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Book Review: Aurora, when the lights went out

By Robert McCool

When a monster solar coronal mass ejection (CME) strikes the Earth it destroys all of the power grids in the world, leaving our Earth in the literal dark as the electricity disappears worldwide. This is what  occurs in David Koepp's second book titled Aurora (ISBN 978-0-06-291647-1). Koepp is the screenwriter of many popular movies, including the first two Jurassic Park releases, Mission: Impossible, and War of the Worlds,  plus many more, some of which he also directed.

Book Review: Two Gabriel Du Pre' novels by Peter Bowen

By Robert McCool, Icon columnist

Welcome to the new Old West and a colorful cowboy and sometime deputy.

Life in Toussaint, Montana is all but disappeared. The Me'tis Indian people cling to their old ways while outsiders move into the area by the Wolf Mountains and bring their own problems to the town of five hundred survivors in this modern world.

On a bonus writing lecture

By Craig Hoffman
Blogger at Grey, Grizzled and Gaijin

Editor's note: The new Ada Icon editor is just getting to know Craig Hoffman and perhaps some of our readers are, too. Craig graduated from Ada High School in 1994 and has been on the pages of the Icons since 2014. He lives in and blogs from Japan. In this installment, Craig has some advice for aspiring novelists.

We had a couple of days off from our regular gig in the salt mines, so we thought we would address a recent Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin mailbag question that came in to us.

Cloud Cuckoo Land, take two

A second look at a complex book 

Review by Robert McCool 

I reviewed this book once before, but felt the need to look again at this very complex novel. Some readers will not like it for its complexity and length. All I can say is that it’s worth the investment of time and thought it takes. I hope you give it a chance and become a fan of Doerr’s twists and turns. 

The most courageous person I ever knew

Photograph of Captain Richard Louis Basinger courtesy of The Virtual Wall.

By Bill Herr, Icon columnist

Courage is defined in Webster's Dictionary as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. The most courageous person I ever knew was my friend, Dick Basinger. His father was my Vocational Agriculture teacher at Bluffton High School, Mr. Lorain Basinger. 

Book Review: Shadows Reel

By Robert McCool, Icon columnist

This is the latest book in the impressive string of twenty-two Joe Pickett novels by C. J. Box. Shadows Reel (Random House, ISBN: 978-0-593-55635-1) is part of the long tangled story of the Pickett family and their friends. Although it can be read as a stand-alone book, it is enriching to know about the characters’ lives from previous novels. Regardless, these books are about Joe Pickett, a game warden in the state of Wyoming.