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review 2018-11-26 03:04
Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
Battlefront II: Inferno Squad (Star Wars) - Christie Golden

In which the Empire sends a bunch of operatives who have no experience with deep cover missions into a super dangerous deep cover mission. Hilarity ensues. And by hilarity, I mean none of these people should have made it out alive.


This is sort of an intro to the members of Inferno Squad, which is featured in the Battlefront II game’s story mode, the most prominent member being Iden Versio. It’s all right for what it is, but sometimes I felt like logic was being abandoned to facilitate the plot.


Iden is well-known in Imperial circles. She’s the daughter of a high-ranking military man, an ace TIE fighter pilot, survivor of the destruction of the Death Star, and all-around darling of the Empire. Her father gets the idea that if she suffers some sort of fall from grace, the desperate remnants of Saw Gerrera’s partisans will snatch her up as their new figurehead, and then she and the rest of Inferno Squad can take them down from the inside.


As unlikely as that sounds to me, that’s exactly what happens. After being reported for voicing some mildly seditious thoughts to a fellow officer, Iden goes through a mock court marshal and is put under house arrest, during which she is abducted by the partisans to be their new figurehead. Because becoming a violent radical is the obvious next step after mild sedition. Or something.


If you can get past the progression of events being slightly unbelievable, it’s a decent story and serves as an okay set-up for the game’s story mode. I haven’t played it, but I’ve seen the cutscenes, and knowing the backstories of the squad and their history together helped put things in a broader context. As for the writing, Golden did all right, but she’s no Claudia Gray. Gray did a much better job at showing things from an Imperial perspective.

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review 2018-03-28 17:16
Recycles much from his earlier work
Red Inferno: 1945 - Robert Conroy

This book is Conroy’s fifth alternate history novel, yet in many respects it reads like his third one, 1945, given how much he borrows from it. Though the setting is different – with the premise being a clash between Soviet and American forces in Germany at the end of the Second World War in Europe – the elements are all too familiar to anyone who has read Conroy’s earlier work. As in the earlier novel, they will encounter green lieutenants, beleaguered but determined generals, men trapped behind the lines cooperating with OSS agents, a duplicitous Soviet Union, and a plucky man from Missouri attempting to address it all. Even the ending is essentially the same, though this is less of a surprise as all of Conroy’s novels seem to conclude with an “in-the-end-the-world-was-left-a-better-place” sort of wrapping up.

This is not to say that this is not an enjoyable book, as fans of Conroy’s alternate novels will find the author firing on every cylinder that he has within these pages. But it seems that with the fifth novel (and his third consecutive one set in the Second World War) Conroy’s creative well is running dry and he is beginning to recycle earlier ideas in a slightly refreshed setting. In his “Acknowledgments” section at the end of the book he expresses his hope that this will not be the last alternate history novel he writes; while I'm sure it wasn't, I hope that he put more time into giving readers something new and different, rather than just warming over his earlier work.

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review 2017-07-13 17:36
Jungle Inferno by Desiree Holt
Jungle Inferno (The Phoenix Agency Book 1) - Desiree Holt

Mark and Faith have been friends since childhood, using their own special way of communicating—telepathy. But they refused to cross the boundaries of their friendship and Mark went off to protect the country...Then one day Faith receives his distress message...

DNF @ 20%

I simply couldn't go on. The premise with the wounded soldier held in captivity in the middle of the Peruvian jungle, only able to communicate with one person in the outside world, was interesting. Unfortunately, the execution was severely lacking.

Instead of following a linear narrative, the story kept jumping, alternating between the present (Mark being captive, sending SOS messages to Faith), flashbacks (their childhood and how they slowly fell in love), and fantasies. While the flashbacks worked in establishing the connection between the two main characters, the flashbacks were nothing but sex, sex, and more sex, contributing nothing to the story, but titillation...And yes, serving to slow the already slow pacing even more.

I didn't really connect with either of the protagonists, maybe because in the 20% of the book I read, there were three sex scenes without much character introduction or, God forbid, development. What also bothered me was the fact the heroine, a writer, was determined to find a SpecOps soldier all on her own (yeah, right), and the fact said SpecOps soldier was capable of transmitting all kinds of messages, but his own location.
I didn't really find the suspense that suspenseful, once more because the fantasies trampled all the intensity the suspense could've generated.
And finally, I didn't really like the voice and narrative style. It sounded rather juvenile and slightly amateurish, especially when it came to the heroine-centric scenes.

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review 2017-06-26 16:48
Raintree: Inferno - Linda Howard

Well, that sucks. Here I am, trying to read down this mountain and at the same time attend to that stash of numbered romances I'd picked up for varying reasons and I pull out one that's so interesting that I feel the need to hunt down the other 3. This is the opposite direction of reading down; this is adding to. (mutter)


Oh, it had its issues...


Our H, powerful fire mage or whatever, runs a casino. A suspiciously successful player is spotted and dragged into his office. The h - gifted in ways she's not really sure about and trying to ignore - finds herself meeting him, getting tested by him, questioned by him, etc. A fire breaks out in the casino. He drags her with him, forcibly links her power to his to help put the fire out, and drags her home with him.


Or rather, compels her to go with him. He manages to forget things like the need to relieve oneself. She's understandably pissed off (and he was almost pissed on, but don't think he thought about that)


This takes half the book - issue one.


Somehow over the next couple of days, they manage to fall for each other (or perhaps it was insta-love, not sure). - issue two


And they figure out there is a bad guy and he starts heading for the home fort.

It ends in a cliff hanger - issue three


And I wanna know what happens next.

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review 2017-06-08 22:28
Jungle Inferno (The Phoenix Agency Book 1) - Desiree Holt

Jungle Inferno is another amazing read from Desiree Holt. This is a fairly short read, perfect for those with limited time for reading. I love the characters. Faith and Mark's story has bits of paranormal, humor, drama and action. Plenty of sizzle packed into this book. I can't wait to read more from this talented writer! Jungle Inferno is book 1 of the Phoenix Agency Series but can be read as a standalone.
This is a complete book, not a cliffhanger.

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