Book Review: Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P.W. Singer & August Cole

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If have read some of the old-school thrillers of the 80’s and 90’s like Red Storm Rising, Flight of the Old Dog, or Red Phoenix then you will love Ghost Fleet. This is essentially an update of the Cold War military thrillers and you will love it. The main plot is that at some unspecified time in the near future (it is never explicitly stated) China pulls a Pearl Harbor in an attempt to create a 21st century Chinese version of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity sphere. The Chinese invade and take Hawaii and decimate the US Pacific Fleet through a combination of combat and cyber attacks on defense infrastructure … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Killing Titan by Greg Bear

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I should have kept complaining. I recently wrote a glowing review of the first book in the War Gods trilogyWar Dogs, unfortunately the second book Killing Titan is not as fast paced or interesting. In fact, I barely struggled through the final chapters. After the fast paced, engaging action of War Dogs I expected this to be a pretty good follow up to lead into what I already knew was going to be a trilogy. War Dogs ends with the protagonist Michael Venn being taken into custody. This book starts with Venn in custody at Ft Lewis being held incommunicado and periodically interrogated by various people as well as talking … More after the Jump…

Book Review: War Dogs by Greg Bear

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I complained earlier this year about the lack of good science fiction. Well, I can quit complaining. War Dogs by Greg Bear is a very good book and just what I have been waiting for. This book is science fiction going back to what it should be, a rollicking good tale with a scientific bent. This is a thinking person’s book as the storyline is not laid out on a straight A-B line you have to pay attention while reading to start to put the pieces together. That is one of the things I like about it. It shows that the author has some respect for his readers when he … More after the Jump…

Book Review: For Two Cents, I’ll Go With You by Marcia Maxwell

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For 2 Cents, I’ll Go With You: A Novel of the Great War is the story of Pat, a farm boy who grew up in a small village in Michigan. His friend Aubrey has joined the Army and convinces Pat he should do the same so they can go to Paris and have adventures and meet beautiful women. As it turns out, things don’t quite go as hoped. Pat starts out at a camp in Georgia, then moves on to Pennsylvania where he is trained by a few memorable nurses on how to be a surgical assistant. He meets up with a band of three other men in Georgia who … More after the Jump…

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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What would you do if you were suddenly thrust back in time 200 years? Imagine life before indoor plumbing, automobiles, electricity and modern medicine. Claire Randall, a British Army Nurse during World War II, was on a second honeymoon with her husband, who she hasn’t seen in six years, when she discovers a portal through time hidden in a stone formation on a hill in the Scottish Highlands. She is thrust back in time to the year 1743, just a few short years before “the forty-five” will come to pass. Claire struggles to survive in this brutal new world, torn between the love she left behind and the new love … More after the Jump…

The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen

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The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johannsen Nell Calder’s life was forever changed the night she and her family were attacked by a madman. Plain looking and overweight, nobody really noticed Nell and she blended into the background, but no more. After an attack left her family dead and face broken and unrecognizable, a world renowned plastic surgeon takes on the challenge of transforming the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. And she is pissed. Her attacker is determined to finish what he started, but he doesn’t know what Nell looks like. Hell-bent on taking him down, Nell trains hard and transforms from a shy weakling into a trained assassin. She won’t stop until … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen

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Imaginary Things is the story of Anna Jennings and her son, Davey. She got pregnant while still in high school and the father turned out to be unstable and he is not in their lives. Now, at 22, she has just lost her job and she’s forced to move in with her grandparents in a small town near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Strange things begin to happen as soon as they start settling in to their new life. Davey has an imaginary dinosaur friend, but Anna can see it. She had an imaginary friend for many years, but has forgotten much of her childhood. A friend from her past moves back into town to … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Funny Thing About War by Al Campo

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[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author and/or publisher. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] The Funny Thing About War by Al Campo is part fictional War story and part autobiography. It is the story of a young, 22 year old man called to duty in the Navy and then sent to Southeast Asia as a crewman on a Destroyer conducting fire missions up and down the coast of North and South Vietnam. The book itself is 413 pages of text separated into eleven chapters. Because it is ostensibly a work of fiction there is … More after the Jump…

Review: Gulf War Ghosts by W.P. Armstrong

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I will admit up front that I normally shy away from historical fiction like it is the plague.  Gulf War Ghosts has made me rethink that position.  This is historical fiction that uses a historical period as the setting but dos not try to play what if games with events.  The setting is the immediate aftermath of the first Gulf war and the plot revolves around mysterious attacks on several American soldiers. With the exception of one mistake one of my biggest pet peeves about any writing having to do with military units was a non-issue.  That is, he gets the format and style of unit designations correct.  There is none … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Under a Graveyard Sky & To Sail a Darkling Sea by John Ringo

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Under a Graveyard Sky & To Sail a Darkling Sea together are yet another excellent offering from John Ringo, one of the masters at writing combat sci fi today.  These are the first two books in the Black Tide Rising series, the next book in the series, Islands of Rage and Hope is due for release in August, 2014. The concept behind the series is the Zombie Apocalypse, a popular theme in fiction in the past 5-10 years.  This is a variation on that theme with the difference being that the zombies are not undead, they are still alive just infected.  The zombies have been infected with a virus that essentially eliminates higher order thinking … More after the Jump…

Book Promotion: The Mogadishu Diaries: Bloodlines by Eddie Thompkins

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Loyal readers, I was approached by Mr Thompkins via email about reviewing his novel The Mogadishu Diaries: Bloodlines. This is a self-published work and one I will not be able to read for at least a month because of the pile of other books I have recently gotten from publishers. I plan on reading this book and writing up a review on it but in the meantime in the interests of encouraging other people to write and giving them a chance to publicize their own work I offered to let him post a promotional piece here at Battles & Book Reviews. Below is the text he sent me to promote … More after the Jump…

Book Review: 11/22/1963 by Stephen King

I will say up front that I have read every book by Stephen King.   He generally hits it out of the park but he has had some books that I just hated, Gerald’s Game and The Dark Tower Series come immediately to mind as duds. 11/22/63 is not one of them.   It is a great book that you won’t want to put down until the end. Ostensibly, this is the story of a man who goes back in time to try and stop the assassination of JFK in Dealey Plaza.   That is how it starts and for the first little bit you will think that is all it is about. … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Watership Down by Richard Adams

This improbable tale of brave rabbits is a classic and one of the best stories I have ever read.   It first came out in the seventies and a movie adaptation was made in 1978 by the BBC.   It is the tale of a group of rabbits who leave their home warren because of a premonition and the many adventures they have as they cross the English countryside in search of a new home and go through the struggles of establishing one on Watership Down.   The story itself is outstanding but what makes it even cooler in my opinion is that all the places in the book actually … More after the Jump…