Category Archives: NetGalley

Book Review: “Drawing D – Day: An Artist’s Journey Through War”

51-xifdTiiL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Ugo Giannini published the book “Drawing D – Day: An Artist’s Journey Through War” in 2013. This was his only 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’. This is the story of Ugo Giannini and his wartime experiences.

Giannini was an artist. He was part of a Military Police unit landed at Normandy on D-Day. Only 6 of his platoon of 37 made it ashore. He used his artistic abilities to make drawings on D-Day and throughout the war. Included in this book are some of these drawings. Most of the book consists of letters Giannin wrote to his girlfriend and family.

Most of his letters reflect his dark feelings about the war. While he was never wounded, many around him are killed or wounded.

I thought that the 5+ hours I spent reading this 196-page non-fiction book. The included drawings were good, but there were fewer than I expected. For me, the many letters became tiresome to read as they repeated his depression. I do like the selected cover art. I give this book a 3 out of 5.

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


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 370 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “The Mage-Fire War”

51XfDRhtfSL._SY346_

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author L. E. Modesitt Jr (https://www.lemodesittjr.com) published the novel “The Mage-Fire War” in 2019. Mr. Modesitt has published 80 novels. This is the 21st 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 ‘R’ because it contains Violence. The story is set on a fantasy world. The primary character is Black Mage Beltur. 

Beltur and his wife, along with another mage and his family have traveled to the country of Montgren. The Duchess of Montgren offers them the position of Town Councilors of Haven. Of course, they must bring it out of a state of decay. Beltur and the Council face opposition from some of the townspeople.  They all soon find themselves under threat of invasion as well. They must fight for their new home 

Beltur’s prior experience as a war mage and a scout is critical. His abilities are key in their struggle against the invaders. The struggle does not leave the town of Haven unscathed. 

I enjoyed the 16 hours I spent reading this 538-page fantasy novel. This is the fourth Modesitt novel I have read. I enjoy this author’s work. This is a continuation of the founding story of Freehaven. I have read both of the other books (The Mongrel Mage and Outcasts of Order) in this subseries of Recluse. I have enjoyed these three novels. Modesitt weaves a good tale with rich characters. I look forward to more of his work. I like the chosen 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).

Book Review: “Three Remain”

418CmlcNGuL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author R. A. Andrade (https://www.raandrade.com) published the novel “Three Remain” in 2019. This is Mr. Andrade’s second 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. The story takes place in the contemporary US. There are three principal characters. Sara, Traci, and Glen. 

Glen wakes up at his rural home to find himself without power or communications. Sara wakes to find herself in a wrecked car and without any memory. Traci, a 13-year-old, falls asleep in the movie theater and awake to silence. 

The three come together and find that they are alone. Before long they discover themselves faced with one obstacle after another. Then they realize that these are not random occurrences. They are being tested.

I enjoyed the 6+ hours I spent reading this 261-page young adult science fiction novel. While not labeled young adult, it has that feel to it. I do like the plot, though it seems to be simply implemented. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

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

Book Review: “The Thames at War: Saving London From the Blitz”

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Gustav Milne published the novel “The Thames at War: Saving London From the Blitz” in 2020 (July). Mr. Milne has published more than a dozen 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 ‘G’. The book gives the history of the Thames river in the area of London during WWII. It is pretty dry and not the easiest read. It does bring out an ignored strategy that the Germans could have employed. Had they tried to bomb the areas along the river they might have flooded parts of London. 

The 3.5+ hours reading the 224-page non-fiction account of WWII London were interesting. It was not a ‘fun’ read, but is was informative though a bit tedious. I do like the selected cover art. I give this book a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

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

Book Review: “Shrouded Loyalties”

51i4SXWffNL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Reese Hogan (http://www.reesehogan.com) published the novel “Shrouded Loyalties” in 2019. Mr. Hogan has published three 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 a different Universe set on the world of Mirrix. The primary character is Naval officer Mila Blackwood.

Blackwood’s country, Belzen, is at war with Dhavnakir. She is serving aboard a submarine equipped with the super-secret ‘shrouding’ technology. The ‘shrouding’ lets a vessel or vehicle pass through the solid ground of planet Mirrix. Dhavnakir spies are everywhere searching for the ‘shrouding’ tech.

While shrouded, unknown creatures attack Blackwood’s submarine. The damaged submarine manages to limp home. Injuries result to both Blackwood and Deckman Holland during the attack. Their commander orders them back to the city of Ellemko. The scientists there will attempt to learn more about the attack. They also hope to understand the marks left on both Blackwood and Holland from the attack.

Holland is a Dhavnakir spy under deep cover. She is trying to get the information she has learned about shrouding to her superiors. Blackwood’s weak, 17-year-old brother, Andrew, gets drawn into the spy intrigue. A childhood friend from Dhavnakir approaches and seduces him. Holland and Blackwood are troubled by what they learn about their respective governments. Simpy surviving turns out to be a challenge.

I enjoyed the 9.5+ hours I spent reading this 313-page science fiction novel. I liked the general plot, but the story is on the dark side. The selected cover art is OK but rather plain. 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).

Book Review: “The History Behind Game of Thrones”

51qb13BQWhL

(See all of my Book Reviews and Game of Thrones related posts) – Author David C. Weinczok (http://castlehunter.scot/) published the book “The History Behind Game of Thrones” in 2019. This is his first book. 

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. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The book compares the ‘history’ from the Game of Thrones novels and TV series to the real history of Scotland. The book highlights the similarities between the fantasy world and Scottish history.

I have read all the novels published so far in the “A Song of Fire and Ice” series. I have enjoyed watching the TV production on HBO. I am of Scottish descent and have a rough idea of Scotland and its history. Unfortunately, I am not familiar enough with Scotland to completely appreciate many of the comparisons drawn in this book. Those from Scotland, or at least very familiar with Scotland, will appreciate it more.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 248-page history. There are several comparisons made to Game of Thrones. This book is, more than anything else, a history of Scotland. There were a few photos included in the book. I would have gained more if there had been more photos and especially some detailed maps. I like the cover art. 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).

Book Review: “Images of The National Archives: Codebreakers”

51y-KKtzhUL._SX382_BO1,204,203,200_

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Stephen Twigge published the book “Images of The National Archives: Codebreakers” in 2020 (August). This is his third book. 

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The book looks at UK Signals Intelligence. It begins before WWI and goes up through the Cold War, but the emphasis is on the activities during WWII. As you might imagine from the name, the book contains many photos. 

I enjoyed the 1.5 hours I spent reading this 144-page history.  This was a quick read and is more novella length. It does have many interesting photos, though I thought it could have been much longer. If you have an interest in Bletchley Park, you will find this book of interest. I give this book 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).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 360 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “Velocity Weapon”

51SPseiQPOL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Velocity Weapon” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Megan E. O’Keefe (http://meganokeefe.com). This is Ms. O’Keefe’s fifth novel and the first in her “The Protectorate” 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 3541 and 3771. The primary characters are the siblings Sanda and Biran Greeve. 

Sanda commands a gunship and is attacked while on patrol in space. She wakes up 230 years later the only human aboard a sentient enemy spacecraft.  Biran has been identified as special and has been in training to be a Keeper. He quickly rises through the ranks of the Keepers. 

Sanda learns that her home of Ada Prime and their enemies the Icarions have destroyed one another and she is alone. The AI ship seems to be her friend, but she is suspicious. That suspicion is increased when they find another survivor in the wreckage. 

Biran uses his political position to keep the war from escalating beyond control. He also is using every avenue possible to look for his missing sister. He soon finds that the government he has always wanted to be a part of is not what he expected. 

I enjoyed the 14.5+ hours I spent reading this 545-page science fiction novel. I liked the plot and thought it was a little different. I do think that the story ended a little abruptly. Certainly, the saga of Biran and Sanda is far from over. I am not a fan of the selected cover art. I don’t see how that relates much to the story (is it supposed to be the sentient ship Bero?). 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: “Clemhorn: Nightfall”

9C829421-0691-4EC0-A5F9-FD867B68E74B

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Clemhorn: Nightfall” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Andrew J. Harvey (https://www.andrewjharvey.com). This is Mr. Harvey’s third 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The story is set on several Earth’s in different universes.

In this alternate history/universe story. There are established lines of transport between the various Earths. This story follows three siblings, Donald, Ivy, and Conrad, as their world comes under attack. The level of technology is more “Steam Punk” than modern.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 325-page science fiction novel.  The story deals with a very large family in leadership positions on one Earth. It did have a slow start. I was 32% of the way into the book before there was a real conflict. I liked the plot, but the book ended abruptly with many unresolved threads to the story. I will be looking for the follow up novel(s) that take the story to a conclusion. I do like the selected cover art. 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).

Book Review: “Star Matters II: Edge of Revelation”

12E4FA04-C4D0-4B64-9DE7-BA4B4260A67B

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Star Matters II: Edge of Revelation” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David John West.

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 contemporary times and centers in the UK.

The British Prime Minister is contacted by representatives of a human race from another world, the Gayans. She is surprised to discover that contact with aliens is one of the many things that have been planned for. The appropriate agency in the British government is contacted and soon he is in discussions with the Gayans.

The Gayans want to formalize the ‘first contact’. They also reveal that there are other human alien forces, the Spargar Empire, that they are at odds with. The Spargar Empire wants Earth to be incorporated to their Empire. Their governments and philosophies are very different. It appears that Earth would be better aligned with the Gayans.

I thought that the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 309-page science fiction novel was interesting.  I thought that this novel was a little on the strange side and felt more like an old science fiction novel than one written in this day and age. While there are opposing forces, there is really little in the way of open conflict. I was disappointed with the plot and execution of the novel. While this is the second novel in his series, this one reads pretty well on its own. The cover art is OK, but does not motivate me much to read the novel. I give this novel a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/.

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