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Review: Wraith by James R. Hannibal

23516574Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned – W.B. Yeats – The Second Coming – 1919

Wraith is, by no stretch of the imagination, a light read. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by details – details about everything from exactly how an Irish Cross is carried out ‘arguably the most complex maneuver in the Warthog tactics manual.’ And no, that isn’t something from Hogwarts – It is a four aircraft multiple weapon attack on a target – to every single step, step by (for me) excruciating step, including weapons, planes, and everything else required in war.

I wanted to read this book. I really like military thrillers, and, if these are the types of books you like, I would recommend you try it out. The problem for me was that it simply exhausted me – from word choices to descriptions, there was just too much. Too much description, too many jumps between settings. The overall writing and plot could have been so very much better with a good, sharp editing pencil. Of course, that is my opinion – for many readers of military thrillers, this is just the sort of read they are searching for and will absolutely love Wraith. The plot is good, though very heavy in the overall concept. But if you are extremely interested in warfare and all of its levels, this is an exceptional book to meet that armchair warriors needs.

I received an e-ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

 

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Review: Skin Deep-A Dark World Novel By T.G. Ayer

13604857A person’s current personality of love, hatred, jealousy, rage or a murderous intent and so on is formed upon genetic elements, education, the environment and a family a person grows in. – Kim Ki-duk

No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks. – Mary Wollstonecraft

 Kailin has quite the life. Only twenty, she is one busy girl. School. In training at the Sandhurst Centre for Rehabilitation as a counselor for drug addicted teens trying to better their lives after sometimes horrific beginnings. So many children – so much pain.

And then, there is the fact that Kailin is a Hunter – a Wraith hunter – searching out and destroying evil creatures who inhabit the bodies of humans, killing them and wearing their bodies while they spread their evil. Of course, being a Panther shifter helps – but when she witnesses a body dump, everything changes for the worse. For the Wraiths are getting stronger – the veil between worlds thinner – and things are about to take a hard turn into brutality and treachery such as Kailin never expected. And which will change her life forever.

Kailin is an interesting character. She is strong, intense, and one of the hardest working young women you can imagine. But then, she is also fragile. When she lost her mother as a child, she also lost her father to the isolation of grief and introversion. Alone and in pain she moves to Chicago where her grandmother, Ivy, a flighty woman who is nearly never home – and then only for a day or so when she is – provides her with a home, as long as she works and goes to school. A good arrangement all around when Kailin is desperate to hide her Wraith hunting. Kailin doesn’t always make the best decisions – she is young, after all – but she feels very real within the bounds of her character, and you can’t help but like her, and hurt right along with her when things are bad, and feel joy with her when things do go right.

Overall? I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good paranormal story. There is a minor romantic thread which I see developing over the series and is well done and interesting. I intend to continue the series over time.

Review: Exchange of Fire (An SBG Novel) by P.A. DePaul

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. – George Washington

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war. – Art 47. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977

Many military officials reportedly (also) expressed concerns that the security contractors were trigger-happy and “out-of-control cowboys who alienated the same Iraqis the military is trying to cultivate.” Defense Secretary Gates said that the contractors were at “cross purposes” with the military goals, and he suggested they be put under his authority. Opening Statement of Chairman Henry A.Waxman, in US Congress, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Hearing on Private Security Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, hearings, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., October 2, 2007

 

exchangeI first found Exchange of Fire on Reading In Pajamas and was intrigued. I love a “Kick Butt and Take Names” heroine, and Wraith definitively qualifies. A sharpshooting badass with a steady hand and a sharp eye, Wraith is part of a four-man (well, two men and two women, but you get the idea) with a super-secret, blackest-of-the-black private . . . well, corporation doesn’t really describe it. More like “If you even think that you know anything about the possibility of this group even existing, they will never find your body” sort of thing. Anyway! Nasty, nasty with razorblades on top.

But don’t think that this is all a bad deal. When the US government needs the really nasty, vicious, “how can they call these creatures humans” taken care of, they call SBG. And SBG gets it done. So, when they needed a cartel taken out that specialized in sex trafficking of young girls, Wraith, Magician, Talon and Romeo, and their leader, Cappy, are sent to Mexico to take care of the problem. However, after six months of chasing the cartel members, and losing young girls to short, horrific experiences, something had to be done. And what happened damaged Magician almost beyond salvaging – but it destroyed Wraith.

Six months later, the story picks up with Wraith living in a ‘bolt hole’ in the Carolinas, working for Grady, an ex-Marine who now runs a games center, full to bursting with go-cart tracks, a monster arcade room, paintball arena, and all the other wonderful, safe, fun goodies that kids and teenagers swoon over. They both have their damaged pasts to overcome, but Wraith’s makes Grady’s look like child’s play. But they are going to have to work together, because the monsters are coming – and they are out for blood.

The story was excellent. Fast action, two strong, capable women with guns and knives and scars pushed all my “Yeah, Baby!!!” buttons. When Magician, Talon, Romeo and Cappy come back on the scene, it is with a level of heart that was real and touching, with a dose of kicking Wraith’s ass, which she certainly deserved. They all have to pull together to get the bad guys. And the bad guys aren’t all on the other side – there is plenty of political backstabbing (with real knives).

DePaul does an exceptional job of weaving the problems of the American tendency towards uncontrolled, private black-ops corporations into the story in a brilliantly realistic manner. Some people will do anything for power, and absolute power, with absolutely no oversight and lots and lots of guns and ammo is more dangerous than we care to admit. The other thing that was handled with a deft touch was PTSD and how it affects the strongest, steadiest soldiers. There is only so much that any human being can handle, no matter how intensive their training.

The only drawback for me, honestly, was Grady. For an ex-Marine, I found him to be, well, let’s just say he lacked sac. My Marine adoptive father would have kicked his backside from here to California. “Geeze, would you like a little cheese with that whine? You would think he went over to the sandbox and played with little pink unicorns and fairies in tutus . . . Just sayin’. Other than wimpy boy, everything else about the book was rock solid, but Mr. Crybaby Pants dropped it a half-star for me. Pfft. I liked Talon lots better! 😉

I received a copy directly from Ms. Depaul in return for a realistic review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About The Author:

P.depaulA. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. As an avid lover of stories, you can pretty much bet her nose is either stuck in a book or in front of a computer madly typing as she listens to the voices in her head (In her world it’s perfectly natural for her characters to tell her their tale so she can put it down on paper to their satisfaction).

dat face!
Check my Website here!

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Review: Exchange of Fire (An SBG Novel) by P.A. DePaul

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. – George Washington

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war. – Art 47. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977

Many military officials reportedly (also) expressed concerns that the security contractors were trigger-happy and “out-of-control cowboys who alienated the same Iraqis the military is trying to cultivate.” Defense Secretary Gates said that the contractors were at “cross purposes” with the military goals, and he suggested they be put under his authority. Opening Statement of Chairman Henry A.Waxman, in US Congress, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Hearing on Private Security Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, hearings, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., October 2, 2007

 

exchangeI first found Exchange of Fire on Reading In Pajamas and was intrigued. I love a “Kick Butt and Take Names” heroine, and Wraith definitively qualifies. A sharpshooting badass with a steady hand and a sharp eye, Wraith is part of a four-man (well, two men and two women, but you get the idea) with a super-secret, blackest-of-the-black private . . . well, corporation doesn’t really describe it. More like “If you even think that you know anything about the possibility of this group even existing, they will never find your body” sort of thing. Anyway! Nasty, nasty with razorblades on top.

But don’t think that this is all a bad deal. When the US government needs the really nasty, vicious, “how can they call these creatures humans” taken care of, they call SBG. And SBG gets it done. So, when they needed a cartel taken out that specialized in sex trafficking of young girls, Wraith, Magician, Talon and Romeo, and their leader, Cappy, are sent to Mexico to take care of the problem. However, after six months of chasing the cartel members, and losing young girls to short, horrific experiences, something had to be done. And what happened damaged Magician almost beyond salvaging – but it destroyed Wraith.

Six months later, the story picks up with Wraith living in a ‘bolt hole’ in the Carolinas, working for Grady, an ex-Marine who now runs a games center, full to bursting with go-cart tracks, a monster arcade room, paintball arena, and all the other wonderful, safe, fun goodies that kids and teenagers swoon over. They both have their damaged pasts to overcome, but Wraith’s makes Grady’s look like child’s play. But they are going to have to work together, because the monsters are coming – and they are out for blood.

The story was excellent. Fast action, two strong, capable women with guns and knives and scars pushed all my “Yeah, Baby!!!” buttons. When Magician, Talon, Romeo and Cappy come back on the scene, it is with a level of heart that was real and touching, with a dose of kicking Wraith’s ass, which she certainly deserved. They all have to pull together to get the bad guys. And the bad guys aren’t all on the other side – there is plenty of political backstabbing (with real knives).

DePaul does an exceptional job of weaving the problems of the American tendency towards uncontrolled, private black-ops corporations into the story in a brilliantly realistic manner. Some people will do anything for power, and absolute power, with absolutely no oversight and lots and lots of guns and ammo is more dangerous than we care to admit. The other thing that was handled with a deft touch was PTSD and how it affects the strongest, steadiest soldiers. There is only so much that any human being can handle, no matter how intensive their training.

The only drawback for me, honestly, was Grady. For an ex-Marine, I found him to be, well, let’s just say he lacked sac. My Marine adoptive father would have kicked his backside from here to California. “Geeze, would you like a little cheese with that whine? You would think he went over to the sandbox and played with little pink unicorns and fairies in tutus . . . Just sayin’. Other than wimpy boy, everything else about the book was rock solid, but Mr. Crybaby Pants dropped it a half-star for me. Pfft. I liked Talon lots better! 😉

About The Author:

P.depaulA. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. As an avid lover of stories, you can pretty much bet her nose is either stuck in a book or in front of a computer madly typing as she listens to the voices in her head (In her world it’s perfectly natural for her characters to tell her their tale so she can put it down on paper to their satisfaction).

dat face!
Check my Website here!

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addtogoodreads

twitter logo

Gateway to Faerie – M.D. Bowden – Young Adult Dystopia

Gateway to Faerie was provided to me by the good folks at storycartel.com for an honest review. Of course, that in no way adjusts my review of the book, but it does give me access to some books that I wouldn’t have normally picked up to read. Whether I like those books on a personal level sometimes varies.

faerie
At least the cover is well done.

Gateway is a book that I would recommend to the Young Adult and Teen audience looking for a dystopian novel that qualifies as an ‘easy, clean’ read. Bowden has written a nice story with sharp edges and an unusual world build.

Fayth Blackman lives in a dystopian world, set two hundred years or so after a global apocalypse blamed on religious fanaticism and growing to nuclear war. In reality, the destruction is the outcome of a gateway between worlds, allowing the faerie world to intersect with our own through a gateway opened by evil fae.

I have read and enjoyed many YA books, some of which as exceptionally written. Sadly, this isn’t one of them. Though not offensively incompetently written, there is still a great deal that could be better about the book. The story line when dealing with the three main characters is pretty much ‘rinse and repeat’ – the whole walk, fight, walk, fight, teenager finds love in a time of terror situation. The editing of the book is poor, the sentence structure is choppy, and overall I wish that the author would find a really good editor and work to outgrow the “See Fayth Run, Run Fayth Run” flow of the books narrative.

The concept pulls the book back from a lower star rating, simply because the government line of what happened to the world two hundred years ago vs. the reality is interesting. Even now, the books and schooling which Fayth receives are “humancentric” rather than realistic. The book also ends rather abruptly. I note that there is a second volume, but I won’t be reading it, as I understand from reviews that it is not written any better than the first, is novella length and basically would have been better served to be added into this volume.

Overall, this is a “tell it” not a “show it” and it simply didn’t enthrall me, even with the understanding that it is designed for a YA audience. Just because that is your audience doesn’t mean that your audience should be talked down to. A great number of the YA readers out there are smarter, better educated, and more literate than their Adult counterparts.

I would rate this book a 2.5 on a 5 point scale based on back story only.

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