Monthly Archives: June 2016

Corporate Espionage & Cyborgs

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The Blueprint Cover

Jason Hunt is doing very well in the post 2008 financial collapse. His wife has just accepted her dream job working on advanced human augmentation. Then everything falls apart. Someone it trying to kill them. In a very competitive corporate world where dominating not only the market, but the world is the goal, black-op strikes have become the new norm. Corporate espionage has gone to its highest level of treachery.

Cross’ first novel in The Upgrade series, The Blueprint, gives us a futuristic view of how man’s body could possibly be enhanced through robotics.  It also looks at how mega billionaires using their corporation could control governments throughout the world. The combination of the two come together in a thrilling adventure.

There are a lot of characters and it was not entirely clear who the protagonist was going to be for a long time. I had it narrowed down to 3 people when it finally became clear that Jason was it towards the end of the book. During the first half dozen or so chapters the author switched back and forth between the present and the past without warning. This was confusing at first until I figured out what was going on. It would have been better if the author had put a tagline at the beginning of each chapter noting the date.

Otherwise, it was a face-paced book with a lot of action. I did indeed enjoy it.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

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Society Collapses Quickly

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Ashes of the Unspeakable cover

Jim Powell and his coworkers have separated into two groups. One group believes that the government and the FEMA camps will take care of everyone and that this situation is only temporary. Jim’s group believes the disaster will have long-term effects and that the only way to survive is to take care of themselves and get home the best way that they can. Back home, Jim’s family is setting into motion the plan he devised for events such as this.

In Horton’s second novel of The Borrowed World Series, Ashes of the Unspeakable, we follow the trials and tribulations of the three groups. It’s not an easy journey home and the reality of it all starts to dawn on the FEMA camp group. Jim’s group, while prepared more so than others, has its share of hard luck along the way. Jim’s family struggle to keep what they have against a group trying to take everything away from them and their neighbors.

In this gripping story of survival a bleak picture of how quickly society unravels is vividly painted across the pages. We see how fast things can go wrong when mistakes are made. I liked this book even more than the first in the series.

5 out of 5 stars.

A Medievil Dystopian

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Sowing Cover

Rabreah and her sister, Ariliah, are on opposite sides of a brewing rebellion. Rabreah believes all that is wrong with their society is the ruling Hulcondans. Ariliah believes an unknown group of rebels is responsible for all of the unrest and evil doings. Who is right and who is wrong? What will happen once the two groups go head to head? Will the sisters fight together or be on opposite sides?

Grigaliunas’ first novel in The Purification Era, Sowing, is a refreshingly new take on a dystopian story. Its medieval setting is vividly painted with rich detail. The character development is some of the best I’ve ever read. I feel as though I know the protagonist duo as I would any of my friends. In fact, I’ve fussed at and laughed out loud at them. The supporting characters are equally well developed. The plot keeps you guessing and has several interesting twists. The story telling itself switches between the two sisters’ points of view. I found it fascinating at how very different they sometimes viewed the same event.  As with any first book in a series should, it leaves you wanting more.

I loved how the author was able to adapt the characters into a lifestyle during medieval times as though she had lived in that era herself. It’s a hard life without the conveniences and quick fixes that we have come to expect. It is evident that she put in a lot of research to get everything just right. This is one of the many reasons I rate this book with 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Cruising Disabled

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Last week we took a cruise, just like many thousands of other did. And, like many others traveling I cruised as a disabled person. This was our 10th cruise and our first with me being handicapped. It wasn’t bad at all.

We drove down to Jacksonville, FL the night before as soon as my husband got off from work. This was my first long trip in his new Ford F150 SuperCab. He had step-up rails installed shortly after purchase since I could not get into the truck otherwise. The rollator folded up and fit nicely in the back seat along with our luggage. The ride was fairly comfortable and we only stopped once on the four-hour drive. I was a little stiff from sitting so long.

The Hampton Inn was just a place to sleep and nothing spectacular one way or the other. We got up early and headed out after breakfast. The next six hours to Miami were uneventful with two stops. Once we got to the cruise terminal Gary let me out by the check-in line with our luggage while he parked the truck in the deck. I was very comfortable sitting on the rollator waiting for him.

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The line through security went quickly. Due to my using the rollator I had to be patted down. The female security guard was polite and as nonintrusive as one can be in this circumstance. We went straight to handicap check-in and I was placed in a wheelchair. Once we got our room key I was whisked aboard all the way to the elevators. Gary pushed the rollator with our luggage stacked on top. It worked out very well.

The crew went out of their way to make sure that I and all of the other disabled passengers were well taken care of during the entire trip. I wish I could say the same for all of the other passengers. While most were friendly and polite, others were down right rude. We would be waiting for an elevator and other passengers would barge in front of us and we would end up having to wait for another one. This happened many times. And, it wasn’t like they had gotten there to wait before us either. I understand that there is sometimes a language barrier, so I tried not to let that influence my mood when some would not hold the elevator for us to board when we asked.

Asking folks to part to provide us room to move around them seemed to be a considerable inconvenience for most people. You would have thought that I asked them to cut off an arm. I always said ‘please’ and ‘excuse me’. What I got back was looks of disgust. It wasn’t as if I was trying to cut in line, I just wanted to pass by without running over their toes.

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There was a handicap bathroom centrally located on the common floors. I saw many appearance-wise able bodied folks using it, especially the one by the casino bar. If my rollator could have fit through the tiny doors to the main bathroom I would have gladly tried to use it. There were several times that I was almost knocked down by a man that came barreling out of the door as I approached.

Both Grand Cayman and Belize were tender ports. While I’m sure I could have made it off the ship to each I remained on board. We were married in Belize and have already cruised to Grand Cayman previously. My husband got off at Belize to buy some Marie Sharps hot sauce and One Barrel rum. Due to rain at the Honduras and Mexican ports I did not get off the ship there either. Those were both pier ports so I know those would have been fine. There were many activities on the ship while in port. So, between those and my desire to rest and read a good book I enjoyed my time.

Debarkation back in Miami was very smooth and efficient. The line kept moving and I had my rollator to sit upon and rest as needed. I waited by the terminal while my husband retrieved his truck. He loaded us up and we headed home.

All in all, I am very pleased with how well I was able to take this cruise.

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A very possible real life scenario

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The Borrowed World cover

Jim Powell and a group of coworkers are in Richmond, VA to attend a meeting when ISIS attacks multiple weak points throughout the USA along the power grid, at dams, oil refineries, etc. simultaneously. With fuel confiscated for emergency use by the government Jim and his group have no easy way to travel the several hundred miles to home. Lawlessness quickly overtakes the land. Being a prepper Jim has a plan. But, will his coworkers listen to him or go their own way?

Horton’s first novel in The Borrowed World Series, The Borrowed World: A Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Collapse, is a realistic look at a highly probably disaster. The characters are believable and their personalities well developed. The story is nicely paced and keeps your attention. There are a couple of typos and/or contextual errors, but not enough to be distracting.

This was a very enjoyable book for me. It dealt in real world terms that I was able to relate to. The characters were easily to see as people I already knew who were of a similar mind. I really liked the contrast between Jim and Gary. Though both had been prepping neither were completely prepared for this disaster but in different ways.

5 out of 5 stars.

An Angry Patriot

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FFA PR cover

Nelson, his family, and his friends have all made it to the farm where they start fortifying the defenses. Ever watchful for pillaging gangs and those in government seeking to detain them in FEMA camps, they take the fight away from the farm to help others as well as themselves. Are others willing to stand up for freedom?

Watson’s second novel in the Forgotten Forbidden America series, Patriots Reborn, the non-stop action returns. It is as well written as the first book and really moves the story along. All of the major characters and the supporting personalities are back.

I did not like this book as well as the first for a couple of reasons. Mostly, it made me hate Nelson. He is a total jerk in this book. I despise him so much I’d be happy if he gets killed off in the next book. He was mean to everyone and constantly in a bad mood. I do not understand the point of ruining the main character unless you plan to kill him off. And, it had some very long drawn out descriptions that were just plain boring. If I ever want to build a power plant on a creek for my house, I know what book to read.

Please make the next book in the series better.

3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Nearly Perfect Prepper Fiction

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FFA RoT cover

Nelson Jackson and his family are prepared to bugout to a farm where like-minded individuals have setup to live long term in the event of a disaster. When the Asian markets collapse they put their plan to evacuate into action. The federal government acts quickly to restrict travel and what a family is allowed to have in their possession. Will the Jackson family and their friends make it to their safe haven before the government takes them into custody?

Watson’s first novel in the Forgotten Forbidden America series, Rise of Tyranny is exactly what I look for in a post-apocalyptic, prepper story. It is fast paced, has a great group of believable characters that are well developed, has a realistic storyline, and is hard to put down.

There were only a couple of possible typos, but the author was a bit redundant in the use of some of his phrases. Otherwise, I loved this book! It was freaking awesome! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.