My January 2017 Book Reviews

Here are my book reviews for January 2017.



My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon Page

It was interesting, I will give it that! Except for the ending the story was predictable at times. There is too much flirting and the archeological discussions are long winded, especially in the first half of the book. A lot of unnecessary dialogue, that makes one slog through the story.

Diver Ulysses Vidal finds a fourteenth-century bronze bell of Templar origin buried under a reef off the Honduras coast. It turns out it’s been lying there for more than one century, prior to Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America. Driven by curiosity and a sense of adventure, he begins the search for the legendary treasure of the Order of The Temple. Together with a medieval history professor and a daring Mexican archeologist they travel through Spain, the Mali desert, the Caribbean Sea and the Mexican jungle. They face innumerable riddles and dangers, but in the end this search will uncover a much more important mystery. A secret, kept hidden for centuries, which could transform the history of humankind, and the way we understand the universe.

Crash and Burn (Sigma Force, #11.5)Crash and Burn by James Rollins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

A thrilling fast paced quick read!

On a transatlantic flight, the two black sheep of Sigma Force–Seichan and Kowalski–must set aside their mutual dislike as a mysterious fiery force knocks their aircraft out of the sky. This unlikely duo must use every skill, weapon, and bit of ingenuity to survive a night on a remote volcanic island, where their only refuge is the haunted, bat-plagued grounds of a seemingly deserted resort. But something horrific awaits the two, something born of the latest science but rooted in our basest human instincts. To survive they will need to learn to work together–but even then, it may be too late.

Cross Kill (Alex Cross #23.5)Cross Kill by James Patterson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Great lightning fast story. Reminded me a little of the TV show The Following. The third BookShots book I have read. By far the best.

Along Came a Spider killer Gary Soneji has been dead for over ten years. Alex Cross watched him die. But today, Cross saw him gun down his partner. Is Soneji alive? A ghost? Or something even more sinister?

Nothing will prepare you for the wicked truth.

The Winter OverThe Winter Over by Matthew Iden

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Started out well. Lost interest in the characters about half way through. Like trying to keep it together at the South Pole, it was a struggle to finish this book.

Each winter the crew at the Shackleton South Pole Research Facility faces nine months of isolation, round-the-clock darkness, and one of the most extreme climates on the planet. For thirty-something mechanical engineer Cass Jennings, Antarctica offers an opportunity to finally escape the guilt of her troubled past and to rebuild her life.

But the death of a colleague triggers a series of mysterious incidents that push Cass and the rest of the forty-four-person crew to the limits of their sanity and endurance. Confined and cut off from the outside world, will they work together or turn against one another? As the tension escalates, Cass must find the strength to survive not only a punishing landscape but also an unrelenting menace determined to destroy the station—and everyone in it.

The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2)The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author’s Website

Great Story as always by Riordan.

Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon – the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki – and the price he wants is very high.

The Debt - A Suspense ThrillerThe Debt – A Suspense Thriller by Dustin Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Fast paced and suspenseful!

In 2000, Special Forces soldier Laredo Wynn was dragged from the clutches of death, surviving both with the scars it wrought and the promise that someday he would make good on what happened.

Now sixteen years later, a call arrives in the middle of the night to call in that debt. The man on the other end has now ascended to a lofty position, with his sights set on the second highest seat in the land, and has a few things he needs wiped quickly and quietly from his resume.

Fighting every inner desire to turn and walk away, Laredo remembers that day from so long ago and the red it still signifies in his ledger, reluctantly agreeing to help with the assurance that once the task is done, the marker that has hung over his head for so long will finally be wiped away for good.

Packing a few items and leaving behind his quiet life on a ranch in West Texas, he drives to Chicago and attempts to do as asked, only for things to begin spiraling beyond his control the moment he arrives. Within days the lines between friend and enemy become blurred, forcing Laredo to do things he thought he’d left behind, and forcing him to ask just how far he is willing to go in the name of squaring what he owes…

Just Try To Stop Me (Waterman and Stark #3)Just Try To Stop Me by Gregg Olsen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

The quality was lacking in this one from the previous four Waterman and Stark Novels. Was essentially one big setup for the finale of the series. Lots of backstory on the antagonist. Also, seemed like Olsen had decided sometime through writing this book that he was going to wrap up the series without giving it a lot of thought. Mushing a bunch of ideas together for a novel. Epilogue was written to wrap up everyone’s story line, in 3-4 sentences. Felt that was an injustice to the characters and the readers. I have only seen an epilogue like this by one other author, and they were tired of the series they were writing and just wanted to be done with it.

I guess I could have just said it with one word, Disappointment!

Seduction. Mind control. Murder. These are the weapons that have made Brenda Nevins one of the most wanted—and feared—criminals in the world. Now the notorious serial killer has escaped from prison and is plotting her revenge. Using innocent young women as bait, she will lure her unsuspecting victims into her trap. This time, sheriff’s detective Kendall Stark and forensic pathologist Birdy Waterman won’t be able to stop her. The killing will be filmed. The feed will be live. And the blood will be streaming . . .

Spirit of Steamboat (Walt Longmire, #9.1)Spirit of Steamboat by Craig Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Great little Walt Longmire story! A bit more fast paced than the rest of the series, but just as good.

“It’s a question of what you have to do, what you have to live with if you don’t.”

Sheriff Walt Longmire is reading A Christmas Carol in his office on December 24th when he’s interrupted by the ghost of Christmas past: a young woman with a hairline scar across her forehead and more than a few questions about Walt’s predecessor, Lucian Connally. Walt doesn’t recognize the mystery woman, but she seems to know him and claims to have something she must return to Connally. With his daughter, Cady, and his undersheriff Vic Moretti in Philadelphia for the holidays, Walt is at loose ends, and despite the woman’s reticence to reveal her identity, he agrees to help her.

At the Durant Home for Assisted Living Lucian Connally is several tumblers into his Pappy Van Winkle’s and swears he’s never clapped eyes on the woman before. Disappointed, she whispers “Steamboat” and begins a story that takes them all back to Christmas Eve 1988, when three people died in a terrible crash and a young girl had the slimmest chance of survival . . . back to a record– breaking blizzard, to Walt’s first year as sheriff, with a young daughter at home and a wife praying for his safety . . . back to a whiskey-soaked World War II vet ready to fly a decommissioned plane and risk it all to save a life.

Operation Hail StormOperation Hail Storm by Brett Arquette

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Very interesting and intriguing story. I do not believe we are that far away from having drones being used more. A bit scary how they were used in Hail Storm. Brett Arquette offered me a free copy to give his new book a try. I declined as I could get it on Kindle Unlimited. None the less I was happy to read Hail Storm.

My heart gives the book 4 stars. Really enjoyed characters and storyline. My brain gives it 3 stars. Could have used another editing pass. Very long chapters with the technical and operational descriptions can bog down a reader. Also, I think shorter chapters would have made it more thrilling.

Overall an enjoyable read.

Marshall Hail was a husband, a father, a Physics Nobel prize winner and industrial billionaire. But when Hail’s family was killed in a terrorist attack, he became a predator and redirected his vast industrial assets toward one goal,€• removing every person on the FBI’s Top 10 Terrorist list. With the help of his MIT colleagues, Hail designed and built a devastating arsenal of attack drones of all shapes and sizes that are flown by the nation’s best young gamers. The world will come to realize that Marshall Hail possesses the capability of getting to anyone, anywhere, at any time, unleashing an operation so disturbing that the CIA has named it Operation Hail Storm.

The Pythagorean SolutionThe Pythagorean Solution by Joseph Badal

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Amazon Page, Author Website

Started off well, then trip and fell toward the end. Can just about see everything coming.

The Pythagorean Solution was author Joseph Badal’s first thriller, released originally in 2003. This edition was rewritten, updated, and released on April 28, 2015.

When recently-divorced American John Hammond arrives on the Aegean island of Samos, he is unaware of events that happened nearly seven decades earlier that will embroil him in death and violence, and change his life forever.

Late one night he finds Greek fisherman Petros Vangelos mortally wounded in an alley. Vangelos gives Hammond a coded map before he expires. With that map, Hammond becomes the link to a Turkish tramp steamer named Sabiya that sank in a storm in 1945 with a fortune in gold and jewels aboard. Also on the Sabiya, in a waterproof safe, are documents that implicate a long-dead German SS Officer in the theft of tens of millions of dollars in valuables from Holocaust victims and the laundering of those valuables by the Nazi’s Swiss banker partner. That partnership helped build a huge banking enterprise that is now run by that Swiss banker’s son who will stop at nothing to prevent disclosure of his father’s crimes.

Hammond’s visit to Samos quickly turns into a roller coaster ride on which he encounters violence, new friendships, and a woman he loves, all of which irrevocably alter the course of his life.


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