Category Archives: eBook

Review of “Outcasts of Order”

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Book Reviews – “Outcasts of Order” eBook was published in 2018 (June) and was written by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (http://www.lemodesittjr.com). Mr. Modesitt has published nearly 80 novels. This is the twentieth novel in his “Saga of Recluse” 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 a little Mature Language. The story is set in a world where magic is possible. This novel continues to follow the young Mage Beltur introduced in “The Mongrel Mage“.

Beltur, though raised by his uncle and trained as a While Mage, has found he is a powerful Black Mage. He used his skill to help defend Elparta from invasion. Now that the threat is over, he finds himself under new threats.

For some in Elparta he is too strong in magic and they see him as a threat to their power. His romantic interest in a young healer, Jessyla, is seen as a threat by a Black Mage that desires her. His ability to aid the coppersmith Jorhan to cast rare and beautiful cupridium pieces is seen as a threat to the traders.

He finds that he must flee Elparta in fear of his life. Jessyla insists on coming with him and becoming his consort (wife). They must face the dangers of traveling to Axalt. Not only must they travel through winter storms, but brigands threaten travelers along the road.

Once they arrive in Axalt, things are better, or at least seem so on the surface. Both Jessyla and Beltur are able to further their skills as Healers. Baltur is able to produce more cupridium pieces with Jorhan. He is an outsider though and different. Even though they have distanced themselves from Elparta, the Council there tries to make trouble for him as his friends.

Beltur must protect himself and his friends from attack from one direction after another. It becomes a question of how far will he have to go. What will he have to do to survive? Will he ever find a place that he and Jessyla can have a home and a family?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 19+ hours I spent reading this 656 page fantasy. I have enjoyed reading the last two novels in the “Saga of Recluce”, and they make me want to go back and start the series from the beginning. This novel reads pretty well on its own, but certainly reading “The Mongrel Mage” first helps. I do like the characters that have been created. Beltur, while a very strong Mage, is still finding his own strengths and abilities. This novel was a little slower than the previous one, though I did still find myself drawn to reading it. This novel is more about his growth as a Mage and a Healer. I like the cover art chosen for this novel. 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).

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Review of “Blood’s a Rover”

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Book Reviews – “Blood’s a Rover” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Harlan Ellison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison). Mr. Ellison has published only nine novels or novellas but has published over 1,700 short stories since 1958. He has received numerous awards for his writing over the years.

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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in a post-apocalypse world. The primary characters are the young man Vic and his enhanced dog Blood.

Vic and Blood struggle to survive in the desolate wasteland of the future. Blood, his dog, has been enhanced allowing them to communicate telepathically, and Blood is clearly the more strategic thinker of the two.

After being separated, they find themselves together again. Soon, Vic is confronted with adding a third member to their team, Spike. Spike is a survivor like Vic. Reluctantly Vic lets the young woman join them and the duo becomes a trio.

I thought the 2.5 hours spent reading this 232 page novella was interesting. I had not read any of the prior works in the series, but this novella read pretty well on its own. That is not too unexpected since the last work in the series was published in 1980. I think the cover art is good as it both depicts the flavor of the story as well as having a vintage look. It is adapted from a screenplay, so the format is a little hard to read. 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 “The Berlin Affair”

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Book ReviewsWWIIWWII Timeline – “The Berlin affair” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by David Boyle. Mr. Boyle has 12 publications. This is the first in his “Xanthe Schneider Enigma thriller” 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, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in England and Germany during 1940. The primary character is the young American woman Xanthe Schneider.

Schneider is recruited by British intelligence to travel to German in the guise of an American reporter. She is to determine if Ralph Lancing-Price, a former British government minister, is still a patriot to England or a traitor.

She finds more in Germany than she bargains for: Information about the secret German ‘Enigma’ coding device is revealed to her; She develops a romantic relationship with Lancing-Price; and Germany begins to mobilize its armies.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 121 page World War II spy thriller was interesting. This wasn’t a very compelling read. The story seemed to just amble along. I think it would have been better if it had been expanded into a full novel. The cover art is OK, but not very closely related to the story. I give this novella 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 “Exile”

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Book Reviews – “Exile” eBook was published in 2018 (July) and was written by Glynn Stewart (https://www.glynnstewart.com). Mr. Stewart has published 27 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 in the far future. The primary character is Vice Admiral Isaac Gallant.

Gallant is the heir to the leadership of the Confederacy of Humanity. Heir because his mother, the First Admiral, has taken over the Confederacy and rules it with an iron fist. Fed up with what his mother represents, Gallant gets involved with a rebellious group intending to overthrow the First Admiral.

The plot is discovered before any real action can be taken. Normally those even thinking of rebellion would be executed. However, since her son is involved, the First Admiral decides that exile is a just punishment. But this is not a simple exile, but a one-way trip to the other end of the Galaxy. Not only are the rebels sent, but four million including criminals, and anyone thought to speak against the First Admiral, are rounded up and included.

Their destination is a planet that a quick survey has identified as habitable. Now they must build a new civilization. They have various troubles, mostly due to the mix of people included. The real challenge comes when the new colony is confronted with the aliens that terraformed the planet. Will they find a way to survive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 381 page science fiction thriller. I thought that the idea of people being exiled was an unusual basis for a plot. I also liked the characters that appear in the story. I look forward to future novels in this series. Given the storyline, I think that the cover art is well chosen. 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 “The DeValera Deception

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Book Reviews – “The DeValera Deception” eBook was published in 2018 (the original paper edition was published in 2010) and was written by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin (http://www.winstonchurchillthrillers.com). Mr. McMenamin has published seven novels and this is the first in their “Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller” 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 across North America in 1929.

Winston Churchill is traveling across Canada and the US. The Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, asks him to discretely approach President Herbert Hoover to get assistance in stopping the sale of arms to the IRA. While a team of SIS agents is dispatched to investigate, Churchill decides to rely on his own resources. He recruits his goddaughter, Mattie McGary, who is a reporter for the Hearst newspapers and Bourke Cockran a lawyer and son of one of Churchill’s former mentors.

While Cockran develops a strong love interest in McGary, he also mistrusts her and Hearst. The two are able to discover quite a bit about the IRA plot, but they find themselves in dangerous situations time and again. Cockran is distracted by the presence in the US of the IRA agent responsible for the death of his first wife. He struggles to keep his focus on the arms deal instead of seeking revenge.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 415 page period thriller. I liked the characters of Cockran and McGary, as well as the real historical figures that the authors have woven into the story. I like the cover art selected for the novel. 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 “One Way”

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Book Reviews – “One Way” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by S. J. Morden (http://bookofmorden.co.uk/). Mr. Morden has published 15 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 in the near future mostly on the Mars. The primary character is Frank Kittridge. Kittridge ran a construction company at one time, but at the beginning of the story he is in prison on a life sentence for murder.

Kittridge is approached with an unusual offer. The company, Xenosystems Operations, that runs the private prison he is doing time in is also bidding on a contract to build a Mars base for NASA. Kittridge and a few other prisoners are being given the opportunity to travel to Mars and to build the base there. In return they get out of prison, but will be confined to the Mars base for the rest of their lives.

The volunteers are given training and then are sent to Mars on a one way trip. They arrive and begin to assemble the habitat that has been sent ahead of them. Then ‘accidents’ begin to happen and prisoners begin to die. Is it just the inhospitable Martian environment or is there a killer amongst them?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 368 page science fiction mystery. I thought that the concept of using prisoners to take a one way trip to Mars was interesting. The Kittridge character is very flawed and I think adds to the story, though perhaps he is a little too flawed. I like the cover art, though I am not sure why a space suited figure is shown in space. 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 “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: For Honor”

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Book Reviews – “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: For Honor” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Jeff Rovin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Rovin). Mr. Rovin has published nearly 50 novels as well as several non-fiction and biographies.

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. At the height of the cold war Russian nuclear weapons were quietly put into place in a remote East Russian fishing village.

Now decades later the Russian military is making a deal to sell the warheads to the Iranians. Op Center steps in to stop the sale. Their efforts are challenged by opposition within the White House and the FBI.

This was an interesting read of 8+ hours for this 352 page thriller. The cover art is OK, but something closer to the story plot would have been better in my opinion. 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 “Jian”

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Book Reviews – “Jian” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition was published in 1985) and was written by Eric Van Lustbader (https://www.ericvanlustbader.com). Mr. Lustbader has published nearly 50 novels. This is the first of his two “China Maroc” 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.  The story is set in Hong Kong.

Jake Maroc is a top agent for a US agency. Nichiren is an assassin as well as Maroc’s adversary. She Zilin is a Communist minister. All three are struggling to become the Jian – the ultimate master of strength and wisdom. Who will survive the scheme that has set them against one another? Who will control Hong Kong?

This was a good thriller. I have read many of Van Lustbader’s novels and I have liked them all. I like the 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).

Review of “Prisoner in the Castle”

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Book ReviewsWorld War IIWorld War II Timeline – “Prisoner in the Castle” eBook was published in 2018 (August) and was written by Susan Elia MacNeal (http://www.susaneliamacneal.com). Ms. MacNeal has published eight novels in her ‘Maggie Hope Mystery’ series. This is the eighth in the 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 Scotland during World War II. The primary character is Maggie Hope, a former British spy.

Hope has been sent to a castle on a remote Scottish island because she has become aware of the plans for D-Day. She and a hand full of others from the intelligence community are there to set out the war where they cannot reveal sensitive information that they have come across.

Soon after a new resident arrives, members of their small community begin to die. At first, the deaths seem like accidents, but before long it is obvious that there is a killer amongst them. Not only are they living with a killer, but the evidence indicates that there is a German spy on the island after Allied secrets.

I really enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 320 page World War II-era mystery/thriller. While this is one of a series, it reads well as a stand-alone novel. I liked the characters in the novel. I would like to go back and read earlier novels in the series, and I will certainly be looking for future additions. I like the cover art. 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 “Dragon Road”

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Book Reviews – “Dragon Road” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Joseph Brassey (https://www.facebook.com/Joseph-Brassey-Author-105844679506156/). Mr. Brassey has published 10 novels, with this the second in his “The Drifting Lands” 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 a mystical land where magic is possible.

Portal-mage Harkon Bright and his apprentice Aimee are hired to arbitrate the selection of the new Captain for the massive skyship Iseult. The Iseult is a city unto itself. After the Captain’s odd death, three officers are contending for the position. There is more here than simply a contest of will for the command of the vessel. Various plots are encountered within the officers of the Iseult. There is also magic from the darkness that pits Harkon and Aimee against the dead.

I thought that this was an interesting 11.5 hour read of 448 pages. This was a fantasy full of magical threats. It was a little confusing at first so I would suggest reading the first novel in the series before this one if possible. 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).