SnapShot

SnapShot

Review by Travis Starnes An estranged father and daughter look back at the events surrounding the murder of a civil rights leader in the 1960s, a murder the two of them experienced first hand when both were much younger.  Snapshot is somewhere between a standard mystery/thriller and a fictional look back at the troubled 60s. I am torn by this book.  It is both a run of the mill, middle of the road mystery and a fairly interesting story.  Every time I think about the book I can’t tell if I thought it was just ok or really liked it, because it hit me in two completely different ways. The first way is in how the book is presented.  As a mystery novel there isn’t much that got me going.  The mystery is not overly complicated, although the book piles on the intrigue to make it seem more intricate, and… Read more »

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Mutineers’ Moon

Mutineers’ Moon

Review by Travis Starnes Mutineer’s Moon is the first book in the Dahak series following the giant ship Dahak and it’s bonded human Colin McIntyre as they try to thwart a group descended from high tech mutineers bent on taking back the ship and its awesome power. This book has many things to like about it. Weber definitely steps outside of his comfort zone for sections of this title, and while not all of it works, I was glad to see him stretch his limits a bit. The first thing that catches my attention is the use of genetically altered humans fighting among normal people. In a way, it is incredibly reminiscent of Sterling’s ‘Draka’ series, especially the final book in that series. Weber manages to write these characters in a way that they seem superhuman but not out of the bounds of reality. The characters are all very well… Read more »

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Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man

Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man

Review by Travis Starnes Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man is the first book in a new series that follows along, and intertwines, with the re-launch of Doctor Who that started in 2005.  This book features the 9th doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston on the show, with Rose as his companion and takes place during the first season of the show.  In the book the Doctor and Rose have landed in 1920s England and must deal with a killer roaming the street, a missing TARDIS and a house full of secrets. I am a fan of the new run of Doctor Who, although not its earlier incarnations, and this is my first run at one of the Doctor Who books.  The first thing that really stands out to me is how close they held to the feeling of the show.  Both Rose and the Doctor read on the page just as… Read more »

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Bad Wolf

Bad Wolf

Review by Travis Starnes Bad Wolfis the 6th book in the Bodenstein & Kirchoff series although it is published as the second story in the US. It follows two inspectors as they investigate two seemingly unconnected crimes, a murdered 16 year old and a kidnapped TV reporter.  As they begin to connect the two events the inspectors head down a trail that will take them into the highest echelons of society. I had a little trouble getting into this book.  While it is a pretty straight forward detective style mystery I just had too many problems connecting with the characters.  The one thing that really stood out to me is the similarities this has to mystery books that were created in Sweden.  I know this is the authors 2nd US release and previously Nehaus was mostly a European writer but other than that I am not familiar with her origin,… Read more »

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The Polaris Protocol

The Polaris Protocol

Review by Travis Starnes The Polaris Protocol is the 4th book in the Pike Logan series, not counting the large number of short stories Taylor has put out, and has Pike and Jennifer headed south of the border to stop a plan to interfere with the GPS infrastructure while trying to rescue Jennifer’s brother from the hands of the Cartels.  If that sounds like a lot of stuff happening in one book, it is.  But it also works. This is the first book I have read in this series and Taylor does really good job onboarding new readers before setting off on high adventure.  The prolog to the book has Pike and Jennifer, and the rest of the taskforce team, finishing up a mission.  Much like the start to a James Bond film this works really well as a device to introduce the characters and give a sense of their… Read more »

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Certain Prey

Certain Prey

Review by Travis Starnes In Certain Prey Davenport teams with a pair of FBI agents to track down a ruthless killer for hire.  Unlike most of the earlier books in the series where Davenport is pitted against someone out for personal gain or a straight psychopath, this installment his foe is much more meticulous. This book has a different feel then the previous parts of the prey series.  In earlier books he was reacting to the criminal’s actions trying to stop them before whatever plan the bad guy came to fruition.  In Certain Prey Sandford has reversed the roles with the bad guy being pushed by Davenport and company, reacting to his moves.  The feel of the book is definitely different and really helps pump some new life into the series.  While I have enjoyed every installment so far I was starting to notice a pattern in the stories so… Read more »

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The Legend of Drizzt 25th Anniversary Edition, Book I

The Legend of Drizzt 25th Anniversary Edition, Book I

Review by Andy The first of the Drizzt Do’Urden trilogies is quite good. Parts of the plot are a bit slow but it is good overall. Drizzt’s and Zaknafein’s characters are very interesting in contrast to the rest of the drows, who find pleasure in killing, especially killing and not getting caught. Then when Drizzt moves to the surface and finds the prejudiced hatred of the surface people. The plot has exciting chases and battles, which fill up most of the book, as well as interesting parts about drow society, with Drizzt growing up in a world going against his principles. Getting into the book is confusing with the battle, since you have no idea what is going on or why, but soon enough it gets good. Also, the part when Drizzt first gets to the surface is not as good, as well as the part with the illithids. The… Read more »

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Ex-Purgatory

Ex-Purgatory

Ex-Purgatory starts you in the middle of a story already in progress with characters you should already know but who don’t seem to know themselves.  If you have read the previous volumes in this series then this book has an interesting opening that should keep you riveted.  If, like me, this is your entrance into the series then you will spend the first 30% of the book trying to figure out what the heck is going on. To be fair this clearly was not intended to be a place for new readers to pick up the series and the book makes no qualms about it.  There are really two ways you can go with a series, the stand alone approach where each book resents for new readers and each installment works unto itself or the episodic approach where each title builds on what came before it.  Clines clearly went for… Read more »

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When Soldiers Fall

When Soldiers Fall

Review by Travis Starnes Since Vietnam the public discourse of casualties has become a major issue in American politics but it has been something examined and considered for since the first casualty reporting during World War I.  When Soldiers Fall examines how the government has dealt with the issue of military casualties and the reporting of casualties to the public. Often when a book examines a very minute and specific area of public policy I expect something more academic then geared for entertainment.  That was my expectation when coming into When Soldiers Fall and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  While there was clearly a lot of in-depth research done for this book Casey does an excellent job of presenting his data and thoughts on the subject in a very conversational and accessible manner.  The book flows very well and is a fast and easy read if you… Read more »

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Secret Prey

Secret Prey

Review by Travis Starnes Secret Prey is the 9th book in the Lucas Davenport series and this time he is trying to find out why the CEO of a bank was murdered.   While the main plotline follows this search for truth we also have the fallout of Lucas’s troubled relationship with Weather and the personal drama that comes with it. Davenport books come in two flavors, adventure/thriller style and mystery.  The adventure/thriller style books we already know who the villain is and even most of their motive.  In those it is more about the chase between the crook and Davenport rather than a mystery.  Then there are the books that are mystery, or at least semi-mystery, where the reader has to figure out who the criminal is along with Davenport.  Secret Prey, as the name might imply, definitely falls in that second camp.  Not only do you not know who… Read more »

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