Tag Archive | Suspense

Outzone Raider by Mike Sheridan

Outzone RaiderSource: ARC from the author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

2041. THE GREAT GLOBAL WAR IS OVER. WHAT’S LEFT OF AMERICA IS IN CHAOS.

Beautiful but cynical exo-robotic operator, Vikki Gurin is playing a dangerous game. To make extra money for her family, she supplies Outzone bandit, Dima Aslanov with the information he needs during his daring raids across New Haven’s border. But when Aslanov and his bratva crew steal vital supplies destined for the federal government, he takes a step too far. Despite being caught up in America’s deadly secessionist wars, the US military are forced to turn their attention on him.

War-weary, Hoke Thompson didn’t expect to return home to find himself fighting fellow Americans. But these aren’t ordinary times. When his special ops team, Tactical Unit 8 return from rebel-held Oklahoma City, they discover their next mission is to neutralize a certain Dima Aslanov. Soon, Vikki gets caught up in the drama as the military hatches a plan to take the bandit down. Can she protect her family yet remain loyal to the Outzone warlord–or does something have to give?

Set against the backdrop of a brutal, war-torn America at the height of the secessionist wars, Outzone Raider interweaves two personal stories to a thrilling conclusion, as well as exploring both the rise of the Outzone and the fledgling New Haven State. Like all stories set in the Outzone World, there’s plenty of action–the characters riveting and believable.

First there’s a world war, and then the American soldiers return home to a divided country, which leads to the secessionist wars. A new state is created in the mid-west, New Haven, and this story is set in the years before a wall is built between New Haven and the Outzone, the latter being a lawless territory where those who wish to try their luck at survival.

Vikki Gurin is feisty exo-robot operator in New Haven’s Industrial Zone. It’s a gritty, hard place to work, but she likes her colleagues and the hard work. She is also a pair of eyes for Dima Aslanov, an Outzone bandit who likes to raid warehouses in the IZ for supplies. One night she hears of supplies of shelters, an order for the federal government that’s located in the heart of the IZ, and she decides to tell Aslanov about it. However, she leaves out information about the destination of the supply.

Dima Aslanov has one rule: if he’s to steal anything from the Industrial Zone, it must not be destined for the federal government. His raid for the supplies is successful, but it turns the eyes of the government and the intelligence organisations on his activities. It isn’t long before things heat up – for both Dima and Vikki.

This is a well-crafted post-apocalyptic thriller. Sheridan easily drew me in to the gritty world of Vikki and Dima, bringing the characters and their lives to life. It was good to get back into this setting and get to know it better through the eyes of a new group of people.

Things definitely do not come easily in the war-torn Americas, and one must take chances to get ahead. But which chance will be a step to far? Excellent post-apocalyptic fare, with great action and nail-biting suspense.

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Sovran’s Pawn by JC Cassels

Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Elizabeth

Convicted of treason and sentenced to be executed, Bo Barron is the last person who should be infiltrating a Sub-socia weapons auction. But when her father is kidnapped and the ransom demand is the schematics to an experimental weapon, she has no choice but to go under cover with her uncle to get it. 

Nobody counted on former-government-agent-turned-holofeature-hero Blade Devon’s infatuation with her. A botched assassination under the guise of a bar brawl leaves Bo blind and Blade wondering if there isn’t more to this job than he was led to believe. 

Never able to resist playing the hero, Blade tends her injuries and delves deeper into the intrigue only to find this mission isn’t about a weapon at all. It’s about two Sovrans’ maneuvering for control, with Bo and Blade as their pawns. 

All Bo and Blade have to do is figure out how to survive the game they didn’t know they were playing. 

The catch is, no one and nothing are what they seem…

First of all, I never write reviews. I am one of those people that is way over-extended in life with really too much on their plate. In fact, this is the first review I have ever written on an Amazon purchase and I am probably one of their best customers. So in general when I take the time to sit down to actually write a review it is either because I thought the item was absolutely horrific or incredibly earth-shattering fantastic. This book is the later of the two.

If you are looking for a book that is going to help you get away from reality and immerse you into a new world of adventure and romance…this is the book for you. From the first chapter, the reader is involved in the prison escape of Bo Barron who has been wrongly convicted of treason and at the time is sitting in her cell awaiting execution. As the plot moves along in this book- Bo becomes an unwilling participant in one political intrigue after another all with unexpected and unpredictable twists and turns. Along the journey she also unexpectedly meets a mysterious man who is her match in both wits and character. Somehow this overly head-strong and independent heroine manages to meet her hero or is this mysterious man really her nemeses and the tool of her eventual downfall? On the surface this budding romance may appear sappy but rather I found the whole book entertaining and way too short. In reality this book possesses a lot of depth with layer upon layer of intrigue and suspense which on another level makes the reader reflect and analysis the characters and events.

Overall, this book is well written. It is full of non-stop action that actually does have a well-developed and for the most part a very unpredictable plot. As the book progresses the reader is introduced to characters that are real with just enough information that makes the reader want to come back for more which surprisingly only adds to the suspense of the plot. This book is a fast read and probably one of the most enjoyable books that I have read in a while. I am totally looking forward to the second book in this series.

To Catch a Marlin by TK Toppin

TCaM Cover 180dpiSource: Own collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Special Inspector Michael Pedroni is assigned to a kidnapping case – with a twist. A vigilante is now in the sights of the ICSP for rescuing the child from the kidnappers. And Pedroni is on her tail – or so he believes until she starts feeding him leads information as to where she will be next.

Jax Marlin, a victim of a crime when a child, is out to attain justice for victims when the ICSP are unable to intervene due to laws and regulations they must follow. And this time, it seems, she’s pulling out all the stops…

TK Toppin weaves a fantastic tale of intrigue, action and suspense in this novel. Her characters are well-formed, as is the supporting cast, and the romance between the two main characters is believable. Her writing, while it can be refined somewhat, is nevertheless vivid and compelling, drawing one on through the book as one follows the action. Her fight sequences are a point of excellence, throwing punch and counter-kick with ease. No impossible moves there – unless one’s a floor-hugger like me who just can’t pull ’em like the rest of them…

If you like your suspense and action, this one’s for you. Oh, and you need to appreciate a good dollop of science fiction.