Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review - The Spartan by Charles Purcell

The SpartanThe Spartan by Charles Purcell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
ebook448 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Momentum Books
Source: Netgalley

'Chinese extremists want to destroy America and now they’ve got the means to do it.

When a rogue Chinese general threatens to unleash a biological Armageddon across the U.S., there’s only one man who can stop him: the Spartan. Tier One’s toughest soldier has just seven days to prevent China’s toughest special forces soldiers from detonating their plague canisters across the United States, poisoning millions and sending the world teetering towards war.

By the Spartan’s side is Teresa Vasquez a former Juarez policewoman whose family was murdered by the cartels. Vasquez is now the owner of the world’s first invisibility suit, after joining forces with the formidable Colonel Garin, Homeland Security’s top troubleshooter and the Spartan’s mentor.

Besides the terrorists, standing in the Spartan’s way is the mafia, the Mexican cartels, the triads, U.S. special forces and one vengeful U.S. General who never forgot the recruit who refused to salute his superior.

The race is on for the Spartan to stop the canister conspiracy and save the world before the bombs go off on the 4th of July or before his enemies can kill him.'

My Thoughts:
The Spartan was a great military action thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I found that it had a really intriguing plot, one that makes you stop and think as it could be possible for it to actually happen in today's world. When you do think about this then reading this book almost becomes kind of scary and it makes you hope that nothing like this does ever become a reality in the future.

The Spartan (the only name he goes back for the entire book) seems to be a very dry and bland character at the start but the further into the book you get, the more interesting and likable he starts to become as some of his walls start to come down and more of his past and personality come out.

The second main character, his side-kick Vasquez, was one tough female who I also really liked because she did show a vulnerable and human side as well which made her more believable.

This book was a really good, solid read and other than a few little errors which I am putting down to the fact that I had a Netgalley copy, I found it hard to really fault this book. Once I was past the halfway mark I definitely found it hard to put this book down.

I am hopeful that a sequel will be released with the same characters as it would be interesting to see them develop further. Even though it was full of 'military speak' I found it highly enjoyable and it makes me interested to read more from Charles Purcell in the future.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good action thriller.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Review - Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Bellman & BlackBellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
ebook, 328 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Source: Netgalley

'Bellman & Black is a heart-thumpingly perfect ghost story, beautifully and irresistibly written, its ratcheting tension exquisitely calibrated line by line. Its hero is William Bellman, who, as a boy of 10, killed a shiny black rook with a catapult, and who grew up to be someone, his neighbours think, who "could go to the good or the bad." And indeed, although William Bellman's life at first seems blessed—he has a happy marriage to a beautiful woman, becomes father to a brood of bright, strong children, and thrives in business—one by one, people around him die. And at each funeral, he is startled to see a strange man in black, smiling at him. At first, the dead are distant relatives, but eventually his own children die, and then his wife, leaving behind only one child, his favourite, Dora. Unhinged by grief, William gets drunk and stumbles to his wife's fresh grave—and who should be there waiting, but the smiling stranger in black. The stranger has a proposition for William—a mysterious business called "Bellman & Black" . . .'

My Thoughts:
I went into reading Bellman & Black without first reading Diane Setterfield's other novel, The Thirteenth Tale, so I had no idea what to expect from this author. After doing further research since finishing this one I've come to realise that these two books are apparently completely different to each other in the way they are written so if you like one you won't necessarily be a fan of the other.

Unfortunately I found Bellman & Black a very tedious, slow-paced and difficult book to read. I'd have to go as far as to say that I thought it was boring, plain and simple.

First up were the characters, I couldn't relate to any of them and didn't really end up liking any of them either.

Second up is the whole 'Ghost Story' thing. Where was the ghost story? I couldn't see how this aspect came into the book at all. In my opinion the main character, William Bellman, had psychological issues which made him have a bit of an imaginary 'friend' in the form of Black and be manipulated by him throughout the story but I'm still not really sure.

Lastly, was the plot itself. Other than the fact it very closely followed the career of William Bellman and his successful business as well as the unfortunate demise of his poor family, I can't really think of anything else memorable that actually happened during the whole book.

I had to force myself to finish it just so I could have something to review, but I certainly won't be recommending this book to others.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Review - Ice Station by Matthew Reilly

Ice Station (Shane Schofield, #1)Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hardcover611 pages
Published 2009 by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited (first published 1998)
Source: Own Copy

At a remote ice station in Antartica, a team of US scientists has made an amazing discovery. They have found something buried deep within a 100-million-year-old layer of ice. Something made of METAL.

Led by the enigmatic Lieutenant Shane Schofield, a team of crack United States marines is sent to the station to secure this discovery for their country. They are a tight unit, tough and fearless. They would follow their leader into hell. They just did...

My Thoughts:
Ice Station was your typical fast paced, edge of your seat adventure from Matthew Reilly. As with his usual style, every chapter ends on a cliff-hanger and this just makes you want to keep reading non-stop and never put the book down.

It contains Reilly's usual unbelievable plot twists that always fascinate and never cease to be entertaining. I love picking up a Matthew Reilly book whenever I am in a bit of a reading funk because they are guaranteed to get my reading mojo back.

This was my first time reading a Shane Schofield book and I am really looking forward to more. He is a very straight but likeable character and one that I am interested in seeing develop further.

Ice Station contained so many 'Are you serious?' moments for me but was such an addictive read that I couldn't help but enjoy.

I am also now absolutely fascinated by how versatile a mag hook can be!

In my opinion Matthew Reilly very rarely fails to disappoint, especially if you are after a book with something big constantly going on, whether it is believable or not!

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