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review 2018-09-26 17:07
The Enigma Factor by Breakfield & Burkey
The Enigma Factor (The Enigma Factor Series) (Volume 1) - Charles V Breakfield,Roxanne E Burkey

This is a really slow book. Since it’s in the Thriller genre, I was expecting there to be more action and a much swifter pace. With that said, the over all premise is an interesting one. White Hat hackers unite! It takes over half the book to get to that point, but once it does, there is a bit of action and a set up for more action in the sequel.

Jacob Michaels is always so very, very polite. It takes a lot of dialogue to be that polite and considerate all the time. He’s faced with some tough truths that rise abruptly and smack him in the face and yet, he is still the polite, caring person. In his 30s, he’s never pursued a deep romantic relationship wanting to wait until he can afford a wife… but he says it in a more considerate way. This quaint mind set made me think of 1800s and even early 1900s where it was fairly common for men in their 40s to marry women half their age. So obviously Jacob has some deep seeded issues to work on.

His mom and granny were White Hats as well but unfortunately they are dead. I think having them alive and meddling would have made this story much more interesting. As it is, the ladies are nearly all romantic interests with a few other skills that we rarely get to see in action. Petra is the main love interest and is a skilled White Hat, though we are mostly told that and not shown. I think she’s in her 40s or older but that’s unclear. Julie is a flirtatious barista with hidden skills. Patty also has hidden skills but seems to be most proficient in inventive bedroom play. Haddy is married. Master Po, while currently celibate, used to enjoy oral sex and was proficient at it. As you can see, with nearly every female character, there is a bedroom scene. While the men get to be professional managers, hackers, bad guys, cops, spies, business men, etc.

At one point, Petra is thinking to herself how attracted she is to Jacob because of his aura of danger. So funny! Jacob hasn’t done anything dangerous at all at this point. He keeps in shape but he doesn’t have any hand to hand combat training nor any gun or knife proficiency. So, no danger here. Also, that was during the bike tour of the Long Island wineries. Petra has a motorcycle but she lacked the experience to carry a heavier passenger on the back seat, so she let Jacob drive. Argh! If Petra had a slew of other skills that we see used in this plot, that scene wouldn’t bother me so. With Petra relegated to Main Love Interest, it’s a let down. She’s been riding since her teen years but has never carried heavier people on the back seat…. It would have been so easy to give her this one skill and put it on display.

OK, so about halfway through this book we finally get a dead body. Yes! Let the action commence! The pace does pick up a little but it’s still pretty darn slow for a Thriller. I did really like how complicated things got for Buzz, Jacob’s best friend. He’s been taking it too easy, using Jacob to complete his own work tasks (Buzz’s coding skills aren’t all that). Now he’s in some hot water and he has to make some tough choices. I expect Book 2 will show us more of Buzz.

There are a ton of info dumps all the way through this book. Some are fun, cutting edge science or just plain science fiction and I enjoyed those. Like there’s some image encryption tech coupled with tattoos. Yes! That’s very interesting stuff and I wish we had more of it. There’s info dumps on China’s economics and how that relates to cyber security and also on the Enigma machine of WW2. Those were interesting if a bit long winded. Other info dumps were pretty pedestrian and only increased the word count to this novel. Honestly, I don’t really need to know how many pairs of socks Jacob packed to go to DefCon in Las Vegas.

For the most part, the characters stay the same throughout the story. I was expecting some character growth since there wasn’t much action going on. Perhaps the characters needed some action to force them to grow. Buzz showed the greatest growth and that was just a smidge. Some evil Russians (Sergei and Grigory) come in late in the book and give us some true, if one dimensional, villains to watch out for. I did feel for the white tiger Nikky.

All told, the book has promise but it’s long winded. 3/5 stars.

The Narration: Steven Jay Cohen does a pretty good job. He has distinct voices for all the characters and most of his female voices sound like ladies. I felt he struggled with some of the accents a little, some being a bit over accentuated. For the first few hours, Cohen kept putting a slight emphasis on an odd word in every other sentence. It wasn’t William Shatner level, but it was noticeable. After a while, this did smooth out and wasn’t noticeable very often. There’s no technical issues with this recording. 4/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by MK Marketing. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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review 2018-08-31 00:45
Curious (The Finn Factor) (Volume 1) - R.G. Alexander
Jeremy and Owen have been best friends and have known each other for most of their lives. Owen happens to be straight. Jeremy happens to be bisexual. Jeremy has been secretly in love with Owen and I'll say vice versa. Owen has been "curious" about what sex with Jeremy would be like.
This was HOT. Just looking at it from an erotica standpoint, this was well done. Hot, hot, hot sex scenes. My eye balls were on fire! But, while I do like erotica, I like it even better when there is more of a plot too. This was weak (IMO) on plot and character development. I feel this is important to note: NO SLUT SHAMING! 
For me:
Jeremy- parents kicked him out, didn't like their bisexual son. Lived with Aunt. Considers the Finns to be his family.
Owen-a Dom at the local club, Jeremy's BF
Tasha-Jeremy's female fuck buddy (not anymore) and Jeremy's 2nd BF
Jen- youngest Finn. Broke engagement to asshole.
Seamus- owns the bar, single father (4? kids)
Stephen- senator. He and Tasha have a thing. Seamus's twin.


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text 2018-08-24 07:47

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text 2018-08-09 16:09
TBR Thursday
Ashenden, or, The British Agent - William Somerset Maugham
In the Month of the Midnight Sun - Cecilia Ekbäck
Diamonds Are Forever - Ian Fleming
From Russia with Love - Ian Fleming
A Royal Pain - Rhys Bowen
The Gun Seller - Hugh Laurie
The Human Factor - Graham Greene


Okay, so I had to check my calendar to make sure this was actually Thursday.  It's the day before I start a week's vacation, a day before the When Words Collide conference.  Tomorrow, the temperature is supposed to reach 36 C (98 F), so I will be glad to spend most of it in an air conditioned hotel.  We have a weather inversion holding the hot weather over our city (and its also holding a lot of forest fire smoke, so I'll be glad to be out of that too).  Thankfully, we are supposed to get a break from this heat, starting Saturday.


So, I doubt I will get much reading done this weekend.  I'll be rubbing shoulders with authors instead.  Most of my planned reading now is for the Summer of Spies.  Clearing the decks to be ready for Halloween Bingo.


I'm too cheap to pay for internet at home, so I probably won't be posting much over the upcoming week.  I wish you all good reading, friends, and a great week.


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text 2018-08-02 16:03
TBR Thursday
A Fatal Waltz - Tasha Alexander
Moonraker - Ian Fleming
False Positive - Andrew Grant
In the Month of the Midnight Sun - Cecilia Ekbäck
Ashenden, or, The British Agent - W. Somerset Maugham
The Gun Seller - Hugh Laurie
The Human Factor - Graham Greene

I'm working on Bright We Burn and Last Call which are both due at the library in 9 days!  And I'm still gradually reading a biography of Ian Fleming.  BWB has a waiting list, and LC is an interlibrary loan, so neither can be renewed.  I know how I'm spending my weekend!


However, the When Words Collide conference is approaching at warp speed and I've got 3 books I'd like to get to before then:  A Fatal Waltz, False Positive, and In the Month of the Midnight Sun.  All written by key note authors--I must give Andrew Grant another chance.  I found his spy novel to be somewhat ridiculous, but I'm going to give his murder mystery a try, hoping for better things there.


And the Summer of Spies isn't over yet.  On the docket, I've got Moonraker, Ashenden, The Gun Seller and The Human Factor


Meanwhile, I'm getting all excited over my Halloween reading list.  It's hard to keep my attention on the spies, with Halloween Bingo on the horizon!


I have tomorrow off work and Monday is a statutory holiday, so I've got 4 days to play!  On Sunday, I'll be headed out on two Historic Calgary tours.  Other than that, I've got time free.  Once the laundry is done and the house relatively clean, maybe I'll go to the used book store and add to Mount TBR. 


Whatever you do this weekend, have fun and stay safe!



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