Book Review: “Before the Broken Star”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Emily R. King (http://emilyrking.com/) published the novel “Before the Broken Star” in 2019. Ms. King has published 5 novels. This is the first in her “Evermore Chronicles” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in another world. The primary character is 17-year-old girl Everley Donovan.

Donovan saw her family killed. She was attacked too but somehow survived. She lives because of a miraculous mechanical heart. She has always assumed that her uncle, a skilled clockmaker, had created the heart. She has been living for years with her uncle and hiding as his adopted apprentice.

Donovan’s father had been an explorer and that is somehow tied to the family’s death. Her father’s former partner Killian Markham comes into the clock shop. It was he who had killed her family and attacked her. She knows she must avenge her family. Now Governor Killian Markham is leading the colony on Dagger Island.

Donovan gets charged with a crime to be sent as a potential wife to the Dagger Island colony. Dagger Island was the last place her father and Markham explored. Donovan wants to revenge the death of her family and find out why her father had to die.

First Lieutenant Jamison Callahan had first seen Donovan in the clock shop. He is the Governor’s aid and is in charge of the women convicts being transported to Dagger Island. Much to Donovan’s annoyance, Callahan seems to have feelings for her.

Donovan must survive the journey by ship and fit into the colony until she can take her revenge. Dagger Island has many myths and there are dangers there to avoid. She must also find a way of being consigned to an unwanted husband.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 294-page young adult fantasy novel. I liked the characters and the plot. This has the makings for a good series. The selected cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “Duel Under the Stars: The Memoir of a Luftwaffe Night Pilot in World War II”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Wilhelm Johnen republished the book “Duel Under the Stars: The Memoir of a Luftwaffe Night Pilot in World War II” in 2018. The book was first published in 1956.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. This is the war memoir of German night fighter pilot Wilhelm Johnen.

The book tells of Johnen’s activities during WWII. It also tells a little history of the German night fighters. Most of Johnen’s combat flying time was in the ME 110.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 320-page WWII history. This is only the second book I have read written from the German perspective. I think it is interesting to see the war through their eyes. I give this novel a 4.2 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 410 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

The Post World War II Boom: How America Got Into Gear

I liked this post by GP Cox and chose to reblog it.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 410 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Pacific Paratrooper

Chrysler tank production

In the summer of 1945, as WWII drew to a close, the U.S. economy was poised on the edge of an uncertain future.

In late 1940 for the United States to serve as the “arsenal of democracy,” American industry had stepped up to meet the challenge. U.S. factories built to mass-produce automobiles had retooled to churn out airplanes, engines, guns and other supplies at unprecedented rates. At the peak of its war effort, in late 1943 and early 1944, the United States was manufacturing almost as many munitions as all of its allies and enemies combined.

On the home front, the massive mobilization effort during World War II had put Americans back to work. Unemployment, which had reached 25 percent during the Great Depression and hovered at 14.6 percent in 1939, had dropped to 1.2 % by 1944 — still a record low in the nation’s history.

Shopping with ration stamps

With the…

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Instrumental Music on YouTube: ‘Rise of R’lyeh’

(See my other Music related posts) – I like instrumental music. This piece ‘Rise of R’lyeh’ is a little different. It is a combination of instrumental and choral. It is also dark and definitely appropriate for Horror.

The 04:39 video was uploaded to YouTube in April of 2019 by the composer Graham Plowman. I first saw this on the Aethereal Engineer bog. I don’t think I can categorize it as ‘Easy Listening’. 

Instrumental Music on YouTube: “Thank You Soldiers”

(See my other Music related posts) – I came across “Thank You soldiers” a while back and thought it would be appropriate for this Memorial Day. It isn’t the normal instrumental music I post. I thought that the current and former service personnel would appreciate this. The 03:03 video was uploaded to YouTube in November of 2009 by msouders37.

This song is sung by the 3rd grade class of Tussing Elementary

 

Dunkirk from the German Perspective

I came across this 20:53 video a few days ago. It was uploaded to YouTube in December of 2019 by The Armchair Historian. They have a very good selection of history videos. 

I think it gives a very visual depiction of the battle of Dunkirk. Looking at it from the German perspective makes one see it a little differently.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 400 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “The Mercutio Problem”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) –  Carol Anne Douglas (https://www.carolannedouglas.com) published the novel “The Mercutio Problem” in 2019. This is her fourth novel and the second in her ‘Merlin’s Shakespeare’ series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains Violence and Adult Situations. The story is set in contemporary times and in the realms of Shakespeare’s plays.

The primary character is high school actor Beth Owens. The wizard Merlin again sends her back to the age of Shakespeare. She must struggle with Richard III. He has become a mixture of the character from Shakespeare’s play and Merlin’s arch-enemy Mordred.

Richard is fomenting a revolt of Shakespeare’s characters to get their stories rewritten. He not only is causing problems in the world of Shakespeare but also in the real world. There are some characters who want to keep the stories just as Shakespeare wrote them. They have become Owen’s allies.

The young High School student Owens must lead the opposition.

I found the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 296-page young adult fantasy were interesting. I read the first novel of this series (Merlin’s Shakespeare) and hoped this one would get better. I’m disappointed to say that it didn’t. The basic plot was good, but it felt weak as implemented. There is a bit of LGBTQIA woven into the plot. The selected cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Check WWII records this Memorial Weekend for Free

I came across the article “This Memorial Day weekend, you can meet all your WWII ancestors for free” this morning. What it says is that Ancestry.com will allow anyone to check their WWII records for free.

The records include draft cards, missing-in-action reports, hospital admission cards, and death records. If you have someone who served in WWII this is a great opportunity to look up their records. This opportunity is being made in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the end World War II.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 400 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

77 Years Ago the ‘Dambusters’ Took Flight

It was 77 years ago today that 19 Avro Lancasters of 617 Squadron RAF took off from Scampton in the UK. Their mission, Operation Chastise, was to breach the dams of the Ruhr valley in Germany. These bombers and crew became known as the ‘Dambusters’.

The video above was uploaded to YouTube in May of 2019 by The Operations Room. I enjoy their videos. I have posted about them before.

The planes were to fly only a little over 800 miles round trip. To give you some perspective, that is like traveling round trip from Austin, TX to New Orleans, LA. They were to fly low, at about 60 feet for much of the flight. As they approached their targets the 60-foot altitude was critical. The bombers would release their cylindrical bombs and let them bounce across the water. They were to bounce over the torpedo nets, then impact the dam.

Some question the strategic value of the mission. It was a major publicity victory for the British. The attack destroyed two hydroelectric power stations and damaged others. Factories and mines in the valley were also damaged or destroyed. An estimated 1,600 civilians died. The Germans committed to a rapid repair program. Production did not return to normal until September.

The repair effort did commit a large number of workers to the repair efforts. The German military also reinforced the Ruhr valley with many more antiaircraft installations.

 

Further Reading / Listening

  1. Dambusters pilot Les Munro dies – Operation Chastise
  2. The Dambusters
  3. World War II: Operation Chastise
  4. Operation Chastise
  5. The Dambusters and the Möhne Dam
  6. OPERATION CHASTISE – THE DAM BUSTERS
  7. Video – Dambusters Declassified Documentary
  8. History Extra Podcast 4/25/13 – Britain’s Last Dambuster
  9. History Extra Podcast 9/19/2019 – Max Hastings on the Dambusters

If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 400 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.