Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review: “Timebound”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – The “Timebound” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Heather Albano (http://www.heatheralbano.com). Ms. Albano has published three novels with this being the third book in her “Keeping Time” 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 across the last few centuries. This time the primary character is Maxwell Carrington.

Carrington has been separated from the other time travelers. Inadvertently one of the time travel watches is found by agents of Nazi Germany. This adds an additional layer of difficulty to Carrington and his colleagues. They struggle to set the timeline back to what it should be.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 200-page steampunk science fiction tale. I have enjoyed all three novels in this series, but I think that this is the best of the three. I think that the author did a good job of concluding the trilogy. Definitely, I would recommend reading the first two books of the trilogy before this one. The chosen cover art is OK, but something closer to the plot would have been better in my opinion. 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: “The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War II”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War II” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Evan Hawdsley. Mr. Hawdsley had published more than ten 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 covers World War II at sea around the world. All the major players in WWII maritime warfare are covered. This book gives the reader a very comprehensive look at the naval action of WWII.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 25+ hours I spent reading this 568-page comprehensive history of WWII at sea. While this book is full of details, it read well. I think that better cover art could have been selected. 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).


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 340 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: “Timekeeper”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Timekeeper” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Heather Albano (https://www.facebook.com/heatheralbanoauthorpage/). This is Ms. Albano’s second publication and the second in her “Keeping Time” 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 across time in Europe. The primary character is 17-year-old Elizabeth Barton. She, along with her love interest William Carrington and mysterious friend Maxwell, continue their fight to put the timeline back the way it should be.

They use their time travel pocketwatch to move to one critical moment in time after another. They are fighting a very dangerous battle to keep both the Frankenstein like monsters and the metal giants from ever being created. They must also find a way to keep Napolean from victory at Waterloo.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 280-page young adult steampunk thriller. This novel is just a continuation of “Timepiece” the first novel in the series. The characters are much the same as in that first novel. I have enjoyed the first two novels in the trilogy and look forward to the third. I like the chosen cover art. 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: “The Cruel Stars”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Cruel Stars” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by John Birmingham. Mr. Birmingham has published more than 30 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. The Sturm of the “Human Republic” see any humans who have genetic or cybernetic enhancements as traitors to the species and deserving extermination. They have risen up once killing billions before they were driven into Dark Space.

Now, centuries later without warning, they are back. Their sneak attack has rendered almost all of the defenses of humanity useless. If they are not stopped the Sturm will kill billions more.

The primary character is Commander Lucinda Hardy who has been left in command of one of the few Royal Armadalen Navy warships left. She, along with her crew and four other survivors, are the only hope for humankind. The five struggle independently against overwhelming odds, but finally, join her.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 416-page Science fiction thriller. I think the author has assembled an interesting mix of reluctant heroes for this saga. I like the plot as it is a little different from the common large scope space war novels. I look forward to more novels in this universe. The cover art is interesting but does not relate specifically to the story. 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: “Timepiece: A Steampunk Time-travel Adventure”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Timepiece: A Steampunk Time-travel Adventure ” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Heather Albano (http://www.heatheralbano.com/). This is Ms. Albano’s first publication and the first in her “Keeping Time” 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in a variety of times and places in Europe. It begins in 1815 with the primary character 17-year-old Elizabeth Barton receiving a very special pocket watch.

In this alternate reality, the monsters of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are real. The British have created an enslaved army of them to counter Napolean. After that victory, they are employed as forced labor in mines, but soon they rebel. England is desperate to control them. A brilliant inventor steps in with mechanical men, not quite robots as they are controlled by a human crew.

That allows the monsters to be brought under control, but the mechanicals are then used by the government to control the populace. As more and more work is done by the mechanicals and other automation the displaced are kept in check by the mechanicals.

Into this steps Barton and her new acquaintance, 21-year-old Willaim Carrington. Carrington had been a soldier but a wound to his arm caused him to be discharged. The unlikely pair soon discover that the watch has the astounding ability to travel through time.

They discover the plight of future inhabitants of England and try to change history to prevent the mechanical men. They also attempt to stop the use or even the creation of the monsters used to beat Napolean. Their travels are not without risk but they do find allies in other timelines. They also discover that theirs is not the only special pocket watch.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 264-page steampunk fantasy. While this has a touch of Romance and appeals to the Young Adult, it was an enjoyable story. I liked this slightly new take on time travel with the travelers starting off in the past. I like the chosen cover art. 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: “VanOps: The Lost Power”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “VanOps: The Lost Power” eBook was published in 2019 (November) and was written by Avanti Centrae (https://www.avanticentrae.com). This is Ms. Centrae’s first 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 begins in contemporary Napa Valley, CA. The primary character is App designer and aikido instructor Maddy Marshall.

Marshall is with her twin brother, Will, at their father’s vineyard. All the children have gathered at the request of their father. They hear a shot and rush in to find the dead and the dying.

They “accidentally” run into a long-time friend and secret VanOps agent after the police have left. With him in tow, the three begin the quest for an ancient weapon. If they don’t find it first they fear that the Russians will use it to bypass US defenses and make a devastating first strike. Will the three survive and will they be able to find the weapon first?

I spent 8+ hours reading this interesting 341-page thriller. I like the characters, but they could have been more robust. While the cover art is eye-catching, it does not relate to the story. I give this novel 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).

Book Review: “Merlin’s Shakespeare”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Merlin’s Shakespeare” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Carol Anne Douglas (https://www.carolannedouglas.com/). This is Ms. Douglas’ fifth publication and the first in her ‘Merlin’s Shakespeare’ 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 ‘G’. The story is set in both contemporary times and in Shakespeare’s England. The primary character is 15-year-old Beth Owens.

Owens is a theater student, particularly interested in the works of Shakespeare. Merlin appears to her and sends her back in time to Shakespeare’s England. She meets various characters from Shakespeare’s plays some of whom she likes and others which frighten her. Merlin has sent her back to search for a missing Shakespeare play about King Arthur. Along her way she begins to find that she has some magical powers of her own.

I thought that the 8.25 hours I spent reading this 358-page young adult fantasy were interesting. The plot is pretty simple and the characters are not the deepest, but it seems targeted at the very young adult sector. I like the chosen cover art. 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).

Book Review: “The Great Desert Escape: How the Flight of 25 German Prisoners of War Sparked One of the Largest Manhunts in American History”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Great Desert Escape: How the Flight of 25 German Prisoners of War Sparked One of the Largest Manhunts in American History” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Keith Warren Lloyd (https://keithwarrenlloyd.com). This is Mr. Lloyd’s first published 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 ‘G’. The story is set in 1944.

Some captured German military personnel were being held in prisoner of war camps in the US. One of those camps was at Papago Park just outside of Phoenix, AZ. Several of the prisoners worked for months to dig a tunnel 6 feet deep and 178 feet long. The tunnel was finished in December 1944 and 25 prisoners escaped into the Arizona desert.

The story of those who escaped is told as well as that of those hunting for them.

I enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 288-page history. I had read before of German POWs being held in the US, but this is the first account I have read giving more details. I thought that this book gave an interesting view of life in the German POW camp and a glimpse of the ‘home front’. It read well for a non-fiction book. I like the selected cover art. 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).


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 330 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 Dragon Sickness”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Dragon Sickness” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Ava Richardson (http://avarichardsonbooks.com). Ms. Richardson has published seven novels. This is the second of her “Alveria Dragon Akademy” 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 ‘G’. The story is set in a land with magic and dragons. The primary character is the young dragon tamer Kaelan Younger.

Younger has struggled to be accepted at the Akademy. She is trying to learn the extent of her abilities and to adjust to her partner Prince Lasaro. Her existence at the Akademy is complicated further by the sudden onset of a deadly illness among the dragons.

Younger must keep secrets from the Prince as she tries to discover the source of the illness. Their relationship struggles with the deception she must maintain. The kingdom itself comes under threat from Alveria’s enemies. Will she solve the illness before she is driven from the Akademy or branded as a traitor.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 367-page young adult fantasy. This was clearly targeted at a young adult audience. It is an adventure with a little romance thrown in. I like the chosen 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: “Star Child: Awakening”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Star Child: Awakening” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Petra Landon (http://petralandon.com). Ms. Landon has published five novels. This is the first novel in her “The Zenkoti Fables” 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 ‘PG’. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is the young girl Navi.

Navi is trying to find her way off of the mining world where she lives. She sneaks aboard a spacecraft while following a man who has been asking questions about her. Before she can get off the ship it unexpectedly leaves taking her with it as a stowaway.

She discovers that the ship’s crew is led by the only man to have been able to successfully confront the military of the sector. Before long her presence on the ship is discovered and she becomes part of the crew, at least until they can drop her off.

Her adventure does not end there as the ship must dodge space outlaws, greedy corporations, and the powerful Guild Coalition. She is exposed to many new people, some become friends while others become deadly enemies. Along the way, she is surprised to discover some secrets of her own heritage.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 180-page science fiction novel. I enjoy space opera like this. This is somewhat of a young adult novel but reads well. The cover art is eye-catching. I give this novel 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).