Tuesday Book Review: “Notes from the Trenches: A Musician’s Journey Through World War I”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

notes from the trenches gary foster

cipa evvy merit

Notes From the Trenches

by Gary H. Foster

ISBN: 9781478792741

Synopsis*:

The Terror and Triumph of WWI in a Soldier’s Own Words…

The Foster family of Wisconsin were vibrant and happy in the early years of the 20th century. Like many families in the area, they were descended from German immigrants and had a healthy appetite for hard work and beer. Barbara Foster, widowed early in life, created a loving home for her children Leo, Ottilia, Mary, and Kunigunda. They were all musicians, forming their own orchestra and playing in regional and local venues. But despite Woodrow Wilson’s promises, America found itself drawn into the Great War overseas, and Leo Foster, bugler for the Wisconsin National Guard, was sent to the front lines. Nearly a century later, this book reconstructs Leo’s World War I experience from letters, newspaper clippings, and photographs from Leo’s footlocker. Nothing compares to the immediacy of the war experience in a soldier’s own words. Notes from the Trenches follows Leo from stateside training to the horror of the Meuse-Argonne offensive and his battle-weary return home in May of 1919. Full of wit, good humor, and honesty, these letters provide a fascinating window into the War to End All Wars, with insightful organization and context from Leo’s grandson, Gary Foster.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Notes From the Trenches” by Gary H. Foster.]


4 out of 4 stars


Get an in-depth look into World War I from a soldier’s perspective. Leo Foster’s eagerness, pride, humor, bravery and sense of patriotism will surprise you in Notes from the Trenches by Gary H. Foster. His life continues to inspire his lineage with many following in his footsteps.

A young musician of German ancestry from Wisconsin joins the 32nd division famously known as ‘Les Terribles’. His new journey takes him across the states, then to France and finally to Germany in a bid to fight for his country even if this means that he loses his life in the process.

Told by Leo Foster’s grandson Gary H. Foster who served in the Navy, Notes from the Trenches reveals the content of many letters that Leo wrote to his family. His mother and sisters seem to have been quite close to him. Even in the heat of war, Leo good-heartedly continues to taunt his sisters in his notes. His concern for Kuni, Mary, Tillie and his mother, Barbara shows in every letter. It is clear that he was more concerned over their welfare more than his own as he made every effort to reassure and encourage them.

Perhaps the most impressive bit of Foster’s book is that it reveals the true picture of war, the sacrifice that families have to endure both for the soldiers in the front lines and the family members left behind. Leo’s mother, Barbara, must have been a strong woman to have endured all she went through and still hold on and hope for the return of her son. The destructive nature of war is shown especially in the later letters written by Leo.

The letters are obviously in the first person which adds to the storyline’s authenticity. Leo’s humor as he constantly refers to his weight and love for ‘eats’ adds a unique comical strand which helps to lighten the weight of the account. His mention of love interests heightened the book’s appeal and gave me a glimpse of his personality.

The book is very well researched. Every letter is carefully placed in chronological order and life after World War I is also covered.

Ultimately, Notes from the Trenches fosters the spirit of patriotism and touches on an incredibly important part of history that shaped whole nations. It also reveals a history that is too powerful to be forgotten and a people’s resilience and bravery that should always be valued. I rate Gary H. Foster’s account 4 out of 4 stars.

– reviewed by EmunahAn on OnlineBookClub.org

Other Reviews

One is amazed that despite the raging horrors of war and the …

“Notes from the Trenches” is a fascinating glimpse back in time to World War I. It is fair to say that this war has been largely overshadowed by World War II and the conflicts that have since followed. As a result, bookstores have an abundance of material on those subjects, but only a handful on the War to End All Wars. This book puts World War I in the hands of the reader as written by bugler Leo Foster in his letters home to his mother Barbara and his sisters. The colloquialisms, daily routines, and wide-eyed wonder of a young man experiencing the Old World as new in the midst of conflict are fresh on the page. The author allows Leo to speak in his own words, while guiding the reader through the broader historical events of the conflict. This has the effect of giving the reader the chance to experience the war much the same way Leo Foster’s mother and sisters would have through his letters. Readers will find Leo to be brash, humorous, and possessing a brand of “gee whiz!” American optimism that seems to have largely faded from American civic life. One is amazed that despite the raging horrors of war and the normal hardships of life in that era, there was a strong attitude of pressing forward and making the best of whatever happened in life. Certainly something to glean from this book, as well as a newfound appreciation for the sacrifices of so many of that generation that our modern world continues to reap the benefits of. I highly recommend this book, and as a reader who had (I’m embarrassed to admit) a very limited knowledge of World War I, I think this is an incredible way to be introduced to the story of that conflict and the sacrifices of so many true heroes like Leo Foster.

– reviewed by Brady Christian on Amazon

A Gripping Documentation of Life on the Battlefield from a WWI Soldier Who Fought For Freedom

Rarely is there any documentation of the thoughts in real time from the men in the field who fought during WWI. Without technology or the sheer opportunity and willpower to document such emotions as they occurred, the personal trials of the fighting men in the “war to end all wars” seems lost to the ages. Then comes along Notes From The Trenches, a gripping book that recounts the actual perspectives of Leo W. Foster, a bugler in the 121st Machine Gun Battalion, 32nd Division in WWI.

The book captures in vivid detail the sacrifices, wonder, elation, disappointments, tensions and an overpowering desire to win at all costs as documented by a young man who voluntarily leaves the comforts of his Wisconsin home to fight “over there” in the battlefields of France, documented through the actual letters written by Foster and sent to America. More than 90 letters, kept for decades in the soldier’s stored footlocker, are showcased in their raw and largely unedited form, all organized in chronological order with added color and perspectives from the author about the events that led to American victory in Europe.

Notes from the Trenches is a solid read, and it’s an intriguing glimpse into the real-life battles of a war fought a century ago.

– reviewed by Mark Foster on Amazon

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Cursed”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
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cursed jeanne blanchet

cipa evvy merit

Cursed

by Jeanne Blanchet, PhD

ISBN: 9781478747901

Synopsis*:

The year is 394 CE. Christianity has recently been declared Rome’s state religion, and the empire’s pagan temples are being shut down. When Christian Princess Serena accompanies Theofilus, a young priest, to oversee the closing of Vesta’s sanctuary, she pilfers a necklace from the statue of a goddess, inciting the head Vestal to call a horrific curse down on her and her family. Cursed traces the remainder of Serena’s life as she wonders if the curse will destroy her completely and attempts to cope with her gradually rising desperation. Meanwhile, Father Theofilus embarks on a lifelong quest to find the priceless antique Palladium, which had been housed in the sanctuary and which he plans to donate to the Church as a means of furthering his ecclesiastical career. Stilicho, Alaric, Theodosius I, Bishops Ambrose and Augustine, and Saint Jerome are among the fascinating individuals who return to life in this historical fiction thriller. Their exciting adventures are set against the background of the fall of the once-mighty Roman Empire, the rise of Christianity, and the mass migrations characteristic of Europe’s turbulent fourth and fifth centuries.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Jeanne Blanchet’s “Cursed” is an epic historical account of Christianity’s strong entrance into Roman culture, and how religion came to be more absolute than the power of even the emperors.

Christian Princess Serena and a young priest and aspiring Bishop of Rome, Presbyter Theofilus, make up two of the principal characters in the cast. Serena is pampered and used to living a life of luxury.  While her heart is often in the right place, she is easily misguided, however, by material aspirations and the beauty and allure of things, like jewelry.  Presbyter Theofilus started out as a promising young military prospect but turned his sights on the Church when religious traditions in Rome became overrun by Christian teachings and power.  What these two young people learned during their years, as did every other Roman citizen and intruder, was that Christianity’s power was to be stronger than anything else.

“Cursed” starts out strongly and is filled with rich details and obvious research.  The terminology which the author inputs into the story represents long hours of academic study, which help produce an authentic picture of Rome in its final century.  While the details remain strong throughout the novel, the pace staggers a bit as the story progresses.  It seemed that the author’s aspirations for the novel almost became a little too broad.  Whereas the synopsis of the book intimates at the book being about a young woman being evilly cursed by one of the remaining pagan priestesses, or Vestals, of Rome, and about Presbyter Theofilus’s journey to find the antique Palladium, these storylines become a little blurred.

While most of “Cursed” takes place toward the end of the 4th century CE, there are various chapters that almost randomly go back in time 30, 40, or 50 years.  One contains details about the coming of the Goths, while another provides backstory on the current Bishop of Rome.  While the historical details are strong, the context of why these chapters are included in the midst of the main story is lost.  I think the too-broad aspirations and outlook for the plot ended up overshadowing the intended theme and main point of the book, albeit unintentionally.

I am not sure I would consider this a read for the general audience.  The historical and technical terms may make the prose seem a little dense and hard to understand.  I am a history student and an aspiring historian, so the inclusion of the historical facts was perfectly normal, easy to understand, and even exciting to me, but it may pose as a barrier for those who aren’t as historically inclined.

“Cursed” certainly shows a lot of promise as a work of heavily research historical fiction.  The idea for the story is unique and captivating, and the characters are unique enough to make you want to know what happens to them by the end of the book.  In the end, “Cursed” by Jeanne Blanchet is a great example to aspiring writers of how important structure, pacing, and context are in contributing to the overall understanding, execution, and package that is a novel.

– reviewed by Megan Weiss on Reader Views

Other Reviews

History come to life.

The author has taken the historical account of early Christianity and the fall of Rome and woven together a most descriptive narrative to bring the events to life.

– reviewed by Nancy Redmond on Amazon

This book has inspiring attention to detail and emotional depth. The knowledge and research that went into the writing of Cursed has made it a real page turner that pulls you right in and won’t let you put it down.

– reviewed by MacLennan on Amazon

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Banister – Raiders of Santa Fe: An American Frontier Adventure Novel”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

Banister - Raiders of Santa Fe Kent Courtney

cipa evvy merit

Banister – Raiders of Santa Fe:
An American Frontier Adventure Novel

by Kent Courtney

ISBN: 9781478779995

Synopsis*:

It seemed that Banister blood was destined to wander, starting with the earliest of settlers in the original colonies. This desire to see what was beyond the mountains or the sea flowed like a curse through their veins, pushing them on… In the third installment of the popular Banister Ranch Series, we discover what it was like to travel into unknown regions of the western frontier as an early settler. Spending months riding in a hot, crowded, bone-jarring covered wagon was only part of the challenge. A shaky treaty with some of the Indian tribes opened the Santa Fe trail for travelers, but nothing guaranteed their safety or insured their success as they struggled not only to survive, but to build a ranch during a violent and dangerous time in American history. Banister-Raiders of Santa Fe blends American history with the saga of a fictional family, the Banisters, revealing what it was like to face multiple, seemingly insurmountable challenges and surviving against all odds on the frontier. The series offers relevant, realistic historical fiction with real places and events woven into exciting storylines that will resonate with the modern reader.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Amazon Reviews

Wonderful book!! I am looking forward to “Banister-Outlaws of the Badlands.” I have loved this series and each book is better than the last.

– reviewed by Maria on Amazon

Best in the series so far. Well written and it held my attention throughout the whole book. We will be looking forward to his next book.

– reviewed by Sherrie on Amazon

AWESOME!!!!!

I love this book. Can’t wait to read the next in the series.

– reviewed by Linda C. on Amazon

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “A Place to Call Home”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

a place to call home g a whitmore

purple dragonfly book award

A Place to Call Home: Toby’s tale

by G. A. Whitmore

ISBN: 9781478700739

Synopsis*:

A Place to Call Home is the heartwarming and inspiring story of an abandoned white German shepherd puppy named Toby and his cross-country search for a forever home.Narrated in part by the animal characters in the book, the reader experiences Toby’s world through his eyes and those of the animals he meets on his journey.

Toby’s life begins on a farm where the carefree, happy days he has known come to an abrupt end when his breeder decides to “dispose” of him and his sister Tara because of the color of their fur. With the help of a kind farmhand, the two puppies escape unharmed.

After a tumultuous time during which Toby is shuffled from place to place, he is finally adopted, but he quickly realizes his new family has deep-seated issues that put him in danger, and what seemed like an ideal home, turns into another place he must escape from.

As Toby struggles to find a forever home where he can feel safe and secure, he experiences some painful losses, but he also makes new friends–friends who will help him to trust humans again and teach him the power of love.

Inspired by a true story, this middle grade/young adult novel can be enjoyed by dog lovers of all ages.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

As a dog rescuer myself I was happy to get my hands on “A Place to Call Home” by G.A. Whitmore. We rescued Peggy, a mixed Belgian shepherd breed from the shelter almost seven years ago and now can’t imagine life without her. Toby is white German Shepard was abandoned with his sister on the road due his white fur by the breeder, a farmer who thought no one would buy them. After the two puppies are rescued, and their new situation seemed to promise a loving home for them, Toby’s tragic adventure begins.  This heart wrenching story made me imagine my own dog’s past and wonder what type of cruel situations she had to endure before we found her. Many of us dog rescuers fall in love with them and try not to think about all the cruelty these puppies have been subjected to previously. They are so loving to us that it is hard to imagine anyone could be capable of hurting them. This book will take the reader through the worst of mankind as it recounts the abuse Toby experienced.

“A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale” by G.A. Whitmore is the first of the series which promises to be heartwarming tales of rescued dogs. Toby’s tale was inspired by the author’s own dog. Her love for him and dogs in general is evident in her writing. It is apparent through her writing that this is her first book, the flow was not quite there and it felt to me a little repetitive. I am sure that as she gains more experience she will be able to edit out unneeded wording which will help the flow a lot, from dialogue to narration and one scene to the next. Nevertheless, this is a great story and a much needed series as the amount of abused dogs in the shelters are testament to the need for loving homes.

“A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale” by G.A. Whitmore is a heartwarming story that will touch dog lovers and even people without pets. Hopefully, their hearts will open up enough to make room for a shelter dog, as they read this book.

– reviewed by Susan Violante of Reader Views

Other Reviews

I Enjoyed This Book

I saw an ad for this book in my Story Monsters Ink Magazine. I was intrigued because it won the Purple Dragonfly Book Award and the author donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book to an organization that helps protect dogs. I read it in about a week and found it to be very enjoyable. The author’s love of dogs is apparent throughout the story and the book reminds us of the horrors some of these poor animals live through. I loved her beautiful imagery and think this would be an excellent gift for dog lovers. Not sure I’d give it to someone under the age of 14 or so though. A few parts might upset younger readers. It is a story of second chances and ultimately, one of love.

– reviewed by Michelle Seelye Drucker on Amazon

A Delightful Read with a Message

This was a thoroughly delightful and enjoyable read, one that moved me to both smiles and tears. Written for young adults, it balances well the scenes in which the dogs talk to one another and other more gritty and dramatic human scenes which explained the hardships this rescue dog went through and perhaps why. Even as it engages with Toby’s joys and travels, it sends an important message about the responsibilities of dog ownership and how they look to us for much more than food, water and shelter. Loving a dog is a responsibility and it’s a great joy. The organizations that save and the people who adopt, make a tremendous difference to many small creatures who hurt. The writer skillfully and engagingly sends that powerful and beautiful message with Toby’s story.. – LB Johnson – Author of “The Book of Barkley – Life and Love Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever”.

– reviewed by L. Paul on Amazon

The story of a dog family told from the canine point of view. Unique & Excellent!

This is a wonderful, sweet and engaging book about a dog finding a forever home and his relationship with a young boy and family. It is broken up into several sections, with the story of the pups mother and grandmother on a farm and how this pup ended up being part of a family. I particularly loved how all the perspectives are from each dog’s point of view, which is something I’ve never seen before. And my favorite section was the story of the grandmother dog and her adventures on the farm – I don’t want to give anything away so I’m not going g to say anything more about it, but it was captivating and charming and really a unique story.

This would be a great book for any animal lover. The themes focus around rescues and how even a dog that is abandoned deserves a chance to be loved and love in return. The descriptions from the dogs point of views make for an interesting, unique story and I highly recommend it.

– reviewed by jld2 on Amazon


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Tuesday Book Review: “Classroom Boredom Busters”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

classroom boredom busters donna malone

cipa evvy 3rd place

Classroom Boredom Busters

by Donna Malone

ISBN: 9781478785323

Synopsis*:

Spark student curiosity and increase student participation with classroom activities that won’t add to your busy workload. In Classroom Boredom Busters, veteran educator Donna Malone shares her proven ideas for exciting kids about learning.

Teachers of all content and subject areas in grades four through twelve can encourage active learning using movement (for example, role-playing being in a press conference); word games (such as writing messages in bottles); and friendly competitions (including game shows).

Educators who have attended Malone’s professional learning workshops have received these ideas enthusiastically, and students of theirs still fondly recall, “I remember when…” because these teachers used activities from this book. With Classroom Boredom Busters, every lesson comes alive and becomes more memorable.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Reviews

Entertaining Learning: A Win-Win Combination

This is the best book available on the market for all teachers who want to make learning fun again! Students will be entertained while they learn, a win-win situation for teachers and students alike. Award-winning author Donna Malone presents 50 clever games to captivate and energize students in the classroom, especially middle school where attention spans are short. The book includes eight categories of games, five in each. One section includes learning games that get children out of their seats, up and moving, to play games such as “Wall Slap,” “Snowball Fight,” and “Vocabulary Relay.” Other games are based on everything from popular game shows to celebrity glamour. Malone has almost 30 years of teaching experience and is a popular presenter at conferences. Currently, she serves as School Improvement Specialist at an agency for the Georgia Department of Education.

– reviewed by S. Mclaughlin on Amazon

Attention Educators

Educators will find Classroom Boredom Busters refreshingly effective for today’s youth. The author delivers some uniquely fun and simple approaches to stir up the stagnant climates in many of today’s classrooms. Donna’s box of strategies are delightful as well as practical for all involved parties. As a classroom teacher, I’m looking forward to adding many of her ideas to my repertoire!

– reviewed by Laurel on Amazon

 

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Tuesday Book Review: “Healing Walls”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

healing walls rea nurmi

cipa evvy 2nd place

Healing Walls

by Rea Nurmi

ISBN: 9781478785132

Synopsis*:

Opening new horizons to those whose lives are restricted. Healing Walls features the therapeutic side of Rea Nurmi’s work, which blends her skill as an artist with her love of vibrant colors and peaceful, natural settings. Her murals are designed and created to provide a liberating experience for patients, visitors and staff in the clinical environment of hospitals and other medical facilities. She describes her art projects as drab walls bursting alive with color and movement. Large works of gardens and other nature scenes relax and sooth both staff and patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other health facilities and schools. Rea paints alone or in collaboration with staff, patients and residents. Her intention is to bring color and light into the world and take the art where it is most needed. The first mural was done in the MRI unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. Others are located in major cities in Europe and her native Finland.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“See when you start at Yale, doors open.”

Thank you, everyone, who participated in our event with Finnish artist and now writer Rea Nurmi! The atmosphere was warm and intimate and Nurmi talked about her new book Healing Walls and showed us photos of the colourful walls she has painted with patients of hospitals, retirement homes and detention centres while guests enjoyed her lively personality and storytelling together with some cheeses, crackers and fruit. You can find a recording of the presentation online on our Facebook page!

“It’s no glamour work, I tell you!”

rea nurmiRea Nurmi is a painter who has produced and exhibited artwork since 1987. She divides her time between Helsinki, Finland and St Petersburg, Florida. She was born in Helsinki, Finland, where she graduated from the Structural Design Institute. In 1973 she moved to the US and worked as a designer in engineering firms in CT.

Nurmi’s journey as an artist began in 1986. She left her engineering studies and her work as a designer for a life adventure that took her travelling half-way around the world for several months: hiking in New Zealand, scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, exploring the beaches of Hawaii, and discovering Tahiti’s Moorea Island in the South Pacific. Inspired by her travels, upon returning home, she decided to devote all of her time to art.

reanurmi2-1024x558Through the years, Nurmi’s paintings have been displayed in solo exhibitions in New York City, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Boston, Helsinki and many other locations. Her work has also been featured in galleries throughout New England, in corporate collections in New York City. In 2011 she moved to St Petersburg, FL and she teaches a pastel class at the OLLI program at Eckerd College main campus.

Healing Walls features the therapeutic side of Nurmi’s work, which blends her skills as an artist with her love of vibrant colors and peaceful, natural settings. Her murals are designed and created to provide a liberating experience for patients, visitors, and staff in the clinical environment of hospitals and other medical facilities.

– reviewed by on www.FinlandCenter.org

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Wasp on the Wind”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

wasp on the wind c r norris

cipa evvy 2018

Wasp on the Wind

by C.R. Norris

ISBN: 9781478785989

Synopsis*:

The saga continues as a future apocalyptic world begins to reveal its secrets . . . Chris, now a Trax, was what the West Sand Command called “a greeny.” Her “Before Time,” that time before she had been rifted, had been from a distant past, and perhaps even a different timeline. Who could say . . .? But after some three years of training and a return to the very group who had rescued her from the desert, her “Now Time” circle was complete . . . with one adjustment, she was now also “Det Arju′” She carried with her a mysterious pendant that she had been ordered to present to Lon, the Tagos of the Choe, an assignment that, as of yet, no West Sand Commander was aware. Bruce, Chris’s friend, and fellow “Before Time” band geek, was rejected by the Trax. While Chris trained, his path hooked him to the side of the Taden’s greatest nemesis, the Captain. Now as his lieutenant, he must help the Captain save his command by aiding him in the capture of Ponopin, a genius Tader entrepreneur, and the Brigade’s greatest thorn. But as fate would have it, neither mission is as easy as it sounds, the tangle of circumstances sending Chris and Bruce on a collision course with each other.

Richly imagined, beautifully characterized, and deeply engaging, Wasp on the Wind will leave you clamoring for the upcoming third book in The Wasp Chronicles series.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Wasp on the Wind” is the second book of the “Wasp Chronicles” trilogy by C.R. Norris, a science-fiction/action-adventure series that follows several different perspectives. Readers explore the world through military officers, merchants, and even a man wanted by the government. Each storyline is vastly different, but all of them converge with at least one other during the course of the novel.

The variety of characters provides insight to all corners of the setting, allowing the reader a total and immersive experience. The world itself is detailed and painstakingly wrought. Norris balances an impressive number of societies with an even more impressive number of characters. The novel’s scientific aspect is interesting and easy to understand, providing a fantastic introduction to the genre.

While the vast cast of characters provides many sides to an already complicated story, they can sometimes prove a hindrance. The point of view jumps are often random and confusing. There is no warning before the shifts occur, and this makes it seem as if the author simply couldn’t decide whether they wanted to write in third person limited or third person omniscient. It’s enough to pull the reader out of the story completely while they try and adjust to a new point of view that often lasts only for a few paragraphs.

I found many of the side characters come off as flat. They have a single trait that defines them, and they seem more like they are there to fill up space. Sci-fi novels tend to be more action-driven than character-driven anyway, but like the sudden point of view jumps, I just found these side characters distracting. I was annoyed with the one-dimensional feel of them and the way they drew focus from the main characters, and felt that a lot of them could have been combined or cut from the novel altogether.

Overall, “Wasp on the Wind” by C.R. Norris left me conflicted. The story is intriguing and something I want to know more about, but the characters and point of view conflicts give me pause in continuing the trilogy. I removed two stars from my final rating for these issues. I don’t think I would highly recommend the series for anyone with a love of character driven novels.

– reviewed by Skyler Boudreau on Reader Views

Other Reviews

Great storytelling! May even be better than the first book in the series which was also excellent. Very powerful and intensely written with strong character development. Highly recommended, especially if you’re looking for a different sort of sci-fi.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Vinny D.

Just finished reading The Wasp’s Nest by C. R. Norris. Since I am 85 and don’t usually read science fiction I wasn’t sure, but I enjoyed it so much and will look forward to the next in the series. M’s Norris just might have got me started reading science fiction that several of my grand children enjoy. Thank you young lady you did a great job!

 – The Wasp’s Nest as reviewed on Amazon by Joan Stegall

 


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