The Aeschylus – David Barclay

imageThe Aeschylus is a tight sci-fi thriller from David Barclay that alternates storylines back and forth between a 1938 Nazi regime on a remote island near Antartica and present day. The Aeschylus is a one-of-a-kind oil platform installed near the remote island and owned by a company called Valley Oil. Kate is the daughter of a US Vice President who suddenly dies and leaves her controlling interest in Valley Oil. Plunged into a world she wasn’t prepared for, she finds herself joining an expedition to the oil platform with a group of Blackwater-type mercenaries to find out what has happened to cause all communications to go down and 250 oil rig workers to disappear. When they get there, they find the rig damaged and a slimy black vines coming out of the ocean and overtaking the platform. Where is everyone? What is this mysterious foliage coming out of the ocean and overtaking the rig? And what does a remote island controlled by the Nazis in 1938 have to do with everything?

Outside of the controlling interests in the oil company falling in lead character Kate’s lap and then simply jumping on a plane with soldiers for hire to go to a rig that she knows very little about or has any expertise to offer in the mission, that’s really my only bitch for what is actually a very entertaining read. The sillly start aside, The Aeschylus combines a great Nazi mission, an Alien-feeling desolate thriller, and some HP Lovecraft-inspired crazy weed of unknown origin. There were even parts of the story that had a Robert McCammon feel to the delivery. If it sounds like fun, you’d be right. And anyone that knows me, understands that I hold McCammon in the utmost highest reverence. I truly enjoyed the book and it only needed a little tightening to be a true 5-star romp. A very promising effort from what I hope is the first of many offerings from Barclay.

~ I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.~

4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Shining – Stephen King


Book 3 of The Stephen King Challenge and my third time reading The Shining. There’s a reason it’s considered one King’s very best. It has everything that makes a book great. Great characters that have many layers to them and we invest in. One spooky, desolate location that oozes evil. A nice, tight storytelling that builds tension without filler. To steal a often-used line from old rock stars describing their latest album – It’s All Killer and No Filler.
For me, watching the overtaking of Jack by the Overlook was the part of the story that made the biggest impact. The man is flawed. He becomes an alcoholic, breaks his son’s arm in a drunken rage, loses his job, close to losing his marriage. The man is at the bottom…or is he? Can it get any worse? Oh yes, yes it can. With all of the stress of the aforementioned problems along with dragging his family across the country in a last ditch effort to climb out of the gutter, all while battling being on the wagon, seems so overwhelming to me. Now, throw in that nasty business of the evil hotel twisting and turning everything against him, and I really do feel for the guy. And that’s just one charcter in the story!

You’ll have to excuse my assumption that you already know the basic premise of The Shining. I won’t bore you with reading the same old synopsis. For those of you that don’t know anything about the story, I’ll let you read one of the other reviews to fill yourself in. All you really need to know that it’s simply one of Stephen King’s best and most iconic stories and the guy didn’t get to be famous and sell a bazillion books in what has always been the biggest red-headed step-child section of the literary field – Horror – by writing clunkers. If you haven’t read The Shining, you need to. Not before the end of the year. Not next month or next week. Now. Right now. Quit reading this review and get your butt downloading it or grabbing a copy of it. Pick your poison – eReader, paperback or hardcover. But do it now!

5 out of 5 stars and only because I couldn’t rate it 6 stars
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