Sunday, May 28, 2017

Eye of the Storm

I received a print copy of Eye of the Storm by Frank Cavallo for review.

Eye of the Storm is a difficult book to pigeon hole genre wise. One of those books where explaining details about the book would certainly involve spoilers (and you know how feel about that). Although basically it is a sword and sorcery fantasy, it also has elements of history, political intrigue, the quest, science, technology, horror, romance and military action/adventure. It is your true roller coaster ride. As such, it is highly unpredictable most of the time, not unusual for me since I rarely anticipate correctly the next move in any story, but Eye of the Storm highlighted this inability on my part (thanks Mr. Cavallo).

We start the story in current times with a scientific expedition, which of course goes wildly off track. We travel through a storm which sends us through a space-time portal (no spoiler, it's on the back cover), and the roller coaster has begun.

We follow two heroes (or at least main characters) as they encounter the bizarre inhabitants of this world, each more exotic and unbelievable than the last. There are different factions/species/entities? vying for control. None of whom seem particularly benign or benevolent. As reader/participants we find ourselves forced to choose sides, or at least sympathize with viewpoints that change as the story progresses.

My only real complaint is that the story jumps in time months to years at a time rather abruptly. The way we wind up with the two main characters is a little rocky.

On the plus side, there is a lot going on, the story does not lag even though it moves from straight out physical action to more cerebral pursuits. Eye of the Storm contains graphic violence, some language (unnecessary in my opinion), political double dealing (is there any other kind?), secret loyalties, romance, sexual innuendo (as opposed to graphic portrayal) and an absolutely colossal three way battle at the climax.

Frank Cavallo has created an interesting, if not terrifying, world for us to explore in Eye of the Storm. I recommend it to readers looking for that "little something different" in a fantasy read. Enjoy!


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!


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!


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!


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!