Ty Patterson – Burn Rate: Book Review

burn rate

Burn Rate, being my first experience of a Ty Patterson book, was a unique and weird experience. The formula, narration, and plot structure are very different from the mainstream books in the Action – Thriller genre. While most Special-ops, Counter-terror books are gritty and brutal, this felt like a Young-Adult/Teen book and may not necessarily be a bad thing.

The plot is divided into two parts which can act as two different books which connect to each other. Here, 60% of the book from the beginning takes place in NY where Zeb Carter and his team of operatives investigate a series of arsons which lead to a major attack on the G20 Summit. They know it’s going to happen but have trouble finding out who’s doing it, how or why.

The team of covert operatives here work with the NYPD and the FBI to share resources. This is weird because a Black Ops team works with secrecy in the dark and never meets with official law enforcement.

I couldn’t get much of the context of what the characters talk about or even get a feel of them as this book is designed for those who read according to the order of the series. Since I started with the third book in the second series of this literary universe, it was like watching a mid-season episode in a series without seeing the first few seasons.

The operatives have a supercomputer that is emotionally attached to its programmers and it has had relationships with other supercomputers. Though this was funny, it made the book not serious.

White Supremacists and an elite assassin work two separate sides of an attack in the first half. These plots seem unconnected but the mystery and suspense are shown quite well in how the Covert ops team faces these threats on two fronts.

The second half of the book, which felt like the sequel, is set in Iran and reads like a good counter-terrorism book. The planning and preparation which is done by a joint team of Americans and Israelis build the tension. But the foreshadowing in the plot makes it clear what’s going to happen but how it’s going to happen is a mystery until the end.

This is a light read if you want fun characters, minimum violence, and a good mystery to keep you curious. I hope the other books in the Zeb Carter series have a bit more action. But on the whole, this book is very well researched and the author deserves credit for that.

Advertisements

Andrew Warren and Aiden L. Bailey – Depth Charge: Book Review

Depth charge

Thomas Caine returns in this prequel to face off against the MSS, PLA-N, and a Colombian cartel which makes the book a weirdly new type of story. This is a book written by two major Ian Fleming fans and it reads like a perfect Bond movie. Thomas Caine is like a mix of Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig’s Bond, considering that 007 did inspire the very existence of Mr. Andrew Warren’s emotionally complex character.

From the opening chapter where Caine jumps off a tall building in Macau to an epic speedboat based action scene around a submarine near Columbia and from HALO jumps leading to a swim among jellyfishes to an emotionally painful array of subplots that intersect, Depth Charge is on the top of the list of neo-noir espionage action thrillers.

The plot initially seems simple where Caine has to stage an intelligence coup for his American spymasters to acquire a Chinese PLA – Navy’s programmer who’s looking to defect. But the odds stack up when a rogue captain of a new nuclear stealth submarine, the Tumaco cartel from Columbia and a strategist from the Ministry of State Security of China are after the programmer. The programmer is a young woman who keeps revealing stages of secrets through the book like the layers of an onion. Though she’s a victim, she manages to break Caine’s fun life by sending him spinning into chaos.

The villains are brilliantly fleshed out with their sadistic and opportunistic characters portrayed beautifully in the narration. It would have been a better read if the backstory of the villains were written to give them a past that would explain their current personalities. Each of them gets their share of justice but manage to leave permanent marks on Caine, both emotionally and physically.

Thomas Caine is still a mysterious enigma but for the first time in the series, we get to read the humane parts of his life. Scenes, where the deadly assassin cooks Thai food in his home in Baltimore and spends quality time with his best friend Jack Tyler or goes on a vacation with Rebecca to Hawaii, make you understand him better as a person. But his real origins and training is still a secret.

Jack Tyler and Rebecca Freeling form the best team that Caine has ever had. But they pay the price in a game of wits between Caine and an MSS strategist. I do need more prequels that show Tyler who will bring humor to this grim series. The main letdown is how Caine and Rebecca’s relationship progresses at the end even though they are the perfect couple in Spycraft fiction.

Some of the action scenes were not realistic but were fun. Instead of making Caine a lone superhero assassin, I think it would be better for him to have some serious backup and to be part of a team. I know that he’s a singleton operative but if he’s working alone, I wish that the action scenes have their limits.

The complexities with all the parallel subplots were fabulously enthralling. The heights of complexities that I enjoyed a few years ago were the ones found in Ludlum classics or in Guy Ritchie’s early films. But now I find the complexities in Andrew Warren and Aiden L. Bailey’s works addictive.

Though this book is supposed to be about a submarine, there weren’t any scenes that had the inside of a sub or the technical details on operating a sub. I expected something different from what’s in the story due to the book’s cover image and the promo about a submarine and so I was a bit let down. Nonetheless, this book reads like a masterpiece if you read it without assumed expectations.

My inspiration for writing Action-Adventure (Alaskan Storm: Part 1 of Blood Stone Impact now out on Kindle)

Around four years ago, when I had just finished reading a complex Ludlum classic in 11th grade, I gave Matthew Reilly’s Temple a try due to praises it received from a book club. This was an eye-opener for me. Temple made me realize that books can be an epic action movie with a limitless budget when compared to Hollywood where the filmmakers are limited in creativity despite all the advancements in CGI and VFX technology.

Temple  Reilly’s narrative in all his books isn’t just limited to limitless action. His plots are critical of the real problems in today’s world like capitalism, white supremacy and the unchecked strategic power of the first world nations. Though a casual reader may just enjoy his books, the critical parts can be observed when reading with a focus on the subplots and the bigger picture of his stories. This made me realize that I can inspire a social change in the readers along with just the fun of action. But I don’t think I have achieved this yet.

Inca gold   After browsing the net for fun books that I’d enjoy, I borrowed Clive Cussler’s ‘Inca Gold’ from a library around the same year. This book read like a classic mix between an amphibious Indiana Jones and James Bond. I instantly admired Cussler’s flagship protagonist, Dirk Pitt, who inspired me to pit characters against nature’s fury and survive with hellish damage. Pitt is classy, funny and a person every man wants to be. Cussler has used detailed technical descriptions in his classic books which made me understand the vehicles and machines in his stories to a good extent. I’ve tried my best to do it in my book – Alaskan Storm.

I then bought Cussler’s ‘Atlantis Found’ and was stunned by the outrageously epic magnitude of plotting the book had. The historical conspiracy in it breathes life to multiple myths and legends with enough realism which is done using science. The climactic battle in this book with an Antarctic setting was chaos multiplied exponentially. The fun in this memorable scene is something I aim to reinvent and surpass someday in my career.

Bloodline   James Rollins, on the other hand, showed me the level of research that is needed for a serious action adventure thriller through his scientifically accurate writing. About two years ago, I borrowed Bloodline from a library and got hooked onto the Sigma Force series which makes science scary with grim realism. Rollins’ characters, the Sigma operators, are fleshed out so well, that his books are like an emotional journey. The use of animals like Kane, the Belgian Shepard, for tactical purposes in his book fascinated me enough to use Buck, a St. Bernard in my book – Alaskan Storm. I plan to flesh out Buck much more and give him an emotional role in the 3rd part of Blood Stone Impact, but just imagining that scene in my head makes me curse myself.

These books have shaped how I currently write and I hope to evolve my content into a new style. Every day of inaction in my limbo floods ideas into my head’s limited memory space that’s filled with a lot of weird stuff. I wish to write faster to put all my characters into the public sphere but I’m just figuring out how to write. I’ve learned that the only cure for impatience is actually doing the work that is going to take me from point A to Point C through Point B instead of trying to jump the distance.

I’m immensely lucky to know two great Indie authors whose unique masterpieces are something I hold as a standard for my writing to level up to someday. One of them, Aiden L. Bailey, has brought out a fictional socio-political revolution around the world through quantum computers in his book – The Benevolent Deception. Amazingly, he hasn’t gone into the technical part of the story but has focused on four unique characters whose lives are socially changed by this revolution. The other author, Andrew Warren, has brought out the dark side of life in his neo-noir book – Tokyo Black. His descriptions and characterizations are something that traditionally published authors should aim to achieve. These two awesome gentlemen have mentored me with patience and I feel very lucky to have known them.

Tokyo Black - Andrew Warren    The Benevolent Deception

My book Alaskan Storm is available on Amazon Kindle for just $0.99 and I hope that I eventually do justice to everyone who’ve inspired me, directly or indirectly, by constantly learning and evolving my writing skills.

Players involved in my new book: Alaskan Storm (Part 1 of Blood Stone Impact – An action-adventure technothriller)

With the first e-book in the Taskforce COBALT Action-Adventure series about to release in a few hours, here’s a sneak-peak/teaser into the major characters involved in the conflict. Remember to order it and enjoy a thrilling ride as a virtual #COBALToperator.

 

  1. Chris Flynn – Former SEAL Team 6 (DEVGRU) operator who was honorably discharged at the age of 22. He studied Medieval Archeology at Harvard and is fluent in over ten languages. Current status: Private contractor/Freelance gun-for-hire specializing in chasing myths and legends.

 

  1. Neha Rao – Former Indian Para Special Forces Commando turned logistics and security manager for Flynn.

 

  1. Nick Park – Former Major in the 75thRanger Regiment who is also a microbiologist. Currently involved in cancer research at a remote island in Alaska. He lost his wife to cancer and lost hope and faith in his country.

 

  1. Colonel Harold Ryan – Former element leader of the 1stSpecial Forces detachment Delta and is the founder/director of Taskforce COBALT. He owes his life to Nick Park.

 

  1. Damian Blood – Former MARSOC squad leader and the current commander of field team Hounds at COBALT. He has studied Psychology and Mechanical Science and is a brilliant inventor of defense technology. He’s recovering from a recent trauma that he suffered at the Arctic. This giant, bulky operator loves to leave behind serious damage in his wake. Callsign: Bloodhound.

 

  1. Logan Tanner – Former SEAL Team 3 sniper who has finished an MBA in International Business. This redhead is Damian Blood’s lifelong friend and shares his sense of humor. He is the Hounds team’s glue. Callsign: Redwolf.

 

  1. Will Lark – Former Green Beret intelligence specialist who still has faith in the spiritual. He survived the ghettos and Afghanistan with pure skill. He’s the Hounds team’s demolition and K9 expert. Callsign: Stealth-hound

 

  1. Buck – He’s a three-year-old St.Bernard who is Lark’s partner and COBALT’s mascot. This canine is an expert in Search And Rescue(SAR) and hopes to do something other than save Cap. Blood in the field.

 

  1. Linda Moore – She’s trained with the DIA and at the Strategic Studies Institute to be an expert at analysis. Col.Ryan uses her as his chief operations manager.

 

  1. Sheriff Edna Morgan – NewLeaf Island County’s Sheriff and Park’s friend. She’s untrained and untested in combat but is fast to learn.

 

  1. Dominic Quill – Data Classified.

 

  1. Nate McCain – He’s a self-made billionaire who served in the 75thRanger Regiment in the 80’s. Park works for McCain in NewLeaf Labs.

 

  1. Darius Cross – Data Classified.

 

Prepare to be mind-blown at the outrageously treacherous chaos that is churning in Alaskan Storm. Order it here for just $0.99

Get ready for Taskforce COBALT. New book launching on November 20th.

Get ready for going on a wild ride and to become a COBALToperator – Blood Stone Impact Book1

Alaskan Storm (Part 1 of Blood Stone Impact): A Taskforce COBALT Action-Adventure Technothriller. 

 

Expect the action and technical descriptions of Matthew Reilly, Clive Cussler, and Jeremy Robinson all on a level higher.

Synopsis – INTRODUCING TASKFORCE COBALT – The covert action unit of DARPA and DIA designed to control scientific threats.

Nick Park has invented a cure for cancer from a virus found in a mythical stone. Soon, the vaccine is stolen and is used as a weapon.

The former Army Ranger turned microbiologist faces betrayal and pain from those he trusted. Park must now go on to face beasts, traitors and nature’s fury.

Captain Damian Blood from COBALT is sent to Alaska with his strike team – Hounds – to secure the virus and help save Park. But everyone involved is dragged into a heated battle at the heart of a storm.

A stone of legend that was with the ancient Greeks, Templar Knights and the Ottomans is now used for a greater conspiracy. Creating regenerating warriors is within humanity’s reach.

The Union of the greatest evils on Earth has been active all along. Regeneration is only the beginning. Their reach is everywhere.

Alaskan Storm is the first part of a three-part military thriller – Blood Stone Impact – which goes on an epic action-packed adventurous journey of techno-thrills.

Fans of Matthew Reilly, Clive Cussler, and Andy McDermott will love this book.

Pre-order it here and be a COBALToperator

😀

 

Andrew Warren – Tokyo Black: Book Review

Tokyo Black - Andrew Warren   A betrayed operative. A coalition between a Japanese billionaire and a CIA strategist. A right-wing terror cult. And the balance of power in the Far-East lies in finding an enigma.

Andrew Warren’s debut thriller is fleshed out in stark details with splashes of psychedelic colors, neon lights, neo-noir tropes and the darkly rich world of shadows. Every chapter exudes an aura of something new, something that hasn’t been explored enough in the genre.

Thomas Caine, once an elite assassin for the US, is betrayed and is surviving his metaphorical afterlife in the seedy underbelly of Pattaya as a smuggler. His sad excuse for a life is devastated by another betrayal and he finds himself in a hellish prison with one option: Stay and die or accept a mission from his former employers to go back to the open world.

As a free agent, Caine travels to Tokyo and into an old cover ID having a rich history with the Yakuza. A mob clan assists Caine in locating an Agency asset’s illegitimate daughter who’s on the run and is believed to have high-value intel.

On the other side of the coin is a high ranking strategist at Langley using private contractors, and a Japanese billionaire with extreme right-wing leanings who has complete control of a death cult called Tokyo Black. All these players are after the girl Caine is tasked with locating.

The Tokyo Black group has enough cinematically bone-chilling scenes through the pages. Its members are made of former Yakuza men who burn their Yakuza tattoos till their whole body is scarred. Only the strongest survive this induction phase. Bobu Smizu, the leader of this cult, has a personal vendetta against Caine which sparks up tense emotions in the book.

Rebecca Freeling, Caine’s handler is a strong and brilliant female character goes past treacherous challenges in a way in which she deserves a spin-off series that could focus on her strategic side of operations.

From car chases to shootouts and martial arts fights, there’s enough action but it stays very realistic. The character of Caine is a mysterious enigma that can be compared to legends in the genre like Jason Bourne and Court Gentry(The Gray Man).

The characters keep facing continual challenges that make their lives an acceleration into a gloom. The use of the East China Sea crisis and China-Japan relations makes this story on par with today’s headlines. With lots of dark settings, both literal and metaphorical, and a detailed, well-researched chaos, this plot will be one of the best for me.

Rob Sinclair – The Red Cobra: Book Review

The Red Cobra - Rob Sinclair - James Ryker   A twisted, violent, exotic and wonderfully painful thriller in the form of Rob Sinclair’s book, The Red Cobra, brings back an existing hero with a new name. I loved Sinclair’s blend of existing tropes to create a unique sub-genre that’s riveting, captivating, emotional and complex. The downside is the confusion I felt during the chaotic action scenes that could have been written much better.

Sinclair mixes the best styles of the legendary authors like: Ian Fleming’s femme fatale, beautifully written torture scenes, and exotic locations; Robert Ludlum’s complex plots, unexpected twists, conspiracy styles and the lone but highly capable operative; and Lee Child’s foreshadowing, suspense/mystery, slow beginning, and twist at the finale that turns the book upside down.

The Red Cobra is the first book in a series based on James Ryker, a former JIA operative( The Joint Intelligence Agency is Sinclair’s fictional unit controlled by both the UK and the US). Ryker is the new identity of Carl Logan, an early protagonist of Sinclair’s in his Enemy trilogy. When Ryker is spending his metaphorical afterlife on a desolated beach with his lover, he is pulled back into action by his former boss Peter Winter.

A pregnant civilian named Kim Walker is murdered brutally in the Spanish countryside. Ryker is hired off-the-books to investigate this as the JIA believes that Kim is actually Anna Abavey, a legendary assassin known as the Red Cobra. But Ryker knows that Kim isn’t Anna as he had a past with the Red Cobra.

Under the cover of a private consultant, Ryker is sent to Spain to find and kill The Red Cobra. The first half of the book flows like a classic detective mystery story filled with lies, double-crosses and treachery. Soon the people involved start dying and Ryker gets caught up in a nefarious plot that comprises the Georgian Bratva (Mafia) that is connected to scams and hackers.

Caught in a battle between the Red Cobra and the Bratva, Ryker is chasing leads, failing to protect people and caught in a game of life and death. The finale is bloody, chaotic, confusing but refreshing.

Anna Abavey/The Red Cobra’s history comes in flashback sequences which are emotionally heart wrenching and deceptive. I felt that she is the most well-developed character in the story but all the supporting characters are fleshed out significantly with different complexities.

Though the first half may feel a bit vanilla, the second half is dark, violent and twisted enough to create a compelling story. But I feel that the ending was very hurried and could have been longer. The climax opens new doors for a sequel that you’ll be inclined to get your hands on.