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JET
JET
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 5 Mar. 2014
This review is from: JET (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book. Russell Blake is a great author.

The subject matter is just my cup-of-tea and it started the way I like a book to start: in the action with a skilled operative doing what they do best. From there it just kept going, dragging me along.

I had some issues with the description of an aircraft incident near the end, which did pull me out of the story, but this was still a very enjoyable read.

(I read the Kindle Edition which I downloaded for free during a promotion.)


KILLING PLATO (The Jack Shepherd International Crime Novels Book 2)
KILLING PLATO (The Jack Shepherd International Crime Novels Book 2)
Price: £3.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Wish it had ended differently, 5 Mar. 2014
When you suddenly become the popular person to people on both sides of an issue it is generally a good time to start worrying. Especially when the game everyone is playing is not the one you think it is, or the one they say it is. Confused? So is our hero, Jack Shepherd. And when you lose something precious, you have to start deciding if you are going to come out ahead.

There are plenty of twists is this story, all masterfully handled by the author. I was a little sorry that Jack suffered the loss he does, I would have preferred a different ending. But let's see what happens next time.

I read the Kindle edition which I downloaded for free during a promotion.


The Orphan Uprising (The Orphan Trilogy Book 3)
The Orphan Uprising (The Orphan Trilogy Book 3)
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be careful who you kidnap, 5 Mar. 2014
The moral of this tale is that you don't ever, ever abduct the young son of your best and most dangerous operative. Such people will go to great lengths to get their children back, especially as they are very aware of the horrors that await their offspring.

Nine does his very best to look after his pregnant wife while attempting to rescue his son. his employee should have know better and they learn their lesson. Nine is hampered by a heart ailment, but despite this he manages to keep his promises to his family.

Another, final, installment of the Orphan series which does not disappoint.

I read the Kindle edition which I received from the author for review.


V for Vixens (The Furies Book 1)
V for Vixens (The Furies Book 1)
Price: £0.99

2.0 out of 5 stars N for No Thanks, 1 Oct. 2012
I recently received an email from the author, requesting a review of this series. I took a quick look at the blurbs, and in the absence of much more information decided that I'd give them a try. Why? Well, being British I grew-up on films about WW2 and to be honest they evoked memories of reading comics of my youth.

I downloaded all five (during a free promotion) and started the first.

The blurbs do not mention that every female is apparently a lesbian and that sex is their main weapon. I don't have issues with either, just they way they were handled in the book. The books, according to the author's note, are "inspired by the pulp war fiction of the 70s", which I am not at all familiar with. He also refers to war movies such as "Where Eagles Dare", which I am familiar with as this was released when I was a kid. While I can't comment on the pulp fiction, I can say that if you are familiar with this movie, I did not see any resemblance.

Right from the beginning I found the story to be confusing. Without knowing who was on which side I lost interest after the first few pages. I soldiered on but did not find that things improved.

So what did I like? The cover art is nice and uniform for the series. And I found the descriptions of the distant sounds of war and the countryside at night to be excellent and highly evocative.

Sorry, your-mileage-may-vary, but these were not for me.

I read the Kindle Edition (December 2011, 37pages), which I downloaded for free during a promotion.


A Song for Nemesis
A Song for Nemesis

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Non-engaging political thriller, 10 Sept. 2012
A filmmaker, born in El Salvador and currently in London, is living with the love of his life, a successful singer. After she is murdered he returns to El Salvador on a project for the anti-government forces. Add a beautiful peasant girl, an assassin, and a worldwide conspiracy, and you have all the ingredients for a thriller.

When I accept a book for review, I always blame myself when I discover that the story told is not up to the promise of the blurb. Originally entered in literary competition as `The Indiscriminate Agenda', this tale was then cut by 15k words to 84k, and professionally copy-edited. I have to say that it felt as though that missing 15k might have been responsible for my confusion, which continued for most of the book. Character names appeared that I didn't remember being introduced, and props/events are mentioned with no context. Sometimes the context was in the following chapter, but I found this more annoying than suspenseful.

On the good side: you are thrown right in to the action, which I like. Location descriptions were good. Characters were distinct individuals.

On the down side: not a fan of the writing style. Was thrown out of the story, such as when people speak and they are doing one thing one moment, and are somewhere completely different in the room the next time they reply. I found the dialog very false. I had to re-read some sentences/paragraphs several times to get the meaning. Can't say that I was invested in any of the characters.

I felt that the storyline held great possibilities, but the greatest fault was that I always felt like an outsider, excluded from knowing what was going on.

I really thought I would like this book, but in the end I did not.

I read the Nook Edition (July 2012, 274p), provided by the author for review.


THE VIOLIN MAN'S LEGACY (Jack Calder Crime Series #1)
THE VIOLIN MAN'S LEGACY (Jack Calder Crime Series #1)
Price: £3.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange Ttitle, 2 Sept. 2012
Our story opens with a Triad member being appropriately rewarded by his boss. Having illustrated the kind of bad guys we can expect, we see two ruthless robberies take place in Holland.

Our primary hero, Jack Calder, is a former SAS commando who is now working for a civilian security firm. We hear about the demons from his past, from having lost his father as a young boy. I didn't think this issue seemed to add much to the story other than adding a human element to the character.

His boss sends him to Holland to investigate the two robberies and what follows is a straight-forward crime procedural. The thriller part, to my eyes, comes in to play when they start dispensing their own justice.

This book is very readable and is essentially a logical see-problem, ask-questions, get-all-the-answers tale. It contains a lot of dialog and exposition related to all the characters congratulating themselves and each other over their pasts, their willingness to help each other, overlooking the law ... just about everything, which bordered on extreme.

I attempted to read this book several months ago, but the copy I got from Amazon was right-justified and impossible to read. I recently deleted that one and downloaded another copy which had no such issue. It did change font and format at the 40% mark, but nothing that threw me out of the story.

I went back-and-forth over whether this is a 3 (average) or 4 (good) rating and decided it is a 3.5. The writing is good, but the story itself (for me) was a little lacking.

I read the Kindle Edition (SGC Publishing, July 2011, 247p) which I downloaded for free during a promotion.


The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy Book 2)
The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy Book 2)
Price: £1.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orphan Trilogy #2, 2 Sept. 2012
This second book in the Orphan series is a prequel telling us about the program and its aims. The book opens with the births of the orphans, then jumps forward ten years to a point where they are now in training. The conflict between Nine and Seventeen started early.

Nine has established a sanctuary of sorts for himself and somehow manages to fall in love with the girl next door. This unrequited relationship drives him to attempt an escape.

I found this book to be even better than the first. The escapades of Nine as a new teenager, away from the structure of the orphanage, are interesting and completely believable.

Normally I always recommend reading a series in the order they were written. If for no other reason than the author may have (intentionally or inadvertently) included some foreknowledge of events. But in the case of the Orphan Trilogy 1 and 2, I'm not sure that I wouldn't recommend reversing the order. But either way, this is a very enjoyable read, and as I said, I thought it better than the first.

The only point where the energy went out was the end, where the Epilogue almost rushed to bring you up to speed for where the first book starts. I thought the Epilogue could have been omitted with no ill effects.

I read the Kindle Edition (Sterling Gate Books, July 2012, 385p) provided by the authors for review.


The Khmer Kill: A Dox Short Story (Kindle Single)
The Khmer Kill: A Dox Short Story (Kindle Single)
Price: £0.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dox gets his own spin-off short from the Rain series, 28 Aug. 2012
Dox, the ex-Marine sniper we met in the John Rain series, has his own short story.

In Cambodia for a job utilizing his sniper skills, he meets with his contact and immediately has concerns. He meets a nice girl and has concerns there, too. Dox addresses the problems with his usual skill and personal code.

This story is up to the high standard set by Eisler and despite being a short, the length feels entirely right. It was a pleasure to read and had plenty going on. I definitely wasn't left with a sense of anything being missing. The book is a complete tale, just shorter, and I think this is part of the beauty of ebooks, in that a book can be as long as it needs to be.

I would perhaps recommend reading the Rain series so that you get a greater perspective on Dox.

I read the Kindle Edition (Thomas & Mercer, May 2012, 65p) which I bought.


Kung Fu Lesbian
Kung Fu Lesbian
Price: £2.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Kung-Fu Comedy Thriller, 26 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Kung Fu Lesbian (Kindle Edition)
Holly, a lady of many last-names, still trying to find herself, is watching her father's dojo burn to the ground. He is on the run and Holly must deliver "The Master Plan" to him, taking-out her mother's lover IF she has time.

If your memory of the mid-70s is hazy, this book will bring it all back. Is it funny? Yes, and be prepared to laugh out loud. Pay attention as the story changes perspective, scene, and time, by watching the chapter titles. You don't want to get lost in a dope-filled haze like some of the characters. It is a journey with a lot of twists and turns while staying true to the original premise. If the title did not turn you away, you won't be offended by the content. Think Mod Squad meets Alias meets Fringe. Just don't collect any Shanghai Sunglasses as a souvenir while you're on this trip!

I read the Kindle Edition (Eternal Press, July 2012, 256p), provided by the author for review.

-Pam


Hashimoto Blues (An Ellie Fox Adventure Book 1)
Hashimoto Blues (An Ellie Fox Adventure Book 1)
Price: £2.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, good read, 9 Aug. 2012
Eleanor Fox, down on her luck after leaving high school and her hometown behind, meets Frank, a mentor and father figure. And so begins her life of crime. At twenty she becomes a smuggler, flying across the US/Canada border at night with her cargo of drugs. Add Max to the picture and we have our story.

The story is mainly about Ellie and Max: the secrets they share, the secrets they keep, and the trouble they get in to.

If the measure of a book is how it toys with your feelings, makes you question some values, and leaves you with a satisfied feeling, then this books is a success. I was totally behind Ellie at the beginning, perhaps because of the aviation aspect and the non-violent crime she was involved in. She seemed like a nice girl who had some bad luck. As the story progressed I found that I was less supportive of her. I'm not saying the story got worse, I'm saying that my feelings toward her changed.

Personally, I find that I have less problem with James Bond killing someone than a realistic, petty criminal doing the same. Love James Bond, hated the Godfather and all movies that worship organized crime and how family-orientated they are, etc. I know, a double-standard.

So in theory I would not have expected to like this book, it being a `realistic' view of petty criminals and the messes they get themselves in to, as opposed to someone saving the world. But I did enjoy it.

The writing style is great: very fluid and easy to read. The characters were totally believable and fully formed. And I had no problem suspending belief when required and wanted our two characters to get out of trouble.

As I said, this book is a success. Hate the cover.

(I read the Kindle Edition which I downloaded for free during a promotion.)


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