Category Archives: NetGalley

Review of “The Fallen”

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Book Reviews – “The Fallen” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Eric Van Lustbader (https://www.ericvanlustbader.com). Mr. Lustbader has published more than 45 novels. This is the second in his “The Testament” 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 Europe with the primary character being Braverman “Bravo” Shaw, head of the Gnostic Observatine sect.

A series of events take place that seem to herald the End of Days. A man finds the long hidden Testament of Lucifer in a remote Lebanese cave. Shaw, along with his blind sister, Emma, and Fra Leoni begin the chase to retrieve the Testament and stop the End of Days.

I enjoyed the nearly 11 hours I spent reading this 352 page Paranormal Thriller. I have been a long time fan of Van Lustbader, but this novel seemed to fall short for me. It felt a little “raw’, in the need of “polishing”. While the second in a series, this novel stood well on its own. The cover art is OK, but doesn’t really give a feel for the story. 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).

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Review of “The Guns Above”

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Book Reviews – The Guns Above” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Robyn Bennis (http://www.robynbennis.com). This is Ms. Bennis’ first novel and the first in her “Signal Airship” 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 another universe where steam is the king of technology. The primary character is Lieutenant Josette Dupre, the first woman to Captain an airship.

Her command is challenged by a doubting crew as well as an untested airship. Her life is further complicated by the foppish aristocrat, Lord Bernat, who has been assigned as an “observer” to her vessel. Clearly he is there to spy on her for his uncle, the general.

While on their shakedown cruise, still evaluating the ship, they are drawn into battle. Led by Dupre, the crew is able to survive, just barely. Dupre finds many ways to make her little airship have a large impact in the battles being fought.

Dupre steps into her shoes as Captain, leading her crew with creative ideas and courage. Her successes reach the press which is why the King had, against tradition, appointed her an Airship Captain. Now, like it or not, she is in a leadership role that some hope will see the military integrated with women in all capacities.

I really enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 352 page Steam Punk Thriller. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. I look forward to further books in this series. The cover art is well chosen. I give this novel a 4.6 (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 “A Peace Divided”

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Book Reviews – “A Peace Divided” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Tanya Huff. Ms. Huff has published more than 30 novels. This is the second book in her “Peacekeeper” 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 on a remote world undergoing limited archaeological research. The primary character is former Confederation Marine Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr, who is now a warden for the Confederation Justice Department.

A group of archeologists have been taken hostage. Kerr and her team, augmented with a group from the Primacy, are sent to rescue the hostages. It has only been a few years since the long war between the Confederation and the Primacy ended. The joint operation by former enemies is full of tension.

When they arrive on-planet, they discover the group holding the hostages is also made up of both former Confederation and Primary military. They are there driving the archeologists to find a hidden weapon that can be used to destroy the race know as “The Plastic”. The Plastic was responsible for causing the long war between the Confederation and the Primacy. There are many who now want a way to take revenge on The Plastic for all the death and destruction.

Though I enjoyed the 12.5 hours I spent reading this 379 page Science Fiction novel, it seemed a little flawed. I liked the characters and the plot, but sometimes the story was a little confusing. While there being a prior novel in the series, which I hadn’t read, didn’t help, this novel stood pretty well on its own. I thought the cover art was well chosen. 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 “Hong Kong Black”

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Book Reviews – “Hong Kong Black” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Alex Ryan. This is Mr. Ryan’s second novel and the second in his “Nick Foley” thrillers.

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 today’s China. The primary character is former US Navy SEAL Nick Foley.

Foley has tried to leave behind his Special Operations experiences and now works for a non-profit working to bring clean drinking water to rural Chinese. He has already been drawn into one operation where he helped to save China from a bio-terrorist attack. Now he is being drawn in again.

A Chinese working undercover for the CIA has disappeared and Foley is asked to look into it. What should have been a simple task draws him and those closest to him into another life-and-death situation and a conspiracy of global proportions.

As Foley is investigating this disappearance, his beautiful and close friend Dr. Dazhong “Dash” Chen of the CDC is involved in identifying what is behind a series of mutilated bodies that are washing ashore. Before long their investigations merge into a more serious problem than either would have conceived possible.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent with this 362 page spy thriller. Event hough this is the second in the series, it read well on its own. I liked the characters and the plot. It is a bit of a different take, US operatives working closely with Chinese operatives to save the day. The cover art is OK, but doesn’t relate much to 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).

Review of “MacArthur’s Spies”

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Book Reviews – MacArthur’s Spies” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Peter  Elsner. Mr. Elsner has published five non-fiction 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story takes place mostly in the Philippines during the years just before and during World War II.

While several people are mentioned, the most prominent figure is Claire Phillips, a singer and Manilla nightclub owner. Some of the others include Colonel John Boone who led a group of guerrillas. There is “Chick” Parsons a business man and US Navy officer who claimed to be a Panamanian diplomat to escape the Philippines with his family. Soon after he was on MacArthur’s staff in Australia coordinating guerrilla activities in the Philippines.

This books describes activities of US citizens in the Philippines during the war, as well as several Filipinos. These individuals, mostly civilians, gathered information on the Japanese military, gathered then smuggled supplies to prisoners of war and carried out guerrilla warfare. Their actions were a part of World War II I knew little about before hand.

I found this book to be very interesting. I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 362 page non-fiction history. I found it surprising what these and others were able to accomplish under the noses of the occupying Japanese military. 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).

Review of “The Silent corner”

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Book Reviews – “The silent Corner” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Dean Koontz (http://www.deankoontz.com). Mr. Koontz has published over 100 novels as well as several novellas.

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 take place in various places in the US, but mostly in California.

Jane Hawk, the primary character of the story, is an FBI agent who’s husband unexpectedly committed suicide. After she got over the shock, she took a leave from the FBI, liquidated everything, dropped off the grid and began to investigate.

Fearing for her son’s life, she leaves him with friends and sets off on her own. She finds that suicide is on the increase and many are as strange as her husband’s case. As she tracks down the trail of a ‘brothel’ with beautiful women willing for clients to do literally anything, she discovers that nono-scale technology may be what is creating these docile and cooperative young women. And it may well be at the root of the suicide of her husband and others. That information comes with a price. She soon finds herself a hunted fugitive. Will she find the truth and will she be able to stay alive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the just shy of 11 hours I spent reading this 466 page Science Fiction Mystery Thriller. I have read many Dean Koontz novels. This one strays from the earlier thrillers with more of a paranormal twist. This one reminds me more of a Michael Crichton novel. I liked the character of Jane Hawk and the way the novel ended I expect . . . I hope to be reading more with her at the core. The cover art is OK. 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 “Our Young Guardians: Seven & Two”

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Book Review – “Our Young Guardians: Seven & Two” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Rodi Szoke. This is Mr. Szoke’s first novel and the first in his planned “Our Young Guardians” 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 a mythical land. We are reading the account of what happened set down in a first person ‘diary’ like tale. A young 13 year old boy, Jonek. is the primary character.

Jonek’s life has been as normal as one might expect growing up in a small village. He is suddenly thrust into the role of protector of both his family and strangers he encountered on the way home. This propels him into an epic quest where he faces many opponents with both sword and magic.

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 329 page Young Adult Fantasy. While the challenges encountered on the quest are not unusual, some of the characters encountered and allies made are. This novel did arrive at a conclusion of sorts, but the way is prepared for sequels, which I look forward to reading. I think the cover art chosen could have been better. 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 “Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine”

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Book Reviews – “Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Anthony Francis (http://jeremiahwillstone.com/). This is Mr. Francis’ fifth 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set partially in a parallel universe where Steam Punk is the technology and partially in our own world, The primary character is the young woman, Commander Jeremiah Willstone.

Willstone is an officer in the Victoriana Defense League (VDL). She is sent on a mission to find and stop her uncle who has stolen highly secret technology. She soon finds herself and the airship she is on plunging through time and dimensions. She finds herself in our very different contemporary world.

She and the VDL have spent years battling invasion attempts by extraterrestrials in their universe. Her view of things changes on this mission as she learns more about her uncle as well as both her allies and enemies.

I enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 298 page Science Fiction Steam Punk novel. I liked the world created for Willstone, as well as the cross over to our own. I thought that the plot was well laid out and very engaging. While the story arrives at a conclusion, there is plenty of loose ends that beg for sequels. I liked the cover art showing Jeremiah Willstone with an airship above her. 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 “Countdown to Terror”

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Book Reviews – “Countdown to Terror” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by David Holman. Mr. Holman has published two 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 1969 England. At the height of the cold war, England, the US and Russia are all actively pursuing space programs.

A former German, now working with the British space program is seen attacked and killed. This involves the prime character of the novel, former MI5 officer Alex Swan. Swan is now with the secretive Ministry of Defense Services Investigations Department. Swan, along with ex-detective colleague Arthur Gable, delves into the murder and soon finds themselves involved with a much larger issue.

There are more deaths and Swan soon discovers that there is a clandestine organization that evolved out of Nazi Germany actively at work trying to sabotage space efforts by the British, US and Russians. Swan works hard to identify those involved and stop them from bringing catastrophic results on the space efforts.

I enjoyed the nearly 9 hours I spent reading this 318 page espionage thriller. While there was only a little action, I enjoyed the intrigue and plot twists. Given that the plot involves the space programs the cover are is appropriate. 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 “Operation Armageddon”

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Book Reviews – “Operation Armageddon” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Richard Freeman. Mr. Freeman has published 17 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 takes place in 1943 Europe. The primary characters are Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander James Bosanquet and French resistance leader Marie Le Faucheur.

The war is beginning to turn for the Nazis. Their army at Stalingrad is in danger of being surrounded and the Allies will soon invade North Africa. Hitler himself comes up with a daring plan to strike a blow against the Allies with a submarine loaded with 250 tons of explosives.

Faucheur in Cap d’Enfer, France comes across information about the U-boat in her job at the German naval base. Bosanquet, working for British Naval Intelligence, is dropped behind German lines to take action against the threat. Working together with Faucheur, Bosanquet comes up with a plan to at least delay the sailing of the U-boat.

As with most plans, things fall apart quickly and their attack is thwarted with many injured or killed. The U-boat sails and it becomes a race to see if it can be found and stopped before the Germans can strike their ‘Armageddon’ blow against the Allies.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent on this 258 page World War II thriller. The main characters were a bit bungling in their jobs, but that is more realistic than the ‘James Bond’ like heroes we normally read about. The cover art is reasonable given that a German U-boat is central to 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).