Tag Archives: NetGalley

Review of “Stars Uncharted”

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Book Reviews – “Stars Uncharted” eBook was published in 2018 (August) and was written by S. K. Dunstall (Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall – http://www.skdunstall.com). This is their fourth 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 is set in the far future. The primary characters are Captain Hammond Roystan, Junior Engineer Josune Arriola, and Body-Modification Artist, Nika Rik Terri.

The Road to the Goberlings and her crew led by Roystan had come across the infamous ship Hassim. The Road, while basically a merchant vessel, was not about to overlook a financial windfall. What they had found when they boarded the Hassim was the crew dead and the ship occupied by heavily armed Company men. The Road‘s crew took the Hassim from the Corporate men and claimed her for salvage. Roystan needed to lead his crew in a quick sale of the Hassim and disappear before the Corporation’s men could find them.

Arriola had been undercover on board The Road. She was really part of the Hassim‘s crew. She had been sent to The Road to keep an eye on Roystan. Terri had wound up in the pocket of ruthless Corporate thugs. While a Body-Modification  Artist, she had more than enough ability to mend the Corporation’s men. When an assassin forced her cooperation, she took the opportunity to run from the Corporation.

Roystan, Arriola, and Terri find themselves together and struggling to avoid the same Corporation. The Corporation believes that Roystan may have information that will lead to an incredibly valuable mineral deposit. All of this leads the three into one dangerous situation after another.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 416 page science fiction thriller. I liked all of the characters created for this novel. I did think the whole body-modification art was a bit weird, but we do have a growing ‘Body Hacking’ movement so who knows. It did give a little different twist to the plot. I am not a big fan of the chosen cover art. This is the third work of Dunstall and I have enjoyed them all, though I think this is the best of their novels. 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).

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Review of “Final Target”

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Book Reviews – “Final Target” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by E. V. Seymour (http://www.evseymour.co.uk). Mr. Seymour has published 11 novels. This is the second of his “Josh Thane Thrillers”.

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 primary character of the story is former Assassin for hire Josh Thane.

Thane has ‘retired’ from his role as an assassin and the violent world he was part of. He is surprised when a person from his past, MI5 agent Inger McCallen, shows up. Thane has a romantic interest in McCallen but has never wanted to complicate his life further. Now McCallen is recruiting him to investigate a threat against her life.

As Thane pursues the investigation, he finds himself the target of more than one attack. Then McCallen disappears and MI5 seems to think Thane is involved. Thane must avoid MI5 while he desperately tries to find McCallen. Crime figures that he formerly worked for begin to die, and that is another complication with connections back to him.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 272 page mystery and thriller. I liked the character of Thane who is definitely a guy with a sketchy background, but who is trying to live a normal life. 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).

Review of “The Gemini Agenda”

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Book Reviews – “The Gemini Agenda” eBook was published in 2018 (original paper edition was published in 2012) and was written by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin (http://www.winstonchurchillthrillers.com). Mr. McMenamin Sr. has authored or co-authored 12 books. Mr. McMenamin Jr. has authored or co-authored 6 books. This is the third in their “Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller” 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 1932. The primary characters are Mattie McGary, Churchill’s goddaughter and a reporter for the Hearst newspapers, and Bourke Cockran a law professor, former US Army MID agent, and the son of one of Churchill’s former mentors. Also playing a significant role in the story is the German Kurt von Sturm.

By this point, McGary and Cockran are an intimate pair, though not yet engaged. McGary is drawn into a mystery of grisly murders across the US by Hearst. She encounters ruthless thugs who try to discourage her investigations. Meanwhile, Cockran is engaged as the divorce attorney for Ingrid, the wife of Wesley Waterman. Waterman and Cockran have already crossed paths earlier in the book series. Waterman uses his wealth and power to block the divorce including violence and murder.

When Ingrid’s siblings disappear while traveling in Europe, she and Cockran set out to find them. McGary’s investigation of the murders also leads her to Europe where there is evidence that some Americans that have been abducted are being held. Both paths lead to a secret medical facility where studies are being conducted under the direction of the Nazis.

Von Sturm has had affairs with both McGary and Waterman and still carries deep feelings for both women. When he finds Waterman under threat, he steps in to rescue the young woman. In doing so he risks the deadly retribution of both colleagues and his employers if they find out. He feels honor bound to do what he can to save Waterman’s siblings.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 400 page historical thriller. I have enjoyed the three major characters in the novels, as well as the other real people of the era that are woven into the story. While this isn’t a true WWII story, it deals with real factors that lead up to the war. The cover art is OK, but an image of one of the Pitcairn autogiro craft that Cockran and McGrady repeatedly use 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).

Review of “SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Viper”

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Book Reviews – “SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Viper” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Don Mann (http://usfrogmann.comand) and Ralph Pezzullo (http://ralphpezzullo.com).  Mr. Mann has authored or co-authored a dozen books, while Mr. Pezzullo has authored or co-authored seventeen. This is the seventh novel in their “SEAL Team Six” 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 mostly in the Middle East. The primary character is US Navy SEAL Thomas Crocker.

Crocker and his team are in Syria and are confronted with ISIS combatants. While defending a Syrian city from attack, he meets the young French epidemiologist Severine Tessier risking her life there as a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders. She and Crocker connect.

Months later, a colleague of Tessier’s is kidnapped by ISIS forces. Her imminent execution is announced. Tessier reached out to Crocker for help to rescue her colleague. While officially told NO, Crocker and his team make a desperate attempt to rescue the girl before she is executed. Tessier mounts her own search for her young colleague. It is a race to see if either will find the girl before she is executed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 6.4 hours I spent reading this 320 page modern Special Ops thriller.  I liked this novel as the story had more of a realistic feel to it than many of this genre. I like the 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).

Review of “The Parcifal Pursuit”

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Book Reviews – “The Parcifal Pursuit” eBook was published in 2018 (original paper edition was published in 2011) and was written by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin (http://www.winstonchurchillthrillers.com). Mr. McMenamin Sr. has authored or co-authored 12 books. Mr. McMenamin Jr. has authored or co-authored 6 books. This is the second in their “Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller” 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 primarily in 1931 Europe. The primary characters are Mattie McGary, Churchill’s goddaughter and a reporter for the Hearst newspapers, and Bourke Cockran a law professor, former US Army MID agent, and the son of one of Churchill’s former mentors.

There is a plot in Germany to assassinate President Hindenburg and restore the Kaiser to power. Part of this plot also involves finding the ancient Christian artifact, the Spear of Destiny. Churchill and Hearst send McGary to find the Spear and return it to the British Museum. Separate forces acting for the Kaiser and Hitler are also after the Spear. Making things even more dangerous, members of a new Knights Templar are sworn to protect the Spear.

Simultaneous to this, Cockran is in German with his lovely new client. She is being pressured to sell the tabulator company she just inherited from her father, who was murdered. She and Cockran are confronted by Nazi thugs trying to force her to sell. Cockran must call on old friends from Ireland to help him.

As the plot develops Cockran and McGary are thrown into one desperate situation after another. Their romance is threatened by Cockran’s lovely new client as well as a distinguished German that is accompanying McGary on the search for the Spear. Both McGary and Cockran must also contend with enemies that are not so obvious as the uniformed Nazis.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 442 page period thriller. While not a novel set in World War II, it deals with events and figures that will soon play important parts in that conflict. I like the characters created for this series of novels. While this book could be read stand-alone, it would be best to start with the first book in the series “The DeVelera Deception“. I like 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).

Review of “River of Bones”

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Book Reviews – “River of Bones” eBook was published in 2018 (July) and was written by Taylor Anderson (http://taylorandersonauthor.com). Mr. Anderson has published thirteen novels, all in his “Destroyermen” 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 an alternate universe. Commander Matt Reddy and the crew of the World War II era destroyer USS Walker has somehow been transported to another Earth.

This is a more primordial Earth where the Walker ran straight into a war between the Lemurians and the Grik. The Walker has allied themselves with the Lemurians and is fighting a vicious war with the Grik. Not only must the humans contend with the Grik, but also the Holy Dominion. Some Japanese forces have found their way to this world as well and the Allies must contend with the very effective Japanese air force.

The League of Tripoli is another group of transplants who have ended up in the Mediterranean area of this world. While no open hostility exists yet between them and the Allies, clearly the League is working against them. The destroyermen and their allies must make a last-ditch stand to keep the Grik swarm from attacking Madagascar, though they face an overwhelming force.

I enjoyed the 14.5 hours I spent reading this alternate history thriller. This was a bit hard to read as a stand-alone novel. Fortunately, I had read a previous novel (#10) in the series “Straights of Hell” so I had a little background. I would strongly suggest starting at the beginning of this long series if it sounds interesting. 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).

Review of “Outcasts of Order”

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Book Reviews – “Outcasts of Order” eBook was published in 2018 (June) and was written by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (http://www.lemodesittjr.com). Mr. Modesitt has published nearly 80 novels. This is the twentieth novel in his “Saga of Recluse” 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 and a little Mature Language. The story is set in a world where magic is possible. This novel continues to follow the young Mage Beltur introduced in “The Mongrel Mage“.

Beltur, though raised by his uncle and trained as a While Mage, has found he is a powerful Black Mage. He used his skill to help defend Elparta from invasion. Now that the threat is over, he finds himself under new threats.

For some in Elparta he is too strong in magic and they see him as a threat to their power. His romantic interest in a young healer, Jessyla, is seen as a threat by a Black Mage that desires her. His ability to aid the coppersmith Jorhan to cast rare and beautiful cupridium pieces is seen as a threat to the traders.

He finds that he must flee Elparta in fear of his life. Jessyla insists on coming with him and becoming his consort (wife). They must face the dangers of traveling to Axalt. Not only must they travel through winter storms, but brigands threaten travelers along the road.

Once they arrive in Axalt, things are better, or at least seem so on the surface. Both Jessyla and Beltur are able to further their skills as Healers. Baltur is able to produce more cupridium pieces with Jorhan. He is an outsider though and different. Even though they have distanced themselves from Elparta, the Council there tries to make trouble for him as his friends.

Beltur must protect himself and his friends from attack from one direction after another. It becomes a question of how far will he have to go. What will he have to do to survive? Will he ever find a place that he and Jessyla can have a home and a family?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 19+ hours I spent reading this 656 page fantasy. I have enjoyed reading the last two novels in the “Saga of Recluce”, and they make me want to go back and start the series from the beginning. This novel reads pretty well on its own, but certainly reading “The Mongrel Mage” first helps. I do like the characters that have been created. Beltur, while a very strong Mage, is still finding his own strengths and abilities. This novel was a little slower than the previous one, though I did still find myself drawn to reading it. This novel is more about his growth as a Mage and a Healer. I like the cover art chosen for this novel. 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).

Review of “Blood’s a Rover”

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Book Reviews – “Blood’s a Rover” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Harlan Ellison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison). Mr. Ellison has published only nine novels or novellas but has published over 1,700 short stories since 1958. He has received numerous awards for his writing over the years.

I received an ARC of this novella 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 a post-apocalypse world. The primary characters are the young man Vic and his enhanced dog Blood.

Vic and Blood struggle to survive in the desolate wasteland of the future. Blood, his dog, has been enhanced allowing them to communicate telepathically, and Blood is clearly the more strategic thinker of the two.

After being separated, they find themselves together again. Soon, Vic is confronted with adding a third member to their team, Spike. Spike is a survivor like Vic. Reluctantly Vic lets the young woman join them and the duo becomes a trio.

I thought the 2.5 hours spent reading this 232 page novella was interesting. I had not read any of the prior works in the series, but this novella read pretty well on its own. That is not too unexpected since the last work in the series was published in 1980. I think the cover art is good as it both depicts the flavor of the story as well as having a vintage look. It is adapted from a screenplay, so the format is a little hard to read. 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).

 

Review of “The Berlin Affair”

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Book ReviewsWWIIWWII Timeline – “The Berlin affair” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by David Boyle. Mr. Boyle has 12 publications. This is the first in his “Xanthe Schneider Enigma thriller” 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 England and Germany during 1940. The primary character is the young American woman Xanthe Schneider.

Schneider is recruited by British intelligence to travel to German in the guise of an American reporter. She is to determine if Ralph Lancing-Price, a former British government minister, is still a patriot to England or a traitor.

She finds more in Germany than she bargains for: Information about the secret German ‘Enigma’ coding device is revealed to her; She develops a romantic relationship with Lancing-Price; and Germany begins to mobilize its armies.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 121 page World War II spy thriller was interesting. This wasn’t a very compelling read. The story seemed to just amble along. I think it would have been better if it had been expanded into a full novel. The cover art is OK, but not very closely related to the story. I give this novella a 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).

Review of “Exile”

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Book Reviews – “Exile” eBook was published in 2018 (July) and was written by Glynn Stewart (https://www.glynnstewart.com). Mr. Stewart has published 27 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 and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Vice Admiral Isaac Gallant.

Gallant is the heir to the leadership of the Confederacy of Humanity. Heir because his mother, the First Admiral, has taken over the Confederacy and rules it with an iron fist. Fed up with what his mother represents, Gallant gets involved with a rebellious group intending to overthrow the First Admiral.

The plot is discovered before any real action can be taken. Normally those even thinking of rebellion would be executed. However, since her son is involved, the First Admiral decides that exile is a just punishment. But this is not a simple exile, but a one-way trip to the other end of the Galaxy. Not only are the rebels sent, but four million including criminals, and anyone thought to speak against the First Admiral, are rounded up and included.

Their destination is a planet that a quick survey has identified as habitable. Now they must build a new civilization. They have various troubles, mostly due to the mix of people included. The real challenge comes when the new colony is confronted with the aliens that terraformed the planet. Will they find a way to survive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 381 page science fiction thriller. I thought that the idea of people being exiled was an unusual basis for a plot. I also liked the characters that appear in the story. I look forward to future novels in this series. Given the storyline, 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).