#Review of A Wolf Called Romeo

#Readers of stories about #nature will certainly enjoy this bittersweet tale by Nick Jans. The author tells the true story of a remarkable wild black wolf that decided to be quite social and friendly with the residents of Juneau, Alaska, especially their dogs.

It all began one night in the dead of winter, December 2003, when the author, his wife, and one of their dogs have a close meeting with a young black lone wolf on Mendenhall Lake, part of the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area near Juneau. Over the next seven years, until 2009, this wolf purposefully and regularly engaged with the residents and their dogs in that area, mostly in a playful manner.

Jans, a former hunter, including of wolves, and a photographer, shares the details of this wild wolf and his life (the parts that are known) in beautiful fashion, mixing in key information about this top predator species and its battle for existence on our shared home–Earth.

Humans continue to amaze me with their extreme displays of compassion and cruelty, wisdom and ignorance. In the famous words of Chief Seattle, “the Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth”. 5 Stars.

#Review of A Game of Thrones

#Readers of #fantasy adventure sagas certainly don’t need me to tell them how fantastic this first book in the series is. Author George R.R. Martin launched a tremendous series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which offers the reader an incredible story littered with numerous characters, families, and histories. It is vast in its scope, and yet the small details are not forsaken. In fact, Martin showcases his formidable story craft and writing prowess, as one would expect from such a writer.

If you are a fan of the HBO series, #GOT, as I am, then you know the appeal. And, I would encourage you to read the books in the series, which will further enrich your GOT experience, and relive the TV shows as well. Yes, the books are hefty, but well worth it. 5 Stars. Onto A Clash of Kings!

#Review of Red Sparrow

#Readers of spy #thrillers will most likely enjoy this debut novel by Jason Matthews, a former officer of the CIA’s Operations Directorate (now the National Clandestine Service-NCS). Matthews writes with authenticity, for sure. The story centers around the development of a Russian intelligence officer (spy) named Dominika Egorova. She is the daughter of parents less than loyal to the regime. However, at first, Dominika is highly nationalistic, until the Russian Federation’s spy handlers begin to piss her off by: 1) sending her to Sparrow (seductress) school, and 2) using her in a high level murder cover-up.

Thus begins her unconscious conversion, which becomes conscious upon assignment to trap a CIA officer, Nate Nash, who runs a CIA mole within the Russian intelligence service (SVR).

For me, Matthews offers competent storytelling, but the writing craft needs some work. His style appears to be run-on sentences (like Ludlum’s sentence fragments). 3.5 Stars.