November 29, 2017

A World Without Color by Bernard Jan

A World Without Color is a touching novella written by Bernard Jan.

The book chronicles the last three difficult, sad, but love-filled days the author shared with his beloved cat of fourteen years and nine months. How he kept his vigil over someone he loved the most as he watched him go gradually, painfully but bravely.

More than the cat or the pet, this book is ultimately about love in its unconditional form. It depicts the extent of a person’s attachment and affection to a non-human and the love that transcends the boundaries of the species. Moreover, it describes the beauty of unreciprocated action in the name of duty and obligation as a manifestation of love. Finally, it presents the ultimate choice someone has to make: either to carry the burden of being the angel of death to the one he loves the most for the rest of his life by putting an end to the agony and suffering of his beloved or to wait for the end to come on its own as he watch the love of his life expire swiftly and painfully.  

However, this novella may be understood and totally appreciated only by readers who have the rare opportunity of experiencing that same kind of love the author felt for his cat. Regrettably, not all people, pet-owners included, have that same intimate and passionate relationship with their pets.

Congratulations to Bernard Jan (@BernardJanWorld) on such a touching novella! For more books by the author, click HERE

November 27, 2017

The Burgas Affair by Ellis Shuman

The BurgasAffair is an international mystery and crime novel written by Ellis Shuman.

Ayala Navon is an Israeli intelligence analyst in Tel Aviv. Boyko Stanchev is a Bulgarian detective from the State Agency for National Security.

When a tourist bus exploded at Burgas Airport killing five Israelis and the Bulgarian driver, the Burgas police and its Israeli counterpart teamed up to investigate the bombing.

As a senior detective, Boyko felt let down when he was paired with the Israeli woman. Ayala, on the other hand, found Boyko arrogant and sexist. However, in the wake of the horrific terrorist attack, they have to work out their differences in order to get to the bottom of the case.

The book has a very promising start with, initially, a fast pacing. It has a solid plot with rich and substantial back stories told in vivid flashbacks. Indication of possible romance between the main protagonists lends a light hearted feeling to an otherwise serious and horrible bombing story.

However, with the introduction of back stories, the initially fast pacing slowed down reducing the level of suspense. Moreover, between the male and the female protagonists, I found Ayala a more likeable character than Boyko. There was simply too much to dislike with the male main character. Furthermore, though the ending was quite satisfactory, I found it a bit inconclusive. Finally, I noticed errors within the entire book which are thankfully very few.

Nevertheless, it was a great read, interesting, informative especially about Israeli culture, and suspenseful.

Congratulations to Ellis Shuman (@ellisshuman) on such an enjoyable book! For more books by the author, click HERE.

November 20, 2017

SERIAL K by Brian Gallagher

SERIAL K is an exciting thriller written by Brian Gallagher.

As soon as Craig Breedlove gets hold of his vast inheritance after the unusual death of his father and suicide of his mother the day after his father’s death, he puts his nefarious plans to action that is to pay tribute to the greatest serial killers in history. Diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, Breedlove had spent three years in juvenile detention prior to his diagnosis giving him ample time to come up with the most diabolical plan that will make him the greatest serial killer of all time.

After emulating Robert Hansen in Anchorage, Breedlove moves to Spokane to pay tribute to Robert Lee Yates, Jr, then on to Salem, Oregon for a modified reproduction of Randy Woodfield killing. By the time the crimes are discovered to be interconnected, Breedlove is on to his fourth victim.

FBI Special Agent and part time fiction writer Ryan O’Callahan is assigned to the case and teams up with his ex-wife FBI profiler Lea Pucci. As they hunt down the serial killer, the couple gets to spend time together and begins to consider possibilities regarding their unusual relationship. Meanwhile, bodies are piling up and they are nowhere near the identity of the perpetrator.

The book is told in the third person perspective and is a real deal thriller fiction complete with graphically depicted scenes. Never once deviating from the plot, the author builds up the premise by introducing a depraved character performing terrible crimes that ultimately escalate to egregious atrocity. With a relatively fast pacing, the book is a real page turner with sporadic love and romantic scenes to break the intensity of the action.

The characters, both main and minor, are developed with just sufficient back stories to substantiate their roles. The conclusion, though not the usual kind of ending I go for, offers a temporary closure that leaves a slight feeling of discontent that may make some readers want for more.

What I like most about the book is the unpredictability. Halfway through the story, the author introduces a new twist and throws in additional characters making the flow of the book more difficult to guess.

Despite the few typo errors that I noticed, I enjoyed this book a lot and I recommend it to crime and thriller fans. Some violent and gruesome scenes, however, may not be suitable for young readers.

Congratulations to Brian Gallagher (@GallagherAuthor) on such a great book! For more books by the author, click HERE.

SERIAL K was an Book of the Day on November 16th. You may check it out at Online Book Club.    

November 17, 2017

Programmed To Kill by David J. Murray

Programmed to Kill is an exciting and suspenseful thriller written by David J. Murray.

David Mainwaring is a retired teacher, a model citizen and a seemingly ordinary Vietnam veteran. Unbeknownst to other people including his own family, however, David is more than just ordinary and his feats in Vietnam as a member of the elite Special Forces Unit are unbelievably overwhelming. So, when an unscrupulous lawyer pays a group of hitmen to take David out and kidnap his family, the lawyer is ill-prepared for what he unleashes.        

David, together with his three other Vietnam Veteran friends who come to honor a pact they made years ago to assist when any of them or his family is in danger, retaliates with unimaginable intensity. Their slick maneuvers, however, are not lost on a dedicated police inspector, who is a Vietnam Veteran himself just like David and his friends.

Told in the third person perspective, this is an exciting book that will keep the readers on the edge of their seats in painful anticipation. While the readers would definitely root for David as he brings down the monsters who harm his family, the moral implications of his actions might give them conflicting emotions. The author successfully keeps the suspense at ultimate level until the last page of the book giving it one full blast of climactic ending.

Never deviating from the main plot, the author subtly supplies the back stories to justify the characters’ skills and finesse. Moreover, graphic descriptions of scenes make the readers feel more like watching a movie than reading a book. The author successfully creates admirable characters that it may be difficult for some readers to decide for a favorite. Though David is the most logical choice, I personally find it difficult to choose between Police Inspector Simmons and Alice Mainwaring.

What I like most about the book is the realistic take on a person’s thirst for revenge; the unleashing of the beast which I personally believe is inside everyone and the aching need to get back at the person who hurt him, see that person suffer and feel good about it. This book is the perfect depiction of ‘an eye for an eye’ which may sound unchristian but somehow liberating.        

However, I feel like the characters of David’s three veteran friends are less-developed than they should be considering that they are major players in the story. Moreover, there are so many noticeable errors within the entire book including misspelled words, missing or improperly placed punctuation marks, incorrect word usage and typos.  

Still, I enjoyed this book immensely and I recommend it to fans of suspense and thriller. Some scenes, of sex and violence, however, may not be suitable for young readers.

Congratulations to David J. Murray (@djyarrum1) on such a great book!

Programmed to Kill was an Book of Day on November 13th. You may check it out at Online Book Club.

November 10, 2017

The Divinity Bureau by Tessa Clare

The DivinityBureau is a dystopian thriller written by Tessa Clare.

The world is in chaos. Water is scarce. The air is polluted. Jobs are rare and low paying. So, Roman Irvine considers himself lucky to work in the Divinity Bureau as an IT Technician. The Divinity Bureau is in-charge of controlling the population explosion by randomly electing a certain number of people to die of lethal injection every quarter of a year.

As an ordinary employee who is dependent to the bureau in order to survive, Roman does his job seemingly indifferent to the bureau’s activities. That is until he sees April McIntyre’s name on the list.

In addition to a quite interesting premise, the book offers a beautiful romance that defies the law. It is told in alternating first person perspective between the two protagonists. The book is an easy read with consistently casual and conversational tone. References to futuristic inventions like the Mobiroid, BIONs and CLEO may excite some readers.  

However, I find the back stories on the founding of the Confederal Districts a little vague. There are also some questions that I find unanswered. Moreover, though Roman for me is a very relatable character with his financial problems and needs, April is not my ideal female protagonist. I find her a little insensitive and uncaring towards her family. Furthermore, though the ending is how I hoped it would be it feels incomplete because of the unanswered questions. Finally, I noticed too many errors (if you free tomorrow, fill the silence my cutting my vealI can select the which) in the copy I read which made for a difficult reading experience.

Still, it was a very interesting read and I enjoyed it.

Congratulations to Tessa Clare (@tessaclaretdb) on such an enjoyable book. 

November 4, 2017

The Hands of Ruin: Book One by Dylan Lee Peters

The Hands of Ruin: Book One is the first in The Hands of Ruin two-book series written by Dylan Lee Peters.

Trying to have a relaxing time with her jawhar Reego, reclusive zul master Ah’Rhea accidentally hears of an incident about a little girl, improper use of zulis and the election of a new zul master to address the issue. But just as the zul master starts to contemplate on the gravity of what she just heard, her attention is caught by an unusual activity which, unmistakably, means a summons for a particular zul master, her.

Meanwhile, Aschburner twins Zigmund and Zera just meet with their uncle Rainart for the first time. Though he knows they are better off with their uncle than anywhere else, Ziggy instinctively doesn’t like the limping and drunk stranger who takes them in. Little does he know that his dislike will grow even more intense in just a few short days.

With two separate plotlines told in alternating sequence, this book is initially confusing. Though both plots are equally interesting and the readers are kept in suspense anticipating how the plots will converge, there are too many scenes which I find irrelevant to the story and which the book can do without.

The book has fast-pacing and vivid, albeit dark, descriptions. Some characters are more developed than others, and some who play important roles in this book are left undeveloped. I believe, though, that the author has plans for them in the second book. Just as the two plots are getting interesting, the book ends in cliffhanger leaving a lot of questions unanswered. That gives the ending an incomplete and unsatisfactory feeling.

Still, I enjoyed reading the book and I find the premise very intriguing. Other science fiction and dark fantasy fans may find it interesting.

Congratulations to Dylan Lee Peters (@dylanleepeters) on such an intriguing book. For more books by the author, click HERE.   

November 1, 2017

Brave and Funny Memories of WWII By a P-38 Fighter Pilot by Lyndon Shubert

Brave and Funny Memories of WWII By a P-38Fighter Pilot is an entertaining and heart-warming book written by Lyndon Shubert.

Unlike common stories about WWII, which tell of the horrors and the ravages of war, this book features a few light hearted even funny, albeit still frightening, events that took place in the author’s life during the war.

The author begins his story the night he received his order and said goodbye to his beloved wife whom he wasn’t sure he would see again. He was first based in Foggia, Italy in the 82nd Fighter Group, 97th Fighter Squadron to fly the greatest fighter plane of WWII, the P-38 Lockheed Lightning.

Because of his flying skills (at least as assumed by the 82nd commanding officers) combined with unelaborated ‘incidents’ of misconduct, the author was eventually transferred to the 15th Air Force Headquarters in Bari and was assigned to the 154th Fighter-Recon-Weather Squadron whose job was to scout and report (by radio) the up-to-the-minute weather conditions at potential targets to help the Headquarters decide if bombers were to be dispatched or not.      

This is a very entertaining book about the experiences of a fighter pilot during the war. It is also a thin slice of history, seemingly insignificant but part of history nonetheless. The author wrote his story as he would tell it personally, with passion and a substantial amount of humor. That makes the book, and the experience itself, sound amusing and fun. The readers know, however, that there is nothing amusing or fun about the war, and I commend the author for sharing his story in such a light hearted manner because I assume that he did it deliberately to lighten up a dark part of his life that only a veteran like himself would understand.

Congratulations to Lyndon Shubert on such a great story! For more details about this book, click HERE.