Archive for March, 2020


Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

By Eoin Colfer

The Short Take:

Outlandish and funny, this adventure featuring a resourceful teen boy, a 100% evil Constable, and a millennia-old dragon is one wild ride. But be warned, it is loaded with profanity.


Colfer is known for his Artemis Fowl series aimed at younger readers. These books put magical beings in the real world. This adult outing does the same, with the main difference in the swearing and immoral behavior (though I don’t recall Artemis Fowl being very well-behaved). It’s raucous, outrageous, and a lively read.

Highfire is plenty of fun but absolutely nothing more. However, in these times, a bit of fun is very welcome.

A Little Plot:

Vern, a lonely dragon, hides from humans in a Louisiana swamp. When he is spotted by a Squib (the teen protagonist) he intends to kill the kid. A corrupt cop is also out to get Squib, for nefarious reasons. But Squib is a survivor.

Saint X

Monday, March 9th, 2020

By Alexis Schaitkin

The Short Take:

A beautiful college co-ed disappears on the luxurious island of Saint X (fictional). Sound familiar? That’s where the similarity ends. This is a deep dive into the psyche of her then seven-year-old sister as well as an exploration of the reasons behind that fateful night.


This is no mere murder mystery. It highlights the deep divide between classes, something obvious on most (all?) Caribbean islands. The well-to-do come to relax and indulge while full-time residents serve drinks and smiles for tips. It contrasts privilege and promise with poverty and resignation by telling the stories of two people.

Little sister Claire, who worshipped the much older Alison, is obsessed with her death, compulsively searching the internet for information about the people involved and on-line speculation. When she has a chance encounter with one of the accused she becomes his stalker. Her mental state and actions made this reader uncomfortable but, like a car wreck, it was hard to look away.

Clive, one of the two men last seen with Alison, finds his world in shambles after he is released as innocent. His voice, his story provides the counterpoint to Claire’s.

Tourists strive to gain some authenticity by seeking a local experience. Locals see opportunity in fulfilling those requests. Schaitkin’s compelling book shows how this interaction can lead to a single decision that destroys many lives.

The Short Take:

Golden girl Alison and little sister Claire are enjoying winter break at a lux resort. Alison attracts the attention of every man but she is more interested in a young men who serves drinks–and the frisson of possible danger she experiences.

For more about this book and it’s author, click here.


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March 2020