May 30, 2017
Blood Moon is a suspense thriller based on true events written by John David Bethel.
While waiting for a prospective client, Recidio Suarez of Suarez Medical Resources, a very successful medical supply firm, is beaten and abducted. Tape is wrapped around his head covering his eyes while his feet and hands are bound in handcuffs.
For one month, Suarez is beaten, tortured and extorted of his hard-earned wealth. He manages to survive the pain and the extreme conditions of his captivity and miraculously lives through his ordeal. Together with his lawyer, Suarez reports the kidnapping to Miami-Dade Police Department. His report, however, is not taken seriously and eventually ignored. It does not help either that there is a long-standing animosity between his lawyer and the head of the MDPD Special Investigations Division.
With foreword by Marc Schiller whose kidnapping this book was adapted from, this is an intense, moving and suspenseful thriller novel that will raise the ire of the readers not only against the kidnappers but also against the law enforcers. The author successfully portrays greed, prejudice and bias. Moreover, he adeptly describes physical pain, desperation and hopelessness. He includes just enough back stories that make the characters easier to visualize.
As a work of fiction, this is undoubtedly one great book. However, as a story based on real events, this is, indeed, scary. Some gory scenes may not be for the faint of heart.
May 22, 2017
Hell Will Rise is Book 1 of the Bloodthirst Mafia Series written by Skyla Murphy.
It is not something he wants for himself, but Hunter is forced to join the Mafia in order to get custody of and protect his little sister Tessa, after their parents are killed. Not only does Hunter have a photographic memory, but he also has an uncanny ability with numbers making him a very valuable asset of the Mafia.
Smart as he is, Hunter knows right away that their ruthless and soulless leader has a special reason for putting a feisty blonde beside him, and when he finds out the truth, he is torn between his burning desire for revenge and an insane and illogical pull to protect her from everything and everyone including himself.
This is an exciting and romantic story of love, hate, revenge and redemption. The author keeps the book interesting and suspenseful by revealing the plot to the readers early on but at the same time keeping her main character ignorant of the truth. The readers are kept anticipating and, in my case, second-guessing Hunter’s reaction to each layer of revelation.
The author successfully creates endearing characters in both the male and female protagonists. Hunter is the perfect hero emboldened by his gift and haunted by his guilt but willing to do anything and everything for the people he loves while Shayla is the damsel in distress, beaten but not broken, who sees through Hunter’s façade and finds an affectionate and caring person.
However, in addition to a few noticeable errors, I didn’t like the ending much, though I believe it is a strategy to entice the readers to wait for the second book in the series. Still, I find this book very enjoyable.
May 12, 2017
Lost and Forgotten, Book 1: Discovery is written by Maurice Barkley.
Former Army Ranger James Cagney is living a solitary, peaceful, but uninteresting life of a retiree when he stumbles upon two Marine-looking young men. After helping them out with a clue that is way too old for the young men to figure out by themselves, James inadvertently gets himself involved in locating a stolen electronic equipment which vanishes without a trace.
Though he doesn’t know it at the time, James signs himself up into something exciting, dangerous and unknown. But apparently, dealing with the unknown is more preferable than staying home alone with only a cat for company while mustering enough courage to ask the widow next door out on a date.
Written in the first person perspective, this is a fast-paced, funny, exciting and suspenseful science fiction novel that combines modern technology and remnants of the Second World War. The author successfully comes up with an exciting plot and writes in a casual and conversational tone that makes the book easy to read and easy to understand.
The author creates funny, smart and endearing characters. My favorite, naturally, is James. He is painfully honest and is trying to be modest about his skills. He is sharp for his age. He is intuitive and resourceful and he uses his skills when he needs to without holding back.
However, I noticed a slight shift in pacing. Though the book is predominantly fast-paced, there is a part that feels like dragging. It doesn’t, however, detract from the enjoyment of reading the book.
May 2, 2017
Contingent Upon Magenta is an exciting science fiction novel written by C. Drying.
Capt. Joan Jones is chosen to be the third member of a small contingent to Magenta, a matriarchal world inhabited by hostile purple humanoid, for two reasons: she is deadly and she is a woman.
With a heavy heart, Capt. Jones leaves her daughter with no expectations of making it back home. However, her arrival in Magenta, through Magentan Interrealm Conduit, is met with unexpected events and Capt. Jones finds herself on her own, far away from home, and in the presence of the captivating matriarch of Magenta.
Though I found the beginning of the book ambiguous and convoluted, it eventually grew on me and I found myself enjoying the story with its secrets and mysteries. The author successfully created a world with its scarred but formidable matriarch. I found the Magentan culture quite different but very fascinating that I could honestly say I was thoroughly entertained and altogether engrossed by the plot with its unpredictable turns of events. Though I preferred a different ending to the book, I believe it was necessary and quite justifiable.
However, though the characters are well developed with their own sets of values, weaknesses and misgivings, I didn’t find anyone to my liking. I found Capt. Jones to be too indecisive, Maerora Ma too cold-blooded and Mălīn too impulsive. Moreover, I think that the roles of Noma and the spying girl were cut too short.