Category: Adventure

Book Review: “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains” by Isabella Bird

Book Review: “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains” by Isabella Bird

I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to! This is the collection of letters which Isabella wrote to her sister about her travels through the Rocky Mountains in the 1870’s. Isabella is travelling on her own; sometimes with companions she picks up along the way. She has a beautiful gift for describing what she sees and experiences along the way. Her reason for the journey is to see Estes Park. She travels from San Francisco to Colorado and then into the mountains. She tells her sister about all the people she encounters, a very motley collection of humanity. People that have been sent to the mountains by their doctors back East in an attempt to improve their health. People who are building ranches and farms and communities out of nothing. She meets desperadoes and dandies, devoted wives and their hardworking husbands, law-breakers and those trying to create law and order where none exists. Isabella gets to try her hand at herding cattle, climbing mountain peaks, slogging through blizzards, fording streams and rivers. It seems like she has the opportunity to experience every hardship the west has to offer but also all the beauty and glory that await in the Rocky Mountains.

This book was first published in the 1870’s but don’t let that put you off. If you enjoy stories of the Old West or travel books I think you will find this book worth reading. Isabella’s writing style is very approachable and not stuffy, as some books from the 19th century feel to today’s reader. Try something different today and pick up “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains”.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “Drachen” by Brendan le Grange

Book Review: “Drachen” by Brendan le Grange

A treasure hunt filled with danger, adventure, and mysterious places!! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is just non-stop action and adventure. Brett is searching for a lost treasure somewhere on the European coast. But she not the only one following the clues. Chapter 1 drops you into the middle of a foot chase with Brett as the one being chased. After she escapes she teams up with her friend Patrick, who helps her to locate the clues and provides protection. Then she encounters Sam, who steals the keys and the book that contains the clues. Sam is working with Roman and before you know it all 4 of them are being hunted by a Finnish mercenary and his team.

The action literally never stops in this story and if you like books that keep you on the edge of your seat, you will definitely love this one. I really enjoyed the main characters and the way they worked together. The locations are fabulous and the clues are particularly inventive. This is way more complex than just find the location of the red “X”. Make sure you buckle your seatbelt before diving in to this one, but definitely dive in!!

Happy Reading!

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“The Traveler” by Fredric Shernoff

“The Traveler” by Fredric Shernoff

A brilliant twist on the time travel theme! “The Traveler” had me fully engaged from the very start. Fredric Shernoff has created a fascinating time travel story. Daniel Wells is your average, everyday guy. He’s married, somewhat unhappily, lives in a nice house, and drives a nice car. Then one day he discovers that he can travel in time. After a few tries he gains some control over the process and travels back in time 20 years to when he was a middle-schooler. His intention is just to observe and revisit his childhood, but something goes terribly wrong. Now he has created a major disturbance in time and in his efforts to correct his mistakes verges on disrupting the whole universe. There is adventure, romance, and even murder in this story. I would highly recommend “The Traveler” to readers of sci-fi or fantasy. There is also a theme of coming to terms with who you are and Daniel revisits his past. You should definitely give this one a try.

Happy Reading!

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“Donners of the Dead” by Karina Halle

“Donners of the Dead” by Karina Halle

There is an author’s note at the beginning of this book which explains what the book is about, but even though I read it I apparently didn’t really pay attention to what it said. Then I get a few chapters in and realized there are zombies in the story. Now I don’t usually go for zombie type stories and I almost decided to stop reading it. Then I thought, “Well, I’m really enjoying the story and there’s a lot of elements that don’t involve the zombies.” So I decided to keep reading and I’m so glad I did. Karina Halle tells a wonderful story.

The backdrop of this story is the ill-fated Donner party that was trapped over the winter in the Sierra Nevadas. The narrative centers on a teenage Eve, who is living with her aunt, uncle, mother and cousin, after the death of her father. Her mother has not spoken since her husband’s death. Eve is the daughter of a white mother and an Indian father, and her uncle hates her for it. He relegates her to the barn and treats her not as a niece but, at best as a ranch worker, and at worst as a burden on his life. Eve’s father was a well-known tracker and guide, and Eve learned many of his skills before he died. When a group of men ride into the town needing a guide they are told that Eve is the best person in the area. Their story is that the uncle of one of the men went into the Sierra Nevadas as part of a group searching for what happened to the Donner party, but he never returned, and now they want to find him. But is there another motive?

Eve’s uncle agrees to let her go, he sees nothing but dollar signs, but her aunt insists that she be accompanied by a fellow ranch-hand, Avery, and another local girl, Donna, to function as chaperone. The group sets off into the mountains. On the first day they encounter a couple of Indians who try to warn them of danger in the mountains, but since they don’t speak English the men disregard the warning. Not too long after that they have their first encounter with the strange creatures that live there. One of the men in the group, Jake, seems to take an instant dislike to Eve, and she to him. But will their opinions of each other change as they continue to encounter the dangerous creatures?

As I said earlier, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The story line was clever and original, and the author’s style made for an easy but exciting read. The characters, especially Eve, Jake, Avery, and Donna, were well thought out and well written. The author pulled me into the drama right away and kept me there until the last page. Some of the zombie scenes were graphic in nature, but there was so much more to the story than just blood and gore that it didn’t feel overwhelming. I would love to see more stories with these characters. I would highly recommend this book. It’s got adventure, twists and turns, and a bit of romance too. I think just about anybody could find something to like here.

Happy Reading!

Donners of the Dead from Amazon

 

“Operation Angelica” by Juliene Lloyd

“Operation Angelica” by Juliene Lloyd

A thoroughly enjoyable read! This is a great covert ops story, but with a twist. This operation’s personnel include two key female operatives. And while these women can hold their own with the men, there will be a few tears.

The story open with Elizabeth Ashton, a trained sniper and FBI agent, taking revenge for her fiance’s death by shooting the man responsible. Brian was a biologist with a research team in South America when they found themselves in the middle of drug cartel territory. All members of the team were killed while trying to run away. A few months later, thinking that she’s completely under the radar, Elizabeth takes things into her own hands. What she doesn’t know is that someone was watching, and now she has come to the attention of Vormund/Ames, a firm that consults with the government on certain special projects.

Mike Van Dellen, a partner in the firm, sets about recruiting Ashton from the FBI, using his knowledge of her activities in South America as incentive. Ashton, reluctantly at first, agrees and is immediately swept up in training Vormund/Ames style. Her first assignment is to participate with a team that is providing backup for a multi-country operation to rescue drug cartel hostages in Colombia. As the training continues, Elizabeth gets to know the other members. Along the way, they shorten her name to Liz and the team begins to bond like a family.

One of the aspects of this book that I really enjoyed is how the author was able to weave together the action part of covert operations with very personal moments between the team members. The story moved back and forth seamlessly between the two and neither aspect felt forced or just thrown in as an afterthought. As a result, I really felt like I got to know the key members of the team and what motivates them to do this work. That being said, there is plenty of action, gunfire, and scoping out the enemy going on here. It’s refreshing to see an action story with a female perspective woven in.

I found this book really hard to put down and I could hardly wait to find out how it was all going to turn out. This book was an excellent read and I will be watching out for the next book in this series. I think many different readers will enjoy this book. Certainly those who like spy and covert operations type stories, but I would encourage readers who don’t normally pick up this type of book to give it a try because of the quality of the characters and the storytelling.

To purchase Operation Angelica (The Vormund/Ames Files)