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 contemporary times at locations all around the world.
The primary character is Bryce Winters a world-class Formula One driver. He has a darker side as a CIA operative. He didn’t want to be a spy, but they had evidence against him. He had little choice but to comply.
His celebrity status from F1 racing gets him near many powerful people. This lets him make hits for the CIA without drawing too much attention to himself. He is willing to serve his country, but not while under the CIA’s thumb. He struggles to find a way to leave them behind. He travels around the world from one Formula One race to another. Beyond his work for the CIA, he faces danger from racing and those associated with it.
I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 265-page thriller. The book reminds me a lot of Flemings’s ‘James Bond’ thrillers. The main character is repeatedly ending up in trouble. He also falls into bed with beautiful women and dispatches his foes. The Winters character is far from a hero wearing the white hat. While he repeatedly comes to the aid of damsels in distress, he is ruthless. Author Kelly mixes his interest in racing with writing thrillers in this novel. This is the fifth book by Kelly that I have read. They are consistently enjoyable, though a little rough around the edges. They are an entertaining and fun read! The selected cover art is engaging and has the feel of the story. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.
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 mostly set in contemporary Wales, though some also takes place in the eastern US. The primary character is Rare Book Authenticator Carys Jones.
Jones enjoys her books, especially Dark Age manuscripts. One of her better clients has been committed to a mental hospital due to his odd actions. He makes her an offer she can’t refuse – his rare book collection if she will assist in deciphering the clues in a very old journal. But it isn’t just an academic exercise, her client believes that the clues will lead to King Arthur’s tomb.
There is an urgency to their effort as it quickly becomes apparent that there are others after the same goal and they are more than willing to use force to find the tomb. She begins to question her own sanity when she starts to ‘see’ the monk who wrote the journal. However, without his ‘advice’, she would not be making progress. Jones must reluctantly return to Wales to continue the search. There she has to face her long-estranged father and she unexpectedly becomes involved with a Welshman.
Will she be able to unravel the clues in the journal? Can she avoid the clutches of the others seeking the tomb? Will everyone she has involved in her quest survive?
I thoroughly enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 337-page adventure thriller. I liked both the characters created for this novel and the plot. There is adventure, suspense, and a touch of the paranormal. The plot does have a twist or two which I enjoyed. The cover art is OK, but I think something tied to the plot would have been better. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.
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 some scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary Leiden, Netherlands. The primary character is university professor Peter de Haan.
Haan attends the installation of an underground waste container. He does so as an opportunity to do archaeological exploration. Few opportunities come to do excavation in the old city. Surprisingly, this excavation opens up an old and unknown tunnel. Haan and a colleague venture in. Inside the tunnel, they find a naked man covered in blood. Then Haan gets a mysterious text message ‘the hour has come‘.
When the colleague disappears in the tunnel, Haan becomes the target of a police investigation. Then when his close friend Judith Cherev disappears, he finds that he has been given only hours to solve a puzzle and save her. Along the way, he discovers hidden mysteries, a secret society, and a group that will do anything to keep their secrets hidden.
I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 329-page thriller. This has the feel of a Dan Brown thriller, but I did not find it nearly as good. There was quite a bit of detailed reference given to Leiden. That would probably make this book attractive to you if you lived there or knew the area well. Unfortunately, I found this novel a little slow and it felt disorganized to me. The cover art is OK, but I think something more closely tied to the story would have been better. I give this novel a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.
Book Reviews – “The Atlantis Cypher” eBook was published in 2018 (September) and was written by David Leadbeater (https://www.davidleadbeater.com). Mr. Leadbeater has published more than 25 novels. This is the second in his “Relic Hunters” 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 the modern day. The primary character is elite thief Guy Bodie.
Bodie and his crew are called upon once again by CIA agent Heidi Moneymaker. They are tasked with finding a lost civilization, the fabled Atlantis. Not only must they battle those tasked with keeping the relics hidden, but they must also contend with both Chinese and Bratva elements also seeking the lost city. Will they be able to find Atlantis first and keep the powerful secrets thought to be found there from being misused?
I thoroughly enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 288 page thriller. While the plot seems a little far-fetched, I do like the team that the author has created. It is a fun, mindless adventure. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.
Book Reviews – “Pretty Waiter Girls” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Greg Alldredge (https://www.greg-alldredge.com). Mr. Alldredge has published three novels, with this being the first in his “Helena Brandywine Adventure” 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 1899 San Francisco. The primary character is young Helena Brandywine.
Brandywine is a wealthy young woman who is educated and who has grown up protected somewhat from the seedier and more brutal side of life. Her step-father, the general, has been away for many years and she has been without her mother for most of her life. She has Sigmund and Lane to assist, guide, and protect her.
Brandywine fancies herself as a detective after the popular stories she has read. When a friend approaches her about the disappearance of another young woman, Brandywine dives into the investigation. That investigation takes her to Chinatown and opens her eyes to what is really going on in the strata of society beneath her station. She also finds herself drawn to a San Francisco Police detective and encountering one dangerous situation after another. She also begins to learn much more about her parents. They are not exactly who she thought they were.
I enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 317 page steampunk mystery. I liked the characters in this novel, and the willingness of the author to see primary characters be killed off. I was not expecting the supernatural thread, but I still enjoyed the novel. I will look forward to more novels in this series. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.
If you have not seen the four prior episodes, you should begin viewing with Episode #1.
Short Films– The fifth short (12:59) episode, “Sacrifice”, of the Sage Alexander prequel “The Dark Realm” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TV on August 10. The synopsis:
In this final chapter, all those trapped inside the Dark Realm face more difficulties as they try to escape. While Malcolm and Gavin mourn the loss of their friend, Chelsea finally reveals to Adelaide why they must stick together. What could it be? And will Sage succeed in saving the imprisoned girls, or will he change the course of history forever?
If you have not seen either of the two prior episodes, you should begin viewing with Episode #1.
Short Films– The third short (13:53) episode of the Sage Alexander prequel “The Rooms are Alive” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TV on July 27. The synopsis:
Sage enters the Dark Realm with strict orders not to alter the past — and possibly the future — by interfering with what he may witness in there. In the meantime, the five other young warriors get further lured into the Dark Realm and meet a surprising face. Can they work together to find a way out? Will Sage play it safe or risk the future when he hears desperate calls for help?
If you haven’t seen it already, start viewing with episode #1 before you watch this episode.
Short Films – The second short (10:47) episode of the Sage Alexander prequel “Are We All Going to Die?” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TVon July 20. I do think this one was better than the first. I am glad that friend Ashlea Rae has a larger role in this episode. The synopsis:
Sage still feels unprepared to enter the Dark Realm, so grandpa Alexander begins to memory share with him. He continues to recount the story of the young warriors who set out to find a portal to the Dark Realm… Will they find it? And will Sage finally feel ready to enter it himself?
Book Reviews – “The Relic Hunters” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by David Leadbeater (https://www.davidleadbeater.com). Mr. Leadbeater has published more than 25 novels. This is the first in his “The Relic Hunters” 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 primary character is Guy Bodie, the leader of an elite group of thieves that specialize in stealing relics.
Bodie has been betrayed by a friend and is in a Mexican prison. He is broken out by the CIA on the condition that he, and his team, work for them. A secret group holds the Statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It had long been thought destroyed. Now at the behest of the CIA Bodie and his team follow a dangerous set of clues to find the statue.
I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 280 page thriller. The team is made of an odd collection of criminals each with a unique skill. While the concept of an elite team going head-to-head with a clandestine organization is not new, I did enjoy this author’s twist on the plot. I will be looking for future novels in this series. The cover art chosen is OK. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.
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 an alternate history to our own. While the story is set in Earth’s 19th century, this one has lighter-than-air craft traveling around the Solar System since the 1600s. The main character in this fantastical tale is Mrs. Arabella (Ashby) Singh, a young woman who has grown up in the British Colony on Mars.
While she is a more or less proper English young lady, she has shown far more interest in adventure and mechanical automata than English refinement. She has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with as she helped her fiance defeat Napoleon’s space navy at Venus. While in London celebrating the defeat of Napoleon and paying last respects to Lord Nelson who died in the battle, she learns of a plan by both The Mars Company and the British Crown to force the entire planet of Mars into the British Commonwealth.
Flush with the defeat of Napoleon, there seems to be no obstacle to Britain’s domination of Mars or the Solar System. When her husband is chosen to lead the British forces, she feels betrayed and flees Earth in a desperate attempt to reach Mars ahead of the British forces and lead a resistance as she feels Mars is her home rather than England. It becomes a race to see if adequate Martian forces can be brought together to oppose the powerful British fleet.
I enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 336 page steampunk alternate history and fantasy. While I liked the story and there are several very well created battles between opposing vessels, I really had a hard time with the notion of there being a breathable atmosphere between planets and ‘sailing ships’ able to travel through space. Perhaps if I had started with the first book in the series things would have been explained, but I doubt it. I was able to pick up this third novel in the series and read it without really needing to have read the prior novels in the series. I do like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.