Reviews by Walter Danley
BOOK REVIEW : The Midnight Line By Lee Child
I am about to type words that I never thought could be extracted from me. These words, to paraphrase President Roosevelt, will live in infamy, and I am sorry! I DIDN’T LIKE THIS BOOK! Please understand, I am a fan of Lee Child. He is my hero. He created and maintains Jack Reacher. I am like thousands of readers around the world, we all love Lee Child, but he bit the big one on this novel. Mr. Child has produced twenty-one Jack Reacher novels. A Vegas gambler would tell you that the odds are that there would be one that I didn’t like; a ratio of 21:1. But as a major Child fan, that isn’t a good enough reason why I didn’t like The Midnight Line.
The Midnight Line fell from favor because my most favorite author in the world spent most of the 368 pages getting to the story, which inhabited only about the last dozen pages. Child had Reacher go on endless sorties into towns, villages, and log cabins. He described in detail the act of climbing a stair, which did not step the story closer to the action. When he got to that, the event was also a bit flat and could have benefited from a lift, stairs or otherwise! It offends my sense of right and wrong and somewhat unfair to criticize a person’s work without stating the reasoning it was deemed inferior to his prior works. So, in fairness, let me identify those puny portions postulated on the populace.
The story begins with an interesting, albeit improbable, premise but let’s go with a suspension of disbelief for the moment. Walking down a street of the current town in which Reacher finds himself marooned, he passes a pawn shop window and spies a ring. But not just a ring, a West Point Class Ring. All Reacher fans understand that The United States Military Academy(USMA), is also known as West Point, the Army’s elite military academy located in West Point, New York. This ring is a woman’s ring, and Reacher is both surprised and a bit offended that it resides in a pawn shop. So what do you suppose he does? Of course, he pawns (read buys) the ring and decides to return it to the rightfully West Point graduate to whom it belongs. Now, you might reasonably imagine how difficult a search like that would be. And it is. Lee Child does an amazing job of taking Reacher from place to place; to town, village, hamlet, and burg, in the righteous quest to find the owner of the ring.
BOOK REVIEW : King Ron Of The Triceratops By S.S. Paulson
It has been some time since I read books to six-year-olds, but I can imagine that my sons would enjoy the story of King Ron. As an adult, I found it odd that the title character turns out to be the villain. The real hero of the fable is Little T, Ron’s brother. Well, not brother by birth, but by being raised together from the first dino egg hatching. As Ron grows faster and larger than his siblings, it turns out that he’s not a Triceratops at all, but a Tyrannosaurus Rex. He uses his size and appearance to intimidate the other dinosaurs in the herd to make him King. And they do. But you must read the rest of the story yourself. Ms. or Mr. Paulson has done a service to kids by exposing the political reality of the world they will soon inherit. The other lessons of morality and fair play are equally subtle in delivery and just as important. The writing style seems to me to be appropriate, speaking to his/her audience at their age level without condescending or talking down to the audience targeted. The illustrations by Milagros García are well done and illustrate the plot points of the story. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review and would say that a six-year-old would recommend this book and give it a five-star rating. And so do I.