Tag Archives: NetGalley

Book Review: “The Oppressed”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Oppressed” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Matt Thomas. This is Mr. Thomas’ second publication. This is the first in his “Wroth Worlds” 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 Bryan Howe leader of Free Human Special Forces Detachment 8222.

Earth had been invaded and conquered by the Hetarek. Much of the human population on Earth has been exterminated. The remainder has become Hetarek slaves. A few from Earth escaped the Hetarek and, with the help of the Ahai, have fled to the stars. The Free Human forces have begun to fight back against the Hetarek. They have already taken a few systems, now they have set their sights on Earth.

Howe and his team are inserted on Earth to start building a guerrilla army to rise up and assist in an invasion of Earth. But Howe and his team have a difficult job. Not only do the Hetarek keep a close and ruthless watch on the remaining humans, but the humans consider Howe and his colleagues “Runners’. They are looked down upon because the humans that have survived on Earth feel that they were abandoned. With a generation having passed, it is difficult to recruit survivors to risk everything to support the ‘Runners’.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 375-page science fiction novel. I liked the plot of a conquered Earth being retaken. There is a lot of action and not all of the characters you start out with survive. This is just the beginning of the story of a much longer struggle. The cover art is OK, but I would have preferred something closer to the storyline. 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 Darkest Year: The American Home Front 1941-1942”

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(See all of my Book Reviews as well as my other WWII related posts) – “The Darkest Year: The American Home Front 1941-1942” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Willaim K. Klingaman. Mr. Klingaman has published more than 10 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 is the story of Americans on the home front in the year following the attack on Perl Harbor. While some of the military engagements are mentioned, the book focuses on what was going on at home.

How did we deal with shortages and rationing? How was the shift from a peacetime economy to full war material production handled? How did these early days of the war affect life in the US?

I enjoyed the 11.5+ hours I spent reading this 371-page non-fiction account of life in 1942 America. While non-fiction, this book was easy to read. It brought out several things I had not been aware of. So many mistakes were made by the military and the administration. I like the selected 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).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 310 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Book Review: “Darkness”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Darkness” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Lain Richmond (https://www.iainrichmond.com). This is Mr. Richmond’s first published novel. It is the first of his planned “Oortian Wars” 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 not too distant future. The primary character is Captain Jack Falco of the United Nations Navy.

Falco is a hero of a war with North Korea, though it has left him a widower. Now he has reluctantly taken a commission as Captain of the Cyclone Class deep space scout ship Anam Cara. Falco, and the Anam Cara, will be on a 15-year mission to the Oort Cloud. They are there to investigate anomalies around Station Pluto.

To the surprise of everyone, Falco and his crew discover that the dark cloud in that part of space is home to an alien race that has been disturbed by the human presence. The alien civilization is far older than Earth and they have a history of violence. Before long that violence is turned on the human presence and Earth is soon at war.

I generally enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 462-page science fiction novel. I liked the overall story and the characters, though I had some problems with the story when it switched to the alien’s point of view. Their thought process was hard to follow and it almost made me want to call a Rule of 50 on the book and drop it. The cover art is OK, but I would have preferred something more in line with 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: “The Ventriloquists”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Ventriloquists” eBook was published in 2019 (August) and was written by E.R. Ramzipoor (http://www.erramzipoor.com). This is her 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in 1943 Brussels. Belgium has been occupied by the Germans since May 28 of 1940. The primary character is twelve-year-old street orphan Helene, who is living in disguise as a boy.

The Germans are trying to sway public opinion away from the Allies. A German comes up with the idea to publish a fake issue of a resistance newspaper turning it into a Nazi propaganda bomb that will sway the public. They approach journalist Marc Aubrion and force him, and his associates, to create the paper.

Aubrion, along with an odd group of resistance fighters and newspapermen, come together to publish a very special issue of Belgium’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir instead. Le Soir has been taken over by the Nazis and is being used to publish their propaganda. The small group, including the young Helene, come up with the wild plan of secretly publishing an issue full of Zwanze [meaning farce or spoof] poking fun at the Germans.

They have only 18 days to pull their plan together, write the articles, then publish and deliver the papers under the noses of the Nazis.

I enjoyed the 18 hours I spent reading this 544-page WWII thriller. This story is based on fact. A spoof issue of Faux Soir was published on November 9, 1943. While I thought the story was interesting, I also thought it was very slow reading. I almost declared a Rule of 50 and abandoned it. I have to say that it did get better towards the end. There were unusual several characters in the story. It was certainly an interesting plot, almost unbelievable, yet it really happened. The chosen cover art is OK, though I think something closer to the story could have been chosen. 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).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 310 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Book Review: “The Last Second”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Last Second” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Catherine Coulter (https://www.catherinecoulter.com/) & J. T. Ellison (https://www.jtellison.com). Ms. Coulter has published more than 90 novels, while Ms. Ellison has published more than 30. This is the sixth book in their “A Brit in the FBI” 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, France, and Asia. The primary characters are FBI agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Cain.

A close friend is hired as a bodyguard to Jean-Pierre Broussard, owner of the very successful French aerospace company, Galactus. Broussard is in Asian waters on his megayacht, The Griffon, searching for the Holy Grail. Shortly after finding what they believe is the Grail, the yacht comes under attack.

Broussard’s head scientist at Galactus is the former US Astronaut Dr. Nevaeh Patel. Patel is trying to make contact with aliens, the Numen, she swears she met while serving aboard the International Space Station. After Patel was quietly forced to leave NASA due to her claimed ‘first contact’, she took up the helm of Galactus. She helped make the company a success but now she is using Galactus launch capabilities for her own plans. She has put a nuclear weapon in orbit that will generate an EMP. Patel wants to use the EMP to clear the heavens of all satellites and the ISS. This will allow the Numen to come down to Earth.

Drummond and Cain travel to Asia to look for their missing friend and Broussard. Then they become involved in the search for the nuclear weapon. Along the way, they encounter armed terrorists and Patel’s security. Drummond and Cain are in a race to disable the nuclear weapon before the EMP can devastate most of the Earth.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 464-page thriller. I liked the overall plot, but I was not impressed with the characters. In my opinion, too, there were a few holes in the plot details. While the cover art chosen is OK, I think something tied to the plow would have been better, I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Hitler’s Last Plot”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Hitler’s Last Plot” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Ian Sayer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Sayer) & Jeremy Dronfield (http://jeremydronfield.com/).  Mr. Sayer has published six books. Mr. Dronfield has published 10 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 scenes of Violence. The story is set in Europe beginning in April of 1945. This is a dramatized account of what actually transpired.

Europe had been invaded in June of 1944. The Allied forces were closing in on Germany. The US and British from the west and South, Russians from the east. Hitler initiated a last-ditch plan. There were several high profile people in German concentration camps. He ordered the SS to take those 139 prisoners from the camps. The plan is to use them as hostages and execute them if the Reich falls.

This book tells the story of those prisoners and their journey through Germany, Austria, and Italy. They were constantly under threat of Allied air attack and were at risk from the SS troops that had them in custody. Their fate was in the hands of the fanatic SS on one hand and more rational Germans on the other. The prisoners were also helped along by partisans and finally rescued by US forces in the days after the official surrender.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 327-page account from WWII. I had not heard about this incident before, so it was an interesting read. I was amazed by how much a few Germans assisted the prisoners, and at how lenient their SS captors were towards them.  I like the 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 two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 300 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Book Reviews: “Atlas Alone”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Atlas Alone” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Emma Newman (http://www.enewman.co.uk). Ms. Newman has published eleven novels or novellas. This is the fourth in her “Planetfall” 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. A colony ship has left Earth with more than 10,000 passengers and crew. The primary character is the young woman Dee, an avid gamer and one of the few on the spacecraft that knows that Earth has been destroyed.

She is angry and wants to take revenge on those who caused the destruction of Earth just after the colony ship departed. She is certain that those who gave the orders are onboard. She tries to lose herself in a ‘mersive’ game she is invited to play, but when she kills a character inside the game only to find later that the person is really dead, Dee discovers that there is a plot and she is at the center. There appears to be at least one other who wants revenge for destroying the Earth.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 317-page science fiction tale. I liked the characters and the plot, though the novel did not necessarily leave things totally resolved. While I previously read #3 in this series, Before Mars, this novel stands well on its own. 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: “D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Sarah Rose (https://sarahrose.com). Ms. Rose has published two 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 a few scenes of Violence. The story is set in World War II beginning in July of 1942.

While the book focuses on three women who were members of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), it also tells the broader story of the Resistance in occupied France. The women that are focused on are Andrée Borrel, Odette Sansom (the recent book “Code Name: Lise: The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy” goes into more details of her exploits), and Lise de Baissac. The author draws on recently de­classified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell their story.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 372-page history. The scope of the book goes beyond the limits implied in the title in that it talks about the broader resistance efforts, not just the three women. I did feel that the book was slow and tedious at times.  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).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 290 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Book Review: “Earth Quarantined”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Earth Quarantined” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by D. L. Richardson (https://www.dlrichardson.com). Ms. Richardson has published ten novels and novellas. This is the first in her “Earth Quarantined” 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 the far future in 2355. The primary characters are Kethryn Miller, an award-winning actress living in City Prime, and Neah, a single parent living in an underground bunker.

A deadly virus has swept across the Earth killing most of the residents. The human race would likely have been exterminated without the intervention of the Criterion, an alien species. As part of their fix, a quarantine is placed on the Earth. The Criterion has promised the technology needed for humanity to reach out into the stars and establish a new home, but so far they have not delivered.

Miller is about to succeed her father as the leader of State Seven. She can hardly stand all of the attention and decides to flee to the outskirts of the city. Unexpectedly she finds there are people living in a bunker there where no one should live.

Neah has lived in a bunker all of her life. She and all who she knows say that the world outside the bunker is desolate and uninhabitable. She sneaks out and finds that it has all been a lie. The outside is desolate, but it is habitable.

As one young woman sneaks into the bunker she has found the other makes her way into the city. Now each is shocked even further when they discover that they are identical twins and that they now must find a way to survive in their respective worlds. How do they survive? How do they handle the lies they have been told?

I thought that the 10.5+ hours I spent reading this 358-page science fiction novel were interesting. I like the overall plot but thought that the story was both slow and long. While the Criterion and their treatment of humanity is brought up as a problem, the story really doesn’t touch much on that. I like the cover art, but it is not directly relevant to the story. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “The Memori Project”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Memori Project” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Martin Ashwell (https://www.martinashwell.com). This is Mr. Ashwell’s first publication and the first in his “Josh Heller 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 ‘G’. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is Josh Heller, a former CIA operative who left under questionable circumstances.

Heller is approached by billionaire Simon Scott to shoot a documentary film on the neuroscience experiments he is funding. Once Heller is on-board, he is approached by his former employer to work undercover for the CIA. As Heller digs into what is going on he discovers what appears to be the disappearance of one of the former researchers. That raises questions as to the safety of the procedure and who the next patient to undergo the procedure will be.

The security chief for Simon Scott seems to be watching Heller. Heller recruits one of the research team to assist in his investigation and she too comes under the scrutiny of the security chief. Heller must try not only to find out what happened earlier to the research participant but also keep himself and his recruit safe.

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 334-page thriller. I thought the plot was good, but to me, the ending really didn’t wrap everything up. The selected cover art is OK, but not tied to the story. 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).