Battling Isis – The Road to Mosul

Battling Isis – The Road to Mosul, is a thriller with considerable erotica in an e-book by Ernie Marier.

Plot: Michael Roundtree is a Half-breed American Indian whose great grandfather had established the Rogue River Trading Post. The business gradually developed into a highly successful enterprise that owned a large section of the state and had a net worth in the millions. Under Michael’s direction, success continued and his personal direction was additionally directed to survival tactics for which he established a survival school of sorts. He could survive under almost any conditions, was a master marksman, and could cover miles of ground at a steady rate of six minutes/mile. His older brother, Vince was a missionary working in a Syrian refugee camp. He was captured by Isis and beheaded. Michael witnessed the act on television. He decides to take revenge and the story evolves following his resulting journeys and activities. The action includes help from Kurdish, Egyptian and Israeli characters as well as some help from the CIA. The other characters, except for his beautiful paramour Avalina, an Israeli Army Corporal, and Willie, a Kurdish governmental agent, only incidentally participate in the story and are only slightly characterized.

Discussion: The author has an intriguing plot and has the ability to generate periods of tension throughout. Regrettably, the mood is fractured repeatedly by a number of faults. Shifts constantly occur from the first to the third person; present to past tense occurs; there is repetition of entire sections (e.g. location 638 repeats 627, again in location 938, others); words are omitted and/or repeated; there is constant repetition, with little to no change in verbalization of Michael’s activity as he proceeds to attack the enemy; similarly, the author provides pages of explicit descriptions of sexual activity only to repeat these in ensuing sections of the book. It is granted that graphically depicted sexual acts undoubtedly have a strong appeal for many readers and thus are not criticized per se. It would seem, however, that a knowledgeable editor could devise some greater variation in description of the activity, as well as for scenes of his enemy attacks. A good proof reading at the very least is necessary to ‘clean up’ some of the detritus that interferes with what could be an interesting story.

3* at best. Basically intriguing thriller/erotica plot; monumental need for editing/proof reading

TEARS and Trombones

TEARS And Trombones
ISBN: 9781937818272, Sand Hill Review Press, an e-book by Nanci Lee Woody is a novel based on a true story.

Plot: Joey Woodman is the second son of Ellie, an attractive woman from a nearly insolvent family who married Vernon, the man she believed was ‘caring’ after becoming pregnant. When introduced to the reader some years later, this husband is discovered to be self-centered, crude, a heavy drinker but highly skilled with bulldozers and other heavy earth-moving equipment, garnering him eventual supervisory status. John, the first son, although good at drawing, emulates Vernon, also becomes greatly skilled with the industrial equipment and works and drinks with him. Joey, the second son is favored by his mother and wants to become a musician. The highly dominant father, already treating his wife more like a servant than a wife and largely ignoring her, cannot abide such a decision. Utterly disdainful of the youngster, he indulges in abusive behavior that is not overly physical but more specifically of a highly psychological nature. The boy does manage to obtain a trombone, because it is the only instrument available, perseveres, graduates, goes further to obtain a Master’s Degree and eventually gains a position of prominence. The story revolves around his endeavors plus his long and close involvement with fellow musician Roger, with Jolene and his close involvement with Donna, who adores and helps him endlessly. But then there is Catherine with whom he has a mutually reciprocal love to which he never can seem to commit. He feels duty-bound to remain with Donna to whom he feels, and actually does owe much of his career development. The story gradually progresses through a multitude of triumphs, mental and sensual epitomes and nadirs, most of which are accompanied by, or ending in, periods of depression, more vacillation and guilt until finally persisting to a rousing and tear-producing finale.

Discussion: The author has provided a book exhibiting considerable knowledge of the handling of heavy earth-moving equipment as well as of both classical and popular music and of persons associated with these realms (and acknowledges a number of consultants who have contributed to her work). The book is well-written and nicely paced and is a story that would have been highly recommended to and for the readers of the once widely popular Oprah Winfrey Show. It is replete with agonizing personal vacillation, intense personal suffering, and a blatant exhibition of self-centered concentration with all that it permits an individual to attain, but simultaneously is accompanied with extensive personal misery and mental desolation.

Conclusion: A compellingly constructed look at the effects, positive as well as devastatingly deleterious, that can accompany self-centered tenacity to attain a goal. A story much to be enjoyed by the aforementioned reader. Regrettably, the single-minded thoughtless activity of the protagonist and the blind faith/acceptance of other characters provided quite an unpleasant read for this reviewer.

3* 5* Well and knowledgeably written; 3* regrettably, unpleasant as described for this reviewer.