Forgotten Valor

Forgotten Valor, Book 1 of the Jonas Stuyvesant Saga, an e-book published, copyright and written by Richard Thomas Lane.

Plot: Jonas is part of the privileged class. His brother is an army major who began his active career in action as a 2nd Lt. Platoon leader. His father was a combat veteran of WW II. Together they have considerable ‘weight’ in Washington. His mother was greatly disturbed when he announced he was going to enlist directly after graduating from high school. Persuaded by his brother to attend college and participate in ROTC, he finally graduates, gets married to his childhood sweetheart and is about to be assigned to a stateside desk job engineered by his influential military family. He attends a masked ball, has the temerity to ask an attending General to be assigned to the line instead, and is successful just as the Korean ‘Police Action” is initiated. The story progresses through those early days of that war before the US could bring sufficient troops, ammunition, medical facilities and everything else necessary to stop the northern troops with their insane bugle-blowing charges that sacrificed endless numbers of their ranks to gain a decided upon objective.

Discussion: Fundamentally a war story, it follows a young, combat naïve ROTC graduate as he is thrown into brutal conflict on his very first assignment and of his gradual development with the help of his master sergeant and the sergeant’s corporal friend with whom he had seen much action during WW II. In fact, Jonas character development is a little ‘light’ by comparison. His wife briefly is pictured as typical of her ‘class’. A nurse plays an abbreviated role, and members of his platoon are adequately presented. A North Korean officer is well portrayed as a counter protagonist. The action is constant and description of the terrain, the miserable conditions especially during the heavy rains, and more explicitly of the bloody destruction resulting from such viciously deployed action are well portrayed. The specific action often required by individuals in desperate combat situations is set forth in explicit detail. This is a more realistic descriptive novel of the early days of the Korean War than any previously encountered by this reviewer. Probably, as titled, because it was an unpopular war that treated returning veterans quite poorly and thus more probably has suffered from a general desire to forget it. If a reader likes war stories this definitely is for you.

4* Well done first book of a purported series.

People Missing in the Woods

People Missing in the Woods, an e-book published, copyright and written by Steph Young.

The author has collected the stories of a considerable number of individuals who have disappeared under strange circumstances in numerous countries throughout the world. Occasionally their bodies have been recovered after varying amounts of time after they were reported missing – and even in positions repeatedly visited by searchers. Even more strangely, some reportedly did not even provide a hint of the cause of death. Most have been in areas far removed from ‘civilization’ and many in sections referred to by local residents as ‘haunted’ or other such description such as Arizona’s Superstition Mountains and the Scottish Mores. The tales also include a number of strange encounters similar to other tales of UFO’s and strange ‘aliens’ with all, no matter in what part of the world encountered, being described with remarkably similar body and facial/head structures.

Discussion: An interesting accumulation of stories that would benefit from editing to remove repetition and perhaps provide, where available, more than just cursory autopsy findings and forensic details.

3*     4*Interesting reports; 3* for reasons described.