Bryan L. (bjlowe) - , - Reviews

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The Codex (Codex, Bk 01)
The Codex (Codex, Bk 01)
Author: Douglas Preston
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 274
Review Date: 10/18/2012


"The Codex" is a pretty typical jungle/treasure adventure. However, Doug Preston throws in enough twists and suprises to make it a good read.
Three brothers embark on independent journeys to recover their recently departed father's hidden treasure. Disasters and treachery result in the brothers working together to find the treasure before the bad guys.
The story twists and turns through betrayals,double crosses,love affairs,battles and suprises leaveing the brothers with a fourth heretofore unknown member of the family, a fiance and a medical treasure beyond imagination.
I am a big fan of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child both individually and as a team. This is a solid handling of the story. Few authors could make this well-used storyline interesting enough to keep me reading till the end. The second half of the book gets more and more interesting and ends on a positive.
The chracters are well developed and the backstory is pretty cool. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys adventure, and especially to anyone who likes Preston and Child.


Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, Bk 11)
Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, Bk 11)
Author: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 73
Review Date: 2/21/2013


Having read all the Pendergast novels, some twice, I am always thrilled when a new one comes out. It is almost like a trip back home. "Cold Vengence" is no exception.
In this latest novel by Preston and Child I ran into a number of old friends, some I thought to never see again, and resolved several questions from earlier novels.
Aloysius is again on the trail of Helen's killer. As the conspiracy continues to thicken, he learns it was more, and less, than murder. Apparently, Helen and her brother were involved in a post war Nazi plot which continues till the present. After 350+ pages of great reading it appears Pendergast has again been out flanked.
This series reminds me of the old cliffhanger serials I uased to watch at the local theater when I was a kid. I love it!
Agent Pendergast is the detective Sherlock Holmes wishes he (she?) could be.
A work of advice: to get the most of these novels read them chronologically. Although they are all stand-alone, there is a greater impact from reading them in order.
Can't wait for the next one.


Contest
Contest
Author: Matthew Reilly
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 129
Review Date: 4/16/2013


"Contest" is my second book by Matthew Reilly. Though it had a few problems, I actually did enjoy it.

It it easy to tell this was his first book. At some points it was almost like reading a cartoon...an enjoyable cartoon.

The book is very fast-paced, taking place in only a few hours with nonstop fight scenes and an incredible lineup of happy coincidences.

The premise of the book is really not all that original, but he has developed some original aliens and situations. And the addition of Swain's daughter was an interesting wild card.

I already have another of Reilly's books on my TBR stack.


Cowl
Cowl
Author: Neal Asher
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 2/13/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Fifty years ago, I cut my teeth on science fiction, but I had moved on to other genres. After reading this book I am glad I did.
There actually is a pretty good story buried in there...I think, but you can't see it for the author's attempts to make it......I don't know what he was trying to do.
As you follow the heroes through millions of years of time plots and subplots abound. The strands weave together and the end is pretty good but the story somehow misses the mark. Or perhaps my 60 year old brain can no longer keep up. I was left confused and unsatisfied.
Don't think I'll try any more Neal Asher books.


Crawlers
Crawlers
Author: John Shirley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 10/11/2014


Although this is a well-worn premise Mr. Shirley has succeeded in using it without being jaded.

A town which is the site of a top secret satellite crash. The army arrives and the towns people fight for their lives against the government ... and a bio-tech weapon out of control.

The characters are well written, as are numerous action scenes. Though it is really not new, it is still worth the read, with several page-turning sections.


Creepers (Frank Balenger, Bk 1)
Creepers (Frank Balenger, Bk 1)
Author: David Morrell
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 200
Review Date: 10/29/2012


"Creepers" was not what I expected, but it is a really great book. David Morrell, the creator of Rambo, is considered by many to be the father of the adventure/thriller genre and this book is one of his best.
Morrell's tragic childhood and life seem to tint his writing with a hard reality that grabs you by the throat and drags you into the story.
A group of urban explorers enter an abandoned and mysterious luxury hotel scheduled for demolition. They encounter a group of thugs and an insane serial killer and former tenent. Two of the group have an ulterior motive, the thugs are motivated by greed, and the serial killer has a prisoner.
As the hotel begins to disentigrate around them, a life and death battle rages between the three parties and few live to tell the tale.
The action is non stop, the characters are easy to identify with, the plot is twisted and the parameters of the battle are constantly changing. I liked "Creepers" so much I have already ordered the second book featuring the same lead character.
I readily reccomend "Creepers" to any fan of this type of book.


Dante's Equation
Dante's Equation
Author: Jane Jensen
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 3/25/2012
Helpful Score: 2


This is an amazing book! Jane Jensen puts the Holocaust, string theory, quantum physics, a physicist, a reporter, a couple of rabbis, a secret government agency, and a kabbahlist into a story with more twists and turns than a wounded blacksnake.
Although the start is slow "Dante's Equation" quickly becomes a page-turning rip through the universe. Just when you think you have it figured out the story goes in a new and intriguing direction, finally coming full circle with a neat feel good ending. One thing this book is NOT is predictable. The characters are realistic and everything about the story is original. If you don't read this one you are missing out!
It also gives you a new perspective on the nature of Heaven and Hell......and a lot to think about.


The Darkening
The Darkening
Author: Chandler Mcgrew
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 4/17/2012


I thought "The Darkening" was a really neat combination of the thriller and horror genres. An unlikely group of heroes and anti-heroes fight for the survival of humankind in an original apocolypse scenario.
The action begins in the first paragraph when a widowed karate expert begins to battle a supernatural force. Add a couple of abductions and an unknown twin, along with a host of Lovecraftian "old ones" and a group of people with unknown motives and a dog, and the stage is set for a journey and fight through time and dimemsion for the survival of the human race.
Although I started this book expecting a straight up thriller, I was pleasantly suprised at how well the supernatural and the Lovecratian were woven into the plot. This book is really a good read....Good enough that I plan to search out other books by Chandler McGrew.


Darkest Days
Darkest Days
Author: Stan Gallon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 6/11/2015


" Darkest Days" in a bit unusual in that the vice president is manipulated into a scheme to turn the US into a dictatorship.

At first, I thought "this is just ridiculous" but as I read it became more plausible.

The characters are mostly believable and the conspiracies are well thought out. The action is credible and exciting.

Worth the time to read it.


The Day Before Midnight
The Day Before Midnight
Author: Stephen Hunter
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 61
Review Date: 5/26/2012


"Day Before Midnight" is a good, fsst-paced military/techno/nuclear/end-of-the-world thriller with lots of action and good character development.
It is a pretty straight forward plot with a few small suprises. The combat action is sometimes a little unrealistic and, as is the case with most books of this genre, luck plays a large part in the good guys winning.
Jack is a normal man caught up in abnormal circumstances simply because he is handy. Concern for his family forces him to make hard decisions and he does what he thinks he has to do. In the end he makes the hardest decision and saves the world from madmen attempting to start world war three.
Although a bit dated and jaded now, "Day before Midnight" is still a decdent read if you have nothing to do for a few hours.


Deep Fire Rising (Philip Mercer, Bk 6)
Deep Fire Rising (Philip Mercer, Bk 6)
Author: Jack DuBrul
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 81
Review Date: 12/31/2013


" Deep Fire Rising " is a hell of a ride!

I can't remember the last time I read a book incorporating more myths, history, legends and general oddities.

This book is a non-stop world spanning romp attempting to save the world from the inevitable... and to thwart those who don't want it saved.

Mercer, a geologist, finds himself at the center of a conspiracy which knows the end is coming and doesn't want it stopped.

DuBrul doesn't pull his punches and carries the story right to the tragic end.

I thought it was a really good read. Well worth the time.


The Devil Colony (Sigma Force, Bk 7)
The Devil Colony (Sigma Force, Bk 7)
Author: James Rollins
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 80
Review Date: 3/7/2013
Helpful Score: 1


James Rollin's "Devil Colony" again places Sigma Force between the world and those determined to destroy it.
Gray and Painter are both in the field to investigate a mystery which dates before the founding of America while at the same time dealing with a plethora of family and personal problems.
Rollins always comes up with new obscure historical facts, legends, and myths. This time he combines our founding fathers, the lost tribe of Israel, the mysterious Anasasi, and the super volcano that is Yellowstone into an adventure encompassing all of North America and the last thousand years of history.
As always, we meet old friends and make new ones in the race to save the world and preserve the human race. The action is non stop and the suspese will keep you turning pages well into the night.
Rollins is ome of the best. I never miss a book by him.
This massive tome has a bonus at the end. Rollins includes a novella about assasin-turned-Sigma-agent Seichan which is really good in it's own right. Don't let this one get away!


The Dig
The Dig
Author: Alan Dean Foster, Sean Clark
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 2/5/2015


This book is like the SF I used to read in the '50's and '60's only somewhat updated.

In an effort to save the earth from a killer asteroid, three shuttle crew members become trapped in the asteroid/starship and transported to a strange planet.

Predictably, they endure danger and adventure until they save the advanced race on the planet who have undone their existence through technology.

Happy ending all around when the astronauts save the day.

If you are an old-time SF fan, this book is for you!


The Disappearance
The Disappearance
Author: Bentley Little
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 1/8/2016


I have been a fan of Little for years but I must say I was a little disappointed with " The Disappearance".

It's a good story, if somewhat jaded, and there were a few twists which were interesting but it was not that compelling a story.

The first half of the book moves extremely slowly. There is an almost overboard attempt to develope the characters which results in a pace that is somewhat plodding. The second half moves along quite well but discloses few suprises.

It is worth a read, but is not amoung his best work.


Divine Blood
Divine Blood
Author: Martinez Hewlett
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 9/7/2014


"Divine Blood" presents a tenant which is interesting and original. Although it mirrors, to some extent, the Dan Brown style stories regarding the Catholic Church, this book takes everything a step further.

Unfortunately, it is quickly apparent that this is Martinez Hewlett's first book and that he is a product of academia. The writing is a bit dry with some sections reading a bit like a college textbook.

The characters could be better developed and the action is non-existent. This story has so much potential which is not embraced. It should have been an exciting 600 page book.

Nevertheless, Mr. Hewlett has produced a book well worth the read. It will make you think about the ever expanding use of technology in both archeology and religion.


Endgame Enigma
Endgame Enigma
Author: James P. Hogan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 6/3/2013


I doubt Mr. Hogan dreamed,in 1987, that by 2000 the Soviet Union would be gone.

So this book tells a tale of the ongoing cold war in the mid 21st century which has expanded the battleground into space. I am a science fiction fan born in the early 50's and can well remember the cold war. That actually made this book entertaining for me and brought back the concerns and fears of the mid 20th century... almost commically.

"Endgame Enigma" is a really good book. It is adventure, science fiction, politics, and suspense all rolled into one and told from the perspective of the mid 20th century time frame. For younger readers it could almost be a history text and for the older generation it is an entertaining and thought provoking read.

I was sure I had it figured out up... right up until the last 50 pages or so. The end is a real kicker which hits you out of left field and is one of the most ambitious plot twists I heve ever read.

Endgame Enigma is a really good read.


Excalibur (Area 51, Bk 6)
Excalibur (Area 51, Bk 6)
Author: Robert Doherty
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 10/21/2014


I had a ball reading this book. It reminds me of a young dog running circles in the yard just because he likes it.

Excalibur is science fiction, alternate history, military thriller, and action/adventure all rolled into one. World-spanning non-stop action is combined with an interesting plot and a good host of characters for a book that is simply fun and entertaining.

This is the second Area 51 book I've read and I plan on reading all the others.

Bear in mind, this is not a serious book. It's just a lot of fun.


The Experiment
The Experiment
Author: Stephen Kyle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 11/18/2014


"The Experiment" was a little different than other books I have read by Kyle and I wasn't sure I was going to like it. Turns out it is a good thriller.

Kyle included the Gypsy connection which made this story just enough different to be good. The plot was not exactly original, but the book is well written with lots of action and good characters.

There are plenty of twists, even if they are a bit predictable. Overall, a good book.


Extreme Denial
Extreme Denial
Author: David Morrell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 48
Review Date: 9/29/2013
Helpful Score: 1


"Extreme Denial" is about what you would expect from the author of the Rambo series. Lots of action, good character development.

The plot/storyline is pretty straightforward with just enough twists to keep you curious. The writing is good.

I think this would actually be a really good movie. And with Morrell's history, I will be suprised if it isn't.

While it isn't really my type of book, it is a good quick read for vacation or something.


The Eye of God (Sigma Force, Bk 9)
The Eye of God (Sigma Force, Bk 9)
Author: James Rollins
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 12/19/2014


When it comes to action/adventure, Rollins and the Sigma team are the best!

When a crashing satellite snaps a picture of the end of the world, Grey and the team must save the world yet again... with the help of Genghis Khan.

Nobody melds historical fact and myth with scientific fact and military hardware into riveting stories like James Rollins.

The Eye of God is a page-turning romp around the globe. Some new friends are met and some old friends lost in this story. The end is an unexpected twist which will renew your faith in karma.


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