Friday, November 30, 2007

Review - Deadly Enterprise by Christopher Hoare

Deadly Enterprise
Written by: Christopher Hoare
Science fiction / Fiction / Time travel
Rated: Very Good (****)
Review by: Lisa Haselton

Lieutenant Gisel Matah is resourceful, daring, and from a future earth. She’s also beautiful and rebellious–a wild cat. At 20, she’s the Iskander’s top operative. She thrives on the adrenaline rush of each assignment. Able to stay focused, in character, observant and determined, Gisel may not always follow orders to the letter, but she always gets the mission accomplished.

Iskander technology is well-advanced of Gaia, the older earth which the Iskander’s find they must adapt to. With battles raging between the Emperor and other factions, the Iskanders are interested in finding peace and making allies. To that end, they choose to approach the Felgers, a successful merchant and banker family, to assist them with their trading and production plans.
Gisel must convince Yohan Felger of the benefits to him and his family business if they join forces. It’s not an easy task. She has to share enough information about their technology to convince him of their worth, but not too much information which he could use against them.

In a world where women are required to be under the care and supervision of men, Gisel must remain disguised as a man in order to accomplish her mission. Complicating matters are rumors on Gaia about a female agent named ‘Wildcat’ who is nothing but trouble, and who is being sought by Zargdorf, his troopers, and hired local forces.

The story is intriguing and entertaining. Deadly Enterprise is a page-turner. The reader is naturally curious to see how Gisel will manage to keep her identity and heart disguised while escorting and protecting Yohan through the warring territories in order to make alliances for a peaceful and prosperous future for everyone. Logic can sometimes be overruled by emotions and plans don’t always go as expected, especially when innocent people are put in harm’s way. Gisel must make a lot of tough decisions.

Christopher Hoare’s strong female protagonist in Deadly Enterprise is well-crafted. The descriptive scenes and tight writing keep the reader engaged and turning the pages. Deadly Enterprise contains elements of time travel, past worlds, future worlds, politics, battles, strategy, survival, and a small dash of romance. After all, Gisel may be a soldier, but she also has a heart.

I solidly recommend reading Deadly Enterprise for the pure enjoyment of a well-written novel containing strong and clearly defined characters, clear, crisp details that propel the story forward, and an enticing glimpse into a new world. I look forward to more novels from this writer, especially if they include Gisel Matah.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Review - Owen Fiddler by Marvin D. Wilson

Owen Fiddler
Written by: Marvin D. Wilson
Rated: Very Good (****)
Review by: Lisa Haselton

Describing Owen Fiddler as an interesting portrayal of how one’s actions can impact others lives, is truthful, but lacking. This novel is a character-driven tale of one man’s negative existence. The reader is challenged to find any redeeming qualities in the main character, Owen Fiddler. He is not a man many would befriend.

Owen Fiddler is not a happy man. The world is against him every step of his life. Everyone can relate to a bad day. There are just days when you wake up and nothing goes as it should. Owen Fiddler experiences that every day. He has no good days. Therefore, none of his actions are his fault. He’d be happy if the world would just let him.

The story is entertaining on the page, but it is deeper for those who want to look. Whether you are spiritual, religious, atheist, or totally unwilling to accept there is more to living than what is experienced here on earth, this novel will resonate.

Marvin Wilson has created a colorful cast of characters in Owen Fiddler. The reader experiences the world as Owen goes through it. The author focuses on a few central characters which allows the reader to see the same situation from different perspectives. It’s an engaging novel and the reader is grabbed with the opening sentence.

I recommend reading Owen Fiddler for a spiritual perspective on life that will cause you to think about your own actions and behavior. Whether or not you believe in God, a higher being, heaven, or any type of life after death, you will walk away from this novel having at least been inspired to glimpse the possibility.