Tag Archives: novel

Book Review: “Tidal Rage”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author David Evans published the novel “Tidal Rage” in 2021. This is Mr. Evan’s first publication. 

I obtained this novel through promotion by the publisher. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence, mature situations, and mature language. The story is predominantly set on cruise ships. The primary character is Max Cutler an experienced Secret Service agent. 

Sebastian McKenzie is a very odd man. He is also a brilliant musician so his eccentricities are overlooked. He is part Asian and has an unusual look. He has spent years at sea being the star performer on one cruise ship after another. He doesn’t stay too long on any one ship. He isn’t very social but that isolation suits him well. He is an accomplished serial killer that no one knows exists. His first murder was of a neighbor girl as a child. Now his victim tally is in double digits. He has discovered that deaths at sea fall into a gray area. The next port of call handles the investigations. Missing passengers are often attributed to suicide or just wanting to disappear. The cruise lines just want any bad publicity to go away.  

Cutler has been working in Europe with Interpol. The case he is completing has put ex-Stasi agent Josef Werner behind bars. Werner has been making millions counterfeiting US currency. Cutler’s work on the case is disrupted when his 18-year-old sister Elisa disappears. She has been on a cruise with their parents. Cutler takes a leave of absence and flies to Alaska to meet his parents. The gray area on crimes at sea emerges as he begins his investigation. He resigns from the Secret Service and forms his own investigation agency to focus on crimes at sea.

Werner uses his organization and wealth to arrange an escape from custody. Cutler’s attention is fixed on the tragedies his family has suffered. Even with the disappearance of his sister he has not forgotten about Werner. He has a new employee looking for Werner. Cutler and his team must face challenges from many fronts. He wants to bring both Werner and those behind his sister’s disappearance to justice. He has no idea when he begins his quests that these two vastly separate investigations will come together.

I enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 297-page thriller. There were a few ‘technical errors’ in the story and the writing is not the best. That said the story is a very enjoyable thriller and a quick read. The selected cover art is appropriate 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: “Resurgence”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – 

Author C, J. Cherryh (http://www.cherryh.com) published the novel “Resurgence” in 2020. This is the 20th novel in the author’s Foreigner’ series. Mr. Cherryh has published more than 35 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 ‘PG’ because it contains some violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is diplomat, Bren Cameron. 

The dowager Ilisidi takes the famous Red Train to a remote town. Onboard are Cameron as well as a diverse assortment of characters. Her plan is to make a deal that will bring a close to the hostilities in the south of the Atevi continent. She is playing a risky game of intrigue and politics with Cameron at the center. 

I enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 347-page science fiction novel. I found it a little slow and confusing. While I had read book 17 (Visitor) in this series back in 2016, it was a little difficult to pick up this novel. I would certainly recommend starting at the beginning of the series to get the most out of the novel. While there is some excitement, this book is more about politics and intrigue. 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).

Book Review: “Shorefall”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Robert Jackson Bennett (https://www.robertjacksonbennett.com) published the novel “Shorefall” in 2020. This is the second book in the author’s ‘Founders Trilogy’. Mr. Bennett has published nine 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 a world with magic. 

Magic is not manifested through incantations in this world. The magic comes through scrivers writing out complex commands. Much like programming reality. Sancia Grado has led an unusual life. Once a slave now she is a powerful scriver. Grado has a close group of allies. With their help, she is planning to take the power to run the city of Tevanne. No longer will the powerful families hold control.  

They are on the way to success when the legendary Crasedes Magnus appears. He is one of the first hierophants. Thousands of years before he discovered how to write powerful scriving. He gave limited sentience to inanimate objects. This has become the basis for the magic that runs Tevanne. With his power, he now wants to remake humanity. 

Grado and her comrades must overcome scriven magic and survive many dangerous encounters. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 16+ hours I spent reading this 493-page fantasy. You could read this as a stand-alone novel. It would be best though to read the first novel in the series (Foundryside) beforehand. The cover art is dark and simple, but I like it. 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: “Rogue Planet”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author John Andrew Karr (https://johnandrewkarr.com) published the novel “Rogue Planet” in 2020. He has published three novels and this is the second in his “Mars 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. The story is set a little more than 200 years in the future. Humans have ventured into space and have begun to colonize Mars. The Earth First Foundation (EFF) is opposed to any ventures into space. They have taken control of the Earth and want all humans on Earth and under their control. 

Captain Ry Devans and Dr. Karen Wagner are on MOS-1 in orbit around Mars. As the result of the nuclear detonations carried out by Devans (book #1), Mars is changing. The volcanic activity is taking the planet closer to being livable. The EFF is willing to go to any lengths to force humans from space. A Mars virus already threatened humanity only to be saved by another. Some onboard MOS-1 are exhibiting serious mood swings. This may be the sign of some new and dangerous Mars organism. 

Of course, not all on Earth are following the EFF line. There is a resistance. Devans and his team are working with those against the EFF. He makes a clandestine trip to Earth to trade with the resistance for critical supplies. 

EFF agent Paton Schiflet is one of those who is doing everything he can to quash the human presence on Mars. After Devans’ mission to Earth Schiflet is assigned to MOS-2 and ordered to Mars. His mission is to capture or destroy those who have evaded the EFF. 

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 309-page science fiction novel. I liked the overall story. That said, some of the dialogs just don’t fit into what I think professionals would say. Devans and Wagner are leading a band of humans fighting for their survival yet Devans sometimes come across more like a college frat boy. While this novel can be read stand-alone, it would be best to begin with the first novel in the series. I do like the chosen cover art. 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: Dark Nebula: Isolation

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Sean Wilson (https://www.seanwillson.com/) published the novel “Dark Nebula: Isolation” in 2020. Mr. Wilson has published five novels. This is the first in his “Dark Nebula” 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 the far future of 2278. Humanity has spread throughout the Solar System and has now traveled to the stars. 

Abigail Olivaw is President of the Confederation of Planetary Explorers on Earth. Without warning, she is facing an unexpected crisis. Aliens of the Galactic Alliance arrive in the Solar System. They accuse humans of stealing their intellectual property. Olivaw must defend humanity against this deadly charge. This is doubly difficult for Olivaw. She knows her own predecessors stole the technology and used it to build a tech empire. 

Major Lync Michaels and Director Joyce Green are at the Earth colony on Epsilon Eridani. They are dealing with their own survival crisis. A strange and deadly disease is spreading through the colony. A secret research facility lies hidden in the Oort Cloud. Humans there are seeking alternative Faster Than Light tech. They are trying to discover new tech not tied to the stolen Galactic Alliance tech. That looks to be the only way humanity can defend itself against the Alliance. 

I enjoyed the 11.5+ hours I spent reading this 496-page science fiction novel. The book gave a good start to the series. I look forward to reading later books in the series. This novel came to an abrupt end. I like the chosen 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: “Doll”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Peter Leggatt (https://www.peterleggatt.com) published the novel “Doll” in 2021. This is Mr. Leggatt’s first 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. It contains mature situations and mature language. The story is set in the near future. A future with near-human-looking robots. 

The official synopsis of this book:

The first part of this story is told from the perspective of a sex doll.  

The second from the perspective of the man who owns her. 

This sounded like it might be an interesting science fiction novel. I was very disappointed with the 80 minutes I invested in it. I only read the first 30% of this 151-page novel, but that was enough. I had to stop there with a Rule of 50 call. I could not take any more of the robot’s philosophizing. It seemed that the author used 10 words when only one would have served the purpose. The chosen cover art is eye-catching. I give this novel a 2 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Araña”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Jennifer R. Povey (https://www.jenniferrpovey.com) published the novel “Araña” in 2019. Ms. Povey has published more than two 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 ‘PG’ because it contains some mature situations. The story is set in a far future. The war between Earth and Mars is over, but there are lasting effects. 

Porta Rican José Marin is a veteran of the war. He was one of the elite combat soldiers fitted with the Web. it gave him enhancements during the war, but now he is suffering from side effects. Removing the web will kill him. In desperation for a new start, he joins the crew of the Endeavor, Earth’s second starship. 

Endeavor is about to set off on its maiden voyage. Just a safe scientific and shakedown cruise. Those plans are set aside when a distress call comes in from Atlantis, the first starship. 

The Endeavor heads out after Atlantis. They encounter the Ky’iin and come under their fire. The Endeavor jumps out of danger and encounters the Verr. They are friendly but are facing extinction. The Glyn offers some help, but they need the Ky’iin. Meanwhile, the Ky’iin have followed Endeavor’s trail back to Earth. There is war at first, but a truce is finally negotiated. The Ky’iin arrive at the Verran world to offer their help. 

The encounter with aliens is not so much the story as efforts made to save the Verr. There are different Verr factions and not all want to be saved. The Endeavor and her crew face multiple challenges. 

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 257-page science fiction novel. The story seemed slow to me. It also was a little choppy. I did not find it a very engaging story. There is also a touch of LGBT romance. I am not a fan of the chosen cover art. 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 Bounty

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Authors Janet Evanovich (https://evanovich.com) and Steve Hamilton (http://authorstevehamilton.com/) published the novel The Bounty: A Novel. It was just released last week on March 23, 2021. Ms. Evanovich has published more than 30 novels. This is the 7th in her ‘Fox and O’Hare’ series. Mr. Hamilton has published 16 novels on his own. 

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 across Europe and North Africa. The main characters are FBI agent Kate O’Hare and criminal Nick Fox. 

Earlier O’Hare had tracked down the charming international criminal Fox and arrested him. After negotiating a deal he now works with the FBI to close other cases. O’Hare has reluctantly become his handler. While their relationship began as adversaries, a bit of romance has emerged. 

The two find themselves pitted against The Brotherhood. They are a clandestine group with ties back to the Vatican Bank priests who helped the Nazis during WWII. They are now searching for a lost train carrying $30 billion in gold. O’Hare and Fox find themselves in a race to follow the clues and find the treasure before The Brotherhood. With Interpol penetrated by the Brotherhood, they find themselves on their own. They reach out to their only reliable potential allies, their fathers.

Clues lead them from one tight spot to another. The Brotherhood always seems to be just half a step behind them. Every encounter exposes them to more danger. 

I enjoyed the 6+ hours I spent reading this 316-page mystery novel. The pursuit of clues reminds me a little of Robert Langdon’s The DaVinci Code. While not the most exciting mystery, it was enjoyable. I do 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).

Book Review: “Earth Alone”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Daniel Arenson (https://danielarenson.com/default.html) published the novel “Earth Alone” in 2016. Mr. Arenson has published more than 65 fantasy and science fiction novels. This is the first of his “Earthrise” series.


I obtained a copy of this novel through a promotion. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence, mature language, and mature situations. The story is set in the not too distant future. The primary characters are Marco Emery, Lailani Marita de la Rosa, and Kemi Abasi.


The aliens called the Scum attacked Earth about 50 years before the story begins. The remnants of humanity are struggling to survive. They are still subject to the occasional attack. Emery and Abasi grew up in Toronto, Canada. At 18 all young people are required to join the HDF (Human Defense Force) and do 5 years of service.

The story tells about Emery and his training. It also tells of his first combat experience. There is a bit of romance, but it is not a major factor in the novel. The novel reminds me a lot of Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.


I thoroughly enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 368-page young adult science fiction novel. I would like to read his many other books in this series and the sister series. I do like the cover art used 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).

Book Review: “Complex: A Dystopian Thriller”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author A.D. Enderly (https://adenderly.com) published the novel “Complex: A Dystopian Thriller” in 2020. This is the first of his “Silent Beautiful Universe” 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 a dystopian future. Governments have given way to corporations.


The book has several characters, though the most important are 19-year-old Val and her 12-year-old sister Kat. Val and her sister are now orphaned and struggling to survive. Their father warned them both about giving in to the corporations and joining a complex. A Complex is a corporate-run city. They are willing to ‘take care of you’ for a price.

When Kat is kidnapped, Val does everything she can to find her. Concurrent with Val’s quest there are other powers at work. The pharmaceutical company NovaGenica is making a move for more power. One of the large complexes is doing everything it can to recruit clients. This includes murder and terrorism.


Beyond this AI systems run many of the establishments. While Val has found a romantic interest in 18-year-old Trevor, her focus is on saving Kat.


I mostly enjoyed the 17 hours I spent reading this 595-page science fiction novel. The first part of the novel I found very slow. Fortunately, the pace picked up after the first 15% of the novel. There are many plots that are intertwined. After getting past the beginning, the novel was very good. I do like the selected 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).