Gender Swapped Universal Soldier Meets Deeper Unique Lore. This book *very* much has a Universal Soldier feel through much of it – which isn’t a bad thing at all for this particular reader, since I *loved* that movie for *years*. And yet, these sections can still feel so… “well trod”… just because it *has* been done so often before. Even the gender swapping has been done to a slightly lesser extent.
But then the book connects to a much deeper lore, to a world that it seems that the author has been developing across at least a few books – and a quick perusal of Amazon confirms this suspicion. So even while setting up a seemingly routine-ish (with a few nice wrinkles) Book 1 of a new action series, the book does well to advertise the author’s prior works and encourage an exploration of those tales as well. Great marketing strategy, and a solid storytelling technique.
Overall the tale is interesting and the ending truly does leave the reader wanting more… this reader in particular simply hopes that it does more to stand out in future endeavors. Very much recommended.
This review of Faithless by Steven Ramirez was originally written on April 11, 2021.
BFP! Curtis Hamsworth! Fans of creature movies (you know, the ones with only a survivor or two – if any – after the creature(s) rampage) and/ or Jurassic Park are going to love this particular book. Set within Woods’ ever-expanding Maddock universe, you don’t have to have any prior experience with that world to have one hell of an awesome time with this romp through the rainforests of northern Australia. Part Jurassic Park, part creature feature ala Deep Blue Sea or Anaconda, and filled with enough adventure and even laughs to bring down a … well, a Big Fucking Predator, this is simply a fun diversion from the “real” world that will leave you breathless… and wanting more. Indeed, the only quibble I have with this thing is the not-very-veiled shots at Sea World – and yet even then, the point *is* (eventually) made of just how much money comes to conservation efforts because of Sea World and similar parks. (Which is my ultimate real world point about such parks.) Beyond that particular sporadic commentary though, truly an amazing ride that will have you forgetting the “real” world for a few hours. And really, isn’t that all any of us can ask for these days? 🙂 Very much recommended.
This review of Crocaplyse by David Wood was originally written on April 3, 2021.
The Master Outdoes Himself. Jeremy Robinson, the Modern Day Master of Science Fiction, truly outdoes himself here. While the first Infinite was one hell of a trippy, mind bending ride, this one still has elements of that – but also goes back to Robinson’s more “bread and butter” approach of balls to the wall action. Almost a love song to long time fans while still being completely new and approachable to even people who have never read any of his books – even Infinite – this book seemingly has more callbacks and cameos from previous Robinsonverse books than any other, *including* his actual execution of his Avengers Level Event (ALE) in PROJECT LEGION. And without going into any detail – though those who have known me for a decade now will get this reference, but most of those have already read the book in question anyway as well – let’s just say that there is ONE BOOK that I ALWAYS reference whenever anyone asks me for the most terrifying book I’ve ever read, and it happens to be one of Robinson’s. AND HE INCLUDES THAT WORLD IN THE MANY CALLBACKS IN THIS BOOK! Honestly, when I first noticed that we were back in that world, my entire body broke out in sweat and I nearly blacked out. That is how terrifying that world is – it *literally* gave me nightmares for *years* just thinking about it. And this sadistic author has the balls to go back there, *knowing* one of his most ardent fans has that level of reaction to that tale. CURSE YOU, JEREMY ROBINSON!!!! ( 😀 ) Still, absolutely one of the Master’s best books to date, and one that even ALE 2 will have a hard time topping… IF it ever actually happens. Very much recommended.
This review of Infinite2 by Jeremy Robinson was originally written on March 15, 2021.
If you liked Steena Holmes’ THE PATIENT or Kerry Lonsdale’s EVERYTHING series (all excellent books that you should absolutely read if you haven’t yet)…
You’re *definitely* going to like this one. Palmer takes a similar base idea and puts a spin on it that neither Holmes nor Lonsdale did. This is somewhat of a slow burn, but the mystery is compelling throughout. And then that last 10% of the book (well, from roughly 90% – roughly 98%) is some explosive courtroom stuff straight out of John Grisham’s best works.
And if you were already a fan of Palmer… this may be his best one yet. Seriously. 😀
This review of The Perfect Daughter by DJ Palmer was originally written on December 4, 2020.
This week we’re looking at a strong British courtroom thriller that seems to set up a new series. This week we’re looking at Take It Back by Kia Abdullah.
Writer’s block still plagues me, but here’s the Goodreads/ BookBub review:
Nuanced Courtroom Thriller. This is an interesting one. One with a main protagonist that… has several rough edges, at least a couple of which come back to bite her. One with a strong commentary about the role of Muslims in British (and by slight extension, Western) society, at many different levels. One with a strong discussion of what it means to be the “other”… in so many different ways. And one with secrets almost literally to the last word. Tremendous book, and very much recommended.
Robinson Is Back With Another Mindbender. In this book, The Modern Day Master of Science Fiction creates yet another absolute breakneck thriller that also happens to be one of the most mind-bending books of his career, right up there with ALTER and INFINITE. It *also* is one of the few books at this “more developed” stage of his career where he openly wrestles with religious and philosophical issues, and indeed the very debate between our two primary characters on these topics is some of the most intense and intriguing bits of the book. Still, for those who want to gloss over the philosophy and focus on the action, there is still quite a bit of that here as well, and indeed the debates often happen in the middle of the intense action. (Think: Brian and Dom having a debate about the nature of reality *while in the middle of the airplane chase scene* at the end of Fast 6.) There are numerous reasons I call Robinson “The Modern Day Master of Science Fiction”, and this book just adds to them. Very much recommended.
This review of NPC by Jeremy Robinson was originally written on July 1, 2020.
Excellent Corporate Thriller. If you like corporate board room power plays and machinations, this book is right up your alley. If you like Godfather-esque stories of honor and destroying enemies who disrespect you, you’re going to love this book. If you absolutely want nothing to do with corporate America at all in any way whatsoever… you can probably already tell that you should probably skip this book, but I’m going to tell you that your reluctance there is going to cost you an awesome read. Per the bio at the back of the text, Page is a new pseudonym for an author that has previously been well received, if not necessarily well known, and that level of execution bleeds through the entire text here. Very much recommended.
This review of Call To Power by Jack Page was originally written on July 1, 2020.
Another Fast Paced Thriller. If you like Indiana Jones type adventures, but set in the current era rather than the 1930s… you’re gonna love this one. In the end, it turns out to be a chase for one of the very same objects Indy himself sought, though revealing which one would be a somewhat significant spoiler. For those looking for action books in the midst of so many much-hyped books of… let’s say less shooting and more shouting… this is a book you’ll want to check out. Very much recommended.
This review of The Chamber by John Sneeden was originally written on June 14, 2020.
Raise Me Up. In some ways, this is your stereotypical whodunit, straight down to most of the action happening in some remarkable-yet-unremarkable Midwestern town with a coda in the Caribbean. In others, it takes some fun risks, even if most of them are off screen. All in all, this is arguably to CPAs what John Grisham’s books – particularly his earlier ones- are to lawyers. And considering that Grisham’s early books were perennially best selling books of the year through the 90s and even early 00s… I’m pretty sure Mejia won’t exactly mind the comparison. 😉 I had the ultimate culprit pegged somewhere between 50 and 66% through, though the endgame was a bit shocking and the epilogue even moreso. Excellent book, again, particularly for Grisham fans, and very much recommended.
This review of Strike Me Down by Mindy Mejia was originally written on April 12, 2020.
The End of the Beginning. This was an excellent tale of Dane Maddock and Uriah ‘Bones’ Bonebreak’s final mission as US Navy SEALs. As with the Star Wars prequel series, everything we have known that was specific to this era and would not continue into the next is resolved, while the things that do continue into the next era are set up nicely and alluded to hilariously. Truly an excellent tale that does all that it needs to do yet never feels burdened by the load at all, doing it all organically within the story itself.
This review of Bloodstorm by David Wood and Sean Ellis was originally published on April 12, 2019.