Friday, March 30, 2012

REVIEW: Gods and Fathers by James LePore

Title: Gods and Fathers
Author: James LePore
Publisher: The Story Plant
Published: 2.7.12
Pages: 261

Matt DeMarco is an accomplished Manhattan attorney with more than his share of emotional baggage. His marriage ended disastrously, his ex-wife has pulled their son away from him, and her remarriage to a hugely successful Arab businessman has created complications for Matt on multiple levels. However, his life shifts from troubled to imperiled when two cops – men he's known for a long time – come into his home and arrest his son as the prime suspect in the murder of the boy's girlfriend.

Suddenly, the enmity between Matt and his only child is no longer relevant. Matt must do everything he can to clear his son, who he fully believes is innocent. Doing so will require him to quit his job and make enemies of former friends – and it will throw him up against forces he barely knew existed and can only begin to comprehend how to battle.

Gods and Fathers is at once a powerful mystery and a provocative international thriller, all of it presented with LePore's signature fascinating characters placed in dire circumstances where every choice poses new and potentially fatal challenges.


  Gods and Fathers is a very gritty, complex story. I really enjoyed the way that the character's develope throughout the story. We get action, suspense, and so much drama, that you find yourself completely immersed in the story.

Its got to make you feel horrible when your ex wife marries someone that makes you feel like a lesser man by giving you son everything you know you can't. This is what happens between Matt and his son Michael. As the story continues, you can really feel the heartache between father and son over having such a poor relationship.

I love the fact that everyone has their own dark past and things they'd rather not have come to light. That includes Matt's exwife, and his past lover.

This story has so many twists and turns and becomes an incredible cat and mouse chase with Matt trying to do everything possible to save his son. (What parent wouldn't?) Terrorist's are involved as well as revenge. How great does that sound?!

Even though there were moments in which I'd get the secondary characters a bit mixed up,  the story itself is amazing. 

My rating: 4 stars. I'd recommend this book to anyone. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Guest Post: Katherine Hawkings

 What Exactly Is Michaela?

This is a question that has come up frequently, ever since my first beta-readers laid eyes on the manuscript, so I thought it might be about time to address the issue. First, let me tell you, Michaela and the girls are chimaera. What's that? Well in Greek mythology it was a fire-breathing monster, commonly represented with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail. In science, it is an artificially produced individual having genes of several species.

When the scientists initially began their project, they were attempting to combine different strains of genes into one creature to create the perfect warrior; fast, strong, healthy, smart... perfect. Unfortunately, their technology wasn't quite up to the task. There's no doubt Michaela and the rest of the project's results are advanced, but they're far from perfect.

In their creation, thousands of unique genes were either modified or replaced. I can't go into ever single detail, but I can let you know about a few of the major ones.

Sight: The girls' sight is comprised of several genes, from hawks, buzzards and cats. The hawks and buzzards have incredible eyes, and they can see rodents from 15,000 feet in the sky. Cats, on the other hand, have pupils that can expand (to a greater extent than ours) until they pretty much double their ability to see (and hunt) in the dark.

Hearing: A variety of animals were used in the fine-tuning of the girls sense of hearing, including owls, elephants and dolphins. Owls have very large ear-holes, with one slightly above and one slightly below eye level. Although the girls have ears at same height, they have a larger than normal ear canal. The difference in size between their ears and ours is not totally excessive, and would hardly be noticed unless the person in question looked at a lot of ears, but they're big enough to make a huge difference. Elephants, too, have exceptional hearing, and are able to hear frequencies up to twenty times lower than humans. If you've read The Sphinx Project that'll explain why they hear that well before anyone else. Lastly, there are the dolphins. Dolphins use echolocation, a biological sonar system. Although the girls don't emit clicks like dolphins (and bats) they are able to use other noises, in much the same way as the blind superhero Daredevil.

Smell: When it comes to smell, the girls have another physical modification. Although, once again, you wouldn't know unless you were looking right at it, and knew what you were looking for. Inside their nostrils, their skin is covered in tiny flaps which hugely increases the surface area like a bear, which allows for many more receptors than those in a normal human nose.

Immunity to cold: This comes from a combination of two animals. Firstly, the rather unoriginally named ice fish, who produce a natural antifreeze in their blood which allows them to withstand waters of zero degrees celcius. There is also the weta, which can remain frozen for months without frostbite.

Speed: It's hardly surprising to know that the girls' sprinting speed has been enhanced with genes from cheetahs. You probably wouldn't have guessed though, that there is also another animal in the mix. The pronghorn anteloper has a top speed close to that of a cheetah, but they have one thing a cheetah doesn't.. endurance.

So there you have it; the basics of what makes the girls so special. Like I said, there is so much more to it than that, but we don't have all day. I have another book to write! If you could share the genes of any animal, what would it be?

This was so much fun!! I really enjoyed reading this, and I hope all you guys did too!! 

A special thanks to Katherine for such a great post!