28 March 2012

Stationery Card from Shutterfly!

Shutterfly has a huge selection of personalizable (is that even a word?) stationary cards for all occasions!  Here is one I recently ordered- thank you notes for graduation!

Classic Colors Graduation Announcement
Click here for Shutterfly's graduation announcements & gifts.
View the entire collection of cards.

11 March 2012

What I'm Reading: Endworlds by Nicholas Read

First off, I'm sorry for  disappearing for the past few weeks!  Between being sick and trying to keep up with school and my thesis, I've just been extremely busy.

In that time, though, I've been trying my best to keep up with books I've promised to review.  The first of those is Endworlds by Nicholas Read.

Here is a synopsis of the series (which Endworlds is the first of), courtesy of NetGalley:

The conspiracy is real. Last decade, scientists made an astonishing discovery. Their telescopes looked out further than ever before and found another galaxy churning into the Milky Way. And in 2012, Earth flies right through the heart of that debris field . . . suns, planets, the works.The media is gagged. But the elite families know an extinction event when they see one. Cue the biggest and most expensive machine ever built: a particle accelerator in an underground silo, using quantum physics to punch a hole to a new world, a safe world.Only it isn't. Just ask those who patrol the quarantine. Those known only as Longcoats. From secret files, exclusive journals and years of investigative journalism, Endworlds pieces together for the first time how a disgraced billionaire, a rogue General and an ancient cult are shaping the world you think you live in, and the one soon to come. Read the Book. Join the Hunt. Save the World. 
And here is a synopsis of the book itself, courtesy of Amazon:

Billionaire industrialist Raef Eisman loses his daughter on an airliner in midair after flying through a strange electrical storm. With no body, no ransom and no explanation, he embarks on a crusade to find her . . . which sees him ousted from his company, stripped of his fortune and vilified by the world press. Only his faithful assistant, retired special forces colonel William Hills, stands at his side as they uncover primitive legends of ‘skypeople’ in the clouds, the trafficking of humans between dimensions, and a worldwide conspiracy of revisionist history that obscures our race’s true origin and purpose.Thought mad by his peers, Eisman inexplicably disappears as his vehicle plunges into the Thames. Instead of the 50-year old corporate raider emerging from the depths, a soggy 15-year old amnesiac rises in his place. A boy with no identity and no past.Dubbed “Eastwood” by those who find “the boy with no name”, he is conscripted by an underground army of teen refugees in the tunnels below Waterloo. Wards of an ancient organization intent on protecting the world from an increasing alien and inter-dimensional threat, these “Longcoats” induct Eastwood into a new life, with new allies and deadly enemies: the Fae’er of the First Age; the ageless Cassandrans; the shadowy Dae’mon; and a covert military junta known only as GRID - all on a collision course.

As you can probably tell from reading this synopsis, Endworlds is an interactive book which includes an on-line and real life treasure hunt based on clues provided on the Longcoats website.  I was intrigued by this idea- I've seen it become more popular recently, with series such as The 39 Clues, but I've never personally read or tried to participate in anything like this before.

To be clear, I have not finished reading Endworlds yet, but I have become completely intrigued by the path the story is taking.  The book starts off in what appears to be our modern-day society, with nothing out of the ordinary to suggest inconsistencies in the universe.  However, as the story progresses, more and more things seem to be out of place.  For example, early in the story, the main character's daughter disappears in a rather mysterious and strange way.  This event sets the tone for the rest of the book, and it guides the characters as well as the reader's mindset as the story progresses.  What was most interesting to me is that the book begins like it is realistic fiction, and while there are elements to the story that I would consider to be either sci-fi or dystopian-esque, the book is designed to be read as realistic fiction approaching non-fiction (think Lemony Snicket).

I am eager to continue reading Endworlds and subsequently, participate in the on-line adventure as well.  I would recommend this book to teenagers who enjoy mystery or science fiction, as well as "reluctant readers" who may be more inclined to read a book that has an interactive on-line component to go along with it.

FTC Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for free from NetGalley.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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