Monday, December 30, 2013

Have a Little Faith: A True Story, by Mitch Albom

Mr. Albom's story is anchored by the request of his childhood rabbi to speak the rabbi's eulogy.  To prepare himself for the task, Mr. Albom sought to know more about the man, a process that took eight years.

Meanwhile, writing for a Detroit newspaper allowed the author to raise interest in a poor Christian church that seeks to minister to the homeless and the addicted.   Mr. Albom intertwines this story in the book.

As a consequence, the book is about faith as demonstrated by two very different people: the lifelong rabbi and the lifelong criminal turned pastor.   The punchline is more or less about the benefit or comfort of believing in something bigger than oneself.

Have a Little Faith: A True Story

Starhawk, by Jack McDevitt

This is a workmanlike sci-fi novel.  The plot is good, although the ending is up in the air, a set up for the next volume.  The character development is good.  But.  I'm having difficulty finding the right word to describe what is missing here.  If you've ever read a book that takes you into the story completely, then the best way to describe Mr. McDevitt's novel is that is does not.   Just descriptive sentences.  I therefore recommend this only as a time-filler book: good for waiting at the DMV but not so much for a good read by the fireplace.

The plot summary:   our hero, Priscilla (Hutch) Hutchins completes her final qualification flight to become an outer space pilot.  Terraforming of new found planets is potentially destroying indigenous flora and fauna; this frustrates activists into becoming terrorists, and their targets are space ships and the platform from which they launch.  There are other intelligent life forms in the universe, and other major characters in the book encounter them in subtle ways.

Starhawk (A Priscilla Hutchins Novel)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Frozen Rabbi, by Steve Stern

This is one of the strangest books I've read.  Parts of it were terrific, and bring to mind Michael Chabon. Parts of it were infuriating, needlessly arcane, disturbing or unnecessary.   Some of the dialog is in Yiddish with nary a footnote of translation, and while I could puzzle out some of it, some of it was just puzzling.  

To give you a lay of the land, the book opens in 1999 with a teenager digging around the basement freezer to find a piece of meat with which to -- never mind, you don't want to know.  He comes across the frozen body of a Polish Rabbi who, as we later learn, accidentally froze in the late 1800s in Poland.  The story is about how that came to be, but more about how that body ended up in Memphis TN.  And about what happens next.

This is a difficult book to score; part of me says four stars and part of me says two stars.  If the description hasn't already scared you off then you might like to read this.  Any blog readers out there:  if you do read this book, please let me know (via comments) what you think.

The Frozen Rabbi

Lexicon, by Max Barry

What a strange, yet compelling, novel.   The concept is that language can manipulate people in a very discrete sense.  A school teaches students to use words as weapons, and graduates are assigned a new name as they take their place as "poets" in an ill-explained organization.   The book follows the story line of Emily, a homeless three-card Monte scammer, who is recruited to the school, and of Wil, an innocent guy somehow caught up in the craziness of the poets' activities.

The time line went back and forth along with the narrative focus, which is to say that the writing is a bit unusual.   The story line is borderline sci-fi, but I chose to not pigeon-hole it with that tag.

I didn't love this novel, but I found it difficult to put down, and I'd give it five stars for the combination of innovative plot and compelling writing.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Artificial Evil, by Colin Barnes

This is a very confusing novel.   It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone is augmented with an artificial intelligence chip and connectivity to a shared system.  There's a ill explained concept of a death lottery, which the hero, Gerry Cardle, runs due to his skill with computer algorithms.   Everything goes to hell in a hand basket, Gerry makes new (outlaw) friends and leaves the security of the "dome" to experience the rest of the world.

I'll use the word confusing again because it is the dominant response to the book.  It is what kept me reading, hoping for clarity.  Even at the end, I couldn't tell if Gerry is a human, an augmented human, or a robot of some sort.  The fans who rate this novel well on Amazon have either figured this out or value the ambiguity.  I haven't and I don't.

There's another volume which presumably clears this all up but I'm not curious enough to read another of Mr. Barnes' novels.

Artificial Evil (Book 1 of The Techxorcist)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Namaste, by Sean Platt

The hero of this novel, Amit, has lived in a martial arts -oriented monastery since being orphaned in childhood.   Now a young adult, a tragic circumstance leads him to leave the group to find and extract vengeance from those who wronged his friend.  Some plot twists occur at the end of the novel.

I give this book a C-.


Friday, December 20, 2013

The Savant of Chelsea, by Suzanne Jenkins

The hero of this novel is a mentally ill woman; her illness manifests as savant expertise as a neurosurgeon and an inability to effectively communicate with or relate to others along with an inattentiveness to her personal health (i.e., nutrition).   She discovers that the baby that was taken from her as a child (due to abuse) lives and has children of her own.   In the process of caring for her grandchildren, she experiences a (remarkable) change in empathy and communications skills, essentially approaching functional social skills for the first time.

I give this book a C-.

The Savant of Chelsea

Outlaw, by Mark Sullivan

This is a solid suspense novel.  A bit frustrating that the plot is not fully tied up at the end, and I have a sense that there's another book by Mr. Sullivan that I'm expected to read in order to figure out what's really going on here.

The general idea is that our hero, a former special forces hero and current thief (but for a good cause), Robin Monarch, is hired by the White House to rescue a kidnapped Secretary of State (along with the foreign ministers of China and India).

Sound far fetched?  Well, that's the nature of this sort of novel, now isn't it...

Outlaw: A Robin Monarch Novel (Robin Monarch Thrillers)

Happy, Happy, Happy, by Phil Robertson

Mr. Robertson is the founder of Duck Commander and his family is the center of a reality television show called Duck Dynasty.  This book is his story.

The net is this:  Mr. Robertson grew up in a country setting near Caddo Parish, Louisiana in poverty, but not realizing it all that much.  He went to college, played football, graduated, but his interests had always been hunting and fishing and it was his goal to do so as much as possible.

For many years after marrying Kay Robertson (at age 15), Mr. Robertson was a carousing drunk.  At age 28 he became a devout Christian and credits this for the resolution of his poor behavior.  He founded a business building duck calls, and turned it into a substantial enterprise.  Notably, the business (now turned over to son Willie) takes pride in employing as many family members as possible.

Mr. Robertson writes about his belief that hunting and fishing are, literally, god -given rights, including a bible reference to support his claim.  In spite of this authorization, he is (reluctantly) willing to abide by hunting regulations.  Although he describes a long career in poaching and generally ignoring and running from game wardens.  Presumably Mr. Robertson doesn't understand the concept of waterfowl conservation that hunting limits help with.

The book has a fair amount of proselytizing, especially at the final chapter.  Mr. Robertson's faith is such that he doesn't believe in evolution nor in abortion, and he believes in a personal god who affects his life.  Mr. Robertson also writes that the US could solve most of its social issues through more religion, and decries the separation of church and state.

Mr. Robertson really likes rural life, and expresses disdain for civilization - that is, cities and the complexities they represent.  Between that, his social conservatism, and his religious beliefs, his book could just as easily describe a successful Taliban warlord in Afghanistan; I suspect he'd be a big fan of strict sharia law (certainly if it were re-named "the Christian law").

Mr. Robertson seems like a happy guy, and as I hear it the television show about his family portrays them well, but he comes across to me as unpleasant.

Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander

The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

This is a classic, award -winning science fiction novel.  But since I'm relatively new to the genre, I just came across it.  Wow - it certainly deserves the accolades.  This is not so much a novel about space war as it is a novel that conveys the futility of war; think "All Quiet on the Western Front ."

Mr. Haldeman wrote this in the 1970s and the dates he set in the novel have already passed by now. So that's a bit odd, but it hardly detracts from the story.

Highly recommended.

The Forever War

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thankless in Death, by JD Robb

Although I hadn't read the prior novel for this this is clearly the sequel, it was still easy to read and I never felt lost.  The plot moved well, the characters were interesting.  This is a lightweight book but an enjoyable one -- if you go for mysteries that require a police officer to capture a mass murderer before he kills again.

Thankless in Death

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Puppet Masters, by Robert Heinlein

When I came across this sci-fi classic at the library, I couldn't resist reading it.  First published in 1951, it is a touch dated and certainly has a male chauvinist tone.   But these issues don't really get in the way of an enjoyable story.  Mr. Heinlein's later works are much more my favorites, but his stories are consistently interesting.

The Puppet Masters

Ice Station Zombie, by JE Gurley

The concept of this entertaining novel is that a biological warfare research station at Antarctica accidentally lets loose a virus that turns people into, well, zombies.  The plot follows the efforts of survivors to find a solution to this plague.

Ice Station Zombie: A Post Apocalyptic Chiller

Terms of Enlistment, by Marko Kloos

This is an entertaining sci-fi novel.   The hero is Andrew Grayson, a young man whose only shot at escaping the poverty of his home is to join the military - which translates to either subduing civil unrest in the slums of Earth's cities, or space travel.

The novel reads like a movie, and like a movie is a bit superficial.  But the characters are interesting and the plot moves along well, so the superficiality is not a big deal: just be clear that this isn't literature (or sci-fi at the Stranger in a Strange Land or Cryptonomicon level).

Terms of Enlistment

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Eye of God, by James Rollins

This novel is clearly in a series featuring the same main characters, but the author did a good job of not making that an issue for someone who picks this book up at random.   It is, however, one of those spy / save the world novels that relies on bizarre conveniences to make the story work.   I don't mind a novel occasionally stretching credibility, but to me, that's best done in stretching the plot premise, and not in manufacturing scenarios that couldn't possibly happen.

The plot was interesting though.  So this book is fine to read as long as you're not in a picky mood.   In summary:  a comet carries a dark matter force with it, it passed the Earth 2800 years ago and some dark matter -affected materials ended up as relics.   It is passing nearby again and is drawn to contact the Earth to rejoin those materials, unless our band of heroes can stop it by aligning the right dark matter with the other right dark matter in the middle of Mongolia after having passed through and escaped from North Korea and other pleasant way points.

The Eye of God: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Novels)

The October List, by Jeffery Deaver

Oh no, another un-read book.  This seldom happens, and now it is two times in a very short time period.   The problem here is the design of the novel:  it is written backwards.  In the first chapter we are at the end, and each subsequent chapter works towards the beginning.

The author quotes the joke,
"The bartender says, 'We don't serve time travelers in here.'
A time traveler walks into a bar."

Well, that might work in a kind of geeky joke, but it  doesn't work (for me) in a mystery novel.  I got to page 17 out of 301 before I realized that the joke was on me, and I didn't like it.

The October List - Free Preview (first 4 chapters)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rasputin's Shadow, by Raymond Khoury

I did not read this book. I tried to, making it all the way to page 29 before giving up. That's out of 404 pages. At a mere 7% into this novel I could tell it wasn't worth reading. And anyone who follows this blog knows that I'm really not all that picky about what I read. So consider this a public service: don't bother with this book.


One of the big annoyances in this novel is the extraordinarily clumsy way that Mr. Khoury links this novel back to prior ones that featured the same main characters. At least that's what I imagine he was doing; if not, there's just no explanation for the ham fisted descriptions of prior events. So for someone who's invested in all those (I have no clue how many) previous books, maybe it is worth while to keep going.

But I doubt it.

The clumsiness isn't limited to the link-backs. There's an overall miasma of poor writing going on here.

Rasputin's Shadow

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card

Although first published in 1977, I'd never heard of this title until I saw a preview for the movie adaptation a couple of months ago.  Apparently this is true for lots of folks; as I hear it the local middle school library is suddenly seeing a run on a book that had been sitting lonely and dust covered on the shelves for some time.

Yes middle school.  Which makes sense, in that the hero is only six years old when the novel begins, and not even a teenager at its end.   But I don't believe there's any reason to think this isn't also a novel for adults. I just missed it because I seldom read science fiction. Which brings us to the story line.

Set in the future, an alien race (buggers) caused trauma in an attack on Earth, and having barely won, the governments worry about a new attack. The complexity of coordinating space warfare with these aliens seems beyond the ability of veteran soldiers and instead requires an intensively trained savant: someone who has enough genius to understand the situation, can perhaps process the massive information streams in some intuitive fashion, who is vicious enough to prevail but empathetic enough to lead others. So the governments seek out little children who might have the right mix of abilities and carefully monitor them, looking for the one(s) who have what it takes.

Ultimately our hero Ender is a strong candidate. Ender's back story includes his little sister, for whom he has much affection, and his sociopathic big brother for whom he has only discomfort. His training consists of life like simulations. And I can't say more without introducing spoilers.

So is it worth reading? Absolutely. The plot is interesting, the development of Ender as a hero is interesting. The absurdity of the children's age considered their circumstance is hardly noticeable, other then in the occasional bit of puerile dialog.

Ender's Game

Friday, November 15, 2013

Never Go Back, by Lee Child

This, the latest "Jack Reacher" novel, suffers a few annoying defects.  First, Mr. Child over-played the main character's "coin flip, 50/50 chance" trope.  Second, he overplayed that hero's knowledge of literature, because the prior novels did nothing to support the level of literary awareness that Reacher displays in this book.  Worst of all, the heroic Reacher now steals to fund his needs (albeit from meth cookers); where in the world did this come from?

It was, though, a fast read from the point of plot movement.  If I could have avoided my disappointment at those problems it would have been more enjoyable.

The concept:  hero Jack Reacher travels to Virginia to visit his telephone buddy, Major Susan Turner, at his old command, the 110th MP (which is headquartered, in real life, at Fort Hood, Texas).  When he gets there he finds that Turner's been arrested, and Reacher is about to be.   They escape, and mayhem ensues.

Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ep.#1 - "Aurora: CV-01," by Ryk Brown

As an episode of a television series, this is a great book.   As a novel, it is just okay.   The flaws in the novel aren't as bad in the television show:  superficial characters, predictable actions.

I make this comparison because Mr. Brown's series is episodic, from its naming down to the way the series is continued from one episode (novel) to the other.  (Yes, I peaked at the next volume .)  As of today, he's up to nine episodes.

The general idea is this:  We're in the far distant future, where Earth has a unified government which rules in a post apocalyptic time.  There is an alien race which seeks our destruction.  Our hero behaves like an impulsive kid but manages to get through a space academy and become a commissioned officer, about to become a pilot on a spaceship, prepared to save the world from the bad aliens.

The books in this series can be borrowed from the Kindle Lending Library for free if one is an Amazon Prime member; the catch is that you have to wait until the next calendar month to borrow the next book.   At that price, though, it is worth reading.

Ep.#1 - "Aurora: CV-01" (The Frontiers Saga)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Threat Vector, by Tom Clancy

I had stopped reading Mr. Clancy's books for a while because either I'd lost interest in them or because his writing changed (i.e., deteriorated) over time.   But this one was at the library, so I gave it a go.

I got through all 848 pages of it in one day, which tells you everything you need to know.

This book reminded me of the first of Mr. Clancy's books that I read, "The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan) ."  (I foolishly read it on a flight from New York's JFK airport to Nice, France, when I should have been sleeping instead.  I paid for that decision dearly at work the day I arrived in France.)

Threat Vector (Jack Ryan Novels)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm Gladwell

This is almost a terrific book: the first two-thirds are very good.  I'd recommend the first third of the book to everyone I know.   But the last third continues a theme of "good results come from suffering" that is both wearisome and also not as well written as the start of the text.   Earlier examples of good results coming from difficult circumstances, although flawed by their anecdotal nature, were at least well written and interesting.  More importantly, in these examples Mr. Gladwell tied the conclusion up in a clean bow.   But toward the end there was no circling of the story back to a crisp statement, it was just a pouring on of sad times.

It is though a fast read, and the first few chapters are enjoyable; I realized how long I'd been captivated only when I took a sip of my coffee and found it cold.   That's generally a very good sign for a book.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blood Money, by Brian Springer

Hero Greg Kelton is a domestic mercenary, one who will only take cases that map to his moral code.   He's hired to rescue Jessica Robbins, who - in an inexplicable plot stretch - invented an inexpensive and effective AIDS treatment but is being held captive by (corrupt?) government forces who do not want her breakthrough to see production.   The novel covers Jessica's rescue and ultimate delivery to the man who orchestrated her freedom.

This was an interesting book, and a plot twist surprised me.   I don't really understand why so many authors in the suspense / action genre feel it is essential that their heroes fall in love and intend lifetime relationships after but a few hours after meeting the inevitably beautiful and talented victim that the plot sets them up to protect.  But aside from that, this book was pretty good.

Blood Money (A Greg Kelton Thriller)

The Protocol, by J. Robert Kennedy

This is a bit of a Indiana Jones rip-off in that the hero, James Acton, is an archaeology professor who is expert at weapons, evasion, spy craft, and, well, just about everything outside of archaeology.   It is an interesting enough book, especially when available on Amazon Kindle for just 99 cents.

The concept is that a multi-thousand year old group, the Triari, exist to protect us from a set of crystal skulls falling into the wrong hands.

Oh, gosh, I can't even describe the plot.   Let's just say if you have time on your hands, nothing else you're in the mood to read, and an extra dollar in your pocket, this novel will help pass the time.   Apparently this is the first of a series; I don't intend to read book #2.

The Protocol (A James Acton Thriller, Book #1) (James Acton Thrillers)

Steel World, by BV Larson

I seldom read sci-fi, but I would read more of it if it were as interesting as this novel.   Mr. Larson's concept is as follows:   The advanced leaders of the universe notice the probes that we on Earth have been sending into space.  They (the Galactics) stop by and allow the Earth to join their empire (or be destroyed).  The catch is, theirs is a trade -based model.  If the planet doesn't have something of value to trade, its continued existence is without purpose.  It turns out the best contribution our planet can make to a galactic economy is war making:  since we tend to do it all the time anyway, why not export the talent.  So Earth exists to provide mercenary forces to fight on behalf of whatever planet chooses to hire us.

Fast forward to where the hero comes in: James McGill.   A slacker college dropout, he signs up with the mercenary force Varus.  This novel chronicles the adventures of his first military campaign, in the invasion of Cancri-9, aka Steel World.

If there's a sequel, I'm in.

Steel World

Three, by JA Konrath

Since I enjoyed reading the precursor to this novel, "Spree," I was eager to see what happened next to the unlikely group of super spy triplets, Chandler, Fleming, and Hammet.

In this volume, the brush strokes are much more like caricatures.  The President is a religious nut who personally manages spy activity while seeking to kill millions to further his aims.   The main characters are essentially comic book superheroes.   And yet, while not as captivating as "Spree," this was entertaining.  I will stop at this one though.

Three (Chandler Series)

Spree, by JA Konrath

This novel is weird, trashy, and well written enough to keep reading to the end.  The concept is that a government trained group of killer elite female spies includes identical triplets Chandler, Fleming and Hammett.   As you might expect at this point, their skills are beyond description, and they can handle pretty much any feat the author imagines.

Other main characters include Jack Daniels as a Chicago police officer and Tequila Abernathy as a heroic, mysterious good guy.

In spite of how it seems this wasn't an overt attempt at humor: the authors really push the plot forward.

Well, it isn't literature but it is fun to read.

Spree (Chandler Series)

Shadow Unit 1, by Will Shetterly

This is a very clever concept done quite well.   The novel is written to give the reader the feel of watching a television series, and it works.   The Shadow Unit is a group within the FBI's behavioral analysis unit whose cases are too off for normal processing - think X Files.

Like a television series, there are a number of writers.  Unfortunately though the group couldn't keep up the momentum:  I was eager to read volume two but didn't make it very far before giving up in despair.  But this first book is worth reading.

Shadow Unit 1

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

Read this book!

On rare occasion I come across a book that makes such a positive impression on me that I go actively out of my way to recommend it to family and friends.   Recent examples include the novels "The Orphan Master's Son" and "The Good Son," and one year all my kids got a copy of "The Gift of Fear" (and they still tease me about it.)   Well this year everyone's getting a copy of Ms. Sandberg's book.

Okay, so what's it about:  in most of the US, we don't think about women's rights as an unsolved problem.  (Although in states like Texas, where a woman's right to make her own unimpeded decisions about her reproductive system is constantly challenged, this is less the case.)   Ms. Sandberg's focus is women in the workplace.   She notes that even though a generation has passed since women made up 50% of college graduates each year, men are still the overwhelming majority in leadership positions.

Ms. Sandberg discusses these issues with a light but piercing tone, using her own experiences and anecdotes to motivate key points.   Her suggestions ring true to me as a (former) business executive and as a spouse and parent.

Her experiences give credibility to her voice:  she's the COO of Facebook, had been a senior executive at Google, worked in government, and is both married and a mother.

Men, don't imagine this is a book for women only; it is just as important for you.  It might make you think differently about everything from your own relationships to how you interact with others in the workforce.

I have a single critique:  Ms. Sandberg's point of view on the issues facing working mothers in particular, are based on her experiences and the experiences of her social set:  relatives and friends who are highly educated, well compensated professionals.   The Walmart employee (for example) reading her advice might wonder if it is even a little bit applicable to her situation.  Those parents are just as important a population, but perhaps they'll have to wait another generation before equal opportunity and compensation are normative concepts.   Similarly, childcare notions for someone in her position (of wealth) are not the same as they are for folks who face real day-to-day tradeoffs in order to cover the costs of pre-school for their kids.   To someone in a dual-income-but-no-wealth situation, her advice might seem a bit fanciful.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey

This is a fast paced, sci-fi'ish suspense and action novel.   The premise is really nothing new to fans of X-men or TV shows like "The Tomorrow People."   About 1% of Americans turn out to have extraordinary abilities.  A government agency tasked with finding and eliminating those "abnorms" who are deemed dangerous includes hero Nick Cooper, himself an abnorm.

Mr. Sakey did a terrific job.  The concept may be nothing extraordinary but the writing certainly is: don't start reading this novel in the evening unless you're willing to stay up late at night; I couldn't put it down.

Based on this experience, I plan to read Mr. Sakey's other books.


Hunter: A Thriller, by Robert Bidinotto

The heroes of this action novel are Annie Woods, a CIA investigator chasing potential traitors in the USA, and Dylan Hunter, a journalist.   There are lots of assassinations of bad guys (without, of course, any thought of due process).  Things move quickly and it is a decent novel.

HUNTER: A Thriller (A Dylan Hunter Thriller)

Hidden Order, by Brad Thor

This novel continues Mr. Thor's novels featuring main character Scot Harvath as a good guy spy who saves the nation.   The premise is that the short list of candidates to run the Federal Reserve are being assassinated, and Harvath needs to figure out how to stop this and why it is happening.

There was a bit less of Mr. Thor's political posturing than usual in this novel, which is to say there was still plenty of Tea Party rhetoric.   The topic of this book was ripe for the plucking, as so many people argue against the continued existence of the Fed if not its part in a massive conspiracy that violates the average American.   Maybe they're right, but as far as this novel goes, if you can excuse the rants and focus on the action, Mr. Thor's books aren't bad.

Hidden Order: A Thriller

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman

This is the third, final volume in the "his dark materials" trilogy ("The Golden Compass" and "The Subtle Knife" were the first two volumes).   All the key characters of the prior volumes come together, the story comes to closure, and the two heroes, Lyra and Will, achieve a breakthrough in self awareness and  understanding of their role in the universe.

This felt like the best written of the books, but I was pretty down on the first volume and my subsequent enthusiasm may be as much a reflection of my getting into the story and genre as a reflection of Mr. Pullman's writing improving.   Especially since his first novel in the series won substantial recognition, e.g., the Carnegie Medal (for "Northern Lights ," the UK title of "The Golden Compass").   Okay, so it is probably me then...

A couple of people mentioned to me that this series had come under criticism from some Christian groups.  There are many situations in which the church is seen as malevolent; there's the particular quest of some of the key characters (which I will not spoil here), and finally, the ending of this volume makes clear the importance of individuals doing good works in life in order to build their personal heavens (e.g., as opposed to relying on grace alone).

Great book; great series, highly recommended.

The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials