Friday, July 29, 2016

Evelyn Dear Fender by @RodneyJonesBook



Genre: Fantasy/Adventure/Humor/Young Adult

Description:
Evelyn Hatfield sets out to be the first to reach the mythological land of Methania. But before her epic journey can begin, she must first suffer high school jealousies, the apathy of conformity, and a pair of clueless parents--all while learning to sail.

Through chance, and a few innocent manipulations and half-truths, Evelyn finally sets sail for the distant horizon where she and her stowaway monkey, Bobo, do battle with their most fearsome enemy, the weather... and lose. Shipwrecked on a tiny island, 4,000 miles from home, she meets Fender Spigot, an equally shipwrecked explorer from Methania who, having never heard a language other than his own, gibber-jabbers his way into her heart.

Regardless of their communication issues, they manage to help each other escape the island and head home--Evelyn, sailing east, and Fender, west. They soon discover, however, that absence makes the heart grow fonder. But how can they, again, find each other with a monstrous ocean and a thousand misunderstandings between them?

Author:
From Rodney Jones’ Author page on Amazon: While a past resident of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, New York, and Vermont, Rodney now resides in Indiana, where he whiles away his days writing, walking, talking, yakking, packing, and wilderness camping with whoever will accompany him.

His list of past occupations reads like his list of past residences, though his life-long ambition was to be an artist, until he discovered a latent affinity for writing… Rodney’s interests include: art, science, whiskey and chocolate, music, gardening, and travel.

Appraisal:
Evelyn Dear Fender is a unique story set in a fantasy world that is similar to our own. The characters are well developed, realistic, and myopic. Except for Evelyn and Fender, who both had the heart of adventurers. They both believed there was more to the world than their own small section of it. There were myths and stories around, which others disregarded as mere folktales of other lands. Evelyn and Fender both set out from opposite sides of the world to prove these other lands actually existed.

The first third of the story we meet Evelyn; we learn about her growing up, get a sense of her adventurous spirit, and her desire to explore. She knows exactly how to manipulate her parents to get what she wants. Evelyn is smart, head strong, courageous, and a little naïve. You can’t help but love her spirit.

When Evelyn’s dream of owning a sailboat becomes a reality, she makes plans to set sail to discover the mythical land of Methania. She smartly packs provisions for her long trip on her boat, which she named Fido because dogs are loyal, never get lost, and always come home. Things all go more or less as planned until there is a huge storm where Fido and Evelyn become shipwrecked on a small uninhabited island. It just so happens on the other side of the world Fender set sail in his sailboat, Pencil, to find the mythical land known to him as Barnyard and gets hit by the same storm to become shipwrecked on the same island.

This is a wonderfully adventurous but challenging tale, which is told from both Evelyn’s and Fender’s points of view. This helped, as there is an interesting language barrier between the two. They mainly communicated through pictographs because each language sounded like gibberish to the other. Mostly because both languages used the same words, but the words had different meanings. I kept trying to find rhyme or reason to the words but never managed it. I found it easier to take it all in at face value and move on. There are a few twists in the story that make it heartwarming, then more twists that could have all been disastrous if it wasn’t for a few compassionate people.

My only complaint, besides the challenging language thing, was that I felt like Mr. Jones missed the boat concerning Evelyn’s illness towards the end of the story. I was sure he was headed in a certain direction, which included more than the logistical difficulties of the journey. So, I was a bit let down and the story lost a star. I can’t say more without adding spoilers. The story comes to a satisfying, heart-warming ending that could have been even more joyous if it had taken a fantastical leap.

Buy now from:   Kindle US    Kindle UK     Paperback

Format/Typo Issues:
I found a small number of proofing errors.

Rating: *** Three Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Reprise Review: Maisy May 2 by Naomi Kramer


Genre: Young Adult

Description:
Maisy is pregnant, and moving to Sydney. How will the country kid cope with the big city - and how will the big city cope with Maisy?”

Author:
Naomi is an Australian author living on Macleay Island, in south-east Queensland. She works in IT, and loves to play with the English language in her spare time. She's usually found sporting brightly-coloured hair and wielding a mug of coffee as though it's her last bastion against a comatose state.”

Kramer also has two other series (all novellas), the Dead(ish) series and her Bad F*ck series of short story collections about less than perfect experiences with … um, I’ll let you figure that out yourself.
Be sure to check out Ms. Kramer’s updated book lists on her Amazon author page.

Appraisal:
I’ve read and liked all of Naomi Kramer’s books, but Maisy May, her first book and the first in this series, stood above all the others as my favorite. In fact, it ranks among my favorite reads of the last several years. After waiting more than three years for the second volume of the planned trilogy, it has finally arrived.

Much of what I liked about this book are the same things I loved in the first book. Maisy combines irreverence and (at least outwardly) a devil-may-care attitude with smarts and maturity beyond her years. In this chapter of her life Maisy and her Mom move into the bottom floor apartment of a house owned by a recently divorced Pastor who is the father of Mark, Maisy’s gay friend and the father of her baby. Describing this sounds like a soap opera or a bad reality show, but it doesn’t read anything like either as Maisy struggles with pregnancy, motherhood, school and, most important, how to make the relationship between her, Mark, and their new baby, Emily, work.

This was an excellent continuation of Maisy’s story. Please don’t make me wait another three years for the conclusion.

Buy now from:    Kindle US    Kindle UK

FYI:
The author is from Australia and uses slang and spelling conventions from her native country.

This is the second book in the series and I highly recommend reading Maisy May, the first in the series, because it is so good. However, the brief introduction sets the stage well for a reader who wants to read this as a standalone. (It also refreshes memories for those of us who read the first book a long time ago.)

Added for Reprise Review: Maisy May 2 was a nominee in the Young Adult category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran August 16, 2013

Format/Typo Issues:
No significant issues

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 25-30,000 words


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wanted (Love in London series) by Demelza Watts



Genre: Erotic Romance/ New Adult

Description:
Running from heartbreak, Elizabeth Morgan has left her small town for the big city lights of London. Although she is open to love, she wants to be sure the man she finally sleeps with is the One. She envisions a perfect union-just like her parents.

Then she goes to work for Theo Steele and her life is turned upon its head. Theo is an arrogant American, bursting to take the London market by storm. He plays by the rules… his rules. Until he finds himself toe to toe with a beautiful blonde. All he knows is that he wants her… now.”

Author:
From Demelza Watts Author’s page on Amazon: “I live just outside London, UK. For as long as I can remember, I've always been a bookworm - sometimes hiding from my siblings in my younger days, just so that I could devour another chapter in peace!

I love reading romance books - there's nothing like your characters ultimately getting their happily-ever-after, once they have weathered through their trials and tribulations. Life can be tough and it's great to escape into a land of make-believe, every now and then.”

Learn more on Ms. Watts website or follow her on Facebook.

Appraisal:
Wanted, a novella, was told through Elizabeth Morgan’s eyes. At twenty-one, after a failed relationship, she had decided to move out of her parents’ home and in with her girlfriends in London to start fresh. Beth had lined up a temp job with Steele Global Investments in the marketing department. Her first day at her new place of employment she literally bumped into the most handsome man she had ever set eyes on in her life. Embarrassed, she apologized, picked up everything she dropped and hurried to the reception desk. As she was getting settled into her job in the marketing department she learned that the CEO for Steele Global was in need of a secretary while he was temporarily in London from the United States. Of course this happens to be the gorgeous man she ran into that morning.

Upon meeting Theo Steele, Beth was overwhelmed with his business persona, at first. She noted his arrogant, ruthless, and pompous attitude. He was a man who got to his position expecting people to do the best job they could manage. He also knew what he wanted, or at least he thought he did. Having been burned in the past, he had no intention allowing that to happen ever again. He would not allow himself to become involved in any long-term relationship. Theo Steele was a rich American living in the fast lane. I was conflicted with his character. Even though he said the words ‘You. Are. Mine. Beth.’ during the throes of passion, then said, ‘Let me take care of you,’ he was still unwilling to commit? WTF? Beth’s heart filled with dread that perhaps she was another notch on his bedpost when he walked away.

Beth was the perfect heroine. She had a fierce streak of independence, although not being a confrontational type of person, she reached a point where she did call Theo out about his proclivity. Having to work for Theo, Beth was well aware he was a player, though that did nothing to sooth the butterflies she felt every time he was near. In spite of the fact that Beth had survived a bad break-up, she had not closed herself off to love. In fact she had set her standards high. She wanted a love like her parents enjoyed. In other words Beth still believed in fairy tales. I found this story an enjoyable, quick read with a lot of sizzle. Oh, la, la.

Buy now from:    Kindle US     Kindle UK

FYI:
Adult sexual situations and a small number of F-bombs. Ms. Watts, being from England, uses British spelling, phrases, and slang.

Format/Typo Issues:
I noticed a small number of proofing issues, nothing that threw me out of the story.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Reprise Review: Life After Dane by @EdwardLorn



Genre: Horror/ Speculative Fiction

Description:
After serial killer Dane Peters, The Rest Stop Killer, is executed, his mother is haunted by … something. Could it be the ghost of Dane? As Dane’s mother, Ella, tries to find a way to “lay her son’s troubled soul to rest,” she also has to come to terms with what she did to contribute to his demise.

Author:
A nominee in the inaugural Books and Pals Readers’ Choice awards, this is horror author Edward Lorn’s fifth novel.

For more, visit Edward's blog.

Appraisal:
Of Edward Lorn’s previous novels I’ve read, two were much more to my taste than the third. When I pondered the reason, I realized that while Lorn describes himself as a horror author, there was much more going on in my two favorites. One was a mystery with horrific elements, the other, while primarily horror, had a strong coming-of-age theme as well. I guess this means that horror is okay with me, as long as it doesn’t feel like horror purely for shock value.

I can’t think of a fitting label to attach to Life After Dane other than horror, yet for me, like those other books that had something more going on, this story has a subtext that justifies the horror. I think it is a sense of karmic justice being served, at least it felt that way to me. Your thoughts might be different. And deciding how you feel about that will go far afield as you consider issues as far ranging as parental responsibility, victimization, and your definition of justice.

Another thing that stood out for me was the obviously conscious effort to keep the language acceptable to all except the most sensitive. The worst word I saw was damn. How Lorn did this while remaining true to the story with characters who would make a sailor blush, was an interesting touch. It wouldn’t work everywhere, but it did in this book.

And the ending. Oh, my. Didn’t see that coming.

Buy now from:   Kindle US    Kindle UK     Paperback

FYI:
The strongest language I saw used was the word damn. The author skirted around stronger language, implying, but not actually using it.

Added for Reprise Review: Life After Dane was a nominee in the Speculative Fiction (excluding fantasy) category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran July 18, 2013.

Format/Typo Issues:
Review is based on an advance reader copy.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words


Monday, July 25, 2016

National Parks by @RolfMargenau


Genre: Satire/Dystopian

Description:
In the near future, the San Andreas Fault ruptures, sending Los Angeles beneath the Pacific Ocean, famine grips the Midwest and massive gates keep the Potomac River from flooding the Capitol. Congress, through gridlock, inactivity, and disastrous economic policies, has brought the nation to the brink of bankruptcy. As a way to generate money needed to avoid default, Congress plans to sell the national parks to the highest bidders. Three strong women intend to stop them.”

Author:
Rolf Margenau has had a varied career. He was a soldier in the Korean War, a correspondent for the Pacific Stars and Stripes, a professional photographer, an attorney specializing in international corporate law, a volunteer executive running a not-for-profit housing the homeless, a business manager, and, lately, an author and Master Gardener.”

For more information visit Mr. Margenau at his website or his Fackbook page.

Appraisal:
National Parks takes place in the US in the near future. The world has changed, in some ways for the better. The people of the future have some great technology, for example. However, failure of the country's leaders to think beyond the short term has led to some long-term problems. The result is a slightly dystopian world. (Let's call it dystopian-lite.) As with most dystopian novels, there is a political point being made. But National Parks isn't a typical dystopian novel in that it takes a satirical approach to telling the story with the humor helping to offset the more serious side. A fun read.

Buy now from:    Kindle US     Kindle UK    Paperback

FYI:
A small amount of adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:
No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl


Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Private Sector by @LeighMLane


Genre: Dystopian

Description:
The world of corporate greed runs rampant after the government's dissolution has left police, fire, and all other services in the hands of privatized businesses and wealthy investors.

John and Dianne Irwin are doing everything they can to shield their son, Junior, from the world's ever-expanding corruption. Dianne's junkie sister and her clueless entitled parents don't help. Even more, Dianne's livelihood as a painter has been deemed obsolete, and the tighter money gets, the closer they find themselves a mere tragedy or illness away from ruin.

With the class divide ever widening, debtor prisons for the lower and middle classes overflowing, disease ravaging the country, and resources running dry, the Irwins must survive the battleground generated by those who would crush the lower classes for their own gain and those who've waged a war against them, against a corrupt system ruled by The Private Sector.”

Author:
In addition to writing dark speculative fiction for over twenty-five years, Lisa (Leigh M.) Lane has sung lead and backup vocals for bands ranging from classic rock to the blues, performed the National Anthem for the opening of a Dodgers game, dabbled in fine arts, worked in retail management, earned her black belt in karate, and accrued a moderate level of expertise in animal care and behavior. She holds a BA in English and graduated from UNLV Magna Cum Laude. She currently resides in the dusty outskirts of Sin City with her husband, an editor and educator, and one very spoiled cat.”

For more, visit Ms. Lane's website.

Appraisal:
The main element of a dystopian novel is to take a political direction the world or a particular country is moving and imagine the negative repercussions of going too far in that direction. In the US those who are political conservatives sometimes believe that a for profit business is preferable to accomplish certain tasks that are traditionally done by a government agency. For some things, trash collection for example, this can work out okay. But at some point it goes too far.

The world chronicled in The Private Sector is way past that point. The government has been dissolved and all services are provided by private companies. Competing police and fire organizations serve (to stretch the meaning of that word) the same areas with the residents hiring and paying the agency they choose. The result isn't pretty. I found myself thinking the premise wasn't credible because no one would think going to this extreme was a good idea. Then I considered some of the political rhetoric I've heard in the past and decided it wasn't that far-fetched, after all. 

Buy now from:   Kindle US    Kindle UK     Paperback

FYI:
Some adult language and adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:
No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl


Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Reprise Review: Hush by @SLBaum #Kindle


Genre: YA/Dystopian

Description:
Hush is the continuation of the serial which began with Lush. In this installment Bluebell has a kind of coming out as the “Lush Ambassador.” She then does a tour of each of the four regions of Concord, the fictional dystopian world where the story takes place. As Bluebell visits each Concord region she learns more about the world she’s living in as well as more about things she’s not meant to find out, including her past.

Author:
A former high school math teacher, S.L. Baum now works as a substitute elementary school teacher, chauffeur for her kids, and novelist. She lives with her family in the Southwestern United States. Her The Immortal Ones series has four books, thus far. Her book Lush began a dystopian serial for young adults with Hush as the continuation.

Appraisal:
In my review of Lush, the first installment in this dystopian serial, I discussed how its world was unlike a typical dystopia. The primary difference is that the standard of living is high, lacking the squalor and poverty of a normal dystopia. But like most dystopias, life is far from ideal. In Concord, life appears good, with a healthcare system that provides a long, good life. However, with the government also making many life decisions for the people, maybe it isn’t so good after all.

As the story continues we, through Bluebell, begin to see the chinks in the armor. Maybe some of the positives about Concord are only illusion. As more information comes out about Bluebell’s mother, Bluebell is given clues to some of Concord’s faults. When I finished Lush, I was interested in seeing where this serial was headed, both because I found the world interesting and wanted to see what happened to the characters. But I didn’t feel fully invested. This installment changed that.

Buy now from:    Kindle US     Kindle UK

FYI: Hush is book 2 in the A Lush novel series.

Added for Reprise Review: Hush was a nominee in the Young Adult category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran November 14, 2013

Format/Typo Issues:
Review is based on a beta copy which means I’m unable to grade the final product in this area.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Finding Travis by @MJBowersock #Kindle


Genre: Western/Historical Fiction/Time Travel

Description:
Travis Merrill’s life isn’t going according to plan. He’s quit several career paths, his wife has left him, and his only solace is volunteering to portray a cavalry surgeon at historic Fort Verde in Arizona, a place where time seems to stand still. When a weird trick of time actually sends him back to the year 1877, he’s boxed into impersonating the post surgeon for real. Unfortunately, he finds his medical knowledge is no match for the primitive practices of the day, and he’s forced to make life or death decisions, not always successfully. He wonders if he will ever be able to return to his own time, or if he might find a life—and a love—140 years in the past.”

Author:
Melissa Bowersock is an eclectic author who writes in a variety of genres: action/adventure, paranormal, biography, fantasy, romance, spiritual and satire. She has been both traditionally and independently published, and is a regular contributor to the superblog IndiesUnlimited. For more information, visit her website.”

Appraisal:
Finding Travis is hard to nail down genre-wise. The setting, in both time and place, fits for a Western. But the story isn't what you'd expect (or at least what I would expect) from that genre. It isn't a romance, although there is a romance story line that is a major part of the tale. Is isn't science fiction, but time travel is the premise that sets up the story. The best way to view the book is probably as historical fiction with a twist or two.

One of the things that I like about historical fiction is considering the way the world has changed in the interim. Comparing how the characters react to the situations they encounter to current day norms. Determining what those norms are and trying to conform to them in order to fit in is one of the things our protagonist Travis does. Or at least tries to do. It's tough enough for Travis to have to fake being a surgeon, but working around the differences due to time travel make it that much more difficult. This was an enjoyable kickoff to this new series. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Buy now from:    Kindle US     Kindle UK     Paperback

Format/Typo Issues:
No issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl


Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Reprise Review: Reclaim My Heart by Donna Fasano @DonnaFaz #Montlake



Genre: Romance/ Native American/ Contemporary

Description:
Sixteen years ago, Tyne Whitlock cut all ties to her past and left town under the shameful shadow of a teenage pregnancy. Now her fifteen-year-old son is in trouble with the law and she is desperate for help. But reaching out to high-powered attorney Lucas Silver Hawk will tear open the heart-wrenching past in ways Tyne never imagined.”

Forced to return to the Delaware Indian community where Lucas was raised, Tyne and Lucas are tempted by the heated passion that consumed them as teens. Tyne rediscovers all the reasons she found this man irresistible, but there are scandalous secrets waiting to be revealed, disgraceful choices made in the past that cannot be denied. Love is a powerful force that could heal them both—if the truth doesn't rip them apart.”

Author:
Donna Fasano was the winner in Books and Pals first ever Readers’ Choice awards in the romance category. She is also a three time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, and a Golden Heart finalist. Her books have sold just shy of 4 million copies worldwide and been published in nearly two dozen languages. Ms. Fasano also enjoys posting delicious recipes on her website where you can also find out about her other books. You may also like to follow her on FaceBook.

Appraisal:
Beyond the entertainment provided by a good book there is often more to be gained for a savvy reader. Fictional characters can be like windows into the minds and hearts of others and sometimes can provide a catalyst to a better understanding of ourselves. Any book in the romance genre almost always has this. While we’re being entertained by the foibles and human frailties of the hero and heroine we’re also gaining insight into how other people think and react in different situations. The best authors are keen observers of human nature and able to translate what they’ve found into their stories. I’ve read many of Donna Fasano’s books and from her very first, Mountain Laurel, originally published a few decades ago, have been impressed by her ability to create characters that rang true to life. Reclaim My Heart continues this streak, but it also has something extra.

In addition to the type of themes you’d expect in a romance novel mostly revolving around romantic relationships, marriage, and commitment, are several others. While issues of the role and importance of the immediate family, a couple and any children involved, this book also explores extended family and how these relationships influence lives in both good and bad ways. Ideas around this subject are looked at from multiple perspectives, Tyne’s relationship with her parents, the relationship Lucas and Zach (Tyne’s son) have with Lucas’ Uncle Jasper, and the relationship between an Amish woman who figures into Lucas’ life and her father. Other themes such as culture, religion or spirituality, and the concept of home and roots (both familial and geographical) play a part in the story. The result is Fasano’s best book yet. One that should satisfy the romance reader looking for entertainment, but a story with more complexity under the surface than a typical romance.

Buy now from:   Kindle US    Kindle UK    Paperback

FYI:
This book contains adult language and situations that may be offensive to some.
Added for Reprise: Reclaim My Heart was the winner in the Romance category for 2014 Readers' Choice Awards at BigAl’s Books and Pals. Original review ran May 20, 2013.

Format/Typo Issues:
My review is based on a pre-release copy and I’m unable to judge this area.

Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words

Rating: ***** Five stars

Reviewed by: BigAl


Monday, July 18, 2016

Havoc Rising by Brian S. Leon @BSLAuthor


Genre: Urban Fantasy/Mythology/Contemporary

Description:
Steve—Diomedes Tydides to his Trojan War buddies—just had a bad day on his charter fishing boat in San Diego, but when the goddess Athena calls on her faithful warrior for another secret mission, he’s ready. The bomb that exploded inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art isn’t the crime American authorities’ think it is. Someone also stole the Cup of Jamshid, and Diomedes knows its fortune-telling abilities won’t be used for anything benign. 

Though Diomedes recovers the Cup from a determined shaman holed up beneath Central Park, when he finds his allies slain and the Cup taken once more, he knows he’s up against a truly powerful enemy. Over a millennium has passed since Diomedes last contended with Medea of Colchis, deranged wife of Jason the Argonaut, but neither her madness nor her devotion to Hecate, goddess of witchcraft, has waned, and she intends to use the Cup of Jamshid to release across the world a dark brand of chaos unseen in human history.

Immortal since the Trojan War, Diomedes must once again fight for mortals he understands less and less, against a divine evil he may never truly defeat.”

Author:
Brian S. Leon is truly a jack of all trades and a master of none. He writes just to do something with all the useless degrees and skills he’s accumulated over the years. Most of them have no practical application in civilized society, anyway. His interests include mythology and fishing, in pursuit of which he has explored jungles and museums, oceans and seas all over the world.
His credentials include an undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and a master’s degree from San Diego State University, plus extensive postgraduate work in evolutionary biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied animals most people aren’t even aware exist and theories no one really cares about anyway… Brian currently resides in San Diego, California.”

Learn more at Brian's website, or find him on Facebook

Appraisal:
Havoc Rising isn’t the type of Urban Fantasy I generally enjoy reading. The Mythology, Gods, and Goddesses sucked me in. Diomedes Tydides is a Guardian, who was recruited thousands of years ago by the Goddess Athena to protect humankind. The story starts with a suicide bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we are introduced to the bomber and his mind ramblings, which explains his motive to the reader.

As authorities are scrambling at the scene, Athena, as head of the Metis Foundation, employs Diomedes, who goes by Steve Dore, to join the investigation and recover a stolen item. The foundation’s primary focus is finding peaceful solutions to human conflict. It is known as one of the most respected think tanks in the world. Athena is sure the bombing served as a distraction for a theft of an ancient bronze cup on exhibit in an upper level of the museum. The novel is told through Diomedes point-of-view, and he readily tells us he excels at clandestine operations, intelligence gathering, and combat. He also admits he does not play well with others. But he's forced to overcome this and build a small team to help him.

The plot is fast moving and has many surprising twists as the drama unfolds. The battles are vivid, tense, and grisly as magic is thrown around against seemingly impossible odds while battling unearthly monstrosities. Humor is interspersed throughout to lighten the severity of the story. Diomedes is the perfect tragic hero; he is engaging, courageous, and intelligent, with just the right amount of biting wit.

I found it easy to get totally swept away in this thoroughly engrossing tale. The relationship develops between Diomedes and Sarah is cautious and endearing. The story comes to a satisfying close with some promise of Sarah being included in future missions, which left a smile on my face, especially after she decked Diomedes. I would highly recommend Havoc Rising to any reader who enjoys mythology brought forward in a contemporary setting that includes epic battles between good and evil.

Buy now from:   Kindle US    Kindle UK    Paperback

FYI:
Havoc Rising contains graphic violence and gore. Colorful obscene adult language with plenty of F-bombs.

Format/Typo Issues:
I found no proofing or formatting issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 120-125,000 words