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All Clear (Blackout, #2)All Clear by Connie Willis

As with Blackout, I couldn’t put the thing down. Even when I was standing in line to have my copy signed. And, like Willis said at the signing, it’s really hard to say anything about it without giving out spoilers for the first book, so I’ll just say that it was a pretty satisfying conclusion to the story. As to whether the whole thing is a comedy or a tragedy, as one character asks another, you’ll have to read it to find out.

I will say that if you like big, fast-paced novels with large doses of suspense (and a fair amount of humor), and stories that make history come alive, you should give Blackout a try. Don’t blame me if you can’t manage to get anything else done once you start reading.

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Adam & EveAdam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

So completely unsatisfying. I was ready to give up about two thirds of the way through, but figured I should finish since I’d already invested that much time in it. It reads like…nothing else I can think of. It’s intentionally over the top at points – a man killed by a falling piano, two Americans stranded in an Eden-esque garden in the Middle East, ancient cave paintings, plane crashes, you get the picture. But none of those elements ever really come together to create any meaningful whole. It’s just a bunch of pieces that could have been interesting if there was any real thread of connection, or if the characters had been more likable. Or maybe if they had been more unlikable, it would have worked. Some bits seemed like they were supposed to be realistic, other bits like fables, but all missing a moment of realization to bring them together.

As an added bonus, the Biblical commentary felt unsophisticated and distracted from any real storytelling that might have happened in its absence. The big reveal of the translated codex? Completely underwhelming, leaving me confused as to why any of the religious groups would have been so eager to destroy it. The end result felt sensationalistic and flat at the same time. Stay away, unless you’re in the mood to get annoyed.

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