Tag Archives: conspiracy

Misaligned by Rodney Carlson

Misaligned by Rodney Carlson


Genre: Mystery Thriller/Sci-Fi

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Pages: 136

Veteran Author: Yes, Navy


Kindle: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paperback: NO

Click on a YES above to go to appropriate retailer.


The son of a Colorado Farmer. At the age of twenty one I joined the Navy and became a Weapons Control and Information Systems Engineer onboard fast attack submarines. There I traveled all over the Pacific and Indian Ocean visiting many countries and gaining wonderful experiences. Not only did I get the chance to see different countries, but I did a lot of traveling around The U.S. It was my goal to visit every state, and in 2004 I visited my last state Florida. Since retiring from the Navy I have worked as a Computer Engineer for various companies in Virginia where I live with my best friend and wife of fourteen years. (Just so you know, best friend and wife are the same person! lol) I have always had a passion for the written word. I love to read most anything, but commonly gravitate toward science fiction and fantasy.”


“Aliens are among us. 
Illuminati are involved with their plan. 
There’s a government conspiracy to cover the truth. 
This has been hidden from the civilizations of earth. 
The truth is out. 
Over five thousand one hundred years ago the earth received creatures from another planet. Today we hardly know they still exist. They are not hiding from us, they are hiding from each other. Two alien races are struggling for dominance in a huge galactic war and earth is caught in the middle. A computer engineer discovers plans to use humanity in the battle. Can he stop it? How can one human possibly fight against an advanced civilization? With some reckless luck the planetary alignment on December 21, 2012 won’t mark the end of mankind.”

My Two Cents:

This is a massive story, and I don’t mean in word count. Mystery, apocalyptic thriller, classic Sci-Fi- they are all blended here. The author pulls this huge mix together pretty well, without being confusing and with a rapid fire pace. Although, some questions are left unanswered, especially at the end. I’m assuming because this is part of a series. Fair warning: the ending, while thrilling and surprising, is a cliff hanger.

I did enjoy how most of the story is from the aliens’ perspective. A unique twist on the end-of-the-world. There was an impressive attention to detail and realism with both the great big conspiracy and the aliens’ technology. The competing aliens were a nice twist.

My only real complaint is how human-like the aliens are. Their motivations, thought processes, organization- even rank structure. Still, that doesn’t significantly distract from the tale. It sure cuts down on excessively complicated world-building.

All in all, a lot of fun with some interesting variety on the old alien invasion plot.

As is standard practice in this industry, I received a free review copy.


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Review of NEFARIOUS: The Blackwell Files by Steven F. Freeman

Nefarious: The Blackwell Files by Steven F. Freeman


Genre: Mystery Thriller

Rating: ***** Five Stars  

Estimated word count: 60,300 words


Kindle:  YES   Nook: YES  Smashwords: NO  Paperback: YES

Click on a YES above to go to appropriate retailer.


“Thriller/mystery author Steve Freeman is a former member of the US Army’s Signal Corps, a twenty-five year employee of a large American technology company, and an avid traveler who has visited five continents. The Blackwell Files novels draw from his firsthand knowledge of military service, the tech industry, and the diverse cultures of our world.

He currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.”

Website: http://www.stevefreemanwriter.com/


“Nefarious, the debut medical thriller of “The Blackwell Files” Series, is a fast-paced foray charting the investigation of an ex-Army captain and an intelligent, beautiful FBI agent into a covert, sinister project, a saga certain to mesmerize anyone who likes a thriller served up with plenty of surprises and some mind-bending science, set against a backdrop of the pursuit of impossible love.”

My Two Cents:

This is the first 5 star Indie review I’ve ever given. Nefarious is a first class mystery thriller that starts in a military setting but doesn’t limit itself to the military world. This story will rope in both civilians and veterans alike.

While great mysteries are a dime a dozen, what sets this tale apart is how well the author explores serious, real world issues. He brazenly takes on uncomfortable subjects, such as injured veterans’ challenges with overcoming shattered self-confidence, emotional disconnection from reality and struggling to find new goals in life. He deftly drops the reader into the shattered warrior’s shoes in such a way that you aren’t just interested, but you really care what happens next to the character. All without coming across overly depressive and still crafting this emotional angle as an integral part of the story rather than a side diversion.

Now, the author does take some extreme “artistic license” with the details of military operations. For example, officers wandering around off base in Afghanistan to some civilian bar to drink, flirt with locals and “hang out.” Many veterans would find that annoyingly fictitious. Still, I admit that’s a personal bias that doesn’t detract from the narrative, but rather makes for a more wild story.

The only issue that’s somewhat negative is the rushed ending. While the conspiracy is wrapped up tightly and logically, the method doesn’t fit with the rest of the book’s smooth tone. During the journey you’re fed tantalizing hints, grim foreshadow and believable twists. The “who done it?” feeling rises to a fever pitch by the last chapter… and then the heroes just have a eureka moment and unravel the whole sordid tale in one scene. Rather anti-climactic, in my opinion.

However, none of that changes the fact that this is one of the most addictive page turners I’ve had the pleasure to read in a while. The tale is both fun and emotionally engaging- a thriller with a soul. Definitely worth both the money and time to read.

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