Month: October 2020

Review of ‘Heir of Ra’

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While on a dig in Peru, working for her dad, who got a call to hurry back to Egypt to continue his search for the fabled Hall of Records, Alyssa is attacked. Using her wiles and a ton of grit, she manages to get away only to learn that her father has been struck down by some mysterious element just as he was about to enter the hall. Against the advice of everyone, Alyssa, who is not quite recovered from injuries suffered when she tried to fly a plane and ended up with it in a tree, goes to Egypt to see if she can save her father’s life.

What follows is a fantastic tale of shared consciousness, the mythical continent of Atlantis, love, death, war, and betrayal that will keep you on the edge of your chair. Alyssa uncovers long-buried secrets, about the world—and, about herself. I won’t spoil the story for you by telling you what. You should go out and get a copy of M.Sasinowski’s Heir of Ra and see for yourself. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. The author melds actual history (with all its myths and belief in magic) with a created world that in many ways seems more real than its real-life counterpart.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Without hesitation, I give it five stars

Review of ‘Condo’

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Frankie Armstrong, and expat Brit owner of a UK-based security company, is living in a rented second-floor condo in Naples, Florida with his dog, Charlie. He/s in Florida partly because the warm Gulf Coast weather is preferable to England’s wet fog, and mainly to get some distance from his estranged wife. Things are going well for him until one night he witnesses what appears to be an argument between a man and a woman near the condo’s dock, resulting in the woman falling, or being pushed, into the bay; He rushes down when he hears screams, but finds no one. Later, when police find a severed arm in the bay, it’s identified as belonging to Ava Ledinsky, a beautiful resident of the condo who teaches piano. Further investigation indicates it’s a possible homicide, and that Ava has a sketchy history, possibly of blackmailing married men with whom she’s having affairs. When Ava’s sister, Lisa, comes to settle her affairs and find out what happened to her sister, she too is killed, and Frankie becomes a prime suspect.

 

Condo by Kerry Costello is a fast-paced murder mystery with no shortage of suspects—in addition to Frankie, every man in the Condo is a potential suspect—and more red herrings than a London fish market. The killer, though not identified, is introduced early on, and the reader is kept guessing as to who he is. This story has more twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, and will keep you guessing, probably wrongly, until all the gators have been wrestled into submission.

 

I received a complimentary copy of Condo, and found it quite entertaining. I give it three and a half stars.

Review of ‘Nefer Blue Phoenix’

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Nefer Blue Phoenix by Micah Patton is a mythical tale of a young princess who is from a race of super-powerful beings; robbed of her inheritance by a band of rebels who kill her mother and father. Haunted by dreams in which her mother appears, demanding that she kill those responsible for this travesty, she will go to any lengths to reclaim her rightful place.

An interesting story, that is unfortunately marred by too many typos and grammatical irregularities. The flow of the story is good, and character development adequate, as Anuaka goes to extremes to achieve her goals. With a better job of proofreading and structural enhancement, it could achieve a level of literary merit that accords with the author’s vision.

I received a complimentary copy of this book which I give two and a half stars to. Not a bad first novel.

Review of ‘Raven’s Flock’

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Raven’s Flock by Todd Matthews is a story that dedicated gamers will love. For those unfamiliar with the gaming world, it’s a bit hard to get into—an interesting story, but not everything about is apparent at first glance.

The main character, or at least, the character that seems to be the principal, King Cain Santos is in a kind of temporal holding area in the year 2024. His adventures are amusing to watch unfold, but I came to the end of the story unsure of what really transpired. I did finally realize that Raven Spade (for whom this book is names) is actually the main character, and Santos is just a foil. Following Raven’s efforts to escape the tyrannical bonds of Columbia’s rulers and recapture the freedom of the past—therein lies the parts of the book that I found most interesting.

Like experimental fiction, I can read and enjoy stories that I don’t fully understand, and Raven’s Flock falls into that category. I enjoyed it, got a glimmering of understanding—just a glimmering, and was impressed with the author’s skill with the written word.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Read it one and a half times just to try to better understand it. I give it three and a half stars.

Review of ‘Battle Stations’

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Battle Stations by Roger Jewett follows several people through the onset of World War II. The principal character is Captain Andre Troost, who worked with the British navy, escorting freighter convoys from the Atlantic midpoint on their voyages to England. He is, like many military men who spend a lot of time away from home, having marital difficulties, which are only compounded when he’s promoted to rear admiral and reassigned to Pearl Harbor, shortly before the Japanese attack. Several other characters, including Troost’s son, a navy flight school dropout, meet and interact as war breaks out, from the dark days of the near destruction of the U.S. Pacific fleet, to the turning point in the war when the U.S. knocks out much of Japan’s carrier force.

Fictional, but based upon true events, Battle Stations takes the reader into the reality of war, not a romantic endeavor, but the gritty, frightening, bloody encounter between men—and women—sent by nations that often don’t consider the human cost when deciding to go to war. This book looks at war through the eyes of some of those humans who have to pay the cost.

I received an advanced review copy of the book. It is recommended reading for anyone who wants to experience the reality of combat. The author knows his stuff.

I give this story five stars.