Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

New Review of The Wildcat’s Burden

June 21, 2010

Hi All:

I’m interrupting the posts of Nothing Venture with this new review. I will follow it with post 9 within the week.
The Wildcat’s Burden by Christopher Hoare — Book Review
http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2010/06/wildcats-burden-by-christopher-hoare.html

In The Wildcat’s Burden by Christopher Hoare, Gisel Matah, is now the military governor of the city of Skrona in liberated Tarnland. Married, and pregnant with her first child, she knows her enemies are waiting for her to go into labor so they can pounce. A leader in a dangerous game that pits Gisel against spies, thieves and murderers, her enemies seek to steal Plan Zero and perhaps rid themselves of the Wildcat for good.

In this well-written fourth installment of the Iskander series, Hoare has given Gisel a new side–that of mother-to-be. Unlike many women in her position, Gisel is not able to sit back and enjoy this time. There are too many issues that need her attention: enemies to thwart, plots to uncover, and peace to keep in a world filled with cheats, liars, spies, and worse. Her husband, Yohan, worries over her, all the while being annoyed, knowing Gisel doesn’t share everything with him.

We also meet two other strong women in The Wildcat’s Burden: Lizzie and Bluebell. Lizzie’s unfolding story is perhaps my favorite, and she is vital in uncovering a plot that could change the world as they know it.

This is the first book of the Iskander series that I’ve read, but Hoare includes a Foreword that discusses the series up to the point where this book begins, so I didn’t feel a bit lost picking up the series with Book 4. Even without the Foreword, The Wildcat’s Burden is an excellent stand alone, but it is nice that the author included this for the the reader; especially since there are so many characters to keep track of. Also included is an extensive Afterword that brings the reader into Gisel’s future and discusses the unresolved storylines of characters that did not appear in The Wildcat’s Burden.

Hoare definitely created an interesting and diverse set of characters in this book. Having not meet Gisel before now, I’m curious to know more about her past and others I met along the way.

While I can’t say I would go out of my way to fill my shelves with books of this nature, I enjoyed tackling a genre I rarely read. With The Wildcat’s Burden, Hoare has written a science fiction/alternative world story that will draw in lovers of this genre.

Title: The Wildcat’s Burden
Author: Christopher Hoare
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
ISBN-9: 1-55404-729-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-55404-729-1
SRP: $5.99 Available in multiple electronic formats
http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/eAuthor.php?Name=Christopher%20Hoare

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Review of “The Wildcat’s Burden”

March 22, 2010

The Wildcat’s Burden
Written by: Christopher Hoare
Science fiction / Fiction / Time travel
Rated: Very Good (****)
Review by: Lisa Haselton

Gisel Matah is back! She has a public and powerful leadership role now that has her in the center of the action, but can she handle the responsibility and her personal life, too?

Gisel proved herself as a reliable and crafty soldier at a young age. She’s since been promoted in the ranks, and now has a governorship in her twenties. Being a woman in charge of an entire populous in a world where men rule and women obey causes conflict on its own. Creating alliances and dealing with men in powerful positions is a daily challenge for Gisel, as is having to keep secrets from her husband.

The Wildcat’s Burden is full of action. Allies and enemies and traitors and underground supports fill every page of this adventure that plays out over a handful of weeks. It’s hard to know who to trust, and when the reader thinks he has it figured out, another twist comes into play. It’s a personified chess game, where any move can be counter attacked in a moment and the final champion isn’t clear until all the dust settles.

This story takes off on the first page and doesn’t let up until the last word. So many characters in this novel bear a “burden” to help the cause they believe in, whether rightly or wrongly, but the reader can only admire their passionate stance and watch to see how the scenarios play out.

Author Christopher Hoare has created a unique world that mixes futuristic technology with a time before technology. It’s an interesting mix of a future world with a new world as Gisel and her people from the Iskander try to find a way to live on the young Gaian planet. Hoare has developed the female protagonist to be wise beyond her years. She’s intelligent, strategic, and yet still a woman. The entire novel is visual and intriguing. Never a dull moment.

This is Christopher Hoare’s fourth novel in the Iskander series. Arrival is the beginning of Gisel’s adventure, currently followed by Deadly Enterprise and continuing with The Wildcat’s Victory. The books don’t have to be read in order to enjoy the overall storyline, but allows for insight into characters that move with Gisel through time.

Chris Hoare writes full time and lives in Alberta, Canada at the eastern edge of the Rockies with his wife of almost 40 years, Shirley, and two shelter dogs.

I recommend reading The Wildcat’s Burden if you enjoy exploring old worlds with a modern twist, time travel, military strategy, and a bit of romance. The Wildcat’s Burden is a great story that gives the reader the scoop behind Gisel’s life.

Title: The Wildcat’s Burden
Author: Christopher Hoare
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-55404-729-1
Pages: 271
Price: $5.99

Springtime & a New Review

April 18, 2008

Springtime in the Rockies — which means it’s snowing. The Crocus flowers, the grass, and even a few fritillaries (Fritillaria pudica) are out, so it’s naturally going to snow on them. At least it means our wet Spring snowfall might come before the leaves are on the trees, so less branches and fewer trees will be brought down.

I received another review today — this one for Deadly Enterprise, the Iskander story before The Wildcat’s Victory. Susan Jensen at Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books asked for a copy to review in sequence. Her review of “Victory” will come soon, I hope from better circumstances than this one. She read DE while waiting in the E.R.

Her site is at http://blogginboutbooks.blogspot.com/2008/04/deadly-enterprise-offers-perfect-escape.html
and she rates it as a B, but I don’t know what that means on her rating system.

Deadly Enterprise Offers Perfect Escape From Painful Reality

Alternate realities and gun-toting secret agents usually aren’t my thing, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Deadly Enterprise by Canadian author Christopher Hoare. I
mentioned that I started reading it in the E.R., and I have to say, it provided the perfect escape from my painful reality.

The story revolves around Gisel Matah, a lieutenant from Iskander, a progressive society on a futuristic Earth. Because of a blip in their space/time travel plans, Gisel’s people find themselves trapped in the 17th Century on an alternate Earth called Gaia. Since it’s impossible for the Iskanders to return to their own land, they aim to improve Gaia with their advanced knowledge and inventions. Not everyone is happy about the plan, especially the ruling Trigons, another people stranded in a foreign land. To help persuade the higher-ups to oust the Trigons, the Iskanders form a partnership with banker Yohan Felger. The young man has contacts in the enemy city of Lubitz, so he and Gisel set out together to appeal to the city’s leaders. Gisel’s reputation (her reckless bravery has earned her the nickname “Wildcat”) makes her a target for all kinds of enemies, so she passes herself off as Yohan’s male bodyguard.

Journeying side by side means that Gisel and Yohan must learn to work together. They are an unlikely pair – Gisel is a hardened military woman, reared in an age when women have as many rights as men, while Yohan is a gentleman from a time when women submitted to men or faced the consequences. While Yohan finds Gisel’s aggressive nature appalling, he also comes to respect her cunning and skill. Gisel teases the refined Yohan about his lack of street smarts, but acknowledges he is the kindest, gentlest man she’s ever known. Predictably, the two discover they are attracted to each other, although they have little time to think about romance. There’s also the little problem of Yohan’s betrothal and Gisel’s ex-boyfriend, who longs for a reconciliation.

When the pair finally reach Lubitz, they find a town in confusion. Gisel knows the tide of opinion can be turned in favor of Iskander aid if only she can speak to the right people. But, Lubitz is under siege by the formidabble Trigons, and no one knows who to trust. Her new mission is fraught with danger. Can Gisel convince the right people before it’s too late? Will her disguise keep her safe from her enemies? Most importantly (to me, anyway), will Gisel and Yohan find happiness together? Or will their differences keep them apart?

Deadly Enterprise moves along steadily, with a plot driven by constant action. The characters are likeable, if not super original. Gisel makes an appealing leading lady, with her tough exterior and compassionate heart. Yohan suits her, although their companionship is sedate and lacking the fire one would expect from a woman as passionate as the Wildcat. The supporting cast is large and thus, confusing, with few members really standing out. Still, action rules the day in the book, and that’s what makes it such an entertaining read. When I first read the book’s description, I thought it was a sci fi/techno type thriller, but it’s really more of an adventure story. Fans of both should find something to their liking in Deadly Enterprise. Iskander enthusiasts (of which I am one) will want to follow Gisel on her next adventure in Wildcat’s Victory.

So, if you’re planning a trip to the E.R. anytime soon, you might as well take along a book that will keep your mind off your own reality. I recommend Christopher Hoare’s Deadly Enterprise.

Lisa Heselton’s Review

April 14, 2008

Hi All:

Had to post this new review from Lisa, who I only met online when she reviewed Deadly Enterprise last year. I will check later to see what sites she posts this review on — she had the DE review all over the Internet.

The Wildcat’s Victory

Written by: Christopher Hoare

Science fiction / Fiction / Time travel

Rated: Very Good (****)

Review by: Lisa Haselton

Gisel Matah is back! Still in her early 20s and now a Major, she’s still an Iskander operative to be reckoned with. Her hands are full with balancing a love life, dealing with an operative’s murder, and preparing soldiers for battle.

The Iskanders have an alliance with the Felgers, a Gaian merchant and banker family. Yet there are still areas where the trust wanes. Gisel’s engagement to Yohan Felger hasn’t helped matters. Each has to balance duty to their people with their desire to be honest with each other. The challenges they face on a daily basis test their limits. How can she fully trust Yohan, when he’s loyal to the Baron who has yet to accept her? What drew Yohan to Gisel is now the same thing he has the hardest time accepting, especially when her newest assignment has her directly reporting to her former lover.

Life on Gaia has improved and progress is being made, but with the murder of an undercover operative and a radical movement that needs tempering, Gisel is not bored. In addition, she is asked to command a cavalry to support the rear of a battle line which has recently lost its commander. She hesitates to accept, but is pulled into the role and quickly learns the challenges ahead of her. A sadistic Skathian prince uses the battlefield for his own enjoyment and strives to learn how to defeat both sides in order to obtain total control.

The story is engaging and intriguing. I liken it to an intense chess match. It’s interesting to see how actions cause reactions and know that there is a third party lingering on the sidelines about to blow all the strategies off the board. Gisel trains her young cavalry men as best she can with the limited time they have. At the climax, their lives hang on her quick thinking, negotiating skills and ability to remain calm under pressure.

Christopher Hoare’s second novel, The Wildcat’s Victory, picks up eighteen months after Deadly Enterprise. The strong female protagonist, Gisel, is solid and well-crafted. The author manages to keep the character’s voice true to a young female officer with a lot of responsibility in a male-dominated field. She comes off feminine yet also a strong warrior. The tight writing and focused attention to detail keeps the reader engaged.

I recommend reading The Wildcat’s Victory, especially if you are a strategist, chess player, or war enthusiast. The battle scenes are succinct, yet detailed enough to appreciate a commander’s skill needed for success. The pacing is quite in tune with the scenes so the reader feels part of the action, whether it’s calm or full of motion.

Title: The Wildcat’s Victory

Author: Christopher Hoare

Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-55404-539-6

Pages: 320

Price: $16.99

Review from J Kaye Book Blog

April 8, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008
THE WILDCAT’S VICTORY by Christopher Hoare
Five Stars.

THE WILDCAT’S VICTORY is the second book in Christopher Hoare’s conflict-ridden series starring Gisel Matah, a top Iskander agent. She’s a character readers will love.

DEADLY ENTERPRISE is the first installment of this three part series. Here’s the blurb on Amazon.com:

Gisel Matah is the Iskanders’ top agent, but often her commanders’ chief pain in the neck. Sometimes passionate, sometimes tough, sometimes acerbic, she’s clever and always ready to twist their intentions to meet circumstances as she sees them.

Escorting young Yohan Felger across a haunt of outlaws to an enemy city was already a daunting task, but when her commanders changed her mission to include sounding out the leaders to switch sides it became a Deadly Enterprise.

On Gaia, an alternate Earth, the crew of the lost starship Iskander find themselves working for and against the inhabitants of a different 17th Century Europe. Building themselves a place in this world by promoting social change and an Industrial Revolution, they become enemies of the Trigons – also marooned star travelers, who now rule the Empire. But an enemy can be defeated with humanity when the person in charge is a rebel at heart.

In THE WILDCAT’S VICTORY, it opens with the murder of Durden, an Iskander agent posing as a technician with Gisel tracking down the killer. From the start, the story has a Battlestar Galactica feel to it. That said, if science fiction isn’t your thing, don’t shy away from this series. The reason I say this is I don’t usually read books in that genre. In fact, I usually refuse to read them at all.

I’m not sure what attracted me to the book. It might have been the cover. Take a look. (You can click on the cover to enlarge.) Doesn’t it look different? The book is published by Double Dragon Publishing. They carry science fiction, fantasy and horror titles, which this series is a blend of both science fiction and fantasy.

Now that I think of it, I don’t usually judge a book by its cover. That’s not always a good indicator the book is worthwhile. I think it was the blurb that made my decision. Here’s what it said:

Follow Gisel Matah and the thunder of hooves as she strikes back at the Imperial armies that threaten all she has worked for. She must defy every established world power to bring justice to common peasants and workers in societies now ruled by greedy aristocrats. Her covert activities require her to protect her fledgling Radical movement from both friends and enemies.

Risking her life and her love, Gisel negotiates even greater hazards in a wide ranging adventure. Her partner, Yohan Felger, becomes a problem when the Baron has him smuggle a steam engine to the Empire. Gisel knows of the subterfuge but cannot admit it, while Yohan is almost torn apart by the need to deceive her. Faced with removing the pressure on Yohan as he moves his contraband engine, she accepts the offer of General Lord Ricart, an ex-lover, to command a cavalry unit in battle. Her reckless courage is needed to carry out missions against two Imperial armies.

The fight finds her opposed by ever increasing odds until in the final confrontation she must outwit two enemies who vie to dominate Iskander. New friends, allies, and enemies as well as all the old ones fill the pages when Gisel Matah sets out to gain “The Wildcat’s Victory”.

Sounds good, huh? I do want to add that I have the hard copy of this book. If you have an eReader, something I have vowed to get one day, you can head over to Double Dragon Publishing where you can purchase Deadly Enterprise and THE WILDCAT’S VICTORY in ebook format for only $5.99 each.

There’s a downside to this post. I won’t be raffling this book off today. The reason is Steve (the hubby) wants to read this book too. But first, he wants to read DEADLY ENTERPRISE I do too. When I post the review for DEADLY ENTERPRISE, I’ll raffle off both books.

As always with these types of combo raffles, I’ll combine the posts here with the posts for DEADLY ENTERPRISE. But first, tell me, how many of you like SciFi books? Any favorites? I am curious to know.

So until the next review,

Happy Reading!

Review from Sadie’s Storylines

April 4, 2008

A kickass female protagonist leads the charge in this alternate-earth fantasy. The Wildcat’s Victory is the second in a series (the first being Deadly Enterprise) by Christopher Hoare.

Gisel Matah is not only beautiful, she’s strong and smart as a whip.  She knows more than she’s letting on as the book opens.  Through slow reveals we learn the backstory of the novel (for those that haven’t yet read Deadly Enterprise), and see the deception behind every character as they try to protect their own interests as well as the interests of their superiors.

At first I found the book confusing, but within 10 pages I was hooked and reading more to clear up any remaining confusion I felt.  Christopher shoves you knee-deep in intrigue and action and doesn’t let you go until the last page of this spell-binding novel.

See an earth locked in a time of near-progress, hindered by sins of the past and present, a war of wits and weapons.

Get The Wildcat’s Victory and prepare to sit on the edge of your seat, using your own wits to keep up with Gisel’s.