Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou

I received a print copy of Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou by Steven Burgauer for review.

Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou is a work of fictionalized history. I learned a great many things about World War Two and the history of boats and such. What caught my interest with this book was the connection to the Louisiana Bayous, a region of the U.S. that fascinates me, I'm not usually a reader of war books.

Although  Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou has as its backdrop WWII, I would not call it a "war book". What we read is intrigue around the development and production of the Higgins Boat, an amphibious landing craft. We have a Mafia connection, bad guy Germans, prostitutes, business people, politicians, spies, and everyday people. A lot of characters to keep straight but Mr. Burgauer (a German name if I'm not mistaken, hmm) does a fine job in that respect. I didn't find myself having to look back in the book to see who this or that person was.

Warning to the sensitive reader: Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou is written in the language of the times. There are many instances of words which would be cut from a movie today; n-words, j-words, and various other "trigger" words (what a shame that even needs to be said).

Very mild sex (especially when you consider some of the action takes place in a brothel), lots of action and intrigue. Some graphic violence. Lots of history.

I really enjoyed Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou by Steven Burgauer. I recommend it for historical fiction fans, and even WWII enthusiasts (fans doesn't seem an appropriate word here), action and intrigue readers. Enjoy!

Mike

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Accidental Demon Slayer

I received an e-version of The Accidental Demon Slayer  by Angie Fox, as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.

This book is a seriously funny light read. As the saying goes; some are born to greatness, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them (don't remember who said it though). Apparently for Demon Slayers it is all of the above. Our heroine Lizzie was born to be a demon slayer (though she doesn't know it), does achieve that ability (if she didn't we would have no story), and it is definitely thrust upon her against her will.

Lizzie's grandmother is a witch, and a part of a  coven that fronts as a biker club. They are as hard riding and wild as any motorcycle club you want to meet. Their current focus is to protect Lizzie so she can (what else?) slay demons.

Along the way she encounters, many mythical creatures, mostly from the dark side, bent on causing trouble. Of course we get to watch Lizzie learn to deal with them. The witches are powerful and intimidating, but they are also mischievous, petty and vindictive. They store spells in glass jars and have no compunctions about using them on each other. The spells themselves are hilarious and I leave it to you to read about them.

I expected The Accidental Demon Slayer to be somewhat reminiscent of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and it is, but much more in the comic vein. It is also the first of the seven book Demon Slayer series. I haven't read the next six books, but I happily note that The Accidental Demon Slayer maintains its comic focus throughout. It doesn't get all serious on us.

The Accidental Demon Slayer gives us action and adventure, suspense, magic, romance (in a strange way) even a bit of redemption, all wrapped up in a fun, and funny, tale.

The Accidental Demon Slayer is definitely an adult story. There is a strong sexual thread though the story; sexual thoughts, sexual desires, and sexual activities. In keeping with the general tone of the book, the sexuality is usually depicted in a humorous way. Not torrid, graphic sex, but steamy enough anyway.

The coven is able to place spells in booby traps, and it may well be that they placed a Giggle Spell on The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox. I know it kept me chuckling. A good, light, fun and funny read. Enjoy!

Mike


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Third Man

Author Kevin Scott Olson sent me an e-version of The Third Man for review.

The Third Man is a short story setting up the full length novel Night of the Bonfire by the same author.

It is basically a one scene story of a hair raising survival event, and a bit of action to start the story of Night of the Bonfire . A good prequel. It is short, suspenseful, and action packed.

If I write too much more of a review I will be in danger of being longer than the story I'm reviewing.
So I'll leave it there. A god short read. Enjoy!

Mike

The Policewoman

I was given an e-version of The Policewoman for review by author Justin W.M. Roberts.

The Policewoman has joined my personal list of favorite books, in fact I would place it in my top five. It's that good.

First off let's get the genre out of the way. The Policewoman is at its heart an action/adventure/romance. It is also a crime story, a special ops primer, and a real culture lesson for some of us.

The Policewoman is no boiler plate, formulaic, predictable good guys versus bad guys story. Our hero and heroine are not invincible superheroes but they are nobody to mess with. There is a lot of information here detailing how special ops teams function. This did make the story take a bit longer to develop than the reader may be used to. But it is definitely worth it, it enhances the story as the action and suspense build.

The Policewoman is a very intense story and will grab the reader viscerally, much more emotionally engaging than most other books in the genre. I dare you to not get emotionally hooked, I dare you! But there are moments of levity and downright humor to help lighten the vibe from time to time. This balance is integral to the story, keeping it from being one note and oppressive.

Basically the story is Indonesia, England and Ireland are fighting a drug cartel. No "measured responses" no diplomatic interference. Just no holds barred all out war.

The story is set between Indonesia and Great Britain, so there were a lot of cultural references that were new to me and added flavor to the story.

Great action scenes, graphic violence, not as graphic sex, love both romantic and filial, bureaucratic roadblocks, honor, duty, service and patriotism.

I just found out from the author that a sequel is forthcoming. Once you have read the book you will be as surprised and intrigued as I.

I loved this book. If you like your action/adventure to be more in depth and realistic, The Policewoman by Justin W.M. Roberts (if you look him up on line, be sure to include the W.M. or you'll get the wrong author) will satisfy for sure. Though his bio does not give any such info, The Policewoman reads to me as written by some one with more than a passing knowledge of the field of special ops. I highly recommend this book! Enjoy!

Mike


Friday, April 21, 2017

Runespeaker

I was given an e-copy of Runespeaker (Bonesaw #.5) by author Mila N. Sankale for review.

Runespeaker is a short fantasy read which judging from the full title is a part of a series. Checking the authors goodreads page does in fact identify a Bonesaw #1.

Over all Runespeaker was an interesting read. We start out directly in the story with no set up, the story just is happening. Not a bad concept but a little confusing because we don't really get right away why the story is what it is. We have a character in prison without much to tell us why she is special. In fact we only get her story in small bits. I found myself confused at times because it read like I should already know the back story. The .5 in the title made me think it might be a prequel written after the main series started. However according to the release dates published on goodreads this isn't the case.

The heroine of the story is apparently a very specially gifted person with abilities few people possess in her world. Although she has these tremendous abilities, she comes across as not very strong at times. She seems to be controlled by circumstance rather than controlling circumstance. She doesn't even seem that well respected by the very people who want her help.

Runespeaker is an interesting story, but for me it was just too bare bones. I needed more backstory as to how the current situation came to be. It is there, but the reader has to get it in too many small bites. Kind of took some of the fun out of it for me. It may well be that I am just not well versed enough in Runecasting or reading to fully grasp the concept here.

Runespeaker by Mila N. Sankale left me wanting more story. As a college writing professor once told me, "more words". The story is good (I did finish it after all) I just needed more words. Enjoy!

Mike


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Change of Heart

I received a print copy of Change of Heart from author Daniel Side for review.

Having recently read The Reedsmith of Zendar from Mr. Side, I looked forward to checking out Change of Heart. Though not a fantasy like the first book, Change of Heart shows me the range and talent that Daniel Side brings to his work.

Change of Heart is a contemporary thrill ride that fights pigeon-holing into a particular genre. It is, at least to me, an action story. But the argument can easily be made that it is a political, medical, organized crime and even a romantic, thriller. Heavy emphasis on thriller no matter where you categorize it.

Our hero, Patrick is a guilt ridden father trying to do the right thing despite his associations with the less than savory elements of society. He makes a deal with the Devil (actually a politician; same thing) to provide long term medial care for his daughter.

Our heroine, Katherine is an investigative journalist trying to make a difference.

How they get thrown together is the crux (and therefore a spoiler) of the story. They have to contend with a sociopath politician, a cougar drug dealer, and all of their minions. And, they don't particularly trust each other.

Needless to say, our hero is more than well prepared to take care of himself, and our heroine is, when it counts, no pushover either. The romance that eventually blossoms between them is hampered by secrets they keep from each other. Secrets that would be to you, prospective reader, spoilers so don't ask me I won't tell.

Change of Heart does take a bit too long for me to get to the action, but when it does, hang on. It is a wild ride that will not disappoint action fans. Patrick and Katherine are caught between two organizations; one criminal, one political (same thing), who are ostensibly working together, but really not so much. The twists and turns come rapid fire turning the plot on dime repeatedly. Not much predictable here.

Change of Heart by Daniel Side has graphic violence, somewhat graphic sex, and enough action and intrigue to keep the reader hooked until the surprising, and very satisfying, conclusion. In short (yeah I know, too late for that) a very good read indeed. Enjoy!

Mike

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts was given to me by author David Ahern in e-format for review.

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts is the second book in the Madam Tulip series. I found this entry as good a read as was the first. Psychic Madam Tulip is the alter ego of Derry O'Donnell, a perpetually starving actress. She finds herself employed as the fortune teller at a party given by British royalty (no not the Queen, a bit lower on the royal roster). Her psychic abilities get her caught up in cloak and dagger goings on.

I like the Madam Tulip books because of the way all the players are presented. Derry is psychic, no big deal (at least to her). Her mother is a delightfully pompous art dealer, her father an equally delightful artist. The ongoing feud between her estranged parents is seriously funny. Her best friend Bruce is an ex-seal and by the way, gay. Though his sexuality rarely plays much of a part in the story.

A little different from the first book, Madam Tulip herself does not actually appear that much. Madam Tulip's appearance at the big party is kind of a sideline. This does not, however, take anything away from the story. The action and intrigue we enjoyed in the first book are here as well. A cleverly twisting plot sprinkled with psychic clues, gives us an entertaining mystery with just enough humor [(humour, it is a British oriented story after all) (a Scots (Roddy Piper said Scotch is a drink, Scot is a person) author is still British, right? I'm such an American) to keep the tone from getting too heavy and oppressive.

David Ahern does a great job of keeping the characters fresh and the story exciting. It is a wild ride and the minor royals are as goofy as anyone else.

No sex (don't really want too much detail on Bruce's activities, not that there's anything wrong there), apparently Derry is too busy getting caught up in mysteries for any amorous activities. Some violence (there are bad guys, and we all know how they are), not overly graphic.Enough twists and turns to keep mystery lovers hooked. Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts by David Ahern is an all around good read. Enjoy!

Mike