Tag Archives: novel

Book Review: “Cyber Countdown”

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Book Reviews – “Cyber Countdown” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Terence Flynn. This is Mr. Flynn’s 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in the near-contemporary US. The primary character is James Jordan, the current Federal Chief Information Officer of the US.

Jordan had been the CEO of the Cyber Security firm VSI but had stepped down when asked to be the Chief Information Officer. Now his former partner at VSI Philip Wu is dead. The resulting investigation reveals that Wu had been doing classified work for the US government.

The US is plagued with cyber attacks coming from China. Among the students behind the attack is a North Korean naval officer Kim Kwon-Mu. Kwon soon realizes that their effort is more than a simple prank to steal US corporate data.

Before long events are pushing the US and China towards war. Will Jordan be able to get to the bottom of things and find a way to avoid the looming conflict?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 450-page thriller. I liked the level of detail included in the story as well as the plot. I hope to read more “James Jordan” adventures in the future. The chosen 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).

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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).

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).

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: “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: “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).

Book Review: “Time’s Children”

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Book Reviews – “Time’s Children” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by D. B. Jackson (http://www.dbjackson-author.com). Mr. Jackson has published six novels. This is the first of his “Islevale Cycle” 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 another world where magic is possible. The primary character is fifteen-year-old Tobias Doljan.

Doljan is a student of magic with a specialty as a Walker who can travel through time. He is sent to the court of Daerjen. The sovereign of Daerjen, Mearlan IV, asks him to Walk back in time fourteen years, far beyond what is normally allowed. Doljan agrees to take the risk and the burden of aging himself fourteen years in order to stop the war that has been going on.

Doljan survives the trip back in time, but Mearlan and his court are unexpectedly attacked and killed, disrupting the timeline. The only survivor is Doljan and Mearlan’s baby girl. Doljan, though only fifteen in the body of a thirty-year-old man, must find a way to save the princess and evade the invaders.

Doljan’s close friend and love from the magic school, Mara, senses the disruption in time when Mearlan is killed in the past. Though she has forgotten who Doljan is, she knows she must follow him into the past to correct the change in history.

Plots that span time. Magical creatures. Threats from foreign powers. This has the making of a great fantasy series.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 13 hours I spent reading this 528-page fantasy. I liked the plot and the characters. I think the twist of aging those who travel through time adds to the story. 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).

Book Review: “Dark Winter”

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Book Reviews – “Dark Winter” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Anthony J. Tata (https://www.ajtata.com). Mr. Tata has published nine novels. This is the fifth in his “Jake Mahegan 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 mostly ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the contemporary US, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.

Foreign-based hackers penetrate the US military and cause havoc with the various weapons systems. Nothing works as it should leaving the US defenseless. The US power grid is disrupted plunging many into darkness. Russians invade Europe. Iran invades Iraq. North Korea attacks the south and Japan. A new form of warfare, ComWar, is underway.

The only way to stop the ComWar is to destroy the control centers. But that won’t be easy with them located in Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Mahegan’s trained team must split up and take on all the control centers at the same time. If the control of ComWar cannot be disrupted, the world is headed for World War III.

I thought the 8+ hours spent reading this 464-page thriller was interesting. Interesting take on technology. While I have read the previous two novels in this series and liked them, I did not think this one was as good. This novel reads well on its own even with the prior novels in the series. 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).