Category Archives: NetGalley

Review of “Wind of Death”

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Book Reviews – “Wind of Death” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1990) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published more than 50 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 mostly in Germany and Poland during the closing years (1944) of World War II. The primary character is British SAS Captain Callum Douglas.

Douglas and his band of SAS commandos are sent into Poland to destroy a secret German rocket base. The base has developed a multistage rocked capable of reaching both London and Moscow. To make matters worse, intelligence sources have evidence that the Germans have developed a potent nerve gas. The gas together with the new rocket means that the Germans can attack and kill entire cities.

Douglas must penetrate the secret base and destroy the rockets before they can be used against the Allies and turn the tide of the war.

I enjoyed the 4.5 hours I spend reading this World War II Thriller. This is the sequel to “Attack at Night”. I have read several of Jackson’s novels and have enjoyed them all. The cover art is reasonable for this behind the lines commando mission. 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 “Lost Girls”

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Book Review – “Lost Girls” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Merrie Destefano (http://www.merriedestefano.com). Ms. Stefano has 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. The story is set in the US. High School Junior Rachel wakes up in a ditch. She soon learns that she has been missing for two weeks. The worst part is that she can’t remember anything that has happened to her over the past year. The last thing she remembers is falling asleep in her room listening to music during her Sophomore year.

She discovers that over the past year, before the kidnapping, she had changed. She is astonished to find that she is romantically involved with a guy she would have been too timid to talk to before. She slowly investigates her own life, surprised at what she learns about herself. Slowly too, she begins to remember bits and pieces of the past year. She finds out that she is not the only lost girl, but she is the only one that has turned up alive.

The more she uncovers, she realizes that there has been a very dark side to her life over the past year. She also realizes that she has been involved with some very scary people. Will she remember how she was kidnapped and be able to save some of the other missing girls, or will her kidnappers find her again.

This was an interesting 6.5 hour read of a Young Adult Mystery. While there was romance, there was also a lot of dark, dangerous events in Rachel’s life. The plot certainly headed in unexpected directions as the story unfolds. The cover art is OK, but doesn’t really relate to the story being told. 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 “Martians Abroad”

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Book Reviews – “Martians Abroad” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Carrie Vaughn (http://www.carrievaughn.com). Ms. Vaughn has published over 20 novels and numerous short stories.

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 mild Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in the far future when the Solar System has been colonized. A young Martian girl, Polly Newton, and her twin brother, Charles, are sent to Earth to attend the prestigious Galileo Academy.

They are the first Martians to attend the school. Students from other colonies are there as well. None of the off-world students fit in well, nor do the Earth students treat them as equals.

Dangerous accidents keep happening to Polly and her small circle of friends. She and her brother come to the conclusion that there is a conspiracy against them and they try to discover the source.

This was an OK 6 hour read of a Young Adult Science Fiction story. The story seems to be targeted at Middle School/High School girls since Polly is the primary character. I think it could have been better if there had been a little more meat to the story. The cover art is OK as certainly it gives the feeling of a young girl missing home, but I think something showing some action caused by one of the accidents would have been better. The way the story ends, there could easily be sequels, which I would reaed. I give this novel a 3.6 (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 Rising Sun”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “The Rising Sun” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper version published in 1999) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published more than 50 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 is set in the South Pacific during early (1941-42) World War II. Japan has attacked the US at Pearl Harbor and is rapidly growing its control over East Asia. The primary character is RAF Wing Commander Ken Armstrong.

Armstrong has led his flight of 20 Hurricane fighters from Cairo to near Rangoon, Burma (now known at Yangon, Myanmar) as reinforcements. He, and his command, struggle against overwhelming odds to slow the Japanese advance. As hard as they fight, the Japanese forces continue to spread. As usual in Jackson novels, there is plenty of daring flying and dramatic situations.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this World War II novel. For some reason, most of the novels of this era I have read lately are set in Europe. Reading something about the Pacific Theatre was a welcome change. I do like the way that Jackson mixes history into his novels. I have read, and enjoyed, several other books by Jackson and two others with Armstrong as the main character. The cover art is OK, showing battle at sea. I think it should have been a Hurricane and Zero in a dog fight. 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 “Gunmetal Gray”

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Book Review – “Gunmetal Gray” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Mark Greaney (http://markgreaneybooks.com). Mr. Greaney has published six novels on his own in the Gray Man series, and seven more with Tom Clancy.

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 China, Vietnam and Thailand. The primary character is Court Gentry, the Gray Man.

Gentry has taken on an assignment for the CIA. A Chinese cyber warfare specialist, Fan Jiang, is on the run and it is trying to get out of China. The Chinese want to kill him, while the US and Russia want to help his escape and find out all he knows about China’s cyber warfare capabilities.

Things get complicated after Jiang gets involved with asian gangs in his attempt to make it to Taiwan. Gentry and the Russians keep bumping heads as they both try to extract Jiang from the gangsters who have taken him. Gentry also finds himself with a little dangerous romance. But all is not what it seems and Gentry soon finds that he has not been told the full story.

I enjoyed the nearly 13 hours I spent with his spy novel. I thought that the plot was interesting and this was a pretty typical spy thriller. I would certainly read another in the series. The cover art is OK, but does not convey much about 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 “Alliance”

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Book Reviews – “Alliance” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by S. K. Dunstall (http://www.skdunstall.com). This is the pseudonym for Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall. Together they have published three novels in their “Linesman” series. This is the second 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the far future with humanity spread out into the stars. The “Lines” are what enable starship travel and “Linesman” control and take care of the Lines. The primary character in the story is Linesman Ean Lambert.

Though he was thought to have little skill, he discovered that there were more than 10 lines and found a new, more effective way of communicating with them (the subject of the first novel in the series “Linesman“). In this second volume of the series, Lambert must train wary Linesmen in his new technique as well as defend himself from attacks. War has been declared between the fledgling New Alliance and the Gate Union, but while the tension is high, military action is still only a threat.

Lambert must maneuver a difficult path. He is the center of much turmoil between the new head of Crown Princess Michelle’s security team Commodore Vega, stalking kidnappers and political intrigue.

I enjoyed the 11 hours I spent with this 390 page Science Fiction novel. I liked the characters and the concept of the Lines. The cover art is OK, but really only relates to a small part of the story. 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 “Nomad”

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Book Review – “Nomad” was published in 2016 and was written by James Swallow. Mr. Swallow has been a prolific author with many publications to his credit. This is the first in his “Rubicon” 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 mostly in the UK and Europe, though with a little in the US. The primary character is Marc Nash, formerly of the Royal Navy and now a member of MI6.

He and his team are making a raid on a suspected terrorist ship in the harbor at Dunkirk. Nash is part of the support crew stationed in a nearby truck to guide the real shooters as they make the approach to the ship. In moments the mission blows apart, literally and figuratively. The entire team is dead, including Nash’s lover Samantha Green, and he barely escapes with his life.

Nash is being pursued and must find his way discretely back to England. But when he gets back to MI6 he is the primary target in the investigation into what happened to team “Nomad”. He must clear his name or he will be buried forever.

Rubicon is an organization run by a billionaire with a strike force of its own. Rubicon hears of Nash and needs to find out what he knows. They tell Nash that they are the good guys, but he has serious doubts. Soon he and Rubicon agent Lucy Keyes are struggling for their lives and are in desperate pursuit of terrorists that are determined to take their war to America.

I thought this was an enjoyable 13+ hour read. This was a typical intelligence/spy story, but I did enjoy it. There was plenty of action and a good plot. The cover art was nice, but really didn’t give much insite to the story other than it dealt with the Middle East. 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 “Sherlock Holmes and the Eisendorf Enigma”

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Book Reviews – “Sherlock Holmes and the Eisendorf Enigma” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Larry Millett (https://www.larrymillett.com/). Mr. Millett has published more than a dozen books and including several “Holmes Mysteries”.

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 mostly in the small town of Eisendorf, Minnesota, but some is spent in Munich, Germany as well.

As expected Sherlock Holmes is the primary character. It is 1920 and the 66 year old Holmes has mostly retired. He travels to Minnesota to visit the Mayo clinic seeking treatment of his growing breathing problems. While there he receives a cryptic message from a former foe, the “Monster of Munich”. The message invites Holmes to the small, remote town of Eisendorf.

Holmes had been unable to catch the Monster back in Munich of 1892. Now he both sees an opportunity to conclude that case as well as solve some unusual deaths in Eisendorf. Eisendorf proves to be a challenge. The town is tight lipped and the town and its inhabitants seem to harbor many secrets.

Holmes faces challenges as well as threats. Will he be able to identify the killer? Will he survive the encounter and his failing health?

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 240 page Mystery. This Holmes is very much like Doyle’s original, though much older,  I thought that the plot was well played out and the solution was not obvious. I would certainly consider reading other of Millett’s Holmes novels. The cover art is OK, giving the impression of the dark, forested location of Eisendorf. 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 “Jerusalem Fire”

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Book Reviews – “Jerusalum Fire” eBook was published in 2016 (the paper edition was originally published in 1986) and was written by R. M. Meluch (http://rmmeluch.com). Ms. Meluch has published over 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 the far future. The Na’id Empire is conquering all of human space and has no concern what so ever for alien species, whether or not they are sapient. The main character is Alihahd, who has sided with the rebels and has been harassing the Na’id.

Alihahd finds himself stranded on the planet Iry. A place of myth. He survives there, taken in by the Itiri. The Itiri Warrior Priests are nearly invincible, yet only a thing of myth in the Na’id Empire. The Itiri spurn the outside world, willing to let the humans battle with themselves.

Alihahd is a troubled soul, wishing to die, but unwilling to take his own life. Over the course of the novel Alihahd struggles with his life.

I was glad when I completed the 9.5 hours needed to finish this 378 page science fiction novel. I thought more than once on calling a Rule of 50, and in hind site I wish I had. Though well written, for the most part I found this novel dull and boring. The cover art one small event in the novel and is not a good representation of the whole. 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 “Codename Lazarus”

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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).