Monday, February 13, 2017

ARC Review: Gunmetal Gray by Mark Greaney (Gray Man 6)

Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 512 pages
Genre: Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover


Synopsis: 

After five years on the run Court Gentry is back on the inside at the CIA. But his first mission makes him wish he had stayed on the outs when a pair of Chinese agents try to take him down in Hong Kong. Normally the Chinese prefer to stay eyes-only on foreign agents. So why are they on such high alert?

Court’s high stakes hunt for answers takes him across Southeast Asia and leads to his old friend, Donald Fitzroy, who is being held hostage by the Chinese. Fitzroy was contracted to find Fan Jiang, a former member of an ultra-secret computer warfare unit responsible for testing China’s own security systems. And it seems Fan may have been too good at his job—because China wants him dead.

The first two kill teams Fitzroy sent to find Fan have disappeared and the Chinese have decided to “supervise” the next operation. What they don't know is that Gentry’s mission is to find Fan first and get whatever intel he has to the US.

After that, all he has to do is get out alive...

Review:

I haven't read the first 5 books of this series but I may go back because Greaney's Gray Man has intrigued me.  He is a CIA op who the CIA turned against became a free agent and is now back as a CIA consultant.

 Set mostly in Hong Kong, Cambodia and Thailand this book lets you take a ride with one of the best covert op men in the business.  The problem the CIA has with him become very apparent toward the end of the book when you realize that Court Gentry has a code of honor that does not always mesh well with the CIA.  He may be a covert op turned assassin turned consultant but he doesn't betray his own morals or values.  He fights for what he thinks is right. Think of him as a modern day James Bond.

This book had great pacing, great action, lots of twists, a touch of romance, and enough political power plays to make your head spin. Even without reading the previous books I didn't feel lost or overwhelmed by past plots that were necessary to this story. I think the author did a good job of filling in the blanks to make this a stand alone even though it is part of a series.






Friday, January 27, 2017

ARC Review: The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt

Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 400 pages
Genre: Mystery
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis: 

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighboring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered...

Review:


This is not a quick book, its slow to build and a bit disjointed.  You know something isn't right from the beginning, since Dahlia talks about not having the right paperwork for most jobs.  The book picks up a bit around half way but still feels like its all over the place and not sure what it wants to be, is it a mystery, a thriller, a fantasy book? And it could be all of those if it was woven together a bit more. The ending wasn't completely satisfying. It felt rushed and off but most of the book felt off as well so I guess its fitting.

The story itself was pretty good, a bit repetitive and not woven as well as it could have been but it was an interesting plot.  When Dahlia Waller finds a woman half buried in the woods you think it will be a main theme tying things together but it seemed to just be there not very necessary or important other than it spurs Dahlia into questioning her mother about the past and her mother being weirder than she already was. It just didn't seem necessary, more like a prop that once put out you're not really sure what to do with anymore.

I wouldn't say I hated this book but I also wouldn't put it in my loved it category.  It was ok but there are so many more entertaining things to read out there.

 



Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Audio Book Review: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Release Date: November 15, 2016
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audible
Narrator: Trevor Noah
Length: 8 hours 50 Minutes
Genre: Biography
Buy: Audible | Hardcover | Paperback


Synopsis:

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

Review: 


I was really excited about getting this book and I toyed around with either buying the book or listening to the audio.  Once I realized that Trevor Noah actually narrated the book I had to get the audio.  To hear him tell the stories of his childhood and apartheid with his South African accent and to listen to him speak Zulu, and Xhosa, Afrikaans and other South African dialects is worth the listen. I'm not sure they would have had the same impact if I had just read the words on the page.

This book is about growing up at a time when he could have been taken away from his mother due to his very biology.  The way they had to walk down the street, the times when his mother denied being his mother to protect him, even though he may not have understood and ultimately the strong bond between a mother and a son.  His stories are of South Africa and not fitting in anywhere, of Apartheid, and the brilliance of how the government divided a country that is still struggling against it, and of just being an awkward kid and trying to find his way through the world.   His stories had me laughing, crying, gasping and I found it difficult to stop listening.  I was totally enthralled by his story telling and I could have listened to him go on and on.




Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Review: A Time of Torment (A Charlie Parker Novel 14) by John Connelly

Release Date: August 2, 1016
Publisher: Atria
Format: Kindle
Pages: 480 pages
Genre: thriller, supernatural
Buy: Hardcover | Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis:

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings, and in doing so destroyed himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.
But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death, but was saved; of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.
Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.

Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.

All in the name of the being they serve. All in the name of the Dead King.


Review:

I love these books they keep getting creepier and more mystical.  I'm not sure where they are leading but Charlie is not a normal PI and ever since his last encounter with death he has changed. If anything he seems more deadly which is hard to believe.

In this book we learn a tiny bit more about his daughter as well. We knew there was something different about her but this one really shows that there is a whole lot more to this girl than anyone thought.  But not being normal might be a good thing when you are Charlie's daughter.

The Cut is an isolated community within a small county they don't like outsiders and are pretty much self sustaining, but if you cross any of them there is no where you can hide that they can't find you and once they do its unpleasant.  They have a leader but they really follow the Dead King of which most people know little about.

As usual this is a well written book with some interesting characters.  Charlies mission it seems is to avenge the dead or the wrongly accused.  His sidekicks Angel and Luis don't have there usual lively banter in this one but their presence is always fun to watch as they interact with other people.

I am utterly enamored by these books and they just keep getting better. They are almost difficult to review because they are just so fabulous. Connelly has really created a very interesting supernatural world that lives within our world.  They look just like us but hide something deeper.





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