Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review: “Retribution: The Soviet Reconquest of Central Ukraine, 1943”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Prit Buttar published the book “Retribution: The Soviet Reconquest of Central Ukraine, 1943” in 2019. He has published nine books.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’.

By 1943 the Nazi hope of defeating Russia was over. This book tells of the struggle between the German Army Group South and the Russian Army. Throughout 1943, the Wehrmacht was slowly but steadily pushed back towards the West.

There was a lot of intense fighting all across Ukraine. Battles had earlier been waged towards the East as the German forces first advanced. Now, the front was headed in the other direction. Many towns and villages felt the impact of war once again. Many in Ukraine had welcomed the Germans when they first came in 1941. By 1943 they were solidly on the side of the Russians.

The German commanders had to face the onslaught of the Russian Army, the bitter winter, and Hitler’s often unreasonable orders. By this point, most Germans knew they were going to fail on the Eastern Front. Both supplies and morale had begun to dwindle. The Russian Army was no longer the easy prey they had faced in 1941.

I enjoyed the 21 hours I spent reading this 497-page WWII history. This is one of those histories that are a bit difficult to read. The book is full of details but a challenge. Because of the similar unit identifications, I sometimes became confused about which side I was reading about. I also had to keep a map handy as I read to understand where the action was taking place. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as 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).


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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 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: “Ballistic”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Marko Kloos http://www.markokloos.com published the novel “Ballistic” in 2020. Mr. Kloos has published ten novels with this being the second of his ‘Palladium Wars’ series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because of violence and mature language. The main character is Aden Jansen. But that is only the name that the crew of the Zephyr knows him by.

The novel is set in the far future. Jansen is approaching middle age and is trying to keep a low profile. No one knows that he is part of the wealthy Ragnar family. Or that he was an officer in the Gretian military. He just wants to assume the role of linguist aboard the merchant ship. That she also sometimes smuggles critical goods does not help him maintain his anonymity.

Insurgents are stirring up unrest on the planet Gretia. Political conspiracy and intrigue add to the mix. Then the crew finds that a ‘special cargo’ they are carrying is a powerful weapon. They must make some decisions, and they may not be in Jansen’s best interests. He also may be forced to contact his estranged family.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 355-page science fiction novel. I have read three novels by Kloos and enjoyed them all. I did think that this novel ended a bit abruptly. I do like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as 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).

Book Review: “Project Icarus”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author R.D Shah https://rd-shah.com published the book “Project Icarus” a few days ago. Mr. Shah has published six novels so far. This is the first book of his ‘Disavowed’ series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ as it contains scenes of violence and mature language. The primary character is hostage negotiator Ethan Munroe.

Munroe is urgently called to the scene of a hostage standoff. He is perplexed by being asked for specifically by the kidnapper. This spawns a new life and a series of adventures for Munroe.

Munroe was dedicated to his job. He had served for several years in the army before joining the police. He had made that transition after his wife and daughter had died in a terrorist attack five years earlier. Against protocol, Munroe enters the house where the kidnapper is holding a young girl. That is where he meets a man who calls himself Icarus. The action escalates from there.

Munroe is approached by DS5, otherwise known as the Disavowed. Following the end of WWII, DS5 was formed by the British, French, and US. It has been kept top secret with only a handful in the organization. It was created to counter the anticipated rise of a Nazi Fourth Reich.

Nazi leaders were known to have escaped Germany before the war ended. The new organization, Daedalus, had been scheming for decades. They were on the brink of rising to power. Their plans are somewhat thwarted when one of their ranks becomes a serial killer. That man is Icarus. Munroe is swept up in a modern-day struggle against the Nazis.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 323-page thriller. I thought that this novel had an interesting plot with more than one twist. I do look forward to reading other books in this series. The cover art is OK. I rate this book as a 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941–45”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author & historian Robert Lyman published the book “A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941–45” this past week. He has published nine books.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’.

In 1941 & 1942 the British and Indian forces in Burma were repeatedly defeated by the Japanese. They were ultimately pushed entirely out of the country into India. The Commonwealth forces gradually rebuilt themselves and began offensive operations against the Japanese. These forces weathered the Japanese drive on India in early 1944. The British and Commonwealth forces not only stopped them but began to drive them back to the East.

The book delves a little into the politics of the region during the period. The British, Chinese, and US were all allies, but they did not always have common goals. While the expansionism of Japan was well known, the British in Burma did little to prepare a defense. Many of the political and military leaders were out of their depth when confronted by the aggressive and experienced Japanese.

Many in India were already arguing for independence before the war. The war facilitated the economic and political growth of India. Even with the growing unrest, the all-volunteer Indian Army fought fiercely at the side of the British.

I enjoyed the 23+ hours I spent reading this 771-page WWII history. This is one of those rare history books that are very readable. I have read a couple of other accounts of the war in Burma, but I consider this to be the best so far. It provides a comprehensive look at this often ignored theater of operations. While the cover art looks like an old used book, I think that it is appropriate. I rate this book as 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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If you have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 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: “WW II POWs in America and Abroad: Astounding Facts about the Imprisonment of Military and Civilians During the War”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Gary Slaughter http://www.garyslaughter.com published the book “WW II POWs in America and Abroad: Astounding Facts about the Imprisonment of Military and Civilians During the War” in 2021. This is his eighth publication and was released just last week.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’.

During WWII many prisoners were taken by the Allies. Needing a place to safely hold them until the end of the war, many were sent to the US. Over the years of the war around 5,000 Japanese, 51,000 Italians, and nearly 380,000 Germans were interred in the US. Construction of 135 camps in the US and another 40 in Canada took place to hold the POWs. Some hotels and resorts held prisoners as well.

For the most part, few of the POWs attempted to escape. The enlisted were employed on farms, food processing plants, and other non-war work. They earned wages from their work and often made friends with those around the camps. The POWs were even allowed to earn college course credit while interred.

Camps were also built to house Japanese, Germans, and Italians here at the outbreak of war. Some were foreign nationals but many were US citizens. POWs at camps in the US were treated well. That was not always the case for Americans or other Allies held by the Axis powers. Many were prosecuted after the war in the War Crime Trials.

I enjoyed the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 271-page WWII history. I had known of the camps in the US, but I learned a lot from this book. For a history book, this was an easy read. The book offers the opportunity to learn about a different perspective of WWII. The chosen cover art is bleak but appropriate. I rate this book as 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).


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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 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: “Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Chris Chant published the book “Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s Greatest Aircraft 1939–1945” today. Mr. Chant has published well over 100 books.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’.

The book devotes a page to each of the 300 different aircraft covered. The page has a color drawing of the aircraft and a table with aircraft specifications. There is also a paragraph describing the plane’s history. The description covers a little of the development and the principal versions of the aircraft. The roles the plane played, and the production numbers are also generally included. The book covers aircraft from Japan, Germany, the US, UK, Australia, France, Russia, Italy, Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Sweden.

I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent reading this 320-page WWII aviation history. Many f the aircraft I was familiar with, but there were several that were new to me. A few were developed in the 1920s and saw only brief action in WWII. I would have liked to have seen more than a single paragraph on each plane. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as 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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If you have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 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: “Arnhem: Ten Days in The Cauldron”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author & historian Iain Ballantyne http://iainballantyne.com published the book “Arnhem: Ten Days in The Cauldron” in 2019. Mr. Ballantyne has published a dozen books.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence.

This book details the events in Arnhem, Netherlands, from 17 September thru 25 September 1944. This was the daring Operation Market Garden that was to end the war. The British 1st Airborne Division was tasked with capturing the bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem. It became known as the Bridge Too Far when they were unable to capture and hold the bridge.

This book begins with a look at the D-Day airborne operations. Operation Market Garden was an even larger drop that on D-Day. The book gives a day-by-day description of the airborne drop around Arnhem and their battle with German forces.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 375-page WWII history. I have read other accounts of Markey Garden and the Battle for Arnhem. This is by far the most detailed. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as 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).

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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 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 Eye of the World”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Robert Jordan published the novel “The Eye of the World” in 2009. This is the first novel in his ‘Wheel of Time’ series. He published more than 20 novels during his writing career.

I read this book for the first time about 15 years ago. My wife and I saw that a TV series based on the novels was to start on Amazon Prime in November of 2021. We decided then to reread the books again before the series began. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because of scenes of violence. The fantasy series spans 15 novels.

The Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred arrives in the remote village of Emond’s Field with her warder. She has been on a quest for many years to find the one prophesied to stand against The Dark One. She finds three young men that are ta’veren: Rand al’Thor, Matrim Cauthon, and Perrin Aybara. Their presence affects the weave of time. She feels that one is who she has been searching for.

Moiraine starts back to Tar Valon, the Aes Sedai’s headquarters. She takes the three young men with her. A young woman Egwene al’Vere who is the boy’s close friend tags along. Then the “Wisdom” from Emond’s Field Nynaeve al’Meara catches up with them. She wants to take the boys and Egwene back home.

That begins their long adventure. They face forces of The Dark One time and time again. Moraine tells both Egwene and Nynaeve they have the ability to become Aes Sedai.

I enjoyed the 30 hours I spent listening to this 753-page fantasy audiobook. I enjoyed this as much this second time as I did the first. My wife and I listened to it while driving across the country. It made the 20-hour drive go by much more quickly. If you are a fan of fantasy you should try this series! I like the cover art used on the hardback edition. I rate this book as a 5 out of 5.

Related:

  1. Wheel of Time series come to Amazon Prime in November
  2. Book 0 – New Spring

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( 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 Green Alliance

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Andrew J. Rafkin https://andrewjrafkin.com published the novel “The Green Alliance” in 2019. Mr. Rafkin has published seven novels. This is the second novel in his ‘ORCA Adventures’ series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence, mature language, and mature situations. The main character is Reef Johansson, who is an agent for ORCA. ORCA is a private security organization engaged by many countries, including the US.

Tragedy has befallen the US as the political leadership has been simultaneously assassinated. The role of the President falls on the Speaker of the House, Carolyn Dupont. She finds herself in a vicarious situation. China is attempting to extend its control in the South Pacific. The eco-terrorist organization Green Alliance is making matters worse. It is attempting to alter the global climate. Fortunately, she is close friends with the Reef & Alexis Johansson and can call on ORCA.

Reef, his fellow agent, and wife Alexis, and the rest of the ORCA team must save the day. Without ORCA’s elite force and advanced technology, all would be lost. ORCA has two missions to accomplish. First, find those responsible for the assassinations. Second, stop the China power grab in the Pacific. Neither challenge is without peril to the ORCA team.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 287-page science-fiction thriller. This is another of those thrillers that are fun as long as you don’t think too much about the plot or science. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as a 3.5 (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 Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author & historian James D. Hornfischer has just today published the book “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour”. Mr. Hornfischer has published a dozen books. This is the graphic novel version of his book by the same name.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this graphic novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence.

The book tells the story of the U.S. Navy’s engagement with the Japanese Navy, known as the Battle off Samar. The battle occurred in October of 1944 as U.S. forces began landing on Leyte in the Philippine Islands. The Japanese had lured the US Third Fleet away from Leyte and the vulnerable beachhead. When the Japanese moved to attack Leyte with the 23 ships Center Force only Taffy 3 stood in their way.

Task Unit 77.4.3, Taffy 3, was formed from the U.S. Seventh Fleet. It was made up of just 13 ships. Three Destroyers, Four Destroyer Escorts, and Escort Aircraft Carriers. It was a lightweight unit to stand in the way of the Japanese. The Center Force was led by one of the most powerful battleships in the world, the Yamato.

I enjoyed the 1+ hours I spent reading this 208-page graphic novel. The book was very engaging and the graphics were well done. It makes me want to read the full book. I like the selected cover art. I rate this book as a 4 out of 5.

Further Reading

  1. Days of Steel Rain: The Epic Story of a WWII Vengeance Ship in the Year of the Kamikaze
  2. Tidal Wave From Leyte Gulf to Tokyo Bay
  3. Morning Star, Midnight Sun
  4. Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Army

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

—–

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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 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.