Category Archives: Book Reviews

Flight For Safety by Karlene Petitt

Flight for Safety Karlene PetittThe accidents discussed in this novel are based on actual ones. Crew fatigue, reduced training, inexperienced instructors, pilots becoming dependent on the aircraft’s automation, and airline mergers so the upper airline management can profit at the expense of the employees are all actual problems airline pilots face. The portrayal of some in the FAA wanting to do something about these problems but being prevented by their leaders is also accurately depicted.

Unfortunately I thought the author struggled to tie these subjects into a convincing thriller. The harassment the protagonist, Darby, experiences from her airline management I thought was a stretch for her alleged infractions. It wasn’t until the story was wrapped up did I understand why management had beleaguered her.

But the author making Darby out as a hardnosed woman who didn’t take any crap was smile invoking, and made the climax at the end realistic.

The other reason for my four star rating was the writing wasn’t as polished as I would have liked. There were a lot of stage directions to describe what was going on. Darby did this, then that, then she did this. The end was summed up in a narration I thought could have been more engaging if Darby had discussed the events with one of the other characters. Also, several events happened without any real setup or explanation as to how they came to be.

But the heart of the novel was so precisely depicted I admire Ms. Petitt’s ability to put the reader in the cockpit of an advance aircraft like the Airbus A-330 and fill the scene with enough details that the reader understands basically what is going on without bogging the story down with extraneous details.

 I’ll be reading more of this author’s novels.

Army of Worn Soles, by Scott Bury

Army of Worn SolesIf you’re interested in historical accounts of World War II, you’ll enjoy this book. Written with a smooth prose that moves the story along you won’t be bored with unnecessary verbiage. You’ll also feel compassion for the narrator for having been caught up in a war his country of birth wasn’t fighting.

I liked how the story began with a scene that takes place later in the book that engages the reader with what will happen to the narrator. Then the next chapter the reader gets to see the narrator, a college student, struggling with his studies while supporting himself before he’s drafted into war. I eagerly read these earlier chapters so I could see how the events that are mentioned in the first chapter are unfolded.

 Although a fictional account of the author’s father-in-law actual experiences, the story reads as a thriller. But knowing the experiences the narrator is shoved into are based on fact makes the reading all the more compelling.

 I would have liked to have had a bit more emotional connection with the narrator but that desire didn’t prevent me from devouring this book.

I look forward to the continuation of this story in the book presently being written.

Perfect, by Douglas Wickard

Perfect, Douglas WickardWith each book, Douglas Wickard grows as a writer. This one is his best to date, which should not be a deterrent from reading his other novels. I devoured them in just a few settings.

The plot of Perfect moves along at a pace that allows the reader to enjoy the scenery, which Wickard is a master at showing. The characters story savor their surroundings which are given to the reader in satisfying glimpses, or are repulsed by them. There were a few times I thought the story came to a halt while a scene was described, but those times were rare.

The interactions of the characters are realistic and you get to know the point of view characters thoughts and feeling intimately. This being the third book in the Sami Saxton series, she carries baggage from the two previous novels that Wickard wisely doesn’t dwell on. Hints are given so readers of the previous novels are reminded and understand Sami’s emotional well-being. New readers to the series won’t be left questioning why she thinks and acts the way she does.

Sami’s bestie from the previous novels, Drewe, is given more story time in this novel, which gave this reviewer more insight into why she and Sami are so compatible to each other.

But poor Sami. Wickard does not give this woman a break. Just when you think things might be looking up for her, emotionally and romantically, Wickard drops her into hell, yet again. This book comes to a satisfying conclusion, but is left wide open for a continuation of Sami’s torturous life to go on. I can’t wait to read it.

The Dark, by David C. Cassidy

The Dark DCC EBOOK COVER 1While reading The Dark, you’re going to wonder why David C. Cassidy isn’t the household name that Stephen King’s or Dean Koontz’s are. The writing and story plot are on par with both of those illustrious authors.

The Dark is a fascinating read. Cassidy doesn’t write scenes, he puts you in them, smelling the nothingness of the air, or the stench. You shiver when the characters are cold, and try to slide back in your chair when they recoil. I found myself shaking my head often at how well Cassidy captures the personality of the characters.

There are scenes that are gruesome that’ll make you squirm, but I couldn’t stop reading. I kept flipping the pages hoping that the horror that was about to transpire wouldn’t. But it does. There are numerous other scenes that won’t curdle your stomach, but will have you ignore the things going on around you as you’re unable to stop reading until you learn what happens.

If I had a complaint about the book, and it’s a small one, this is a tome of a novel. It also stole three hours of one day when I neared the end and had to finish it or the day would have been a waste until I knew what happened.

If you love getting lost in a dark, frightening, world that holds a promise of all will work out in the end, even though you can’t see how, reward yourself with this novel. You won’t be sorry.

The Belial Ring, by R. D. Brady

The Belial Ring, R D BradyAs with the previous two books in the series, this book was a fun read, with a darker side. Something happens over halfway through the story which cripples Laney, the protagonist, emotionally and making this reader question if she would be able to fulfill the obligations put on her.

 It is the dwelling on this issue that I gave the book a four star rating and not a five. I thought Ms. Brady spent too much time dwelling on what Laney was going through.

The other reason for the less than stellar rating is I’m not a student of archeology and it is apparent Ms. Brady is. There were times I thought the story came to a halt while she described the history behind an ancient ruin. These descriptions are not as bad as author Dan Brown’s, but I found it amusing when one of the characters in the story, Laney’s love interest Jake, shared my feelings when he said, “Go ahead, professor. Tell me.”

My other issue with the book was two of my favorite characters, Yoni and Danny, didn’t get enough time in the book.

But it is impossible for an author to please every reader. These issues aside, I was hooked from the beginning and read the book in a few sittings. The chapters are James Patterson short, making for rapid page turns. The mystery of one character is tantalizing that I kept reading to learn about her. But the book ended without her secrets being revealed which will make me read the next in the series to figure out what is up with her.

I look forward to the next book in the series.

 

Broken, by Susan Helene Gottfried

Broken Susan GottfriedIf you ever wondered what goes on backstage after a rock concert, then you’ll enjoy this short story.

 Ms. Gottfried puts you into the head of the only female band member of the fictional Ice Cubes in Hell, dealing with the drama between bandmates, the tour manager, and the ever-present groupies. This story gives fascinating look at that unique relationship and how T, the narrator, deals with a coked-up and paranoid band member. While maintaining a occasional intimate relationship with another.

 

Readers squeamish about foul language and sexual situations will find this story difficult to read. If you aren’t bothered by those things, you’ll love how the author puts you deep into T’s head without softening her outlook of what’s going on around her.

T is not a soft cuddly type, but I enjoyed how she was portrayed. No doubt an only woman traveling with men who are constantly pawed at by would have to harden their outlook on the opposite sex and put up with groupies feeling her clothes and boots where theirs for the taking.

I’d recommend this story for those looking for a fun, quick read.

Cassidy Jones and the Luminous

Cassidy Jones and the LuminousBefore you begin reading this engaging novel, set some time aside before you turn the first page. If you don’t, you’ll be late for work or school, forget to meet friends, or wish you hadn’t stayed up so late the next day.

 Elise Stokes has an amazing ability to put the reader into the mind of a fifteen-year-old young woman who just so happens to have superpowers. The character, Cassidy Jones, with the exception of the superpowers, is the kind of daughter all parents would cherish, or teenagers wished they had as a friend. She doesn’t swear, or deliberately get in trouble. But having her extraordinary gifts and using them to rid her hometown of Seattle of villains often puts her in the crosshairs of nasty people.

 What I love about this book and the series in general, is how the ordinary life of a teenager is portrayed while Cassidy works with her genius neighbor and best friend Emery to keep Seattle safe. The interaction with the students in school who consider themselves so above Cassidy made me feel I was back in high school. Cassidy’s interaction with her family and friends evoked many smiles. The action scenes are fast paced and you’ll want to reread to savor how well written they are.

 Although classified as a young adult book, readers of that age or older will thoroughly enjoy reading Cassidy’s latest adventure. I look forward to reading the next in the series.