Detectives, Race Wars, and Prophets

You know what happens when you live in the Midwest, and it hits 60°F on Christmas Day, then plummets to the teens, then goes back to the 30s, with rain, and then plummets again to a wind chill of -12°? If you’re like me, you get sick. You would think that being sick would give you oodles of time to read, right? Not so. I was often so congested that I could barely hold up my head. In any case, I managed to complete 3 books (and start another 6 or so).

Gun Machine by Warren Ellis

Gun Machine

NYPD Detective John Tallow and his partner, Jim Rosato, answer a call about a naked man waving a shotgun in an apartment building. The call ends in tragedy, but opens up a can of worms. Tallow stumbled upon an apartment filled with guns. As the guns are processed, it is discovered that each of these firearms has been used to kill someone. The Hunter, as he is termed throughout the book, has a dangerous purpose, one that Tallow, with the help of crime scene techs Scarly and Bat, realizes goes back 20 years and is intended to continue for several years more. Dark, morbid, and somewhat disturbing, this book gleefully details the lengths humans go through to hurt each other and fulfill their ambitions, however misguided. 3 stars for readability and being excellent nightmare fodder.
Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch #7)
Commander Sam Vimes is faced with one of the hardest cases of his career in the Watch. A dwarf is dead, the culprit appears to be a troll, there’s a vampire asking to join up with his force, and he needs to be home by 6 pm to read a story to his son. Tensions in the city of Ankh-Morpork are running high due to the murdered dwarf. It’s Koom Valley -the infamous battle between dwarves and trolls- all over again unless Vimes can solve the mystery. Features some of my favorite Watch characters, including Captain Carrot, the human dwarf, and Angua, the werewolf. Another great story from Discworld. 4 stars for readability and hilarious dialogue.
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
WARNING: This is book is very controversial, which made me very eager to read it. And i wasn’t disappointed. Not at all.
Using accepted historical evidence, Reza Aslan argues that the Jesus the Christ we know is not the Jesus of Nazareth who was. Beginning with records, Aslan sets the tone of his compelling tale by challenging the Gospels. He then digs deeper into history, explaining why verses in the Bible probably do not mean what we think they mean. In this way, Aslan presents a radical, seditious zealot, who was a product of his time and environment, and commands us to compare him to the humble, pacifistic preacher we have loved for almost 2000 years. I have some quibbles with language – Aslan’s (over)use of the word “cult”, for example – but find myself agreeing that the argument and evidence in context make sense. History and faith are different things, and offer different points of view. 4 stars for readability and research.
I’ve got another 10 or so books on my current shelf, so stay tuned for more. In the meantime, go and read something…because Sumayyah Said So.

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