Tag: adventure

Book Review: The 14th Colony by Steve Berry


The 14th Colony
Series: Cotton Malone #11

Author: Steve Berry
Published:  April 5, 2016
450 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

What happens if both the president and vice-president-elect die before taking the oath of office? The answer is far from certain—in fact, what follows would be nothing short of total political chaos.

Shot down over Siberia, ex-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone is forced into a fight for survival against Aleksandr Zorin, a man whose loyalty to the former Soviet Union has festered for decades into an intense hatred of the United States.

Before escaping, Malone learns that Zorin and another ex-KGB officer, this one a sleeper still embedded in the West, are headed overseas to Washington D.C. Noon on January 20th—Inauguration Day—is only hours away. A flaw in the Constitution, and an even more flawed presidential succession act, have opened the door to disaster and Zorin intends to exploit both weaknesses to their fullest.

Armed with a weapon leftover from the Cold War, one long thought to be just a myth, Zorin plans to attack. He’s aided by a shocking secret hidden in the archives of America’s oldest fraternal organization—the Society of Cincinnati—a group that once lent out its military savvy to presidents, including helping to formulate three invasion plans of what was intended to be America’s 14th colony—Canada.

In a race against the clock that starts in the frozen extremes of Russia and ultimately ends at the White House itself, Malone must not only battle Zorin, he must also confront a crippling fear that he’s long denied, but which now jeopardizes everything. Steve Berry’s trademark mix of history and speculation is all here in this provocative new thriller.

Kim’s Review:

My brain hurt after reading this book, in a really good way! I’ll start with my main problem that brought it down a star: That question is in the description. It pretty much gave away the main twist. It was kind of annoying that so much anticipation was built up throughout the story, just for it to be written on the back of the book all along. But I love a good old society. And I love Russians. And I love spies who are so badass that they can do anything. I don’t mind Canada, but I’m ok that we never conquered it.

This book kept me going from page 1. Something is always happening, someone is always being shot at, someone is always in danger. The whole book is what I’d call an experience. While the twist felt a little anticlimactic, the action never ceased. This is perfect for those who like a thriller with a good conspiracy. I really enjoyed it while sitting on the beach!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

#Diverseathon2021: Brian’s Hunt by Gary Paulsen (Brian’s Saga #5)

Brian’s Hunt
Series: Brian’s Saga #5
Author: Gary Paulsen

Narrator: Ron Mclarty
Published: January 1, 2003
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 18-19, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Millions of readers of Hatchet, The River, Brian’s Winter, and Brian’s Return know that Brian Robeson is at home in the Canadian wilderness. He has stood up to the challenge of surviving alone in the woods. He prefers being on his own in the natural world to civilization.

When Brian finds a dog one night, a dog that is wounded and whimpering, he senses danger. The dog is badly hurt, and as Brian cares for it, he worries about his Cree friends who live north of his camp. His instincts tell him to head north, quickly. With his new companion at his side, and with a terrible, growing sense of unease, he sets out to learn what happened. He sets out on the hunt.

Jessica’s Review:

As a part of May’s prompt for #Diverseathon2021 I listened to the Brian’s Saga series by Gary Paulsen and I have finally reached the last in the series: Brian’s Hunt.

Brian’s Hunt seems to pick up where Brian’s Return left off. This time Brian has a friend with him: He finds a severely injured dog that he takes care of. He begins to worry over the Cree Indian family who he has become friends with. In the ‘what if’ novel Brian’s Winter Brian comes across this family and they ‘rescue’ him and take care of him for several weeks before being able to go home.   I still have confusion on if Brian’s Winter is actually not a what if scenario and did actually happen since the next books reference things that happen in that novel. 

This is a bit of spoiler, but this novel will not be for the sensitive or younger readers as to what happens to the Cree family.  They meet their untimely fate at the hands of a bear and the novel is descriptive in how Brian finds the family.  Because of this Brian becomes determined to find the bear and he goes on his hunt.

I did enjoy listening to this series. I do recommend it for teenage boys, as our protagonist is a boy and we don’t get many of those in middle grade/ YA novels.  Those novels tend to have female leads. I did not know it was a series until I decided I was going to read Hatchet for Diverseathon, and seeing they were all of a shorter length, I decided to ‘go all out’ and listen to the whole series as all were available through the Libby App. The only thing I was not a ‘fan’ of was the music added to try and enhance the suspenseful parts.  I can see how the music would work for some but not others such as myself since I listen to these books while driving and the music was distracting at times.

The Brian’s Saga is recommended!

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For full details on this year long readathon, please click here.
And don’t forget about the awesome GRAND PRIZE at the end of the year. Click the link here for that information.

Beccie over at Bookies is having a giveaway for the month of May: She is giving away a copy of Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs (it is set in Canada). You can also enter this giveaway by entering through the Grand Prize link above.
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Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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#Diverseathon2021: Brian’s Return by Gary Paulsen (Brian’s Saga #4)

Brian’s Return
Series: Brian’s Saga #4
Author: Gary Paulsen

Narrator: Peter Coyote
Published: September 11, 1992
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 16-18, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

As millions of readers of Hatchet, The River, and Brian’s Winter know, Brian Robeson survived alone in the wilderness by finding solutions to extraordinary challenges. But now that he’s back in civilization, he can’t find a way to make sense of high school life. He feels disconnected, more isolated than he did alone in the North. The only answer is to return-to “go back in”-for only in the wilderness can Brian discover his true path in life, and where he belongs.

Jessica’s Review: 

As a part of May’s prompt for #Diverseathon2021 I am continuing the Brian’s Saga series by Gary Paulsen.  In Brian’s Return, Brian realizes he cannot live the way he used to.  Provoked by another student over a girl, Brian severely beats another boy, but in Brian’s mind he was being attacked and he was defending himself.  After talking with a counselor, Brian decides to return to the Canadian wilderness, though more prepared (a tent and some more items) than when he crash landed. Brian is more at home in the wilderness and yes he faces the perils of outdoor living again.  But at the end he is at home and peace in the wilderness. 

I don’t know what it was about Brian’s Return, but it just wasn’t really for me once he got back into the wild,  Maybe it was a ‘been there, done that’ scenario since I listened to the other three novels back to back.  Brian’s Return was meant to be the final book in the series and you can tell by the ending of the book as there is a conclusion.  But there was so much reader feedback that Paulsen wrote one more book: Brian’s Hunt.   

At times while listening to the audiobook I was confused because Paulsen kept referencing Brian surviving in the winter, but that book was a ‘what if’ scenario and not what actually happened to Brian as he was rescued before winter came in Hatchet. 

Peter Coyote was back as the narrator for the audiobook version;  I was happy about that as he definitely has that story telling voice.

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For full details on this year long readathon, please click here.
And don’t forget about the awesome GRAND PRIZE at the end of the year. Click the link here for that information.

Beccie over at Bookies is having a giveaway for the month of May: She is giving away a copy of Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs (it is set in Canada). You can also enter this giveaway by entering through the Grand Prize link above.
***

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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