Hunt for Harald’s Gold ISBN: 9780996657396, assumed published, copyright and written by Jack Dancer.
This book is sub-titled A Scottish DNA Love Story and appears in part to have some semblance to these elements. Ostensibly a group of twosomes has been gathered together who have been discovered to be DNA-matched lovers to journey to Scotland to search for a huge gold nugget that has been lost for centuries. The group’s leader is a physician specializing in DNA research who had spent time in Africa where she encountered strange characters who pop up later in the story while the couples are searching for the huge nugget. Simultaneously it seems that a large group of African school girls had been captured by Boko Haram, transferred to an evil woman doctor who dismembers them to sell body parts as requested, on the black-market. Her headquarters and laboratories are on the Isle of Skye. One of the recruited members of the DNA couples is Tucker, who is the designated partner of Billie, the DNA specialist leading the couples on the nugget search. The reader discovers that he has had a former encounter with the evil doctor that has left scars, in spite of being partially successful. The other group members are of varied backgrounds and many not what they supposedly represent. The body part suppliers and the gold hunters cross paths by design as we discover and the tale proceeds to no ending but rather this volume serves as a first installment for the next.
Discussion: On the good side, readers may find much of the book to be an amusing read with a mass of action contributing in a highly confusing manner. A caveat must be include however in that there is abundant, often irrelevant sexual activity and most graphic depiction of un-anesthetized anatomical destruction. Furthermore and regrettably, from this reviewer’s perspective, the author has written a totally confusing volume with a bizarre admixture of Scottish legend, the fairy world, romance, a bit of science, activity by an unusual transgender hero and many improbabilities typically found in the fantasy genre. It also apparently is the first in a series.
Summary: A multi-genre book for readers who enjoy zany tales and don’t mind reading serials.
3* 4* Multi-genre zany tale for devotees; others 3 – 2*.
The Seventh Guard – Destiny Expires. This version of Paperback ISBN: 9781732450400 Copyright and written by Francis A. Halpin presents a fantasy sci/fi alien suspense tale in an e-book version.
The story centers around, Robert Lowden, who has only acquired his GED but appears to be extremely bright especially with computers. The only job he seems able to get is as a computer repairman at a local store selling electronics. He is able to retain the position as long as he does NOT converse with any of the store’s shoppers. He is rude to them completely lacking in social sense, never seems to be fully engaged but instead appears to live on the edge of reality. He has one friend, David, a well-educated individual on his way up the usual ladder to success and Jennifer, his similarly situated girlfriend, both of whom ‘see something of almost compelling interest’ in him. Robert becomes involved in numerous unusual and humorous as well as dangerous situations not the least of which is deciding a flashing light bulb in the store’s rest room is providing an alien code. He involves David with disastrous, but simultaneously rather amusing, results and the story gathers steam to advance to a most unusual, but logical conclusion.
Discussion: Entry into the story begins with a quote from Albert Einstein along with another by Stephen Hawking. Einstein: “Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” Hawking: “I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street.” Combined they very nicely set the tone of the book. It is thought producing, yet humorous in many contrasting ways. It is a suspenseful alien thriller/mystery, yet provides slow moving areas that editing could correct. In all, the author has provided a fascinating tale of secret codes existing in commonly occurring phenomena surrounding us that should provide thoughtful moments for the alien theory devotee. Definitely a 4*- 5* for such readers and probably for computer addicts. Regrettably somewhat less for others.
4-5* for alien theory devotees, computer addicts; somewhat less for others.