Posted in book reviews, books, Sarah M. Chen

CLEANING UP FINN

Cleaning Up FinnCleaning Up Finn by Sarah M. Chen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meet Finn Roose, manager of a Redondo Beach restaurant, master manipulator and womanizer. Finn sees life as one big party. Porter, his best friend, allows Finn to borrow his Ferrari and boat at times, which Finn passes off as his own. One night Finn meets Rhonda “Ronnie” Havemeyer at the restaurant and convinces her to go on a sunset sail on his boat the next night. After more than a few drinks on the boat and Finn’s failure to “get it up”, Ronnie gives up, dresses, and goes topside. Finn, being extremely drunk, is barely able to get the boat back into the slip at the marina. As they get off the boat, Ronnie realizes she has left her purse on the boat. Finn goes back to retrieve it & when he returns, he finds Ronnie passed out by the dock. Finn wants to get Ronnie back to her hotel and goes through her purse to see if he can locate a key or something to tell him where this is. As he is looking, a driver’s license falls out and he discovers she is underage. Being the general manager of one of the most successful restaurants, Finn cannot risk being associated with a minor. So Finn does what any normal person would do. He looks around to make sure no one is watching and leaves Ronnie lying face down on the grass. From here things just get worse as he finds out that Ronnie is now missing.

Finn’s sleazy, drinks too much, is a complete asshole, and only sees women as things to be conquered. But by the end of this story, I like Finn. As much as Finn would like to not care, he does his best to right things. From trying to figure out what happened to Ronnie to making it up to Porter for damaging his Ferrari and leaving his boat in complete disarray. For all his faults, there is a nugget of goodness in Finn. Until the next hot chick walks into the restaurant.

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Posted in book reviews, books, Christopher Golden

ARARAT

AraratArarat by Christopher Golden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The story opens with an earthquake in Turkey that reveals a hidden cave inside Mount Ararat. The cave turns out to be an ancient ship that has been long buried. When news of this find gets out, many believe the ship to be Noah’s Ark. A newly engaged couple, Adam Holzer & Meryam Karga, is notified by a friend of theirs, Feyiz, a local guide, about the find. They want to be the first ones inside to lay claim to the find before another team, headed by Armando Olivieri, does. Adam and Meryam are adventurers who write books and make videos “to help ordinary people overcome their fear of taking risks”. The couple is accompanied by guides, Hakan & Feyiz. To beat Olivieri’s team, they decide to take an alternate, more dangerous route up Mount Ararat. After a long, treacherous climb, they reach the entrance to the ship. Inside, they find a sarcophagus with a deformed corpse. A few weeks later, Adam and Meryam are joined by Father Cornelius Hughes, a linguist and historian, Ben Walker, a DARPA agent traveling under the guise as a researcher for the National Science Foundation, a representative from the UN, Kim Seong, and additional archaeologists and filmmakers to record their findings.

I really enjoyed this book. The idea that this ship could be Noah’s Ark was definitely something that fascinated me. It was nice that the author touched on some of the religious implications but didn’t dwell or hit you over the head with their religious viewpoint. I liked the characters and there was enough of a back story for each to be able to relate to them but not be tedious. I thought the story was cohesive and there were no loose ends with the character story lines. The author did a good job with the pacing of the book. It captured my interest from the first chapter when the cave/ship was revealed, to the hairy ascent made by Adam & Meryam’s team, and the finding of the corpse. As the team(s) continues to investigate the corpse and speculate as to its origins, people start to disappear. But are they leaving of their own accord or is something else responsible? To make matters worse, an enormous blizzard sets in. As the story progresses, tensions rise and the violence escalates. I found the story compelling, a page turner, and couldn’t wait to see how it ended! And I was not disappointed! Anyone looking for an adventure story with a bit of horror thrown, this is definitely the book to read.

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