Category Archives: NetGalley

Review of “Codename Lazarus”

515LL2ng+sL._SY346_

Book Reviews – “Codename Lazarus” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by A. P. Martin (http://www.apmartin.co.uk). This is Mr. Martin’s first publication.

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 Germany and England during the years 1933-1940 . The primary character is history professor Dr. John King.

King has spent time in 1933 Germany before Hitler rose to power and left just as the Nazis were beginning to take control of the country. Later in 1939 his old Oxford professor called him in to a secret meeting. The professor had been working for British Intelligence and sought King as a new recruit for a secret mission. King agrees even though the though of faking his own death does not sit well. King returns to Germany to find out more about the ever more powerful Nazis before a well conceived hiking ‘accident’ in Switzerland renders ‘John King’ dead.

King, now using the name James Kemp, takes the place of an ousted German who has been leading a spy ring in the UK. King works the traitors, gathering information on each of them and their contacts. The Battle for Britain is at its height and all fear that Germany will soon invade. King finds himself the subject of a search by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and by a real German spy sent into the UK to revive the spy network.

I enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 365 page World War II Thriller. I liked the time scale that the novel covered. The plot was interesting, though not exactly unique. There was intrigue and a little action, though I think more action would have made this a better read. I also was not happy with the conclusion as it left many loose ends. Perhaps a sequel is planned. The cover art is OK, in line with the Swiss accident. I give this novel a 3.9 (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 Tao Deception”

51dZzcxsfUL

Book Reviews – “The Tao Deception” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by John Green (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Green). This is Mr. Green’s fourth novel and is the second of his “Tori Swyft” thrillers. It is available on Amazon. for the Kindle.

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 takes place in the US, North Korea and in China. The primary character is Dr. Tori Swyft, a former CIA operative and now an analyst for the private firm SIS.

Swyft and colleague Frank Chaudry, formerly of MI6, are involved with brokering a huge deal between a Chinese telecommunications company and Greek firm. As they work with both parties, they begin to suspect something is going on with the Chinese company. Coinciding with this, an unheard of Islamic group in China, RUA, takes credit for assassinating the Pope, then the Prime Ministers of Australia and Russia. This causes great unrest around the world.

Swyft and Chaudry find themselves in the middle of the unrest and on the trail of a secret that will rock the world. While she tries to send information back to a contact in Washington, her reports are untrusted. It becomes a race to see if Swyft will be able to find the proof that is needed and convince those in Washington that she is not part of the conspiracy before a disaster strikes the US.

I really enjoyed the just shy of 9 hours I spent reading this 388 page Thriller. There was both action and political intrigue in this contemporary spy novel. I liked the character of Tori Swyft and will look forward to future novels in the series. The author did a fair job of including some twists and turns in the plot to keep the real villains from becoming apparent too soon. The cover art is reasonable for the story. 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 “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred”

51QUF5jAlhL

Book Reviews – “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Greg Egan (http://www.gregegan.net). Mr. Egan has published more than 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Mature Language. The story is set in the future with asteroids having been colonized.

The asteroids Vesta and Ceres are not close, but have a commerce program worked out where one sends large chunks of ice while the other sends large chunks of stone through space. These chunks of ‘cargo’ take about three years to traverse the space between the asteroids.

Some on Vesta ‘catch a ride’ on the cargo, traveling in a suspended state. They are desperate to leave the deteriorating conditions on Vesta. A traditional ferry vessel has left Vesta for Ceres. The Vesta government claims that there are “war criminals” on board. The new port director on Ceres, Anna, is faced with the decision of how to respond to Vesta demands that the ferry carrying nearly 800 passengers be turned away. Vesta has threatened the nearly 4000 escaping Vesta riding the cargo in route.

Thankfully this was a short read of just under 2 hours for the 70 page Science Fiction novella. While I liked the overall plot, I felt that I was dumped into the middle of a story. It also felt a little chaotic to me. In my opinion, this would have been a much better read if it had been expanded into a full novel. The cover art is OK, I guess it is supposed to represent the ferry. I think an image of a block of stone with a survival cocoon attached would have been better. I give this novella a 2.5 (rounded up to a 3) out of 5.

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

Review of “Malta Victory”

51pA5hac33L

Book Reviews – “Malta Victory” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 1980) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson published more than 50 books. This is the fourth in his “Yeoman” 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. The story is set on the island of Malta in the Eastern Mediterranean during 1942, The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is assigned to an RAF Spitfire squadron on the island of Malta. The British are resisting heavy bombardment and attack by both German and Italian aircraft. Yeoman and the other RAF pilots struggle to survive as they are severely out numbered by enemy aircraft. He adds to his count of aircraft shot down, but suffers from the loss of friends and poor living conditions.

The only thing holding off a German invasion is the lack of total air superiority over the island. The question is will the British be able to hold on long enough to keep the Axis powers from invading.

I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent reading this 160 page World War II novel. I have read several Jackson novels now and this is much like the others – a little history mixed with fictional tales of his characters. The cover art is reasonable, showing Spitfires ready for takeoff. 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 Candidate”

51NxTxnfdwL

Book Reviews – “The Candidate” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Lisa Wiehl (http://liswiehlbooks.com). Ms. Wiehl has published 14 novels. This is the second in her “Newsmakers” 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. The story is set across the contemporary US. The primary character is journalist Erica Sparks, a top-rated cable news host.

Time is approaching for the parties to choose their presidential candidates. Sparks is on location where two potential candidates are to have a debate before their party’s convention. A bomber strikes and a candidate, along with many others, are killed. The remaining candidate, Mike Ortiz, is now guaranteed his party’s nomination.

Sparks begins to have questions about Ortiz. On the surface he is a strong candidate, but the more she digs into his background the more questions she has. As she seeks assistance from others to investigate Ortiz, many die under questionable circumstances.

Can Sparks confirm her fears before the election and will she be able to bring the truth to the American people?

I enjoyed the 6+ hours I spent reading this 348 page Mystery Thriller. I liked the character of Sparks and those regulars around her. I thought that the plot concept of a presidential candidate who is possibly under someone’s control was interesting. There were twists and turns in the plot keeping me very involved with the story. While I think that the ending could have been stronger, I liked the novel. The cover art is OK, implying Washington intrigue. I give this novel a 4.2 (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 “Target Tobruk”

51HC0mm4piL

Book reviewsWWII – “Target Tobruk” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper version was first published in 1979) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the third novel in his “Yeoman “ 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 North Africa and on Crete during 1941. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

The British are desperately fighting the German and Italian forces in North Africa. Yeoman gets assigned to Tobruk, which is essentially under siege by the Germans. He witnesses a lot of combat, though not all in the skies. He is also sent to Crete to help defend against invading Germans. The British are forced out of Crete and hundreds flee on a variety of Royal Navy vessels. Not all of which make it to the relatively safety of Egypt.Yeoman does his extraordinary flying, but finds himself having to bail out of his faltering aircraft yet again.

I enjoyed the not quite 4 hours I spent reading this 160 page WWII novel. I have read a handful of books by Jackson and found them all to be interesting. In this case you get an image of the war as seen by those fighting in North Africa. The cover art is OK, but since this is a book about Hurricanes, I think a combat photo of a fighter would have been better. 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 “And Then She Was Gone”

51A2-l0F3QL

Book Reviews – “And Then She Was Gone” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Christopher Greyson (https://www.christophergreyson.com). Mr. Greyson has published 7 novels. This is the first in his “Detective Jack Stratton” 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. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is 18 year old Jack Stratton.

Stratton has recently graduated from High School and is enjoying his summer. He, and his best friend Chandler, have enlisted in the Army and are just waiting to report to boot camp. His goal is to serve his enlistment then return and attend college. Ultimately, he wants to be a police officer.

A woman disappears and before long a neighbor of Stratton is arrested for her murder. Stratton’s foster mother asks him to look into the case to prove the neighbor’s innocence. Stratton and Chandler dig into the case and run up against police that see them as interfering at the best and involved somehow at the worst.

It becomes a question of whether they will be able to find the real killer without getting themselves in so deep that their military service will be in jeopardy.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 262 page Mystery. While it was not identified as such, it had the feel of a Young Adult novel. I liked the characters in the story and the plot was well developed, with several viable suspects until near the end of the story. The cover art is appropriate, showing the victim being confronted by her murderer. 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 “Hurricane Squadron”

512qxuzi6GL

Book ReviewsWWII – “Hurricane Squadron” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition was published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the first novel in his “Yeoman “ 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. The story is set in France during 1940 as the German Army invades the country at the outbreak of World War II. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is sent to France as a replacement to a Hurricane fighter unit stationed in norther France. The story tells of his exploits on air missions against the Germans. It also tells of his adventures after being shot down twice. The novel gives a historical view of this tumultuous and dangerous time in our history.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 144 page WWII Fiction novel. I already have read a few of the later novels in the series and enjoyed them as well. I liked the character of Yeoman as well as the look into the history of the period that the novel provides. The cover art is a reasonable choice 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).

Review of “Timeshift”

51pPM-bnOyL._SY346_

Book Reviews – “Timeshift” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Kris Trudeau (http://timeshift-novel.com). This is Ms. Trudeau’s first novel.

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, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story takes place in 1200, 2016, 2095 and 2097. There are several characters prominent in each time period.

The story is that by 2097 very intelligent robots have been created and they begin to run amuck. Unable to check them any other way, a three pronged time travel mission is put into place to counter the robots.

One group travels back to 1200 to find and destroy the main deposit of Elevanium. This is newly discovered material that proved to be a powerful and long lasting power source. All of society had become dependent on Elevanium, but the robots in particular would be severely limited if they had to frequently recharge conventional batteries.

A second group traveled back to 2016 to find out more about Elevanium from it’s discoverer. A third group went back to 2095 to influence the design of the robots to prevent then from being capable of turning against humans.

These were tightly connected, highly secret missions that were to span 180 days. During the course of each mission the groups encountered many obstacles as well as threats from unknown sources. It was a 180 day race to see if the missions could be completed in time to avoid a catastrophe in 2097.

This was a very long 17 hour read of 470 pages. I liked the over-all plot, but I felt there were oddities with the story. No countries were ever named in the story. Toward the end of the book there is military action, but the officers in charge call each other by first name instead of rank. The feel of the story is of one written in the 50s or 60s as there are ‘fantastic’ technologies that are used – case in point the ‘Versatool’ that each team member carries that can use a colored beam to lift objects of any size, shrink them down to miniature and blow them back up to full size. In many respects this has the feel of a Young Adult novel as there is minimal violence. There are multiple instances of Romance between team members but only with implied intimacy. All-in-all I think this is an average read. The cover art is OK, but not exceptional. 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).

Review of “Storm Dreams”

51h8vby0esL

Book Reviews – “Storm Dreams” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Jeb R. Sherrill. This is Mr. Sherrill’s first publication.

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 on Earth during World War I and in another universe made up of dreams. The primary character is pilot John Cassidy.

Cassidy is ‘rescued’ by the crew of the Zeppelin Nubigena. Cassidy and the crew of the Nubigena are in one scrape after another as they weave their flight between the real world and the surrealistic universe of dreams. German World War I Ace, Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Barron), is also a major character in their adventures.

I thought the not quite 7 hours I spent reading this 284 page Fantasy novel were interesting. The book was well written and I liked the characters, but frankly it was on the strange side. I’m glad I finished it, but I’m not sure that I liked it. There was a lot of action, but I’m not sure what the point of the story was. The conclusion just seemed to be an end of the story. The cover art is appropriate, giving the impression of the Zepplin emerging from storm clouds, which it often did in the story. I give this novel a 3.4 (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).