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24 February 2010

I,Q: Independence Hall (IQ #1)

I, Q: Independence Hall by Roland Smith is the first book in his IQ series.

Q (short for Quest) and his brand new step-sister Angela are being pulled out of school to go with their parents on a tour of the US. There parents have both worked in the music industry for years, but teaming up together put then at the top of the charts. The year is supposed to be spent learning about the history of the US from their tour bus.

Before they even leave San Fransisco, the bus is being followed - and not just by the paparazzi. Angela's mother, a Secret Service agent killed in the line of duty in 2004, taught Angela how to watch for a tail. So when Angela tells Q that they are being followed it doesn't take him long to believe her.

Q has tricks of his own. He has been studying magic since he was six (seven years ago) and together he and Angela should be able to trick the man following them - except that he is a highly trained Mossad assassin.

Smith has begun a series that promised to be a tween James Bond. Q and Angela will soon find themselves deep in the world of espionage and intrigue that would have most adults running from the room screaming. I cannot wait for book 2: The White House due out in June 2010.

Smith, Roland. (2008). I,Q: Independence Hall. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press.

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23 February 2010

The Wolf at the Door (Sean Dillon #17)

The Wolf at the Door by Jack Higgins is his 17th book featuring Sean Dillon, Charles Ferguson and the rest of the group referred to as the Prime Minister's Private Army.

In this volume there is no planned attack against British soil, no plot to blow up 10 Downing Street, there is a rival intelligence group seeking revenge. Though they do not know who yet, each member Ferguson's team is attacked within a few hours of each other.

Higgins takes a different look at the plot this time. Usually the story is told through the eyes of Sean and company tracking down a threat. This book, after a brief, attention grabbing few chapters about the attacks, goes back in time and follows the man plotting against them. It is an interesting approach because readers already know what will happen at the end of the planning. The reason it works is that Higgins is great at developing characters. So the "bad guy," even though he is predictable, captures the reader's interest.

Higgins, Jack. (2010). The Wolf at the Door. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

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19 February 2010

Kilo Class (Arnold Morgan #2)

Kilo Class by Patrick Robinson is a thrill ride for any fans of warfare, politics, or submarines. It is his second book featuring Admiral Morgan, now the President's Nation Security Advisor.

In spite of the pressure of the United States not to sell their Kilo class submarines to China, Russia decides to sell them ten. After all, they desperately need the money. But the sale is something that the US cannot allow. Those boats can never reach China. China would use them to control the Straits of Taiwan and all trade that goes through the strait.

Commander Dunning and his nuclear attack submarine Columbia will be sent on a black-ops missions to take out the kilo subs.

Robinson is a master as weaving a military and political plot that encompasses the complications and intricacies of dealing with, in this case, four different countries and relations with the rest of the global community. His scenes in the submarine, submerged in frigid waters makes readers almost claustrophobic while scrambling to read more of his fascinating narrative.

Robinson, Patrick. (1998). Kilo Class. New York: Random House.

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11 February 2010

No Mercy (Mercy Gunderson #1)

No Mercy by Lori Anderson is the first book in her Mercy Gunderson series. Mercy is a soon-to-be-retired Army sniper in a society where the general public is not comfortable with women in combat.

Now Mercy is back on her family's ranch in South Dakota. She did not make it back from the Middle East in time for her father's funeral, but she is now in charge of the ranch. But the Gunderson curse is still going strong - a body is found in one of the fields. The new sheriff who took over for her father is not moving fast enough and the locals ask for Mercy's help in finding a killer.

Armstrong has created a flawed but intriguing character in Mercy and a plot that will have mystery fans following the series.

Armstrong, Lori. (2010). No Mercy. New York: Touchstone Books.

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08 February 2010

Bitter Angels

Bitter Angels by C.L. Anderson (a pseudonym for Sarah Zettel) is an intense science fiction novel.

Terese Drajeske is a retired field commander with the Guardians - a special forces branch inside of the United World Government for Earth. When her former mentor is killed in the Erasmus System, she is pulled from retirement and her family and sent light years away to investigate.

The Erasmus system is controlled by the Erasmus family - and anyone who is blood related has power. And others are either slave labor, security guarding the slave labor, or clerks guarding the security. The system keeps people in check by controlling the water - all of which is located on one moon in the system.

When Terese gets to Erasmus she does not even know where to look. The files from her mentor were incomplete and damaged. She must find the answers soon though, because the system is about to implode.

Anderson creates a well thought out world in the future where space travel and colonizing other solar systems is possible. Her characters are well developed and appealing. I would have liked to see the book continue into a trilogy.

Anderson, C.L. (2009). Bitter Angels. New York: Spectra.

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05 February 2010

A Darker Place (Sean Dillon #16)

A Darker Place by Jack Higgins is the 16th book in the Sean Dillon series.
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After earlier battles between General Ferguson's British
Intelligence group and Russia's GRU and Colonel Luzhkov, Luzhkov and President Putin would like to even up the score. To get inside of Ferguson's group, the Luzhkov blackmails a well-known Russian author.
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Alexander Kurbsky pretends to defect from the Russian Federation, taken in by Ferguson's group. But is he playing along with his leaders or is he really defecting?
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Higgins' continued Dillon series has covered a lot of ground since the first book when Dillon was planning the bombing of 10 Downing Street. This installment has Dillon in the background and letting other members of the team show off their skills.
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Higgins, Jack. (2009). A Darker Place. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

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03 February 2010

Nimitz Class (Arnold Morgan #1)

Nimitz Class by Patrick Robinson is a military thriller of the highest class. The detailed actions of a Carrier Battle Group of the United States Navy is fascinating and awe-inspiring in terms of the technology involved and the sheer size of the ships.

The Carrier Battle Group headed by the Thomas Jefferson is on patrol in the Arabian Sea when the unthinkable happens - the Nimitz class carrier is destroyed in a nuclear explosion.

Lieutenant Commander Bill Baldridge of Naval Intelligence is tasked with the responsibility of finding out what happened to cause an entire ship to disappear. This is not just another job for him; his brother Jack was the Captain of the ship. Baldridge will track all leads and rumors to find out what happened to his brother and the other 6000 men killed in action.

Robinson has obviously done his research in creating a thrilling military adventure that takes the lead character all over the world in search of answers. His author's note is a must read for any Navy fans - he gives the best description of a Carrier Battle Group I have ever read.

Robinson, Patrick. (1997). Nimitz Class. New York: HarperCollins.

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