraphs and commas when addressing someone, to be a pain in this book. I don't profess to know how the grammar system works in Canada, but please have some consistency! Half the time, in a dialog over multiple paragraphs, each paragraph would have an ending and closing quotation. The other half the time, the ending quotation would be left off. It was really confusing! In addition, on the same page, it wasn't consistent whether the comma before the name of the person addressed would appear or not. It was ridiculous! I cannot blame the author for that, since it is purely an editing issue.

I also felt that the author spent too much time describing things that weren't integral to the plot. This added to the slower feel of the book. This, however, is easily a first-time-writer mistake. It is easily corrected with maturing as a writer.

Aside from those issues, after getting through the first 1/3 rd of the book, it was a lot more enjoyable. It wrapped up a bit too easily, but I still liked Jordan winning in the end! After reading the author's quest post, I am rather curios to see what happens in the next book with the Nazis, and how Jordan is able to convince Irit that getting back into this stuff is a good idea.

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
Current Pages: 20172
Current Progress:

56/50 books

Guest Post by Stephen Ayers

I cannot emphasize enough the huge, exhilarating feeling of self-fulfillment that I felt when I finally received the proof copy of The Taba Convention. Eighteen years in the making and I had the physical copy in my hands!

I started writing to explore my ‘inner self’, as being a hotel manager I was always with my ‘outer self’, with guests, employees, suppliers, travel agents and others. Hectic days went by and I did not have the chance to see if I had the creativity, the talent and patience to write. I wrote the book purely for myself, for the fun and experience.

Mali, my wife suggested that I print out a few copies and give them to friends to read. Imagine my reaction when they all called to push me to publish, that they enjoyed it so much I should continue writing books about Jordan Kline. Without Mali’s support and patience, and the encouragement of all my friends, the books would not have seen the light of day.

And so the Jordan Kline series was born. It is a trilogy that follows Jordan Kline an ex-Mossad legend turned hotelier after becoming disillusioned with the continued violence. He is a very reluctant hero who has turned his back on violence, and yet is drawn back into action because he has to do the right thing, the honorable thing.

I created ‘Jordan the hotelier’ to give me the opportunity to weave day to day life in hotels into the stories as well as amusing anecdotes from my career as an international hotel manager.

The books also progress with the relationship that Jordan enjoys with Irit, his girlfriend. In Taba she is girlfriend, in The Righteous Within she is his new bride, and in The Kharta Conspiracy I introduce their daughter Noah. It was fun to witness their relationship as it progressed, and I am sure that Jordan pulled me along as I wrote about him.

The books are all action thrillers, but even though they follow Jordan and Irit, they are each very separate and unique plots.

In The Taba Convention Jordan learns of a plot to destroy a peace convention, and must stay one step ahead of the conspirators, though he doesn’t know who they are. He becomes the most hunted man in Israel. The book is so relevant today with the upheavals in the Arab world, and especially relevant in that one of the scenes that takes place in ‘Taba’ is actually at the Netafim border crossing near Eilat, the scene of the latest and deadly terror attack on Israel from the Egyptian Sinai.

I followed Taba with The Righteous Within, a completely different story that deals with a Nazi plot, born in the dying days of World War Two and set to put in motion the annihilation of Israel at the beginning of this century. It is a horrific plot concocted by German Generals long in their graves to exact revenge for the fall of the Third Reich.

As a four year old child in Israel many years ago, I had the privilege to meet and play with Gertruda Babilinska, an amazing Catholic lady, a Righteous among Gentiles that devoted her whole life to saving a Jewish boy from the Nazis, accompanying him to Israel after the war and bringing him up in the Jewish traditions. It is these memories that prompted me to create the deadly plot of The Righteous Within.

The third book, which I am writing now, deals with an offshoot of the Neturei Karta, an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect that, while living in an area called Mea Shearim (Thousand Gates), still does not recognize the state of Israel. They are virulently anti Zionist in thought, but respect the status quo and are non violent.

I created an offshoot called The Kharta Brotherhood who adopt violence in their quest to overthrow the government and the state. In the third book a lot of the action takes place in Canada and the U.S, and again Jordan and Irit must unravel the plot and save the day.

I could go on and on, but I do invite you all to explore my website where there are the stories behind my books, excerpts, synopsis, my bio, pictures from places in my books in the gallery, and more. Of course, I invite you to read The Taba Convention, and look forward to publishing The Righteous Within this October.

If readers not only enjoy my books, but also experience an insight into the challenges of life in Israel today and the incredibly interesting inner world of the hotel industry, then I have achieved my goal!

All the best, Stephen


Theme Song Saturday (6)

Welcome to Theme Song Saturdays, a new weekly meme, hosted by yours truly, in which we share our love of music and books! Since I love books and music, this meme is for fun to try to incorporate those two loves! Whenever I read a book, a certain song -- kind of like a soundtrack or theme song -- plays through my head.

Today's song:

All My Friends Are Zombies
by The Priscillas is my pick this week. It started out as Walk Like a Zombie by The Horrorpops, but I felt this song was more fitting! After the adventure with Dr. Kelly, the Wonderful Wilsons, and so on, I felt this song was the perfect fit for the book!

What do you think?

Leave comment to join in the fun and share your song ^_^


Book Review -- Married with Zombies

Title: Married with Zombie
Author: Jesse Petersen
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 240
Published: 2010
Opening Lines: "David and I became warriors in the zombie plague on the first day, but don't think that means we were front line soldiers or something."

Meet Sarah and David
"Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things -- the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client's throat."

Meet The Zombies
"Now Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But just because there are zombies doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other."
~Jacket copy

Thoughts: This book was pretty funny! Even though I absolutely loved our marriage counselor, it was hilarious reading about the couple beating the crap out of her and the Wonderful Wilsons! Given the situation the couple was in when the book opens, I loved the chapter titles.

The book is a really quick read, so it is hard to pin down too much. At some points, I felt like it rushed through some things, but I'm not sure how to correct that besides making the book longer. Also, Sarah and Dave were pretty vague characters. Aside from having marriage issues, you don't know too much about them. I wonder if the author wanted us to meet them and build their characters based on the after effects of a zombie apocalypse. I also felt that all of the side characters were not fleshed out (no pun intended). Even if some of them did not make it, I wish there was a little more added to them. Amanda is a good example of that.

Aside from those issues, the book was fun, campy, and hilarious!

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
Current Pages: 20412
Current Progress:

57/50 books


Theme Thursday

Theme Thursdays

Theme Thursdays is a fun weekly event hosted by Reading Between the Pages. It will be open from one Thursday to the next. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:
  • A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
  • Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
  • Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
    Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”
This week's theme:

HEALTH (Health / Wellbeing / Illness / Disease/ etc )

My Theme Thursday:
Whatever biological or chemical thing had been released on our city had obviously affected him, too. His body, already hefty from eating to much junk food and playing too many video games, now leaned at a weird angle and his soft gray skin look clammy.
Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen, page 29


Book Review -- One Grave at a Time

Title: One Grave at a Time
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: Paperback, 358
Published: 2011
Opening Lines: "Donald Batholomew Williams, get your ass back here now!"

"Having narrowly averted an (under)World War, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans's voodoo queen just keeps on giving -- leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.

"Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk al to send him back to the other side of eternity -- forever. But one wrong step and they'll be digging their own graves."

~ Jacket copy

Thoughts: It is no understatement when I say that I love this series! I could hardly wait for this book to finally hit the shelves! So it is hard for me to admit that I felt this book to be a little lacking :(

I have to preface this, it is nice to see Cat and Bones finally not facing perilous, life and death, undead world ending situations, etc. However, it did kind of make the book slow and not as thrilling. I felt that the villains weren't up to par with the previous books. Kramer was a cool idea, but I felt he kind of fell flat. The constant badgering felt as though Frost didn't know what to do with him. Also, while I didn't necessarily like the introduction of Madigan along with Kramer, he just kind of disappeared off the map after the cave adventure. Wtf? I figure that she is going to throw him into future books, but the way we were left hanging with the whole Don issue and Madigan just felt disappointing and a bad plot maneuver.

Bones and Cat didn't have all the funny and playful banter I loved in the previous books. The lack almost made it wonder if it was their response to extreme danger and death, instead of something they shared. Also, the steam wasn't there! Okay, there were some really good build ups that got interrupted, and it really pissed me off. When things finally got heated between the two, it was a real let down. I'm sorry, but the idea of flying and fucking just seemed stupid and campy.

I did enjoy the book, but not nearly as much as previous ones. I'm hoping that they pick up; however, she might be spending her energy on the next series featuring Vlad. Even though I adore Cat and Bones -- mostly Bones >:) -- I am curious to see how the new series turns out! In the previous books, Vlad was pretty damn sexy himself!

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
Current Pages: 19864
Current Progress:

55/50 books


Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the follow:
  • Grab your current read
  • Opening to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Share Title & Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Here's mine:
Bones shot me a look that said my humor was wasted on this subject, handing me a two glasses full of already smoldering safe. Then he took two for himself, leaving the other two lit containers in the car.
One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost, 212


Book Review -- Summer Knight

Title: Summer Knight
Author: Jim Butcher
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 371
Published: 2002
Opening Lines: "It rained toads the day the White Council came to town."

"Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can't even recall the last time he took a shower.

"The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.

"And just when it seems things can't get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can't refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him -- and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen's right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen's name.

"It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests in his solving this case. No pressure or anything . . ."

~ Jacket copy

Thoughts: After the initial two books of the series, the Dresden Files have gotten better and better. But I find myself sitting in front of my computer at a complete loss for words *^_^*

Okay, what I didn't like: The fact that Harry can somehow thwart these superhuman things that even he comments are impossible. And his ability to take beatings that are insanely ridiculous and never get seriously injured.

The Good: The characters are always well thought out and engaging. For the most part, it never really feels like Butcher throws a new character into the books without giving them time to be fleshed out. He also puts a lot of thought into Harry's surroundings. I felt as though I could actually see Chicago-Over-Chicago.

The White Council are bitches. Morgan needs his ass handed to him. I miss Susan.

The book was fun and hard to put down. Since I'm reading a requested review at the same time, I need to devote more time to that, but I found myself picking up the Dresden book whenever I could justify it! Even though I enjoyed it, the ending was insane! The wizard sitting down with a pack of werewolves to role play was like a geek's wet dream. Okay, we all know we're geeks when we're reading the Dresden Files, but that was geeking in out too far for me!

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: The Taba Convention by Stephen Ayers and One Grave At a Times by Jeaniene Frost
Current Pages: 19506
Current Progress:

54/50 books


Monthly Wrap-Up: August

Wow, I cannot believe that August is actually over. With the last days of the month, summer comes to a close. Unfortunately, that means increase traffic and stress with the opening of the University for Fall Semester. However, even though our days are supposed to be getting colder, we have seen a rise in temps over the last few weeks. Here's hoping that fall is pushed further to the back burner, and we keep summer weather a little longer.

This Month's Reads and Reviews:

Review Requests & Author Interviews:

Thanks for spending August with me! Here's hoping for continued warm weather and a month that doesn't fly by as fast!


10 Years Later: Remembering 9/11 -- Author Interview & Book Review

Interview with author of That Day In September, Artie Van Why

SB: Starting out on a less serious note, after writing the script and seeing it preformed, do you have plans to continue writing plays?

AVW: I really don't. Yet I've learned that you never know what might happen. I never thought I'd write a play to begin with. It just seems the circumstances led to that happening. If I ever do write another play, I'm pretty sure it would be autobiographical and another one man play.

SB: This book is very well written, witty, and candid in a way that is hard to find. Do you see yourself possibly writing more books in the future?

AVW: My answer is very similar to the above question. I had not set out to write a book. I do think there is another book inside me that could be written; about learning to live with trauma. These ten years since 9/11 have been a very emotional journey; one I'm sure others could relate to. I would like to write about that journey.

SB: Other then a tribute or a piece of remembrance, did you find writing this book was a form of catharsis?

AVW: It definitely was. I found that putting what I was feeling down in words came me more clarity about what it was I was experiencing. I wasn't writing, initially, to produce a play or book. I was writing because it's what I needed to do to process everything.

SB: On page 66, you mention your pants and shoes from that day and how you placed them in the top of your closet. Do you still have them? Have you since taken them down and remembered what happened?

AVW: I do still have them and, yes, I have taken them down; recently. I couple of weeks ago I spent the whole day with a reporter and photographer from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). My story of 9/11 and my life afterwards is going to be featured on the BBC website to commemorate the anniversary. At one point they asked if I was up to taking the box down and opening it. I felt I was. It was very strange looking at them.... they didn't bring back a rush of memories that I couldn't handle. I was struck more by the shoes because they definitely show the wear and tear on them from that day; with all the scuff marks.

SB: Even though you mention what the police officers felt, do you feel that your life was saved by running from Building 5 after being ushered in?

AVW: Yes I do.

SB: If you had to do it over again, what would you have done differently?

AVW: I would have looked at the work tag that was around the injured man in the street I tried to help. I wish, to this day, that I had read his name and where he worked. I often think that I would then be able to find his family and tell them that he wasn't alone; that there were people with him. I say that because, in all probability I doubt if he survived his injury.

SB: After firsthand experience with a tragedy of this magnitude, do you still find yourself trying to cope with it 10 years after the fact?

AVW: Oh yes. I will probably think of 9/11 everyday (as I do now) to some extent. I'm finding though that this past year has been a time of moving out of mourning and back into living my life. If I were go into detail right now of why that is I would be writing a whole chapter or two that could go into that next book to be written.

SB: What do you want people to remember on the 10th anniversary?

AVW: I wish, more than anything, they could remember how we bonded as a nation. All the barriers we create to separate us from "others" were taken down. There was no political left or right. We truly were all one. Especially now, politically, when it seems to be nothing but a war of words... I wish they could remember we have the capability of being more than that.

Title: That Day In September
Author: Artie Van Why
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: Paperback, 84
Published: 2006
Opening Lines: "I don't remember which came first, the shudder of the building or the loud sound. They probably came at the same time."

"We all have our stories of where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. This is one of them. In That Day in September Artie Van Why gives an eyewitness account of that fateful morning. From the moment he heard " a loud boom" in his office across from the World Trade Center, to stepping out onto the street, Artie vividly transports the reader back to the day that changed our lives and our country forever. By sharing his thoughts, fears, and hopes, Artie expresses what it was like to be in New York City in the weeks and months following. The reader comes away from That Day in September with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of that day, but with a personal glimpse of how one person's life was dramatically changed forever."

~ Jacket copy

*deep sigh* This was a hard book to read and an even harder book to review. When faced with something like this, how can you so easily dissect it, analyze it, and determine it's value and merit? This book has left me utterly speechless; completely at a loss for words.

"One of the pieces of falling debris seemed to be moving. It was moving, and it wasn't debris. It was a person falling, arms and legs waving madly." (22)

This book was moving. With the images still playing in my mind from watching the new cast nearly 10 years ago, Artie's story adds flesh, detail, and humanity to the tragedy. What makes his story more profound is his personal experiences before the occurrences of that nightmare.

After working for several years in a smaller law firm in NYC, the company Artie was a part of decided to merge with a large entity. This merger would place them on the 23rd floor of a building across the street from the World Trade Center. Living in NYC for over a decade, Artie had experience with the Center, but had never fully enjoyed it. Starting a few short months before the tragedy, Artie was given a chance to fully experience his new surroundings. He talks candidly about the coffee vendor across the street from Building 5, enjoying his paper and morning coffee on a stone bench in front of the World Trade Center fountain, his favorite bookstore in Building 5, and noontime concerts in the summer that would draw tourists and local business people. While I never had the opportunity to see the Trade Center while it was still standing, Artie's words made me feel as though I had.

Being allowed to experience these happy moments with the author opens the reader up to a new level of understanding and an access not granted by the television screen. Reading about Artie's horrifying ordeal of watching person after person falling from the Towers onto a waiting pile of bodies, his run through the streets with over survivors, etc., puts the whole incident at a completely different level.

"I can't bear to think of how many spouses, partners, parents, or friends received a call from a loved one that morning, telling them they were okay and were leaving their offices and never came home." (53)

This book was moving and riveting. To say I didn't read it with a box of tissues nearby would be a lie. Even though I was moved by the events at the time, this story brought me to a deeper level of understanding and compassion. If you really want to understand the events of 9/11, read this book. Honestly, we owe it to ourselves to remember and not forget.

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Where Was I Then:

On the morning of September 11, 2001, my mom called me before my first class. I was completely oblivious to the happens of the early morning hours (you have to , I live in MST, which is 2 hours behind NYC). She told me what happened.

Walking into the Classroom Building on the University of Wyoming campus, every TV and radio was on. Everyone was crowded around, watching the scene unfold. Unable to take the time to watching my TV, I stopped for a few moments to take in the images. It was distressing, to say the least.

During that first class -- Introduction to the Old Testament -- our professor decided to discuss the nature of good and evil. It was interesting to think about it in relation to what we were learning at the time. If you ask me now, I couldn't tell you what all we talked about. But it was reverent.

That afternoon, I went over to my parents' house and watched the recast footage with my mother. I huddled on the couch and cried. The next day, I fasted and prayed for all the souls that had yet to be recovered.

Where were you? Leave a comment and tell me your story.




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"If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish. Registered & Protected