Category Archives: Book Review

Review of “Attack of the Seventh Carrier”

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Book Reviews – “Attack of the Seventh Carrier” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition was published in 1989) and was written by Peter Albano. This is the fifth book in his “Seventh Carrier” 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 the late 1980’s. The World War II era Japanese aircraft carrier Yonaga lay frozen in the ice for over 40 years. Finally they broke free, attacked Perl Harbor per their original mission then returned to Tokyo only to find that the war was over with Japan having surrendered.

Soon, though the Yonaga and her crew have a new war to fight. This time with terrorists led by Muammar Gaddafi. But the Yonaga does not fight alone. Now they are allied with Israel. The US and other countries are assisting and providing some personnel. Due to the failure of a Chinese weapon platform launched into orbit, satellites, jets and rockets of all nations are being shot down.

Now though over 40 years old, the Yonaga is the most potent military weapon on the planet and the only thing that stands in the way of the terrorists. The primary character is US Navy Lieutenant Brent Ross. Initially assigned to the Yonaga to represent US Naval Intelligence, he has become an integral part of the crew. His mission in this book is to be part of the joint American/Japanese crew of a World War II era US submarine that is being added to the Yonaga’s task force.

I spent 10 hours reading this 297 page Alternative History novel. I have read several of the books in this series and have enjoyed each of them. I haven’t always read them in the correct order and in the case of this novel, it reads pretty well on its own. 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 “From Ice to Ashes”

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Book Reviews – “From Ice to Ashes” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Rhett C. Bruno (http://rhettbruno.com). Mr. Bruno has published nine books.

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 and Mature Language. The story is set many centuries in the future. Humanity has spread across the Solar System, while life on Earth was almost destroyed by an impact.

Now after centuries apart the remnants of humanity on Earth have joined with those in the rings and moons on Saturn. The ‘Ringers’ are taken advantage of by those from Earth. Now there is growing resentment and resistance.

The major character in this story is Ringer Kale Drayton. He has had skirmishes with the law, but is now trying to eek out a living. His mother is sick and when he is contacted and given the opportunity to have her taken care of, Drayton takes it. Little does he know how this will affect his life.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 274 page Science Fiction story. This is a stand-alone novel, though author Bruno has other publications set in this universe. While a young man thrust into the role as a rebel is not a new plot, I did like how this one was laid out. I also liked how the author made the character of Drayton grow over the course of the novel. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

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

Review of “Slow Bullets”

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Book Reviews – “Slow Bullets” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Alastair Reynolds (http://www.alastairreynolds.com). Mr. Reynolds has published 15 novels.

I received an ARC of this novella 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. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Scur, a young woman who was conscripted into the military.

Just as the war ended, Scur finds herself in a battle to the death with a vicious enemy. She is severely injured and when she awakens, she finds herself on a prisoner transport ship. She shouldn’t be there, but she is. She finds herself with hundreds of others from both sides. They have been asleep a very long time.

This was an odd, but interesting little science fiction story of only 192 pages. It took less than 3 hours for me to read this novella. It was an interesting plot, though I would have enjoyed another 100 pages or so for it to be flushed out. Cover art is OK. I’m not sure what else they could have used. I give this novel a 3.8 (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).

Review of “Cursed Command”

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Book Reviews – “Cursed Command” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Christopher Nuttall (http://www.chrishanger.net). Mr. Nuttall has published nearly 30 novels. This is the third book in his “Angel in the Whirlwind” 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 and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. While the main character is Captain Kat Falcone, her former Exec and now Captain, William McElney is also a prominent figure.

Falcone and McElney are sent with their ships away from the front and the war with the Theocracy to the Jorlem Sector. They are on a primarily diplomatic mission. McElney’s new command, the HMS Uncanny, has a spotted history and is nicknamed the Unlucky.

McElney must overcome the reputation of the Uncanny, assist Falcone in fighting pirates, help smooth diplomatic relations and carefully confront a Theocracy ship that is on a “diplomatic” mission in the Jorlem Sector. Falcone again comes across as a strong and resourceful leader.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 416 page Science Fiction novel. I have read all three of the novels in this series and have thoroughly enjoyed them all. This is another good military science fiction novel. I have liked the principal character of Kat Falcone. The cover art is OK, but does not appear to relate to any particular part of the story. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

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

Review of “SBS in world War II”

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Book Reviews – “The SBS in World War II” eBook was published in 2017 (Original paper edition was published in 1983) and was written by G. B. Courtney. Mr. Courtney published two book about World War II.

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. The story covers the second world war.

This is a non-fiction book giving the history of the Special Boat Service over the course of the war, covering not only the European Theatre, but also operations in the Pacific. This is very much a book of history with many people named and with short commentary on various operations. I found the motto for the unit to be rather unique: ‘Excreta Tauri Astutos Frustrantur’ (‘Bullshit Baffles Brains’).

Those in this unit operated primarily from submarine or motor launch slipping ashore silently in two man fold-up canoes, carrying out a mission behind enemy lines, then paddling back to their ride.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 225 Non-Fiction History. It was a little dry but it did give a different perspective on the British war effort during World War II. I’m not sure whay they picked a landing craft for the cover art. That was not what the SBS typically used. 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 “Steam and Sensibility”

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Book Reviews – “Steam and Sensibility” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Kirsten Weiss (http://www.kirstenweiss.com). Ms. Weiss has published 20 novels.

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. The story is set in the mid 1800’s just as gold was discovered in California. The primary character of the story is young Miss Sensibiliy Grey.

After the death of her inventor father, Gray travels to the primitive port of San Francisco to be with her uncle. Little known to her, she has secrets of her fathers inventions that others are willing to kill to obtain. She must both avoid those obviously out to take her and her secrets, as well as sort out who amongst her newly made friends she can really trust. She also finds that she learned far more from her father than her previous ‘tinkering’ led her to believe.

This was an enjoyable, quick 3.5 hour read of this 234 page Steam Punk tale. This isn’t the best Steam Punk novel I have read, but it wasn’t bad. It really just touches the surface of what could draw into a true Alternate History based upon the ‘discoveries’ Ms Gray has found. As expected, there is a touch of romance in the story. The cover art is a good selection. I give this novel a 3.5 (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).

Review of “The Judas Battalion”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “The Judas Battalion” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition published in 1983) and was written by Peter MacAlan. Mr. MacAlan published seven novels.

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 and Mature Language. The story is set during 1944. The primary character is Charlie Collins, a British soldier.

The Germans have formed an SS unit, the Britisches Freikorps, made up of British POWs. The Germans plan to use the unit to build tension between the British and the Russians. To highlight their existence, Hitler plans to use the unit as a special honor guard at his birthday celebration.

The British see this as an opportunity to kill Hitler and shorten the war. They find Collins in jail doing time for mutiny. He is only 4 months into a twelve year sentence and he has a bleak outlook for the future. He is approached with a wild plan to get him into Germany and into the British SS unit.

Collins takes the assignment even though it sounds like a suicide mission. He is completely on his own and goes though one misadventure after another in his attempt to reach Germany and find his way into the SS unit. Along the way the meets and falls in love with a German woman who is part of the growing resistance within Germany.

Will Collins be able to carry out his assignation mission? Will he be able to escape Germany and take the woman he has fallen in love with to safety?

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 303 page World War II Fiction novel. Even though it was published more than 30 years ago, it still reads well. The characters were interesting and they plot had a few twists along the way. The cover art is OK. 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).

Book Review of “The Second Voyage of the Seventh Carrier”

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Book Reviews – “The Second Voyage of the Seventh Carrier” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1986) and was written by Peter Albano. Mr. Albano published 14 novels with this being the second in his “Seventh Carrier” 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 and Mature Situations. The story is set in the 1980s with the primary character being Ensign Brad Ross.

The Japanese aircraft carrier Yonaga, the seventh carrier intended for the fleet that attacked Perl Harbor in 1941, has been trapped in ice since just before the Japanese fleet sailed for the attack on Perl.

Now free of the ice, it first carried out its mission and attacked Perl Harbor. Returning to Tokyo, it fires on a Libyan aircraft that approached the carrier. The Chinese launch a satellite system that fails almost immediately and begins to shoot down all jets and rockets around the world. Kadafi sets his target on Israel and the Yonaga.

The Yonaga is tasked with sailing to the Mediterranean to rescue Japanese hostages and provide some much needed relief for Israel. Ross and a few other Americans are invited to stay on board the Yonaga to assist with their mission. The US and Russia are holding each other at bay, preventing much in the way of overt action.

That is a very short summary. There is a lot more background information that sets the stage for the series. Basically military tech is set back to WWII era weapons for the most part. The US and Russia prevent one another from taking an active role. This leaves the Yonaga with its nearly full complement of WWII aircraft as the most powerful warship in the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this Alternate History. There are 11 novels in this series and I have read about half of them now, though not all in the correct order. This novel, while the second in the series, reads pretty well as a stand-alone novel. I liked the characters that Albano created. The cover art is a little odd in that it is not a carrier. Perhaps, though, it refers to a cruiser that is a part of the story. 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).

Book Review of “The Fortress at the End of Time”

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Book Reviews – “The Fortress at the End of Time” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Joe M. McDermott (http://jmmcdermott.blogspot.com). Mr. McDermott has published 9 books.

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 ‘G’. The story is set in the far future. Military personnel are not physically transferred between the distant outposts of humanity, but their design is sent electronically and a clone is constructed for their duty assignment. The primary character in this story is Ronaldo Aldo, a recent military academy graduate.

Aldo is assigned to a very remote base, the Citadel. The Citadel is where the last battle with aliens had occurred many years previously. Now it stands as a remote outpost to warn if they return. Life at the Citadel is not easy. The planet is far from being terraformed into a pleasant space and the military unit is rife with corruption. Aldo does find love interests.

I thought that the 7+ hours I spent with this 272 page Science Fiction novel were interesting. I am not a big fan of the story as it simply plodded along for the most part telling of the years that Aldo spent at the Citadel and how he spent his life there. There was almost no action and I really did not like the way the story ended. I think that the cover art implies more than the story provides. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

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

Book Review of “War Shadows”

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Book Review – “War Shadows” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Jeffrey Wilson and Brian Andrews (http://www.andrews-wilson.com). Together they have published four novels. In addition Mr. Wilson has published one novel on his own, and Mr. Andrews two. This is the second novel in their “Tier One” 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 and Mature Language. The novel is set in our contemporary world. The primary character is John Dempsey, who in his former life was a US Navy SEAL.

Dempsey, in his new life, is now a Tier One operator. Part of a very clandestine organization intended to do what it takes to keep America safe. He, and his team, are involved in stopping terrorists that are trying to infiltrate the US and then cause a distributed, but coordinated attack.

Dempsey and his team are on their trail, but always seem to be one step behind. It becomes a race to see if they will be able to stop the terrorists before they can carry out their plan to kill and wound as many as possible.

I enjoyed the just shy of 9 hours I spent reading this 400 page Thriller. I liked the plot and the characters. While I have read the prior book in the series, this one reads well on its own. The cover art is OK as it depicts part of the pursuit in tunnels. 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).