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Book Review:Kato Origins+Angel of the Opera+Tomorrow When The War Began+Memory Prime

Kato Origins Volume One: Way of the Ninja written by Jai Nitz
This is a spin off from ‘The Green Hornet: Year One’. It is 1942 and Kato is posing as Korean to avoid internment as he is Japanese. A policeman knocks on Britt Reid’s door as he wants to talk to Reid’s manservant. A Korean man has been killed and they would like Kato to help.

Kato falls for the dead man’s daughter Jung Noh. He learns the murder is part of a web of intrigue which he solves at some cost. This is very good and sad.

Best Lines:
The rich like to play dress-up don’t they?”

“I drove the Black Beauty through her hydrangeas the next night.”

“I forge your signature quite well you know.”


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The Angel of the Opera by Sam Siciliano
Sherlock Holmes visits the Paris opera house and duels wits with Le Fantome de l’opera. Can he save the dim Christine Daae and the obnoxious Raoul from their own rank stupidity?

This is a fairly enjoyable melding of le Fantome and Holmes. It goes into great detail about the opera house layout and the world of 1890. However it has one glaring flaw. The author loathes Watson and so he’s absent from this tome. Instead the book is narrated by the author’s Mary-Sue creation Holmes’ cousin and BFF Henry.

Siciliano cannot let a chapter go by without having Holmes and Henry the Mary-Sue berate Watson for being stupid, a bad writer, an incompetent doctor and how he isn’t Holmes’ friend at all. Holmes’ character is changed to fit the plot to boot.

If one can overlook that irritation, then this is okay. It is certainly better than Richard L. Boyer’s Holmes novel ‘The Giant Rat of Sumatra’ which was an incompetent mess that featured neither a giant rat nor Sumatra.

Best Lines:
“My enemies could tell you – if any were still alive – that it is unwise to annoy me.”

“Now, Christine, you must let go of my leg. This theatrical display is trite and annoys me.”


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Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden
The first in a saga. In a remote Australian farm town of Wirrawee, seven friends plan an adventure. They will camp in a remote valley and have fun. Their camping trip is a great success but then it is time to return home. But when they get back they find their homes deserted, their animals dead or dying and the telephones not working.

The horrific truth dawns, Wirrawee is the beachhead for an invasion and colonization. The friends decide to fight back and begin a guerrilla campaign. This is a good adventure tale and I want to read the rest of the saga. There are quibbles though: why are no countries coming to Australia’s aid? And who are the invading nation?

Best Line:
“Either I’ve been using some very strange and heavy stuff or else this is not a typical day in the life of Wirrawee."

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Star Trek #16: Memory Prime by Gar and Judith Reeves-Stevens
From the authors of ‘Prime Directive’ and ‘Federation’ comes this tale of AI’s, murder and a really annoying commodore. This book’s take on AI’s and their place in the Federation is now way out of date, but this is still a good intriguing read.

Kirk is taking scientists to Memory Prime for a science conference but things are going wrong and Spock is being accused. They have to save the day under difficult circumstances. This is far superior to other old Trek novels like ‘Home is the Hunter’ and ‘The Captain’s Daughter’.
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review, star trek, the green hornet, tomorrow when the war began
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