Showing posts with label dick wolf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dick wolf. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (22)



Welcome back, wordy friends!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of my favorite new-to-me words from my recent reads.  
All definitions from Dictionary.com.

1. diaspora. "Ending the diaspora requires people with a variety of skills and the motivation to use them." (from God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dau)  

noun
1. (with initial capital letter) the scattering of the Jews to countries outside of Palestine after the Babylonian captivity.
2. (with initial capital letter) the body of Jews living in countries outside Israel.
3. (with initial capital letter) such countries collectively: the return of the Jews from the Diaspora.
4. any group migration or flight from a country or region.
5. any group that has been dispersed outside its traditional homeland, especially involuntarily, as Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Certainly an appropriate word for the many Sudanese who fleed the country throughout the war.

2. caliphate. "(Spoiler) was the apex of a holy pyramid that had begun when Osama bin Laden initiated a call for victory in the name of Islam and the Wahhabi caliphate." (from The Intercept by Dick Wolf)

noun
The rank, jurisdiction, or government of a caliph.

And a caliph is (after I looked it up) a spiritual leader of Islam.

3. vertiginous. "It is vertiginous following her."  (from Indiscretion by Charles Dubow)
adjective
1. whirling; spinning; rotary: vertiginous currents of air.
2. affected with vertigodizzy.
3. liable or threatening to cause vertigoa vertiginous climb.
4. apt to change quickly; unstable: a vertiginous economy.

I guess I should have been able to figure this one out from the root (vertigo)...didn't realize it until I saw the definition!

What are your new words this week?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

December 2012 in Review

Ah, December...thanks to Amazon $$ as Christmas gifts, it's the one month of the year where I make it rain (with book purchases, that is).
Liz Lemon grabbed that money and went straight to B+N.
Now that I have shelves chock-full of new and exciting reading material, I hope to have lots of equally new and exciting reviews for you soon!

Let's review December, shall we?  Let's start with my most and least fave books of the month.  The favorite was REALLY HARD to choose, I read a lot of good stuff this month:

December 2012 Favorite: Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
December 2012 Least Favorite: Matched by Ally Condie

Annnnnd let's review the rest of my reading month.

I read and reviewed 7 books (click links for my reviews):
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Blackout by Mira Grant
Bluff by Lenore Skomal
The Uninvited by Liz Jensen
Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
Matched by Ally Condie
The Intercept by Dick Wolf

I did a full review of one past read:
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I also posted 4 mini reviews of past reads:
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

And I posted 5 new Small Fry Saturdays!
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Merry Christmas, Ollie! by Olivier Dunrea
Santa Claus The World's Number One Toy Expert by Marla Frazee
Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star by Petr Horacek
Jingle All The Way by Tom Shay-Zapien

In addition to all that, I signed up for a ridiculous number of 2013 reading challenges, declared my favorite books of 2012, shared my Christmas book haul, and announced my new domain name (which I'll admit, makes me feel like a certified baller.  Balla?  Baller?  I don't know, whatevs).

Also, the blog has only been up since August, but I already have over 100 posts!  YEAH BOIIII.

Now, in keeping with my new resolutions, I'm working on coming up with some new post ideas, and trying to make sure I keep up with my crazy reading challenges.  Happy January, all!

What's your first read of 2013?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review: The Intercept by Dick Wolf

Title: The Intercept
Author: Dick Wolf
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 26, 2012
Source: ARC received from the publisher for an honest review

Plot Summary from Goodreads:

Days before the July Fourth holiday and the dedication of One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, an incident aboard a commercial jet over the Atlantic Ocean reminds everyone that vigilance is not a task to be taken lightly. But for iconoclastic New York Police detective Jeremy Fisk, it may also be a signal that there is much more to this case than the easy answer: that this is just the work of another lone terrorist.

Fisk—from the department’s Intelligence Division, a well-funded anti-terror unit modeled upon the CIA—suspects that the event might also be a warning sign that another, potentially more extraordinary scheme has been set in motion. Fluent in Arabic and the ways of his opponents, Fisk is a rule breaker who follows his gut—even if it means defying those above him in the department’s food chain. So when a passenger from the same plane, a Saudi Arabian national, disappears into the crowds of Manhattan, it’s up to Fisk and his partner Krina Gersten to find him before the celebrations begin.

Watching each new lead fizzle, chasing shadows to dead ends, Fisk and Gersten quickly realize that their opponents are smarter and more agile than any they have ever faced. Extremely clever and seemingly invisible, they are able to exploit any security weakness and anticipate Fisk’s every move. And time is running out.


My Review:

If you have watched TV at all in the last 20 years, the name Dick Wolf probably rings a bell.  He's the creator of TV's Law & Order series (DUN DUN).  When I heard he had written a book, I was intrigued.  I figured if he wrote in a manner similar to the dramatic style of his TV shows, the book had the potential to be awesome.  Or, he could end up being an egotistical Hollywood-type who thinks he can write fiction, but is dead wrong.

So, first things first: I'm happy to report that Dick Wolf CAN write fiction.  Really fantastic fiction, in fact.  The prose is tight, the characters click, and the suspense had me awake and reading way later than my life with a 1-year-old should allow.

Let's talk about the writing for a moment.  Wolf is (unsurprisingly) a New York City connossieur, and it shows in the details of this novel.  The ins and outs of the NYPD's structure is explained well, including bits of information about the Intelligence Division that it seems only an insider would know.  It was interesting to see how this department works--and also how its investigative techniques, though advanced, are not foolproof.  The cultural makeup of the five boroughs is illustrated in a way that makes a non-New Yorker feel like they have an intimate understanding of the city.  New York City is the main location for a lot of novels, but that doesn't always translate into a dynamic and immersive setting the way it does here.  These details added a lot to the believability of the storyline.

While we're talking about details, I think it's important to note that Wolf took some liberties with the timeline used in this novel.  He has one crucial scene in the beginning that involves bin Laden's assassination (in May 2011), and the rest of the novel takes place around July 4th weekend in that same year.  However, the dates for the year are wrong (July 4th is on a Sunday in the novel, it was actually a Monday in 2011), and he has the World Trade Center dedication happening that weekend (as far as I know, the dedication hasn't happened yet since the building is going to be finished in 2013).  This threw me off at first, but since the terrorist acts in the novel are purely fictional, in hindsight I can see why he wanted to fictionalize the timing as well.

Our protagonist in this novel is Jeremy Fisk.  I am often leery of series that continually focus on one character, because I think they sometimes center too much on that particular person and not enough on the action of the story.  That is not the case in The Intercept.  Fisk's background is explained just enough so that he feels like a well-rounded character, but not so much that it seems the entire book revolves around him.  By the end, I cared enough about him that I wanted to read the next installment in his series (get on that, Wolf), but I didn't lose focus on the plot as a whole.  I think this is a tricky balance for an author to maintain.  I also loved Fisk's relationship with his colleague/girlfriend, Krina Gersten.  Their dynamic was punchy and fun, but with a bit of a soft center.  It is so easy for romance in a thriller to seem silly or misplaced (hi, every Dan Brown novel) but I didn't get that sense here at all.

Last but not least, let's talk about the most important thing--the action!  What is a thriller novel without action?  The plot has a ton of twists, but doesn't feel overdone or too complex.  It will leave you guessing without causing confusion in a ton of important details.  That said, there was one twist (a somewhat major one) that I found rather predictable, which was a bit disappointing.  My guess is that anyone else reading the book will probably figure it out as well, since the character it involves is focused upon way more than they should be.  I was afraid this obvious plot turn would detract from the end of the novel, but fortunately, it didn't.  Even when you figure out who the bad guy/girl is, there are still so many questions and further change-ups that you stay engaged right through to the end.

In case you haven't guessed, my doubts about Dick Wolf as an author have been dashed.  If you are a fan of crime thrillers, read this NOW.  It's an amazing literary debut, and I will be checking out the next Jeremy Fisk novel for sure.

DUN DUN.

Are you a Law and Order fan?  Are you planning to check out Dick Wolf's new novel as a result?

Monday, December 17, 2012

What Are You Reading? (3)



Happy Monday, reader friends!  We just had our first (of 3) Christmases this weekend, as we traveled to my in-laws for some holiday celebrating.  As a result, I did not get a ton of reading done, but I DID get Amazon and B+N gift cards, so BOO-YAH!  Christmas reading win.

'Twas kind of a crazy weekend though as well, because Small Fry got sick with croup, and we spent all of Friday night in the ER as a result.  (Luckily, it has subsided and he's doing much better now.)  We came home from the in-laws a day early, and spent yesterday recouping and watching the Giants play disgustingly.*

Christmas #2 is this weekend in Connecticut with my family, and Christmas #3 is the actual Christmas day, at home, just the three of us.  Ahhhhh.  I can't wait to just relax with my boys in front of the tree for a few days.  It's nice seeing our families, but all those car rides get exhausting.

(Says the girl who used to jump in the car and drive from NY to Florida at the drop of a hat...oh how the mighty have fallen.)

Anywho, right now I am currently reading:




Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
I am reading this as part of Mandy's Blogger Book Club at The Well-Read Wife.  Mandy bought 20 copies of the book and sent them out to some fellow bloggers so we could discuss and enjoy together.  How cool is that?  
She also has awesome taste in blog names.  Obviously.  
Oh, but the book!  I have only a few pages left, love it so far, and I'm looking forward to posting a full review for you later this week.  Stay tuned.

And I'm listening to:
Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
I love me some Stephen King.  That said, I think maybe this was the wrong one to pick for an audiobook.  It's really long (20 CDs) and while the story started strong, I'm feeling kind of stuck halfway through it.  While reading, I can usually push through slower/longer novels fairly well, but on audio, it involves me having to rewind way too many times because my brain wandered.  Anyway, I hope it picks up and gets better soon.

What will I read next? 
Probably either The Intercept by Dick Wolf (yes, of Law and Order fame! I have an ARC for review), or Matched by Ally Condie (which I know, I'm about the last person on that bandwagon).


What are YOU reading today?
*There was also a really horrible thing that happened on Friday (you've seen it in the news), and no, I didn't post about it. I'm keeping it mostly off the blog, because it hits a little too close to home for me (I grew up in CT and have several friends that knew the victims). But suffice to say those families are in my prayers.  I am hugging Small Fry a little tighter these days.
 
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