#BookReview: Descendant by Sean Ellis

I read Ascendant when it first came out a couple of years ago, and I’ve been begging Sean Ellis to write the next books ever since. He finally has, and WOW.

Some people might get tired of the Atlantis story being rehashed over and over, but I guarantee you one thing: You have NEVER seen an Atlantis-based story quite like this!

Mira Raiden, our heroine from Ascendant, returns as the Trinity comes back to life… and instead of a final monster fight in a remote cave in the Himalayas, this time we get one in the National Mall in Washington DC!

Hold on to the seat of your pants – you are in for one wild ride with this story!

This review of Descendant by Sean Ellis was originally published on November 27, 2014.

#BookReview: Flood Rising by Jeremy Robinson

Robinson and Ellis attempt to out-Bourne Robert Ludlum, and in the process not only do that (and much more enjoyably!) but also out-Scarecrow Matthew Reilly. If you’re looking for an action packed thrill ride full of mystery and suspense, look no further! The explosion on the cover is basically the first scene of the book… and the book never really stops from there. From the Florida Keys to Arecibo to Arizona, we jump over quite a bit of the US as Jenna Flood begins to realize nothing is as it seems. And I do mean *nothing*. Pick this book up – you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll most likely be hooked on Robinson and Ellis!

This review of Flood Rising by Jeremy Robinson and Sean Ellis was originally published on October 7, 2014.

#BookReview: Savage by Jeremy Robinson

This is the first Chess Team book to occur post-Ridley Saga, and is designed to be much more stand alone. As such, it makes a good entry point into the series for new fans – and they will be fans by the end of the book, mark my words on that one.

The back story here starts with Henry Morton Stanley trying to find the money to get back to Africa. It seems that Dr. Livingstone had told him a fantastical tale that he just had to go see for himself…

Flash forward nearly a century, and a man running from the constant wars of mid 20th century Africa finds a mysterious cave that two of his friends quickly die in.

And then we come to the modern era, where we are quickly introduced to a bunch of tourists in Egypt. One is Chinese, two appears to be a German couple, and two more appear to be tourists from some other Arab country. Of course they are none other than Shin Dae-jung, call sign KNIGHT, Stan Tremblay, call sign ROOK, Zelda Baker, call sign QUEEN, Erik Sommers, call sign BISHOP, and the man who has now lived through millenia, Jack Sigler – call sign KING. Yes, all of these tourists are our Chess Team, and they are on yet another mission to set up yet another book.

The tale this time mostly centers in Africa, but with a couple of side trips – QUEEN and ROOK only – to Europe to save a President and kill some bad guys, CHESS TEAM style. Along the way, we get a spin on the Team that is becoming somewhat the norm in these later books with the story splitting the team up in different objectives before bringing them all back together for the final battle. Along the way, we encounter at least a couple of people who are holdovers from the Ridley Saga, we get some great action, some funny humor… and a gut punch about mid way through.

But that midpoint gut punch is NOTHING like the haymaker that lands in the final 12% of the book. To the tune that I actually sent Jeremy this message via Facebook:

NO. I’m 89% in. If you do what it looks like you’re about to do, there *will* be cursing involved. A lot of it.

Hence the title of this review. But I have to admit, it is *because* of this haymaker that this story stands head and shoulders above any CHESS TEAM book before it. Because of this haymaker, I recommend reading at least a few of the previous books first, just to get the full weight of what is happening, though it isn’t strictly necessary. (But seriously, who starts reading a series with Book 6?? Seriously – you’ll have a LOT more fun if you start off with PRIME or PULSE, then skip ahead and read this one if you must. Hell, go ahead and buy all three!

This haymaker will change the course of the team forever… Or will it? As with Marvel’s Avenger Series movies, make sure you stay through the end credits. Or in this case, the “Coda” after the Epilogue…

This review of Savage by Jeremy Robinson and Sean Ellis was originally published on July 24, 2014.

#BookReview: Ascendant by Sean Ellis

Let’s face it, if you read adventure stories for very long, you’ve stumbled across an Atlantis tale or two… or two dozen.

But this is unlike any other Atlantis tale you’ve ever read, I can almost guarantee you that. I’ve read Atlantis tales from Clive Cussler, David Wood, Jeremy Robinson, and many MANY others, and other than Robinson’s Antarktos Rising/ Last Hunter tale, this is hands down the best of the bunch. Sean is an excellent author, and this is easily my favorite story from him. So go ahead and buy it – you won’t be disappointed, and we may yet get to see how this adventure ends!

This review of Ascendant by Sean Ellis was originally published on July 13, 2014.

#BookReview: XOM-B/ Uprising by Jeremy Robinson

If you like robots… READ THIS BOOK.

If you like zombies… READ THIS BOOK.

And if you’ve never seen the two subjects in one book, as I had never… READ THIS BOOK!

My title wasn’t joking, if anything it was probably an understatement. Jeremy Robinson is an amazing author, and he has said this is his best book yet. I have to agree with him – it truly is. You can get the base description from the description here on Amazon, and all I can add is that you are in for a whirlwind of surprise, grand adventure, epic storytelling, and amazing battle sequences.

What are you doing still reading this? BUY THIS BOOK and START READING IT IMMEDIATELY!

This review of XOM-B (later retitled UPRISING) by Jeremy Robinson was originally published on April 29, 2014.

#BookReview: Guardian by Jeremy Robinson

First, let me say this: READ OMEGA by Jeremy and Kane Gilmour FIRST. This book, by necessity, has several major spoilers to that book.

Now, if you don’t mind spoilers and simply want a GREAT introduction to one of the best single characters in modern fiction, pick up GUARDIAN even if you haven’t read any other CHESS TEAM book.

In GUARDIAN, we see King being just that – a GUARDIAN – to Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson (yes, that Nebuchadnezzar – as in, Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Writing on the wall, etc etc etc). Now, if you’re wondering how a modern super-Delta soldier is somehow in the time of an old Nebuchadnezzar… READ OMEGA!

Great twist on the monster tale, having a modern soldier go back in time to battle ancient monsters… and make some interesting discoveries along the way. Great introduction to who King is – leader, soldier, guardian, tactician, etc etc etc.

Looking forward to the next in the Continuum Series! 😀

This review of Guardian by Jeremy Robinson and Kent Holloway was originally published on March 25, 2014.

#BookReview: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

First off, let’s just say that I wanted to read this book for two reasons: I THOROUGHLY enjoyed DIVERGENT and INSURGENT, and where INSURGENT leaves off, I HAD to know what happened next. 2nd: I saw all the one star reviews, many of which contain MAJOR spoilers, and I HAD to see why people hated it so much.

This trilogy has the action and intrigue you would expect from the best of Matthew Reilly or Jeremy Robinson – and the last 10% of ALLEGIANT had me crying more than even the best Nich Sparks books – and I’m a 31yo tough Southern Man.

The ending played out almost exactly the way it had to. I’m not going to give anything away, unlike those “most helpful” reviews, but there really were no surprises in the endgame. The mystery of what had happened outside the fence contained quite a bit of commentary on human nature itself, which as someone with “genetic deficiencies”, including Autism Spectrum Condition, it was incredibly interesting to me. I HOPE they can convey all of this in the movie, though I doubt they will be able to.

I LOVED this book, but let’s face it – 1) don’t read the last book in a trilogy without reading books 1 and 2 first and 2) if you’ve read the first two books in a trilogy, you’re going to finish it out, regardless of what all those “most helpful” 1 star reviews say…

This review of Allegiant by Veronica Roth was originally published on March 9, 2014.

#BookReview: Refuge by Jeremy Robinson

This book was originally published in 5 parts. The following are the reviews for each part, compiled together here.

Night of the Blood Sky:
Small town New Hampshire. July 4th. Most of the town is emptying out to go to the fireworks in a nearby town, a few are staying behind to either get drunk or get frisky. Nothing too earth shattering.

And then the church bell starts ringing… without anyone pulling it!

When the bell stops ringing, the town itself appears to be the same… except that somehow everything outside the borders of the town has… changed. Buckle in your seatbelts, because things are about to get wild!

Darkness Falls (w/ Daniel S. Boucher):
Book 2 of the Refuge Saga opens with a new primary character waking up from a drunken stupor to the new “reality” of life in Refuge. The church bell has once again sounded, and now a darkness has fallen, along with ash falling like snow and covering everything. Thanks to Book 1 taking care of the setup, this book dives right in to the mystery and action. More creepy, more monsters, and more heartache than Book 1, this is an excellent continuation of the series!

Lost in the Echo (w/ Robert Smartwood):
This series just keeps getting better and better. Each book building on the last, in this one we finally get a few answers, including the last words of the book.

In this one, Refuge starts out fairly peacefully – a welcome respite from the dark and ash of the previous book. Frost decides the town needs heavier weapons in case big bads like the ash monsters come back, and the only place that might have what they need is the abandoned National Guard depot on the edge of town.

But is it really abandoned?

Ashes and Dust (w/ David McAfee):
The Refuge Saga continues, this time the town gets transported to a world that is barren and dusty, possibly from some sort of nuclear explosion that seems to have originated from where Refuge now sits.

But then, the monsters are discovered, along with some startling revelations…

Excellent episode, and def sets up this season’s season finale in book 5…

Bonfires Burning Bright (w/ Kane Gilmour):
This series was GREAT. You start off in a not untypical small NH town that happens to have a few high tech upgrades – the entire town has been switched to solar power, for example, putting the local electrician out of business. The town is getting ready for July 4, including most of the town going to the next town over to watch the fireworks.

And then, the local church bell starts ringing… (Minor point that I’m unsure about: Where I live in the South, there are FAR more than one church per town!)

When the bell stops ringing, the world outside of City Limits is completely different… and very strange. This starts a sequence that repeats throughout the series, with the town bell ringing and the town transporting to a new world filled with its own mysteries and dangers. Along the way, the people remaining in the town are just trying to survive – and later trying to figure out exactly what is happening and how to stop it. By the end of Season 1, they find out WHAT is happening, and even a bit of HOW it is happening…

But how can they stop it? CAN they stop it? Will they ever return home? How will they know it is actually home? All of this needs answered, and for those answers we must wait for Season 2 (at least!)…

These reviews of the components of Refuge by Jeremy Robinson were originally published on January 23, 2014, January 23, 2014, January 28, 2014, January 28, 2014, and February 18, 2014.

#BookReview: Omega by Jeremy Robinson

Picking up right where RAGNAROK leaves us, we think we know what is coming. Particularly with a title like OMEGA, you’re expecting an ending.

And an ending you get. But it is NOT going to be one you see coming.

Along the way, you get classic CHESS TEAM level kicking of ass. You get old bad guys. You get a couple of new ones. You get old friends. You get new ones. You get old players switching teams.

And in the end, you get…

an end.

Jeremy and Kane throw plenty of loops in that were not expected, as well as a couple of kick ass scenes that are. One fight that you know is coming you do indeed get – but not in the way you expect. One fight that you expect gets one of the players changed – and quite possibly becomes a bit cooler because of it, particularly due to the setup of this particular fight in some regards.

Long time fans may be torn by how this plays out – I know I am. But it is absolutely one of the best books out there and deserving of the full 5 stars and then some. Read this book and you’ll see what I mean about the stars, and possibly understand why I am torn. But then, long time fans are already going to pick this up. For people considering Jeremy and the CHESS TEAM, I’ll say this: Go ahead and buy every single one of them. You’ll want them available as you finish them. Then read them in the order they were published: PULSE, INSTINCT, THRESHOLD, the CALLSIGN novellas, PRIME, OMEGA. You will be in for the ride of your life!

This review of Omega by Jeremy Robinson and Kane Gilmour was originally published on September 25, 2013.