Joan Adamak Reviews “DOLPHIN GIRL” by Scott Neil

An enchanting, refreshing novel

Most of this story uses the Scottish brogue, which is easy to understand and if not, there is a section at the end that sets out Scottish words and their meanings. Much of this story is humorous and amusing because there are these men who no longer work, drink heavily and their dialogue is typical of men in their cups. Suzy and Josh live in Edinburgh, Scotland, are in their early thirties, but their marriage is on the rocks. After they first married, Josh became injured, which led him into drinking hard and steady, subsisting on the pension he received from his accident. Suzy worked to support them until he had healed enough, but Josh spends every afternoon drinking with his fellow drinkers. Both Josh and Suzy are extremely unhappy, but they are so encased in their bitter emotions that it looks like nothing can ever get better.

One night coming home and walking by the edge of the dock abutting the ocean, Josh is hailed by a mysterious, beautiful woman, who calls herself Dolly and asks to borrow his bathtub. She is really a dolphin and when in a human body, weakens rapidly. When in high school, Josh had been the boyfriend of Katrina, now a marine scientist, and at that time they found Dolly as a young dolphin being kicked by teen boys and Josh and Katrina saved her. That is why Dolly sought him out. In the meantime some little boys see Dolly as a dolphin in Josh’s bathtub and tells the police. Katrina as a marine scientist comes to investigate the situation since it is illegal to keep a dolphin at home.

Dolly’s dolphin sonar no longer works since she apparently has a viral disease and her pod will be down at the beach in four days and she must meet up with them or she will eventually die. With time running out to get Dolly down to the beach in time to join her pod, Josh and three boozing buddies try to fix the mess. Before Josh can help Dolly, Katrina and the government come and take the dolphin when Josh is gone. In the meantime Suzy finds out there is another woman in the house, not realizing she is a dolphin, becomes heart-broken thinking Josh has another lover. Josh and his buddies steal a van with a water tank large enough to hold Dolly as a dolphin; although the tank holds her, the outside of the truck advertises it as holding a seal so the van is highly noticeable. The balance of the story is first one mess and then another occurring, delaying them to get Dolly to where her pod will be, and evading the police department, which is looking for them also. Dolphin Girl is a contemporary fiction novel that cuts across a number of genres from comedy romance to men’s adventure, urban life and the paranormal. This book is a fast read, but at the end the reader feels refreshed and entertained by this mishmash of events

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NEMESIS (Kane’s Revenge) By Bill Carson, a Review by Joan Adamak

Sometimes evil destroys itself.

I was not aware that Nemesis was the sequel to another book when I was asked to do a review. This book perhaps would be more enjoyed by men as it is full of murder, torture, viciousness in the extreme and is not a book for the faint or tender hearted. But it is a page turner.

John Kane, the protagonist from the first book, is still out for revenge. He murders a porn king, Tony Costa, which makes Tony’s deranged older brother, Jimmy Costa, go after Tony’s murderer. Jimmy doesn’t just kill a person…he has to do it in the most cold-blooded, torturous way possible. He committed his first murder when thirteen, and his years in jail warped him into a life of violent crime. The uncontrollable continuous assaults of these two characters is the basis for the title “Nemesis.”

John Kane is on a vigilante rampage because the justice system had failed, and his girlfriend, who was prosecuted and found guilty, committed suicide by hanging herself in her prison cell. He is so devastated by her suicide, he simply decides that he will hunt down and kill those whom he deems responsible, and plans each strike with precision. One at a time, he eliminates them all, and the last strike has a twist: there’s a bona-fide military badass who has been tasked with finding him and taking him out. There are enough bad guys, semi-bad guys, and not-quite bad guys to keep things interesting, and just enough good guys to keep them occupied. It’s definitely not a “chick book,” as I was not always prepared for the torture measures described.

Andy Ryan is a sharp-shooter sniper working for a secret government group. Add in Harold Harper, a hit-man who is careful to not let himself be ever identified. Nick Harland is the retired detective who with Anna, his girlfriend and ex-police officer, open “The Harland Detective Agency.” Their first case is to find out who killed their client’s mother. All of these characters make for a convoluted plot.

The author uses much gangster slang, but at the end of the book is a glossary to take care of these meanings. It might have been easier for a reader to have this glossary at the beginning of book. I recommend this book to all who enjoy a fast-paced thriller.

I was given a pdf copy of this book as a complimentary gift for an honest review.

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DEVOTION By Adam Makos, a Review by Joan Adamak

Revelation of American heroes in a forgotten war

I was in high school when WWII ended and married about two years to a WWII vet when our troops were fighting in Korea. There wasn’t much in the newsreels about it except vets coming home complained about the extreme cold and I remember news accounts of some of the battles.

The author of this story, who spent five years researching it and interviewing many men who were involved in this war or the training of aviators who were learning to fly on and off a carrier, took what he learned and wrote a non-fiction story about the manner in which these naval aviators were trained to handle the carrier landing weaknesses and strengths and also how difficult it was for them when they were given the heavier Corsairs to fly.

Many of these carrier airmen are identified in this story, including their method of flying together and how they protected each other. Also many factors relative to the war itself is included that I either didn’t know or didn’t understand their importance. This tale answered a lot of questions for me.

What these reviews seem to leave out is that Jesse Brown was a black sharecropper’s son who worked hard as a teenager and young adult to get an advanced education. He wanted to become a pilot, which Blacks usually couldn’t get except for the Black Tuskegee airmen who fought in Europe in WWII. Because of his good grades and intensity, he was allowed to become the only Black Naval Ensign aviator for aircraft carriers. There were only eight Naval Black aviators otherwise. Tm Hudner, from a wealthy family on the East coast, refused Harvard and joined the Navy to become an aviator. When flying the Corsairs, which were most difficult to land and take-off the carriers, Tom Hudner was Jesse’s wingman and consequently, they had an emotional and practical attachment. Jesse was easy to get along with and did not allow himself to become upset when refused acknowledgement of being because of his skin color. He had married a young Black woman, Daisy, whom he loved with all his heart.

When they were sent to Korea, all of the Corsair pilots flew until they were exhausted, attempting to help our Marines who were fighting in Korea under most adverse conditions, much worse than they usually met in Europe because of the weather and mountainous countryside.

This story covers Jesse being shot down in Korea and Tom crash landing his plane to try to help him rather than let the Chinese get him.

Because of the dialogue and the actions of other men in this story, it reads more like a fiction story and by their conversations, they reveal their emotions. This is a tremendous story, especially for those of us who are history buffs and I heartily recommend it.

I was given complimentary copy by Vine for an honest review.

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THE AVATAR SYNDROME By Stan I.S. Law, A Review by Joan Adamak

The Messengers of God

Is the possibility of being an avatar within each of us?

This is a fabulous novel. It is like an education in the medical science of neurological research, the strengths and weaknesses of the human nature of adults and children and by the end, you may feel like you and the characters in this story have flown “somewhere over the rainbow.”

All of the characters are deep, sincere, at times pushed beyond their natures, and yet love of family and friends keep them struggling to find that rainbow. Every character is unique and probably different than anyone you have ever known and yet, the author is able to introduce each as being a major necessity to the story. This includes Anne, the child who is difficult from her youth to the teenager who can master the violin in two years as a savant, who is kidnapped and abused, which causes her to withdraw and heal herself. Gabriel, the huge man servant who teaches Anne how to meditate and go within, thereby balancing herself. There is Dr. John Brent, head of the neurological department of the largest hospital in Canada, who devotes his life to working with patients and attempting to find what makes the human brain work and who comes to love Anne as his own child, he being a bachelor. Anne’s mother, Diana, is an intelligent, beautiful woman who would do anything to help her daughter as Anne passes through these unusual stages of human development until it almost breaks her. Anne’s father Michael, is an engineer, is emotionally stable and there for Anne and Dianna, but his left brain idiosyncrasies makes it difficult to understand what Dr. Brent is attempting to tell him about Anne’s brain.

Each time I left off reading the story, I found that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It had so many nuances and experiences plus so much metaphysical information, that it stayed with me.

For readers who like stories that has depth, intelligence and entertainment, you will be fascinated by this tale.

I received a complimentary copy for an honest review.

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Joan Adamak has Reviewed “HOUSE DIVIDED” By Peter G. Pollak

A fast moving, intriguing spy mystery

Leonard Robbins was a retired CIA agent, now confined to a wheelchair from injuries suffered from an auto wreck.  His wife was a retired FBI agent.  They were living a fairly quiet life now except for the ups and downs of their collegiate daughter, Courtney, whom they just learned had become a member of an anti-Israeli group “Students for Palestine Justice.”  Courtney was more gung-ho to help what she believed to be a fight for the right than researching the actual facts of the continual conflict between Israel and Palestine over their adjoining lands.  As with parents and young adult children, there was no talking to her.

A building owned by Israel had been blown up in Washington D.C., in which a young girl was killed along with others and it was believed that the girl never knew it was a bomb.  President Wheatfield, our female U.S. President then, called on Leonard to head a counterterrorism task force to track down and destroy any Palestinian sympathizers who were terrorists.  Because of Leonard’s incapacity, he would work from his office and the President ordered that all government departments, which acted as the country’s safeguards, would send one or more agents to help Leonard and respond to his orders.  This would move their ability to work together much more efficiently than was usual when the various departments preferred to do their own thing.  Once the first bomb was detonated, it pointed towards an organized terrorist group, and especially after a second bomb was shortly detonated at another Jewish establishment.

This story moved right along as Leonard and the various department heads attempted to find these individuals, who at the moment were unidentified.  One of the interesting characters in the book was a Russian woman who could work wonders in searching out other computers, like ones which were in the hands of the terrorists and reading their messages.

Although this story was written as fiction, it contained much factual information and was extremely interesting where it showed how these various departments used their skills to seek and destroy.  Naturally in order to include some human interest, Courtney became trapped in the middle of delivering a bomb, her life was at stake and her parents became frantic.

I enjoyed this story immensely and I would recommend it for not only its entertainment, but it was extremely educational.  A complimentary copy of it was given to me for an honest review.

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R. Clint Peters has Reviewed “Skin in the Game” by Tomas Byrne

I am about a third of the way through “Skin in the Game” by Tomas Byrne, but I’m not sure I will be able to finish it.

At the beginning of the book, we are introduced to Dr. Kate Farrow, a psychologist who has been assigned to obtain information from a patient named Jack Pierce. She has been told the job involves national security, and Jack is hiding secrets that need to be discovered. Her purpose is to discover those secrets.

However, the book begins to get bogged down in several problems from page one of chapter one.

The first problem is dialog. In most of the dialog, the author doesn’t indicate who is talking, either by having the speaker address who he’s speaking to by name, or referencing who is talking. I spent most of my time trying to determine who was speaking. I soon found myself jumping ahead to see if I could find a landmark.

The second problem is the details of the plot. The author has taken a parallel approach, using two brothers, Sam and Joe, to move the novel along. Why is that a problem? Joe is actually Jack, which isn’t a problem. However, the time line of Joe and Jack appear to be parallel. Joe doesn’t do flashbacks of his life as Jack; the author makes it appear things happening to Jack are occurring at the same time as the things happening to Joe. Very confusing.

The final problem is the author’s use of personal pronouns instead of proper names. He, she, her, his might be used in three or four paragraphs without referencing who he or she was. Add the lack of proper names to dialog without referencing the speakers name and the result is total confusion.

I think the author has an achievable goal in mind, with an interesting plot, but the mechanics of achieving that goal make the whole project impossible to finalize. He has two parallel novels happening in one book. Perhaps creating two books, a serial, would solve the double layered novel problem. At best, I can award only 2 stars for this endeavor.

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Janett Lee Wawrzyniak has Reviewed “Under the Dome” by Stephen King

The community of Chesters Mill is sealed from the rest of the world, under an invisible dome force field. The deadly dome has severed everything at its impenetrable boundaries. Time is running out for the citizens trapped within the horror of the force field with their own interactions. Frightened people become more intense as they are provoked without reason. Characters thinking magnifies at times, one feeding on the frenzy of the other. Each chapter is swiftly paced and grips the reader’s attention advancing the thrilling plot. Barbie a war veteran has horror turned on him and helps others as he can. Caught in the terrors of the dome, many aspire daily to betterment through survival in hope of escape. No one knows why the dome is there or exactly what it is. Their fear and anxiety become what they have to live for. It may be easy to see their circle of events, in many lives reflected outside of this book.

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