Review of “Hunt the Dragon”

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“SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Dragon” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Don Mann (http://www.usfrogmann.com) and Ralph Pezzullo (http://www.ralphpezzullo.com). Mr. Mann has authored or co-authoered a mix of eleven fiction and non-fiction books. Mr. Pezzullo has authored or co-authored 17 books. This is the seventh of his “SEAL Team Six” series.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. This Thriller novel is set mostly in North Korea, with Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Crocker, a serving US Navy SEAL, as the main character.

The US Secret Service discovers an effort to pass millions in counterfeit US currently. Crocker is inadvertently involved, then soon after he and his team is tasked with destroying the source of the counterfeit bills.

Crocker’s team of SEALs sneak into North Korea to penetrate the secret facility where the money is being printed. They are also there to destroy efforts thought to be conducted there to enhance the North Korean nuclear missile program. They are asked to look for an American rocket scientist that is thought to be held hostage there as well.

Crocker and his team are faced with the entirety of the North Korean military seeking them. They must survive by stealth and find a way home once their mission is completed. They endure one hardship after another as they struggle to find their way home.

I enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 304 page novel. I like these Special Ops kind of Thrillers and read the prior book in this series. While the plot was not innovative, it was interesting. I think that Crocker is an interesting character. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Catseye”

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“Catseye” eBook was published 2015 (paper copy originally published in 1961) and was written by Andre Norton (aka Alice Mary Norton, http://www.andre-norton-books.com). Ms. Norton was a prolific writer with more than 300 titles in her name as an author, co-author or contributor. This is the first of two novels in her “Dipple” series.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The setting of this Science fiction novel is a far future where Earth has colonizing other worlds. The primary character is Troy Horan.

Horan is young man who is a refugee to the planet Korwar. He, and all of his people, were expelled from their home world due to an interstellar war. Now without any surviving family on Korwar, he struggles to eek out an existence in the Dipple district.

He gets the rare opportunity for a real job with a dealer in rare animals. Horan finds that he has the unique ability to communicate mentally with a handful of very rare Earth creatures. He discovers that they are being used in some sort of plot. Soon Horan with his five four footed friends are on the run for their lives.

The six travelers find themselves time and again in trouble, but are able to work together to survive. Horan discovers that this has not been a simple plot but something much more serious.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 145 page Science Fiction novel. While is was written more than half a century ago, I still found it engaging. I hope that I have the opportunity to read the sequel as I enjoyed the story. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Travelers”

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“The Travelers” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Chris Pavone (http://www.chrispavone.com). This is Mr. Pavone’s third novel.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set mostly in contemporary New York and Paris, but a few other international locales are also included.

The main character is Will Rhodes, a successful travel writer for Travelers Magazine. His wife, Chloe, was formerly a writer for Travelers, but now is a freelancer. They had only been married for a short time and they are having some problems.

Things get worse when Will is traveling abroad for the magazine and is seduced by a beautiful blonde. Before he knows what is happening, he is confronted and told he has no choice but to go to work for the CIA or a video of his indiscretion will be shown to Chloe.

Following orders to gather information on important people he meets while on magazine business, Will finds himself in a bit of danger on more than one occasion. Over the months as he is drawn deeper, he begins to suspect that he does not know the truth. He finds himself pursued by different people and he is not sure who, if any, are really with the CIA.

I enjoyed the 13.5 hours I spent reading this 448 page novel, though the beginning was very slow. In fact at the 10% point I almost called a Rule of 50 and gave up on the novel. Eventually the pace picked up and the story improved into a decent Spy Thriller. There seemed to be just too much details of the various characters daily lives at the beginning. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Apple Watch News #6

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A few more Apple Watch related stores from the past couple of weeks.

Where Does it Go Next?

In “Projecting Where The Apple Watch Goes Next” the future of the Apple Watch is pondered. Apple usually runs a long term strategy so we are likely to see the Apple Watch expand its capabilities into other areas, particularly health care over the next couple of years.

WatchOS 3.0

When watchOS 3.0 arrives this coming fall there will be some significant improvements according to the WWDC 2016 keynote. The next version of the watch OS will run on all current models of the Apple Watch. One of the major improvements will be faster launching of Apps. Among the other changes: Better screens and improved and expanded suite of Apple supplied Apps.

  • Some of the specifics include:
  • New App dock for the watch
  • Share and compete with friends in fitness
  • Use Scribble to send messages
  • Take advantage of Apple Pay through Apps
  • New Health feature Breath
  • Improved accessibility

An in-depth explanation can be found in “Why watchOS 3 Will Be Nimble and Nifty” and “8 reasons you’re finally going to wear your Apple Watch“. I already wear my Apple Watch every day pretty much 24 hours a day (except when I take it off to charge). These changes will just make it more useful!

 

Review of “Camber of Culdi”

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“Camber of Culdi” eBook was published in 2016 (the paper edition was published in 1976) and was written by Katherine Kurtz (http://www.deryni.net). Ms. Kurtz has published over 30 novels. This is the first of her “Legends of Camber of Culdi” series.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. This novel is set in a Fantasy world where magic is used. The Deryni are nobles with a bloodline that enables them to wield magic. It has been years since the Festils wrested control of the throne using dark magic. Camber of Culdi, the main character of this story, is a Deryni and while he disapproves of the King, he is loyal.

After tragedy strikes Camber’s family, he leaves them and goes in search of the last of the Haldane line, the rightful heir to the throne. The ruling Festils, King Imre, is brutal, particularly to the human subjects. Camber concludes that Imre must be removed and the rightful ruler seated on the throne.

I enjoyed reading this 314 page Fantasy novel. I bought and read the paper version back in 2005. I liked the world and the characters that Kurtz created. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Let’s Hear it for Space Tourism!

It is encouraging to see so many successful commercial Space companies. I think that their involvement will accelerate the exploration of Space.

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On Sunday this week, space start up Blue Origin continued its string of successes by launching its fourth New Shepard rocket, and landing the main section safely back on Earth. This time the rocket carried what will be the crew capsule to be used for space tourism. Blue Origin has shown its prowess in its ability to safely land its rockets – this mission, it proved it can launch its crew module and safely return it to Earth, paving the way for its space tourism business and routine access to space.

The New Shepard rocket is a suborbital craft, meaning it never reaches the speed necessary to escape Earth’s gravity to make it into orbit. It does reach space, however, on a ballistic arc that takes it to an altitude of more than 300,000 feet and speeds of more than 2,200 miles per hour.

blue origin capsule art

That’s enough to give any passengers or scientific…

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Review of “Admiral”

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“Admiral” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Sean Danker (https://seandanker.com). This is Mr. Danker’s first novel.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the far future when mankind has spread through the stars. The primary character is the “Admiral”. Four people wake from stasis on a space freighter, all with apparent military backgrounds. Three had just graduated from military academies and were on their way to their first posting. The fourth is the ‘Admiral’, a title he claims is honorary.

The ship they are on is deserted. None of the four know how they had arrived aboard the ship. They explore and find that their ship has been damaged and has landed on a strange world that appears to be without life or atmosphere. As they struggle to survive, they soon find that they are not as alone as they had thought.

Not only must they struggle to stay alive in the hostile environment of the planet, but the three young graduates soon realize that the ‘Admiral’ is most likely not part of their military. Yet though there is fear that he is an enemy spy and likely to be behind the crashed ship, the three must trust him at some level to survive.

Certainly as you read the first person narrative of the ‘Admiral’ you quickly realize that he is not what he represents himself to be. Yet he seems to be doing all that he can to save the three young spacers he is stranded with.

I thought that this 7+ hour read of 310 pages was very interesting. It is not the normal space adventure. I liked the fact that the identity of the ‘Admiral’ was kept from the reader until very late in the novel. I liked the ‘Admiral’ as he was very creative in how he approached the many obstacles they needed to overcome. This has the potential for a very interesting series. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Warning Order”

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“Warning Order” eBook was published 2016 and was written by Joshua Hood (http://www.joshuahoodbooks.com). This is Mr. Hood’s second publication and the second of his “Search and Destroy” thrillers.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. This novel is set in the middle east. The primary character is Mason Kane a legendary US Army Special Operations operative.

Kane and his team are just wrapping up one mission when they are abruptly diverted on another. Things go wrong from the outset and Kane finds himself being targeted. He is determined to find his close friend who has been taken by terrorists. Not only must Kane and his team face those terrorists, but elements high within the US government seem to be collaborating with those same terrorists.

Kane and his team must break from their orders and plunge after the leaders of the terrorist cell. The situation is spinning out of control with US involvement escalating.

I did enjoy the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 352 page novel. While this was the second book in the series, I had no problem with this as a stand-alone read. I liked the characters and the plot. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Doesn’t Everybody Want Awesome Coffee?

I thought that this article had some interesting recommendations on how to achieve that perfect cup of coffee.

Rolande's Ramblings

So, I have to say that I showed up quite a bit late to the coffee party. I’ve always loved the smell of coffee but I guess I just never tried some that got me hooked and made me want more. Well, practically overnight, I turned into a fairly big coffee nut. Now I’m constantly looking for info and ideas about creating that next best cup of coffee. I thought I’d share some of the info I have found and collected for anyone else who might be interested in making the best coffee and save them the work of all the reading I did.

Coffee is sort of like seafood. The fresher it is, the better it is. Until you’ve had either of them super fresh, you don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve had the freshest seafood practically served right off the boat from the South China Sea, when my…

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