Tag Archives: novel

Book Review: “Einstein’s Compass”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Authors Grace Blair and Laren Bright published the novel “Einstein’s Compass” in 2019. This is Ms. Blair’s first novel. Mr. Bright has two other novels to his credit besides this one.

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 Mature Situations. The story is set in German and Switzerland. It begins in the late 19th century. The primary character is young Albert Einstein.

The young Einstein is given a compass that does more than point to magnetic North. He becomes involved in a struggle between light and dark. Between angels and fallen angels. He finds himself often in danger. He learns to use his compass to travel through time and learn physics from the great physicists of history.

I thought that this was an interesting 6.5+ hour read. This 400-page young adult science fiction novel was a little disappointing. I came close to calling a ‘Rule of 50‘ on it and setting it aside. I think that the selected cover art is interesting. 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: “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: God of War

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Jeff Rovin published the novel “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: God of War” in 2020 (May). He has published more than 40 novels as well as other works. This is the 19th book in the Op-Center series created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik.

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. There is a mysterious outbreak of a fatal biological agent in Antarctic waters. The Black Wasp Team is called back to action.

An Australian bound airliner crashes after the rapid infection of all passengers and crew. A private yacht explodes in the South Indian Sea. A helicopter crashes on a South Africa bridge.

The years of apartheid in South Africa spawned many secret projects. Among these is the discovery of a lethal biological agent. The few who knew about it sought to hide it away. They thought it would be safe. They hid it on the frozen shore of a protected island the government-controlled. Unfortunately unlawful digging on the island released the agent.

Soon there is a Chinese vessel investigating the island. The US must find the source of the outbreak and keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Dispatching the Black Wasp Team to find the source of the contagion is the US response. They must find the source and make sure that no other country gets it.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 352-page thriller. This is the second novel in the Black Wasp subsidies. I read the first “Tom Clancys Op-Center: Sting of the Wasp” and liked it. This novel is readable as a stand-alone book, but it would be best to read ‘Sting of the Wasp’ first. The Black Wasp Team is an odd collection of four characters. It is not the conventional Special Ops Team. The cover art is OK, though it is not tightly tied to the story. I give this novel a 3.8 (Rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “The Mage-Fire War”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author L. E. Modesitt Jr (https://www.lemodesittjr.com) published the novel “The Mage-Fire War” in 2019. Mr. Modesitt has published 80 novels. This is the 21st 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 ‘R’ because it contains Violence. The story is set on a fantasy world. The primary character is Black Mage Beltur. 

Beltur and his wife, along with another mage and his family have traveled to the country of Montgren. The Duchess of Montgren offers them the position of Town Councilors of Haven. Of course, they must bring it out of a state of decay. Beltur and the Council face opposition from some of the townspeople.  They all soon find themselves under threat of invasion as well. They must fight for their new home 

Beltur’s prior experience as a war mage and a scout is critical. His abilities are key in their struggle against the invaders. The struggle does not leave the town of Haven unscathed. 

I enjoyed the 16 hours I spent reading this 538-page fantasy novel. This is the fourth Modesitt novel I have read. I enjoy this author’s work. This is a continuation of the founding story of Freehaven. I have read both of the other books (The Mongrel Mage and Outcasts of Order) in this subseries of Recluse. I have enjoyed these three novels. Modesitt weaves a good tale with rich characters. I look forward to more of his work. I like the chosen 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: “Shrouded Loyalties”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Reese Hogan (http://www.reesehogan.com) published the novel “Shrouded Loyalties” in 2019. Mr. Hogan has published three 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 a different Universe set on the world of Mirrix. The primary character is Naval officer Mila Blackwood.

Blackwood’s country, Belzen, is at war with Dhavnakir. She is serving aboard a submarine equipped with the super-secret ‘shrouding’ technology. The ‘shrouding’ lets a vessel or vehicle pass through the solid ground of planet Mirrix. Dhavnakir spies are everywhere searching for the ‘shrouding’ tech.

While shrouded, unknown creatures attack Blackwood’s submarine. The damaged submarine manages to limp home. Injuries result to both Blackwood and Deckman Holland during the attack. Their commander orders them back to the city of Ellemko. The scientists there will attempt to learn more about the attack. They also hope to understand the marks left on both Blackwood and Holland from the attack.

Holland is a Dhavnakir spy under deep cover. She is trying to get the information she has learned about shrouding to her superiors. Blackwood’s weak, 17-year-old brother, Andrew, gets drawn into the spy intrigue. A childhood friend from Dhavnakir approaches and seduces him. Holland and Blackwood are troubled by what they learn about their respective governments. Simpy surviving turns out to be a challenge.

I enjoyed the 9.5+ hours I spent reading this 313-page science fiction novel. I liked the general plot, but the story is on the dark side. The selected cover art is OK but rather plain. 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: “Clemhorn: Nightfall”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Clemhorn: Nightfall” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Andrew J. Harvey (https://www.andrewjharvey.com). This is Mr. Harvey’s third 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 on several Earth’s in different universes.

In this alternate history/universe story. There are established lines of transport between the various Earths. This story follows three siblings, Donald, Ivy, and Conrad, as their world comes under attack. The level of technology is more “Steam Punk” than modern.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 325-page science fiction novel.  The story deals with a very large family in leadership positions on one Earth. It did have a slow start. I was 32% of the way into the book before there was a real conflict. I liked the plot, but the book ended abruptly with many unresolved threads to the story. I will be looking for the follow up novel(s) that take the story to a conclusion. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3.9 (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 Last Astronaut”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Last Astronaut” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Wellington  (https://davidwellington.net). Mr. Wellington 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the near future. The US space program has abandoned manned flight after a fatal accident on their Mars mission. 

Now years later an object has been sighted moving through the Solar System that has altered its course to head towards Earth. The object is huge and clearly is not of natural origin. Even though there have been repeated attempts to communicated, there has been no reply. 

A mission must be quickly put together and sent out to investigate. With no time to truly train new astronauts, the commander of the failed Mars mission, Sally Jansen, is drafted to lead the NASA team. The commercial company KSpace is also sending a crew out to meet the object. 

The KSpace crew beats Jansen’s to the object and they find the KSpace craft abandoned. Quickly Jansen leads part of her crew into the alien craft to find the KSpace crew. What they find is totally alien to anything they had expected. Before long the rescue mission turns into a struggle for survival. 

Not only must Jansen try to hold the mission together, but she must also face many personal demons from the disastrous Mars mission. 

I thought that the 9.5+ hours I spent reading this 401-page science fiction novel were interesting. This was a dark story. While the plot was OK, I did not enjoy the story as much as I had thought I would. The cover art is OK but could have reflected more of the story. 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: “Home: Interstellar”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Home: Interstellar” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Ray Strong. This is Mr. Strong’s first published novel and the first book in his “Hope’s War” 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. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Meriel Hope.

When Hope was 12 years old she somehow jumped a starship loaded with the dead crew and a handful of surviving children to Enterprise Station. Now that ten years have passed she is constantly being told that the ‘pirates’ she claimed attacked her family’s ship never existed and that she is suffering mental issues resulting from her experiences. 

Hope is still in touch, at least she thinks the contact is real, with the other surviving children. She has been struggling for years to get her family ship back and reunite the survivors. Still, she suffers from nightmares of the event and is prescribed compulsory drugs. When she again tries to find information about the mythical planet called ‘Home’ that her mother was investigating, she triggers the awareness of those who want her story, and the survivors, forgotten. 

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 355-page science-fiction thriller. While the plot was good and I liked the characters, the pace of the novel seemed a little slow to me. I do like the selected cover art. 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: “Layover”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Layover” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Bell (https://davidbellnovels.com). This is Mr. Bell’s ninth 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the US. The primary character is Joshua Fields. 

Fields is flying all the time for his job. While waiting for his connection he meets the lovely Morgan. They have a drink together and seem to connect, but then she leaves him to make her flight. Fields is infatuated with the girl and disrupts his plans to follow her. But when he approaches her on the flight, she acts if he is a stranger. 

She at one moment is pushing him away or running from him, while in the next is jumping into bed with him. Her erratic behavior continues as he discovers that Morgan is sought by the police. 

Fields is strongly drawn to her, but her actions leave him wondering about her. The more he learns about her the more he questions how much truth there is in what she has told him. 

I thought the nearly 7 hours I spent reading this 414-page mystery were interesting. I liked the overall plot. The ‘mystery’ felt very weak to me. Almost more about relationships and finding the way in your life. The cover art is OK. 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: “War of Shadows”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “War of Shadows” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Leo J. Maloney (http://leojmaloney.com). Mr. Maloney has published more than ten novels. This is the 7th of his “Dan Morgan 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. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is Special Ops veteran and Zeta agent Dan Morgan.

Morgan is approaching his home when it suddenly explodes. He fears that his wife might have been caught in the blast. That begins a cross country journey evading agents that are out to kill him. Unsure of whether there are any other Zeta agents surviving the wide ranging attacks he struggles to survive with his daughter, the only other surviving Zeta agent he is aware of. Making his survival even tougher are the advanced weapons that are being used against him and his daughter. He only sees survival and vengeance on those who took his wife. 

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 269-page thriller. This is a very action packed novel. Morgan and his daughter seem to slip from one life threatening situation to another. Is some respects it reminds be of the ‘James Bond’ movies with Roger More.  This is the third Maloney novel I have read and I have found all of them enjoyable. While this novel would be better if you had read the previous books in the series, it is a good stand alone read. I like the selected 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: “Star Marque Rising”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Star Marque Rising” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Shami Stovall (https://sastovallauthor.com). Ms. Stovall has published five 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, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in a far future. The primary character is Clevon Demarco. 

Demarco is a genetically modified human who has been involved in many activities on the dark side of the law. He lives and works around the shady space station, Capital Station. This all changes when he crosses paths with Endellion Voight, the captain of the starship Star Marque. 

Though Voight arrests Demarco, she gives him a choice. He can be taken to a prison planet or he can join her crew. He doesn’t take long to choose her crew. It unsettles him some that the Star Marque is working for the superhumans that run the human expanse of space. The Star Marque acts as a mercenary police unit enforcing the superhuman’s laws. 

Voight and Demarco grow close as the Star Marque pursues its missions. They eventually become lovers. Voight has a goal of becoming the first human planet governor and she will let nothing get in the way of that goal. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 455-page science fiction thriller. Demarco is a dark hero. He has had a ruthless past, but as he serves on the Star Marque, he gradually becomes part of the crew and the Star Marque becomes a home he has never had. I liked the plot of this novel and see great opportunities for further books in this series. I also like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4.6 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

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