Tag Archives: ebooks

Book Review: “Unbound”

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Book Reviews – “Unbound” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Lance Erlick (https://lanceerlick.com). Mr. Erlick has published a dozen novels. This is the second in his “Android Chronicles” 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 some scenes of Mature Situations. The story is set in the not too distant future. The primary character is Synthia Cross, probably the most advanced humanoid robot in the world.

Cross was built in violation of laws governing robots that can pass for humans. While she has been in hiding for six months, the US government, the FBI, the NSA, foreign governments and other sentient robots are now after her.  She desperately wants to prevent other robots from reaching the same level of development as she has reached. Too many want the advanced robots to build an army or other sordid purposes. Cross fears that too many intelligent robots without the proper self-control will put humanity at risk.

Cross not only has her own native advanced AI but also some of the personality of a woman, Krista Holden, who her maker downloaded into her. Cross, along with a human she has made contact with must avoid all who pursue them while she attempts to remove the other androids from the wild.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 274-page science fiction novel. I liked the general plot of this story with the main character being the android. I think the writing could have been a bit more polished, but I enjoyed the story. While this is the second book of the series, it reads well on its own. 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).

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Book Review: “Daisy’s Run”

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Book Reviews – “Daisy’s Run” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Scott Baron (https://scottbaron.blog). Mr. Baron has published six novels. This is the first novel in his “Clockwork Chimera” 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 Situations, and Mature Language. The story is set in the future. The primary character is Daisy Swarthmore, a twenty-five-year-old redheaded communications and electronics expert aboard the spacecraft Váli.

Swarthmore is part of the small crew that is taking the vessel back to Earth. They are all awoken prematurely from cryo-sleep when their ship is struck by debris. Swarthmore is relatively new to the crew but gets along well with most of them. The ship is controlled by Mal, an advanced AI.

Swarthmore begins to have doubts about the AI, fearing that it is attempting a take-over. As the story progresses, one crew member ‘accidentally’ dies making Swarthmore even more paranoid. She soon finds herself on the run aboard the small ship. She hopes she can make it to the Moon’s Dark Side base or to Earth in time to counter what she sees as a threat from the AI. While she is pursued by the crew, she ultimately discovers that things are far from what she had expected.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 361-page science fiction novel. I like the character of Swarthmore as well as the plot. Having unexpected plot twists make the novel feel fresh. I like the selected cover art. 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).

Book Review: “Through Fiery Trials”

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Book Reviews – “Through Fiery Trials” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Weber (http://www.davidweber.net). Mr. Weber has published nearly 80 novels. This is the tenth novel in his “Safehold” 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 far future and surrounds the activities of the remnants of humanity on the planet Safehold.

There are several characters that are followed in this story. The war between Charis and those following the Church of God’s Awakening has come to an end. The leaders of Charis are part of a small but powerful group who know the truth behind Safehold. Now in the short time they have left before the Archangels are scheduled to return they must advance the technology level on Safehold as far as they can. This novel deals with the trials they face, both political and military, as they struggle towards that goal.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 25.5 hours I spent reading this 752-page science fiction novel. This novel is massive and took a very long time to complete. I have read several books by Mr. Weber and have enjoyed them all, including a few others in the Safehold series. This novel seemed a little slower than most. I think that is partially due to its length. The cover art is OK. 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).

Download Books Newly Added to the Public Domain

Reading – I hadn’t thought of this before until I read an article about it the other day, but no books have been added to the Public Domain in the past 20 years. Works from 1923 were originally to go into the public domain in 1999, after a 75-year copyright term. But in 1998 Congress hit a two-decade pause button and extended their copyright term for 20 years, giving works published between 1923 and 1977 an expanded term of 95 years. Thousands of new works were added to the Public Domain this year on January 1.

Many new books (those from 1923) were added to the Public Domain this year. Among the books added (with a link to where they can be downloaded from) are:

Project Gutenberg, which already had over 58,000 free downloadable books, has added these five titles from 1923:

To get a full picture of what has been added to the Public Domain, check out the article “January 1, 2019 is (finally) Public Domain Day: Works from 1923 are open to all!“.

Book Review: “A Baker Street Wedding”

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Book Reviews – “A Baker Street Wedding” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Michael Robertson (https://www.thebakerstreetletters.com). This is the sixth novel in the “The Baker Street Letters” series by Mr. Robertson.

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 contemporary UK. The primary characters are lawyer Reggie Heath and the celebrated actress Laura Rankin.

Rankin and Heath have just gotten married and try to escape the publicity by disappearing to a small town where Rankin once attended school. They are soon drawn into a mystery. Rankin is asked to fill in for a woman in a community play. The woman has accidentally fallen off a cliff and died. Soon though Rankin and Heath begin to question the accidental nature of the death.

There is also an unusual character that shows up with Heath’s secretary in the rural town. Is he Sherlock Holmes?

I enjoyed the 5 hours I spent reading this 304-page mystery. This was an OK mystery and I liked the strange character that shows up, though there needs to be more explanation of the character (perhaps that is covered in one of the earlier novels in the series, though Rankin and Heath do not appear to know him). Even though there are five earlier novels in the series, this novel reads well on its own. The cover art is OK but doesn’t relate well to the story. 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: “Hitler’s Secret Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Nazi Plan for Final Victory”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “Hitler’s Secret Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Nazi Plan for Final Victory” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Michael Fitzgerald.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. This book talks about the various projects undertaken by the German Third Reich to create weapons that would turn the tide of World War II.

The first part of the book addressed aircraft, rockets, and armored vehicles that were either developed or which had been designed. Then some of the more far-fetched research efforts were addressed including “flying saucers”, unusual aircraft, and working atomic weapons.

I thought that the 6 hours I spent reading this 240-page non-fiction book were interesting. While many of the projects discussed were ones I had heard of elsewhere, there were several that, to me, left the non-fiction and crept into the realm of conspiracy theory and pure fiction. The selected cover art is well chosen. 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).


If you are a student of the World War II era in history, you may find my pages “World War II Sources” (a collection of museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history) and “World War II Timeline” of interest.

Book Review: “Plains of Exodus”

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Book Reviews – “Planes of Exodus” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Robert J. Burnett. This is Mr. Burnett’s first published novel.

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 Situations. The story is set in the far future. Earth has been destroyed and all that is left of humanity has been surviving as refugees in an overcrowded galaxy. The primary character is Jonah Mactier, a young smuggler.

Mactier accidentally stumbles across an incredible find while trying to evade Imperial vessels. He discovers an unknown system with a human compatible planet. Not only that, he finds a spatial conduit to the Andromeda galaxy. A galaxy that seems to be devoid of intelligent life.

He returns to his home on Alterhome, one of the colony ships that house the remnants of humanity. He makes his way directly to his mentor Jamie Kiernan and explains his find. , There he meets Tyran deMuelles, Kiernan’s new protégée, with whom he instantly falls in love.

Kiernan, deMuelles, and Mactier then work together to bring humanity to their new home without alerting Imperial forces of their plan. Their effort is not without challenges.

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 541-page science fiction story. I enjoyed this story and liked the plot and the characters. The Imperial forces seem far more inept than I would expect. The cover art is OK. 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: “A Divided Life”

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Book Reviews – “A Divided Life” eBook was published in 2018 (the original paper edition was published in 1988) and was written by Robert Cecil. Mr. Cecil has published several non-fiction books.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The story focuses on the years from before World War II (1935) until 1951. It is a biography of the life of British Diplomat and Russian Spy Donald Maclean.

The book covers his life and tells of his efforts and his betrayals. The book is very dry and somewhat difficult to read. It does get better after the first chapter or so. You can easily tell that it was written in the 80s.

I thought that the 8+ hours I spent reading this 347-page biography were interesting. I like the cover art. I give this book 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: “Changeling”

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Book Reviews – “Changeling” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Molly Harper (https://www.mollyharper.com/). Ms. Harper has published more than thirty novels. This is the first in her “Sorcery and Society” 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 an alternate history of sorts where magic is possible. The primary character is 14-year-old Cassandra Reed, aka Sarah Smith.

In this timeline, those with magic have risen up and taken over the world. Those without magic, the Snipes, are ‘taken care of’ by those with magic. Those with magic grow richer and more powerful, while the Snipes simply become servants and tradesman.

Smith is a Snipe and has grown up living in the Warren. She and her family serve the magical and powerful Winters family. Once Smith accidentally demonstrates a magical ability of her own, things change. Snipes are not ever supposed to have the ability to use magic. Smith, has the ability and it is powerful. The Winters change her looks and enroll her as a distant cousin in Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies.

The Winters foster the coverup as it would be just as devastating to them as to Smith and her family for the truth to get out. Smith struggles at the school having to deal with snobby girls. She finally finds a couple of friends there who are each an outcast in their own way. Her jealous sister threatens their subterfuge and everyone is threatened by a witch that wants to raise the dead and use that army to take over the world.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 271-page young adult fantasy. The characters were interesting and the plot, while not new, was well implemented. I did think that the end to the story came more quickly that it could have. The final confrontation might have been strung out a little more. Certainly, a firm footing is laid for follow-on novels in the series. The cover art is OK, but a scene from the story would have been better in my opinion. 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).

Book Review: “Executive Force”

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Book Reviews – “Executive Force” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Gary Grossman (https://www.garygrossman.com). Mr. Grossman has published four novels. This is the fourth in his “Executive” 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 contemporary US. The primary characters are Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke and his fiancée Katie Kessler, a lawyer and assistant to the US Supreme Court Chief Justice.

A series of assassinations of political leaders is driving the US into chaos. A growing secessionist movement is being fueled by this and threatens the US. Roarke must find the assassin and stop him before there are more deaths. Kessler is looking into the secessionist movement for the Chief Justice and goes undercover within the leading organization. Both find themselves in danger and on trails of evidence that lead to the same conclusion.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 448-page thriller. While this is the fourth book in this series, it reads well on its own. I liked the characters and the plot created by the author. The cover art is kind of bland. Something related to the story would have been better in my opinion. 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).