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review 2016-02-11 18:57
Havelock (full novel)
Havelock - Jane D. Everly

[I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.]

I started reading this novel as a serial last year, and now that the full novel is available, well, here's the full review.

The style is a little surprising, in that it mixes parts from Eliana's point of view (1st person, present tense), and parts seen through other characters (3rd person, past tense). I'm not sure what the intent was—more and more novels do that, so I'm actually never really sure—but it didn't bother me the way it did in other stories. It lent a certain immediacy to Eliana's scenes, and since they were of the action-packed kind, it fitted. I liked her humorous way of describing situations, too (that scene with the psychatrist? Totally something *I* would have one of my RPG characters do), and how she played her assets while totally embracing who she was. With an agenda of her own, she nevertheless lends her skills to MI6 in a loyal way.

There's a lot of mystery surrounding the characters in the beginning. Nothing's revealed about Eliana, but she clearly demonstrates resourcefulness and abilities to fight and get out of dire straits. More is to be learnt later, cast in the shadow of her origins, and if you read between the lines, those origins are easy to translate into another name, another myth.

Other characters are also close to tropes clearly reminiscent of typical spy narratives, yet a lot of things here work in a reversed way. The dashing spy/action type is a woman. The big boss is also a woman (and got there through years of service in which she played an active role, even getting severaly wounded, not because she was a paper-pusher). The potential mark-to-be-seduced is a guy. The villain is... villainish, yet his ruthlessness and his plan make him enjoyable. We have plants, betrayals, red tape bearing down on the good guys, and if you like spy novels, this book provides a lot of nods to the genre, while playing the tropes close to our 21st century world and problematics (terrorism rather than cold war, etc.).

The story's plot looked promising, and overall it remained enjoyable. The chase goes on for quite a few chapters, with some action scenes described in an enjoyable way. The villain and his sidekick are one step ahead, while the "heroes" are also skilled enough to try and keep up no matter what.

I was a bit less satisfied with the latest chapters, mostly because some events fseemed to unfold a bit too fast: I wouldn't have minded a few more scenes, a few more occasions to see our heroes in action. I rooted for the “good guys”, I wanted to see them win, but I also felt like the mastermind's plan would have deserved more attention—that Eliana would have met a couple more reversals, sort of, as the enemy had a definitely strong scheme, and I didn't want to see them beaten too quickly either. Still, I enjoyed the story as a whole, so it's a 3.5 to 4 stars for me.

Conclusion: A bit stereotypical, but of the kind that was fairly entertaining.

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review 2015-12-05 08:00
Havelock - The Final Part
Havelock: One - Jane D. Everly

I read the first two parts earlier this year and found it a very interesting book. I really enjoyed Eliana's sarcastic point of view and the story was quite nice as well. Naturally, I wanted to know how it would end.

 

I can't tell to much about where the story stands at this point because it would spoil the previous parts, but the whole story is now available in one book, so I would suggest you just read it as a book rather than the individual episodes.

 

It might be because I read this one in parts that the beginning of this last part (+/- second half of the book) felt so different from the previous ones. I was thinking, 'did I really like this that much?' and 'was this also like this before?'. However, after a somewhat bumpy start the story was quite interesting once again and I enjoyed reading it a lot more. In the end I still didn't think it was as good as I had anticipated based on Havelock: One but enjoyable nevertheless. A nice spy thriller.

 

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2015-10-02 08:00
Havelock: Two
Havelock: Two - Jane D. Everly

The second part of the serial Havelock, and since it has been a few months since the first instalment I probably should have reread the first bit, but it wasn't really necessary. Immediately as I started reading everything came back to me, including why I liked it so much to begin with.

 

The story is unfolding and there is never a dull moment. (It's really hard to try and summarize a story when you've no idea yourself where it's going, so I'm not even attempting to do that).

 

Let me just say that it's very nice to read, I really enjoyed myself and I like Eliana's character a lot. I'm looking forward to the next instalment as I really want to know where the story is going and what Eliana is going to do.

 

So far, but keep in mind I haven't finished the series yet, I'm recommending this one!

 

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2015-09-26 19:33
Havelock: Two
Havelock: Two - Jane D. Everly

[I received a copy from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.]

Second instalment in the "Havelock" series. I had read the first episode a few months ago, and I must say I pretty much enjoyed this one as well.

A lot of things from my first review keep standing true here. The shift from 1st to 3rd person is still puzzling, but doesn't bother me much. Eliana is still a fun character to read about (that scene with the psychatrist? Totally something *I* would have one of my RPG characters do). The chase goes on, with some action scenes described in an enjoyable way. The villain and his sidekick are one step ahead, while the "heroes" are also skilled enough to try and keep up no matter what.

I'm waiting for more background and fleshing out of Blackwell, and some revelations about Eliana's past (there's a hint about her father, I may or may not be right, but it'd be funny if I were). Hopefully in the next parts of this serial!

3.5 to 4 stars.

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text 2015-09-20 13:45
Curiosity Quills Press Is Looking For More Reviewers!
The Actuator: Fractured Earth - James Wymore,Aiden James
Destruction: The December People, Book One - Sharon Bayliss
Prophet of the Badlands - Matthew S. Cox
The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre
The Curse Merchant - J.P. Sloan
Sharcano (Sharkpocalypse #1) - Jose Prendes
The Artful - Wilbert Stanton
The Mussorgsky Riddle - Darin Kennedy
Havelock: One - Jane D. Everly

Okay, I normally don't do this kind of posts but Curiosity Quills Press is one of my favourite publishers and I really enjoy reviewing their books. That's why I thought I might know some people who would also enjoy it.

 

They are now hosting an event to gain more reviewers in their mailing lists, and as a reward for just signing up you'll get three books of choice from their ebook catalogue. If you would PM me and allow me to tell them I sent you there, I also get three books (which be nice as I really like their books).

 

I did a quick check of my reading stats this year and so far this year I've read 29 of their books. That's almost 14% of what I've read this year!

 

I think they publish around 10 books a month, in all kinds of different genres. I've been on their reviewers list for a while now and I generally receive two emails a month (which I'm usually even looking forward to): one announcing new books that can be requested for review, and one invitation to join on one or more blog tours. What I really like is that you don't have to enter anything and it's just fine not to participate if you're busy or don't think you'll like the books.

 

Some of the books eventually make it up to Netgalley, but I noticed many do not.

 

Every time I mailed with the staff they have been really friendly, and even writing a negative review for a blog tour (I once wrote a two star review on a book that just wasn't for me and the response I got was just 'too bad, these things happen, hope you enjoy your next book better') is not a problem (which is something I find really important and which is why I'm really hesitant to enter other blog tours).

 

You can find more information on this event here.

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