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  • July 25, 2015 12:57:39 AM
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If you are a lover of thrillers, especially thrillers involving forensics, medicine or technology and you like it spiced up with a bit of science, then this book review blog is for you.

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Review of Wesley Chu’s Latest Novel, The Fall of Io

The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.  Wesley Chu has recently added book #5, The Fall of Io,...

The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.  Wesley Chu has recently added book #5, The Fall of Io, to the World of Tao series and the second book in the Io trilogy.


Wesley Chu has created a wonderfully entertaining series that features aliens known as the Quasing that crashed landed on Earth long be before humans walked on the planet. The only way for the Quasing to survive on planet Earth was to form a symbiotic relationship with living creatures. The Quasing have a considerably long life span and can move from one creature to another once their host dies. Eventually they would inhabit humans. Once they were able to form a relationship with humans, they realized they found an intelligent species that could help them to reach their goal of getting back to their home planet. But how the Quasing interacted with humans eventually split the Quasing into two factions; one that felt that their superiority to humans allowed them to treat humans as nothing more than a vessel to do their bidding. They convinced the humans that they occupied that they were special compared to other humans and that hosting a Quasing was akin to hosting a god. This faction is known as the Genjix. The other faction known as the Prophus, felt that the Quasing relationship with humans should be more of a cooperation and that humans should have a voice in this relationship. This has led to a war between the two factions with humans in the middle.

Io is a Quasing that doesn’t want to side with either the Genjix or the Prophus and surely does not want to be involved in a war. Io eventually occupies a very reluctant Ella Patel, a young Indian women who has spent most of her life trying to survive the slums of India. Io’s and Ella’s relationship is not very harmonious, but they try to make the best of it since Io cannot leave Ella unless Ella dies. One thing they can both agree on is that neither one wants to have anything to do with either the Genjix or the Prophus. So Io and Ella have sought refuge in the heart of Tokyo away from both the Genjix and the Prophus. But their life in Tokyo would be unfortunately disrupted only by the fact that Io’s original occupation among the Quasing was ‘Receiver’, and the Genjix needs Io’s unique abilities in order to communicate to the Quasing’s home planet. So two competing Genjix operatives are assigned to retrieve Io and Ella and the Prophus will do what they must to stop them. No matter what, Io/Ella are on the losing end.

Plenty of weapons, hand-to-hand combat and evil subterfuge makes The Fall of Io a must read for the die-hard Tao fan. Roen Tan makes an appearance and shows that even though he is collecting social security, he still has a bit of fight in him. I would say that this is not a standalone novel and would suggest at least reading the Lives of Tao and The Rise of Io beforehand.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Angry Robot for my copy of The Fall of Io.

To learn more about the series check out the World of Tao series.


Review of William Hertlings’s Kill Chain Series

William Hertling’s previous Singularity series was about the future when technology surpasses human intelligence and the ultimate consequences.  In the Kill Chain series, Hertling focuses on technology that exist in our present world and the destructive forces behind it. Read...

William Hertling

William Hertling’s previous Singularity series was about the future when technology surpasses human intelligence and the ultimate consequences.  In the Kill Chain series, Hertling focuses on technology that exist in our present world and the destructive forces behind it. Read More


Latest Update On Newest Released And Soon To Be Released Thrillers-January 2019

Just to give you an update on the release dates for the newest additions to the series that I have reviewed. Soon to be Released James Rollins – Crucible Expected Release Date 1/22/19 A Sigma Force Novel Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend’s...

Just to give you an update on the release dates for the newest additions to the series that I have reviewed.

Soon to be Released

James Rollins – Crucible

Expected Release Date 1/22/19

A Sigma Force Novel

Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend’s wife, Kat, unconscious on the kitchen floor. With no shred of evidence to follow, his one hope to find the woman he loves and his unborn child is Kat, the only witness to what happened. But the injured woman is in a semi-comatose state and cannot speak—until a brilliant neurologist offers a radical approach to “unlock” her mind long enough to ask a few questions.

What Pierce learns from Kat sets Sigma Force on a frantic quest for answers that are connected to mysteries reaching back to the Spanish Inquisition and to one of the most reviled and blood-soaked books in human history—a Medieval text known as the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches. What they uncover hidden deep in the past will reveal a frightening truth in the present and a future on the brink of annihilation, and force them to confront the ultimate question: What does it mean to have a soul?


T.A. Ward – Victors of Liberty

Expected Release Date 2/15/19

A Children of Wrath Novel

As A.K. attempts recovery from his abduction and torture by President Bryan Powell, strange visions of his father and Skiv begin to torment him. In an attempt to wash them away, he reverts to old and dangerous habits. Meanwhile, Bryan Powell continues his frenzied search for the cohort, issuing a universal death penalty for all living Inexorables and broadcasting their public executions. Pressures mount and sacrifices grow more costly until the choice between war or surrender is inescapable.


Casey Hill – Fallout

Expected Release Date 2/26/19

A Reilly Steel Novel


Iris Johansen – Dark Tribute

Expected Release Date 3/26/19

An Eve Duncan Novel

Despite her tragic childhood, violin prodigy Cara Delaney has finally found peace in her career as a professional musician and stability in her relationship with her guardians, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan and ex-Navy SEAL Joe Quinn. If only Jock Gavin, Cara’s lifelong friend and a man with his own twisted history, would even talk to her, everything would be perfect.

But the carefully constructed life Cara has built for herself is suddenly threatened when she is kidnapped by a mysterious man from her grandfather’s past, setting off a violent chain of events that puts everyone Cara loves in danger. Will Cara become a tribute to her family’s dark past, or will she be able to keep herself and her loved ones alive? 


Simon Beckett – The Scent of Death

Expected Release Date 4/18/19

A Dr. David Hunter Novel

It has been a good summer for forensics expert Dr David Hunter. His relationship is going well and he’s in demand again as a police consultant. His life seems to be on an even keel.

But not for long. The call comes from an old associate: a body has been found, and she’d like Hunter to take a look . . .

St Jude’s Hospital now stands empty. Slowly rotting and silently awaiting demolition, the vast, oppressive building’s only visitors have been society’s outcasts, addicts and dealers. And it’s here that the partially mummified corpse has been discovered. Hunter is not sure how long the body has been hidden in the hospital’s cavernous loft, but he’s seen enough to know it’s a young woman. And that she was pregnant.

As the remains are removed for closer examination, a floor collapses revealing a previously sealed off part of a ward. Bricked up inside this hidden chamber are three beds. Two of them are occupied . . .

What other grisly secrets will St Jude’s reveal? The local community is alarmed and the police need answers. For David Hunter, what began as a challenging if straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare threatening him and those around him.


  Mary Lawrence – The Alchemist of Lost Souls

Expected Release Date 5/1/2019

A Bianca Goddard Novel

A dangerous element discovered by Bianca Goddard’s father falls into the wrong hands . . . leading to a chain of multiple murders.

Spring 1544: Now that she is with child, Bianca is more determined than ever to distance herself from her unstable father. Desperate to win back the favor of King Henry VIII, disgraced alchemist Albern Goddard plans to reveal a powerful new element he’s discovered – one with deadly potential. But when the substance is stolen, he is panicked and expects his daughter to help.

Soon after, a woman’s body is found behind the Dim Dragon Inn, an eerie green vapor rising from her breathless mouth. To her grave concern, Bianca has reason to suspect her own mother may be involved in the theft and the murder. As her husband John is conscripted into King Henry’s army to subdue Scottish resistance, Bianca must navigate a twisted and treacherous path among alchemists, apothecaries, chandlers, and scoundrels – to find out who among them is willing to kill to possess the element known as lapis mortem, the stone of death. 


Eliot Peper – Breach

Expected Release Date 5/14/19

An Analog Novel

A hacker is drawn out of hiding and into an epic geopolitical showdown in the frighteningly plausible conclusion to Eliot Peper’s critically acclaimed Analog Series.

When you’ve betrayed your revolutionary cadre, an off-grid fight club on a remote tropical island is a good place to hide—or die.

For notorious ex-hacker Emily Kim, the outcome of each fight makes little difference. Black-market blood sport is the perfect self-imposed penance. But when she stumbles on a plot to overthrow the corporate empire that provides the ubiquitous global feed, Emily discovers her old friends have been targeted. Warning them will force her out into the open, back on-grid, and directly into danger. Emily can’t escape the past. But can she seize the future?

Emily’s quest for redemption spirals into an all-out shadow war. What constitutes justice in a world run by algorithms? The feed—and Emily—must be reinvented. Or destroyed.


 Danielle Girard – Expire

Expected Release Date 7/9/19

A Dr. Schwartzman Novel


Iris Johansen – Smoke Screen

Expected Release Date 7/30/19

An Eve Duncan Novel

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan journeys to Africa to help families torn apart by a violent attack deep in the jungle–but she may be putting herself in more danger than she knows.

A journalist shows up on Eve Duncan’s doorstep with a plea for help. Jill Cassidy has just come from a small African village with a heart wrenching story: half the villagers–many of them children–have been killed in a horrific attack by guerilla soldiers, the bodies burned beyond recognition. Now, the families desperately need Eve’s help to get closure and begin to heal.

But when Eve arrives in the remote jungle, she begins to suspect that Jill’s plea may have been a cover story for a deeper, more sinister plot. Isolated and unsure who she can trust, Eve finds herself stranded in an unstable country where violence threatens to break out again at any moment and with only her own instincts to rely on if she hopes to get home to her family alive . . .


David Lagercrantz – The Girl who Lived Twice

Expected Release Date 8/20/19

A Millenium Novel


Just Released  

Wesley Chu – The Fall of Io

Released on 1/1/19

A World of Tao Novel

For Ella Patel, sharing her mind with the alien, Io, has been tough, but they’re beginning to trust each other. Of course, it’s not just Io she’s dealing with, but the whole of the alien Prophus high command, and the rest of her new team. Given time, some of them might even be friends… But their enemies, the Genjix, are a constant threat, and it looks like the Prophus may have seriously underestimated them. Someone should really do something about that – but are Ella and Io the right agents for the job?


Timothy S. Johnston – The War Beneath

Released on 1/1/19

A Rise of Oceania Novel

Living and working underwater can be a dangerous thing. First the bulkheads sweat, then there’s a trickle of water . . .

. . . and then in an instant you’re gone. The only thing left is a bloody pulp in the dark water and crushed bone fragments on the seafloor.

And you can’t bolt to the surface in an emergency. . . . The bends will get you.

But that’s not the worst. When you’re living underwater and also working as a spy for your city, that’s when things get really dangerous.

Truman McClusky has been out of the intelligence business for years, working the kelp farms and helping his city Trieste flourish on the shallow continental shelf just off the coast of Florida. Until his former partner shows up, that is, steals a piece of valuable new technology and makes a mad dash into the Atlantic. Before he knows it, Mac ends up back in the game, chasing the spy to not only recapture the tech, but to kill his former friend.

But when he learns the grim truth behind the theft, it sends his stable life into turmoil and plunges him into an even deadlier mission: evade the submarines of hostile foreign powers, escape assassins, and forge through the world’s oceans at breakneck pace on a daring quest to survive, with more lethal secrets than he thought possible in his pocket.

The future of the city depends on McClusky . . . if he can make it back home


Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child – Verses for the Dead

Released on 12/31/18

A Pendergast Novel

After an overhaul of leadership at the FBI’s New York field office, A. X. L. Pendergast is abruptly forced to accept an unthinkable condition of continued employment: the famously rogue agent must now work with a partner.

Pendergast and his new teammate, junior agent Coldmoon, are assigned to Miami Beach, where a rash of killings by a bloodthirsty psychopath are distinguished by a confounding M.O.: cutting out the hearts of his victims and leaving them-along with cryptic handwritten letters-at local gravestones, unconnected save in one bizarre way: all belonged to women who committed suicide.

But the seeming lack of connection between the old suicides and the new murders is soon the least of Pendergast’s worries. Because as he digs deeper, he realizes the brutal new crimes may be just the tip of the iceberg: a conspiracy of death that reaches back decades.


 Nick Thacker & Jim Heskett – The Severed Pines

Released on 12/26/18

A Harvey Bennett (Prequel) Novel

A grisly murder.

An unsuspecting witness.

A conspiracy that’s bigger than anyone thought. 

Harvey “Ben” Bennett is a park ranger volunteer who stumbles across a crime scene. He’s immediately thrust into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, and he must figure out who’s behind it all. 

…Before he becomes the next victim.


James D. Prescott – Extinction Crisis

Released on 12/12/18

An Ancient Origins Novel


With the doomsday ship only days away from impacting the Earth, humanity’s demise seems all but assured. In every corner of the world, news of the impending destruction has led to chaos, looting and the collapse of the rule of law.

As the foundations of civilization crumble around them, Jack and Mia must race to find answers to perhaps the most important questions of all time. Why have the Ateans repeatedly eradicated life on our planet? And could the key to ending the cycle of extinctions be locked somewhere within the Salzburg Chromosome?

Unraveling the mystery will mean journeying deep into the heart of a perilous alien world and facing off against the very beings who created us.


Nick Thacker and M.P. MacDougall- The Icarus Effect

Released on 11/29/18

A Harvey Bennett (Prequel) Novel

He just wants a new life. To escape from it all… but fate has other plans.

Harvey Bennett is no stranger to tragedy.

He’s searching for something. But he’s not sure what. 

Life, unfortunately, keeps getting in the way. 

When tragedy strikes Harvey during a family camping trip, he does the only thing he knows how to do: he runs away.

The Icarus Effect is a coming-of-age story set in the woods and backcountry of the US, following the saga of a young man who just wants to find his place in the world. He’s alone, scared, and stubborn. 

The runaway bestseller The Enigma Strain and the follow-up series of Harvey Bennett Mysteries has fans asking the question: “who is Harvey Bennett?” 

How did Harvey Bennett go from reclusive park ranger to head of the Civilian Special Operations?


 Annelie Wendeberg – Vow

I’m the incendiary of savages. I burn down thrones.

The Brothers and Sisters of the Apocalypse aren’t happy with Micka. She’s blown up their satellite network and now passes valuable intel to their fiercest enemy — the Sequencer Council.

But nothing goes as Micka plans, and soon the two most powerful global organisations want her dead.

Lines blur between friend and foe.

And Micka is out of options.


Eliot Peper – Borderless

Released on 10/30/18

An Analog Novel

Exiled from Washington after a covert operation gone wrong, Diana is building a new life as a freelance spy, though her obsessive secrecy is driving away the few friends and allies she can count on. When she’s hired to investigate the world’s leading techno capitalist, she unknowingly accepts an assignment with a dark ulterior purpose. Navigating a labyrinth of cutouts and false fronts, Diana discovers a plot to nationalize the global feed.

As tech and politics speed toward a catastrophic reckoning, Diana must reconcile the sins of her past with her dreams of tomorrow. How she deploys the secrets in her arsenal will shape the future of a planet on the brink of disaster. Doing the right thing means risking everything to change the rules of the game. But how much is freedom really worth?


Thriller Release Alert!-Verses for the Dead

Didn’t get invited to any New Year’s Eve party? Looking for something to get your mind off of it? How about perusing the 18th book in the Pendergast series, Verses for the Dead, which has been released today? You’ll be glad that you didn’t get an invitation. After an overhaul of leadership at the FBI’s...

Didn’t get invited to any New Year’s Eve party? Looking for something to get your mind off of it? How about perusing the 18th book in the Pendergast series, Verses for the Dead, which has been released today? You’ll be glad that you didn’t get an invitation.

After an overhaul of leadership at the FBI’s New York field office, A. X. L. Pendergast is abruptly forced to accept an unthinkable condition of continued employment: the famously rogue agent must now work with a partner.

Pendergast and his new teammate, junior agent Coldmoon, are assigned to Miami Beach, where a rash of killings by a bloodthirsty psychopath are distinguished by a confounding M.O.:

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

cutting out the hearts of his victims and leaving them-along with cryptic handwritten letters-at local gravestones, unconnected save in one bizarre way: all belonged to women who committed suicide.

But the seeming lack of connection between the old suicides and the new murders is soon the least of Pendergast’s worries. Because as he digs deeper, he realizes the brutal new crimes may be just the tip of the iceberg: a conspiracy of death that reaches back decades.

Available in hardbound, paperback, audio, and e-book.


Thriller Release Alert!-Extinction Crisis

THE ALIENS ARE COMING! And we are about to find out what happens when they arrive. James D. Prescott has released today the third and final novel, Extinction Crisis, from his Ancient Origins series. With the doomsday ship only days away from impacting the Earth, humanity’s demise seems all but assured. In every corner of...

THE ALIENS ARE COMING! And we are about to find out what happens when they arrive. James D. Prescott has released today the third and final novel, Extinction Crisis, from his Ancient Origins series.

James D. Prescott

With the doomsday ship only days away from impacting the Earth, humanity’s demise seems all but assured. In every corner of the world, news of the impending destruction has led to chaos, looting and the collapse of the rule of law. 

As the foundations of civilization crumble around them, Jack and Mia must race to find answers to perhaps the most important questions of all time. Why have the Ateans repeatedly eradicated life on our planet? And could the key to ending the cycle of extinctions be locked somewhere within the Salzburg Chromosome?

Unraveling the mystery will mean journeying deep into the heart of a perilous alien world and facing off against the very beings who created us.

Available in e-book.


Review of Nick Thacker’s Novel, The Aryan Agenda

The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.  Nick Thacker has recently added book #6, The Aryan Agenda, to...

The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.  Nick Thacker has recently added book #6, The Aryan Agenda, to the Harvey Bennett series.


I think for most of us when we see the word Aryan, we automatically think Nazis. So is The Aryan Agenda about Nazis? Well, umm, yes, of course it is, but this isn’t just your ordinary thriller featuring Nazis, it is also about the lost city of Atlantis. So what does the city of Atlantis and Nazis have in common? Well you are going to have to read the book to find out.

The Harvey ‘Ben’ Bennett series is a lot like James Rollins’ Sigma Force series except that instead of having highly trained operatives, as is true with the Sigma Force gang, the agents that make up the Civilian Special Operations (CSO) are a mixed bag of highly motivated individuals that want to do good in the world. Harvey Bennett, who prefers to go by the name Ben, is an ex-forest ranger turned action hero. He is joined by the love of his life ex-CDC computer investigator, Juliette Richardson along with part ex-military, part Tasmanian devil, Reggie ‘Red’ Gareth to investigate the disappearance of the father of archaeologist, Sarah Lindgren, who played an important role in the previous novel, The Paradise Key. Lindgren’s father is also an archaeologist and his disappearance coincides with a paper that he recently released that reveals interesting information about the lost city of Atlantis. Bennett, along with his colleagues, see Lindgren as their friend and want to help her out, but what they find is more than they can handle, well almost.

Lots of action with Nazis to boot, The Aryan Agenda proves to be a fun read. Though it could be read as a standalone, it would be more enjoyable if you read the rest of the series first.

To learn more about the series check out the Harvey Bennett series.


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