No Man Left Behind #BookReview

  • Title: No Man Left Behind
  • Author: R.G. Miller
  • Print Length: 210
  • Publication Date: July 24, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

No Man Left Behind is R.G. Miller’s fourth novel and I have to say I enjoyed the plot line very much. It’s probably my favorite. Detective Isis Williams and her partner (both on the job and in life), Detective Annette Toni, are in search of a ruthless killer the media has named the Piggyback Killer. His MO is an unusual one and pretty cleverly created: he kills one person and once the body is beginning to decompose, he straps the body on the backs of his real targets using barbed wire. Ouch! Maybe it’s my deranged state of mind as someone who enjoys TV shows like CSI and movies like Saw, but I enjoyed most of the methods in which the serial killers Miller creates murders. He has a great imagination, and as in his previous novels, R.G. Miller does not hold back in his graphic detail.

The characters are consistent throughout the series. Isis is, as always, one to feel things deeply. She’s dedicated to her job and refuses to rest until she gets answers. Toni is more reasonable, although she can become a bit stubborn at times. I liked how during the course of the story the tension between the two was thick. The supporting characters at times are too much like Isis as far as sudden outbursts. I feel this should be limited to Isis’ trait because it gives her somewhat a softer side, trying to do more good in the world.

The only thing I really had a problem with: there were a lot of instances where I found the story to be a little “out there,” whether it’s police procedural or Isis’ and Toni’s personal life. There was a time when something terrible happens to Isis and another character witnessed the incident. Isis was blamed for it happening. I didn’t really care for that and it made me not like the blamer at all, although she wasn’t really a part of the story. I won’t be saying more in fear of giving away too much.

Basically, what you need to know is that Miller’s imagination is growing. His choice of plots is out of this world…in a good way. There are certain plot points that remain consistent in his four books of which I’m not a big fan; however, it doesn’t keep me from enjoying finding out what he has in store next.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

About

I’m 55 years old and I’ve been writing for 4 years. I’m a lover of old school R&B and soft Rock: I also like singing.I have 3 beautiful grandchildren that I love dearly. The Twins is the first of a trilogy which took me 3 years to complete. I love telling stories of suspense and I hope to be doing this, well…until I can’t do it no longer.

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Renegades (The Praegressus Project Book 2)

  • Title: Renegades (The Praegressus Project Book 2)
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 276
  • Publication Date: May 30, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Renegades picks up where Rebirth left off. Having read another series by Aaron Hodges, I think that The Praegressus Project three-parter is my favorite. In Rebirth, we meet Chris, Liz and a few other characters who were stolen from their lives by Dr. Halt in order for experiments to be run on them. This experiment produces dangerous results, as well as wings for our companions.

Chris, Liz and the others have already freed themselves and are on the run from Dr. Halt. Their journey is not an easy one as they have to learn to trust one another in order to ensure survival.

When writing a series with the same characters, it is extremely important to keep the same character rules in all the books. I feel Aaron Hodges did just that. When I read the first book, I wasn’t too crazy about Chris. It took me a long while to like him, but as the pages went on, the character grew as characters should. They all did. And in Renegades, they continued to grow and flourish.

Now that the introduction to the series is over, the second book gives you more action and more tension…it’s hard to put down. By the time I finished the book, I wanted more. It’s well written, tight and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the third and final installment, Retaliation.

Although this is the second book and a bunch of things happened in the first that readers should know, I feel you don’t have to read Rebirth in order to enjoy this one. Hodges does well in explaining through out what happened previously.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Aaron Hodges

Biography

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Today, his adventures continue…

Disconnected #bookreview @nick_m_lloyd

  • Title: Disconnected
  • Author: Nick M. Lloyd
  • Print Length: 465
  • Publication Date: March 27, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

This was definitely an interesting book. It wasn’t what I expected by any means. Asha Kharjal is a political advisor who knows how to rewire people’s subconscious and he’ll stop at nothing to so. He’s not the villain in the book. Asha attempts to do good with his skills, but like any decent story, he falls into hot water.

This is a very technical story, much like the writings of Michael Crichton. Since I don’t have a technical mind, I couldn’t grasp a good deal of it. There wasn’t a lot of explanation for the technical terms so it would throw me off. I did reading about enjoy skein space. It kind of reminds me of Assassin’s Creed’s animus. Skein space is where Asha and his “students” enter to connect to another person’s core and tap whatever message they want in order to sway the subjects to do what was needed. I would have enjoyed the skein space even more if the author had included in the beginning of the book what each color meant, whether black is for love or hate and so on. It is briefly mentioned, however, it wouldn’t have been easy to find the page to remind ourselves what exactly the colors meant.

Since it wasn’t always easy for me to grasp the technicality of the book, I focused more on the characters. They were written extremely well and with, for the most part, enough personality to fly right out of the pages. Polly seemed to have bounced around wildly and could have been toned down just a bit. I enjoyed the conflict with Sarah and Marcus, but Marcus’ mother (Polly) made me care less about Sarah and Marcus’ past relationship. Polly was too intrusive where they were concerned. It took me away from the actual plot.

The world building was great. Anytime they found themselves in the Congo, I felt I was right there with them. I could hear the sounds, see the sights. I think it was my favorite part of the story. And the Congo pieces were only subplots.

For the most part, Disconnected is a slow read. It’s only because of the technical pieces of the story, but it starts running when you’re about a quarter of a way through. The danger that danced around in the earlier pages is dialed up.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

About the Author
Nick Lloyd

Nick Lloyd is an independent author, living in London.

He loves writing stories with moral uncertainty, where a reader could take the side of one (or more) protagonists in conflict.

http://www.nickmlloyd.com

His first novel – Emergence – received very strong feedback on its debut in October 2014.

“thought-provoking science fiction thriller encompassing a variety of philosophical and moral dilemmas” – SF Signal Interview (Feb 2015) http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/02/

Emergence (***** Amazon 5 Stars *****)

Earth is being scrutinised by an alien civilisation who maintain their dominance across the galaxy through manipulation of probability. Among the aliens, whole religions have sprung up related to interpretation of this apparent control of ‘luck’. On Earth, a single human starts the transformation to allow them a measure of control themselves…

Broken Wizard #bookreview

  • Title: Broken Wizard
  • Author: Jeff Bardwell
  • Print Length: 438
  • Publisher: Twigboat Press
  • Publication Date: April 6, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis

The wizard purge is in full swing. Sorcery is illegal in the modern, steam-powered Iron Empire. The Magistrate’s Black Guards hunt the uncivilized mages using mechanized armor and mysterious, clockwork weapons. The guards deliver their prisoners to the Butcher, Captain Vice. All wizards are tortured and executed as traitors to the state . . . with one exception.

That exception is Devin, an outbreak mage, and ex-artificer, a prince of machinery. The Magistrate exiles the youth over Vice’s protests to the wild kingdom of wizards and dragons. Devin only knows gears and springs, but his savage magic offers salvation if he can tame it. The exile must learn to harness his dangerous, new powers before the Butcher tracks him down to finish the job.

Follow Devin’s quest in Book One* of The Artifice Mage Saga. Join the fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody’s hands are clean.

My Review

When I first began this book, there were so many run-on sentences, I had a hard time reading the first few chapters. However, I happened to notice on Amazon, that author Jeff Bardwell uploaded a newer version than the one I originally had. So, I downloaded that version, and once I began to reread the first few pages, I could tell a major difference in writing.

I have to say that the story line itself held promise, but seemed to drag. The main character, Devin, is exiled in the beginning and he soon realizes that he’s a mage. He goes on a quest in search of someone who can teach him how to control his magic. There wasn’t a lot of action as I had hoped. Most of the storytelling seemed to be based on the characters’ thoughts which put me off. The paragraphs were also so lengthy. I found myself rereading several times to grasp what was happening, which took me longer than normal to finish.

I loved the imagery, though. When reading a fantasy story, I need to be able to picture the background. The world was built beautifully and had great word choices. However, I wasn’t too crazy about the poetic in the dialogue. It was too flowery than it needed to be when the book appeared to be full of darkness and evil. I get that the purpose was to fit the early times the story was set in. However, it just didn’t work for me.

Jeffrey Bardwell definitely had a great idea of a story full of mages and sorcery. Despite the hard editing done (and yes, I definitely could see the wonderful changes he had made), I rate this a three star. I didn’t hate the book but I didn’t love it either. I believe breaking up a few of the longer paragraphs, cleaning up the characters’ speech and adding a few action scenes here and there would have made a world of difference. It was a good effort. With more time, I believe this author could bring out more four or five stars to his writings. He has a good imagination.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

The Frihet Rebellion #bookreview

  • Title: The Frihet Rebellion
  • Author: Neil Davies
  • Print Length: 224
  • Publication Date: March 21, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Wow! This was an amazing read. It’s hard to write up a brief summary of what this book is about because there was so much going on. It opens with bodies falling, bullets flying and it doesn’t stop there. I’ve read a lot of science fiction novels and I have to say this is one of my favorites. So much blood was shed during the course of this book as the world of Frihet rebelled against Earth. Earth’s only chance for victory is the alien ship Spearhead, run by Joniskyredread, a Sklalen, who we refer to simply as Jon, and his human friend, Bryant Johnson.

There are a lot of characters throughout this book and they all seem to pop out from the pages. There are obvious evil ones, good ones and the ones we don’t know whether or not we can trust. No matter which side they’re on, the characters are to be remembered. In reference to Jon, though, I sometimes had a hard time keeping in mind that he was an alien. We’re reminded of his gray skin now and again; however, being referred to as Jon throughout most of the book just made him seem human.

The writing was tight and well done. I almost heard the war going on within the safety of my own home. My biggest issue was the POV. I noticed it especially toward the ending that we’re in one character’s POV and suddenly we know what the other is thinking or feeling. I don’t think it happened too often earlier on but it’s possible I overlooked it because I was too engrossed in the tale. It’s also possible it was meant to be that way in order to help the speedy pace. Either way, I prefer to focus on one person’s mind. Additionally, what really gnawed at me were the use of characters’ thoughts. I like it when authors italicize the thinking so it’s kept separate from the narration. This author didn’t do that. There were a lot of times when it’s a lone sentence in a paragraph, making it first person. After that one sentence, the narration would continue a new paragraph in its usual third person, until a short paragraph later, it’s back with a lone sentence in the first. It just struck me as awkward. But still, I rate this book as amazing. I feel any science fiction fan or any war lovers would enjoy this book. It’s a thrill ride you need to buckle up for.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

Neil Davies

Born in 1959 and getting older by the hour, Neil Davies writes Horror and Science Fiction. When not writing books, he likes to write and record music with his son, as The 1850 Project, and paint. His favourite authors are, in no particular order, Richard Laymon, Steve Gerlach, Arthur C Clarke, Frank Herbert, H Rider Haggard, Guy N Smith, H G Wells, Bram Stoker, Dennis Wheatley, Connie Willis, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Graham Masterton, Sax Rohmer… with more being added all the time. His favourite musicians include Nightwish, Nils Lofgren, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Cat Stevens, Jimi Hendrix, My Chemical Romance, King Crimson, Yes, Spock’s Beard, Gentle Giant and lots more. In art he admires the cover work of Chris Foss and Bruce Pennington, and maintains a healthy dislike of modern and abstract art. He’s still writing and refuses to stop however much people ask him to. Expect more published works soon.

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Spirit Raiders #bookreview

  • Title: Spirit Raiders
  • Author: Savio Dawson
  • Print Length: 366
  • Publisher: Savio Dawson
  • Publication Date: May 26, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction

Although I’ve read novels based on aliens, and I wouldn’t turn down a chance to read books about aliens, it’s not technically my type of thing. I tend to be very picky with the alien genre. Spirit Raiders is about such: alien abductions, the threat to humanity, advanced technology, and first contact…pretty much everything a die-hard science fiction fan would enjoy.

The plot was complex, very slow moving, filled with a lot of technical things I had trouble grasping…mostly because I’m not very technical-inclined. While much of it was science fiction, the reality of some of the technological terms was very well-researched to make the fiction appear realistic. Sometimes, I had to re-read the information to grasp what it was saying…remember, I’m not much of a technical person, so at times, the information didn’t do enough explaining for me. Other times, however, I was overloaded with information and caught myself skimming a tad.

With a little bit more editing, the writing could have become tighter and stronger, earning a higher rating. I like to be shown what’s happening during the scenes, rather than being told. It helps me visualize better, even if I’m reading about things I just don’t understand.

If you’re one that loves aliens and you can understand a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo, then I recommend you taking the time to read this book. Don’t be put off by the slow-moving parts. It took me a few chapters to really get into the story. Once I did and continued reading, I was pleased to find that it ended with a well-built, action-packed climax

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

For more book reviews, click here.

Biography

Savio Dawson

Savio is a resident of Mumbai, India, who grew up on everything sci-fi. Science Fiction has its own charm of unravelling mysteries, boldly going where no man has gone before [yeah I know it is from Star-trek :)] and to seek and find explanations for the unexplained. This is more or less what excites a true sci-fi enthusiast.

Savio is one of the enthusiasts too and he is presenting his own version here. Mystery surrounds us in many ways and it is mammoth in proportion to what we know. No one knows what lies beneath the ocean; no one knows what lies beyond our solar system; no one knows how vast the universe is; no one knows if any other extra-terrestrial form exists, but still the pursuit of knowing the unknown will continue unabated and will continue to excite us. This excitement is what Savio attempts to bring out in his books.

Savio is blessed with a supportive family and has a day job in India. Writing is his passion and he also writes for many blogging sites. When not writing and not working, which, of course, happens a lot of time, Savio likes to while-away and watch sci-fi movies.

Devil in the Countryside @CoryBarclay #bookreview

  • Title: Devil in the Countryside
  • Author: Cory Barclay
  • Print Length: 348
  • Publication Date: February 15, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery

It’s very rare that I would be tempted to give any book more than a five-star rating. If I did do that, then Cory Barclay’s Devil in the Countryside would be one of the few. It’s 1588, and a killer is terrorizing the German countryside. It’s rumored to be the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg. Investigator Heinrich Franz is assigned to find the killer, seeking help wherever he can get it. A priest attempts to keep the peace amongst the townspeople, while he attempts to fight against the temptation of a young woman that could destroy his most basic beliefs. They find themselves wrapped in mysteries, steering through the political and religious landscape of the 16th century.

Devil in the Countryside was an extremely tightly written novel, keeping me on my toes the entire time I was reading. I did not want to put it down. The characters were three-dimensional and realistic…very memorable. In my minds-eye, the book played like a movie. I felt as though I was watching the scenes unfold so much, that at times, I had to remind myself that I was in the 21st century. I felt it was that good.

You’ll not only want to find out who—or what—is piling corpse after corpse, you’ll want to find out what secret these characters are withholding from everyone else. You’ll want to find out if they can force temptation out of their minds. You’ll want to find out everything you can about this book.

The story is action-packed from the second it begins until the ending, leaving the reader on the edge of their seat. There were times when the dialogue didn’t seem up to par with the time; however, that didn’t even matter. The scenes were painted beautifully. For readers that enjoy historical fiction, werewolf hunts, and murder, I recommend giving Devil in the Countryside a try. It’s a must-read!

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

For more book reviews, visit https://angelakaysbooks.com/book-reviews/.


Biography

Cory Barclay

As far back as he can remember, Cory Barclay has always loved the “big picture” questions. How much knowledge did humanity lose when the Library of Alexandria was burned down? Why has the concept of Heaven remained intact, in one form or another, throughout most of human history and how has it impacted life on Earth?

And even before that, when he first began writing stories in grade school, he’s been fascinated with histories and mysteries. Whether Norse mythology, the Dark Ages, or the conquests of great leaders, Cory’s been that kid who wants to know what’s shaped our world and write about it. Especially the great unsolved mysteries.

So Devil in the Countryside was a natural for him.

Born and raised in San Diego, he graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied Creative Writing and Modern Literary Studies. He’s also a songwriter and guitarist, and – no surprise – many of his songs explore the same topics he writes about – the great mysteries of our crazy world.

Devil in the Countryside is his second novel and he’s hard at work on its sequel.

 

The Wager: A Romantic Comedy as Christian Allegory #bookreview

  • Title:  The Wager: A Romantic Comedy By ChrThe Wager: A Romantic Comedy as Christian Allegory by [Brister, Mike]istian Allegory
  • Author: Mike Brister
  • Print Length: 284
  • Publisher: Michael E. Brister
  • Publication Date: August 9, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Christian Fiction, Romance, Comedy

The Wager is written as a cross between a romance novel and a play. We meet two very distinct characters and we quickly fall in love with them. Sarah Dumont is a famous actress, rich, grew up in a prominent family as the oldest child. Because of her status, she is driven, focused, and pretty much snotty. Matt Shepard is not rich, who was the youngest child growing up on a farm. Matt is working hard at putting pieces of his life back together, friendly and sly.

The two meet based on a wager: Sarah is challenged that she wouldn’t be able to earn Matt’s attention. Sarah’s first intention was to have him make furniture for her in LA. Then when the wager is made, I felt like something was missing within the story line. Sarah wants furniture, then the woman tells her Matt wouldn’t meet with her no matter. From there, it seems Sarah’s immediately offended being told she wouldn’t be able to get Matt out on a date. I felt I needed something more to explain.

When they finally do meet, from there on, the two personalities clash and are full of hilarious banter. You can’t help but love them. I also love the use of Doodle, Matt’s dog, in the story. It only made me love Matt all the more. I found him to be very charismatic and charming.

The writing style flowed nicely. The only thing I wasn’t too fond of was that the narrative repeated pieces of the dialogue and vice versa. Having to read too much repetition made me skim more than I’d like. However, it was easy to get the feel of the southern accent. Whether you’re Midwestern, southern, northern or from Mars, readers will find themselves slipping into a southern accent.

Sometimes it was difficult for me to gather the feelings of the characters but I think it’s really up to the reader. After reading parts of the scene, I would go back and reread in order for me to get the sense of how they felt during the incident. I feel this is primarily due to the fact that it’s more of a play (or movie/TV script).

Regardless of the few “negatives,” I thoroughly enjoyed the read. It had humor, it had tears, it had love, and of course, a hidden moral to the story.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For more reviews, visit: Angela Kay’s Book Reviews

Biography

Mike Brister

Mike Brister was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1952. His father worked for the Illinois Central Railroad and in 1955 was transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana. This began a lifelong relationship with one of the most unique cities in the world. Eventually, the family would return to Jackson.

Mike received degrees in mathematics and spent his working career as a consulting actuary. Now retired, he has written his first novel. He has made numerous trips to Haiti and plans more. The hope is that the novel is a fun read and allows for the purchase of goats for families in Haiti.

Events: Prime Ministers During the Alien Era #bookreview

  • Title: Events: Prime Ministers During the Alien Era
  • Author: Charles E. Murphy
  • Print Length: 119
  • Publication Date: January 15, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction

Events: Prime Ministers During the Alien Era is a mock history text during the period of Roswell crash landing until the “current” space war. The text focuses on politics and personality conflicts, both fiction and non-fiction.

First, let me start off by saying, with the exception of Star Trek, I’m not big on anything alien—that’s not to say I never read or watch alien-type things because after all, I have written reviews on such topics. That said, I found this mock history text quite amusing. It held a slow but steady pace as a real textbook would go. It’s not long at all (just over a hundred pages), so I finished in less than two hours.

The prose held my interest, however, it read more as a cross between a long narrative and a student history paper. As a textbook would have, it held footnotes, which made me want to go back and read what it referred to in the prose.

At the end of the book, Murphy explains which parts of his prose were fiction and which were nonfiction. This was a good way for us to know how he weaved the truths and fiction into an intriguing read.

There were misspells (not a lot, so I’m not dwelling on the issue. Even the greatest of authors have misprints). The quotation marks weren’t very consistent. Sometimes it had a single quotation mark (which would make sense seeing as it is a British text) and others were doubled.

If you’re wanting to read a fast-paced story about aliens, then this won’t be for you. However, if you like aliens, science fiction, and historical texts, then I recommend this. It’s a fun, light read as to what might happen should we ever have to deal with aliens!

Since Amazon and Goodreads only offer whole stars, I’m bumping this story to 4 stars, though my actual rating is 3.5.

Overall Rating: 4 of 5 stars

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