My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sunrise On The Ice Wolf

Young Helen Kley of El Colony, a world dominated by women, doesn't know what to make of the two young men who suddenly come bursting into her life, rescuing her from a humiliating kidnap attempt. That they are offworlders, she has no doubt, that they are corporate agents of some sort, she suspects. Otherwise why do they withhold their names, giving her only the number of a safe line to contact them? In the end, she becomes friends with the one she dubs "Pro" (the other she call "Con" because of their differing attitudes) and simply learns to think of them as her guardians.
Only when she comes of age, two years later, and is by custom given her father's name and an invitation to visit heretofore unknown relatives on his homeworld, does she learn the truth about her adopted guardians. In fact she learns truth after truth as she and Pro, whose real name she finally learns, must battle their way through one adventure after another as they seek her missing father while avoiding his enemies.
In the end, she faces not only threats from the outside, but also the need to come to terms with her own values and background -- to choose and to choose rightly. Everything she has learned to care about depends on her choice -- her own happiness and the welfare of those who have become dear to her.


Sunrise on The Ice Wolf (SF)
By Colleen Drippe
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-1542658683
Price $12.49 (Paperback)
304 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“An Adventure In Storytelling.”

Young Helen Kley lives in a planet network where girls have little say in their future. She must wait until of age to learn who her father is, and her mother could care less about her. But Helen longs for adventure and to find her dad among the stars. Several years before she’s reached the age of finding out about her father, she meets Pro and Con, two offworlders who stop a man from abducting her. Con kills the man, then they see her safely back to her apartment. For the next several years they stay in contact, however, and when she’s of age, she learns that her father was John Heth Wolfbane, from Lost  Rathar, a wild volcanic world, where Pro & Con happen to also be from. There is a mystery whether or not her father is dead or alive, and to his exact whereabouts, but Helen is determined to find him and seeks the aid of Pro (Bis Stephen). Con (Gris Ansgar) has already left for Lost Rathar in search of her father, but for a different reason than hers.

The journey is a hard one, and difficult. They must evade a war on one planet, while escaping tigers in a jungle, and survive near-death injuries. If she lives to find her father, will the reunion be worth it?

The author’s writing keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, while at the same time introducing them to exciting new worlds. Her descriptive narrative will captivate the reader, as they discover new worlds to explore. Take this passage for instance:

I saw the planet for the first time, streaked with cloud. Slowly the surface became a marbling of black and grey, greenish blue and white that I thought must be snow.
         We glided in over the dun-colored ocean half obscured by steam. Presently this gave way to a low, dismal land of quaking, charcoal colored mud. There were no signs of habitation.
         “This,” Mary Wolfbane volunteered, “is the bogland. There is much volcanism on Lost Rythar and most of the surface is unstable – uninhabitable. This part is often hot, not just literally, but somewhat radioactive. And there are gases from the ground.”
        
The author’s writing also tends to have a religious slant, conforming to the author’s background as a Catholic. Priests, called Star Brothers are found in each of her SF novels so far, their duty is to carry Faith to the star colonies. The people of Rathar are Christian, and hold fast to their belief in a Crucified Lord. That doesn’t mean they are perfect, however, as most have killed or committed some other sin. SF readers will enjoy this tale of a young girl becoming a woman among the stars. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Author of WORLDS OF TOMORROW

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Legitimate Power

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, a person digs up two ossuaries and finds a strange yellow crystal the size of a smartphone able to repair itself when scratched, and turns into a perfect mirror under laser light. Needing money, he sells it to a local merchant, who puts it on the shadow gems market. Suspecting that it is not natural, Dr. Morrison, a part-time mineral collector, purchases the crystal and discovers that he has a quantum computer device that could revolutionize the information technology industry—if it could be made to work.
A Chinese official, also indulging a hobby in rare minerals, thwarted that his bid failed, realizing the crystal’s special nature, sends a Second Bureau operative to get the crystal from Dr. Morrison using whatever means necessary. A trail of murder leads Israeli authorities to the crystal…and they send a Mossad agent to retrieve a national treasure. Learning of the crystal’s existence and its potential, the American government becomes involved, resulting in a collision of conflicting interests, leaving Dr. Morrison to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. A political drama so real, it will make you wonder if it isn’t already happening.


Legitimate Power (Thriller)
By Stefan Vucak
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-0987533685
Price $12.99 (Paperback)
340 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“International Thrills & Intrigue!”

Cheber Shaken was merely digging a garden spot for his wife when he discovered an underground cavity containing two ossuaries (stone caskets) containing ancient bones 2,700 years old. There is strange writing not familiar to experts, plus the bones were also an oddity; not human DNA, and the heads were elongated with huge eye sockets, indicating an alien species of unknown origin. If this wasn’t enough, there is a strange gem that appears machined, not natural.

The story follows the sale of the discovery from Shaken as it goes to higher levels, each time the value increasing, until the gem finally goes on an open auction to the highest bidder. This is where things get deadly. The winning bid of four hundred thousand dollars goes to an American industrialist. Although no one is sure what the gem is, he believes it is a quantum computer, an alien device that could revolutionize world technology. Other countries are also aware of its potential, and Israel wants it back, under its national treasure tag, and their Mossad unit is activated. China also wants it, and sends their Second Bureau assassins after it.

This was an exciting and interesting tale of what the discovery of new technology could mean for the world, as well as the world problems it also creates. From a simple husband digging a garden to world governments approaching world war over something no one actually understands, and modern scientists won’t for hundreds of years or more. A minor gripe with the story involved the American industrialist, a billionaire most likely; who quietly pays four hundred thousand dollars for a small gemstone, then hires the worst security to keep him and his family safe. Gads, they did nothing right. Yes, they were up against professionals, but they were also supposed to be professionals.  The private security aside, this was an intriguing story, well written with an interesting plot set some time in our near future (though we’re not sure how far or near). The pace is good, but could have been tightened. Too much detail is given to each character, regardless of how small or large their part. This is usually a sign that the author isn’t sure if the character is going to die on the next page, or become a major player by the end of the story. The detail is good, as it gets the reader invested in the characters, but the next page they get their brains splattered across the wall, and our investment falls flat. It kept me turning the pages, however, and that’s what matters in the end. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy intrigue and thrills on an international level.

Tom Johnson

Author of COLD WAR HEROES

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Coming Catastrophe

The Lord Jesus will return to earth again; however, when He comes, will He find faith on the earth? The time of the end is nearer than you imagine. This book will encourage and strengthen believers who are determined to get into heaven using the righteous path. Catastrophes have plagued this earth from the very commencement of time, however, nearer to the coming of Jesus Christ there will be disasters that have never been viewed before. You must be aware this is simply the beginning of sorrows. This volume will give you visions of the end time, and how they are true prophetic visions. As the author witnessed them, thus he wrote them down. Greek and Norse Mythology is also documented, and the mystery of them is exposed. Are you someone who wants to learn how such a catastrophic time will unfold? Then, read this book and see for yourself.


The Coming Catastrophe (Biblical Study)
“The Beginning of Sorrows”
By Paul A. Lynch
Revival Waves of Glory Books & Publishing
ISBN 978-1684111695
Price $17.99 (paperback)
292 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“For Christian & Non-Believers.”

This is a Bible study for everyone, aimed at leading Christians closer to Jesus, while hoping to bring unbelievers to a saving knowledge of our Lord. Yes, the author touches on the prophesies of the end time, and the coming tribulation on the world, and the terrible catastrophes that will strike during that period, but he doesn’t delve on that subject for long. As many will recall The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsay in 1970 that opened a lot of eyes to the end time catastrophes, the author doesn’t repeat that book. Instead, the aim here to understand God’s plan for his elect, and what we must do to be more faithful to Him. None know the day or hour of His coming, but we are to watch for signs, and I believe the first trumpet has already sounded over Israel, so the beginning may already be here. Whether this is true or not, we certainly can’t afford to let down our guard. The Lord will return on the seventh trumpet, and we’d better be ready. I highly recommend this book for Christian readers, and especially nonbelievers, for there is still time until that seventh trumpet has sounded.

Tom Johnson

Author of THE SOUL STEALERS

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Water Rat of Wanchai

Ava Lee takes on a master criminal in her most dangerous case yet.
In Ian Hamilton's The Water Rat of Wanchai, we meet forensic accountant and martial arts expert Ava Lee in her early days working for the mysterious businessman Uncle as they track down large sums of money that have disappeared. One of Uncle's longtime friends has requested help for his nephew, who needs to recover five million dollars from a business deal that went sideways. Ava steps in and immediately is off on a global hunt for the missing money that has her dodging shady characters.
On a journey that takes her from Seattle to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Guyana, and the British Virgin Islands, Ava encounters everything from the Thai katoey culture to corrupt government officials. In Guyana she meets her match: Captain Robbins, a godfather-like figure who controls the police, politicians, and criminals alike. In exchange for his help, Robbins decides he wants a piece of Ava's five million dollars and will do whatever it takes to get his fair share.


The Water Rat of Wanchai (International Thriller)
Ave Lee Book One
By Ian Hamilton
Picador
ISBN #978-1250032270
Price $14.61 (paperback)
400 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Superb Writing.”

Ava Lee is assigned to track down five million dollars cheated from a relative of Uncle’s friend in a fish scam. The trail is easy to follow, but the people in power that Ava must deal with are worse than the crooks, and are easily turned to murder. And their power stretches beyond their own locale. However, they’ve never met someone like Ava Lee, and Uncle’s worldwide connections might prove even more powerful than world dictators.


Although the numbering system appears messed up, this is the first novel in the series. Ava has partnered with Uncle now for over ten years, and their bond is totally Chinese. The author’s writing style is smooth, and the story flows swiftly, even if the trail seems slow. 400 pages seem more like 200 pages, making for a fast read. The characters come alive, though at times it appears Ava finds the culprits and money a bit too easily; it’s the retrieval of the money that can cause problems for her. Thankfully, there isn’t page after page of martial arts, but when the need arises Ava employs bac mai with lethal force. Highly recommended for fans of interesting female leads.