Tag Archives: Set in Cambodia

Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken

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Summary: passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

 

My review: I absolutely loved how the author took three very strong characters from very different time periods and made them come together.  The author did a fantastic job making you feel for each character.

I loved Etta and Nicholas I loved even more how the author used a half black character.  I think this is something that is missing in the YA genre and I absolutely loved reading the story and the chemistry that has developed between the two.

Also do I really have to wait a whole freaking year for book 2?  This really sucks.

When it comes to the time travel aspect, I have mentioned numerous times how much it bothers me that authors can’t seem to dumb time travel down to where us mere mortals can understand.  While there were times the author got technical, it wasn’t so technical that I stopped reading.  I enjoyed this concept of time travel and I really can’t wait for for book 2.

Hunters in the Dark by Lawrence Osborne

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Summary: From the novelist the New York Times compares to Paul Bowles, Evelyn Waugh and Ian McEwan, an evocative new work of literary suspense

Adrift in Cambodia and eager to side-step a life of quiet desperation as a small-town teacher, 28-year-old Englishman Robert Grieve decides to go missing. As he crosses the border from Thailand, he tests the threshold of a new future.

And on that first night, a small windfall precipitates a chain of events– involving a bag of “jinxed” money, a suave American, a trunk full of heroin, a hustler taxi driver, and a rich doctor’s daughter– that changes Robert’s life forever.

Hunters in the Dark is a sophisticated game of cat and mouse redolent of the nightmares of Patricia Highsmith, where identities are blurred, greed trumps kindness, and karma is ruthless. Filled with Hitchcockian twists and turns, suffused with the steamy heat and pervasive superstition of the Cambodian jungle, and unafraid to confront difficult questions about the machinations of fate, this is a masterful novel that confirms Lawrence Osborne’s reputation as one of our finest contemporary writers.

My Review: When I read the summary of the book I believe I was anticipating something different, what I got was way better than what I anticipated.

I sided with Robert, he was board in life, he wanted a change he wanted to disappear. I have been through this ironically I went through the same mindset at 28 myself. I didn’t take the leap like Robert but I sure dreamed of it.

What follows this leap was one heck of adventure from gambling the rest of his money for the chance at $2000 would set the thrilling events that take place in this book into motion.

I was excited about this book because it is set in Cambodia not many books are set in Cambodia and it was nice to give insight into this country. I loved the descriptions of the people, the landscapes. I felt like I was in Cambodia.

This book is beautifully written that will make your heart pump nonstop. I have never read this author but I will continue to read him.

 

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review, as always the opinions are my own.

The Amazing Journey by Grady Hicks

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Summary: 28 Days-24,000 miles-22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites-12 Cultures and Beliefs-1 Amazing Journey The Amazing Journey is a fast-paced, true story of Grady and Austin Hicks, a father and son who travel the world for twenty-eight days before Austin attends college. Austin is the first of three Hicks children who embark on this globe-trotting tradition with their father. In the spirit of adventure, their route and activities are kept secret-even from family. They complete daily, self-imposed Journey Tasks that deliberately immerse them into cultural authenticity, and far outside their comfort zones. As the journey unfolds, it becomes clear that these travelers are in store for much more than unfamiliar landscapes. From foreign militaries to spiritual clairvoyance, from serious illness to unnerving dares, The Amazing Journey reminds us to connect with people-be it those closest to you or those across the world-to test your limits, and to trust the Journey.

Paperback: $13.99 U.S. $17.50 CAN ISBN 13: 978-0-9864208-0-1
Hardback: $22.99 U.S. $27.25 CAN ISBN 13: 978-0-9864208-1-8
E-book: $9.99 ISBN 13: 978-0-9864208-3-2
TRAVEL / Special Interest / Family / Adventure

OH how I envy Grady & Austin. My original idea was to interview Mr. Hicks about his adventure, but as I am a claims adjuster in the Dallas area, we have had massive flooding that resulted in my extra time being dedicated to those that have lost everything. My saving grace was reading this adventure on my lunch break. Grady and Austin have accomplished what I dream of, to travel around the world jump outside of their comfort zones. I smiled, I laughed and I even talked about segments of the book with my co-workers.

Keeping their plans secret was brilliant, it was secret between father & son, and I loved exploring what they did on their secret adventure. I laughed at Grady’s take on sky diving (I agree, he is MUCH braver than me!). I loved how they planned their adventure on The Amazing Race, a show I also love.

What I enjoyed most about this story is the way that Grady expressed travel changes you. Travel is so much more than seeing the Eiffel tower and ancient ruins, it is stepping out of your comfort zone, finding who you are, immersing yourself into a different way of life. Travel changes you, and you can see the change in this memoir.

“I’m trying to prepare you for something deeper than a long weekend in Jamaica.”

This is the line that hooked me, and made me a fan of Grady. Grady get’s it, and he is preparing his son for the journey. Travel is a journey. That is why this book is amazing, Grady gets that.

I read travel memoirs I thrive on reading travel memoirs, because I love reading about experiences of other’s that travel because it gives me the satisfaction of knowing I am not alone when I preach that true travel changes you. This beautiful book does that, because not only do you see the change in Grady you see Austin change through his father’s eyes.

I can’t wait to read about the next adventure Grady is going to have with his daughter, starting in 10 days! I really hope he tweets when he can (yes I follow him on twitter now). The travel community really needs to read this book, you will not be disappointed.

This 5 star book is a heart warming story that shows the true meaning of travel. Change.

PS: Grady I am in the Dallas area! I would love to meet you & discuss your travels in further detail! I can’t wait for your next book!

Grady Hicks

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Grady is a native Texan whose family has lived and
worked in North Texas since the 1850s. He is an avid
traveler who has made his home base in Arlington,
TX, where he returns to relax in the backyard with his
family and to plan his next destination. He lives with
his wife of 27 years, Belinda. Their three children now
attend university, majoring in mechanical engineering,
business communication, and elementary education.
Grady is currently writing the second book in The
Amazing Journey series and planning the global
adventure that will become the third book.