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The Machine (An Ethan Stone Thriller Book 1)
 
 

The Machine (An Ethan Stone Thriller Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Tom Aston
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Amazon UK Top 50 Reviewer Bob wrote: "This is the first 5* review I have given to a fiction book this year... In summary a great book if you like fast paced but thoughtful thrillers."

“THE MACHINE” is an adventure thriller which will thrill readers of Ludlum and Baldacci - a fast-moving tale of extraordinary characters, brutal action and a kaleidoscope of technology ideas which vividly twists its way through Hong Kong and China. All told in the unique voice of Ethan Stone – cool, laconic and intelligent.

Steven Semyonov is a 29 year-old tech billionaire. But that’s not why everyone wants to meet him. Billionaires, after all, are commonplace. Everyone want to meet Semyonov because he is the cleverest man alive.

So when Semyonov gives up his billions in California and defects to China, never to return, there must be a reason. That reason is something called The Machine.

Ethan Stone is ex-Special Forces, turned radical activist. He runs a whistle-blowing leaks web site called NotFutile.com. Has Stone stumbled upon Semyonov’s deadly secret? Stone flies to Hong Kong in pursuit, but the dark forces around Semyonov are ready for him, and he finds himself hunted for murder. He is forced to use every ounce of his cunning to survive, and his resolve to put violent Special Forces past behind him is tested to the limit. Stone enlists the help of a spiky Chinese dissident woman named Ying Ning, and travels deeper and deeper into China.to evade the sinister Public Security Bureau, track down the truth about Semyonov, and ultimately to find The Machine.

Deep beneath an ancient crater in the foothills of Tibet lies The Machine - the reason Semyonov gave up everything to come to China, the reason he gave away his billions. Only Semyonov’s not the only one who wants to find it.


"I can highly-recommend this book to readers who enjoy Jo Nesbo, Lee Child, Tom Clancy and Thomas Harris." - Simon Fairbanks

"Finally a thriller that's worthy of the name! Fantastic story line, complex characters and twists and turns that keep you hooked and wanting more.
I'd defy anyone to put down their kindle for more than a moment before fingers twitch and you come back, wanting to find out what happens next." - Kate Goodman

"I came away feeling educated and that's rare in an airport thriller novel." - Iain M. Grant

The next Ethan Stone Thriller entitled "The Noble Lie" is out on Amazon Kindle.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 620 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pigeon Park Press (14 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008BUHC1Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #231,114 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tom Aston grew up near Manchester, England and went on to study Far Eastern Languages at university. His career has taken him to London and Chicago and he has spent time living in both China and Japan. He has worked in many roles in the book business, including as editor, publisher's rep and as a bookseller with his own store for twelve years. Now he has discovered the joys of writing and storytelling, his one regret is that he did not start learning his craft as a writer earlier in life.
Aston's latest novel, "The Machine", is the second featuring radical peace activist and campaigner, Ethan Stone. It is a page-turning thriller, packed with extraordinary characters, intrigue and stunning ideas. Aston's aim is to set new standards for the thriller genre with his quality of writing and his subtle themes. Aston has drawn on his knowledge of modern China to paint the unforgettable scenes in "The Machine".
His translation from the Classical Chinese of Du Fu's "The Ballad of Lovely Women", undertaken in research for The Machine, can be seen on the TomAstonBooks web site.
The first Ethan Stone novel, "The Lie", is also due out from Pigeon Park Press later in 2012.
Tom Aston lives in Birmingham, England with his wife and three children.

www.TomAstonBooks.com

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Hand Review - The Machine 1 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You can see this is a five star review so, I guess, what I ought to do is justify giving Tom Aston's first novel the same rating I would give to the best works by Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum or Len Deighton (three authors Tom Aston bears serious comparison to). Well, here goes...

The Machine is a techno-thriller, falling between the two stools of contemporary thriller and science fiction. It is absolutely a book of the now but bears shades of a real future that we may already be living in. References to Afghanistan, the freedom and corruption of the press and the machinations of modern China sit alongside nanotechnology, robots and the eponymous machine. Given the long process from writing to publication, it's scary and impressive to think that Tom Aston must have been writing this in the weeks and months before the scandals involving Julian Assange, Rupert Murdoch and Bo Xilai hit our TV screens. Either this guy is psychic, incredibly lucky or has his finger firmly on the pulse of what's going on and what matters.

Oh, yeah, the machine of the title. I'm not going to tell you what the machine is. That would ruin one of the many twists. What I will say is that the machine is not just a MacGuffin. It's the coolest MacGuffin to appear in contemporary fiction. Tom Aston could have built an entire novel around the premise of the machine but he's got so much going on in this book that we must take what we can and be happy.

The plot is intricate but the characters and the urgency of the pace keep the reader on board at all times. Much of the focus is on Steven Semyonov, the computer billionaire who gives up his fortune to defect to China and work on building his future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down! 11 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of the Michael Crichton genre of science based action novels and The Machine certainly hit the spot for me. The pace is breathtaking and the short chapters make the book compulsive reading, I read it in 2 days and my wife who normally prefers "other" genres read it in 3 days. The author must certainly have a both a very vivid imagination and good grasp of modern science to have developed some of the concepts in the book. Also the descriptions of today's China are wonderful and really add depth to the story without distracting from the pace of the story. For £1.99 it is a steal and I thoroughly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller 15 July 2012
By Bob TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was supplied free to review.
As this is an "Ethan Stone Thriller" it is obviously part of a series however it stands well alone. It is one of the best thrillers I have read this year. It is an action packed book which retains an interesting plot. All of the characters are well described with enough, but not too much, detail to be able to visualise them. I was amused that the central character "Ethan Stone" was someone described as always alert but seemed to have been surprised too easily. Unlike a lot of books almost all of the characters were individual and stood out rather than put in to make up the numbers. I particularly liked "Steven Semyonov" the genius and the enigmatic "Ying Ning" and "Virginia Carlisle" the reporter. Although you have to suspend disbelief as there is everything from miniature killer robots to Buddhist monks the plot holds up throughout all this. I liked the way that the internet was embedded into the story and how public perception can be influenced by the media. Eventually the mystery of the "machine" in the title is revealed.
In summary a great book if you like fast paced but thoughtful thrillers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far from my usual genre, but I'm hooked now 31 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got this when at the bargain price of £0.00 in the Kindle store. It's the best £0.00 I've ever spent. Now I'm going to have to part with real money to buy the rest of this author's books.
The plot is set in China and you're led on a rollercoaster ride through Hong Kong to the mountains near Tibet. The tantalizing question of what The Machine is keeps the pages turning. The characters are vivid and believable. One thing this author does particularly well is avoiding unnecessary gore. Yes, there is violence, but it is described in such a way that you get the sense and suspense of the situation, but it's not gratuitous; just enough to fit in with the plot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story 30 Jun 2012
By Sarah
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really brilliant and unique story line. Just when you think you have a handle on where the book is going it throws in another plot twist. I would recommend anyone read this for the excellent plot, interesting characters and it being really well written. A bargain for under £2!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read ! 17 July 2013
By DebbieA
Format:Kindle Edition
This would not be the first genre of novel that I would choose to read, but I was intrigued by the cover, and I was not disappointed. The setting of the story reflects the author's obvious in depth knowledge of China and Hong Kong and added greatly to my enjoyment of the plot. The oppressive nature of the climate reflected the well-drawn claustrophobia of the protagonists as they dance around each other trying to discover the secret of "The Machine". The characters are well-developed and the sinister Ekstrom and the illusive Semyonov will stay with me long after finishing the novel.

Looking out for Tom Aston's next work. Would say Dan Brown has a competitor!
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