Tag Archives: thriller

Patriarch Run by Benjamin Dancer

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Genre: Psychological Thriller/ Action and Adventure

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Pages: 314

Veteran Author: No

Availability:

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Description:

“PATRIARCH RUN is a thoughtful and character-driven, coming-of-age story. Think of it as Jason Bourne meets Good Will Hunting.

Billy discovers that his father might be a traitor, that he was deployed to safeguard the United States from a cyberattack on its military networks. After that mission, his father disappeared along with the Chinese technology he was ordered to steal–a weapon powerful enough to sabotage the digital infrastructure of the modern age and force the human population into collapse.

Against a backdrop of suspense, the story explores the archetypal themes of fatherhood, rites of passage and self-acceptance through a set of characters that feel alive on the page.”

Author:

“Benjamin is an Advisor at Jefferson County Open School in Lakewood, Colorado, where he has made a career out of mentoring young people as they come of age. Benjamin wrote the novels PATRIARCH RUN, IN SIGHT OF THE SUN and FIDELITY. He also writes about parenting and education. Learn more at BenjaminDancer.com.”

My Two Cents:

The clipped, lightning fast tone of this tale reads more like a screenplay than your typical meandering literary fiction, at least in the beginning. That’s not a bad thing though. There’s still incredible depth to the characters. It’s refreshing to see an action tale that’s not afraid to tackle big emotional themes like PTSD, the morality of conflict and broken families. Brings more realism to the book.

Don’t expect to figure this story out ahead of time. Just enjoy the ride. The twists, sometimes dark, are completely unexpected. Been a while since I read an ending that I didn’t see coming! The only weakness, in my opinion, were the deep introspective moments during action sequences near the end. The climax seemed somewhat diluted.

Still, a fun, well-polished tale with more depth than I expected. Definitely worth the read. A thriller with a soul.

Follow the author at:

http://benjamindancer.com

https://www.facebook.com/PatriarchRun

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The Acolytes of Crane by J.D. Tew. OIF Veteran.

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Genre: Sci-fi/ Action Thriller

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Pages: 260

Veteran Author: Yes, Army

Availability:

KindleYES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO PaperbackYES Audiobook: YES

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Author:

J. D. Tew is an author from Minnesota that has an insatiable passion for art and Science Fiction. He has a degree in Applied Science, and also served as an infantryman in the United States Army, earning numerous commendations. 
J. D. spends the majority of his days wrangling three kids, writing poetry, working as a Dental Assistant, and creating new worlds through fiction. He loves to engage in epic lightsaber battles with his kids.

Book Description:

“Through time, there are cataclysms and reformations that can change everything, and the people who guide these changes are either heroes or villains. 
Twelve-year-old Theodore Crane is a prankster from a small Minnesota town, who half-heartedly shares a friend with a belligerent bully. When he is not spending his days dodging an abusive father, he is out fleeing the scenes of goofy pranks and dares. 
After a devastating tragedy strikes home, Theodore questions everything about himself, his family, and the universe. He then searches for answers by returning to the scene of this tragic incident and discovers the truth when an intervention from outer space reveals an epic intergalactic conflict. 
The truth: millions of guided microscopic devices are recording Theodore’s life and controlling his fate. Will this covert invasion be enough to pull Theodore toward his destiny? 
The warlords of the galaxy believe in this method and need representatives from Earth. 
Immerse yourself in this adventure beyond Earth to follow Theodore Crane and his acolytes as they battle the villains of the multiverse.”

My Two Cents:

While the beginning was a little slow for my taste, the pace picks up eventually and keeps slamming you with action. The somewhat disjointed pacing, occasionally slow and meandering and other times lighting fast, is my only real complaint.

That said, there are some interesting new concepts (demons and angels are real, but packing lasers!) here. The whole tale is also sprinkled with tongue-in-cheek humor and there’s a great twist ending. As a fan of classic Sci-fi, I enjoyed the complicated “multiverse” presented. However, I’ve been burnt out on aliens lately, so all the coming-of-age detail about the hero’s childhood was a refreshing break from the typical action thriller.

Maybe others wil find such careful character building out of place- to be fair this is atypical for action/adventure stories- but I think it’s a unique twist on the genre.

All in all, a fun read with some unique ideas. You might go so far as to call this “Heinlenesque.” I’m interested in reading the rest of the series.

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Euphoria Z by Luke Ahearn

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Genre: Sci-fi/ Action Thriller

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Pages: 413

Veteran Author: No

Availability:

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

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Author:

I was born in New Orleans and moved to Monterey, CA. It was a culture shock. New Orleans bawdy and laid back doesn’t translate well here, but I survive. 

I have over 20 years of professional game development experience. I have also authored numerous books, ran my own computer game company for ten years, and currently I own MasterWerx Studios, an animatronic prop shop in Monterey, CA.”

Book Description:

WARNING! Euphoria-Z is NOT for the timid! Within its pages are depictions of adult situations, violence, gore, nudity, and the use of profanity. 

Civilization shuts down as the world’s population fills the streets in a deadly orgy. They feel only pleasure and never pain, even as they are injured, maimed, and mutilated. The few who remain unaffected struggle to survive, unaware that things are about to get unbelievably worse. 

Cooper is among the few survivors of a conspiracy to depopulate the world. One week ago, college was his biggest concern. Now he is on a perilous journey to find his sister. But zombies aren’t the only threat he faces. In this nightmarish reality, the living can be far more dangerous.”

My Two Cents:

While this was longer than a normal thriller, maybe longer than it needed to be, it was still a lot of fun and as realistic as a zombie book can get. Despite the description, I wouldn’t consider this any more graphic than the typical apocalyptic tale.

The gritty and far-from-perfect heroes are a breath of fresh air in this genre. Don’t expect some super warrior with a heart of gold to step in and save the day. You’ve got pop-culture obsessed, entitled kids and wannabe thugs trying to survive the end of the world. If you’re tired of zombie hordes, rest assured they’re merely a backdrop. Not the real threat. This story is all about rebuilding and the struggle among the survivors. Without giving anything away, the fighting is not random.

My only real complaint is the length. Euphoria borders on being an epic saga. There’s so much action and conspiring in here that I’d expect a 2 or 3 book series.

Still, a fun, ultra-modern ride and more than just escapist literature. Definitely worth adding to your To Read list.

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MURDERED (Click Your Poison) by James Schannep

MURDERED (Click Your Poison) by James Schannep

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Genre: Mystery Thriller

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Estimated word count: N/A (Choose your adventure story)

Veteran Author: Yes, Air Force

Availability:

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

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Author:

“James Schannep (1984-) is an American novelist and screenwriter with a dozen competition wins and placements. His first screenplay was optioned in 2011 and the Click Your Poison series was launched September, 2012 with the flagship book INFECTED.

A United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) graduate with a degree in English, Schannep left the service honorably to write full time. He resides with his wife along California’s central coast.”

Description:

“3 Unique Storylines. Over 50 Possible Endings. Just one question... Could YOU Solve a Murder?

MURDERED is a mystery novel unlike any other — YOU are the main character. Follow clues, interrogate suspects, and piece together the puzzle before the killer gets away! It’s up to you to solve the case in this action-packed, dark and humorous thriller. Each link represents a choice, and the story evolves based on your decisions.

You’re in a dark alley, a lost tourist in Brazil, when you stumble across a woman’s body and a revolver atop a grisly note which reads, “PICK ME UP.” That’s when you realize you’re not alone….

What starts as an exotic vacation ends up as the opportunity of a lifetime when you inadvertently witness a man fleeing the scene of a murder. Work side-by-side with US Diplomatic Security agents (DSS) and Brazilian Police Officers inside the lawless slums of Rio de Janeiro — but choose wisely, no one is who they truly seem to be.

Get MURDERED!

My Two Cents:

I took this expecting a quick read for old-time nostalgia sakes, but got more than I expected. The base story is witty, gritty and sometimes downright funny. This would be entertaining enough as a traditional tale. The gambook effect is mere icing on the cake.

Even though I died only 13% through the story on my first read, (I became an even worse murderer, woops!) I had a blast. That’s what many books promise but this one actually delivers: an adventure. After five endings, five stand alone rides, I’ve only exhausted 10% of the fun.

The only weakness might be how many decision points the reader has available. With over 50, keeping all the puzzle pieces in place gets confusing. Still, that’s a matter of taste and doesn’t significantly detract from the great experience.

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