Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review – Isolate

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – L. E. Modesitt Jr. https://www.lemodesittjr.com is the author of more than 80 novels. Isolate was published in 2021. It is the first book in the Grand Illusion series and the 61st book I’ve completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R. Steffan Dekkard is the primary character. He is an isolate, that is, one who is immune to empaths.

Dekkard has recently graduated from the Military Institute and security training. Now he is one of the Security Aides for Councilor Axel Obreduur. Not only must the Councilor be protected from political rivals, but there is growing unrest. With his fellow Security Aide Avraal Ysella, Dekkard must constantly be vigilant.

They both soon find that Obreduur is not the only target. They have become targets as well. The two find themselves attracted to one another, and romance soon follows.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 28.5 hours I spent reading this 601-page fantasy. The novel contains action and a lot of political intrigues. I have read five additional books by Modesitt, and they have been consistently excellent. Those books are EndgamesThe Mongrel MageOutcasts of OrderThe Fire-Mage War, and Fairhaven Rising. The cover art for this novel is a bit dark but fits the story. I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

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

Book Review – HE WILL GET YOU

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Charlie Gallagher https://www.writercharliegallagher.com is the author of more than a dozen novels. HE WILL GET YOU was published in 2020. It is the 5th novel in his Detective Maddie Ives series. This is the 60th book I have completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this book/novel as R. The primary character is 35-year-old UK police officer DS Maddie Ives.

Ives and Inspector Harry Blaker are assigned to investigate the murder of Alice Oxley’s ex-husband. A brutal murder with no trace of a motive or a suspect. A few days later, Scott Rice is found murdered in a similar way. The reason for his death is equally baffling. Ives and Blaker fear that they are tracking a serial killer.

Lance Askew has come to Canterbury on business. His business is murder, a job that he loves. He has been hired to kill a police officer. To throw off the investigation, he has set about committing multiple murders. He hopes that his real target will be lost amongst the other victims.

Can Ives and Blaker make sense of the crimes and find the killer before a colleague and friend is murdered?

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 280-page mystery. This novel can be read stand-alone, but it is always best to read any novel series in order. I had the opportunity to read the first novel, HE IS WATCHING YOU. I think both were enjoyable mysteries. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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).

Book Review – Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions 1939–45

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Historian Chris Bishop is the author of more than a dozen books. Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions 1939–45 was published in 2022. It is the 59th book I’ve completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this book/novel as G.

Between 1934 and the end of WWII, the Wehrmacht created several Panzer Divisions. A section of the book is devoted to each of those 27 Divisions. The deployment history of each Division, along with the typical vehicles which were used are listed . Included are many drawings of of these vehicles.

I enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 192-page WWII history. The book contains nearly 300 drawings of Wehrmacht vehicles from WWII. The book seems to be intended more for the ‘coffee table’. It is interesting to look at, but it is very dry reading. Someone researching the German Panzer Divisions would find this book of interest. The chosen cover art gives a clear depiction what will be found on the pages inside. I give this book a rating of 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).


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 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Academy Bound

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – J. C. Mastro https://jcmastroauthor.com is the author of two novels. Academy Bound was published in 2022. It is the 58th book I’ve completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is 16-year-old Zachariah ‘Zack’ Aurelion.

Aurelion’s mother was an officer in the Earth Alliance. She went MIA eight years earlier at the end of the war. Now he wants to follow her into the Earth Alliance Fleet Academy. He wants to become a Command Officer. He wants to travel out into the stars. He has always been told that his mother is dead. He believes she is still alive, and he intends to find her.

Aurelion is in his first year at the Academy. His best friend, Russell ‘Russ’ White, is one of his fellow students. On the first day at the Academy, they meet Samantha ‘Sam’ Harriman. The three become close friends.

Together they suffer through the trials of first-year Academy students. Towards the end of the term, they are thrown into danger when the ICW suddenly attacks the EAS Dreadnought, where the three are on a training mission.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 356-page young adult science fiction novel. The novel reminds me a bit of Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. It is one of the typical coming-of-age novels for young adults, but I enjoyed it a lot. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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 – Machine

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Elizabeth Bear https://www.elizabethbear.com is the award-winning author of more than 30 novels. Machine: A White Space Novel was published in 2020 and is the second in her White Space series. This is the 57th book I have completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R.

The generation starship Big Rock Candy Mountain had left Terra about 600 years earlier. It had been lost to history until the Synarche ship had responded to its distress signal and called for assistance. Rescue Specialist Dr. Jens arrives in the Synarche Medical vessel I Race to Seek the Living.

Neither vessel is now responding. Once aboard the ancient ship, Jens discovers a mystery. A mystery she feels compelled to unravel. She has no idea of the conspiracy she is about to uncover.

I enjoyed the 17.5+ hours I spent reading this 495-page science fiction novel. I thought that this novel was a bit odd. I was not impressed with the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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 – Nancy Wake

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Russell Braddon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Braddon is the author of nearly 30 books and novels. _Nancy Wake: World War Two’s Most Rebellious Spy _was first published in 1956, then republished in 2019.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this book/novel as G. This is the 56th book I have completed in 2022.

This is the interesting story of Nancy Grace Augusta Wake. She was born in New Zealand, then grew up in Australia. In 1939 as the threat of war was gathering in Europe, she was 27 and living in Marseille, France. She had just married the French industrialist Henri Fiocca who was 14 years her senior.

After France fell to the Germans, Wake became involved with the resistance. She helped downed Allied pilots escape the Germans and return to the UK through Spain. Wake developed a reputation with the German Gestapo and was known by them as the White Mouse. When the Germans began closing in on her, she escaped through Spain to the UK. Her husband was not so lucky. He was arrested by the Gestapo and executed.

After she had arrived in the UK, she was recruited by the SOE in 1943 and became a FANY. In early 1944 she parachuted into France as part of an SOE Team. The team worked with the Maquis in preparation for the D-Day landings in Normandy. Following the end of the war in Europe, Wake was awarded several medals in recognition of her war efforts.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 281-page WWII history. This is mostly a biography of Nancy (Wake) Fiocca. As the title implies, she was a woman who did not always take to authority. She was also often audacious in her life, especially in her dealings with the German occupiers. I give this book a rating of 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 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Debt of Honor

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Christopher G. Nuttall https://www.hbnuttallwriting.com is the author of more than 100 novels. Debt of Honor was published in 2020. This is the first book in his Embers of War series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to mature language and violence, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is Commonwealth Admiral Kat Falcone.

The Theocracy may have been defeated, but a fleet of ships under Admiral Zaskar is still at large. An unknown power wants to support them, though without revealing their identity. The remnants of the Theocratic Fleet appear, spread their brand of terror, and disappear.

The Commonwealth, even though it won the way is struggling with the resulting peace. The turmoil is fueled by an economic downturn and unemployment. The colonies now want more say in their own destinies. The threat of civil war troubles the Commonwealth.

Falcone must try to find the Theocratic fleet and stop it before it is too late.

I enjoyed the 13.5+ hours I spent reading this 420-page science fiction novel. This is a continuation of Nuttall’s Angel in the Whirlwind trilogy. I was able to read all three of those novels: The Oncoming StormFalcone Strike, and Cursed Command. I have also read the standalone novel The Hyperspace Trap. I enjoyed those as much as I did this book. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

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

Book Review – Echoes of Gravity

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – James Murdo https://www.jamesmurdo.com is the author of seven novels. Echoes of Gravity was published in 2021. This is the first book in Murdo’s Tapache’s Promise Trilogy.

I received an ARC of this book through a promotion on StoryOrigin with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as PG.

Tapache is a powerful machine intelligence. It has sent the Great Ship to investigate a powerful weapon. The ship is crewed by Roranians who Tapache has raised from the edge of extinction.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 263-page science fiction novel. I thought the story was a bit odd. It also ended abruptly. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 3 out of 5. 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 – Hitler’s Armed SS

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Military historian Anthony Tucker-Jones http://atuckerjones.com is the author of more than 50 books. Hitler’s Armed SS: The Waffen-SS at War, 1939–1945 was recently published in August of 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this book/novel as ‘G.

The book traces the origins and development of the armed or Waffen SS. It began as an elite personal protection unit for Hitler, and grew into Himmler’s 38-division strong army. The SS was not comprised of the regular Wehrmacht soldiers. Members of the Waffen SS were fanatic Nazis. They were not trained in combat as thoroughly as the regular Wehrmacht troops, nor were they as disciplined.

Units fought on all the fronts on which the Germans were engaged. Many were deployed on the Eastern Front, where they committed numerous atrocities. Several SS units also took part in battles in the West. What they lacked in tactical ability was made up for by their fanatic adherence to the Nazi cause.

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 354-page WWII history. This is the fourth book by Tucker-Jones that I have read. The others have been Radio Operator on the Eastern Front: An Illustrated Memoir, 1940–1949Churchill, Master and Commander: Winston Churchill at War 1895–1945, and Life and Death on the Eastern Front: Rare Colour Photographs From World War II. They all have been interesting. The book is full of details about the Waffen SS units. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a rating of 3.4 (rounded down to 3) 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 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Alias Emma

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Ava Glass is the author of Alias Emma which was published in 2022. This is her first publication.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R.

Emma Makepeace has just completed her training as a British secret agent, but that name is only her working alias. Her first assignment seems easy enough. She simply has to escort the son of a Russian dissident across London. And she has 12 hours to do it.

But that is before the Russians hack into London’s extensive CCTV surveillance system. Buses, subways, cars, and trains, the normal means of transportation, are all being watched. Nor can they use a cell phone or a credit card without signaling their location. Emma and her charge must find their way across London without disclosing themselves to the Russian assassins pursuing them.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 273-page thriller. The novel has action, intrigue, and romance woven into the plot. While I understand the chosen cover artwork, a London city map, I do not think it is very engaging. I give this novel a rating of 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).