Tag Archives: ebooks

Book Review: “Burma: The Forgotten War”

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Book Reviews – “Burma: The Forgotten War” eBook was published in 2018 (original paper edition published in 2004) and was written by Jon Latimer. Mr. Latimer published several non-fiction 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. The book covers the years of World War II detailing actions taken in what was then Burma (now known a Myanmar).

Most of what I have read regarding World War II has been either centered on the European Theater or the Pacific Theater and focused on the forces of the US. Most of the Burma campaigns were centered around British or Commonwealth ground forces, though the US played a major role in the air engagements.

I thought that the 16.5+ hours I spent reading this 961-page history were interesting. The page count seems high, but the last third of the book was citations of reference. Certainly, there was a lot of information presented that I had not known about before. Some history books are presented in a very readable fashion. I have reviewed a few of those in the past. This was not one of those books.

This was very dry. It is filled with names, dates, and locations. The fact that the locations are for places I had never heard of did not help. Also, I found that the numerical military unit references used for both British and Japanese units was very confusing. I also felt that the book was very choppy, jumping back and forth in time.

If you are researching military efforts in Burma during WWII, you will find this a very useful book. It does a good job of conveying the misery that troops of both sides had to endure for most of the Burma war efforts.  The perspective presented on the war and especially the Commonwealth troops engaged in it very British. The chosen cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3 out of 5 based on general readability.

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.

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Book Review: “Perfect Girls”

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Book Reviews – “Perfect Girls” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Alison James. This is the third novel by Ms. James and the third in her “Detective Rachel Prince” 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 modern day US. The primary character is Detective Rachel Prince.

Prince is a Detective in the British National Crime Agency. A request comes through for assistance from the US. The body of a beautiful twenty-five-year-old English girl has been found dumped behind a department store in Hollywood, California. Prince is assigned to the case and flies to the US.

Police think they have found the murderer, but Prince is not convinced. In fact, the more she investigates the death, she believed it may the work of a serial killer. She is called back home though before she can convince authorities. Consumed by the case, she returns to the US on her own to try and solve the murders. Her investigation has not gone unnoticed by the killer and Prince soon finds herself under their power.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 339-page mystery. This is the second novel in this series I have read and I have enjoyed them both. This one is a little different as most of it takes place in the US. I like the character of Prince in the novels. I also enjoyed the plot twist the author has at the end of the book. While this is the third novel in a series, it reads well on its own. The cover art is OK. 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: “Crash”

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Book Reviews – “Crash” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by N. S. Shajay (https://www.nsshajay.com). Shajay (a pen name) has published three novels. This is the first book of the “Status Unknown Trilogy”.

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 primary character is Captain Patrick Knox.

A long war is over and humanity is beginning to spread out into the universe again. Knox is taking a ship full of colonists to a new world. He was acclaimed as a Hero during the war, now he just wants to take his passengers to their new home and settle down there himself. They have to make one small detour along the way to deliver a load of convicts to a prison world, but that is supposed to be quick and easy.

A bomb set by a terrorist from a group against further human expansion takes the spaceship off course. It crashes on an uncharted, but a human compatible world. Now Knox must take charge and lead those who lived through the crash in survival. They find that not only are there significant threats indigenous to their new home but the convicts, many of which are convicted murderers, offer there own threat.

Complicating matters is the fact that the only Doctor to have survived the crash is a convicted serial killer. She is brilliant and beautiful, but no one knows how far she can be trusted.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 8 hours I spent reading this 272-page science fiction thriller. I like the plot and the mix of characters in this story. It is a mixture of survival and action. The cover art is OK, but I think there are other images that would have been better. I look forward to reading more stories in this universe. 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: “Restless Lightning”

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Book Reviews – “Restless Lightning” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Richard Baker (https://richardbakerauthor.com/). Mr. Baker has published more than ten novels. This is the second novel in his “Breakers of Empire” 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 and Mature Situations. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Lieutenant Sikander North of the Commonwealth Navy.

A little time has passed since North’s first adventures in “Valiant Dust“. Now he has been sent to the alien Tzoru Empire. He takes the opportunity while planetside to rekindle the flame with Dr. Duston. While on the surface he is inadvertently drawn into a rebellion that no one saw coming. In the resulting conflict, he finds himself in danger time and again. He also finds himself working with and dependent on Dremish forces that only a short time ago he was battling with.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 432-page science fiction tale. This novel is a mix of political intrigue, space vessel combat, and heavily armed combat on the surface. I generally like the character of North, but he is not your perfect hero. I like this series. It reminds me of the “Honor Harrington” novels. I think the cover art is OK. 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: “Lost Solace”

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Book Reviews – “Lost Solace” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Karl Drinkwater (https://www.karldrinkwater.uk). Mr. Drinkwater has published 4 novels. A sequel to this novel is due out this year.

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 young woman, Opal, has stolen a spacecraft with advanced AI capabilities. She is searching for a Lost Ship – one that has disappeared in Nullspace and suddenly returned.

She finds what she thinks is a Lost Ship and gears herself up to explore it. She doesn’t have much time. The ship is being drawn into the gravity well of a neutron star. She finds something there that she wasn’t expecting and which puts her very existence at risk. Her exploration of the ship is further threatened by the arrival of a military force. She and her ship AI, Clarissa, must find a way to survive.

I thought that the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 274-page science fiction novel were interesting. Because of the eerie setting for the novel, this is almost as much of a horror novel as it is science fiction. While I like the AI Clarissa, I am not as big a fan of Opal herself. The plot was interesting, but not outstanding. The cover art was OK. 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: “Sherlock Holmes and the Greyfriars School Mystery”

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Book Reviews – “Sherlock Holmes and the Greyfriars School Mystery” eBook was published in 2015 (original paper edition was published in 1996) and was written by Val Andrews. Mr. Andrews published more than 20 Sherlock Holmes mysteries. In total, he published over 1000 books and booklets, including Houdini novels and books on magic.

I ordered this novella from Amazon when it was being promoted by the publisher. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in 1912 England with the familiar characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Both men are retired now. Watson has been called on by his former schoolmaster for some assistance. One of the staff, Dr. Locke, has been working for years on a history of the Greyfriars School, but it has now gone missing. Watson is asked if he will convince Holmes to come out of retirement and help find the manuscript.

Holmes leaves retirement and his bees behind briefly as he and Watson visit Greyfriars School. Once they have arrived at Greyfriars, they are unexpectedly drawn into the search for the murderer of a local jeweler. They find themselves confronted with rebellious school boys, a not altogether forthcoming Dr. Locke, and a desperate killer.

I enjoyed the 2+ hours I spent reading this 109-page mystery. This mystery is written very much like the original Holmes stories. I think that the cover art is appropriate. I give this novella a 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Weird War 2”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “Wierd War 2” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Richard Denham. Mr. Denham has published seven 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 ‘PG’ because it contains some scenes of Violence. The book is a collection of short (one to two page) non-fiction stories about World War II.

I spent an interesting 5 hours reading this 176-page book of strange non-fiction tales. I was hoping for more of the unusual. Unfortunately, I had heard most of the stories collected in this book before. This might be a good book for someone just getting interested in that period, particularly for a young adult because of the short story structure. The cover art is a good choice for this book. 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).


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: “Death in Paris”

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Book Reviews – “Death in Paris” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Emilia Bernhard. This is Ms. Bernhard’s first novel.

I received a copy of this novel on promotion from the publisher. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Mild Violence. The story is set in current day Paris. The primary character is the middle-aged American woman Rachel Levis.

Levis has been living in Paris for some years now. Shortly after she first arrived in Paris she became romantically entangled with the much older banker Edgar Bowen. Now years later she is happily married to another banker when she hears of Bowen’s death. An odd death in that he drowned in a bowl of soup.

While attending Bowen’s funeral, Levis overhears another mourner mention that a bottle of Rose wine was found on the table next to Bowen’s body. The Bowen she had known had hated Rose wine. When the Paris police rule the death an accident, Levis is convinced that there was foul play.

She, along with longtime friend Magda Stevens, begin to investigate the odd death. Levis is surprised to find that she is included in Bowen’s will. This brings her into close proximity with those that she and Stevens believe to be the most likely suspects in Bowen’s death. Before long though, the suspect list is shortened by another ‘accidental’ death.

Will Levis and Stevens be able to prove that Bowen’s death was murder? Can they discover the murderer? Will they be able to avoid ‘accidents’ targeted at them?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 327-page mystery. This was a rather low key mystery with little action or excitement, but it was surprisingly a compelling read. I liked the characters created for the two amateur sleuths. I also enjoyed the plot and what I think is a good twist at the end. I do not like the cover art. It has nothing to do with the story. 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 – “Big Week: The Biggest Air Battle of World War II”

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Book Reviews – “Big Week: The Biggest Air Battle of World War II” eBook was published in 2018 (November) and was written by James Holland. Mr. Holland is author or co-author of 13 non-fiction books and 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The book covers the air war in Europe from mid-1943 until mid-1944.

While the focus is on the overall strategy of both the Allies and Germans during this period of time, there are also several side stories of individuals from both sides of the conflict. It addresses how the large egos interfered with good decisions with both sides.

Some time is spent looking at Hitler and his indecisiveness which prevented the German engineering establishment from developing new weapons in a timely manner. Germany entered the war with the ME-109 in 1939. It was still flying it in 1945. The Allies had developed and deployed a series of ever better fighters over that same period. During that same period, the German pilots were coming out of flight school with fewer and fewer hours compared to the American pilots.

This all led up to the “Big Week” when Allied air forces bombed Germany day and night for a solid week. The biggest air battle of World War II that gave the Allies air superiority for D-Day.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 12 hours I spent reading this 400-page non-fiction book. I found this book to be very readable, not just dry facts and figures. I certainly learned a few things about the air forces of both sides. I think that the cover art is well chosen. 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 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: “The Stars Now Unclaimed​”

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Book Reviews – “The Stars Now Unclaimed” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Drew Williams (http://drewwilliamsirl.com). This is Mr. Williams first novel and the first of his “The Universe After” 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 and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. the primary character is Jane Kamali is an agent for the Justified who is sent out to find and recruit gifted children.

It had been about a hundred years since ‘The Pulse’ swept across the Universe. Some planets were barely affected. Others, most others were pushed back down the industrial timeline. Many planets were forced back to pre-combustion engine tech. Some planets even further back. How planets were affected seems totally random. Residual radiation from the pulse quickly destroys any new tech once it is put into use on those worlds. Gifted children began to appear just after the pulse.

There were still some with space travel tech. One of these groups is the Pax. Even before the pulse, the Pax was a Sect that was prone to violence. After the pulse, since they were unaffected, they see themselves as zealots who believe they are the rightful rulers of the Galaxy.

The affected worlds can be visited if carefully done. Kamali arrives on a planet that has suffered heavily from the pulse. She finds the young girl she was sent to recruit, but the Pax choose that time to attack the planet. They are able to escape with the help of an android ‘priest’. They begin a journey back to the Justified, but they run into one problem after another, often from the Pax. The Pax is not just a minor threat. They are coming for the Justified. With the Pax, the outcome will be either the destruction of the Pax or the absorption or death of the Justified.

Not only must Kamali use her knowledge and fighting skills to survive and get back to the Justified. She must dodge questions about her past. She must avoid her link to the pulse itself.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 448-page science fiction tale. I liked the characters, particularly that of Kamali. The plot is unusual and offers plenty of opportunities for future books in the series. I am not a fan of the cover art. 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).