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Book Review: “Lights Out” by Natalie Walters

Walters is a new author for me this year. But she knows how to write quality realistic suspense stories with a great attention to detail and plenty of romance tossed in. I had read Initium, the SNAP Agency prequel, and it set me up for the team that I was soon to become very familiar with. Interestingly, Initium features Director Tom Walsh as the focal point and how he goes about setting up SNAP. However, he has a very minor role in Lights Out which surprised me but didn’t affect my view of this story.

This story moves fast and throws the reader into the action immediately which gets you turning pages which I love. Our two leads, Brynn Taylor and Jack Hudson, have a history and this creates an additional layer of intrigue and tension which adds to the reading experience. I liked the chemistry between them and also how Walters creates a positive encouraging vibe within the small SNAP team. They sound like a team that would function well and look after each other.

Walters is good with the detail too which I suspect has something to do with her military connections. This adds authenticity to Lights Out especially when it comes to cyber security and cyber terrorism. Tough concepts to write about but Walters does it well. In this story, what initially appears to be an isolated situation blows out into becoming a major domestic and global one that sure grabs the reader’s notice.

The supporting cast are well crafted especially Kekoa, the Jason Momoa-esque Hawaiian giant who also happens to be a crazy computer nerd and a very fun guy to have around. Garcia was the quiet one and I hope we see more of him in a later story.

My only reservation was the conflict got resolved a little too quickly and I thought some of the detail of the resolution was missed which took a little away from the authenticity of the detail that had come before.

Thoroughly entertaining story and I’m excited for the next instalment.

I was very fortunate to receive an early ebook copy from Revell as part of their Readers Program via NetGalley with no expectation of a positive review.

Book Review: The Chase by Lisa Harris

We catch up with Madison James and Jonas Quinn three months after the end of The Escape. Madison has recovered physically from her wounds but it’s clear she is still struggling emotionally with not knowing who shot her and how they’re linked to her late husband’s killer.

She isn’t given any time to quietly settle back into the job as the partners are immediately called into a bank robbery that is going down. These robbers serve to form the backbone of the plot for the story. On escaping capture, the foursome thrill seekers separate and send Madison and Jonas on a series of illusive chases as they endeavour to avoid jail time.

Like all her stories, Harris keeps the pace fast as we move from scene to scene on the hunt for these wily robbers. Meanwhile, the connection between our two US Marshalls continues to develop and grow and for one of them in particular, taking their friendship to something more becomes increasingly desirable. I like how Harris is developing this relationship. It’s a bit like those classic old detective TV shows where the romantic tension between the two leads is ever present and you wonder that it’s just a matter of time before they get together.

I loved racing all around Seattle and exploring its sights as well as some pretty islands further north close to the Canadian border.

We’re left hanging at the end of the story on all levels which makes me want the third and final instalment to arrive quickly so I can see how everything gets wrapped up.

I received an early ebook copy of the book from the publisher as part of their Revell Reads Program via NetGalley with not expectation of a positive review.

Book Review: Ottoman Dominion by Terry Brennan

I will say from the outset this is my sort of read! Full of intrigue, action, edge of your seat suspense, political conspiracies, historical theories and fiction, the tinderbox of the Middle East and the active involvement of angels and demons. This has it all.

Written in very short, sharp scenes I actually struggled at first to catch up, to understand what was going on. This surprised me having read the first two in the series relatively recently but there seemed to be too many players and too many separate plot points that had me rolling my eyes a little. But after about 50 pages, everything fell back into place and I settled in for the ride. The pages began turning very quickly.

There are so many elements to like in this story, yes, Brennan uses fictional licence which may bother some readers when it comes to the supernatural but I like how he used the ‘thin veil’ and the roles both Bayard (the angelic warrior) and the Turk (the Man of Violence) played. His cast of characters were all developed across the three stories with particular emphasis in the final instalment on Brian Mullaney and Atticus Cleveland. Some of the supporting cast were tremendously depicted: Father Poppy and Rabbi Herzeg being two very engaging characters.

Brennan wraps the series up well bringing all the moving pieces together like a master story conductor. I’m wondering if he’s left a few crumbs that may form the basis of a spin-off but that’s for us all to ponder.

Congratulations, Terry Brennan. May I encourage any new readers to start with Book 1 in the series, as the backstories and action builds from it. And now the 3 are available, may I also encourage you to read all three with minimal breaks between them so you don’t spent too much time in ‘catch up mode’ at the beginning of the next one.

I received a complimentary copy from Kregel as a result of being a member of the Audra Reads program via NetGalley with no expectation of a positive review.