Tag Archives: novel

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: “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).

Book Reviews: “Night of Camp David”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Night of Camp David” eBook was published in 2018 (the original paper edition was published in 1965) and was written by Fletcher Knebel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher_Knebel). Mr. Knebel published a dozen 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 ‘G’. The story is set in Washington D.C. during the 60s. The primary character is the Junior Senator from Iowa, Jim MacVeagh.

MacVeagh is unexpectedly invited to Camp David one evening by the President. As the President begins talking with MacVeagh, the Senator begins to have misgivings about the sanity of the President. The Senator starts to investigate to prove to himself that the President is at risk.

Soon MacVeagh finds himself being scrutinized for mental problems. With a summit with the Russians looming ahead, MacVeagh and a few others he has allied with must find a way to keep the President from meeting with the Russians.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 352-page thriller. While this novel was written nearly 55 years ago, it still reads well. There are some references to pay phones and other things from the 60s, but the story holds together well. I read many of Knebel’s novels back in the 60s and enjoyed them. 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: “Singularity”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Singularity” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Rick Lakin (http://www.ricklakin.com). Mr. Lakin has published two novels. This is the second of his “StarCruiser Brilliant” 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 not too distant future on Earth. The primary character is Jennifer Gallagher, actress, tech entrepreneur, and Brilliant crew member.

Gallagher is incredibly successful at everything she tries and is only 17. The Brilliant’s crew meets with the Blue Angels and does some incredible flying with them. They also debut some of the capabilities of Brilliant before the public. They must contend with a presidential candidate that is campaigning against robots. They must also go on a deep space mission to confront a bioterrorism attack.

I thought that the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 386-page science fiction novel were interesting. This is a Young Adult novel and one that seems to be targeted at the very young end of that category. While second in the series, this novel reads pretty well on its own. I felt that the plot seemed to be targeted more at the grade school age reader. For me, the plot was far too simple. The chosen cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3.3 (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: “The Anahita Chronicles Book I: Mercury”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Anahita Chronicles Book I: Mercury” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Samuel Blondahl (https://www.blondahl.ca). Mr. Blondahl has published three novels with this being the first of this “Anahita 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 a few scenes of Violence. The story is set in the not too distant future.

A new engine that will enable humans to travel great distances in space is about to be tested. The test is sabotaged, and instead of going to Mars, the spacecraft Mercury ends up near a habitable planet deep in space. They struggle to repair their ship enough to make it back to Earth. Due to the damage suffered from the earlier sabotage and unexpected events, the crew finds themselves stranded on the planet’s surface.

They have been able to send the unmanned Mercury hurtling back towards Earth and asking for help. Now they must find a way to survive. Not only do they find that the planet is hospitable to humans, but they soon discover that they are not the only intelligent lifeforms on the planet.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 409-page science fiction novel. I liked this novel. There are several plot threads going on: survival on an alien planet, a conspiracy back on Earth, and first contact with an alien species. While the story in this novel does reach a conclusion, there are threads of the plot left to be explored and resolved in future books in the series. I give this novel a 4.3 (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: “Remember Me”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Remember Me” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by D. E. White (https://daisywhiteauthor.co.uk). Ms. White has published a dozen 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 story is set in contemporary Wales. The primary character is LAPD Detective Ava Cole who has returned after fifteen years to her home in Wales to see her dying ex-husband one last time.

The visit back home stirs more memories than just her Ex. When Cole was still a teen in Wales her best friend Ellen Smith had disappeared. Now 15 years later no one has heard from her. But that is a mystery that Cole and her close friends know the answer to, or at least she thinks she does.

Now not only is the visit back home stirring up emotional attachments to those she left behind, but previously unknown facts about Ellen’s disappearance begin to surface. The truth about Ellen may destroy many lives. But then another young girl disappears and Cole fears it is tied to Ellen’s disappearance.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 295-page British mystery. This novel has an interesting plot that leads Cole on a bumpy trip down memory lane. This is a good psychological thriller with a twist or two in the plot. I think better cover art could have been chosen. 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: “The Murder Pit”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Murder Pit” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Mick Finlay (https://mickfinlay.com). This is Mr. Finlay’s second publication and the second book in his “Arrowood Mystery” 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 some Mature Language. The story is set in the England of 1896. The primary character is private detective William Arrowood.

Arrowood is a comtemporary of Sherlock Holmes, but he has little respect for him. Arrowood is engaged by a couple to find their estranged daughter, Birdie. Birdie has  married, but since then she has refused any attempts at contact by her parents.

Arrowood and his colleague, Norman Barnett, travel a short distance outside of London where Birdie is living with her husband. He and his entire family are well thought of in the local community, but they refuse to let Arrowood and Barnett speak to Birdie. The detectives nose around, asking questions, but they only stir up the ire of the locals.

When an old gypsy woman who befriends them disappears, Arrowood asks even more questions, stirring up the locals even more. Arrowood and Barnett are threatened and attacked. The more they investigate the less they trust Birdie’s inlaws or her parents. At the same time they feel that something is clearly wrong at the farm where Birdie is living.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 432-page mystery. I chose this novel because I thought it had something to do with Sherlock Holmes. It doesn’t other than annimosity towards Holmes by Arrowood. There are several characters in this story that suffer from mental problems. Revealing how they were treated at the close of the 19th century seems to be part of the mission of this novel. The story was OK, but I thought it was a little slow. The cover art is OK, but I think something more closely tied to the story would have been better. I give this novel a 3.7 (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 Ghost Manuscript”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Ghost Manuscript” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Kris Frieswick (https://www.krisfrieswickauthor.com). Mr. Frieswick has published four 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, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is mostly set in contemporary Wales, though some also takes place in the eastern US. The primary character is Rare Book Authenticator Carys Jones.

Jones enjoys her books, especially Dark Age manuscripts. One of her better clients has been committed to a mental hospital due to his odd actions. He makes her an offer she can’t refuse – his rare book collection if she will assist in deciphering the clues in a very old journal. But it isn’t just an academic exercise, her client believes that the clues will lead to King Arthur’s tomb.

There is an urgency to their effort as it quickly becomes apparent that there are others after the same goal and they are more than willing to use force to find the tomb. She begins to question her own sanity when she starts to ‘see’ the monk who wrote the journal. However, without his ‘advice’, she would not be making progress. Jones must reluctantly return to Wales to continue the search. There she has to face her long-estranged father and she unexpectedly becomes involved with a Welshman.

Will she be able to unravel the clues in the journal? Can she avoid the clutches of the others seeking the tomb? Will everyone she has involved in her quest survive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 337-page adventure thriller. I liked both the characters created for this novel and the plot. There is adventure, suspense, and a touch of the paranormal. The plot does have a twist or two which I enjoyed. The cover art is OK, but I think something tied to the plot would have been better. 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: “He Is Watching You”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “He Is Watching You” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Charlie Gallagher (https://www.writercharliegallagher.com/). Mr. Gallagher has published ten novels. This is the first in his “Detective Maddie Ives” 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 contemporary England. The primary character is DS Maddie Ives.

Ives has spent most of her police career as an undercover officer. Now that her identity has possibly been revealed, she has been posted to Canterbury to keep her safe from retribution. She is assigned to missing persons and reluctantly begins to dig into her new position. Her first case is for a missing woman who is known to disappear on drunken binges.

DI Harry Blaker is working Major Crimes in Canterbury and is called in on a hit-and-run. He and Ives begin to collaborate believing that there may be a connection between missing persons and the hit-and-run.

The murderer has planted cameras so that he can watch the bodies of his victims. He is surprised to discover that one isn’t dead yet. He must finish her. He already has his next victim selected. Soon Blaker and Ives find themselves in a race to find the murderer before it is too late for his latest victim.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 380-page mystery. I like the characters and plot of this novel. I look forward to reading more in this series. The cover art is OK but could be tied more to the plot. 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).