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February 14th, 2016

Praise for the Beta-Earth Chronicles! [Feb. 14th, 2016|04:55 pm]
thespyreport
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I’m excited to report that book two of the Beta-Earth Chronicles, The Blood of Balnakin, is coming very soon! We’re just waiting for the last-minute cover art and then off we go!

Until then, I thought I’d share some of the reviews for book one, The Blind Alien, both old and new. Please join the choir as the next chapter is about to commence—

“The Blind Alien is a story with a highly original concept, fascinating characters,
and not-too-subtle but truthful allegories. Don’t let the sci-fi label or alternate Earth setting fool you--this is a compelling and contemporarily relevant story about race, sex, and social classes.”
--Raymond Benson, Former James Bond novelist and author of the Black Stiletto books

“Brilliant!”

“An excellent work of new SF that hearkens back to the classics of Asimov and Heinlein. Told from the viewpoints of the different characters, it is a tale of a man from our earth (Alpha) being unwittingly transferred to a parallel earth (Beta) where he must learn to adapt to new cultures, attitudes, languages at the same time as coming to grips with the loss of his sight. Each of the characters are fully developed and well defined and being able to hear their thoughts about each encounter brings a richness to the narratives. Politics, religion, social mores and relationships are all examined from both without and within. Think "Stranger in a Strange Land" combined with "Foundation" and you may begin to get an idea of the scope and quality of this adventure.”
—Dave Massengale, Amazon review

“The Blind Alien is fascinating down-to-earth Science Fiction”
"The Blind Alien" Is Fascinating Down-To-Earth Science-Fiction
"The Blind Alien" Is Fascinating Down-To-Earth Science-Fiction

“Spymaster and imaginative author, Dr. Wesley Britton has another big hit! His book takes the reader on a compelling journey of an Alpha earthling who has been spirited to planet Beta. Science-fiction, yes, but much more. The book explores science, medicine, commerce, education, spiritual life, family life and sex on an alternative planet which
at times is insightful and hilarious in its comparison to our own Earth. In an ingenious way, Dr. Britton has created a new grammar and vocabulary to continually intrigue the reader. A true winner!”
–Bobbi Chertok, Amazon Review

“A most commendable and unique novel. I can honestly say I have not come across anything quite like it. The Blind Alien follows the life of an unremarkable man who by some twist of fate is pulled from his world, into that of one parallel . . . What follows is a story of rebellion, politics, love, science, and religion . . . without a doubt, this is an admirably well crafted piece of work, that was both entertaining and very thought provoking.”
--Tosin Coker, author of The Chronicles of Zauba’ah

“I really didn't know what to expect from a book with a blind protagonist, but I was extremely pleased. The book centers around a character who is blinded by an event that drags him from Earth to a different universe (not quite parallel) where the light skin people were the lowest end of the social spectrum. Most men die at or near birth, so men are in short supply, and polygamy is the norm. An Earth human goes to this planet, deals with blindness under freakish circumstances and ends up married to women from various races. It's odd as hell, but very well thought out, and well written. I think it will make a great movie!”
—Doug Myerscough, Amazon Review
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Book Review: Rogue Mission by Jeffrey Stephens [Feb. 14th, 2016|04:59 pm]
thespyreport
Rogue Mission: A Jordan Sandor Thriller
Jeffrey S. Stephens

Post Hill Press, April 26, 2016

• ISBN: 9781618688132
ISBN-13: 978-1618688132
http://www.amazon.com/Rogue-Mission-Jordan-Sandor-Thriller/dp/1618688138




This review by Wesley Britton first appeared at BookPleasures.com:

http://goo.gl/yFRH7z





I hadn’t completed reading Jeffrey Stephens’ Rogue Mission before I knew one thing. I was going to download the previous Jordan Sandor books and get caught up on this fascinating series. My files now already include Stephens’ Targets of Opportunity, Targets of Deception, and Targets of Revenge.



Admittedly, it’s hard for any new espionage/political thriller to find a place in a glutted genre. But there are many good reasons to include Rogue Mission in your reading list. For me, field agent Jordan Sandor and the company he keeps, and the company he works for, are more three-dimensional characters than many similar literary counterparts. It was good to read a story without all the usual interagency turf wars that pit hero against his superiors, his department against other agencies. All the good guys seem to be focused on common goals without ego or self-serving pride. One delight was Stephens’ dialogue. Conversations sound like conversations and not merely means to explain what is going on. I liked the analytical intelligence shown in most of the leads. For example, Sandor figures out Bermuda law enforcement dropped the ball when investigating a death by not finding out whether or not a British doctor had actually written a suspicious prescription. That’s the sort of detail that’s not typical of many such yarns.



True, Rogue Mission is chockful of all the elements you’d expect in a contemporary spy thriller. There is a series of unexplained killings that don’t seem to have anything in common. The nasties are an Isis splinter group based in Syria who kidnap American celebrities and hold them for a hundred-million dollar ransom inside Iraq. There seems to be something unsavory going on inside the top levels of international high finance. Some readers might be surprised to learn not all Jihadists are suicidal. But there’s nothing surprising about these terrorists redirecting U.S. military drones. That’s been done before.



The most important secondary character is Sandor’s sexy past lover and CIA analyst Beth Sharrow. She helps connect the dots and find the patterns linking seeming unrelated financial trades with terrorist attacks. She has a desirable mind in the field, and so too a desirable body in bed. Apparently, she was a significant player in the previous Sandor adventures, so flashbacks involving her help add some depth to just who Sandor is and what his track record includes.



Naturally, in a novel with the typical geopolitical scope of such stories, we hop along on many globe-trotting jaunts to Washington, New York, Bermuda, London, Paris, Iraq, and Syria. We’re taken to Five-Star Hotels and luxurious receptions for the rich and connected and into dangerous camps for Syrian refugees. The descriptions of such settings is adequate, meaning readers won’t experience much in exotic detail that’s more common to other authors.



In short, Rogue Mission should satisfy readers familiar with this genre who’ll be happy with Stephens’ stylistic gifts with character interaction and fresh takes on old tropes. More, please—





Find out about Wes Britton’s Beta-Earth Chronicles at:

www.drwesleybritton.com




Book Two, The Blood of Balnakin, coming soon!
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Book Review: Fire War by T.T. Michael [Feb. 14th, 2016|05:03 pm]
thespyreport
Fire War
T.T. Michael
Published: October 2015
ISBN: 978-1517180744
ASIN: B015GDR6E8
http://www.amazon.com/Fire-War-T-T-Michael-ebook/dp/B015GDR6E8

Review written by Wes Britton for BookPleasures.com:
http://goo.gl/7RJzI6

According to Fire War, in the year 2051, the terrorist group Hariq Jihad hit the United States with attacks more deadly than 9/11. Twenty-five years later, fears of these terrorist, along with the voices of the dissenting group called the Apocalytes, inspired U.S. President Frederick J. Meyers to completely rewrite the geopolitical map.

At first, the U.S merged with Canada. Then Meyers bullied Mexico into joining what became
the United Continental States of America. Thus, he took care of immigration problems by enforcing the idea that immigrants must enter the country by legal means, and that meant making them citizens where they were. Taking his country to isolationist extremes, Meyers pulled all military troops out of every foreign country and forbade international travel to ensure no terrorist could endanger the UCSA.

Further, Meyers imposed severe travel restrictions within the states to help keep track of all citizens. He had the Second Alien and Sedition Act passed to counter any dissent, blaming the Apocalytes for any disagreement with his policies. National elections disappeared as loyal citizens felt appointed leaders made better sense than elected ones. After all, under Meyers’ leadership, unemployment went away. Mexican drug cartels were allegedly defeated. Then, neighbors started being taken away. Homes were boarded up as family after family seemed to shelter supporters of the Hariq Jihad or Apocalytes. No trials were required when potential terrorism or disloyalty was the alleged crime.

Witnessing all these changes is Gunnery Sergeant Anthony Jackson. He comes to the president’s attention when he kills the assassin of the last President of Mexico and is hired for Meyers’ personal protection. Jackson is a passive, loyal, dedicated follower of all the President’s policies and can’t understand why the erosion of civil liberties should matter when national security is, well, secure. He feels minor twinges of doubt when watching the president bully his subordinates and isn’t entirely sure that all his vanishing neighbors, especially the younger ones, deserve secret imprisonment for often minor infractions. But, over and over, Jackson is sure his government knows best and he angers when he hears any criticism of the leaders he trusts. That is, until his independent-minded teenage daughter forces him to rethink his values.

It’s clear author T.T. Michael is dramatizing his polemic exploring what might happen if Americans lose themselves to fears of terrorism and allow themselves to be pressed into conformity in the name of social calm. While set in the future, the story isn’t futuristic in a science-fiction sense. For example, technology doesn’t seem to have changed in sixty years. Instead, the setting reflects very contemporary problems being discussed in this year’s presidential election.

Much of the story is exposition describing the cultural changes resulting from Meyers’ virtual dictatorship. From time to time, Michael inserts propaganda pieces allegedly published in the new mainstream media. The only character with any development is Jackson, and he lives in such a privileged bubble that he isn’t a true representative of his fellow citizens who are either in fear of the government or bogged down in bureaucratic red-tape. He’s so accepting of what the government does that for most of the book, all he does is reiterate how new ways have replaced the unneeded old Constitution. The only real characteristic for readers to sympathize with is Jackson’s drive to repair his family and be a good father and husband.

I’m certain many readers will be intrigued, and alarmed, by the sadly too plausible scenario Michael paints. If you’re expecting a pot-boiler of a political thriller, you won’t get your monies’ worth. With any luck, Michael’s Fire War will reach those already inclined to surrender to fears of terrorism and allow their civil liberties to erode in the name of security. Michael’s “what if” could be illuminating and mind-changing.


Be sure to check out Wes Britton’s Beta-Earth Chronicles at:

www.drwesleybritton.com

Volume two, The Blood of Balnakin, coming soon!
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