Category Archives: Book Reviews

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.

 

Sanctioned Kill by C. R. Haitt

Sanctioned Kill CR HiattThis story moves at a rapid pace, slowing down long enough for the reader to catch their breath, before plunging headlong into more action. The main character, Kyra Ray, is fleshed out so the reader comes to understand what makes her tick, yet is a bit of a mystery so they need to keep reading to learn more about her. One of the villains also garnered some sympathy from this reviewer.

The fight scenes are vivid without unnecessary detail allowing the reader to fill the scene with their imagination. Kyra Ray is one bad-ass chick.

I sped through the story in a couple of days and I hope Kyra and company will be developed into a series as Sanctioned Kill ends with that possibility.

I highly recommend this novel to lovers of military espionage.

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I enjoyed reading this novel. Ms. Woods wrote a compelling story that engaged me from the beginning and didn’t let up. The characters were interesting and fleshed out throughout the book so that I came to love and cheer them on, or hate them.

The Devil of Light Gae-Lynn WoodsThe plot, set in a small Texas town with some strange murders taking place, was intriguing. Throughout the book I hoped the protagonist, Cass Elliott, and her fellow police officers would discover who was doing the evil deeds they investigated. Ms. Woods used enough detail in setting scenes that I could easily visualize them without long paragraphs of scene building.

The other thing I found satisfying was very little backstory. There is just enough for the reader to know there is more to the main characters that drives them, or has given them their point of view, without pages of backstory. You learn most of the characters past through conversation with other characters which makes for a more interesting read.

If I had something bad to say about the story, it is the abrupt ending. It comes to a satisfying conclusion, leaving the following novel, Avengers of Blood, to pick up where The Devil of Light left off. But it left many questions that I would’ve liked to have seen answered. This was probably Ms. Wood’s intention as I feel how Cass Elliott answers those questions will be quite involved and will make this reviewer read the sequel soon.

I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a good mystery revolving around cult-like activity.

 

Tracon, by Paul McElroy

ImageBeing an airline pilot, I enjoyed reading this book. Mr. McElroy is not an air traffic controller, but it seems he did his research and got the details correct without taking the reader to air traffic controller school. I’ve often wondered what life on the other end of the two-way transmission I often take for granted is like and got a firsthand glimpse of that life.

 

As an author of airline thrillers, I loved the plot in this story, and a bit envious it has been used. It’ll make the reader feel the possibility of something similar having happened when the story takes place — more than a decade ago – might’ve happened.

 

But a great plot is no good without believable characters to carry the story, which was not a problem with this novel. I cared for the characters, hated a couple, and shook my head at a few.

 

The story moved forward at a moderate pace without lagging by stopping to tell backstory. What backstory is told is told in conversation which makes learning about the character more realistic. If I had a dislike it was the author’s choice to change character points of view within a chapter or section numerous times; a personal grip of mine

 

Overall, I recommend this story.

 

 

 

The Eden Plague, by David VanDyke

ImageTo be honest, I had heard of this novel some time ago and put off reading it. I regret that now. I’m not a huge Sci-fi reader, which is what this book is categorized, and the guy with an assault rifle wearing a gas mask on the cover made me think it would be a novel about an evil plague that people have to wander around shooting the infected with little emotional connection to the characters. Boy was I wrong.

 

There is a plague, but not like I imagined. There is shooting, again not as I imagined.

 

The fact that Mr. VanDyke has served in combat zones around the world shows in the details of the characters actions, and emotions. The story is written in such a way I never doubted the actions a character would take in clearing a house with hostiles inside were what the same ones our soldiers in Afghanistan are using. The thoughts going through a characters head, which the author does an excellent job of putting us in the characters head, would be those going through our shoulders minds. Yet the story does bog down while procedures are explained.

 

The plague is not the ones in other novels. High five to Mr. VanDyke for coming up with the concept for this pestilence. I have no doubt if such a virus were developed, the chaos that ensues in the novel would be as likely.

 

If there was a negative to the novel, it ends with the outcome of the characters I came to know and love unsure. It does ends in a satisfying way, but here again the author made me want to read the following four novels in the series.

 

 

 

 

 

The Brutus Conspirace, Novel Review

ImageReaders who love mysteries involving powerful groups that influence the courts and governments will love this story. Add some solid writing surrounding legal antics and aviation with authentic details and you have a pager turner of a novel.

 

Mr. Lane followed the ole adage to write what you know. Being a lawyer and a pilot allowed him to write an engaging story I read in a couple of days. The stories pace is rapid.

 

The only reason I didn’t give the novel a five star rating is for a couple of reasons. Although the characters are believable, I wasn’t as emotionally attached to them as I would’ve liked. That is an aspect of writing that is difficult to do well, but I don’t doubt Mr. Lane will learn this craft in his future stories. There was also some repetition in the stories details I feel were unnecessary.

 

Overall I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading more of Mr. Lane’s books.

 

 

Dead Burn by Jennifer Chase

Jennifer ChaImagese has a way of writing thrillers that suck you in until the books conclusion. The story moves along at a rapid pace, but not at such speed that you don’t get to know the characters. And it’s the characters she creates that keep me reading her books. They are flawed people who make mistakes and have dreams and aspirations just like the rest of the humanity.

 Through Ms. Chase’s study of the criminal mind, she creates villains I feel an ounce of sympathy for yet cheer when their reign of terror ends. The interactions between her main characters is realistic and the reason to read her books.

 The plot in Dead Burn was interesting as Emily Stone, the protagonist, is put in a situation she has spent her life trying to thwart. How this subplot was concluded leaves it wide open to appear in future novels.

 I look forward to reading more of Jennifer Chase’s novels.