Tag Archives: Book Review

Review of “Journey to the Flame”

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Book Reviews – “Journey to the Flame” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1985) and was written by Richard Monaco. Mr. Monaco has published 9 books.

I received an free copy of this novel through Amazon while it was being promoted by the publisher. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story takes place at the beginning of World War I. The primary character is American pilot Woody Shea.

Shea, his uncle and a few others get involved with an adventure to Africa in search of the lost city of Kor and King Soloman’s mines. It is a race between the British with Shea, and German agents.

As they get closer to the fabled Kor, most of the party begins to be affected. They are possessed from time to time by personalities from an early age.

So I suffered through 7.5 hours to finish this 261 page Fantasy Adventure. I say suffered because I thought the story was chaotic and difficult to read. I liked the overall plot, but the constant switching of personalities, and philosophizing made enjoying the novel difficult. The cover art is OK, but I think it could have been more closely tied to the story. I give this novel a 2.5 (rounded up to a 3) out of 5.

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

Review of “Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare”

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Book Reviews – “Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Giles Milton (http://www.gilesmilton.com). Mr. Milton has published nearly a dozen books, both historical and 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 told beginning just before World War II through it’s conclusion. Most of the stories are of events in the UK, but there are other events depicted as well.

As Nazi Germany was beginning to rise in power, a handful of British saw the need to develop new tools to wage war against the Nazi’s. Once Europe had been overrun, unconventional weapons and techniques were needed to fight a guerrilla war. This book is the story of their efforts.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this Non-Fiction account of World War II ingenuity. I was surprised at all this ‘skunk shop’ was able to develop, with so little infrastructure and resources. I was also surprised at how much resistance they met with from the established military. Had it not been for Churchill backing these renegades, history might have turned out much differently. 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 “Future That Never Was”

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Book Reviews – “Future That Never Was” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Kin S. Law (https://voxvorago.wordpress.com). Mr. Law 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 and Mature Language. The story is set in the late 19th century, but in an entirely different time line. The primary character is Albion Clemens, currently the captain of a steampunk pirate sailing ship. This is one of many that sail through the skies instead of on the oceans of the world.

Clemens is trying to find his adoptive father Samuel Clemens. He gets involved with a beautiful British Scotland Yard agent on a secret mission from the Queen. Unknown forces are stealing prominent landmarks from across Europe. Samuel Clemens is somehow involved.

Albion Clemens, along with his crew, the Scotland Yard agent and an reporter trail across the skies of Europe trying to track down who is stealing the buildings. They find themselves in one tight spot after another as they close in.

I spent 9 hours with this Steam Punk Science Fiction Alternate History novel of 312 pages. I really liked the concept of the flying ships and the overall plot. The writing was difficult to read though and not just from the 19th century language. There were also gaps in the plot where as one chapter ended the crew were being pursued and the next chapter started with them having (somehow) escaped their pursuers. I liked the idea of the novel, but was not impressed with the execution. I was glad when I finally finished this novel. The cover art is appropriate for the story. I give this novel a 2.8 (rounded up to a 3) out of 5.

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

Review of “George Lucas: A Life”

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Book Reviews – “George Lucas: A Life” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Brian Jay Jones (https://brianjayjones.com). Mr. Jones has published three biographies.

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’. This book tells the life story of George Lucas. The bulk of the story covers around 1970 to today. There is a lot to learn about Lucas in his early years, but most importantly his efforts with American Graffiti and all of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies are covered.

This biography read well, though it did take more than 12 hours to finish the 480 pages. I learned a lot about Lucas and his impact on movie making. The cover art was a good selection. If you are a fan of Star Wars and/or Indiana Jones, or a student of cinema, then you will want to read this. 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 “Fata Morgana”

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Book Reviews – “Fata Morgana” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Steven R. Boyett (http://www.steveboy.com) and Ken Mitchroney. Mr. Boyett has published six novels and this is the first for Mr. Mitchroney.

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 during World War II. Captain Joe Farley and his B-17 crew are on a bombing mission over Germany. While trying to avoid pursuing German fighters, they fly through an odd storm and end up in another place and time. A desolated world with two groups of humans at war with each other.

Farley and his crew struggle to survive. They fall in with one group of humans, but must struggle on their own to regain their aircraft and try to find their way back home. Farley meets the beautiful Wennda, who is mysteriously the girl of his dreams that is depicted on his plane’s nose art.

Farley and his crew struggle to make it home, fighting the humans they encounter on the desolate world as well as autonomous weapons which attack anyone caught in the open. Will the crew survive? Will they be able to get back to their England? What will happen to the lovely Wennda?

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 329 page Science Fiction novel. I did have a little trouble as to why the humans found on this desolate world spoke understandable English. An explanation was given but it was a weak one in my opinion. Ignoring that detail I thought that this was an interesting story. I wasn’t a fan of all the wisecrack responses that the crew gave to one another and their new allies. The cover art is OK. 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 “War of the Worlds: Retaliation”

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Book Reviews – “War of the Worlds: Retaliation” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Mark Gardner and John J. Rust (https://www.facebook.com/JohnJRustAuthor/). Mr. Gardner has published about 10 novels and Mr. Rust six.

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 Mars. This is a sequel to George Orwell’s War of the Worlds. The Martian attack took place in 1898.

It is now 1924 and Earth is ready to launch an attack. To Retaliate. Earth history, as we know it, was changed by the Martian attack. World War I never happened. Now the military forces of the world, including George Patton from the US, Erwin Rommel from Germany, Charles de Gaulle from France and Georgy Zhukov from Russia all lead troops in the invasion of Mars by Earth.

I enjoyed the 5 hours I spent reading this 302 page Alternate History Science Fiction novel. I liked how the characters we know from our World War II knew each other in this tale and worked together to conquer the Martians. Space fleets from Mars and Earth battle one another, then the surviving troops are landed and it becomes a land battle. 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 “Battle for America”

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Book Reviews – “Battle for America” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Mack Maloney (https://mackmaloney.wordpress.com). Mr. Maloney has published 38 novels. This is the 18th novel in his “Wingman” 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 in the near future US. The Russians have beaten the US in World War III and are now landing an army unit to occupy New York City. The US as we know it is in shambles.

The primary character is former US Air Force Major Hawk Hunter. Hunter has gathered a rag tag collection of patriots sworn to drive the Russians from the US. They have little in the way of supplies and must take big risks to carry out their plans.

Will Hunter and his followers survive and take action in time to prevent reinforcements from making the Russian hold on America permanent?

This was an interesting 7.5 hour read of 336 pages. This was a Thriller with non-stop action resulting in one cliff hanging situation after another. I thought the story was kind of crazy with outlandish plot elements, but it worked for a pure Thriller where you don’t think to hard about common sense and facts. The cover art is OK as the main character did fly a jet. 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 “Power Game”

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Book Reviews – “Power Game” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Christine Feehan (http://www.christinefeehan.com). Ms. Feehan has published an impressive 100 novels. This is the latest of her currently 13 Ghostwalker series 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, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story takes place in the swamps of Louisiana and in South East Asia. The primary characters are Captain Ezekiel Fortunes, a genetically enhanced special operations operator, and Bellisia, also genetically enhanced to act as an assassin.

Bellisia escapes the man who is controlling her and spies on Fortunes and his family. When Fortune is kidnapped, she pursues and saves him. Once they meet they feel a bond that quickly grows into a deep desire for one another. Bellisia is quickly adopted into Fortunes family circle. Soon she and the others must defend the family compound from those coming to take Bellisia back.

I enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 400 page Science Fiction Romance Thriller. There was quite a bit of action and some very heated romance depicted. I liked the plot with the enhanced soldiers, each having different levels and types of enhancements. I would certainly read other novels in the series. This one, even though the 13th in the series, read well as a stand-alone novel. The cover art is OK, but really does not reflect much in the novel. 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 “ARMS War for Eden”

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Book Reviews – “ARMS War for Eden” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Stephen Arseneault (http://www.arsenex.com). Mr. Arseneault has published nearly 40 novels. This is the first of his ‘ARMS’ 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 the far future. The primary characters are Harris Gruberg and Tawnish Freely, both former Biomarines with the Domicile Defense Force, but now taking what ever work they can since the war with New Earth ended. The Biomarine label identifies them as part of the 10,000 or so humans that were genetically modified by Domicile to fight in the war with New Earth. Their presence in that war is part of what drove New Earth to sign a truce.

They soon find themselves involved in a scheme of questionable legality selling arms to the colonists in the border area. They are able to make more funds than they had ever expected to see in their lives. Now quite wealthy, they begin to see signs that the weapons they had been selling are going towards stirring up the war with New Earth once again.

Even though they are now mercenaries and gun runners, they still are loyal to Domicile. They decide that they must use the wealth they have gathered to calm the unrest. They soon find that they are not up against just rebels, but military operators sent by New Earth to stir up trouble and force the war to resume. Can they, and few thousand of their fellow retired Biomarines, bring the conflict on the planet Eden to an end before it grows to all out war.

I enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this Science Fiction novel. It did have an old time Sci-Fi Fi feel to it. I liked the characters and contrary to most Sci-Fi Fi thrillers, the main characters are not super intelligent. These are just dedicated Biomarines who are still loyal to their home world of Domocile. The cover art does a reasonable impression of a Biomarine. 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 Golden Gate”

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Book Reviews – “The Golden Gate” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Robert Buettner (http://www.robertbuettner.com). Mr. Buettner has published nine 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 contemporary California. The main characters are retired Lieutenant Ben Sheppard who is now on the staff of a senior Senator just appointed as head of Homeland Security. The other primary character is veteran reporter Kate Boyle.

The two are brought together when Manuel Colibri, the world’s richest man is attacked while driving home across the Golden Gate Bridge. At first it is thought to be an act of terrorism, which is how Sheppard gets involved. Boyle gets involved when her father, a retired lawyer, is asked to investigate the incident. The more information that is gathered, the stranger the case becomes.

I enjoyed the just shy of 6 hours I spent reading this Science Fiction Mystery. It is mostly a Mystery with a touch of Romance. I liked the characters and the plot. The cover art is good and implies a ‘James Bond’ like character, which Sheppard turns out to be in a way. 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).