BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July Double-header Review: Unholy Code by Thomas Waite & Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp

Review, Unholy Code by Thomas Waite, Bea's Book Nook, Action, Suspense
Series: Lana Elkins Thriller #3
Publisher: Marlborough Press
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | iTunes* | Kobo
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

The “Summer of Blood” explodes. The U.S. is under siege from foreign jihadists and domestic terrorists. When a brilliant exploit strikes at the heart of the National Security Agency’s own network, former NSA operative Lana Elkins discovers that it came from within the United States itself. More surprising still is the attacker: “Steel Fist,” a cyber-savvy radical white supremacist whose legions feed on his anti-Islamic exhortations. His popularity only grows when a jihadist team carries out a bold, but baffling, attack on the Louisiana coast, bringing ashore a lethal invader no one can see.

Most mysterious of all are Golden Voice, a hacker of unparalleled skill with a murderous agenda and a secret past, and Tahir Hijazi, a Muslim refugee from Sudan with his own shadowy history. When Tahir’s young nephew starts dating Lana’s daughter Emma, Steel Fist calls upon his fans to embark on a new mission: assassinate the entire Elkins family.

As extremists battle each other—with Lana fighting both ends from the middle—the conflict becomes deeply personal, the stakes tragically high.

In Thomas Waite’s edgiest tale yet, battles savage the American heartland, shaking the very foundations of the world’s mightiest nation

Action, Review, Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, Bea's Book Nook
Series: Die Hard #1
Publisher: Graymalkin Media
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date:  January 31, 2013 (first published January 1, 1979)
Challenges:  Blogger ShameNetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

This bestseller was the basis for the blockbuster film "Die Hard" starring Bruce Willis.

High atop a Los Angeles skyscraper, an office Christmas party turns into a deadly cage-match between a lone New York City cop and a gang of international terrorists. Every action fan knows it could only be the explosive big-screen blockbuster "Die Hard". But before Bruce Willis blew away audiences as unstoppable hero John McClane, author Roderick Thorp knocked out thriller readers with the bestseller that started it all.

A dozen heavily armed terrorists have taken hostages, issued demands, and promised bloodshed all according to plan. But they haven't counted on a death-defying, one-man cavalry with no shoes, no backup, and no intention of going down easily. As hot-headed cops swarm outside, and cold-blooded killers wield machine guns and rocket launchers inside, the stage is set for the ultimate showdown between anti-hero and uber-villains. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight to the death. Ho ho ho!

Bea's Thoughts:

Since both of these books revolve around terrorists, and take place around a holiday albeit different ones, I decided to post them both today, on the day where my country, America, celebrates its independence.

After reading "Lethal Code", the second book in the Lana Elkins series, I knew I had to read the next book. That ending, wow. I hoped its ramifications would be addressed in this book. They were, to a point. I was hoping for more of the social and practical ramifications but this is a thriller series so the events are more political and action oriented. This book is missing the science fiction aspect that the previous book had and I missed it. "Unholy Code" blends real world events and issues with those in the book's world and gives us a frightening, and frighteningly likely, scenario. The story moves right along at full-speed, jumping POVs, and mixing action, politics, family life, and even romance. There are implausibilities and coincidences but also a dizzying array of twists and turns. I like Lana more the more of her I read. She's clever, smart, tricky, loyal, compassionate, and juggling her family life with her work life, the latter of which could keep her going 24/7 if she let it. There's lots of violence, and some gore; I skimmed quite a few paragraphs. It's not gratuitous though; it serves a purpose. I could see this series being turned into a series of action/adventure movies.

Now, the other book. "Nothing Lasts Forever" was turned into a movie, "Die Hard" with Bruce Willis, a movie I've seen many times. Since I enjoy the movie so much, I couldn't pass up the book. But, as is so often true, there are differences. The hero of the book and the hero of the movie have different names, different backgrounds, are different ages, and have different reasons for flying out to California. The terrorists are also different and have different motivations. Despite all that, large chunks of the story, as well as dialogue, made it into the movie and I could hear Bruce Willis as John McClane as I read. It was hard for me to separate the movie and the book. "Nothing Lasts Forever" takes place in less than a day but the action didn't feel fast, probably due to the fact that Thorp could get very detailed; I skimmed a lot. There's also a lot of internal monologues; Joseph is much more introspective than the movie's hero, John. I did some skimming there too. All of the introspection and detail slowed the pace down at times but gave depth to the story. Joseph agonizes over some of the choices he makes and the reader will not always agree with him, but he has depth and isn't a cartoon character.

"Nothing Lasts Forever" was grittier and in some ways more realistic than "Unholy Code". But both offer scenarios that are possible, both offer suspense mixed with the hero's family life, both are reflective of their times. I enjoyed "Unholy Code" more; the action suited me better and I had too many expectations for "Nothing Lasts Forever" thanks to the movie "Die Hard". Both books are worthwhile reads, both will entertain you, both are thrilling but in different ways. Either or both will be a good choice when you're in the mood for an action/suspense story.

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