#BookReview: Against All Odds by Richard Bard

Satisfying Conclusion. This was designed to be the conclusion of this series, and it does an admirable job of that – other than the whole cash grab issue of separating one story into two books. In this back half of the tale begun in the previous book, we spend the first half resolving the issues that ramped up in the back half of the book before it, before pivoting to the battle begun in the front half of the prior book. And it is this back half where virtually anyone who has ever fought by Jake Bronson’s family’s side comes back for one epic battle against one last group of people tied to Luciano Battista, the bad guy from the very first book. This book wraps up the series nicely while allowing the possibility that at least some characters could come back in a future series… or not. Overall a truly satisfying conclusion to what should have been a 5 book series, rather than the 7 book series it currently exists as.

This review of Against All Odds by Richard Bard was originally published on October 28, 2018.

#BookReview: No Refuge by Richard Bard

Great But… Yet again the author splits one tale into two books, rather than giving us one complete adventure in one book. This one picks up almost immediately after the ending of the previous book, and tells half of what should be an AWESOME tale. But clearly the author was putting just enough here to whet the appetite to increase sales of the next book, the finale of the series. Perhaps if the author had split the longer books at the beginning of the series into shorter books as well, it wouldn’t feel like such a cash grab. But he has already given us books of nearly 500 pages in this series, so why not finish it off with two 600 page books encompassing what turn out to be the final four books of the series? The only reason that makes any sense at all is that it is nothing more than a blatant cash grab on his part. And while I don’t have any qualms about anyone making a buck, I do have major problems with being so blatant and forcing the reader to buy yet another book to get the completion of the story of the book they were reading. In all honesty, had the story within this book been even slightly less compelling, I probably would have given only a single star, just because of the cash grab nature of this book.

This review of No Refuge by Richard Bard was originally published on October 28, 2018.

#BookReview: Smoke and Mirrors by Richard Bard

Satisfying Conclusion. Originally, this book and its predecessor were called a “Duology” within the overall series, and in that sense, this book provides a satisfying conclusion to that two-book storyline (that I still feel could have been condensed into one book, even just taking these two books as is and combining them to form a 600 ish page book). It also does a good job of setting up the next book via a particular unresolved thread that leads to a blatant cliffhanger – so blatant that the author tags a note just a couple of lines later swearing that the story will continue. (As those of us reading years later already know.) Overall a great continuation to the series, and I’m looking forward to diving into the next book momentarily.

This review of Smoke and Mirrors by Richard Bard was originally published on October 27, 2018.

#BookReview: Brainchild by Richard Bard

Good But Incomplete. As with any of the books in this series after BRAINRUSH, read the earlier books first. That said, the author introduces some new writing techniques into this book that are a refreshing change of pace, and that is most welcome. HOWEVER, the reason I dinged this book a star is because it feels like the author took one story and broke it into two – similar to how Hollywood did a lot of book to movie adaptations there for a while with the last book, except obviously here this is an author himself doing it to his own book. Yes, the combined single book of this one and the next one would have likely gone over the 600 page mark, and maybe the author didn’t think that would sell as well or some such. But this feels like a money grab, even with the solid story, with the splitting into halves.

All of that said, there is more peril than ever built into this book, though the peril in this tale is more personal (vs the last book’s more global scale).

If you’ve gotten this far in the series, you won’t be disappointed with the story here – and you’ll be reaching for the next one as soon as you’ve finished this one!

This review of Brainchild by Richard Bard was originally published on October 26, 2018.

#BookReview: The Enemy of My Enemy by Richard Bard

Excellent Continuation. This book continues the storyline and pacing from the previous book and raises the stakes quite a bit in the process. If you enjoyed the first book, you’ll enjoy this one, but as this is the second book in the series, you really do need to start from the beginning.

I wound up dinging this one a star because of the author’s continued miscommunication about guns. The vast majority of which do not have “clips”, they have “magazines”. And there are *few* fully automatic pistols, virtually none of which even military contractors would be allowed to have on the streets of the United States. So while the author continually refers to characters having “automatics”, they really should be “semi-automatics” or even just “pistols” or “sidearms”.

All that said, this series is a solid thriller with elements of scifi – if you like either genre, you may well like this series and I absolutely recommend checking it out.

This review of The Enemy of My Enemy by Richard Bard was originally published on October 25, 2018.

#BookReview: Brainrush by Richard Bard

What A Rush. This was a very good book, even if I did have a few quibbles with it as an Autistic. The action is among the craziest I’ve seen in novel form, in all the best ways. And the pacing of the abilities and how they are discovered is slow enough to seem “plausible” and yet quick enough to keep the action going well. Excellent work, looking forward to the rest of the series.

This review of Brainrush by Richard Bard was originally published on October 23, 2018.