APEX, A Max Algren novel ISBN: 9781543966428 Design and Production by Book Baby. Copyright and written by Ryan W. Aslesen.
Max Alegren, a former Special Forces, CIA, and now private operative is still attempting to avenge the death of his family but requires another name for his ‘hit list’. Congressman, former General Marklin, for whom he works sporadically, has such a name but will not provide it until Max has accomplished a seek and extract operation for a senator’s son who has disappeared. He encounters a rather weird young woman reporter who is interested in the situation and manages to be helpful enough to join him. Together they deduce where the young budding geneticist is probably being held. It is an island in the infamous “Devil’s Island” group owned by the French Government. Indications are that it also is under control of a dangerous geneticist who has escaped other missions to apprehend him. The French closely guard all evidence of the island’s existence which is rumored to house dinosaur-like creatures and even more vague tales of a hunting area where humans can be hunted for a million/day. Max assembles his team from former acquaintances and the story proceeds at break-neck speed, with only an occasional ‘break’ to provide pertinent material.
Discussion: The author is a former Marine officer and now security consultant as well as “a bestselling writer of military science fiction that is both authentic and replete with intense action and suspense”. This volume is another in the same pattern. The only regrettably negative aspect, and possibly from this reader’s overly developed pragmatic perspective, is a degree of discomfort mostly with parts of the action and the realities of weaponry, its supply, usage and results which in this volume seem to have moved, unfortunately, into the realm of difficulty with respect to credibility. But to reiterate, this could be as a result of many years spent in very practical activity.
3* Most enjoyable but providing an unfortunate personal impression as explained.
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*.