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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ends of the Earth by Tim Downs

The FBI has called upon forensic entomologist Nick Polchak once again because of the unexplained happenings on a North Carolina tobacco farm. Number one, the farmer died without explanation. Number two, a strange fungus is growing on all the crops in the surrounding area.

When Nick arrives, he meets the last person on earth he expected to meet-Kathryn Guiliford. Only her last name isn't Guiliford anymore. The farmer who died was her husband. All she has left his her autistic daughter and Nick.

But Alena, the Witch of Endor from Less Than Dead isn't going to let Nick go easily. She shows up on the farm with her dogs to reclaim her prize. Then she meets Kathryn.

What Tim Downs has done with Ends of the Earth is something he hasn't done at all in the entire Bug Man series-resurrect a previous female lead. Not only one, but two, for the sake of polling his fans on which female Nick should marry in the end.

But that is only why he resurrected Kathryn, and everyone can see that. That's why Alena is currently winning the poll. Kathryn's personality has changed for this particular conflict-just to make it interesting.

But that's not the only problem. The villain is extremely obvious. From page one I knew who the villain was. But Tim Downs didn't even try to hide who the villain was. He just tells the reader outright.

"Save the world" situations have got to be one of the most worn out plot ideas ever. The world has been saved too many times. The only original way to end this type of plot now is to have the world not saved.

The biggest pluses to the book are how Nick and Alena remain to be imperfect yet entertaining characters through it all and how the villain's subplot ends.

The Bug Man series remains to be an anomaly in my mind. There is no pattern to the ratings of each book. Also, each one is about something entirely different. Murder, organ donation, disaster relief, and fungi to name a few. It's been an entertaining series, but I believe Ends of the Earth should be the end.

3 stars

By the way Tim needs his readers to vote for the end of the book! You can do so here. We endorse Alena!

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