Category Archives: Book Reviews

Wyoming Book Reviews

Black Hare (The Aspects Book 1)
By Toni L.H. Boughton
Toni L.H. Boughton, 2017

Toni Boughton, veteran writer of the Wolf in the Land of Dead trilogy, brings to life a world that is at once familiar as it is fantastic in Black Hare. Part horror, part fantasy, part mystery, this book has something for everyone.

Rook, a woman driven by demons both real and psychological, finds herself unwillingly settling down in small town Wyoming where everything is not as it seems. Her only companion, a spectral black hare she can’t shake, provides little comfort and represents a responsibility – and a past – she would rather forget. Meanwhile, the town of Red Horse River is suffering from a series of brutal and fiery deaths that perhaps only Rook can stop – if she can find a way to overpower the threatening evil, and discover the good in herself.

I was enthralled by this story and it’s beautifully complicated heroine, and found Boughton’s setting and story-telling intensely immersive. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a unique, fast-paced read and can’t wait for the next installment!

Brenna Philbrick, Library Assistant, Senior
University of Wyoming Coe Library

Dilemmas of the Angels: Poems
By David Romtvedt
Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 2017

David Romtvedt of Buffalo, Wyoming is a professor of creative writing at UW, the former poet laureate of Wyoming, the author of ten published works of prose and poetry, and my favorite Wyoming poet. Dilemmas of the Angels is an impressive and enjoyable collection of bittersweet poems of the supernatural contrasted with everyday life, of both the foreign and the familiar. Every third or fourth poem in the collection continues the “dilemmas of the angels,” which imagine the everyday lives and inner thoughts of those celestial beings. In between these are touching poems of fatherhood, such as those about his young daughter, like “Sunday Morning Early” and “Surprise Breakfast,” along with other compelling poems about his experiences in Africa, such as “Western Aid” and “One-Legged Dancer.” This volume is highly recommended for all collections and will join other Romtvedt works like his previous poetry collection Some Church and the memoir Windmill: Essays from Four Mile Ranch on my personal bookshelf.

Elaine Jones Hayes, Assistant Manager Reference Services / Special Collections Librarian
Laramie County Library System

Wyoming Book Reviews

Drifting Yukon:  living in two worlds with Yup’ik Eskimo salmon hunters
By Dan Syljuberget
Rapid City, SD : Black Hills Books, 2016.

Picture this: Mid ’80s, Western Oregon State College, first day of class, non-traditional students Dan (an anglo), and Allen and Clara (Eskimo siblings from a Yup’ik village in Alaska). As class begins Allen and Clara enter and sit near Dan. The ensuing conversation starts the adventure of a lifetime. This linear narrative adventure captures Dan helping his Yup’ik friends, who are struggling with alcohol and lifelong habits, adjust to college culture. The friendship is so strong that the Yup’ik eventually invite Dan to spend the summer fishing in Alaska. As he settles into life at the Yup’ik primitive fishing camp, Dan experiences a similar culture shock. The rustic lifestyle pushes the author to the limit. The satisfying, yet intriguing, conclusion of the book leaves you comparing the lives of the Yup’ik with those of the Native Americans in the lower 48. Great descriptive narrative of Dan’s adventure and college life for the Eskimos makes this book hard to put down!

Richard Landreth, Library Media Specialist
Campbell County School District 1

 

Booger
By Eugene M. Gagliano
Denver : Outskirt Press, 2016.

Booger is an entertaining story of a 12 year old boy and his struggle to earn money to buy a new bicycle since he wrecked his the previous summer. In 1957, he “needs” a bike to get around. He has many adventures while earning money including dog walking, babysitting a boy who thinks he can fly and jumps off a roof, baking cookies (a disaster), and finally doing odd jobs for a widow. He tries to do the right thing, thinking that he doesn’t have to tell the whole truth and his adventures are humorous. He lies to the widow about a broken vase but finally tells her the truth knowing it might mean no bike. But the widow let him know “it takes a person of character to tell the truth” and he continues to work for her and learns his lessons about telling the truth.

Betty Abbott, Education Programs Manager
Wyoming Department of Corrections

 

Wyoming Book Reviews

Destiny at Dry Camp
By John D. Nesbitt
Waterville, Maine : Five Star, a part of Gale Cengage Learning [2017]

He appears out of the hazy mountains of Eastern Wyoming, to right old wrongs. J. R. Dunbar stirs up long-submerged conflicts and unravels a mysterious sequence of events while meting out justice in a time-honored Old West way, with his pistol. John Nesbitt’s fans will recognize Dunbar from his previous appearances in Dark Prairie (2013) and Death in Cantera (2016). As seen through the eyes of young Whit Barnett, the story unfolds at a relaxed pace with evidence uncovered through conversations with a variety of ranchers and townspeople. The tale builds to a surprising climax, but there are hints along the way for the careful reader. Destiny at Dry Camp is an interesting mix of murder mystery and western novel, so it should appeal to fans of both genres. Since the story stands on its own, it isn’t necessary to have read the previous two Dunbar novels before reading this one, but having read this book will make the reader want to track down Nesbitt’s other works.  Be sure to check out his website at www.johndnesbitt.com, or consult your local library.

Sandy Barstow, Head of Collection Development
University of Wyoming Libraries

Vicious Circle
By C.J. Box
New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017

This latest installment in the Joe Pickett series is one of C.J. Box’s finest books yet. Revenge is the name of the game and Joe, along with his friend through thick and thin, Nate Romanowski, are playing a cat and mouse game that will keep readers on the edge of their seat. Joe’s feelings of guilt about his part in the downfall of the Cates family plays a big part in Joe’s willingness to cut Dallas and his mother, Brenda, some slack, even as he realizes there’s bound to be a day of reckoning when Dallas is released from prison. This all changes when Joe’s family starts to be systematically stalked and attacked, and his house is burned to the ground. How many people will have to die to satisfy Dallas’s twisted sense of justice? Will Joe’s feelings of inadequacy in his ability to protect his family paralyze him or motivate him? Can Nate and Joe stop the cycle of revenge before it’s too late? Don’t miss this thriller page turner!

Twila Pilcher, Paraprofessional
Hulett School