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review 2020-05-30 04:00
Bullet Points about Burning Bright by Nick Petrie: There's No Sophomore Slump in the Second Peter Ash Adventure
Burning Bright - Nick Petrie

He climbed down to the dry riverbed, hurting all over but more or less functional. His forehead felt warm and wet. He put his hand up, felt the slickness of blood, and wiped it away, reminding himself that head wounds always bleed like crazy.


He knew too much about damage to human bodies.


This post is overdue (as was reading this in the first place), and I can't seem to find time to do it right. So, I won't. Here's a quick and dirty way to get it taken care of. I wish I had it in me to do a better job, but I don't. Here's the blurb taken from Petrie's site:



War veteran Peter Ash sought peace and quiet among the towering redwoods of northern California, but the trip isn’t quite the balm he’d hoped for. The dense forest and close fog cause his claustrophobia to buzz and spark, and then he stumbles upon a grizzly, long thought to have vanished from this part of the country. In a fight of man against bear, Peter doesn’t favor his odds, so he makes a strategic retreat up a nearby sapling.


There, he finds something strange: a climbing rope, affixed to a distant branch above. It leads to another, and another, up through the giant tree canopy, and ending at a hanging platform. On the platform is a woman on the run. From below them come the sounds of men and gunshots.


Just days ago, investigative journalist June Cassidy escaped a kidnapping by the men who are still on her trail. She suspects they’re after something belonging to her mother, a prominent software designer who recently died in an accident. June needs time to figure out what’s going on, and help from someone with Peter’s particular set of skills.


Only one step ahead of their pursuers, Peter and June must race to unravel this peculiar mystery. What they find leads them to an eccentric recluse, a shadowy pseudo-military organization, and an extraordinary tool that may change the modern world forever.




If I had the time to do this properly, here are the things I'd be talking about.

bullet At multiple points both Peter and June note that Peter's having fun when it's dangerous, when things are violent, when the bullets are flying. As a reader, this is great—you don't see Reacher, Charlie Fox, Evan Smoak, etc. enjoying things quite like this. But I'm a little worried about what it says about him as a person.

bullet We get some good backstory on Peter—before he enlisted.

bullet On a related note, Peter has a family! A well-adjusted, not violent, family.

bullet Lewis is back from the first book—he's essentially Hawk and Pike with flair. His growing family ties are a real strength of character.

bullet June is tough, capable, smart. She's complex in a way that most characters in this role usually aren't, and really ought to be.

bullet The villains in this novel are great. Their motives are complex, they don't approach things the way you think they're going to (up to the last couple of chapters).

bullet While trying not to give too much away, I appreciate that Ash doesn't have a scorched-earth approach to his opponents in either book.

bullet Best of all, in the middle of the technothriller stuff, the action hero stuff, and all the rest, there's a real attempt to portray what a vet with PTSD goes through. How it molds everything he does, but doesn't define him.

bullet The biggest compliment I can give is this: it kept me awake when I should have been. Since I got my new CPAP last summer, I haven't been able to read more than 2-5 pages with it on before I'm out like a light. So imagine how shocked I was when I realized that I'd barreled through over 50 pages one night! That's a feat.


This is a great thrill-ride, I'm not going to wait another year and a half before I get to the next one (it's sitting on my shelf as we speak). I strongly recommend the Peter Ash books.



2020 Library Love Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2020/05/29/bullet-points-about-burning-bright-by-nick-petrie-theres-no-sophomore-slump-in-the-second-peter-ash-adventure
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review 2020-05-01 09:03
Nick Stone last mission
Liberation Day: A Nick Stone Mission - Andy McNab

Nick Stone wants to settle down. He wants a passport so that he could stay with his girlfriend. 


The girlfriend father is a horrible person who is using Nick on a mission and promise in exchange give him a passport so that he could stay in US. 


The last mission is trying to stop money going to fund terrorists of the Taliban. 


With a team of three, they are suppose to chase the money and then stop the terrorist act from happening. 


There are a lot of not so good bites in the story. A lot of running around that is too details. It is supposed to be action but sounds like someone reading out a spreadsheet in Excel. 


The last bit is okay but not great. 


A 3.5 stars read. Still like Nick Stone as a character and might read another one. 



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review 2020-04-29 14:08
Logging Off
Logging Off - Nick Spalding

Not too much to say, typical Spalding. Parts were really funny and parts of it were really draggy. I liked the overall premise, Andy is told by his doctor he needs a tech detox because of some medical issues he is having, and shenanigans occur.


I ultimately wish that the book had actually moved more into a direction of Andy's other interests (he started reading and walking more) instead of him acting like an ass because he couldn't look up what stars were up to via Instagram. I think that a lot of people take social media breaks. I have done so before and it honestly helps. When you read nothing but terrible news and people's perfect lives via social media it is going to skew your perspective. Spalding danced near that with Andy finding about a real life person he was following, but Spalding played it for laughs instead of actually pointing out how everyone does this.

Loved the Easter eggs to other books that he has written and I think this one's ending worked a lot better than the last book of his I read "Dumped, Actually."

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text 2020-04-27 19:08
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Logging Off - Nick Spalding

I skipped away from Masked Prey because I am full up on Nazis in the real world. "Logging Off" had some wonderful insights and funny moments (typical Spalding). I do have to say thought that towards the end though things started to drag a bit and Andy (the main character) started getting on my nerves with acting as if he wouldn't be able to do certain things without technology. I love hiking and besides taking pictures with my regular camera, I just listen to the birds and whatnot and actually follow maps (gasp) without having a total breakdown about it. 

Good things were Easter eggs dropped about prior Spalding novels. Apparently the events in this one happened before the events in "Dumped, Actually" and we even get sightings from Jamie, Laura, and Poppy. 

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review 2020-04-25 17:44
Humorous Cautionary Tale
Logging Off - Nick Spalding

Nick Spalding’s wry humor sweetens a strong lesson in Logging Off, his most recent novel and thinly disguised cautionary tale. The book is the farcical account of first-person narrator, Andy, a graphic designer whose addiction to technology and social media has resulted in some serious physical and psychological side effects.  When an important client meeting becomes disastrous due disturbing symptoms, Andy decides that he will embark on a 60-day “digital detox” to reset his health.  His best friend is a reporter who composes a feature about Andy’s experiment—the publicity acting as a reinforcement to his endeavor.  Andy soon discovers how completely obsessed with online activities he has become. The removal of these sources of security illuminate the life skills that have been underdeveloped and highlight his utter dependence on instant information and entertainment. The wacky “fish-out-of-water” misadventures and slapstick episodes that follow are entertaining, if a bit far-fetched. Along the way, a romance blooms and the protagonist finds himself the unwitting object of wide-spread admiration and attention. Despite being ambivalent about pursuing his “detox,” Andy feels compelled to continue by the pressure of his new “followers” and the irrepressible current of a movement he never intended to spark. As he struggles with feelings of hypocrisy and confusion, he also recognizes the benefits that the endeavor has brought. Logging Off is a bit too long and the humor at times is contrived and lowbrow, but the book remains a fun read despite its strong moralistic stance. Spalding’s attempt to preach moderation and life-balance is perhaps obvious and over-stated, but his amusing approach makes it a lesson that is easy to swallow.


Thanks to the author, Lake Union Publishing (Amazon) and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

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