THE WAR GOD BY FREDERICK E. SMITH

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Copyright 1980.

1944 Italy. Joe Beccione is serving in the American Army. Born to Italian immigrant parents in Hell’s Kitchen the tough guy is a good brave soldier but has a problem with discipline. One day a MP jeep hits the young brother of the girl he wants to marry. In his anger he shoots the MP and soon is about to face a firing squad. He escapes and makes his way to a group of renegades. Lead by a German named Franz Kessler the group survives by raiding both Allied and German supply convoys. It is a hodgepodge of deserters and criminals from every nationality. Beccione fits right in with this group. Yet he wonders about Kessler an obviously educated man. A man who can one minute shoot down soldiers but have a sad look in his eyes. A man who is worshiped by the local peasants and he reciprocates in kind. In fact he goes out of his way to help them.

Then they finally find out Kessler’s true purpose. On a mission to liberate stolen valuables in a complex of caves held by the Germans as an artillery position. Soon this village will be the site of a major battle and will destroy the village of Valderosa. Kessler convinces his men to protect the village by fighting off both sides so they can’t occupy it. Now they battle both the Allies and Germans in a big epic battle.

It is hard to write an anti-war war novel but Fredrick Smith manages to do that. Kessler is a pacifist who served in the First World War and lost his brother and father. Later he loses his Jewish wife to a concentration camp. His son in the army and daughter killed in an Allied bombing raid. Stationed in Yugoslavia he witnesses atrocities and is forced to kill to survive. He deserts and forms his own army. One that will exist to protect the civilians that are caught between the armies that are fighting. That he believes foreign armies care little for the civilians and they are the true victims in the war. That all soldiers are in some way to blame. Of course he sees that an Allied victory is the only good outcome. Yet he will fight them to save his beloved peasants. His personality gets his men to fight and die to protect a village. A village at the end that manages to come to the rescue and pay back the survivors. A fascinating book that makes you think.

Fredrick Smith was a RAF gunner on a bomber during WWII. He wrote a successful series called 633 Squadron and some other books. He writes characters that have an interesting backstory and did a lot of research on the war in Italy. Might give some of his other books a try.

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INVASION U.S.A. BY JASON FROST

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Copyright 1985.

A Cuban refugee boat is stopped by a US Coast Guard ship. The crew immediately fires on the passengers killing them all and taking a large quantity of drugs. Thus begins the plans of Rostov the KGB’s notorious operative. Soon the money from the drugs is used to buy a vast quantity of weapons. Weapons that will arm an invading army of terrorists. The goal is to cause terror and bring down the government.

But there is one man that can stop Rostov’s plan. Matt Hunter is a retired agent. He once captured and humiliated Rostov in a mission in Africa. Rostov has a paranoid fear of Hunter and tries to kill him in his small shack out in the Florida Everglades. He only manages to destroy his home and kill his friend. Now Hunter wages a one man war to stop Rostov’s invading terrorists before they manage to bring down American society.

Now I don’t usually get movie adaptations. But the plot to this sounded interesting and it was written by the same man that wrote The Warlord Series. God how I miss Cannon Films. This is probably one of my favorite Chuck Norris movies. It has his most funniest line ever, “I’m going to hit you with so many lefts you’ll be beggin’ for a right.” Interesting the author didn’t include that in the novelization. Still he gave the story’s characters much greater depth than the movies was able to. Even minor characters have a backstory for them. A very competent adaptation.

So I did plan to read this book because it had a loosely Christmas theme. It takes place before Christmas and there is a big scene of the terrorists attacking shoppers at a Christmas mall. Now thirty years ago this was just goofy over the top fun. Given current events this is a very real threat. The writers than must have been way ahead of their times. These kind of attacks have been shown to paralyze society and will probably occur more in the future. Sadly the future is not looking all that positive right now.

The movie is getting released on Blu-ray next year so if you want a funned cheezy action movie I would recommend this movie.

WORLD UNKNOWN REVIEW VOLUME I 2014

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An anthology of various stories.

RED COAT by Miriam Sagan.

Two lesbians raise a daughter in post-WWII Iceland. A unique setting for this kind of story.

SHEBA by Robert Robinson.

A young boy gets a dog named Sheba. His best friend as he is constantly moved around the country. I could relate to this story. I moved around as a kid and my dog was my best friend.

A SPLASH OF RED by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Hawks. Hawks flying. Hawks swooping. Hawks flying and swooping. Hawks among the buffalo. Its nice to see that hawks are finally getting their story told.

SLIP AWAY by Joe Bellamy.

A guy goes to a party at a friends house. He has one weird ass experience.

THE CRUCIBLE by D.J. Lutz.

An English teacher at a private boys school is contemplating resigning. I can’t tell you how many jobs I had that I wanted to quit.

FOREVER AGAIN by Fallon Brown.

A lonely widower meets a lonely waitress. This is a real Meg Ryan chick flick type of story.

THE SANDS OF ALGERIA by Wesley J. Connell.

Two men are in a sand sailing race in Algeria. I didn’t know such a sport existed.

TEMPLE OF SLITHERING DEATH by me.

This is my debut as a writer. It is one weird story.

CULAQUN by Luther M. Siler.

In a magical land a warrior comes to a Culaqun witch for help against a fearsome dragon. Nice twist ending for this story.

THE WANDERER by Bilal Rahmani.

A wandering knight looks for food and shelter in a village.

IRON CAVE by Nicholas Conley.

Ok I have to admit I really don’t know what this story is about. I think its about the universe. Like the universe it has no beginning or end. It just is.

THE MUTINEERS OF STARVATION by L.S. Engler.

A family struggles on a penal colony on a distant world. They must fight off hordes from the province of Starvation. Now this is my type of story. People getting shot, blown up and stabbed with swords. I enjoy a lot of action in stories.

So I finally got around to reading one of my free copies this week. I is really exciting to see something that I wrote actually in print. I wrote this story ten years ago and had no luck selling it. I just sent it in on a whim thinking nothing would come of it. I did start another story kind of a prequel to the one here. I am seriously considering finishing it.

So go ahead and check out this review.

WHITE FOR DANGER BY DAVID STEVENS

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Logan Adams is a successful adventure novelist. He has come to visit his sister in his native New Zealand when she asks him for a favor. Her husband was involved in an expedition to Antarctica where he was the only survivor. He claims to have seen a city. Everybody thinks he abandoned his teammates and is making up this story.

The husband has convinced an eccentric Englishman named Warden Grampton to finance and expedition. Grampton has a theory that Antarctica was inhabited in the past and hopes to prove it. Logan’s sister wants Logan to accompany the expedition to watch after her husband. Logan has arctic training from his days in the Canadian army and proves to be a beneficial addition to the expedition.

Logan is reluctant but agrees. Soon after he is attacked by thugs on a walk and has his car breaks severed. Grampton’s assistant dies in a mysterious accident. It seems that someone does not want this expedition to go forward.

The expedition finally reaches Antarctica and find out that the city turns out to be a Soviet base with plans to turn Antarctica into a giant nuclear base for missiles.

I got this book thinking that it would be like an Indiana Jones story with a lost civilization. What I got was a tense spy thriller. I wasn’t disappointed in buying this book. It has an interesting plot with suspense and action. The exotic locales of New Zealand and Antarctica are refreshing unique. If you want an exciting suspense book I would recommend it.