I'm late posting book reviews and my best excuse is I've been writing stories too. I sent one off to a competition yesterday and the next one's already whirling around in my head--a story about a cat whose family are heading for America, but this a very special cat, and a very special family. There are dragons and seagulls and rats in the story too. I'm enjoying dreaming it. And there's action and adventure, just as there is in these books. So grab some coffee and enjoy...
First on my list is The Last Israelis by Noah Beck. This one's not technically an action tale--more a drama of political intrigue, military service, and betrayal. With evocative portrayals of Israel's past and present, and a scary intimation of its future, Noah Beck invites readers into the world of a people besieged suddenly facing the unthinkable. It's a sad, dark, thought-provoking tale, best enjoyed with a cup of 5-star bold intense coffee.
Next is U-Turn Killur, by Teric Darken, a scary modern parable where the firefighter's fire burns as much in his soul as in the house. The first two-third are fast, scary and exciting, then a quieter conclusion offers wise lessons in faith. Enjoy with another 5-star intense cup of coffee.
Don't Fear the Reaper, by Michelle Muto takes the Christian theme in a rather different direction, giving time and place to pergatory and creating an interesting mythology of life after death as a teenaged girl falls in love and tries to save her sister. This could be the start of a fascinating series in a somewhat darker Touched by an Angel vein. Enjoy with another 5-star dark cup of coffee.
And now for some serious action novels: Jet, by Russell Blake, introduces a cool action heroine, chased by scary villains, skilled in the arts of spying and survival, and finally forced to turn and face her past. A well-balanced standalone spy thriller with plenty more to come, enjoy this with a 4-star richly complex cup of coffee.
Next is Steve O'Brien's Dead Money, another in his horse-racing legal thrillers, and a fascinating action-packed tale with authentic horses, fascinating insights into illegal betting, and complex twists and turns as a court case looms. Enjoy a well-balanced 3-star coffee with this well-balanced perfectly blended tale.
Still racing those horses, next comes Sasscer Hill's The Sea Horse Trade, a racecourse mystery with more of a cozy feel and a female protagonist with history. You don't need to read the earlier novels in the series to enjoy this one, but you just might feel you want to. Fast action, well-drawn locales, and a pleasing voice make for a lively mystery to enjoy with a 2-star lively easy-drinking coffee, but you'll have to wait until it's released... coming soon!
The action moves in outer space and the far-distant future with Laura Eno's Raven. With shades of Firefly, a gathering cast of great characters, gentle mystery and mystique and a wonderful spaceship, this looks like the first in a really cool series of novellas. Enjoy with a lively 2-star cup of coffee over lunch.
And finally, this one's a short story called The Spy Toys, by E. Chastaine. A young girl's belief in the "truths" told by an older friend could prove tragic, but she learns to question at the end and all is saved. Enjoy this oddly unsettling tale with a 4-star complex coffee.