book · review

Shifting Sands: Tradecraft: Phase One

Shifting Sands: Tradecraft series


Shifting Sands: Tradecraft: Phase One
Author: Michael Shusko
Series: Tradecraft #2
Genre: Military, action, espionage

In every book about military, there is the bad guys who are aiming for world destruction, and there will be the good guys who usually go: why me? Sure, they take the orders, but a recon mission quickly escalates into a fight of survival situation. Sometimes, if you are (un)lucky enough, rescue a damsel in distress.

Unlike Matthew Reilly’s books, Michael Shusko delivers a more down to earth story. Don’t get me wrong, both feature military men, in different ways. These heroes never thought themselves to be heroes, just a man trying to do his best to protect people he loves. I am using he because both books features a man, though the female counterpart is equally impressive in a lot of ways.

There is no comparison, it will be like comparing apples and oranges. I like Shifting Sands because it is more realistic and is more into current events. Plus the action part is breath- holding suspense. The characters have a certain charm to them, flaws and all. Mainly, this one has a family theme to it, as it features a family of marines (if I remember correctly of course).

Trying to get into a restricted country is easy enough, getting out is the problem. As brother love compels Nick’s brother to come save him, Nick has to save himself and the beautiful Sara. She holds the key to salvation, literally, as the information she holds might stop nuclear World War III from happening.

If you are looking for sexual tension, you might be disappointed, the people in this book are far too busy trying to stay alive than to find a spot for some love. The stakes are high, but the rewards higher still. I have not read the first book Vector, so I cannot say if it would have been better to read this chronologically. If there is any consolation, it felt like a standalone.

Verdict

Shifting Sands is the second book for Tradecraft, there is something big coming up, pretty sure I want to be a bystander rather than a part of it. The story is in third person POV, which works well as it offers a clear picture of who goes where. Definitely a book for the military buffs, or someone looking for some dangerous adventure.

book · review

Fairy Boy of Calton Hill Books 2 and 3 Review

Fairy Boy’s Adventure Continues with…

The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill Book 2
The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill Book 3

Series: Fairy Boy Chronicles
Author: Sean Paul Thomas
Genre: YA, Fantasy/ Fairies, Adventure

Book 1 review here…

I am back with Book 2 and 3 of Fairy Boy Chronicles, mainly because I have grown lazy with too many chores. Plus the story links together anyway. Life is busy at the moment, babies are hard work, and worse when they start crawling and calling out for every minor detail.

Fairy Boy 2 Review

The story picks up where it left of in Book 1, which is lucky because I read all three in the span of ten days. since this is a younger reader genre. Nothing too twisted and unpredictable, and mostly focus on importance of friendship and helping one another.

Which is why I am recommending this book, not only because it is easy to understand, but its focus. Some kid/ YA genres can be dark, while that is not a problem for an adult, you have to consider which age group you want to give to. Liam is a great hero because he’s the kind of friend that children should be taught to be.

What seemed like a good deal for Liam and friend Lucy turned sour, as they fall prey into a trap the fairy king and Zorn planned. It is a dastardly plan, no one saw it coming. After that, the story focuses more on running away from the mad King and his crazy wizard.

Through it all, Liam never lost sight of hope.

Fairy 3 Review

When things were looking up, Zorn appears, with a gift. Not the happy type of course, crazy Zorn adds to book three a deadline and a sense of urgency. Before that, a few pirate ships to pillage and burn! As Liam tries to save his friends, and get back to his own world, he has to first cross the seven seas.

Man, I love the Peter Pan reference to it. I do have the distinct feel that Fairy Boy of Calton Hill lends a lot of its ideas from Peter Pan, but this is not a rewrite. Half the fun of the book involves our hero finding ways to reach his goal without causing anyone harm (intentionally)

However, this series is far from over. The author throws a curve ball of a twist, even though it is not a cliffhanger ending, I pine for more. As our hero (heroes) are still stuck in trouble, it will be awhile before they face the enemy/ final boss. There is also an air of mystery surrounding the Fairy King and Zorn, why are they such assholes?

All the reasons to read Fairy Boy Chronicles, Liam has definitely grown and still maturing over the three books. He knows his mission, but is lost on how to achieve it. He a strong and likable hero you will want your children to know.

Verdict

The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill just keeps getting more exciting and unpredictable, even for an adult. Your kid will thank you.

book · review

Champions: At Fire’s End


Champions: At Fire’s End
Author: Charlotte Jain
Series: Champions series 1
Genre: YA, fantasy, action

Champions of ?

At the start of the book, there is a brief explanation on how four babies were born and selected to become representatives for the Gods and Titans. This provide the basis and the whole book revolves around these beings who were tired of being at war. So somehow, four people go involved in this all or nothing, through no fault of their own.

The story starts with Kyle battling it out with his friend April, guided by God Ares. The scene is impressive, Fire and Water sparring for strength. It provides a promise that this story is going to be good, or at least exciting. This also gives the impression, telling me that if you are a Percy Jackson fan, you might like it. These two know their fate, and are training to avoid losing the fight.

It is all fine and dandy. Except these two are also dreamers, hence we have conflict number 2. By now, this is becoming a book for younger audience. Further along confirms my doubt, but I continue as this is a fellow Australian’s work I am reading.

Characters

There are two point of views in Champions: At Fire’s End: April who owns telepathy and fire powers, and Kyle who has water powers and something else that I cannot remember. Their mission is to find their enemy first, flipping between the two makes it easier to see each other’s point of view.

Then there are the Gods and Titans, and the other two Champions. I would like to say that there is some inconsistencies, and I am not feeling the people in the book. Not even the heroes, whom I find a little bit too whiny for my liking.

As this is the first of the series, I shall reserve judgement and hope that they grow into their skin a little.

Verdict

I tried to like it but failed, to be fair I find Percy Jackson a little juvenile as well. But if you have a kid who loves him, and other action type, friendship based stories, then by all means. Champion is not really an adult’s book, it is simplistic and frankly does not have much big twists. However, it is perfect for a younger reader, who will enjoy the fights and betrayal.

book · review

Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity Series) Review

Netgalley Cover

Silver Silence

Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity Novel 1
Genre: Romance , Sci Fi & Fantasy
From: Netgalley

Amazon cover

The Cover

I am not sure which cover you would prefer, but I kind of like the one from Netgalley over the red one from Amazon. Even though Valentin on the cover is not the I had envisioned, the red one just has not much attraction to it.

The Story

The title is related to the story, however I do find it a little weird. Weird enough to attract curious attention, it was the synopsis that did me in. I was sold by the summary of the book in Netgalley, plus it was easier to request from an Australian publisher usually. The author minces no words, preferring a funny courtship as an opening, then BAM! shit happens.

Valentin, the alpha of the StoneWater Bear clan, wastes no time in dissecting clues and saving the day. A lot is at stake when his intended mate: Silver Mercant was attacked. Silver is no ordinary person, she is a unique born psychic who could hear people’s thoughts. She lives by a code of Silence: emotionless world to keep her gift from killing her too young. However there is much to the story than her code.

This is a series after all, it would be boring without a lot of problems to start in the first book for the readers to follow through right? Silver Silence is the beginning of a challenging and exciting series for me. There is an uneasy truce between the humans, Changelings (Valentin) and Psy (Silver). Something is going in the psy world, a lot of hints while attacks are happening around the world

Sounds familiar?

It should be, it is happening upon the real world now.

Characters

My favorite would be Valentin, Alpha of the StoneWater Bear clan. He is one of the three predatory Changeling alphas, the other being Selena of the Wolf pack (BlackEdge) and the Leopard Clan’s Lucas. As the leader of the Bears, he has a lot of bear traits like fearless, funny and playful.

Silver is harder to like due to her Silence, not that she is not likable. Despite being an adult, Silver was more fun later on as she unwittingly gets involved with Valentin. You could say that he wore her down, with disastrous results.

Verdict

Silver Silence has it all: Romance, mystery and a lot of funny banter Click To Tweet

Silver Silence has what I love: funny banter, a mystery and a unique plot despite a well worn story line. Somehow we can relate with the struggles. The theme for the book is Family, and it is heavily featured in the book. I find that it is an easy/ hard read; easy because words just flow by, hard because of the difficult things they have to face.

I do like it, it spells a wonderful start to a series that will be going strong. If you are a fan of people saving each other instead of always guy saving girl, then this one is definitely for you.

 

 

 

thoughts

Shhh.. I am Gaming!

Gaming This

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – PlayStation 4

Games are my second favorite method of storytelling, hence I am a fan of role- playing games like this one here, and Final Fantasy. Gaming offers an experience reading cannot give, mainly the involvement of the story and the audience. You might disagree, because hey, it’s a game! It is entertainment, so is television.

As graphics and technology get better, the storytelling gets worse. Like movies, everyone is big on computer graphics and loud noises, but when it comes to story it is lacking sometimes. It is the same for games, all that beautiful world and kick ass play is nothing compared to a good story.

I am busy….

My favorite game to date is The Last of Us. If you are unfamiliar with the title, it is a zombie game. Think Walking Dead if television? This game grips, because it has two point of views, and The Last of Us gives you no freedom in the story, forcefully directs you to the end with hordes of zombies, scavengers and soldiers.

Unlike Final Fantasy titles, this one has a clear objective: to deliver the girl to a place. So the guy has to navigate through dangers, trying to fulfill the dying wish of a friend. Of course when you go on a road trip, you bond. Not only the two characters establish a relationship, you will find yourself becoming part of their team.

When it ends, you will never be the same.

I am playing … Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Oh yes, this is old game. This is what happens when babies come out, and being addicted to games. I am a gaming addict. I should be in a Gamer’s Anonymous, if there is one. My proud (not really) moment was finishing a game in 5 days, and I played 12 hours a day to finish it. Yea, I would play until 3am, and continue at 8am. Yay me.

Good old days was when me and my brothers play for 2 days straight. It is not healthy, but we are young!

Until I finish the game, reading time will be limited to when Princess Brat confines me to the bed. She’s experiencing wonder week and is a little clingy at the moment. Love this time, I feel so needed (bazinga.)

Thank you for understanding

Gamer Me Out