Tag Archives: Novella

Book Review: “Arctic Adagio”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Arctic Adagio” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by DJ Cockburn (https://cockburndj.wordpress.com). This is Mr. Cockburn’s second publication.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’.

Superintendent Rex Harme is providing security on a luxury cruise ship that is above the law. When one of the wealthy passengers goes overboard under suspicious conditions, he must begin thinking like a detective again. He has little time though as it is rumored that much of the crew, including him, will be let go as soon as the ship docks.

I found the 1.25 hours I spent reading this 55-page mystery/thriller interesting. I think better cover art 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).

Book Review: “Aether’s Call”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Aether’s Call” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by John Farr. This is Mr. Farr’s first publication.

I received a copy of this novella through a promotion by the author. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the future with the primary character being Roy the cook on the new Earth spacecraft Starr.

Roy was conscripted onto the Starr. The only job he could perform was as the cook and even that he has trouble with. Everything he attempts ends in failure and Starr’s Captain is ready to dispose of Roy out an airlock. Back on Earth Roy’s ex-wife, Cynthia is conspiring with a scientist. Together with the science officer on the Starr, they are plotting to take down their government.

I spent 2+ hours reading this 158-page novella. It has all of the misconceptions of space travel one might associate with science fiction written in the ’40s or ’50s. The plot was confusing and I don’t think much of the major characters. It does have nice cover art, but the art has little to do with the story. 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: “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). This is Ms. McClain’s sixth publication. This is the third in her “Victoria Marmot” 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 quite a bit of Mature Language. The story is set in an alternate universe to our one. One with magic and creatures of fantasy. The primary character is 17-year-old Victoria Marmot.

This story picks up shortly after the second novella in the series (“Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy“) ends. When the story resumes, Marmot is being held captive on a deserted ‘Hell’ world with the ‘squirrel demon’ and is fighting to survive.

Marmot must escape. Then she must rescue her comrades again. There isn’t so much a plot for this novella as there is the overall plot for the series. This is mostly just a continuation.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 250-page young adult fantasy were interesting. I still think the characters are a little crazy. There are no details, but Marmot is still sexually attracted to the same pair she hooked up within the last novella. I do like the 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: “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the second of her “Victoria Marmot” series.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Situations, and considerable Mature Language. The story is set in our contemporary world, but in an Alternate Timeline where magic is possible. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

The story picks up almost immediately from where the first novella “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” left off. Victoria and her brother, along with their friends, continue to battle with the Ministry of Magical Entities (MOME). Victoria not only learns a great deal more about her magical abilities, but she also finds that she has some rather deep attractions to both a boy and a girl she has met. That attraction proves to be reciprocated and the three eventually have a very intimate moment together.

I thought that the 4+ hours I spent reading this 222-page young adult fantasy were interesting. Both of the novellas I have read so far in this series have been a bit crazy. The character of Victoria Marmot is not one that I am drawn to. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novella 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: “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the first of her “Victoria Marmot” 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 lots of Mature Language and some Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US, but one that has magic. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

Marmot has just begun her Senior Year at a new school in Flagstaff, AZ. She is living there alone in the house that her parents left her in their will. She is struggling to get through the first day in a new school when things start to go strange in a big way. While camping alone Gwen, a beautiful redheaded girl, pops up naked at Marmot’s campsite saying that she is Virginia’s “Narrator”. Then there is Edik, the young man in her class that turns out to be a vampire.

From that point, the story of Marmot’s life really begins to get crazy and she begins a quest. She finds she has magical abilities. She discovers that she has a sibling. She is attracted to both a boy and a girl that are helping her.

I thought that the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 269-page young adult fantasy were interesting. The character of Victoria Marmot is colorful. She does make a good main character, though she is far from what I would call normal. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.5 (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).

Review of “Murder in Keswick”

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Book Reviews – “Murder in Keswick” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by William Todd. Mr. Todd has published seven novels and novellas.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the late 19th century in England. The primary characters are, of course, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.

Watson and Holmes are attempting to get away from London and their constant load of cases. Traveling to the Lake District is supposed to let them relax, but when they arrive they discover that a local has been found dead and his head is missing. They soon find themselves drawn into the strange case.

Was he murdered by the gypsies in the area? By a business competitor? By some other party set to reign terror on the local community? Only Holmes will be able to discover the who, and why of the murder.

I enjoyed the 3+ hours I spent reading this 178 page mystery. I read almost every novel with Holmes and Watson as the main characters I can find. This one is consistent with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s own stories.  The cover art is OK. 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).

Review of “Blood’s a Rover”

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Book Reviews – “Blood’s a Rover” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Harlan Ellison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison). Mr. Ellison has published only nine novels or novellas but has published over 1,700 short stories since 1958. He has received numerous awards for his writing over the years.

I received an ARC of this novella 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 post-apocalypse world. The primary characters are the young man Vic and his enhanced dog Blood.

Vic and Blood struggle to survive in the desolate wasteland of the future. Blood, his dog, has been enhanced allowing them to communicate telepathically, and Blood is clearly the more strategic thinker of the two.

After being separated, they find themselves together again. Soon, Vic is confronted with adding a third member to their team, Spike. Spike is a survivor like Vic. Reluctantly Vic lets the young woman join them and the duo becomes a trio.

I thought the 2.5 hours spent reading this 232 page novella was interesting. I had not read any of the prior works in the series, but this novella read pretty well on its own. That is not too unexpected since the last work in the series was published in 1980. I think the cover art is good as it both depicts the flavor of the story as well as having a vintage look. It is adapted from a screenplay, so the format is a little hard to read. 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).

 

Review of “The Berlin Affair”

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Book ReviewsWWIIWWII Timeline – “The Berlin affair” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by David Boyle. Mr. Boyle has 12 publications. This is the first in his “Xanthe Schneider Enigma 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, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in England and Germany during 1940. The primary character is the young American woman Xanthe Schneider.

Schneider is recruited by British intelligence to travel to German in the guise of an American reporter. She is to determine if Ralph Lancing-Price, a former British government minister, is still a patriot to England or a traitor.

She finds more in Germany than she bargains for: Information about the secret German ‘Enigma’ coding device is revealed to her; She develops a romantic relationship with Lancing-Price; and Germany begins to mobilize its armies.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 121 page World War II spy thriller was interesting. This wasn’t a very compelling read. The story seemed to just amble along. I think it would have been better if it had been expanded into a full novel. The cover art is OK, but not very closely related to the story. I give this novella a 3.5 (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).

Review of “The Continuum”

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Book Reviews – “The Continuum” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Wendy Nikel (https://wendynikel.com). Ms. Nikel has published two novels in her “Places in Time” 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’. In the future, time travel has been perfected, but it is being held as a closely guarded proprietary technology. The primary use has been for expensive, exclusive vacations in time. The primary character of this story is Elise Morley. This young woman is a history expert who is sent back in time to retrieve travelers who have gone astray.

She is kidnapped by a clandestine organization and forced by them to take a mission into the future. Here she is out of her element but must see the dangerous mission through. Can she succeed without altering the future?

I thought that this was an interesting 3 hour read of 207 pages. This was an enjoyable science fiction story. It read so quickly that it felt more like a novella than a full novel. I think that the cover art was a good choice. 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).

Review of “Ironclads”

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Book Reviews – “Ironclads” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Adrian Tchaikovsky (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Tchaikovsky). Mr. Tchaikovsky has published 17 novels.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains Mature Language. The story is set in the not too distant future. The primary character is Sergeant Ted Regan.

A war is been fought in Europe and Regan is in the thick of it. It is not just the US agains a European power, but corporate forces are involved on both sides as well. The men and women from the leading families of the corporations are known as Scions. They wear ultra modern armor and carry advanced weapons, whether in their board rooms or on the battlefield. The armor makes them almost impervious to any attack.

Regan and a four others are picked to go deep behind enemy lines to find out what has happened to one of these Scions who has disappeared. The trail to where he disappeared is treacherous. As the small group tracks the Scion, they discover that the mission they have been given is not at all what it seems.

I thought the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 200 page science fiction novella interesting. The story certainly spins a different look at out future, with corporations having more control than governments. I thought that reading this story was a little challenging at first, but it smoothed out. 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).