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review 2018-01-15 00:47
The story lacks credibility!
The One Man: The Riveting and Intense Bestselling WWII Thriller - Andrew Gross

The One Man: A Novel-Andrew Gross, author; Edouardo Ballerini, narrator

A young Jewish man escapes from Nazi occupied Poland and resettles in America. He discovers that his entire family has been wiped out by Hitler and is consumed with guilt because he escaped, while they did not. When he is asked to volunteer for a very dangerous “top secret” mission, he believes it will be an opportunity to redeem himself, and he agrees. Franklin Delano Roosevelt has personally thanked him for accepting this assignment.

Nathan Blum is tasked with sneaking into Oswiecim, in Poland in order to secretly enter the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The Americans want him to extract a scientist, Alfred Mendl. He is a physicist who might be able to help them develop the atom bomb before the Germans succeed in the same effort. A qualified team has already been assembled, and he is the final missing piece. Essentially, it sounds like a suicide mission because no one who enters Auschwitz ever leaves alive, let alone

Blum is dropped into a forest in Poland and secretly joins a work force when it returns to the camp. He has three days to complete the mission. He witnessed, first hand, the terrible suffering of the prisoners and the almost impossibility of surviving in the brutal environment of the camp. Hitler’s minions were sadists who had no compunction about inflicting pain or death.

Into this mix came a romance that was difficult to believe, between the Commandant’s wife and a teenaged boy, Leo. Leo was a fabulous chess player and was gifted with a fantastic memory. He happened to be the camp chess champion. The Commandant’s wife was a lover of chess and soon had him brought to her home for afternoon matches. An unusual friendship developed. When Mendl discovered Leo’s ability to memorize everything, he decided to teach him his formulas. The Nazis had destroyed his work, not realizing its importance. He wanted Leo to commit all of his formulas on fusion to memory. They had destroyed his notes and this was his only way to preserve them.

When Blum found Mendl, which was difficult to believe since the inmates did not answer to a name, but instead to a number, he attempted to explain his mission to him. Mendl had some trepidation about the plan; he did not want to agree. When he finally did, he had one condition. He would only go if he could take Leo with him. The ensuing conversation turned the tide of the escape because when Nathan made a shocking discovery, he was reminded of Mendl’s words. He had asked Blum about what type of person would leave their flesh and blood behind while saving themselves. Blum was faced with a huge predicament.

The book took a bit too much melodrama. The excessive number of twists and turns made it tedious much of the time. The author seemed to be trying to create far too much tension. Every time the reader thought a turning point had been reached, something would happen to stall the momentum. An incredible tangent might be created or another near miss would occur that prevented the successful completion of the task. In the end, there were simply too many diversions in the book for the pace to remain steady. After awhile, it did not feel authentic because even a minor student of history would be aware of the horrors of the Holocaust and its eventual outcome. Creating a fiction around it that seemed implausible simply didn’t work that well. The reader would know that it could never happen the way it was presented. In addition, the plan seemed to be doomed to fail because no one could cheat death so many times during that period in history. It was luck that kept some people alive, but when would luck eventually run out? The only thing that really kept me interested was the question of Bloom’s success or failure, but it took too long to get there.

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review 2016-12-09 06:37
And Then She Was Gone, A Detective Jack Stratton Novel by Christopher Greyson
And Then She Was GONE: A riveting new suspense novel - Christopher Greyson

And Then She Was Gone, A Detective Jack Stratton Novel by Christopher Greyson is a riveting and fascinating book. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.


Jack Stratton is approaching his eighteenth birthday, which he calls 'garbage day' and hates because it was just a day set by social workers. He has a strong support system with Aunt Haddie and Chandler, his foster brother. His adoptive parents are loving and give strong guidance.


"Jack swallowed. Not even his father could match the stern look that Aunt Haddie could pull off; she was a master at it. Her stare pinned him in place and he didn't even think about moving. He couldn't even look away, though he desperately wanted to."


It kept me guessing, which I like, so I gave it five stars. I will add more of the Jack Stratton books to my reading list.


0I received a complimentary copy from Greyson Media Associates Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

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review 2013-12-10 17:49
Upload by Mark McClelland
Upload - Mark McClelland

*Spoiler clearly tagged.

4.5 stars.

You say words like “virtual” and “reality” and I get pretty excited. The truth is that we all seek escapism in some way. Some exercise, some bake, some drink, some meditate and some read. But what if you could escape into an entire virtual world? A world where you could do anything, have anything and be anything? A world of your own making. Would you have any qualms about leaving your old life behind? For those of us who have loved ones, the decision wouldn’t be so cut & dried. For the loner MC of Upload, the decision was a fairly easy one.


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review 2013-11-08 16:32
Moth by Daniel Arenson
Moth - Daniel Arenson

**No spoiler. Or spoilers, either.


Well, that was surprisingly good. I wasn't sure what to expect of Moth, but with that kickass synopsis (seriously, did you read that frikkin thing?), I had an inkling that I would like it. And I did.


Without taking into account the logistics or science, it's a fascinating world these people live in. Half is bathed in eternal sunlight and half is cloaked by eternal night. Yesss. I dunno why I hissed, but I really like that.. There's more to it, though. The people of each half know little of their neighbors. Both sides are shrouded in mystery for one another and myths and speculation abound. Much like in our own world, their respective ignorance breeds fear and hate.


We get a few POV's that are, thankfully, not in 1st person. The "main" POV, Torin, is a likable fellow with a fantastic sidekick who would have made an even better MC. Bailey is a kickass chick with a big heart. I instantly liked her. I want her to have her own storyline. I think she's capable of great things.


At first, I was concerned about one character in particular - Koyee - who had a very boring and immature voice. In time, her story managed to ensnare me and I came to care for her deeply. The majority of my personal angst, as evidenced by my angsty status updates, can be attributed to this character and her journey.


The truth is that I cared for nearly all of the characters. At one point, we're introduced to a new group and again, I didn't think I'd care much about their story, but in time, I did. You have a gift, Mr. Arenson.


All the characters are rich, flawed and endearing, except for those few that are rich, flawed, and infuriating. Even they are great characters, though. They certainly make you sit up and feel, be it indignation or rage. Kudos to the author for provoking so many emotions. I also wanna make note that there were no weak, feebleminded female characters. All the ladies were tough as balls and that was super-refreshing.


Arenson certainly pulls no punches when it comes to violence and gore, but it all fit well within the story and wasn't overdone in any way. It was perfectly suited to my tastes. I like my stories gritty and dirty and there is much grit to these interwoven stories. The oppression and injustices affected me tremendously.


There were only a couple of things that put me off slightly. As I mentioned, I found Koyee's POV in the beginning to be very dull. I wanted to tear my hair out. Though it did become interesting, it made it hard to get into the book at first. I know this is typical for Fantasy, but personally, I like a faster pace. The other POV's were great, but I felt like the story nearly stopped when it would switch to her. Thankfully, it was short-lived.


The other thing that threw me off was that same character at the end. She kept yelling out these melodramatic battle cries reminiscent of Lionheart, but cheesy instead. It really took me out of the intensity of the story. Everything had come to a head and there was Koyee, yelling out corny warrior cries. I forgave her, because the girl has heart, but I wanted to shake her.


Despite these couple of things, I really enjoyed Moth. For the most part, I was riveted and found myself rushing to get back to it whenever I would put it down. That doesn't happen to me often anymore, so this was definitely a treat.


Be forewarned, this is the first in a series and for that I'm glad. Though it didn't end on a cliffhanger, there were a lot of loose ends and I can't wait to see where Arenson takes these characters next.





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