Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Fight To Live Is Strong


Lifes Defeat cover

She is swept off at a very young age to a private academy presumably by friends of her recently deceased parents. There she excels and becomes a deadly soldier at age 16 in the fight against evil factions. Desiring to learn more about the world she leaves the academy at age 19 and takes off using the fortune her parents left to her. Once her trek is over she decides to return to the academy only to find it under siege by the man with the cigar. This is not her first encounter with him.

Rochester, the cigar man, has her captured and then put through a series of physical and psychological experiments that test her will and ability to live. These tortures go on for months and months – each more deadly than the last. And, that is where I stopped reading.

As hard as I tried I could not get into this novel. I kept reading and got as far as about chapter 15 or so. The chapters are not numbered so I’m not certain. Anyway, about a third of the way through. There were no glaring grammatical or plot issues. The hook for me wasn’t there.

Raymond’s debut novel, Life’s Defeat (Life’s Series Book 1), never names the protagonist. Her character is very well-developed as is the mindset of the antagonist. I’m sure Rochester’s desire is to turn her into a soldier for his side and have her go against her former team. It takes too long to get to that point. The lack of action and the prolonged torture became boring to me.

Giving Raymond the benefit of the doubt and assuming it is just me, I will give the book 3 out of 5 stars. I wish her the best of luck.

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.

Everyone Has Their Own Agenda


The Tellurian Threat cover

Kyle is an ambitious data analyst at Exel. He has agreed to take on a top secret project in hopes of advancing his promotion. When he realizes that he isn’t cut out for total isolation work he asks to be reassigned back to his team. Instead, the founder of the subterranean city of Waylain, Patrick Silva, convinces him to take another position in Research and Development. That’s when Kyle’s real troubles begin.

Waylain is the latest and most sophisticated SubHab within the earth. Earth’s resources above ground are all but devastated and the landscape little more than a desert. There are no rivers or oceans remaining to provide the moisture needed for rain. All water is underground and recycled. Mankind has moved underground to escape the harsh environment brought upon themselves.

Kyle has scrimped and saved enough to buy a vehicle that he uses to travel on the earth’s surface. It’s an extravagant expense and mostly useless. But, he finds out his three-month-old vehicle is without the latest and greatest upgrades. The company informs him that it will quite some time before they can make the modifications now offered in newer vehicles. After posting on the company’s forum about the issue Kyle meets up with Dan, aka Damian, a computer programmer.

Damian is a man on a mission. He uses Kyle’s work phone to steal classified data from Exel. This kicks off a series of events that could end up destroying Waylain and all its citizens. Rohan, Damian’s former partner, and now Kyle’s boss believes Kyle has been setup to take the blame for Damian’s intrusion.  Rohan also believes he knows what Damian plans are. It’s up to Rohan and Kyle to find a way to stop Damian before it is too late.

Das’ debut novel, The Tellurian Threat, is a post-apocalyptic, science fiction thriller. Kyle’s character is the only one with any depth. The story takes a while to unfold and by the time the action part comes into play it is anticlimactic. To me, it was almost to the point of being boring and I didn’t care about Damian and his plans by the time they were finally revealed.

I’ll give it a 3 out of 5 stars for a good effort with no noticeable grammatical errors or plot holes.

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.

Only The Best Will Do


Death Toll Rising

David Porter, Houston Police Department’s finest detective, is finally on a long-promised family vacation along with his best friend, Paul Lafitte, and Elena DeLuca, both also detectives with HPD. While the group spends a day tubing on the Guadalupe River, world leaders are gathering for a religious summit being held in Houston at the invitation of President Jackie Wilson. When they arrive back at their campground David is alerted to the fact that the Prime Minister of Japan was murdered and the USA named as the culprit.

The FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security along with the Secret Service have all gathered to increase protection of the remaining leaders and attempt to determine who are the real killers. David’s chief requests their return immediately as unofficial members of the team. Once David and Paul start gathering evidence they are quickly made official team members, and David is summoned to meet with the president.

As promised by those who had broadcast Prime Minister Akio Yoshida’s last moments, another world leader is murdered. Iraqi President Sivan Awad is dead. Both Yoshida and Awad appear to have died of heart attacks. The medical examiner, after conferring with David, begins looking for ways to induce a heart attack that is almost undetectable.

Meanwhile, the major players at the religious summit are threatening the US with war if their leaders are not returned unharmed. Troops are being readied to swoop in and take their leaders by force, if necessary. The US has sequestered the remaining world leaders with their whereabouts on a need to know basis only.

Keys’ fourth novel in the David Porter Mystery series, Death Toll Rising, is a hard hitting, non-stop, action packed conspiracy thriller. Porter’s character is level headed and methodical. He barely gets any sleep when he is working a case and neither will you as you will want to read this book straight through to the end. This is one of the most well written and most engaging political mysteries that I have ever read.

Now that I have read book four, I am going to go back and read the first three. It is with pleasure that I recommend this novel for your enjoyment.

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.

Better Than A Game Of Clue


The Point of a Gun cover

Samms is the head of a vigilante, anti-terrorist group operating on American soil outside the purview of and to the consternation of the US government. All evidence points to the group having someone on the inside of the intelligence community at a very high level. The President has asked that a secret task force be brought together of the most likely suspects in hopes that the others will out him or her. The group was quickly narrowed down to the CIA Counterterrorism (CT) representative, the FBI Special Agent in Charge of CT, and the Army’s Senior Special Ops CT expert.

Meanwhile, Samms’ group continue to stop numerous acts of violence against the US as the government ignores the threats. The President and his top advisor are doing everything they can to keep a lid on the vigilante groups’ activities. If news leaked out there could be numerous copycat attacks on innocent Americans, and the embarrassment of the government being caught with its pants down.

Samms’ group has access to the same information as the government ABC agencies. The government agencies are restricted by layers upon layers of bureaucracy that keep each other from sharing information. Somehow, Samms’ group can pull that all together and are able to stop terrorist acts before or as they are unfolding. And, the government belittles every attempt by Samms to get them to take the action themselves.

The secret task force can’t seem to discover the identity of Samms, so the President hires a top-secret investigator. Terrorists don’t take holidays and the number of potential attacks continues to drive Samms group into action. Samms’ calling card is left at every mission. What will the President do with the vigilantes if found?

Kohlhagen’s novel, The Point Of A Gun, is a political thriller full of misdirection and cleverly laid clues. It is a fast-paced, heart-stopping tale. The characters are fully developed and likable, well, except for Moose. Nobody likes Moose. The story flows well and the end is satisfying. It is an engaging read and very hard to put down.

Colonel Edwards brought his deputy into his confidence in a meeting with Nancy. The deputy never shows up again in the book. So, I am at a loss as to why there was so much discussion with him at all. Then there was the mention of Cheese having a girlfriend outside of the group, but a lot of seemingly harmless affection exchanged between him and May. Not sure where this was supposed to go.

I really did enjoy the book and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes conspiracy thrillers.

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.

You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down


Rising cover

Marcus Battle cannot seem to catch a break. Just when everything settles down and he can enjoy life, Wham! along comes some Murphy’s Law to turn it all upside down. It’s been five years since Battle returned to the homestead with Lola, Sawyer, and Penny. They have managed to survive and come together as a family without much interference until now. Three men changed Battle’s world in a matter of minutes.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.” And, Marcus aims to serve it all three times.

The Dwellers came into power after the Cartel was defeated. Their reign did not last long and the former state of Texas is once again a lawless territory with competing gangs plaguing the innocent. Battle’s moral compass, or what is left of it, will not let him pass up a chance to set things right for those he stumbles upon.

His search for revenge meets him up with the most unlikely companions. One tries to kill him and then becomes his constant sidekick. Another is on a similar quest as Marcus and joins them to exact his own retribution. The trio, while somewhat comical, are a deadly combination.

This is my favorite quote from the book: “If these people could shoot, I’d be dead three times over,” he muttered. Not sure why, but I found this hilarious. What Battle said is so true in this situation. But, I digress.

Abrahams’ fourth novel in The Traveler series, Rising, is fast-paced and gritty. True to the series’ name, Marcus is always traveling. He cannot stay put no matter much he would like. The story is reminiscent of tales from the Wild West with vigilante justice and guns-a-blazing. There are no more hospitals to patch you up. You are more than likely to die from infection or bleed out from your wounds.

I am enjoying Battle’s struggle to retain his humanity. He often goes into the darkest places of his mind. Then along comes someone he is drawn to because they remind him of happier times in his past, and he starts that long climb back towards his version of normalcy.

His story will continue.

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.