Pollywogs & Shellbacks

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Sedulity 1 Impact cover     Kevin Summers is on a cruise with his family in the central Pacific when an asteroid strikes the ocean floor. Being a meteorologist by trade and working on his Ph.D. in climatology, Kevin recognizes the immediate impact the asteroid strike will have on the ship and the surrounding areas. Destruction and death reign throughout the entire Pacific Rim. Will the cruise ship SS Sedulity, its crew and passengers survive?

Forsyth’s first novel in the Sedulity Saga, Impact focuses on several different perspectives from that of a bartender to that of a wealthy oilman. Each handles the disaster in their own way based on their lot in life. The captain draws strength and direction based on Kevin’s knowledge.

Unlike other end of the world novels, this one has nothing to do with prepping and only offers the microcosm of a cruise ship.

Four out of five stars.

The Quiet Life

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Deadmans Cay cover     Anthony Delgado has just been released from serving a five-month sentence in jail for a barroom fight. With no job, no house, and nowhere to go he heads to Florida’s West Coast. There an eccentric gentleman name Irish John befriends him and teaches him the ways of a simple life of living off the sea. Irish John goes on to help Tony find a job as a diesel mechanic at a boatyard. Just when things are going well everything gets complicated.

Craven’s first novel in The Dangerous Gulf Sea Adventures Series, Deadman’s Cay is a refreshing story about friendship. It meanders a bit while setting the backdrop for the overall tale. Most of the folks within the story are either related or all go to the same church.

When Tony’s lady friend gets caught up a plot by the Cartel not once but twice, Tony finds he has no choice but to assist in their destruction.

Four out of five stars.

Level Three of Jumanji

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Rockfall cover     Bryan Hardin has returned to his small-town roots after having lived in the big city of Houston. He has settled his law practice in a small town about 25 miles from where he grew up in east Texas. Being a widower, he is making his homestead a place for the remainder of his family to gather together on the weekends. Then a large meteor strike happens thousands of miles away causing immediate changes to their weather patterns.

Allen’s first novel in The Tertiary Effects Series, Rockfall follows Hardin and his family after they receive a heads up about the meteor strike. They rally together at his farm and take stock of what they need to survive in the long term should that be necessary. Hardin himself is still struggling to fit into the small town yet keep a low profile at the same time. The last thing he wants to do is draw attention to the resources that they have.

The big question is why the government is being silent on the meteor strike. Sure, they’ve talked about the earthquake and resulting tsunami in the Pacific. But nothing on the cause. In the meantime, Bryan’s family members are going about their business back at their respective homes while monitoring all forms of communication.

Five out of five stars.

Out Foxed

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Earth of Foxes cover     Freya Walker is not content to sit still and wait to see if the Biocentrics will attack again. While most of the clans seek shelter further into the rainforest, Freya gathers a group to take out the Biocentrics once and for all. Realizing they are undermanned and outgunned they seek another clan to join in their quest. They plan to use Cassidy Warden, a Biocentric governess to help them gain entrance into the stronghold.

Fanning’s third novel in The Red Fox Series, Earth of Foxes concludes Frey’s story. It is a long book and much better written than the second one. I was a little skeptical at first, but it turned out to be a very good story with a satisfying conclusion.

As the saying goes, not everything is as it appears. And, that can be said more than once throughout this book. Though Freya is the main protagonist we also see things from Khar’s point of view. What surprised me the most was Fanning’s ability to make me cry.

Five out of five stars.

Here Comes Trouble

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Brutal Business cover     Conor Maguire has earned the reputation as The Mad Mick within the community he lives in the mountains of West Virginia. It’s a moniker that’s been with him for as long as he can remember and before relocating to the area. He will do whatever it takes to keep this family and friends safe. Now, there is a gang a former military known as The Bond wreaking havoc throughout the north and heading south towards his neck of the woods.

Horton’s third novel in The Mad Mick Series, Brutal Business is every bit as exciting as the previous two. It is also a coming of age story for Conor’s daughter Barb. She has no choice but to find out who she is and what she is made of separate from her father.

The Bond represents a unique challenge in such that The Mad Mick can take the fight away from home. It is always better to fight an enemy on your own terms.

5 out of five stars.

Don’t Mess With a Pro

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The Racketeer     Malcolm Bannister is serving time in a federal prison camp after being caught as collateral damage in a racketeering scam. Now, a federal judge has been murdered, and Malcolm has information on who committed the crime. As a former lawyer, he knows how to craft a deal that ensures his freedom.

Grisham’s novel, The Racketeer has more twists and turns than a pole dancer. Bannister’s use of the federal government and the witness protection program is beyond masterful.

Five out of five stars.

Too Many Promises

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TDAN Nemesis     Lucas Shaw is settling down with Sierra and the children in Provo, Utah. A deathbed promise puts his loyalties to the test and threatens to tear his family apart. Meanwhile, the Illuminati continues to take power throughout Texas with whoever will lie in bed with them. The Crew, though it has been decimated by the Cartel, is trying to make a comeback.

Blake’s 9th novel in The Day After Never series, Nemesis finds Lucas making strange bedfellows with the same goal of defeating the Illuminati and liberating Texas. As always, the story is action-packed and fast-paced.

I’m not exactly sure where the story is going to go but it’s obvious that there are several lore novels left in this series.

Five out of five stars.

New Beginnings

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Grounded cover     Mike Crenshaw, his girlfriend, and his best friend decide it is time for them to search out family in hopes that they have survived the Scourge and/or the upheaval that followed. The remainder of their group stays on to search out the rumored utopia of central Florida. The government is desperately trying to re-engineer the virus to suit its nefarious purposes. And, the Cartel is taking hold in the territory formerly known as Texas.

Abrahams’ third and final novel in The Scourge series, Grounded follows each group as they grapple with the new normal. Life is hard; and survival is harder. There are several story arcs to follow. Some tie directly to The Traveler Series. Others follow the new characters.

It is interesting to see how many of The Traveler Series supporting characters arrived in their positions. Though in at least one case the plunge in their career is not fully developed.

4 out of 5 stars.

Trust Your Gut

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Hard Trauma cover     Tyler Stone is a soldier through and through. His career ends after a disastrous mission. Now, living near his sister and niece, he is working as a security guard at a truck stop. A young girl is kidnapped on his watch. He believes the investigators are following the wrong trail. His gut instincts lead him on a cross-country journey.

Horton’s first novel in the Ty Stone Thriller series, Hard Trauma focuses on the hardships veterans face while trying to adjust to civilian life. Ty constantly battles demons that no one else sees. The world-building is great, and the character development is superb.

This is a very good introduction to the Ty Stone Thriller series. The reader gets a good background on Ty as he struggles with what he is going to do with his life. He approaches the kidnapping as if he were on a military mission. Saving the girl at all costs is something he must try to do.

5 out of 5 stars.

Riots, Rumors, and Running, Oh, My!

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Cry Havoc cover     Daniel Taylor works for a major bank in the trendy Buckhead area of Atlanta. He is on the IT team responsible for cybersecurity. When a breach hits nationwide, chaos reigns. No one can access their money. Riots ensue. The government steps in and things happen swiftly and dramatically.

American’s novel, Cry Havoc though written in 2015 is very timely in 2020. It demonstrates the worst possible scenario when the government oversteps its constitutional authority. It also showcases the devolving of mankind in a very short period of time.

When Daniel finds himself trapped at work with his girlfriend and a few building security coworkers, he realizes that they must find a way out of Atlanta at all costs. Timing will be everything in their escape. Avoiding rioters and government roadblocks will not be easy. Rumors say that Texas offers a respite from the tyranny.

5 out of 5 stars.