Category Archives: Adventure

Travels with a Road Dog: Hitchhiking Along the Roads of the Americas
by R.K.

Travels with a Road Dog: Hitchhiking Along the Roads of the Americas Reviewed by Teri Davis

“…I had decided my own future.”

What do you do after you flunk out of college? Some people get a job, some join the military, some move back home to continue to live as children, and then there are the few who are daring enough to take to the road. For a young woman, the idea of hitchhiking can be threatening, but with a little luck and learning who to trust, what a thrilling way to find out about themselves and to learn some life lessons while becoming what is known to hitchhikers as a “road dog”.

R.K. decided that she wanted to see the country. With few financial resources, she departed from her mother’s home for a life of possibilities, deciding to hitchhike along the way.

One of her first rides was with an old man who was drinking. After being rescued by the police, she made the decision early on to never ride again with someone who was drinking.

She quickly discovered the world of the Rainbow Gatherings around the country. Either walking, riding with acquaintances, or hitchhiking she found a way of life that perfectly matched her current ideals. This communal gathering excited her with the gypsy lifestyle at first, taught her much, and allowed her to discover certain qualities in herself and others. Along the way she met many generous people and managed to travel with two extraordinary dogs for companionship and protection.

The Barbary Pirates by William Dietrich

The Barbary PiratesReviewed by Teri Davis

Ethan Gage is successful in that world leaders seem to seek out his assistance and expertise for unusual requests and adventures. Imagine an Indiana Jones who has political connections throughout the world but who tends to be attracted to trouble like a magnet.

It’s the year 1802 and beginning in Paris visiting Napoleon, Ethan finds himself with three savants: British geologist William Smith, French Zoologist George Cuvier, and the American Robert Fulton who invented the submarine before his steamboat. Napoleon sends the quartet to Greece to search for the mirror of Archimedes, which supposedly was able to concentrate the sunlight by using mirrors to attack ships at sea and destroy them. Napoleon wants the mirror destroyed if it exists.

However, Gage’s group is not the only group looking for the mirror. The Egyptian Rite already has a grudge against Gage from previous encounters. Added to this is Lady Aurora who joins with a group of Barbary pirates and continues to a few scores to settle with Gage. When Gage finds Astiza, his former lover, he is shocked to learn that he has a son who is now two years old. However, using his sense of responsibility and love for both is used against him by all.

The Creed of Violence by Boston Teran

Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

creedTexas and Mexico in the 1910 era broiled in a sea of chaos with Americans wanting the oil rich Mexican black gold and willing to go to any extreme to get it. Brutal inhumane treatment of anyone not with high financial means and even they have to stay on guard to stay alive. The small towns near the oil sprouted prostitutes, many of who were so young that they were really not women yet but that didn’t stop any of the cutthroats from taking them by any means possible. Men were mostly drunkards, low down men that would kill you as soon as say hello.

Out of the above conditions came Rawbone, a usually drunken killer of anyone he was paid to dispose of and a friend of few. John Lourdes worked for the federal government in El Paso, Texas. Lourdes knew that Rawbone was his father but Rawbone had no inkling that he was this young mans father. Rawbone had driven a truckload of munitions towards the Mexican border knowing he could get a good price for the truck and the weapons in Mexico. But, he was busted. They were thrown together when Rawbone was released into the custody of Lourdes to go to Mexico to find out who and where the munitions could be sold and find the ones that would lead the Mexicans against Mexicans or the Americans near the border area. Lourdes was told to kill Rawbone if he didn’t take his commands.

Storm Damage by Sandy Mason

stormReviewed by Julie Moderson

This is Sandy Mason’s first in the series of Johnny Donohue adventures. I read the second one first and now I have read the first. It is not important that you read them in order but just read them. Sandy Mason makes you long for the gulf coast sandy beaches.

Johnny is a guy who will never feel that he can live up to his younger more successful brother who is the family jewel. The whole family loves Mike who is the vice president of sales for Hewlett Packard. Mike is successful and Johnny is not. Who knows if Mike is as content with his life as Johnny but this is how Johnny precedes Mike to be. Johnny does like his Heinekens and that is what Mike sees about Johnny.

Johnny gets a call from Mike that Karen Reilley who was Mike’s childhood sweetheart has died and he sends Johnny to help Karen’s husband Scott out. Johnny who seems to me like an all around nice guy, drops everything to go help Scott with planning a funeral and to help Scott get legal representation because they always suspect the husband in a suspicious death.

Johnny gets help from his good friend Lonnie Turner who is an ex detective. Lonnie coaches Scott on what not to say to the police when they question him.

The book has many twists and stories that it will keep you on the edge of your seat. I found this to be an excellent summer book for on the beach. I won’t spoil the ending which was quite a surprise to me.

Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson and Ned Rust

danielReviewed by Kristen Leong (Note: Kristen is one of our young adult reviewers).

Daniel X is at it again. Only this time, it’s going to take a lot more than sheer dumb luck and last minute plans. In the first book, Dan went after Number 6 on the list: the Prayer. Now, he’s going after Number 5 and he’s going to need all the help he can get to solve the mystery of Number 5’s involvement with the town of Holliswood. Written in classic Patterson style, the chapters are kept short and sweet to keep readers turning pages to find out what happens next and the entire book is written from Dan’s point of view. Dan’s latest adventure is an engaging story that will have you hooked and waiting for more like an episode of Lost.

Summary: Dan heads out with his friends Willy, Joe, Emma, and Dana on another alien hunting adventure. They’re headed out to Holliswood where Number 5 is lying in wait for the star of his new endertainment show to arrive. Number 5 is passing the time by having the good people of Holliswood star in their very own segments of his intergalactic television show which includes a brilliant finale involving the termination of its stars. Dan and his gang have to figure out Number 5’s nefarious plot which involves very pregnant women, fish food, technology, and the new show before Number 5 clears out the town. But how can they possibly defeat Number 5 when he’s always two steps ahead of them?

The Lucifer Gospel by Paul Christopher

luciferReviewed by Jud Hanson

Archeologist Ryan returns in Paul Christopher’s second novel of the series, The Lucifer Gospel. This adventure takes Finn on a trip to Africa in search of the lost tomb of the apostle. She is teamed up with photographer and pilot Virgil Hilts on an expedition to Libya to find the tomb. After narrowly escaping death in Cairo at the hands of an assassin, they figure out that they are part of more than just a simple expedition. When the mysterious leaders of the expedition start making daily trips out into the desert to cave, Finn and Hilts sneak out there on their own and discover a medallion bearing the name of the fallen archangel and an old plane wreck. They are soon running for their lives, as they try to learn what the medallion really means and what it can lead them to. Their journey takes them around the world and they must decide what to do with the treasure if they find it, since it could shake the foundations of Christianity.

This book is an interesting one but not nearly as good as The DaVinci Code, which I think most people would agree is the gold standard for this-information-could-turn-Christianity-on-its-head novels. I like the premise of the novel but don’t think that it goes far enough. The characters are believable enough and the story follows pretty much the same format as similar novels. The difference here is that the Catholic Church isn’t involved at all, which would have added a lot to this novel. However, this is a good book and may be a good choice for someone if they find The DaVinci Code to involved to follow. Overall, I’d give this 4 out of 5 stars and believe fans can look forward to many more good novels from this author.

Deep Fire Rising by Jack DuBrul

deepReviewed by Jud Hanson

Jack DuBrul once again does a superb job with his hero Philip Mercer, who has the charm of James Bond and the ingenuity of MacGyver.

This book opens in typical fashion, setting the groundwork for the primary plot, in this case a global apocalypse. As the story opens, Mercer is hired to excavate under the highly secretive Area 51. He begins to suspect all is not as it seems when a saboteur tries to kill Mercer and his team. Then, while recuperating in the Luxor in Las Vegas, he barely escapes with his life after he is attacked by unknown assassins from a secret Order based in Tibet. DuBrul takes the reader on a wild ride across the world with Mercer dodging attempts on his life and trying to stop the Order’s plans for global domination in the wake of an unimaginable cataclysm.

DuBrul has hit the one out of the park with his fantastic and believable characters and plot development, every bit as good as Clive Cussler with Dirk Pitt or Dale Brown with McLanahan. I heartily recommend this book for action/adventure fans.

Man Overboard by Sandy Mason

overboardReviewed by Julie Moderson

This is Sandy Mason’s second in a series of Johnny Donohue adventures. I like a series where you aren’t required to read the books in order. Mason makes you feel the beautiful gulf coast water and sand. It is easy to see how much he enjoys the Florida waters.

Johnny is a wonderful character that everyone can relate to. Mason makes Johnny funny and sarcastic. Johnny has moved to Florida to live on his 34-foot Mainship Trawler named LifeLine. He looks forward to a peaceful, simple life after his divorce but his life is anything but peaceful or simple. Johnny and his good friend and ex-cop, Lonnie Turner, are sailing a 38 foot Catalina sailboat that they have been hired to deliver to a dermatologist when they spot a sailboat floundering in the wind. When they approach the boat, Johnny realizes that the boat belongs to a software client of his, Tom McNeil, and no one is on the boat. They call the Coast Guard and report the unmanned boat and this launches a search of the area waters for Tom. Lonnie and Tom try to figure out what could have happened to Tom. In talking to Tom’s son, Bobby, they find out that Tom has been skimming money from his marina and putting it into a safety deposit box in the Bahamas. He always had a stash of cash in the sail bags of his boat and that cash was missing too. The Times has a reporter, Maria deFlores, who wrote an article about Tom McNeil. Maria has her sites set on a Pulitzer Prize with a story about drugs, gangs, boat thief’s, murder and money laundering. The many twists to this story make it a tough book to put down.

North from Calcutta by Duane Evans

calcuttaReviewed by Cy Hilterman

A well-written story that could be out of today’s headlines with the struggles that exist in Pakistan in their attempt to determine their own destiny and governing body. This particular story has at its central core the battle between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, with each claiming Kashmir is theirs. But this story goes far beyond that battle and encompasses the various private and governmental groups that want control over the entire area and will do almost anything to get it regardless of human cost in death or injuries and the lack of care over those casualties.

Pakistani ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) investigator, Tarek Durrani, was quite shaken up while leading his first assignment but came through with minor scars. Tarek was summoned into his agency and told to report to another newer group for assignment. The IRE (International Relations Executive) was a rival of the ISI and Tarek was reluctant to take this new assignment but he was there for Pakistan where needed to help his nation. Tarek knew not what to expect as he met many new private and personal people, some governmental, some not, and some he could and some could not trust. He had to be on guard at all times but he was used to that.

A new dam had been built that had been a big point of friction between Bangladesh and India. The dam was huge and controlled water flow in a huge area making the area a very serious threat of terrorists. A dedication was scheduled and the terrorists planned to take it out the dam not caring how many or whom they killed in the process. Tarek and many other investigators worked together as well as apart not trusting each other. In the process of his investigation, Tarek met a lovely woman that was a luxury he had not been able to afford for many years due to his deeply involved work. As time went on he and Sahar found it hard to be apart but Tarek knew the extreme danger that his job entailed so he tried to discourage the relationship but eventually neither could get their mind off the other. It’s called LOVE!

The story told by Duane Evans is fantastic. He knows from his life’s work much about the espionage work and how it can take so much out of a person’s life. There are no “down times” in North From Calcutta and the reader will learn much about the danger that a spy or anyone connected with a government working with any foreign nation endures. A great read.

State of Fear by Michael Crichton

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

State of Fear flies in the face of most of the current scientific theories and certainly contradicts popular opinion on the subject of global warming. Is the planet really warming or have we, the public, been sold a bill of goods by groups seeking funding and politicians needing an issue? Crichton’s take is that this is an example of scientific data being manipulated by politicians and activists to sway the public’s opinion and funding, to their causes.

Fans of Crichton’s work are used to having doses of science blended in with fiction to create heart stopping thrillers. While the thriller plot line is there, this book has much more scientific jargon thrown in as the author tries to convince readers that the global warming hysteria is based on a sort of pseudoscience of half truths and misinterpreted or partial data.

The basic plot begins when philanthropist George Morton, who has made a substantial pledge to the National Environmental Resource Fund (NERF), begins to suspect that Nicholas Drake, NERF’s Chairman (and shadow member of the ecoterrorist group known as ELF), is diverting funds to other organizations. Shortly after he demands a full audit of the organization’s books, he is killed in an accident. After is death, his attorney, Peter Evans decides to continue investigating. What the reader knows but Evans and his assistant Sarah Jones slowly uncover, is that Elf is actively working to bring about some major climatic events to help sway the public opinion and therefore private and government funding, toward such environmental groups as NERF.

Sarah and Peter’s globe trotting investigations are rich with all the larger than life adventures Crichton fans expect. They literally go to the ends of the earth in their quest to save the planet from ELF’s terrorism. Unfortunately, their thrilling adventure is bogged down with long, often heavy handed and preachy passages debating the issues of the environmental movement versus actual science. There is more than a few studies cited complete with charts and graphs which make for slow reading.

However, Crichton does raise some interesting points as he attempts to “debunk” the global warming issue. The public has become accustomed to receiving information, presented as fact, from not only politicians, but the news industry as well. By the time readers have finished the book, they will have been given much to think about. Whether the readers change their opinion on global warming or not, I’m fairly confident that they will at least look at the information they receive and who provides that information, differently.