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January 18, 2008 Edition

The Whale Road, by Robert Low


When Orm Rurikson is only 15 he is recruited by a band of Viking raiders in time to join them on an epic quest. The band has been hired to obtain the religious relic that accompanies a legendary mountain of silver Ė Attila the Hunís sword, said to have been forged from the spear that pierced the ďWhite ChristísĒ side. But they arenít the only ones looking for the treasure, and they find themselves racing against time to find the cache, accompanied by a rescued witch who claims to know its location. Their travels take them from Norway to England, through Russia and into the Middle East.

The Sound of Butterflies, by Rachael King


When Thomas Edgar is invited to become part of an expedition to the Amazon in January of 1904, he jumps at the chance to study his beloved butterflies. But he finds himself enmeshed in a cruelly stratified society in which the nouveau riche European rubber barons wield the power of life and death over the natives. He returns home mute and scarred from his part in a power struggle with his benefactor in Brazil. It is up to his wife, Sophie, to discover the ways in which he has failed her and himself and to decide whether or not to forgive him.

Endless Blue, by Wen Spencer


When the warp drive of a long-lost human ship is found, covered with coral and other remnants of sea life, humans, at war with aliens known as nefrim, are desperate for a miracle. No one knows where the drive has been, but Mikhail Volkov, captain of the Svoboda, is sent on a suicide mission to find out. In the confusion of the shipís crash landing on the planet Sargasso, his foster brother, Turk, gets separated and taken hostage by a seafaring salvage ship. By the time Turk and Mikhail are reunited, Mikhail has found the answer to the humanís nefrim problem, but canít get Svoboda repaired. The captain, Paige Bailey, might be persuaded to help Turk and Mikhail and the remainder of the crew get home and save their world, if only the humansí answer didnít jeopardize her familyís business.

Darkness Falls, by Kyle Mills


Long ago, Erin Neal helped develop a strain of bacteria for use in cleaning up oil spills: now, this scientist-turned-environmentalist is brought in as the lead consultant on a puzzling scenario featuring previously productive oil fields in Saudi Arabia. When he realizes that his helpful strain of bacteria has developed a voracious appetite and a new ability to proliferate, he suspects deliberate mutation by eco-terrorists. If the infestation isnít stopped soon, the industrial world will be thrown back into the dark ages in this plausible apocalyptic thriller.

The Entitled, by Frank Deford


Howie Traveler is on top of the world Ė his dream job has become reality and he is the proud manager of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. Thereís nothing heíd rather do, and really, nowhere else for him to be after his own baseball career, marriage, and other job options have fizzled. Still, heís good at his job and more than up to the challenge of working with his superstar outfielder, Jay Alcazar, who has never met a situation he couldnít control, on or off the field. But one night at a hotel, Traveler sees Alcazar pull a woman into his hotel room and slam the door; the next day, Alcazar is facing rape charges. With his job at stake if he admits to what he saw, and his conscience crying out when he dissembles to the cops, Traveler seeks his lawyer daughterís advice.

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