Alex Kava

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year

TTT

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases in the Second Half of 2016. I’ve included releases from July, August and early September. I’ll probably do another list similar to this in late August/early September when more release dates are available. One of my favourites, Geoffrey McGeachin’s Charlie Berlin series, will be due for a new book soon, but so far I haven’t heard anything about it.

 

Sean Black’s The Edge of Alone – July 10. The 7th in a great series about Ryan Lock, who works in private security but always seems to find himself in deep trouble. Already pre-ordered.

Scott McEwen’s Ghost Sniper – July 12. A favourite series of mine, and one of the few American military fiction authors who I don’t want to give a lesson on tolerance to. His characters are real, but so so tough. Will buy on kindle.

Ace Atkins’s The Innocents – July 12. I’m hoping that this one can recapture the awesomeness that was the early releases of this series. Has one of the most memorable sidekicks ever written in Boom. Netgalley copy.

Alex Kava’s Reckless Creed – July 26. Cute series about a man (called Creed) who trains service dogs. They are still thrilling, but I will admit to reading mostly because of the dogs.

Stephen Leather’s Dark Forces – July 28. SPIDER SHEPHERD! The best UK thriller series, in my humble opinion. My favourite series, and I always pre-order this one. (and often end up with a hardback and kindle copy.)

Jack Coughlin’s Long Shot – August 16. Excellent series about a sniper – was the first American military fiction author that I ever enjoyed. The last book made some questionable choices regarding characters and who would be featured in this book, but I’m waiting to see how this one turns out. Will order from library.

Erik Storey’s Nothing Short of Dying – August 16. I’ve already read this one! AND IT WAS SO GOOD. Expect more fapping, more hyping and lots of 5 star reviews for Nothing Short of Dying. Best thriller debut of 2016, hands down. Netgalley copy.

Chris Ryan’s Bad Soldier – August 25. The Fourth book in the Danny Black series. Each one is just as good as the previous release – all have been four star reads for me. Black is a believable character who you can’t help but root for. Will order from library.

David McCaleb’s Recall – August 30. I’ve never read McCaleb’s work before (he might be a debutant for all I know), but I saw Recall on netgalley and immediately wanted to request it. I’m trying to get ahead of my reviewing queue before I request any more, but this is high up my list of anticipated new releases. Netgalley/kindle copy.

William Kent Krueger’s Manitou Canyon – September 6. Kreuger writes atmospheric thrillers, of which I have read three or four, but I am so behind on the Cork O’Conner series I know I should just pick up the next book in the series and read my way up to these new releases.

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Review Spree = 20/1/16

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Silent Creed by Alex Kava, hardback from library, 2015, 336p.

3 stars.

I’m really enjoying the Ryder Creed series and Silent Creed was an enjoyable installment in the series. It takes place after a natural disaster (a theme that I usually love) and involves Maggie O’Dell from Kava’s other crime series. To be honest, I would prefer if the Ryder Creed series focused more on Ryder and the people that inhabit his world, and it seems strange that his and Maggie’s paths keep crossing so often.

I found some parts of this novel to be quite slow, and personally I think it could have benefited by a strong subplot or two. The final third of the book picked up the pace and became much more enjoyable as the tension mounted. The ending was really great, and I will pick up the next book in the series, but if I’m not impressed by that one, it will most likely be a series I abandon.

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Gridlock by Sean Black, paperback from library, 2011, 288p.

4 stars.

Gridlock is amazing. It blew me away. It really brought out the characters and the plot was racing. It would have to be one of my favourite reads of the last half of 2015, and made me so excited to read the rest of the series. The feeling of this series is very similar to that of the Joe Hunter series by Matt Hilton, but the Ryan Lock series has just kicked it up into high gear at the end of this book. The final events made me drop the book in my lap and wonder how the world can be so cruel.

I’ve just finished the next book in this series, and although I didn’t enjoy it as much as Gridlock, it was still a great addition to this very strong series. I will review that book, The Devil’s Bounty, in the coming weeks.

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Ice Force by Matt Lynn, paperback from library, 2012, 482p.

4 stars.

This is the latest book in the Death Force series, and I am fearful it will be the last. It was excellent. The books in the Death Force series are shameless action romps, but the thing that sets them apart from most other military action novels is the aspect of teamwork. Despite a very strong character in the main protagonist Steve, Lynn has created a very strong group of military experts who work together to achieve their goals. To me, this just seems to be more realistic than the lone wolf taking on whole armies approach that many of these novels take. I have a not so secret crush on Nick, and although it makes me feel like a cradle robber I love how far his character has come along.

The Wacky Bookish Blog Tag

I’ve just stolen this book tag from littlebookblog, because I thought it was interesting.

WEIRD: THE WEIRDEST THING YOU HAVE READ

It would have to be Mrs. Beetons Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton. In my family, everyone is gifted a copy of Mrs. Beetons Book of Household management when they move out of the family home. It includes information on how to cook 1800’s food, what is the appropriate time (and attire) for visiting neighbors. It backfired, because it made me just want to get servants (because it detailed how to manage your help.)

AMAZING: THE MOST AMAZING BOOK THAT YOU CAN’T FIND ANY OTHER WAY TO DESCRIBE

Perfume, by Patrick Suskind – It is one of my favourite books of all time, but when asked why I love it so much I usually get lost. Answering… “it’s about a guy with a great sense of smell who can smell insane things and then goes on a murdering rampage” usually doesn’t entice people to read this book!

CRAZY: A KIND OF INSANE CHARACTER

Well, I would have used Perfume as this answer, but considering my last answer I will have to go with John Stratton by Duncan Falconer. He is an SBS operative who is the most antisocial and introverted character. That’s all fine, but he seems to really enjoy killing people. The worst thing about Stratton is I kinda like him and would want to be friends with him. He needs to talk to a psychologist, ASAP.

KICK BUTT – YOUR FAVOURITE STRONG SIDE CHARACTER

Rink from the Joe Hunter series. AH RINK! My love for Rink is well documented, and I always get excited when he and Joe engage in their strange foreplay/debate/banter.

YING-YANG – TWO BOOKS THAT ARE DIFFERENT, BUT CONNECTED SOMEHOW

I am going to go with The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones. They are related because I analysed them both for a literature course, as I had to read them both for the same topic. The Gaiman book is one of my all time favourites, and I hated Dreams of Speaking more than I had ever hated a book before. Having to compare and contrast them for a paper was nigh impossible.

BOOKS – THE NUMBER OF BOOKS YOU HAVE READ SO FAR THIS YEAR

So far it’s 51 – I’m excited because I set my goodreads goal as 52 this year and I am about to hit it!

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT – YOUR OTP

This is a hard one – almost no books I read and love have strong pairings, but I will go with Quinn Colson and Lillie Virgil from the Quinn Colson series. He is in love with someone else (who is completely wrong for him!) and everyone thinks she is a lesbian (and maybe she is) but I think she likes the ex-sheriff a little too much and I silently ship them together.

ORIGINAL – THE MOST ORIGINAL BOOK BLOGGER OR BOOKTUBER YOU READ/WATCH

Hmmmm that is really hard. I’m not going to pick one, but there are a few I follow who are quite different.

GIDDY – A BOOK THAT MAKES YOU EXTREMELY HAPPY

As soon as the new Spider Shepherd book from Stephen Leather comes out my happiness levels skyrocket. It’s an addiction.

TICK-TOCK – A BOOK YOU READ EXTREMELY QUICK

Breaking Creed by Alex Kava, I sat down and started to read and finished that 400p book in a day.

ABRACADABRA – YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK THAT

HAS MAGIC

This is a hard one, because I don’t read many books with magic in them, but the only series that I actually follow that would suit this is the Jack Nightingale series by Stephen Leather. It’s a detective story meets the occult.

GECKO – THE MOST RANDOM BLOGGER/YOUTUBER YOU READ/WATCH

I’m not going to answer this one either – there are a few bloggers who I follow who are a little ‘random’, mostly people who post about their own lives and other features not book related. I think it’s a good thing, and something I always try to start doing, but never actually get around to.

Who Do You Tag?

Phew. Some of those where harder than I thought – but fun. I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you liked this tag, feel free to do it yourself and share your answers with me!

Review: Split Second by Alex Kava

19250151Split Second by Alex Kava, paperback from library, 2001, 408p.

Alex Kava’s Split Second is the second book in Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series, and was an enjoyable read. I did prefer the first book in the series, and felt like Split Second was weaker, like so many second books are. It took me awhile to read it, even though it wasn’t a hard or long read, because I kept getting distracted by other books.

Maggie is a good character, and I do like her, although sometimes I want to smack her over the head for stupid decisions that she made. I find this with most crime series, that the main characters usually make reckless decisions because it is fun to read about the aftermath of these actions.

The plot in this story wasn’t my favourite. The serial killer seemed to be a caricature of the worst serial killer you could imagine, and the police’s inability to stop him when he was being reckless annoyed me. I love Kava’s writing style and her characters, but this plot just didn’t capture me.

I have the next book in this series on my bookcase to read, and I will be giving O’Dell another bash, but I just hope that the plot of the third book is stronger than that of Split Second.

Ranty Roundup – April

April was an average reading month in regards with how many books I read, but a great month for blogging and the enjoyment of all things bookish, plus the few books I did read rated 4 or 5 stars! I participated in Dewey’s 24h readathon for the first time, and read a book and a half. I also participated in a bookish collaboration called The Bookish People, where I posted a list of book recommendations. Unfortunately because of time constraints and some naughty people being late with their posts (whoops) it has been put on hiatus, hopefully to return in the future. I purchased quite a few books in April – over 20, although I haven’t counted them.

Total books read in April

Red Notice – Andy McNab – 4 stars

A Perfect Evil – Alex Kava – 4 stars

Fortress – Andy McNab – 5 stars

Sandakan – Paul Ham – 4 stars

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde – 5 stars

Currently reading

Split Second by Alex Kava

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

May TBR

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride

The Sniper and the Wolf by Scott McEwen

The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle

Australia and Canada in Afghanistan by Jack Cunningham and William Maley

Bloggish Stuff

My favourite post from April would have to be The Classics Book tag

My most popular post would have been my Dewey’s 24h Readathon Post

In the next couple of weeks expect more reviews of classics, I’ve got to finish the Classics Club spin pick and write my review for The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The most exciting thing has to be Bout of Books! I’ve signed up and volunteered to host a challenge on the Thursday, so I’m both nervous and excited about that. It will also be the first time I giveaway a book – and I’m pretty pumped!

I’ve been focusing more on twitter and posting regularly on that platform, and in May I hope to continue that, and learn more about how to use it.

Book Review- Alex Kava’s A Perfect Evil

390305A Perfect Evil by Alex Kava, 2000, Trade Paperback from Library, 461p.

A Perfect Evil is the first novel in the Maggie O’Dell series, and a very interesting serial killer story. I decided to start reading this series because I read Breaking Creed, a spin off from the Maggie O’Dell series, and loved Maggie O’Dell and Ryder Creed in that book. Although A Perfect Evil doesn’t feature Ryder (I believe he comes into the series later on) it does feature Nick Morrelli, who was interesting – a confident professor who becomes a not so confident sheriff, who invites Maggie to Platte City when he stumbles into a young boy’s mutilated body.

Usually, as soon as a book features a kidnapping, or follows a serial killer who targets children I put it straight down, because I find these to be VERY cliche in the genre. Because it is the big scary – having your children raped/murdered – so many authors use this trope to cover up poor writing and a lack of characterisation. The only reason I decided to read this book was because I know Kava is a decent writer and has amazing characters. And I was right, there was the creepy murderer’s POV which made me shiver, and the next chapter would be O’Dell and Morrelli trying to deny their undeniable chemistry – it was like mood whiplash – which is so effective in these sorts of novels.

I really liked the setting of Platte City – I’m finding so many of my favourite American books are set in small towns, and I dislike many set in large cities. Probably because I could never see myself living in a big American city – Adelaide is sometimes too large for me, and I just want to go back to the country. I’m wondering if Platte City will feature in the next O’Dell Novel, and if Nick Morrelli will be involved, I really do hope so. I have the next book waiting for me on my bookcase, and once I’m caught up with Andy McNab’s Tom Buckingham series I plan on whipping my way through the O’Dells.

Weekly Review Spree 15/3/15

Fire Force Matt LynnFire Force – Matt Lynn – 3 stars – Paperback from library

Fire Force is the second novel in Matt Lynn’s Death Force series, following the exploits of a group of mercenaries headed by Steve West. I found this book to be interesting, with a plot line that isn’t too common in action novels, but the action sequences were very much the same as what you read in other books of this genre. The characters in this series are excellent – I love Dan and Nick the best, and it’s fun to actually not like the main protagonist, who I find to be hypocritical and annoying. The writing in this series is pretty average, and there was even a grammatical error on the cover of the copy I read, but I don’t read action novels for well put together literature, I enjoy them for the plot.

22395145Endangered – C.J. Box – 4 stars – Kindle edition

I’ve been waiting for this book to be released since reading the last Joe Pickett novel, Stone Cold. I really do love this series, and after each one I wonder how C.J. Box is going to make the next book interesting, because there have been 14 books in this series prior to Endangered. As I was reading this book, I kept thinking that there was something different about Endangered, and it wasn’t until I finished that I worked out what it was. Usually the main conflict in Joe Pickett novels arises from Joe’s job as a Wyoming game warden, or from the community of Saddlestring itself, but in Endangered the conflict and action occur because of issues within Joe’s family – I’m usually the reviewer lamenting the lack of involvement of families in novels, so it was so nice to be able to read a story where the ‘big bad’ was not naughty for hurting the environment, or the people of Saddlestring, but rather, Joe’s family.

I’m a massive fan of Joe and Nate’s relationship, and this book hurt me so much. I won’t elaborate too much because I don’t want to ruin what happens, but let’s just say that this isn’t one of those books where Joe and Nate pair up and take on evil with shotguns and Nate’s awesome Special Forces background… but it is still satisfying. So satisfying.

As always I will be pre-ordering the next Joe Pickett book as soon as it comes available for pre-order on kindle. And I’m not going to consider that there won’t be another one because there has to be, or else I’ll to riot. If you haven’t read any Joe Pickett, you really should start – go read Open Season, the first of bunch. You won’t regret it. Or maybe, you will regret having to spend all your time catching up, it is a BIG series and highly addictive.

24190989As the Crow Flies – Damien Boyd – 3 stars – netgalley copy

As the Crow Flies was an enjoyable, fast paced read. There was an interesting murder enquiry to follow and DI Nick Dixon has the makings of being an interesting character. There was quite a bit of rock climbing vocabulary in this novel which completely lost me, but I decided to push through that and I am glad I did.

The plot was tight – I didn’t guess the ending at any point of the novel, although I did work out some parts, I never figured out who killed Nick’s friend Jake. It came as a shock when it was revealed. As the Crow Flies is fast paced, and a short novel of only 200p, so there was only the single main plotline with no intersecting subplots, which I would have preferred to have.

The only thing that was missing from this novel was strong characters – as there were so few pages, and most pages were dedicated to furthering the plot. I struggled to remember people’s names, and when I did remember them, I wouldn’t be able to tell you much about them besides their relationship to Nick Dixon. I feel like the author could have given more time (and pages) to developing the characters, maybe some more dialogue between characters about their lives, or even using more description when setting scenes.

Overall I enjoyed reading As the Crow Flies and will certainly be picking up the next book in the series.

17559237 One Way Trip by Scott McEwen with Thomas Koloniar – 4 1/2 stars – hardback from library

One Way Trip has been sitting on my TBR list for over a year (and I borrowed a copy from the library two months ago that has been sitting on my shelves!), and I am so glad that I picked it up to read, because it is one of the best books I have read in this genre. The hero in this book, Gil, certainly is an interesting creation, blending the cowboy aesthetic with the tough as nails Special Forces soldier, and it works so well. Often I find it hard to connect with American characters in these novels, because I don’t share the over the top patriotism for America as they seem to always be written with. I get that it’s a good hook for patriotic Americans, but for an Australian who has studied Middle Eastern History and often doesn’t agree with American (and Australian) policy in that region of the world, I find it hard to get through political rhetoric. One Way Trip definitely does have some things that make me cringe – a love of the word Haji and a general “America good, everyone else bad” disposition, but it comes across more as believable attitudes of soldiers rather than political and racial posturing by an author.

The storyline of One Way Trip was interesting, I liked the aspect of rescuing a downed pilot who was injured and had been raped. It was interesting to think on some of the issues that this raised, for example, would the Special Forces community be as desperate to rescue the hostage if it was a man? I also liked the way that politics, the media and the military were all interlinked and affected one another. Often in military fiction the media and politics don’t seem to make much of a difference to the soldiers, whereas in One Way Trip, they were affected by outside forces.

The ending, with the final battle, was one of my favourite scenes so far this year, with some very touching and interesting moments. Certainly not believable – but I read these novels like most people read fantasy – ‘Hey, its not real, but isn’t it cool?!’ I’ve already put the next book in this series on hold at the library, and I can’t wait to get my filthy little hands on it – I want to catch up with Gil and see how he’s going with everything that happened!

Other bookish/non-bookish stuff

I’ve got a very busy week coming up this week, I’ve got two assignments and two tests to study for, and I’m already bogged down in my coursework. I’m going to spend Wednesday and Thursday getting caught up with everything. So this week I am going to limit myself to reading two novels – and only the second one once my course reading is done.

We’re also getting our carpets cleaned, which means lots of furniture moving, which does not bode well with my joints. But the BF said he would do most of it, and I just need to do things that require two people. I’m hoping my body can survive the process, but last week I spent two days doing some autumn cleaning and I almost DIED.

I’m currently reading “Breaking Creed ” by Alex Kava, and so far, enjoying it. It’s nice to read about men and their dogs, and I’m already liking the Ryder Creed character. I might need to go hunt out some more of Alex Kava’s books, because I’m certainly enjoying his one!