Category Archives: Book Reviews

My Review of “The Sensitist” by John-Paul Cleary

Bottom Line Up Top

Amazon link: The Sensitist (Convergent Space Book 3)
Author: John-Paul Cleary (@ConvergentSpace)
My reviews of other works by the author:

Author’s website

Thumbnail sketch: Much like the earlier entries, the third book in this character-driven sci-fi series features some thought-provoking and imaginative ideas about conflict and ambition. Whether this is the end or there are more stories to be told from this sandbox, or the author writes something new — I’ll want to read it. 4 Stars


My Take On the sensitist

A tenuous peace exists in the galaxy as The Sensitist opens. The war between the Phelgar race and the Renaissance coalition that began in the previous book, The Shadow Ship, sputtered into stalemate after Tihn Forlihn, the Phelgar leader, employed a devastating, planet-destroying weapon. But Tihn then went missing and now both sides are desperately looking for him as only he knows how to use the weapon. Continue reading


My Review of “Uroboros Saga Book 7” by Arthur Walker

Bottom Line Up Top

Amazon link: Uroboros Saga Book 7
Author: Arthur H. Walker (@ArthurHWalker)
Goodreads Author Page

Thumbnail sketch: Set entirely on Mars — site of some of the most gripping and gritty action in earlier series entries — the latest Uroboros Saga book introduces some compelling new characters who seamlessly flow into the continuing futuristic sci-fi storyline.

4 Stars


My Take On Uroboros Saga Book 7

The ending of the sixth book in this fun, futuristic sci-fi series (see my review) answered some lingering questions and wrapped up enough loose ends that it almost seemed like a finale. Perhaps that’s why reading Uroboros Saga Book 7 felt somewhat different to me than earlier entries. Part of that may also be the focus placed on some new characters and part may be having the action take place entirely in one location — I may be wrong, but I believe a first for this series. Continue reading

My Review of “The Fleet At Flood Tide” by James D. Hornfischer

Bottom Line Up Top

Amazon link: The Fleet At Flood Tide: America At Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945
Author: James D. Hornfischer (@navy1944)
Author’s website

Thumbnail sketch: Clear, concise overview of the final year of WWII in the Pacific Theater, beginning with the campaign for the Marianas Islands that provided the pivotal bases used in both the firebombing and atomic attacks on Japan. Focus is primarily on strategy but the author skillfully weaves in personal narratives from both sides that illuminate larger themes.

5 Stars

My Take On The Fleet At flood tide

Outside of one college class on Ancient China — one of the minimum two classes in Asian history required to earn a BA in History at the school (had I stayed around long enough, that is) — my interest in the past has always been focused on Europe. I’m conversant enough with the big picture of history in Asia, especially from World War II on, but I’ll never be accused of having deep knowledge of the area. Continue reading

My Review of “A Man of Shadows” by Jeff Noon

Bottom Line Up Top

Amazon linkA Man of Shadows
Author: Jeff Noon (@jeffnoon); website

Thumbnail sketch: An urban landscape of light, dark and the places in between is the setting for an imaginative and fantastical Urban Noir tale. Searching for a runaway girl in a city stalked by a seemingly invisible serial killer, private detective John Nyquist must come to grips with time itself or risk losing himself — and her. 4 Stars

My Take On A Man of Shadows

One of the oldest metaphors around is light and darkness standing in for good and evil. God separated “light from darkness” in Genesis, Shakespeare’s love-besotted Romeo compared Juliet to the sun, and a Scottish prayer asks for protection from “things that go bump in the night.” In  A Man of Shadows, author Jeff Noon’s electric prose and stylized imagery blur this simple idea into a fever dream of a tale about light, darkness, family, loss and time.

This review is based on an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) received through NetGalley. The book is scheduled for release on August 1, 2017. Continue reading

My Review of “Allies and Enemies: Fallen” by Amy J. Murphy

Bottom Line Up Top

Amazon link: Allies and Enemies: Fallen
Author: Amy J. Murphy (@selatyron); website

Thumbnail sketch: Opening book of a sci-fi space opera trilogy, with well-drawn characters and action scenes; a plot that steers clear of cliches; and set in an interesting ‘universe’ with potential for any number of plot directions. If you liked the TV show Farscape, you’ll likely like this (as I did). 4 Stars

My Take On Allies and Enemies: Fallen

One of my all-time favorite TV shows — I have the entire series on DVD & have re-watched from beginning to end several times — is Farscape. It was fun and rather inventive, I thought, in how it told an over-arching story. Things like cloning Crichton so when the group split up he could be with both parties (and thus creating a truly unique love triangle with Officer Aeryn Sun).

This book, Allies and Enemies: Fallen by Amy J. Murphy, has a distinctly Farscape feel to it. Some of the elements are very similar to the TV show, but I’m not suggesting this is intentional on the author’s part. Much is also very different. What isn’t different, though, was my enjoyment — especially when the author surprised me by taking the story in unexpected directions.

Continue reading

My Review of “Answering The Call” By Stephen L. Wilson

Bottom Line Up Top

Amazon link: Answering the Call: With the 91st Infantry Division in the Italian Campaign During World War II
Author: Stephen L. Wilson

Thumbnail sketch: Well-written, straightforward memoir of one married couple’s experiences during World War II. Provides a good overview of later stages of Italian Campaign, a front often overlooked by Americans, but those looking for a grunt’s-eye view of combat won’t find it. 4 Stars

Note: This review is based on a copy of the book provided by the author for that purpose. It is my policy to only review books I enjoy; taste is subjective and what I dislike others may rave over.


My take on answering the call

The scope of an event the size of World War II is daunting. Millions upon millions of people were involved in some fashion, in nearly every corner of the globe. For most folks, what they’re taught about such a war and what they learn (not necessarily the same information) is reduced to broad strokes — battles, campaigns, etc. At times those directly involved in the fighting are featured, with their combat experiences usually taking center stage.

Such is not the case with Stephen Wilson’s Answering the Call, the WWII memoir of U.S. Army officer Allen Wilson and to a lesser extent his wife Barbara. Allen, who joined Army ROTC as a freshman at the University of South Dakota, served with distinction in Italy from mid-1944 to the end of the war, and then as part of the Allied occupation force in Italy and Austria.

Continue reading

Review of “Europe in Winter” by Dave Hutchinson

Bottom Line Up Top

Amazon link: Europe in Winter (The Fractured Europe Sequence Book 3)
Author: Dave Hutchinson (@HutchinsonDave); website

My review of Europe in Autumn
My review of Europe at Midnight

Thumbnail review: Outstanding entry in series of imaginative genre-blend of SciFi and spy thrillers. Interesting and complex characters, engaging and fluid prose, and an inventive (and suddenly much-too-real) premise combine for a fast, fun read. 5 Stars


My take on Europe In Winter

I cracked open Europe in Winter believing it was the final entry in a trilogy (more on that below). The first book, Europe in Autumn, was a bit uneven at the start but throughout I enjoyed the author’s prose and imaginative dystopian vision of a Europe where borders are in flux and parallel dimensions possible. We met Rudi, a chef turned courier-slash-international spy, and accompanied him on several “Situations” that appeared to be isolated events. Continue reading