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on 1 June 2017
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I enjoyed reading a random selected novel written buy a new author, to me". Quickly delivered by my kindle as always
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on 30 December 2012
3 things I liked about the book ...
The foreign locations, Michael & Kate's relationship and the element of mystery. To be honest, it was the foreign locations that actually kept it going for me. The mystery and thriller parts came were very cliche and the writing style seemed forced.

Favourite character(s) ...
Michael Chase, of course. He seems driven by the intense need to get to the bottom of his father's death. He is strong in so many ways and yet, you feel as if he needs someone (this is where Kate comes in) to keep him going.

Favourite location / setting ...
Haven't decided between Hong Kong and Yengshao. But both locations are given adequate descriptions.

Favourite scene ....
When Ted and Michael are talking about Michael's father. It seemed a bit sad and yet this is where most of the mystery unfolds.

Favourite quote ... It didn't matter how good you were, it didn't matter how much you practiced, without that will, without that raw determination to put the other guy down, none of it was worth anything

Disclosure - I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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on 25 October 2011
I have always loved reading thrillers because I am wheelchair bound and unlikely to ever see the places I read about. Very pleased to find a new author to pull me to and through another geographical setting. This was so exciting! It mixes travel and adventure with historical possibility. I sure hope Lars Guignard has a few more novels in him as I look forward to this mix.
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on 15 December 2012
Cover - I am not sure what to think. When Kipling used the swastika on the spines of his book, this was based on the Indian sun symbol. When British royalty used a swastika as an arm band for a fancy dress party, an apology was issued by the palace. Why this writer seems to have a lackadaisical approach to the symbol is simply beyond me.

Formatting / Appearance - Overall, no issues There were large gaps between chapters but this may have been intentional and did not affect the reading experience.

Story - If you were to compare the writing style to those of Tom Clancy, Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum or Ian Fleming - it will fall flat on it's face but if you were to read it and appreciate it for it's own qualities, Lars Guignard has created a character that may well last through time.

What I liked - Michael is seen as a searching hero. He needs clues for the mystery at hand and for his own life's direction. The way these two components are mashed together in the story kept it going for me.

What I didn't like - The swastika logo on the cover and the fact that there were large chunks of the book that appeared under-developed. Given a bit more time, I am sure the writer could have tweaked this to create a stronger character.

Rating - 4 / 5 stars.

Disclosure - I received a complimentary copy from the author which did not affect my honest opinion.
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on 12 December 2012
First things first, the cover is in very bad taste. Yes, Michael and Kate are on a quest to discover a Nazi aircraft. Would you then project this symbol on a book cover? If I had not been asked to review the book and had stumbled across it, I wouldn't have bought it. Maybe, it is a gimmick to sell more books. Maybe, it is the author's attention to create controversy. Either way, and in my humble opinion, it's an extremely low blow.

Most parts of the book are very well-written and each character is able to captivate you and hold your attention. But there are also many sections in the book which appear rushed as if the writer ran out of words / descriptions. I did love the fact that the writer drew on his personal experiences to bring the book to life. It made most pages almost real.

In so many ways, this book was like the fresh, cutting edge style of Jason Bourne who crosses paths with James Bond and I could have almost loved it. But then, we're back to the cover ... so ...

Would I recommend this read? If the symbol is removed, then maybe. If not, not really.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4/5
Editing: 4/5
Formatting: 4/5
Pacing: 3.5/5
Offensive content?: PG13 to PG15 mostly for descriptive scenes that younger children may feel uncomfortable with.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author through Orangeberry Book Tours. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.
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on 12 November 2012
Entertaining, quick changing with several twists, thoroughly enjoyable and quite well written. First experience of the author, unlikely to be the last, recommended.
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on 3 April 2012
Set in a world of espionage and gap year travellers, crossed with high tech and high stakes. An entertaining romp with twists and turns to keep you guessing ... who is on which side, how many sides are there? Well worth a read.
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on 12 December 2012
The plot of Lethal Circuit revolves around a bi-axial set of events, a see-saw of action and consequence of which our main man Michael Chase is heavily involved in and crucial to the outcome of. We are introduced to Michael whilst he is backpacking in China, near to the place where his father mysteriously went missing and was presumed dead just over 6 months earlier. Michael discovers via a meeting with some extremely unsavoury characters in a mens bathroom that his dad may not be dead afterall, and also may not be who he's always maintained to be - one of the bosses of a leading American sportswear brand manufacturer. Indeed, it quickly turns out that Mr Chase Snr was in fact a senior CIA agent, tasked onto an investigation into locating some missing World War II Nazi aircraft technology, that is also of interest to several other secret service organisations and criminal gangs around East Asia.

Simultaneously, a satellite with the power to wipe out a very large area indeed is currently locked onto an uncontrollable collision course with the East Coast of the USA. Michael must find a way of stopping the satellite by finding the details of the missing aircraft technology, and along the way discover exactly who he father was and what happened to to him - including if he is still alive or not.

Promising, intriguing and compelling, the praiseworthy accolades unfortunately indicated rather more than what what I felt Lethal Circuit actually managed to deliver. As a regular reader of the thriller genre, Bond and Tom Clancy books in particular, I expected a gripping, exciting and fast paced tale full of twists, turns, shocks and surprises. Whilst unarguably `fast paced', I felt the non-stop action to be at most times completely unrealistic and unbelievable, and at many points too `easy' or `obvious', for example the ease at which our main protagonist often happens upon his enemies and their lairs, and the ability of his partner to almost psychically predict where he is at any given time and come to his rescue/aid.

We aren't really introduced to any of the multiple characters in any great depth and with each with their own agenda and questionable allegiances the first few chapters were incredibly hard to follow and relate to; not helped by the rather amateurish `stop and start' method of narration employed by Guignard. Sentences felt unnaturally short and simple, were over-punctuated and often stated the obvious or sounded incredibly unrealistic. I did find the `flashbacks' to Michael and his father to be much better quality in comparison, and it was ultimately these that allowed me to connect with Michael as a character and enabled me to understand his motives enough so that I `rooted' for him. In retrospect, these chapters were probably my favourite in the whole book.

In addition to the flashbacks, the constant `flips' between China and America made the plot extremely tangled and confusing to follow in terms of place and timeline, especially when every character seemed to be trying to double or triple cross each other, or only appeared once or twice. This tactic was probably employed purposely by the author to keep the reader guessing, but unfortunately due to the aforementioned poor standard of writing I found I simply didn't care enough to try and keep track and second guess every character; I found myself paying more attention to the quality of how things were said rather than what was said.

In addition, much of the action felt rushed and crammed in; at just under 300 pages Lethal Circuit is a relatively short novel and in my opinion would have benefited from an extra 150-200 pages of more drawn out sequences and better character development, to make it more realistic and also to enable suspense - I never really felt scared for any of the characters, seeing as every cliffhanger got solved almost immediately after it occurred! Action thrillers do rely on fact pacing, but if aiming at this particular speed, the writing needs to be pretty much perfect with spot-on syntax, structure and dialogue, which I felt was sadly lacking in Lethal Circuit.

Overall, this novel felt very much like an beginner offering, and not nearly as complex or genius as similar themed works by authors such as Ian Fleming or Stieg Larsson. The story idea itself is a relatively strong one, and due praise must be given to Guignard for coming up with such a great sounding premise; I was only disappointed that I was distracted from the story by the poor quality of the narration and the overly abrupt pace of the action. In this case I felt that the reality didn't live up to the potential, and I probably wouldn't recommend this book to any long-lived fans of the crime/thriller genre or any frequent readers past pre-teen in age, as it reads a little too amateurish to engage lovers of complex fiction. Children or infrequent readers may enjoy it as a precursor to Bond or an introduction to thriller novels, but sadly I personally don't believe it can compete with the standard of others of its kind on the market.
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on 16 March 2013
An entertaining read with such amazing coincidences that would induce anyone involved to lottery fever or gold prospecting. It tended to ramble on at times. The ending is the best bit. If you like spy stories without much thought for reality this is for you.
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