Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, by Mary Roach

Eight stars

Roach is back for another scientific look at the world around us, this time honing her attention on the US Military. In ways unique to her, Roach is able to look at various aspects of military life and explore the informative components while injecting little known (or considered) facts about the process. Consider, for example the depth to which the Department of Defence has studied various materials for uniforms, from their flammability, coolness (temperature) factor, and even lack of fashion-worthiness. The controversial world of camouflage does not elude Roach, as she examines just how much thought (and many tax dollars) goes into a decision. However, this only skims the surfaces of her analyses, as she ventures into the world of prostheses, which are common among the injured returning from the battlefield and wishing to hold onto some semblance of their previous abilities. The reader might not expect the significant amount of attention paid to penile prosthetic implements and the surgery around trying to handle injuries to the area. Of course, Roach does not shy away from this, nor does her exploration keep her from asking (and writing) about the wonderful world of diarrhea, particularly for those deployed to ‘non-first world domains’. Have you ever wondered what a sniper would do if they were hit with a bout of ‘the runs’ while scoping out an enemy? Roach has and writes about this, at length. From there, it is exploration of flies and maggots, both of whom have been the focus of numerous studies by the US Government. Of course, no examination of the military would be complete without discussion of weapons, though Roach chooses some less than expected armaments when she researches and talks about the odorous weapons that US Military brass chose to develop and deploy. Stink bombs, scents that would be displeasing to a cross-section of various ethnic communities, as well as the disturbing results of focus group studies (that many asked would actually consider wearing a vomit scent as a daily cologne/perfume!). While out of sights, Roach refuses to keep those aboard submarines out of mind as she examines sleep deprivation and circadian rhythms for the men and women prowling the deepest seas. Roach has outdone herself yet again and left me with tears in my eyes, trying to stifle a laugh in a subtle cough as I sat in public. Enjoyable for anyone, but preferably not read anytime near food consumption.

It could be Roach’s delivery or her refusal to find anything off limits, but she has gone to the margins of possible exploration and then forged ahead. Her discovery of the most random areas of research and highlighting them in major portions of her chapters shows not only a strong grasp of the material, but also that she is able to synthesize it effectively. The reader will, if they are anything like me, remain agog of all the minutiae that comes to the surface while also constantly asking just how far Roach will push the envelope to add fodder to her books. She seems to write so seamlessly and with such confidence that the reader can absorb all that is presented and feel it is highly useful at the next dinner party or family gathering. The chapters remain all-encompassing though the entire book remains under 300 pages, allowing the reader to leave the experience without being too weighed-down with facts. 

Kudos, Madam Roach for taking us into the world of the military through science rather than the incessant ISIS babble that fills the airwaves today.

The Advocate’s Daughter, by Anthony Franze

Nine stars

Returning with another crime thriller, peppered with legal undertones, Franze offers an explosive story that will rock the reader as the story unfolds. Sean Serrat is about to begin a new job in private practice, having recently left the office of the Solicitor General. Working in DC, he comes to realise that every lawyer is covered in politics, no matter how they try to protect themselves. He is also rumoured to be a nominee for the vacancy on the US Supreme Court, which creates an added buzz in a city that thrives on whispers. When Serrat’s daughter, Abby, goes missing, he turns to tracking her down, only to find her phone across town at the home of a friend. Things lead him to the Supreme Court Library, where Abby’s been murdered and stuffed in a corner. While Serrat tries to stomach what’s happened, he must also tell his family of his discovery. As they try to process what’s happened, a young man is charged with the murder. Awaiting trial, Malik Montgomery asserts his innocence and is willing to do anything he can to prove it. Serrat begins to explore what Abby had on her radar before her death, a law student and ambitious young woman. Serrat comes to discover she has been helping vet potential nominees to the Supreme Court, working on background research of the one man who may be better qualified than Serrat himself. This leads down a rabbit hole that forces Serrat to remember an event from his youth, one in a far away place he thought was buried long ago. However, as Serrat will come to learn, nothing remains a secret when there are witnesses. Is the Montgomery arrest the end of the Serrats’ concerns surrounding Abby’s murder, or could there be others harbouring additional motives, lurking in the shadows? Franze spins a tale that will keep readers wondering until the very end, and even then, questions linger. A powerful legal tinged thriller that is sure to garner significant praise.

Having read Franze’s previous novel, I see much improvement here. The story is much stronger an the narrative significantly crisper than before. Sean Serrat is a character that is not only relatable by the reader, but also intriguing for all he brings to the story. With a plot that is far from linear, Franze offers the reader many twists that take things in directions that are both unexpected, but also necessary. The further the narrative delves into the murder, the faster the pace, which forces characters to shape to their surroundings or be forgotten. Full of facts about the Supreme Court, legal methods, but also criminal activities, Franze educates readers while entertaining them with this story. His style and presentation make him memorable and this novel may pave the way to further success, should he keep writing in this genre. I will certainly recommend this novel and hope that it is not the end of Franze’s foray into criminal thrillers.

Kudos, Mr. Franze for your impressive reemergence on the scene. You took your critics’ comments to heart and shaped a much stronger effort this time around.

When Death Draws Near (Gwen Marcey #3), by Carrie Stuart Parks

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Carrie Stuart Parks, and Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.

In her latest forensic thriller, Parks brings Gwen Marcey back for another adventure, well out of her comfort zone. After accepting a brief job in rural Kentucky, Marcey arrives to help the Pike County sheriff with a serial rapist. Marcey interviews the latest victim in hopes of getting enough to provide a forensic sketch, before they are able to secure enough information, the victim goes missing, as have the other rape victims. Sheriff Clayton Reed has another project on which he could use Marcey’s assistance and shuttles her over to visit a state senator, whose lavish home is both daunting and alluring. Marcey is asked to go undercover to identify key members of a serpent charming church, a local branch-off of the Pentecostals. A number of its members have turned up dead from snakebites, poison ingestion, and other incidents, all of which points to danger within the sect. Leery of how she will be able to keep her task away from the others, Marcey waffles, but is soon convinced that her artistic skills might be more useful than anything else that’s been tried. Marcey receives two pieces of poignant news before she makes her final decision: her daughter is being sent to stay with her for a time, and her cancer has returned. Working to digest both pieces, Marcey embarks on her adventure with daughter, Aynslee, alongside her. Aynslee exhibits typical teenage behaviour but turns out to be more interested in the religious experience than could have been imagined. Beginning with a service, Marcey and Aynslee are invited to a full revival, where serpents will appear and others acts of God presented. While Marcey does her best to focus on the ringleaders, she is intercepted by some who find her outsider nature to be more concerning. With a rapist still on the loose and a killer within the religious group, Marcey remains on guard and must find answers before she is revealed to be a skeptic. However, danger seems to find Marcey easily and she is pulled in deeper than she could have expected! which may leave her in dire straits before the cancer can ravage her body. A wonderfully compelling novel by Parks that tackles not only the forensics, but also struggles with religion, spirituality, and personal defeat. A must read by any reader whose interest strays into the forensics sciences.

Parks uses her Gwen Marcey character to emulate her own life experience, which shows in her writing. Detailed description of forensic artists and their techniques pepper the narrative as well as enrich the protagonist as she seeks to educate and undertake all tasks. This is an oft-forgotten aspect of forensics, so highlighting it appears to serve multiple purposes. Parks also ventures into the always-delicate area of religious groups for the second time, this time a Pentecostal sect whose use of serpents mirrors verses in the New Testament. Parks is able to present the idea as grounded in faith, even if Gwen Marcey’s character is skeptical of the whole thing, without being demeaning or dismissive. This is a strong theme throughout, as the reader explores the nuances of religious belief and is faced with some acts that may seem dangerous or outright silly. Parks turns inward on the Gwen Marcey struggle with the news that cancer is back and how she will handle her inevitable death. Marcey has been through this before, but its reemergence weighs heavily on her mind and loosely accepted soul. There are portions of the novel in which Marcey begins to have conversations with herself and others in her mind, which led me to wonder if these were less to rationalize events and more along the lines of delusions tied to the disease. How Parks is able to pull in so many characters who have touched Marcey without writing them into the story is quite smart, while also pushing the envelop with Marcey’s sanity and her grounded nature. The story plays out well and the characters support all needed aspects, allowing the reader to feel tied to everything, which not getting too bogged down in any single aspect. Parks shows her superior writing abilities in this regard and should be complimented for this approach. Truly a novel that has been well-crafted and succeeds in luring the reader in from the opening pages.

Kudos, Madam Parks for another stellar piece of writing. I cannot wait to see if Gwen Marcey returns for another adventure, should her health be up to it.

Private Rio: The Games (Private #11), by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan

Seven stars

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Patterson and Sullivan released this thriller from the Private series, shining a light on some of the major issues that have been reported by media outlets for years. When Jack Morgan attended the World Cup in 2014, Private did well at keeping the event secure in Rio. However, while everyone turned to the football (soccer) pitch, two poor Brazilian children died from a mysterious virus, Hydra, but received no coverage. At the World Cup’s Closing Ceremonies, one man was infected with Hydra, thanks to a doctor who sought to shine some light on the poor of Brazil, but even this was covered-up as Rio began its twenty-four month countdown to an even larger party. By the summer of 2016, Morgan is back in Rio, this time to enjoy the Olympics and provide some security consultation. However, when a rich benefactor contacts him after a family kidnapping, Morgan rushes to help and tries to keep things out of the media, days before the Opening Ceremonies. While he chases down an outrageous ransom demand, Morgan has hopes that this will not be a repeat of the drama he undertook in London four years before. Meanwhile, not feeling there was enough coverage of Rio and its poor, who are forced to live in slums, a virologist is prepared to unleash something that is sure to grab headlines. Having worked on Hydra, it is now more virulent than ever and has shown interesting results in experiments. As Morgan works alongside one of his Private Rio agents to deliver the ransom, the drop goes poorly, allowing the kidnappers to use their own political platform to expose some of the corruption the Olympics seeks to hide. However, it is the virus and plans to spread it during the Opening Ceremonies that sobers Morgan and forces him to rush to discover the ultimate plan. As the world watches, unaware of the major panic that could be unleashed, Private must reach a man who is past rational thinking. A fast-paced novel that leaves nothing in the tank and stirs up curiosity in the largest (and most expensive) sporting event(s) in the world.

While this series has received some criticism for all the permutations it has taken, when Sullivan teams up to direct the plot, things seem to develop successfully. I have come to find that the characters are a little better presented, the plots a little quicker (even if they can get hokey), and the dialogue more along the lines of what I am used to seeing. While this is by no means a stellar piece of literature, it serves its purpose to entertain and keep Jack Morgan from becoming too stale. What is ahead for Private, no one knows for sure, but this could be another step towards Patterson’s rejuvenation, as he lends his name to something with a strong foundation.

Kudos, Messrs. Patterson and Sullivan for creating another thriller that centres around a major event, while not shying away from some of the social issues that plague the background.

The Flip, by Michael Phillip Cash

Seven stars

Cash gives readers something else from the paranormal world in this highly entertaining novella. Brad and Julie Evans have an itch for flipping houses. While it has yet to flourish in to a profitable business, there is the potential, after a few ventures. After Julie insists they gamble on a Victorian home, Brad is leery because of all the work that it needs. He has become the contractor and handyman, keeping costs down, but even he feels that this might be more than he’s able to handle. While working one day, he is spotted by a ghost, the alluring Tessa, who has decided that he is her latest infatuation. Choosing not only to focus her attention on him, Tessa is also prepared to push Julie to the brink and keep Brad all for herself. After an incident costs Brad and Julie their home, they move into this old home as they try to regroup. This forces Brad and Julie to realise that there might be something haunted about this place, thought they are not able to determine its origin. As Tessa seeks to test her wiles, another ghost lingers closely, Gerard. He has long been interested in Tessa, as far back as when they lived during the Civil War. With Julie sensing they are not alone, Brad is left to experience some paranormal activity of his own before he will accept that there is something more to this house than dust bunnies and drafts coming from the attic. Cash tells a great story, meshing history with current events, which allows the reader to fully appreciate this story.

Cash always brings a paranormal aspect to his stories. While some might shy away from them due to their genre, they are more than beings who walk through walls and the living who struggle with an added presence. Cash seeks to use both past and presents narratives to build a common theme and offer the reader a thought-provoking story that explores countless ideas, entertaining and educating simultaneously. The stories flow well and the characters have a realistic flavour to them. While nothing that requires too much mental acuity, Cash does provide the reader with something they can ponder as they weave through the chapters and reach the climax of the paranormal revelation. Surely the theme works for Cash and can lure a curious reader into a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Kudos, Mr. Cash for another great story that provides the reader with something that is neither corny nor overly chilling to the bone.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

Nine stars

Garth Stein presents the reader with an interesting tale that spans years, both human and dog, to tell of a journey that will touch the heart and funny bone in ways not previously imaginable. Meet Enzo, who begins the story by announcing that he will die. This is nothing shocking as everyone’s life must end at some point. The reader ought not bat an eye, even when it turns out Enzo is a dog, for all creatures succumb to an eventual end. What follows is a story in which Enzo pulls the reader through a lifetime a memories and thoughts from his own perspective. With Denny Swift, Enzo’s owner, playing a central role, Enzo dashes through a narrative that commences on a farm and follows at a pace that only a dog could understand. Denny is a a race car driver of some renown, speeding along the tracks at breakneck speeds, something with which Enzo has some experience as he watches many a race on the television during his lonely days at home. When Eve enters the scene, Enzo must learn to share Denny’s affections, though he feels a closeness that no human could overtake when it comes to the master-dog relationship. From there, Zoë is born and Enzo struggles to come to terms with another new life in his surroundings, though his protective side permits him to share all the love the Swift household has to offer. At this point, the story spins in directions more dramatic than humourous, as Enzo faces such struggles as illness, custodial arrangements, and legal battles, all of which pull himself and Denny to the brink of collapse. However, nothing is more important than the relationship Enzo fostered with Denny all those years ago. Just as every race has its beginning, there is a checked flag to end the laps and call the drivers home. Enzo is not exempt from this and has to come to terms with his own mortality, though he is not ready to give it all up. He seeks to ease his way while protecting Denny from the hardship of loss, having seen so much with his master over the years. Stein offers a powerful story that touches the hearts of pet owners and mere reading enthusiasts alike with this exceptional piece.

Pitting an entire story from the perspective of a dog is a gamble that surely paid off for Stein when he wrote this. He is able to capture the reader and keep their attention for a few reasons, which resonated throughout the narrative. First and foremost, he mixes humour with serious issues to offer the reader an insight into the canine perspective and shows that it is more than just eat, sleep, repeat. Secondly, that the story was Enzo’s story without being Enzo’s Story proved highly effective. It offers the reader a look at everyday life and the struggles that others have without it being solely canine-centric. While I am sure there is a place for a story that depicts a dog’s slow struggle towards death, readers seeking that might want to flock to a book about an euphemistic cephalopod invasion of man’s best friend and an owner unable to cope with its reality. Thirdly, that Enzo can find his niche as a character in the aforementioned constant story and not as a sideline ‘third person’ or ‘omnipotent’ narrator allows the reader to feel that this story has complexities and that Enzo’s character is integral to the story’s progression. Yes, there is loss, struggle, and even death, but there is also life, vigour, and accomplishment peppered throughout these pages. Stein juggles these two emotional spheres so seamlessly that the reader does not realise the path down which they have travelled until the end, when it all comes together (and apart). For that, Stein deserves much credit. 

Kudos, Mr. Stein for this wonderful book. While I do not know how much was fiction, I applaud you for your creativity and you can rest assured, this book will come highly recommended to anyone I know.

The After House, by Michael Phillip Cash

Seven stars

Cash pens another story with a paranormal flavour in its plot, using both history and locale to entice the reader to forge onwards. Remy Galway thought she had it all when she had the man of her dreams and was motivated to make a name for herself. All this came into question after the birth of their daughter, Olivia, when Remy started to see a change in Scott. His tender moments were replaced with lies and his soothing embrace became fists to the face. Decimated, but refusing to accept her parents’ charity, Remy took Olivia and found a a place of her own, a rental property Cold Spring Harbor. As Remy and Olivia settle, they are not aware that the home was once inhabited by Captain Eli Gaspar, a famous whaler from the 19th century, whose ghost remains on the premises. Gaspar was none too pleased with the ladies living in his home and did all he could to push them out, in ways only a devious sailor could devise. However, Olivia was having none of it and kept the apparition in his place by refusing to scare and pushing back to mock the little man. While Remy could not see the Captain, she definitely felt the wrath he left around the house, still unsure what was going on. When the town historian comes to pay her a visit, more at her parents’ insistence than for any other reason, Remy begins to develop a connection with Hugh Matthews. They share a bond and he is able to enlighten her a little more about the house in which she lives and Gaspar’s past. After a series of incidents that the Captain swears were not of his doing, Remy is hospitalised and Hugh vows to do whatever he can to help her. Their bond becomes stronger and they soon realise they are meant to be together. Meanwhile, the Captain has been trying to make sense of his own life and the struggle of the family he lost in the 1840s when he was too busy at sea. With a little help from the paranormal world, Gaspar soon finds a pathway that has eluded him. A well concocted story that keeps the reader sailing through the pages with ease, Cash’s story is a sure investment to a contented afternoon of reading.

As Cash mentions in the early part of the book, the after house on a ship is a protected area where seamen can seek shelter from weather and other issues on ship. In this story, as far as metaphors go, Cash creates an after house of the actual house, allowing the likes of Remy, Olivia, and even Captain Eli to seek shelter from the torrential life that is rushing past them. While some may look at this story and say, ‘ghosts and haunting? I’ll pass!’ there is so much more to this story than that. The plot and characters ever surpass the syrupy lovey-dovey aspects it would seem are present throughout, especially with Hugh and Remy. Cash weaves a wonderful story that works on many levels and entertains all the while. This novella is well-researched and its movement between the present and Captain Eli’s past tells a double-barrel story that keeps the readers intrigued until the very end. I have always enjoyed Cash’s work, even if the paranormal has never been one of my subjects of greatest interest.

Kudos, Mr. Cash for another great story that pulls numerous genres together into something that can be read in a single sitting.

Deadly Medicine (Capital Crimes #29), by Donald Bain

Seven stars

Bain continues to carry the torch for Margaret Truman’s long-running series set in the American capital. Jayla King lives a quiet life in DC, working for a pharmaceutical company. When she learns of her father’s death in her native Papua New Guinea (PNG), King rushes back to discover that he has been murdered and the work he has been doing on plant-based pain medicines is ruined. Taking the documentation back with her, King is distraught and unsure if Dr. Preston King’s research could have a place in a drug-laden country like the United States. Dr. King’s assistant, Eugene Waksit, has the same feeling and stews over the fact that Jayla took all her father’s research, leaving him nothing, though he was a key player throughout the research gathering in PNG. Waksit begins an elaborate plan to make his way to Washington and peddle what he feels is rightfully his. Local authorities begin to piece together what might have happened to Dr. King, learning that an American company, Alard Associates, sent someone to commit the crime and burn the crops before they could be harvested. Back in DC, Jayla approached Mac Smith to assist her with the legal conundrums of moving forward with her father’s research and liaising with a PNG attorney surrounding her father’s probate. Private Investigator Robert Brixton, who works extensively with Smith, learns of Jayla’s concerns and agrees to help where he can. He is, however, in the middle of an investigation for a journalist friend of his, tracking down some leads related to a US Senator who procured an abortion for a teenage girl through a high-powered lobbyist with ties to the pharmaceutical community. The deeper that Brixton digs, the more he learns, both about the abortion and about a shady company, Alard Associates. When Smith and Jayla share their news about Dr. King’s killer, everything comes together and Brixton tries to package the two investigations together. Waksit arrives in DC and targets Jayla, stealing the research before trying to sell it to the highest bidder, though its primitive nature makes it harder to offload, which leads the researcher to take drastic actions. As the novel reaches its climax, Brixton takes a significant gamble in the investigation, one that could cost people their lives, as Washington elite will do anything to protect a precious reputation. Bain does a wonderful job at spinning this tale that takes the political drama of Washington and turns in on its ear. A decent addition to the long-running series that might even impress Margaret Truman herself.

I have been a fan of Truman and this series for as long as I can remember. I recall revelling in all the adventures that Mac Smith found himself. With the passing of Margaret Truman, I was sure the series would come to a close, but Donald Bain stepped in and took the reins. While he introduced Robert Brixton and wrestled the role of protagonist away from Mac Smith, the lawyer has not vanished from the pages of the series, but settled nicely into a more background position (though this novel defies that role). Bain is able to present cogent plots, still dripping wth political intrigue, and a cast of excellent characters, all of whom somehow befriend Mac Smith. The story moves effectively without dragging but keeping many storylines developing throughout. Even a personal angle on Robert Brixton as he continues to deal with the ‘murder’ of his daughter keeps the readers hooked on the backstories as they develop. The series is in good hands for the foreseeable future.

Kudos, Mr. Bain on another stellar piece of writing. I am sure Truman would applaud your effort as you pursue new and interesting perspectives for the reader to enjoy.

Cross Kill: A BookShot (Alex Cross #23.5), by James Patterson

Eight stars

Patterson takes the reins in this BookShot that tells a great story from the author’s longest-running series. While working at a local church to bring hot breakfasts to those in need, Alex Cross is confronted by a man firing a gun. When Cross and his partner, John Sampson, try to corner the man, Sampson is shot in the head and left for dead as Cross tries to pursue. Failing to do so, Cross cannot help but realise that his old nemesis, Gary Soneji, is the man doing the firing. Problem is, Soneji has been dead for over a decade and Cross saw him die. With Sampson clinging to life in the ICU, Cross must determine if it was Soneji he saw and where the criminal mastermind might be hiding. Working some leads puts Cross in the crosshairs and has him shot at on a few other occasions, with Soneji taunting from the shadows. When he eventually trips upon a sadistic Soneji fan club, Cross wonders if the group is idolising a dead man or harbouring a fugitive. Torn between sitting with Sampson as things take a turn for the worse and finding Soneji, Cross must make the ultimate sacrifice to save himself and those he loves. With an explosive ending that will leave the reader slack jawed, Patterson delivers something reminiscent of his writing of old. 

I have devoured the six BookShots on which I have been able to put my hands, finding each one a unique journey into stories that stir the mind and keep the heart pumping. This is the first BookShot of Patterson’s core series and he does not disappoint. Using the central Cross characters effectively, he is also able to instil a wonderful sense of dread with the reemergence of Soneji and how that is processed. The story flows effectively and Alex Cross is at his best, struggling between his job and those he loves in a way only he has mastered. If other BookShots fit as nicely into the Patterson series, readers are in for a wonderful treat over the next year or two.

Kudos, Mr. Patterson for rediscovering your niche and writing effective and superior pieces. I can only hope that this will continue, both in BookShots and full-length novels.

Break Point: A BookShot, by James Patterson and Lee Stone

Seven stars

Patterson serves up another great BookShot with the help of Lee Stone, setting this one in the cutthroat world of professional tennis. Kirsten Keller is at the top of her game as she continues a meteoric rise in the world of professional tennis. At match point in the French Open finals, Keller loses her concentration and collapses into a fit of tears before rushing off the court. Something and someone has her spooked, so much so that before she heads to London for Wimbledon, she hires former Metropolitan Police officer, Chris Foster, to protect her. Foster is keen to keep Keller safe from whomever is lurking in the shadows, but this stalker will stop at nothing to get under her skin and is happy not to let Foster stand in their way. While she is left letters, messages etched in blood, and hidden surveillance footage, Keller must stay focused while Foster continues the hunt. During the Wimbledon tournament, tragedy strikes close to home for Keller, which only pushes her closer to Foster, perhaps too close. As the finals approach, Foster is convinced that he must keep Keller on her game while tracking down this individual, who has taken bold risks in order to get the message across. There is not time for Foster to double fault this assignment, which forces him to pull out every option to deliver an ace and keep Keller alive. A fast-paced story that keeps the reader curious to the final serve.

Yet another BookShot that offers the reader something they can devour in short order. The story has a little of everything: great action, corny romance, a stalker scenario, and minor narrative errors to keep the attentive reader on their toes. Patterson has enlisted the help of Stone, who surely knows how to woo the reader with enough tennis lingo to keep it mostly realistic. One cannot expect in-depth dialogue, but what does appear remains highly realistic, as does the premise of the story. Who is this stalker and how have they been able to get so close to Kirsten Keller? It’s the hook that pulls the reader in, game, set, and match! 

Kudos, Messrs. Patterson and Stone for this great read that flows so smoothly and takes up such a short amount of time. I am eager to see if this is a partnership that shall be seen again, either with full novels or in the BookShot world.