Book Review of “The Lost Prince”

“The Lost Prince” was published in 2013 and is the first of the “Star chase” series. It was written by Saxon Andrew who has published more than 30 books. The eBook is available on Amazon.

I obtained this novel for free through https://www.bookbub.com. This is a Science Fiction novel and I would label it as a Space Opera. In fact it reminded me quite a bit of books written by E. E. “Doc” Smith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._E._Smith) in the 1930s – 50s.

I at first wanted to stop reading the novel, but I held on and I am glad that I did. This is not a deep novel with rich characters. Once I accepted that and took it for the pulp fiction story that it is, I enjoyed it.

Prince Britain Ian Montgomery is one of the few surviving Royals. Most of the others were killed in an attack by the Rebels. The story follows Ian as he avoids both the Rebels and the Union who are looking for him. As he hides, Ian makes friends and develops an interest in a young woman.

As he and his companions struggle to find a way to oppose the threat of the Rebels, they discover the first evidence of non-humans. The struggle soon changes from opposing the Rebels, to finding a way for humanity to survive and remain free.

The novel contains near constant action. It could easily have been a Saturday morning serial thriller with each episode leaving the reader on the edge of their seat. As mentioned before, the characters are not very deep. I found it odd too that multiple times “inferred” was used instead of “infrared”. On the whole I enjoyed the 4.5 hours spend reading the 272 page book. I would rate this somewhere between PG and R, only leaning towards the R for some violence. I rate this book a 4 our of 5.

My book reviews are also posted on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book review of “Best Served Cold”

“Best Served cold” was published in 2009 and was written by Joe Abercrombie (http://www.joeabercrombie.com). Mr. Abercrombie has published seven novels thus far. This eBook is available on Amazon.

“Best Served Cold” is set in the world introduced by “The First Law” trilogy, though it is not part of that story line. Several characters do return from those books. While it would be best to read this after the trilogy, it is a stand alone novel. This novel is written in the third person.

The primary character is Monxcarro “Monza” Murcatto. She is a mercenary and leader of the 1000 Swords. After leading them to another victory she, along with her younger brother Benna, goes to see her employer, Duke Orso. They seem to be well received, but then Orso and the other six men with him turn on Monza and brother. She and Benna are stabbed more than once, then thrown over a balcony to fall into the forest far below (no real spoiler as this all occurs in the first 30 pages).

Benna is dead, killed at the hands of Orso and his close followers. Monza is near death and her body is severely broken. She awakens to find most of her broken bones on the mend, brought back by a mysterious man she had never seen before. She swears she will revenge the uncalled for death of her little brother and the assault to herself.

She sets out on a quest to find each of the seven she feels were responsible for the assassination, her heart set on seeing each of them die. Along the way she gathers a small group, some of whom are familiar from the trilogy – Caul Shivers, Nicomo Cosca and Shylo Vitari – as well as some new characters. Monza leads them battling across Styria, leaving bodies and chaos in her wake. You can see some of the characters change as the long bloody road stretches out behind them.

This is a fantasy novel which is full of intrigue, bloody battles and unexpected plot turns. This is a fast paced read – I finished the 640 pages in 21.5 hours. This is the fifth novel of Mr. Abercrombie’s that I have read, and I have loved all of them. “Best Served Cold” is a dark story as the entire focus is on Monza’s revenge, and the body count rises far higher than seven in her zealous pursuit of her victims. I would definitely rate this book R as there is Mature Language, Mature Situations and Bloody Violence. I give this book a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also posted on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Cop Town”

“Cop Town” was published in 2014 (June) and was written by Karin Slaughter (http://www.karinslaughter.com). Ms. Slaughter has so far published nearly 20 novels. This novel is available through Amazon. I was provided this novel through NetGalley (https://www.netgalley.com) for pre-publication review.

This novel is set in 1975 Atlanta, Georgia and is written in the third person. The novel opens on the first day at being a police officer for Kate Murphy. She is young and beautiful. Most of the Atlanta police force is male, and few believe that women should be on the force. This is an eventful first day at work as the serial cop killer known as “The Shooter” has struck again killing the 5th officer.

Patrolman Jimmy Lawson’s partner was shot and though Jimmy struggled to save him, he died. Jimmy’s sister Maggie, also a police officer has questions about how Jimmy said it all happened, but her brother won’t talk to her and her uncle Terry, a police Sergeant, bullies her into dropping it.

Kate is briefly paired with Jimmy Lawson. Jimmy, in fact all of the Atlanta police, are all out for blood to revenge the killings. Jimmy dumps Kate on his sister Maggie and goes off to investigate on his own. Kate feels totally inept, but learns quickly from the few other women officers.

Kate and Maggie follow some of their own leads, but are blocked along the way by the other officers because of their gender. Kate though she has an Irish surname, is jewish. Her husband of only two years having been killed in action in Vietnam.

Both Kate and Maggie fight prejudice as they delve deeper into the serial killings, and are shocked at what they uncover. They also find themselves in the thick of action and danger from time to time. They struggle not only with criminals, but with their fellow officers as well.

I thought that this novel was well written, and the characters interesting. It shines a light on a time of change and prejudice in America as the two women investigate. I have not read any of Ms. Slaughter’s other novels, but thoroughly enjoyed this one. I give it a 5 out of 5.

I also post my book reviews on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com)

Book Review of “Absolute Zero”

“Absolute Zero” was published in 1999 and was written by Frederick Aldrich. Mr. Aldrich has written four novels. The eBook is available from Amazon.

This is written in the third person with the action taking place in several places around the world in the late 90’s. A combined operation between Cuba and middle eastern terrorists threatens the US. Principals in the story are Cuban leaders (thinly disguised from Fidel Castro and his brother), American intelligence and military, as well as the terrorists. The primary hero figure does not appear until almost a third of the way through the novel.

It took me a little over 13 hours to read this novel. I enjoyed the novel, though it would have been better if I had read it closer to 1999 as it did seem a little dated. There were more editing errors than I expected in the novel. In the parts of the story set in Cuba, conversations were a mix of English and Spanish, which was a little odd. The novels started with action, but then slowed down for a few chapters, but did pick up. I give this a 4 out of 5.

I also post my reviews to Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/)

 

Book Review of “The Legend of Devil’s Creek”

“The Legend of Devil’s Creek” was published in 2012 and was written by D. C. Alexander. This is Mr. Alexander’s first novel. This eBook is available on Amazon.

This is a story written in the third person which takes place on Aubrey Island near Seattle, Washington in the city of Port Baker. A series of murders have occurred. Strangely, they are similar to a series of murders that had happened in the 1920’s.

The primary characters are Justin Riddley a student who has recently transferred to the island’s small college and John Marshall who is the local police captain. As the murders continue, Justin begins to consider that one of his new college friends may be the murderer. All of his close friends seemed to have a past that could cause them to be the murderer, but which one, if any, is guilty. A major facet of this story is one of the classes that Justin and his friends are taking. A class on philosophy. As part of the class discussion, there is an ongoing discussion of good versus evil. This fits in well with the savage murders that are occurring.

I enjoyed the nine hours I spend reading this novel. It was well written and had a good plot. The solution of the mystery was not obvious. The reader had no idea who the serial killer was until the very end of the novel. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

I also post my reviews to Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/)

Book Review of “Lie Catchers”

“Lie Catchers” was published in 2014 and was written by Rolynn Anderson (http://www.rolynnanderson.com). Ms. Anderson has written four novels. This eBook is available through Amazon.

The novel is a mystery set in contemporary Petersburgh, Alaska and written in the third person. After a Petersburgh resident is found drowned near Seattle, Washington, Treasury Agent Parker Browne is sent to investigate because of financial irregularities surrounding the victim. Parker begins his investigation posing as a Seattle PD detective to keep a lid on the financial aspect of the crime. The investigation quickly stalls as there are many suspects. The victim, Everett “Ev” Olson, in addition to the questionable finances had been a womanizer back in Petersburgh, and there were many who had a motive to harm Ev.

Parker meets and makes friends with many of the Petersburgh residents during the weeks of his investigation. He suspects several of them of hiding something, but he is unable to compile enough evidence to point to the killer. Parker also gets close to one of the suspects, Liv Hanson. Liv is sister of the local police chief, and is trying to establish herself as a writer, while trying to expand the business her mother has been running. As the investigation continues there are other deaths and threats to Parker, not to mention twists and turns that maintain the reader’s interest.

I enjoyed the seven or so hours I spent reading this novel. I would categorize the novel as R (barely) for mature situations and language. The plot was interesting and the characters were well developed. There is a little romance, a little action, and a lot of suspense. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

I also post my reviews to Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/)

Book Review of “Hybrid”

“Hybrid” was published in 2013 and was written by Justin Anderson and it is his first novel. This book is available on Amazon.

This novel is written in the first person and is set in a future, post apocalyptic San Diego, and I would classify it a Young Adult SciFi novel. The main character is 18 year old Joshua “Josh” Mercer. Most of the population are either “Shells” (humans who have lost their sense of self and are little more than wild animals) and Hybrids (humans who have been genetically modified with animal DNA). The Hybrids eventually turn into Shells usually by the time they have reached age 25. There are a few “Pures”, like Josh’s little sister Chloe.

The Hybrids have special abilities based upon the animal DNA that has been added. This gives them extra strength, extra sensitive senses, etc, which is why many had their children modified to be Hybrids. The side effect of turning into Shells did not occur until long after the modifications had begun. These DNA modifications were developed and performed by a group that has been come to be known as “The Engineers”.

Chloe is taken by by “The Engineers” and they insist that the only way that Josh will get Chloe back. Josh goes through a series obloquy ordeals fighting his way to get Chloe back.

I spent seven hours reading this novel and had to urge myself on to keep reading it instead of just quitting. The plot was a little thin, and I did not relate well to the main character, Josh. At times Josh and colleagues were sneaking around trying to avoid Shells, and in the middle of that they begin yelling at one another. Josh bounces all over the place emotionally, acting irrationally much of the time. I give the novel the benefit of the doubt and give this a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews also appear in Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com

Book Review of “Investigating the Hottie”

“Investigating the Hottie” was published in 2013 and is the first in a series. The book was written by Juli Alexander (http://www.julialexanderauthor.com/). Ms. Alexander has published seven novels, including recently the sequel to this book “Undercover with the Hottie”. This eBook is available on Amazon.

This is a Young Adult Romance/Thriller set in contemporary times. Amanda Peterson is 15 and goes to spend a week during fall break with her aunt Christie to get away from home and her divorcing parents. Her aunt has always been a wild card in the family and a perpetual student. Amanda is shocked when she arrives and her aunt meets her looking . . . normal.

The shocks continue as Amanda finds that she has unknowingly been going through training, at the request of her aunt, for the past few years to be an agent for the Global Agency for Shared Intelligence (GASI). This is because her aunt is an agent and wanted to bring Amanda into the organization.

Her aunt asks Amanda to take an assignment during her visit to watch a boy at a local High School. Amanda takes the assignment to get close to Will Middleton who they think may be responsible for computer hacking. While Amanda is investigating Will, her aunt Christie and her partner Nic Maxwel are following other leads.

There is some romance and a little excitement in the story. I really felt it was more of a romance than a thriller. The novel also seemed to be targeted at very young teenage girls. The plot was very simple. The situations were never more than PG with no adult language. Fortunately it only took 3 hours to read this novel.

I rate this a 3 out of 5.

Book Review of “The Tinkerer’s Daughter”

“The Tinkerer’s Daughter” was published in 2012 and is the first book in “The Tinkerer’s Daughter” series. The book is written by Jaramy Gates under the pseudonym Jamie Sedgwick (http://jamiesedgwick.wordpress.com/). Together, Mr. Gates has published nearly 20 novels. The eBook is available from Amazon.

This book is a Young Adult Fantasy book set in a different world occupied with humans, Tal’mar (also known as wood elves), and the Kanters (a race of wild giants). The humans and Tal’mar have been at war for decades. The Kanters, while a threat, have been mostly ignored by the Humans as they are wild and uncivilized.

Bran Vale and his young daughter Breeze live alone and remote from others, in a valley many miles from the nearest village. Bran has been a warrior, and he is called back to duty. Bran has no family, so he takes his four year old daughter to another recluse, the Tinkerer, and asks him to watch over her while he is gone.

Breeze slowly becomes close friends with the Tinkerer, and is interested in his creations. She also rapidly matures, a side effect of being half Tal’mar. Bran has kept Breeze away from other humans as most of humanity has a hatred of them from the long war. Breeze, being a half breed, will be an outcast whether she is with humans or the Tal’mar.

The Tinkerer develops some astounding “steam punkish” gadgets, including simple aircraft. Breeze is put at risk when the local villagers find out she is a half breed. To compound the situation, the Kanters suddenly attack.

There is plenty of excitement and eventually a view into Breeze’s past as the story evolves.

I found this to be a very enjoyable novel. There was a good plot. I did feel that the first third of the book was better than the rest, almost as if there was a rush at that point to get the book completed. Some of the supporting characters were pretty simplistic. I give this book a 4 out of 5.

Book Review of “Haven: A Stranger Magic”

“Haven: A Stranger Magic” was published in 2013 and is the first novel by D. C. Akers (http://dc-akers.com). This is the first book in the “Haven” series. Mr. Akers has published three books. This eBook is available on Amazon and is currently free to download.

I obtained this novel for free through http://ebookshabit.com. This story is a Young Adult Fantasy told third person. The story is set somewhere in Texas, though the exact location is never identified. The story surrounds Samuel “Sam” Dalcome and his sister Sarah. Sam is 13 while his sister is a in High School. The story begins just a few days before school is to let out for the summer.

Sam is having a recurring nightmare. Then one night he wakes up and looks out of his bedroom window to see a man standing across the street in the shadows watching his room. As Sam watches he is amazed to see the man disappear.

Sarah has experienced some strange occurrences around her when she gets angry. She is troubled with her life and scared by what has happened around her.

I enjoyed this novel, but at only 136 pages it ended far too quickly after a little over two hours of reading. It does little more than introduce you to the characters, and start to set up the plot when the story abruptly ends. It only succeeds in wetting the appetite for the sequel “Haven: Revenge of the Viper” which is much longer. I give this novel a 4 out of 5, withholding a higher rating because of the abrupt end.