The Seventh Guard: Destiny Expires

The Seventh Guard – Destiny Expires. This version of Paperback ISBN: 9781732450400 Copyright and written by Francis A. Halpin presents a fantasy sci/fi alien suspense tale in an e-book version.

The story centers around, Robert Lowden, who has only acquired his GED but appears to be extremely bright especially with computers. The only job he seems able to get is as a computer repairman at a local store selling electronics. He is able to retain the position as long as he does NOT converse with any of the store’s shoppers. He is rude to them completely lacking in social sense, never seems to be fully engaged but instead appears to live on the edge of reality. He has one friend, David, a well-educated individual on his way up the usual ladder to success and Jennifer, his similarly situated girlfriend, both of whom ‘see something of almost compelling interest’ in him. Robert becomes involved in numerous unusual and humorous as well as dangerous situations not the least of which is deciding a flashing light bulb in the store’s rest room is providing an alien code. He involves David with disastrous, but simultaneously rather amusing, results and the story gathers steam to advance to a most unusual, but logical conclusion.

Discussion: Entry into the story begins with a quote from Albert Einstein along with another by Stephen Hawking. Einstein: “Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” Hawking: “I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street.” Combined they very nicely set the tone of the book. It is thought producing, yet humorous in many contrasting ways. It is a suspenseful alien thriller/mystery, yet provides slow moving areas that editing could correct. In all, the author has provided a fascinating tale of secret codes existing in commonly occurring phenomena surrounding us that should provide thoughtful moments for the alien theory devotee. Definitely a 4*- 5* for such readers and probably for computer addicts. Regrettably somewhat less for others.

4-5* for alien theory devotees, computer addicts; somewhat less for others.

 

 

The Sojourners

The Sojourners, Outskirts Press, an e-book copyright and written by T. L. Hughes.

Mike Hogan, after splitting with his girlfriend, decides to leave California with his long-time buddies Kansas born Luke Coppens and Ohio born Declan Brady (Decky). They spend a month driving from Huntington Beach, CA to Lowell, MA where they leave Luke’s ’64 Ford Fairlane in his parents’ driveway and embark for London to obtain jobs in the music video production business. They arrive at Heathrow Airport in late September of 1984, discover that such jobs are unattainable and begin a wandering journey through parts of Europe and beyond for Mark. They lose Decky in Amsterdam because he wants to explore his roots in Ireland. He and Luke continue on to Munchen (Munich) to experience the fun of Oktoberfest and the depression of visiting Dachau and lengthy conversations with a former member of the Nazi Party about Hitler, WW II and Apartheid. Then Luke and he part ways as Mark decides to take the train to Austria and then continue through former Yugoslavia’s Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece. Here he discovers the hub of all international travelers, Syntagma Square, and visits the Pantheon, Acropolis, and Parthenon, before taking off for the islands of Ios and Santorini. His journey then takes him to Turkey and the ancient city of Ephesus before Istanbul and finally returning home with a little financial help from his family to resume with his original girlfriend and settle into a life no doubt affected to a greater or lesser extent by the trip and the diverse people, cultures and places visited.

Discussion: Fundamentally a travelogue that has been written in a memoir like manner with the wanderings through such varied cultures and variety of individual personalities encountered all of which seem eventually to have provided a serendipitous experience. If the reader enjoys rambling travelogues, the descriptions largely are accurate but minimally described and the presentation of an individual’s personal ruminations and analyses when encountering situations in differing cultures and the individuals thereof, provide some interesting features. If the reader finds these features enjoyable, this book is for you.

5* For a particular type of reader.