Category Archives: eBook

Book Review: “Singularity”

51u6nzLV-3L

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Singularity” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Rick Lakin (http://www.ricklakin.com). Mr. Lakin has published two novels. This is the second of his “StarCruiser Brilliant” 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 ‘G’. The story is set in the not too distant future on Earth. The primary character is Jennifer Gallagher, actress, tech entrepreneur, and Brilliant crew member.

Gallagher is incredibly successful at everything she tries and is only 17. The Brilliant’s crew meets with the Blue Angels and does some incredible flying with them. They also debut some of the capabilities of Brilliant before the public. They must contend with a presidential candidate that is campaigning against robots. They must also go on a deep space mission to confront a bioterrorism attack.

I thought that the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 386-page science fiction novel were interesting. This is a Young Adult novel and one that seems to be targeted at the very young end of that category. While second in the series, this novel reads pretty well on its own. I felt that the plot seemed to be targeted more at the grade school age reader. For me, the plot was far too simple. The chosen cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3.3 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

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

Book Reviews: “A Dangerous Collaboration”

51lU7J+hqAL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “A Dangerous Collaboration” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Deanna Raybourn (https://www.deannaraybourn.com). Ms. Raybourn has published 20 books. This is the fourth novel in her “Veronica Speedwell Mystery” 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 scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in 1888, mostly on a Cornish island off the coast of Wales. The primary character is Veronica Speedwell.

Speedwell is invited by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker Templeton-Vane, to visit the island owned by the Lord’s oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly. Ostensibly Speedwell has been invited to obtain samples of a butterfly she is wanting to add to her lepidopterarium. Not wanting Speedwell to be alone with his brother, Stoker invites himself on the trip.

When they arrive Speedwell finds that there have been ulterior motives by both their host for the invitation and Lord Templeton-Vane for his asking her along. Romilly’s wife had disappeared three years earlier on their wedding day. Now he has all of those he considers the prime suspects in her disappearance on his island. Romilly is determined to find out what happened to his bride.

Speedwell and both brothers find themselves involved in far more than they had anticipated. Events play out indicating that the person behind the disappearance is indeed with them on the island. They are determined to solve the mystery but are faced with lethal opposition to their involvement. The romance between Speedwell and Stoker continues to simmer with neither making a move.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 333-page period mystery. I have also read the first book in this series, “A Curious Beginning“, and I have enjoyed them both. I liked the characters of Speedwell and Stoker, as well as the time period of the story. I like the cover art chosen for this novel. 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: “The Anahita Chronicles Book I: Mercury”

51zRsX0UctL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Anahita Chronicles Book I: Mercury” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Samuel Blondahl (https://www.blondahl.ca). Mr. Blondahl has published three novels with this being the first of this “Anahita 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 ‘PG’ because it contains a few scenes of Violence. The story is set in the not too distant future.

A new engine that will enable humans to travel great distances in space is about to be tested. The test is sabotaged, and instead of going to Mars, the spacecraft Mercury ends up near a habitable planet deep in space. They struggle to repair their ship enough to make it back to Earth. Due to the damage suffered from the earlier sabotage and unexpected events, the crew finds themselves stranded on the planet’s surface.

They have been able to send the unmanned Mercury hurtling back towards Earth and asking for help. Now they must find a way to survive. Not only do they find that the planet is hospitable to humans, but they soon discover that they are not the only intelligent lifeforms on the planet.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 409-page science fiction novel. I liked this novel. There are several plot threads going on: survival on an alien planet, a conspiracy back on Earth, and first contact with an alien species. While the story in this novel does reach a conclusion, there are threads of the plot left to be explored and resolved in future books in the series. I give this novel a 4.3 (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).

Book Review: “Remember Me”

51SuCG0LgjL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Remember Me” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by D. E. White (https://daisywhiteauthor.co.uk). Ms. White has published a dozen 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. The story is set in contemporary Wales. The primary character is LAPD Detective Ava Cole who has returned after fifteen years to her home in Wales to see her dying ex-husband one last time.

The visit back home stirs more memories than just her Ex. When Cole was still a teen in Wales her best friend Ellen Smith had disappeared. Now 15 years later no one has heard from her. But that is a mystery that Cole and her close friends know the answer to, or at least she thinks she does.

Now not only is the visit back home stirring up emotional attachments to those she left behind, but previously unknown facts about Ellen’s disappearance begin to surface. The truth about Ellen may destroy many lives. But then another young girl disappears and Cole fears it is tied to Ellen’s disappearance.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 295-page British mystery. This novel has an interesting plot that leads Cole on a bumpy trip down memory lane. This is a good psychological thriller with a twist or two in the plot. I think better cover art could have been chosen. 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: “The Murder Pit”

51dtnLZ7y7L

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Murder Pit” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Mick Finlay (https://mickfinlay.com). This is Mr. Finlay’s second publication and the second book in his “Arrowood Mystery” 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 scenes of Violence and some Mature Language. The story is set in the England of 1896. The primary character is private detective William Arrowood.

Arrowood is a comtemporary of Sherlock Holmes, but he has little respect for him. Arrowood is engaged by a couple to find their estranged daughter, Birdie. Birdie has  married, but since then she has refused any attempts at contact by her parents.

Arrowood and his colleague, Norman Barnett, travel a short distance outside of London where Birdie is living with her husband. He and his entire family are well thought of in the local community, but they refuse to let Arrowood and Barnett speak to Birdie. The detectives nose around, asking questions, but they only stir up the ire of the locals.

When an old gypsy woman who befriends them disappears, Arrowood asks even more questions, stirring up the locals even more. Arrowood and Barnett are threatened and attacked. The more they investigate the less they trust Birdie’s inlaws or her parents. At the same time they feel that something is clearly wrong at the farm where Birdie is living.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 432-page mystery. I chose this novel because I thought it had something to do with Sherlock Holmes. It doesn’t other than annimosity towards Holmes by Arrowood. There are several characters in this story that suffer from mental problems. Revealing how they were treated at the close of the 19th century seems to be part of the mission of this novel. The story was OK, but I thought it was a little slow. The cover art is OK, but I think something more closely tied to the story would have been better. 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)

Book Review: “The Ghost Manuscript”

511VkZ9CMlL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Ghost Manuscript” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Kris Frieswick (https://www.krisfrieswickauthor.com). Mr. Frieswick has published four 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, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is mostly set in contemporary Wales, though some also takes place in the eastern US. The primary character is Rare Book Authenticator Carys Jones.

Jones enjoys her books, especially Dark Age manuscripts. One of her better clients has been committed to a mental hospital due to his odd actions. He makes her an offer she can’t refuse – his rare book collection if she will assist in deciphering the clues in a very old journal. But it isn’t just an academic exercise, her client believes that the clues will lead to King Arthur’s tomb.

There is an urgency to their effort as it quickly becomes apparent that there are others after the same goal and they are more than willing to use force to find the tomb. She begins to question her own sanity when she starts to ‘see’ the monk who wrote the journal. However, without his ‘advice’, she would not be making progress. Jones must reluctantly return to Wales to continue the search. There she has to face her long-estranged father and she unexpectedly becomes involved with a Welshman.

Will she be able to unravel the clues in the journal? Can she avoid the clutches of the others seeking the tomb? Will everyone she has involved in her quest survive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 337-page adventure thriller. I liked both the characters created for this novel and the plot. There is adventure, suspense, and a touch of the paranormal. The plot does have a twist or two which I enjoyed. The cover art is OK, but I think something tied to the plot would have been better. 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).

Get eBooks for Free!

Books

(See my other posts on Reading) – I came across the article “10 ways to download and read books online for free” today and wanted to share the suggestions it contained. I was aware of some of the suggestions, but not all. For any avid readers who want a source of lower cost reading material, these suggestions may be of value.

The suggestions:

  1. Authorama features hundreds of public domain works
  2. Project Gutenberg has more than 58,000 free eBooks
  3. LibriVox has free public domain audiobooks
  4. ManyBooks offers a selection of classics and contemporary novels
  5. BookBub is a website with books, some free to download, and some are on sale for prices as low as 99 cents [I used this site many times when I first started reading ebooks – check out my full list of ebook sources on my Books & Reading page]
  6. Goodreads community created lists including free e-books from indie and self-published authors, public domain classics, audiobooks from Librivox, books for kids, previews, samples and more
  7. Smashwords has an extensive catalog of contemporary and classic fiction, non-fiction, essays, plays and screenplays that can be filtered by price
  8. Digilibraries has a similar layout to Project Gutenberg with mostly public domain titles
  9. BookLending “matches” users who can help out with someone else’s literary needs
  10. public library apps can be a good source of ebooks

​​Book Review: “He Is Watching You”

513DuiaKPPL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “He Is Watching You” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Charlie Gallagher (https://www.writercharliegallagher.com/). Mr. Gallagher has published ten novels. This is the first in his “Detective Maddie Ives” 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 contemporary England. The primary character is DS Maddie Ives.

Ives has spent most of her police career as an undercover officer. Now that her identity has possibly been revealed, she has been posted to Canterbury to keep her safe from retribution. She is assigned to missing persons and reluctantly begins to dig into her new position. Her first case is for a missing woman who is known to disappear on drunken binges.

DI Harry Blaker is working Major Crimes in Canterbury and is called in on a hit-and-run. He and Ives begin to collaborate believing that there may be a connection between missing persons and the hit-and-run.

The murderer has planted cameras so that he can watch the bodies of his victims. He is surprised to discover that one isn’t dead yet. He must finish her. He already has his next victim selected. Soon Blaker and Ives find themselves in a race to find the murderer before it is too late for his latest victim.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 380-page mystery. I like the characters and plot of this novel. I look forward to reading more in this series. The cover art is OK but could be tied more to the plot. 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).

 

Book Review: “Aether’s Call”

51QiOapDuPL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Aether’s Call” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by John Farr. This is Mr. Farr’s first publication.

I received a copy of this novella through a promotion by the author. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the future with the primary character being Roy the cook on the new Earth spacecraft Starr.

Roy was conscripted onto the Starr. The only job he could perform was as the cook and even that he has trouble with. Everything he attempts ends in failure and Starr’s Captain is ready to dispose of Roy out an airlock. Back on Earth Roy’s ex-wife, Cynthia is conspiring with a scientist. Together with the science officer on the Starr, they are plotting to take down their government.

I spent 2+ hours reading this 158-page novella. It has all of the misconceptions of space travel one might associate with science fiction written in the ’40s or ’50s. The plot was confusing and I don’t think much of the major characters. It does have nice cover art, but the art has little to do with the story. I give this novel a 2 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Theater of Spies”

51-quD6qvyL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Theater of Spies” eBook was published in 2019 (May) and was written by S. M. Stirling (https://smstirling.com). Mr. Stirling has published more than 40 novels. This is the second novel in his “Alternate World War I” 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 US and Europe of World War I. This story is set in an alternate timeline where Teddy Roosevelt is again the US president and is leading the US aggressively in opposition to the Germans. The primary characters are longtime Black Chamber operative Luz O’Malley and her new genius partner and love interest Ciara Whelan.

O’Malley and Whelan are recovering and enjoying some ‘alone time’ at the home in California that O’Malley inherited from her family. That R&R is cut short when they are ordered to Europe to find out about a new weapon system that the German Imperial Navy is developing.

They must travel by airship to South America, then to Africa under a false identity. Then they make their way behind enemy lines into Berlin to discover the details of the German weapon. They encounter German agents along the way and struggle to survive to arrive at their destination.

O’Malley and Welan need to use their skills to penetrate a plant in Germany, then escape. Making things more challenging, the German agent known as Imperial Sword who the two had dealt with in the first novel of the series (“Black Chamber“) is on their trail and is desperate to have his revenge.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 14.5 hours I spent reading this 464-page alternate history thriller. I have read and been a fan of S. M. Stirling for several years. I have always liked his characters and detailed plots woven in most cases with an alternate timeline. I like the selected cover art. 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).