Monday, April 27, 2015

The Morgenstern ProjectThe Morgenstern Project by David S. Khara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is difficult to express in words how much The Morgenstern Project moved my thoughts and emotions. I received a copy from Eidelwess and really took my time reading it. I tried to digest it slowly because this was Morg's story. It was told simultaneously alternating between Morg's past and Morg's current life as he fights on the current front against the Consortium's machinations and his fight to distance himself from the Bleiberg project. Morg is this larger than life Mossad agent who hunts war criminals, typically those from World War II.

In The Morgenstern Project Morg meets up again with Jackie and Jeremy whom we met in the first book, The Bleiberg Project. They developed a deep bond with Eytan Morgenstern in that story which continues though they have not seen him since the events in that book ended. Jackie and Jeremy are targeted by a faction of the U.S. government who have been made aware of Morg's longevity and they want to study him and are willing to use whatever means they can to capture him, including targeting his friends and whatever family he may have. As the story progresses Eli tells the story of how he met Morg and how their lives had intertwined throughout the many years. We also meet more of Morg's family and as they fight this new front created by The Consortium we step through Morg's childhood and learn about his history.

The Morgenstern Project is the best of the series so far. As far as I can tell the series grows in character development, story development and David Khara, the author, grows in writing, story and character development skills as well. The book is full of excitement, action and the technology and niche of this story regarding Morg's physical abilities. As I read about Morg's past and the current story I was struck with a huge sadness for what he and the people of Poland went through during World War II and for what some of the story depicted during the current day part of the story. The Morgenstern Project draws you into everyone's lives in the story. At one point I was literally moved to tears and that is not something that easily occurs for me when reading a story, but David Khara wrote a very moving story and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Interview with David S. Khara - Author of The Consortium Thriller Series
Question 1. I have a huge fascination with books about the Mossad. Why did you write Morg as a Jewish person working for the Mossad? Given the area where part of the book takes place why not someone who was Polish or German?

Eytan works for Mossad at the beginning of the series, but he insists on the fact that he is Polish. In The Bleiberg Project, where his origins are told, it is specified that he was born in a little village in Poland. Actually, after what he went through with Bleiberg’s experiments, Eytan considers himself a shield against barbarism and fascism. Being Jewish is the reason he was sent to Warsaw’s Ghetto, but religion means little to this man, since no god showed up to save him as a child. Eytan works with those who hunt war criminals, which is why he works for Mossad. In The Shiro Project, we learn that Eytan leaves England in the 1950s to join Mossad. And in The Morgenstern Project, it becomes obvious that Eytan works with Mossad, and not for it. Who knows with which organization he has worked before, and which one he will work with in the future…

Question 2. Do you have an inspiration for how the story flows? For example, did you know from the start of the series how things would go for Morg and then fill in the story or are there things you see or read about in the news that drives how the story goes?

I knew from the very start of The Bleiberg Project what the final sentence of The Morgenstern Project would be. I had in mind the whole trilogy. Well, not exactly all of it. I have what I call checkpoints, key scenes that will tell the reader about the characters, about history and science. My story has to reach these checkpoints, but I never entirely know how to reach them. I then let the characters decide which road they’ll take.

Question 3. Morg reads as a very attractive man who obviously feels attraction to women. Has he ever had a love interest or always been single without a relationship?

That is a very interesting question indeed! In The Shiro Project, there was some tension between Eytan and Elena, but certainly no love story. Let me rephrase your question: Has Eytan ever been in love, or even shared someone’s life? I think you’ll have to wait for the next books to find out.

Question 4. Is there one thing you would have loved to write in the series that just did not fit so you had to leave it out, for example, a removed scene that you love but you left out?

Every single scene I’ve had in mind ended up in the books. There are more scenes and more things to learn about Eytan, but you’ll have to be patient…

Question 5. Do you have any sources in Israel or with the Mossad to help you with the rules and research or is it mainly research basis from written materials?

If I had sources in Israel or with the Mossad or any other secret agency, do you think I’d really tell you? J

Question 6. Do you ever envision yourself writing something that focuses on espionage based in France and the French version of Mossad?

I doubt I’ll ever write a story that takes place in France. I have issues letting my imagination go within my own country. Also, travelling with my readers is also my pleasure. Last but not least, I love the US, and I’ll keep writing stories that take place in the Land of the Free!

Question 7. What is one thing about Morg that you would like us to know that may not necessarily come across the way you would like in the books?

Believe me, nothing will be left aside about Eytan. J

Question 8. What is next for you after writing such a great series?

I’m currently working on a thriller that deals with tax evasion and nuclear material trafficking. Once I’m done with it, I’ll start working on Eytan’s return!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Shiro project David KharaFrench author David Khara, a former journalist, top-level sportsman, and entrepreneur, is a full-time writer. Khara wrote his first novel—a vampire thriller—in 2010, before starting his Consortium thriller series. The first thriller in the series, The Bleiberg Project, was an instant success in France, catapulting Khara into the ranks of the country’s top thriller writers. 

Follow David Khara on Twitter
Le French Book on Twitter Facebook
Sign up to receive their latest news and deals
Buy the book | on Amazon | on Barnes & Noble | on Indiebound

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR Sophie Weiner is a freelance translator and book publishing assistant from Baltimore, Maryland. After earning degrees in French from Bucknell University and New York University, Sophie went on to complete a master’s in literary translation from the Sorbonne, where she focused her thesis on translating wordplay in works by Oulipo authors. She has translated and written for web-based companies dedicated to art, cinema, and fashion as well as for nonprofit organizations. Growing up with Babar, Madeline, and The Little Prince, Sophie was bitten by the Francophile bug at an early age, and is fortunate enough to have lived in Paris, Lille, and the Loire Valley.

 *** You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] Global giveaway open internationally: 2 US resident winners will receive 1 print copy of The Morgenstern Project 3 winners will receive this book in digital format


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Royal WeThe Royal We by Heather Cocks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Royal We was one of my favorite royal stories. I received a copy through Netgalley and was a little worried when I saw how long it was, but, it held my attention throughout the entire book. One of the best things about this story is the humor. Rebecca is the wilder of twin sisters from America who takes advantage of a foreign exchange program while attending Cornell that allows her to spend time at Oxford University. She meets Nick as soon as she steps on campus and little does she know she has met the future King of England. Rebecca meets some great friends and has a great time partying and working on her art, which she doesn't get a chance to spend a lot of time doing when at home working on her normal school work. She has a chance to see some wonderfully beautiful architecture while in England.

When Rebecca left Cornell she left behind her twin sister Lacy, the true royal watcher of the family. Since they were children she dreamed of being a princess and living in England but makes the decision to stay behind at Cornell because she wants to attend medical school and does not see the value in an exchange program that does not focus on her medical school aspirations. However, she does visit and becomes quite envious of Rebecca, or Bex's life at Oxford, especially her friendship with Prince Nick. We meet Bex the night before her wedding to Nick where things go back in time to tell the story of how they got to where they are when Bex is looking back at her decision to change her life and move to England to be with Nick. We see all of the prejudice she experiences because she is an American dating a royal. She has to handle the paparazzi, negative articles and the effects on her relationship with her twin sister.

I loved this story. I was so invested in it that there was one moment in the story that I was caught off guard and literally had tears in my eyes and that is not something that happens often with a book for me, especially a book that mostly is comedic in fashion with some romance. One of the most enjoyable facets of The Royal We is the relationships. Character development was pretty well done, but, for me the relationships described were the biggest win for this book. Bex had this larger than life personality and we lived this relationship with her, its ups and downs and all of the fallout from the things she experienced as well as the laughs as she had a great time. One of my favorite scenes involves a wheelbarrow and it was laugh out loud funny. I can only say I hope these two right more in this area because they have great chemistry and did an amazing job on this book.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Girl Who Wouldn't DieThe Girl Who Wouldn't Die by Marnie Riches
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Girl Who Wouldn't Die is a gritty, dark novel I received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It follows the life of George who is an exchange student from Oxford studying in Amsterdam. During her time in Amsterdam a bomb goes off on campus outside of one of the university's buildings while it is full of students and employees. George and her friend Ad who are complete shocked insert themselves in the investigation because George has a great desire to be a criminologist. As time goes on we see George is not the only one inserting herself in the investigation, so is the killer.

The Girl Who Wouldn't Die is the first adult crime book written by Marnie Riches and she has, to use a baseball metaphor, hit the ball out of the park. Though the book can be quite cringe worthy with darkness at times when the hooks at the end grab you it literally makes up for it. As a recent visitor of Amsterdam I kept trying to envision the locations and realized now I have to go back to see if I figure out the locations of the events. Really, that is the only reason I would go back, to try and see the locations where George frequented. Now, I did not visit the Red Light District but I would love to see everything mentioned. The Girl Who Wouldn't Die seems like it might be a great armchair travel book too. I literally got a great feel for George's love of the buildings in London when she went back to her home school to visit her mentor and advisor at Oxford. You could feel her love for her adopted city as she walked and rode her bikes through the streets of Amsterdam, even though she was in a lower income area. The only drawback I found was George's expression of her feelings towards men seemed a bit stunted and I could not tell if it was the writer's attacking of this topic or George's inability to express the feelings in words. There was one twist in the story that I LOVED and I don't want to spoil it for anyone because it needs to be experience by all who jump in to experience The Girl Who Wouldn't Die.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Schism (November Man, #2)Schism by Bill Granger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Schism is the second book in the November Man series. I am totally enamored of this series and have a great appreciation for this sub-genre of thriller, an espionage story. I received a copy of Schism from Netgalley, which rocks by the way. I love this series enough that if it exists on audiobook I will be reliving it again and buying them. When I learned that this series started originally in 1979 I wondered how it was that I had missed them all these years. No worries I have found them and plan to devour them one after another.

Schism has the frosty November Man, Agent Devereaux, in Miami, investigating the return of a Catholic priest who went missing over 20 years prior in Asia, Agent Devereaux's former playground, where he spent many years stationed. Every agency wants to know where the priest has been during all of the years he has been missing and given the possibility that he may have been involved with the CIA while he was in Asia there is great concern about what secrets he may have. Every letter of the alphabet soup of the government has touched down in Miami to determine the priest's next moves, including the Russians. There is murder, mayhem, and many secrets that come to light. We get to see the November Man at his best and a bit of his vulnerability. Really looking forward to The Shattered Eye.
The Cinderella Princess (Royal Holiday, #1)The Cinderella Princess by Melissa McClone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Cinderella Princess was another great read that I received through Netgalley. It is the story of a prince, Luc, who is the youngest of his family but is tasked with protecting the honor of his family and suffers a great deal emotionally when it seems that the only person in his family that cares for him is his mother, despite having many brothers and sisters and a father, the king. Emily is an ad exec tasked with swooping in and saving the reality show that is tasked with finding Prince Luc a wife. So far the show has been boring and none of the titled or royal ladies he has had a first date are interested.

Emily arrives in Italy and there is instant chemistry between them despite her task of finding Luc a wife. Along the way she does her job and they get to be pretty good friends. They get to know each other personally and Emily is an excellent task master and has her hands full with saving the show and finding Prince Luc a wife. In the meantime she learns more about herself and Luc. The Cinderella Princess is a great story about sacrifice and finding your true self even when faced with hard decisions. The Cinderella Princess is the first in a new series, Royal Holiday, and I am looking forward to the entire series!

London Prep by Jillian Dodd My rating: 5 of 5 stars What a great adventure! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book...