Friday, March 31, 2017

Book Review: HAWKE, by Ted Bell

Ted Bell
HAWKE (Alex Hawke #1)
Atria, 2003
438 pages
Suspense / Thriller / Military / Espionage

I love when I discover new-to-me writers. Stumbled across HAWKE accidentally. Read the synopsis. Bought the book. It introduces a new series character, billionaire, ex-Royal Navy man Alexander Hawke. The book gets the action going on page one, and literally keeps a ferocious pace until the last page.

Hawke, because of his past, because of his reach, because of his contacts, because of his unlimited resources is contacted by the authorities for help on a serious matter. One of two Russian submarines have gone missing. These are not ordinary subs. The V shaped machines are equipped with forty armed nukes, twenty per wing. The vessel also has a state-of-the-art cloaking device, making it virtually invisible in the ocean. Once delivery of the war machine is made, stopping any attack would be nearly impossible.

Cubans are the believed buyers. Fidel Castro's reign is in danger. The Telarana are planning a coup. The three de Herreras brothers pose a serious threat to an already unstable country. If they are successful with overthrowing Castro, and get their hands on the submarine, all hell will break lose in America.

Subliminally, Hawke does not realize his path with the de Herrerars crossed once before. The memories of their "meeting" are buried within the subconscious mind. Glimpses of pirates, and hidden treasures are all that remain at the forefront. The details --horrific as they are-- remain buried, and are maybe just too painful to excavate!

Putting together a team of his own, one of trusted friends, and new allies, Hawke embarks on a trek to stop the sale of the submarine and settle old debts. Plans, however, are only as good as the paper they are written on. Variables come from all different directions. With a biochemical bomb hidden on US soil, set to detonate, and the kidnapping of a close friend, Hawke and his band of partners are facing impossible odds. Beating the ticking clock, and an ensuring everyone's safety is just not possible!

Hawke is determined, and will not give up! But will that be enough?

A fantastic novel, with great characters, exotic locations, and a timeless plot! I loved every chapter, and am so thankful there are like eight more Hawke novels in the series.

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Review: LEGACIES, by F. Paul Wilson

F. Paul Wilson
LEGACIES (Repairman Jack #2)
Forge, 1998
381 pages
Suspense / Thriller

It was a long, long time ago when I first read F. Paul Wilson's THE TOMB. And while I have read more books by this author, I never revisited the Repairman Jack series. Recently, I bought them all. So, readers, be prepared for a string of Repairman Jack reviews.

LEGACIES was the second in the ever-popular series. It brought me right back into the melee as I remember it. Plenty going on. And Jack is as busy as ever!

What starts out as a simple job for Jack, blossoms (explodes?) into so much more. A heartless soul has broken into the Center for Children with AIDS and stolen all of the donated Christmas gifts meant for the sick kids. Hired to find out who was behind the theft, Jack is determined to track down the thief.

Alicia Clayton, for the most part, runs the Center. When she is introduced to Jack, she realizes he may be the best person to help her out of a tough situation. Her father has died. He left everything he had to her. The will is being contested by her half-brother, who was deprived of any inheritance.

Full of secrets, and a dark, dark, past, their father was on the brink of something big. Before his revelation was brought to light he'd perished in a plane crash. Now, two separate entities have an interest in digging up what the man had left behind. They will stop at nothing to discover what the late Mr. Clayton created. Even if it comes down to murder, or countless murders . . .

That is, until Jack enters the picture. At that point, all bets are off!

A truly exciting, fast, and nail-biting read. Wow, F. Paul Wilson can tell a tale. (While I may go back and re-read The Tomb), I felt very comfortable jumping back in some fifteen, twenty years later. It's like I never stopped. This was a great novel. And I am anxious to progress through the rest of the series!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Review: MERITROPOLIS, by Joel Ohman

Joel Ohman
CreateSpace, 214
226 pages
Dystopian / Thriller

A friend bought me a copy of this book. Thought I would enjoy it. I appreciate him introducing me to a new author worth following. I would be remiss if I then, in return, didn't try and do the same for all of you! Please, let me take a few minutes and tell you about Joel Ohman's MERITROPOLIS.

In the self-contained city of Meritropolis population is limited to exactly fifty-thousand. A body more and the balance could be upset. The balance, otherwise, is maintained by the System. People earn a number. The higher the number the better. Through inking, the number is displayed on one's forearm, unhideable. The lower the number the more in-danger one's continued existence within the city becomes.

Lower numbers are not killed. They are banished, forced to live outside the fortress walls. Those banished tend to be the sick, the young, and the elderly --those less likely contributing the better of the society, the better of the System. Raised to believe only vicious creatures live beyond the surrounding walls it is obvious anyone surviving more than a night or two is unlikely.

Building on the loss of his own little brother, Charley (a high number), is revolts before witnessing the banishment of a young crippled girl. He intervenes, regardless of the consequences he may face. Only thing is, his bravery is rewarded instead of punished.

The Commander of Meritropolis promotes Charley to a Hunter. During Charley's training more truths are revealed. There is more to the city than meets the eye, and more beyond their city than everyone has been lead to believe. Additionally, there are more people against the System than initially suspected. This means, Charley is not alone. It also means that the time is NOW to start a revolution.

Ohman has dragged me into his MERITROPOLIS world, and I am enjoying myself. There is a second book in this series, and a whispered-about third on the way. I will be ordering the second book today. I need to see what happens next. The world building Ohman did was taut, and compelling, believable, and probable. I enjoyed the artwork beginning each chapter giving us a visual starting point for the mass of new, introduced creatures found outside the MERITROPOLIS walls. Looking for the next YA dystopian adventure --the next Hunger Games, or Divergent-- worth reading? This book just might scratch your itch!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy