Tag Archives: Espionage

Altar of Resistance by Samuel Marquis.

Altar of Resistance Book Coverfive gold stars image

 

Altar of Resistance

by Samuel Marquis

Fiction: Historical Thriller/Suspense/Espionage. 368 Pages Print. Mount Sopris Publishing (January 24, 2017)

Author Biography

Samuel Marquis is a bestselling, award-winning suspense author. His books include “The Slush Pile Brigade,” “Blind Thrust,” “The Coalition,” and “Bodyguard of Deception.” He works by day as a VP-Hydrogeologist with an environmental firm in Boulder, Colorado, and by night as an iconoclastic spinner of historical and modern suspense yarns. He also has a deep and abiding interest in military history and intelligence, specifically related to the Golden Age of Piracy, Plains Indian Wars, World War II, and the current War on Terror.

Former Colorado Governor Roy Romer said, “Blind Thrust kept me up until 1 a.m. two nights in a row. I could not put it down. An intriguing mystery that intertwined geology, fracking, and places in Colorado that I know well. Great fun.” Kirkus Reviews proclaimed The Coalition an “entertaining thriller” and declared that “Marquis has written a tight plot with genuine suspense.” James Patterson compared The Coalition to The Day After Tomorrow, the classic thriller by Allan Folsom; and Donald Maas, author of Writing 21st Century Fiction and two novels, compared The Coalition to the classic political assassination thriller The Day of the Jackal.

Book Review

Espionage, intrigue, romance, battle, and more. Altar of Resistance has a difficult time finding one genre to fall into.

To start off with I see myself reading this one again. And I don’t read books more than once very often these days. This is the second of Sam Marquis’ WWII Trilogy, all standalone books, and it’s going to be hard to beat. That third one is going to have to be something else to surpass this one.

Altar of Resistance by Sam Marquis is about the Occupation and Liberation of Rome in 1943-44 Italy. The story is told through the viewpoints of four main characters: Pope Pius XII (sometimes called Hitler’s Pope), SS Colonel Wilhelm Hollman (a character based on fact), US Army Special Services member John Bridger, and Roman Resistance fighter Teresa Di Domenico. The last two are fictional characters, but in the book share a secret with the SS Colonel.

Having been a World History teacher and taken a semester of Nazi/Fascism class I know a little bit about WWII and what happened in Italy. Marquis uses factual events to give his story life or maybe he adds fiction to the facts to make it easier to handle. You read and decide which. Either way you look at it, he brings the subject to life.

We don’t get just a superficial story from Marquis to create a thrilling read. He gives us layers to add dimensions to each character, even the minor ones. He even has you like the Nazi torturer/interrogator at one point. I think Marquis’s fiction elements actually make sense in context of history. We see the Pope silent against atrocities not only throughout Europe but in his own city. Marquis gives us reasons why. SS Colonel Hollmann is based on fact as far as his existence but how he is used and his complexity is believable. He is perhaps my favorite character in the book. John Bridger is a tough Army commando who kills without hesitation but tries to keep his humanity. And Teresa is her father’s daughter, but which father does this good Catholic girl take after?

We see the war and the battle for Rome from every possible level and realize not one could achieve success without the other. We see how a girl leads to the success of the Allies in Italy, not a farfetched idea. We see how love exists and even sprouts during great turmoil, and how it doesn’t die regardless of tragedy.

There are no bogged down moments during this read. I didn’t find myself having a difficult time making my way through a passage to get to the next. The only parts that even remotely slowed me down were later chapters involving the Pope, but that is in part due to the success of the author in the character’s portrayal. Got to love a Pope but man can he be frustrating at times.

The only bad thing about the book is not knowing the future of all the characters. Sam Marquis does give us details of the factual characters and what happens to them, but the fictitious ones perhaps are left unknown because we may seem them some other time?

I’ve read all but one of Sam Marquis’ books. This is his best one yet. If you’ve never read historical fiction, this is a way to start. So far this is my book of the year and I’ve read four so far. It’s going to be difficult to top this one. It had all the elements to keep me engaged.

 

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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Bodyguard of Deception by Samuel Marquis.

Bodyguard of Deception by Samuel Marquis imagefive gold stars image

 

Bodyguard of Deception

by Samuel Marquis

Fiction: Historical Thriller/Suspense/Espionage. 336 Pages Print. Mount Sopris Publishing (March 20, 2016)

Author Biography

Samuel Marquis is a bestselling, award-winning suspense author. His books include “The Slush Pile Brigade,” “Blind Thrust,” “The Coalition,” and “Bodyguard of Deception.” He works by day as a VP-Hydrogeologist with an environmental firm in Boulder, Colorado, and by night as an iconoclastic spinner of historical and modern suspense yarns. He also has a deep and abiding interest in military history and intelligence, specifically related to the Golden Age of Piracy, Plains Indian Wars, World War II, and the current War on Terror.

Former Colorado Governor Roy Romer said, “Blind Thrust kept me up until 1 a.m. two nights in a row. I could not put it down. An intriguing mystery that intertwined geology, fracking, and places in Colorado that I know well. Great fun.” Kirkus Reviews proclaimed The Coalition an “entertaining thriller” and declared that “Marquis has written a tight plot with genuine suspense.” James Patterson compared The Coalition to The Day After Tomorrow, the classic thriller by Allan Folsom; and Donald Maas, author of Writing 21st Century Fiction and two novels, compared The Coalition to the classic political assassination thriller The Day of the Jackal.

Book Review

Bodyguard of Deception is a suspenseful historical thriller by Samuel Marquis, author of two #1 selling books: The Slush Pile Brigade, which any author should read, and Blind Thrust, both of which I may just be buying shortly, when I have the cash, in order to see how to do it the right way. In Bodyguard of Deception we have the closing months of WWII in Europe and two brothers who are fighting for the same goal, but in different ways. German spy Erik von Walburg has a mission given by ‘The Desert Fox’ himself Erwin Rommel. If successful, the war will end in a way unexpected but beneficial to those involved. Erik ends up with allies in his assignment. One is his brother, U-boat Captain Wolfgang von Walburn, the prototypical Nazi ideal, the “scourge of the North Seas” and the other ally, a woman thousands of miles away without knowledge of any of the goings on of the two at odds brothers.

Samuel Marquis’ historical thriller, Bodyguard of Deception, the fourth thriller from the #1 Bestselling author, is a well-researched, intricately plotted tale of suspense, intrigue and surprises you never see coming, all beginning in May of 1944, days before D-Day. Reading about the German spy Erik von Walburg I could not help but hope for his success. With each chapter the characters become more complex with events making their former routine lives anything but ordinary, and their decisions less reflex than before. Ideals and mantras no longer rule the day. As a former history teacher and now historian/author, I was thrilled at the nods to historical figures throughout the novel. Fans of master spy teller of tales, John le Carré, and John Gardner’s Herbie Krueger series and the Secret Generations series will enjoy this first episode in what is touted as book one in a WWII Trilogy, with the next installment with a release date of January 2017.

I don’t take much time off from my own writing of novels these days, but this was well worth it. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get the next #1 Bestselling book at:

amazon logo apple logo barnes & noble logo indie bound logo kobo logo

Visit #1 Bestselling Author Samuel Marquis at http://samuelmarquisbooks.com/.

Connect with Samuel Marquis on:

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#Book #Review of The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower

alesha escobar gray tower trilogy

 

 

Title: The Tower’s Alchemistalesha escobar
Author: Alesha Escobar
File Size: 1415 KB
Print Length: 322 page
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Creative Alchemy, Inc.; 2 edition (September 28, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B005QSFXC6
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray:Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Enabled

From my interview with author Alesha L Escobar this coming Monday.

RW: People have said your main character of wizard Isabella George is another take on something Jim Butcher would have created. I have my opinion but why do you think people say that?

ALESHA: I don’t mind taking that as a compliment, because I’m a huge fan of Jim Butcher! I think people may say that because of a wizard openly practicing and offering wizardly services in modern society. When we first meet Butcher’s Harry Dresden, he is a wizard for hire (and he becomes much more). Isabella is a trained alchemist, and British intelligence hires her to spy against the Nazis; throughout the course of the trilogy, she becomes much more.

RW: Tells us why Isabella and your version of wizardry is not Jim Butcher?

ALESHA: I think the difference comes in with the magic system, as well as the fact that in the Gray Tower Trilogy, the number of people with magical abilities are declining, almost like a dying breed. There’s also going to be this unique voice and spark that will come through when you follow Isabella on her journey.

Now for the review.

Isabella George is not your typical spy. For one she’s a female spy in WWII sneaking in to German occupied France. Yes, there were female spies but not the norm in literature of this type. And for another thing, she’s a wizard. Her mission in this first book of the Gray Tower  Trilogy is to find and bring home the wizard creating a chemical weapon for the Nazis. But would it be a book worth a Trilogy if it were that simple?

Some have compared Escobar’s book to Jim Butcher and his wizard Harry Dresden. Okay, Isabella is a wizard in the real world and works in the real world using her abilities. End of similarities. Isabella is more than a wizard. In The Tower’s Alchemist, she is a spy, first and foremost in my eyes. She just happens to be a wizard as well. Think of it as her having a specialty like someone might be an explosives specialist on a team that goes in to extract a person behind enemy lines.

Isabella is that explosive expert and boy can she explode things at times. The problem is the Nazis have their specialists as well and they are the Cruenti and the Black Wolves, wizards that use dark magic so much they slowly turn into something less than human or more than human, depending on how you look at it.

Isabella meets several members of the French Resistance, some based on actual historical figures, and runs in to other wizards hunting her long dead father. She receives a letter from her father that’s left for her in case she passes through a safe house in France. It warns her of things to be careful of. As she carries on through her mission she discovers many things are not what she thought they were and slowly becomes aware of a need to learn more. A lot more, but how? If she learns too much the wizards against her will be able to extract what she knows.alesha-escobar

Love, hate, friends, foes, adventure, Vampires, and Nazis. What more could you ask for?

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.4

That 4.4 surprised me when it came up. Yes, I use a formula. I do an average of the 5 categories. And that number is what I post here and on Amazon and on GoodReads. It keeps me honest. But I tell you, 4.4 is misleading. I really enjoyed this book. I could tell research and a lot of effort went in to putting out a quality story.

Alesha L. Escobar is an Author and more based out there somewhere. There are two other books available in the Trilogy. Visit Amazon here for her author page to get them all. Book 1 and 2 are Free and book 3 is .99 right now. Get them before they blow up and she starts really charging for them.

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