Saturday, May 13, 2017

Book Review: Ready Player One - Ernest Cline


OK, I know I am late to the dance on this one as it was published in 2011, but I just read it this week. The year is 2044, and the world is deep into a huge energy crisis. Huge amounts of the population have abandon their homes in the suburbs and rural country side do to the lack of energy and have swarmed to the cities. The resulting scramble for housing has caused some creative solutions. Mobile home trailer parks have been converted to "stacks" - trailers on scaffolding five and 8 stories high. A virtual world has been created called OASIS, where people escape the miserable conditions of the modern society. The virtual society relies on virtual reality goggles, gloves, and chairs. When the creator of OASIS dies, he leaves a message to everyone with an OASIS account that he has created an Easter Egg within OASIS. The first one to find the Easter Egg wins inherit his estate - a huge fortune and OASIS. 

The story focuses on Wade Watts an aimless teenager living with his aunt in the stacks. When he is not in virtual high school in OASIS, he is an egg hunter. The closer he gets to finding the egg, the more the multinational corporation that provides Internet services sets their targets on the teenager,  and they will stop at nothing to bet him to the egg so they can capitalize on ownership of OASIS.

Halfway through the book, I had a hard time convincing myself to set it down and go to bed. It is an excellent read with a well crafted story line and well developed characters. If you grew up in the 1980s, you will recognize all of the video games mentioned. I enjoyed every page and highly recommend it.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Book Review: Unthinkable - Scott Rigsby with Jenna Glatzer


18 year old Scott Rigsby had completed another days worth of working mowing lawns and was riding on the toolbox on the back of a pickup when the trailer they were pulling was struck by a tractor-trailer attempting to pass them on a narrow bridge. Scott was thrown from the truck, wedged under the trailer, and drug down the asphalt for over 300 feet. His right leg was amputated at the hospital. After several years of battling infections, his left leg was amputated as well. 

Scott spent several years wandering aimlessly struggling to keep a day job and to find his way in life. He struggled with alcohol and depression along the way. Despite it all, in 2007, some nine years later, he became the first double amputee to complete an Ironman competition - a 140.6 mile course combining swimming, biking, and running. He completed the course in 16 hours, 42 minutes, and 46 seconds. Scott now devotes his time inspiring physically challenged individuals and students to overcome the obstacles and challenges to pursue their dreams to do something amazing.

Once I started this book, I could not lay it down until I had finished it. I highly recommend it to everyone at any age.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Update on Awakened


In case you were wondering, I have not fallen off the face of the earth or fell asleep at the switch. I have been writing, and I am happy to announce that I have completed the manuscript for the sequel to Shaken Awake which is entitled Awakened. The editing process is now under way, and I am shooting for publication early this Fall. All of your favorite characters have returned. For those of you who said Shaken Awake ended too soon - your voice was heard, and your concerns have been addressed. You will be able to see into the lives of everyone that was impacted by the storm in the original book. I think and I pray that you will enjoy this book, and it will spawn many honest conversations and give folks a great deal to consider.

Stay Tuned!


Allen