Tag Archives: NetGalley

Book Review – The Skylark’s Song

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – J. M. Frey https://jmfrey.net(AKA Peggy Barnett) is the author of more than a dozen books. The Skylark’s Songwas published in 2018 and is the first volume of her Skylark Saga series. This was the 101st book I 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 book/novel as R. The primary character is 17-year-old Robin Arianhod.

Sergeant Arianhod has grown up with the war raging between Saskwya and Klonn. As per the custom, she had begun her apprenticeship when she was only 11. She had finally earned her way to crew a glider. She was the flight mechanic responsible for aircraft maintenance. In combat, she rides behind the pilot and drops bombs when commanded. She also defends their ship with her gun.

That all changes the day that her pilot is confronted by the Coyote. The Coyote is a ruthless Klonn pilot that has brought many Saskwya down. After her pilot is wounded, Arianhod must take over. Amazingly she holds her own against the Coyote and lands their plane.

For that feat of courage, Arianhod is promoted to pilot, a mighty achievement for one of her class. Her exploits in the air against the Klonn grow, and she takes on the nickname of the Skylark. Eventually, she once again faces the Coyote. As good as she has become, her luck runs out, and she is shot down.

While Arianhod survives the resulting crash, her close friend and flight engineer Al does not. The Coyote makes her his captive. Instead of the treatment she feared, he treats her like an aristocrat. Their relationship develops, but as much as she is attracted to him, he is still the enemy.

When a strange, one-of-a-kind rocket pack falls into the Coyote’s possession, Arianhod decides she must escape. She has been repairing it, and now it is ready. If the Klonn can utilize the rocket pack, the war will swing in their favor.

Arianhod sees the rocket pack as her means of escape. She hopes she can then use it to bring the decade-long war to an end. But to do so, she must slip away. Once she has escaped, she will have to survive miles behind enemy lines. The odds are against her, but she always has been lucky.

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 288-page young adult, steampunk novel. This novel mixes intrigue, romance, and courage in a teenage girl’s life. The plot is infused with steampunk tech to give it an interesting twist. I like 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 – Black sheep

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Rachel Aukes https://www.rachelaukes.com/ is the author of more than 40 books. _Black Sheep: A Space Opera Adventure _ was published in 2020 and is the first in her Flight of the Javelin series. This was the 100th book I 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. The primary character is spacecraft Captain Halit ‘Throttle’ Reyne.

Reyene and her crew are 15 years into a 20-year voyage when her colony ship, the Gabriela, has a breakdown. The catastrophic failure means Renene and her crew must abandon the Colony ship and the thousand colonists in cryo-sleep aboard. The only chance for the colonists is for the crew to find help.

They are surprised when they stumble across a derelict ship. It will be the find of a lifetime if Reyene and her crew can get it to civilized space. They find the ship intact and fully operational once they have boarded it. The onboard AI, who they name Rusty, has no memory of the ship’s origin or mission.

Reyene thinks their problem has been solved with the discovery of the ship. They head back to the Colony ship. When they arrive, they find that the Gabriela has been taken by pirates. They are forced to follow the pirates to the Jade-8 Terra orbital colony.

The Gabriela is docked at the station, but it is hardly the safe haven Reyene was looking for. The space station is run by pirates and gangsters. The inhabitants are virtual slaves to the two siblings that are in power.

Reyene and her crew’s freedom is in question and the future of the colonists looks dire. Can they escape Jade-8? Will they have to abandon the colonists?

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 262-page science fiction novel. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review – The Battalion Artist

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – This is Janice Blake’s first publication. The Battalion Artist: A Navy Seabee’s Sketchbook of War in the South Pacific, 1943–1945 was published in 2019. This was the 99th book I 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! I categorize this book/novel as G.

Natale ‘Nat’ Bellantoni spent three years, three months, and three days in the Seabees. His ship left California in June 1943, sailing into the Pacific Theater of Operations. His unit, the 78th Seabee Battalion, would serve throughout the Pacific.

Bellantoni had been an artist before the war. This book shows an assortment of photos, drawings, and watercolors he produced while in the Navy. His works show life in New Caledonia, New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, and Okinawa.

I enjoyed the 2 hours I spent reading this 120-page WWII history. The book contains many attractive full-color images depicting life in the Pacific Theater. I like the chosen cover art. 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).


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 600 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 – The Secret She Kept

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – J.S. Ellis https://joannewritesbooks.com is the author of eight novels. The Secret She Keptwas published in 2020. This was the 98th book I 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 situations, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is twenty-five-year-old Anthony Hughes.

Lottie Gibson had been Anthony’s close friend, only now she is dead. A few days before her death, she had loaned him her laptop. As he looks over her machine, he discovers more than 20 videos recorded by Lottie. They go back nearly a year, and in them, Anthony discovers secrets his friend had been hiding. Anthony realizes that he had not known the real Lottie.

Anthony thinks Lottie had lent him the laptop as insurance. She knew that she was in danger. Anthony cannot decide what to do. He should turn the computer in to the police. Instead, he slowly watches the videos and begins to follow the clues Lottie has left.

I enjoyed the 4.5 hours I spent reading this 238-page mystery. It has a slow pace, and the plot is weak. The story is told in the first person by the Anthony character. The cover art is not very eye-catching, but it is consistent with the plot. 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 – The Blitz Detective

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Mike Hollow https://blitzdetective.com is the author of seven novels. The Blitz Detective: The intricate wartime murder mystery was published in 2020 and is the first book of his Blitz Detective series. The novel was first published under the name Direct Hit. This was the 97th book I 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 minor violence, I categorize this novel as PG. The primary character is Detective Inspector John Jago.

Jago is a veteran of the Great War and has been with the police since 1919. It is early September 1940 with Jago now 42. Britain has been at war for over a year. The Luftwaffe has begun bombing London, the Blitz has begun.

A body is discovered in an unmarked van. Jago is called to the scene and recognizes the body. It is a local Justice of the Peace, Charles Villiers.

Before evidence can be gathered, the air raid sirens blare out the warning of approaching German aircraft. A random git by a German bomb obliterates the van and what evidence it might have held.

The death looked suspicious to Jago. He begins to investigate. His focus is disrupted by the assignment to provide assistance to a journalist. This is not one of the regular London crowd, but an American woman, Dorothy Appleton. At first, he considers her a nuisance, but he becomes attracted to her as time passes.

Villiers held a position of power and had his share of enemies. The investigation uncovers secrets held by Villiers. It also divulges criminal attempts to profit from the war. Jago and his partner, DC Peter Cradock, must face danger from more than the German Blitz.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 328-page WWII-era mystery. I found myself reminded of the BBC TV series Foyle’s War. The novel paints a vivid picture of war-torn London. It is a little slow, but still an enjoyable read. I give this novel a rating of 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).


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 600 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 – The Pandora Deception

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – David Bruns https://davidbruns.com/ and J.R. Olson are the authors of more than 20 novels. The Pandora Deception was published in 2020 and is the 4th novel in the WMD Files series. This was the 96th book I 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 book/novel as R.

Don Riley takes charge of the Emerging Threats team at the CIA. Their mission is to stop foreign efforts before they can become a significant threat. His first recruits are Janet Everett, Michael Goodwin, and Andrea Ramirez. All are recently commissioned US Navy officers.

The first group discovered is a Middle Eastern group calling itself Mahdi. Mahdi is an Islamic mythological messiah, and the group is building a following through their actions. Their long-term goal is to use modern bioweapons instead of terrorist bombings to disrupt the region. So far, they have been targeting efforts by the West to bring development and jobs to the region.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 363-page thriller. I had the opportunity to read one of their earlier novels, Rules of Engagement. Both novels were enjoyable reads. The authors have a strong US Navy and Intelligence background, which is evident in their writing. This novel delves into the politics of the Middle East and is full of action and intrigue. The cover art is plain, but it is eye-catching. 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 – The Morgan Files

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Leo J. Maloney http://leojmaloney.com is the author of more than a dozen novels. The Morgan Files was published in 2020 and is the 12th novel in the Dan Morgan series. This was the 95th book I 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 book as R. The primary characters are agent Dan Morgan and his daughter Alex Morgan.

So this book is unusual in that it contains two separate and stand-alone novellas. I’ll review each of these separately.

Twelve Hours

I enjoyed the 3 hours I spent reading this thrilling novella. Terrorist activities are running rampant across New York City. Under this distraction, the President of Iran is kidnapped. While Dan is desperately working to thwart the terrorists, his actions are complicated by his daughter Alex being among the hostages. I give this novella a rating of 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

For Duty and Honor

I enjoyed the 3+ hours I spent reading this thrilling novella. Dan is wasting away in a Russian Gulag. His agency seems to have given up on him. His daughter, Alex, will not give up. She leaves the training program to travel to Russia. The agency does not seem to be doing anything, so she will.

The outlook for those in the Gulag is bleak. Dan makes friends with two others, and together they plot to escape. Meanwhile, Alex is in Moscow trying to infiltrate the household of the General who imprisoned her father. Both father and daughter are putting their lives on the line once again. I give this novella a rating of 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed the time I spent reading this 239-page thriller. I have read five books by Leo J. Maloney. I think that this is among the best. The others were Rogue CommanderDark TerritoryWar of Shadows, and Deep Cover. They have consistently been very enjoyable. I like the chosen cover art.

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

Book Review – Entertaining the Troops: 1939–1945

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – This is the first book by Kiri Bloom Walden. Entertaining the Troops: 1939–1945 was published in 2019. This was the 94th book I 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! I categorize this book as G. The book looks at the efforts made by the British to entertain their troops during WWII.

A few different organizations were created to bring entertainment to the troops. One of the first was the ENSA, Entertainment National Service Association, in 1939. The majority of their programs were variety shows. In 1940 CEMA, the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts was formed. Their events were usually smaller and more culturally oriented. This organization eventually grew into the Arts Council of Great Britain.

For those in the military, there wer other groups. The RAF Gang Shows provided a means for those in the RAF to entertain their brothers in arms. A similar organization, Stars in Battledress, served the Army and ATS. Even for those held in POW camps, the troops often put together programs for their fellow inmates.

Many in the service were exposed for the first time to ballet and Shakespeare. For entertainers, these organizations provided a start to long and successful careers.

I enjoyed the 1+ hour I spent reading this 91-page WWII-era history. The cover art is simple but portrays the goal of the book. I give this book a rating of 3.5 (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 600 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 – The Hiding Girl

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Dorian Box https://dorianbox.com is the author of four novels. The Hiding Girl was published in 2020 and is the first book in her Emily Calby Series. This was the 93rd book I 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 novel as R. The primary character is twelve-year-old Emily Calby.

Calby was growing up in rural Georgia when her life was turned upside down. Out of nowhere comes two men who brutally murder her mother and little sister. If she had not run away, she would be dead too. Without the money her father had hidden, she would have been lost.

Before he died, he had shown her the stash. Enough cash to keep her for weeks if she is careful. Calby looks old for her age but is still too young to be on her own. She manages to manipulate more than one charitable person to help her, but not everyone she meets is so kind. Her journey is as much personal survival as it is a search for the killers.

Young Calby is on a mission. She wants to find and kill those who took her family. Along the way, she makes an unlikely friend in Lucas. He is a former gang member who now has his own business. He gave up gangs on the street for the more profitable realm of the Internet.

Lucas helps Calby track down the men that murdered her family. He also shares what he knows in the art of ‘self-defense’. Will Calby be able to track down the two criminals and bring them to justice? Or will she become just one more of their victims?

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 334-page mystery. I enjoyed this action-packed and engaging novel. You will get to like the character of Calby, but she is a dark hero. I like 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 – Hunter Killer

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Brad Taylor https://bradtaylorbooks.com is the author of more than 25 novels. Hunter Killerwas published in 2020 and is the 14th novel in his Pike Logan Thriller series. This was the 92nd book I 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 novel as R. The primary character is Pike Logan.

Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are on the verge of embarking on a mission to South America when a car explosion kills the Taskforce’s Director. While the authorities rule that the explosion and resulting death was an accident, Logan feels sure that it was an assassination and that he was the intended target.

With the Director dead, the Taskforce is languishing without leadership. Logan fears that the Taskforce may finally be retired. As he begins to investigate, a Russian conspiracy begins to emerge. The Russians want to manipulate the upcoming election in Brazil. The Taskforce has been targeted because the Russians feared that they had been closing in.

After contact is lost with part of the Taskforce team already in Brazil, Pike and Cahill head south. In spite of the order to stand down, Pike and Cahill feel obligated to go to the aid of their brothers in arms.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 474-page thriller. I have had the opportunity to read and review four other books by Taylor. They have all been consistently enjoyable. The others are The Insider ThreatGhosts of WarRing of Fire, and End of Days. Taylor always seems able to bring the action alive on the pages of his novels. While reading the novels of a series in order is always best, these do well as stand-alone reads. I do like the 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).