The Expansion, by Christoph Martin (2017)

The Expansion, by Christoph MartinPutting in a bid to engineer the expansion of the Panama Canal is an opportunity hydrogeologist and engineer Max Burns simply cannot pass up. If they win, it will be an amazing career achievement. Even the bid is a lengthy commitment, so when Max jumps on board, his fiancĂ©e calls off the engagement. But there’s plenty of positives for the good-looking engineer, including catch-up time with his boarding school buddy Godfredo Roco, who, along with his father Paco Roco, is heading the bid submission. Fredo hasn’t changed much – sure, he’s a smart-ass womanizer who lives the high life, but he is fiercely loyal, including to the father whom he hates. Paco is an astute and unscrupulous businessman, determined to beat the competition at any cost. Read More »


Super Sikh, No. 1, by Eileen K. Alden, Supreet S. Manchanda, and Amit Tayal (2015)

Adventure/Thriller (comic book)
15 to Adult
Super Sikh, No. 1Hey superhero fans – aren’t we long overdue for a badass hero with a turban? Supreet Singh Manchanda and Eileen Kaur Alden launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring their idea to life, and reached their target in just 27 hours! With the help of illustrator Amit Tayal, they launched the first issue in 2015, and have now released the fourth issue. First, it’s not a full-length graphic novel, but rather your traditional comic book, a la Superman and Spiderman. It’s 24 pages of full-colour panels, and issue one, Takeoff and Landing, introduces readers to Deep Singh, our hero, who works for the United Nations Global Unified Defense Force protecting the world on secret agent missions. Read More »

Movie Game, by Michael Ebner (2016)

Ages 16-25
Movie GameIt’s been three years since Joe’s girlfriend suddenly died on the same night he caught his mother in bed with someone not his father. His father left the family and never came back, and his mother abandoned her nearly-adult children to move in with her lover. Joe’s now 17, has regular sex with a girl who already has a boyfriend, and devotes all his time to movies. A cinephile who stalks and threatens the talkers and popcorn-chewers who disrupt his film experience, Joe lives in the family home with his sister, Loren, who fools the neighbours by regularly hanging her mother’s clothes on the line. Finishing university with no social life to speak of, Loren has a job offer in Paris but won’t walk away from her responsibilities. Read More »

The Passenger, by F. R. Tallis (2016)

The PassengerHow can anyone resist the idea of a haunted German submarine plying the waters of the Atlantic in the winter of 1941/1942? Sigfried Lorenz is the conflicted and flawed commander of U-330, a Nazi vessel battling the British during World War II. Lorenz is fighting a war he doesn’t believe in, longs for the arms of his Parisian lover, and cares deeply about the morale and safety of his crew. When a triple-encoded message orders U-330 to pick up two prisoners from a vessel off the coast of Iceland, the crew responds with speed, curious about the prisoners’ importance. One is a British submarine commander; the other is a Norwegian scholar, an expert in the Norse runes that fascinate Himmler and other Nazi leaders. Read More »

Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews (2013)

Genre: Espionage
Interest Level: Adult
Red SparrowThe end of the cold war brought an end to the great tradition of spy novels and spy movies – or at least, interrupted the tradition immensely. I was looking forward to this one, as Matthews is a retired CIA operative, and knows his way around the world of espionage. And he does that superbly well, setting his first novel in modern times, with a Russia led by the creepy Vladimir Putin (is he really always shirtless?) and the American CIA squabbling with the FBI. The story centres around CIA agent Nate Nash and Russian spy Dominika Egorova, who is a synesthete – she can “see” colours that reveal people’s true intentions, giving her a secret edge in the spy business. Read More »