Saturday, July 17, 2021

My review of Prime Directive, a great book by author Davis Bunn


Prime Directive by Davis Bunn

I liked this book a lot. I instantly got into the book and finished it in just over a week. I was engaged, interested, drawn in by the characters and the plot.   

I was given a copy of this book on my Kindle for free in order to review it for Davis Bunn. It has been a while since I was on Davis’s review team. I sent messages and emails. He got a new person on his team and she contacted me and asked if I still wanted to get back on his review team. I did and within a week she sent me this book. Within another week I started it. I am so happy to be reviewing books for Davis Bunn again. I like his writing so much. He writes such different books, in completely polar opposite genre's... from Spiritual Historical Fiction to out there Fantasy. I like the whole gambit. In spite of that, this is my honest opinion about the book.  

Amanda Bostick is a low level system coordinator in the Galactic Space Arm and has concerns about some murders on a distant planet that is a scientific outpost. The scientists get transmuted into ferns. Ferns! Changed into a plant and hung in a “special” grove of trees. They were reported the deaths only because they needed replacement scientists. Why? Why was no one more upset? Why didn’t they report the deaths right away? Amanda is assigned to go and investigate and the Commander assigns two men to accompany her, Hamoud and Nasim, that she knows will aide her in her assignment.   

One of the first things Amanda finds out is that the planet is pink... the oceans are pink, the land is pink, the sky and the clouds.  

     “They reached parking orbit above a coral globe. 

     The viewport was filled with a rainbow of pinkish shades, everything from a dark ochre to the lightest pastel.” (location 444)  

I love the way Davis writes and describes the worlds and the stories he creates. I don’t know how he thinks them up, but I like reading them. He is one of my favorite authors.  

I liked the world he created and the characters were stupendous, realistic... even though the story and planet and the creatures the scientists are studying are fantasy. There were people to love and people to despise. There were a few flashbacks that tell some of the details of the character’s past that brought us to the place where they came together as a team for this story. It only made me more invested in the characters lives and the outcome of their mission. Conflict. A mystery to solve. Someone to cheer for. The unexpected. There was plenty of unexpected. There was what felt like real danger. I was afraid for the characters. That makes for a good story. I like the fantasy world. I have grown to love fantasy books. I am reading a lot of fantasy books this year.   

     “'It all comes down to success.' 

     Hamoud hit the auto-pilot switch and turned so as to face Amanda.  

     She said, 'To be successful, we have to define our mission.'" (location 434) 

     "'What would you say was the major difference between the failures and the successes?' 

     'Rickets would approve of that question. And the answer for me has been the same in all three cases'” Hamoud turned in his seat. 'The crisis for which we were sent was not the real problem.”  

     'There was another hidden disaster,' Amanda said. For some reason the direction of their conversation sent her heart into overdrive. As though she had just been whispered a foretelling of her own future. 'A bigger problem below the surface. And if you don’t identify the hidden, or you can’t, or you identify the wrong one...'" (location 554)  

The hidden crisis continues throughout the story. Will they find the hidden problem? Will they have ultimate success? How will things end... read and find out.  

The title... Prime Directives... very fitting.  

     “'We are bound by their Prime Directives. These go much deeper than mere laws. They’ve defined our existence from the very first day.'” (location 1300)  

A very fitting title.  

I have to admit, I was a little confused by the ending. I had to go back and read the next to the last chapter and the last one. Then I got it. I won’t tell you what I thought about the ending. I won't tell you if they succeeded or not. I don’t want to spoil things. But, I really liked this book and if you are a fan of Davis Bunn or of fantasy books or of mysteries then I hope you will give this book a chance. I don’t know if he is going to do a sequel, but if he does I will read it!! Even if it is not offered to me as a review item.

Debbie Phillips all content on my blog is ©

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Golden Vial - a book review

Loved it, loved it so much.
Book 3 in the Legends of the Realm series. I read book 1 in early 2015 and book 2 in early 2016.

I highly recommend you read Thomas Locke's answer to this question. Open this link in a new tab so you don't loose the rest of my review... come back and finish reading here when you are done...  Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?  His most recent book happens to be "The Golden Vial".  His answer is the reason why he has had so much success as a writer and especially with his fantasy/Christian fiction under his pseudonym. Oh, My! I love his writing.

Well thought out, well planned. Extremely well written. Creative. Like nothing else I have ever read. Drawing you in. Making the book impossible to put down.

This book continues the series, but starts with an unknown main character, someone knew on the scene. Dally works for the mayor and his wife in the village of Honor. She lost her family in a fire and came to live with the mayor. His wife Krim, however, is impossible to work for. Dally has no choice, she has no family, no money and no where else to go, so she endures the job the best she can and spends a lot of time with the wolfhounds the mayor raises.

I know this series well enough to expect some interesting abilities from the characters in the book. Dally has a secret gift, she can reach out to the wolfhounds and smell what they smell and sense what they sense. She can reach out from her spot in the holding pen with the dogs and tell what is going on in the village. She has also been having dreams, no not really dreams, visitations. She knew Shona was real and that she was coming to Honor. The town had been cut off from the world for almost 2 years. The arrival of an army is alarming and there is not much time, Shona and the army arrive at dawn.

Lady Edlyn, the new Mistress of the Long Hall of the Three Valleys tests Dally's abilities. First she test her with the dogs, she passes that quickly. Then they look for a sign.
     "Oh, you mean the candles." (skip down the page)
     "Dally went on, 'Then they speak to me.'
     Both mages froze. 'I'm sorry. They speak?' Edlyn asked.
     'They did. Before these dogs came. Not in words. But...' Dally looked fro one face to the other. 'Did I do something wrong?'
     'Lass, let me assure you of this one thing. Whatever events that have filled you with such fear are now behind you.'
     Something broke within Dally. She could no more hold back the tears than stop her own breath."   (pg 30)
     "'Did I draw the beast that killed my family?'
     'If you will please straighten up and look at me, I will answer you. Thank you. Dally, I will never lie to you. Even when the truth is at its most painful, you can trust me to be both direct and honest. The answer is, your talents are so remarkable it is possible they were noticeable to our foes. But I very much doubt this. Latent powers are invisible to even our most sensitive adepts." (pg 31)

So, now we find the basic plot of this book. The beasts have been tormenting the surrounding countryside and towns. They are a fierce enemy. The new mistress has come with her army to protect the citizens. Dally and her gifts will have a part in the upcoming battles. But there is more. Hyam, our hero from books one and two, has been struck by a terrible illness and cannot be awakened. Who will help them save him? Does Dally with her untrained talents and powers have what it takes to help the army defeat these gigantic beasts? Will the mages find out what is wrong with Hyam? Can they save him before it is to late?

Battles, powers, gifts, mages, wolfhounds and terrible beasts. Could anything be worse? Yes, but I won't tell you what you will have to read the book to find out the details.

     "Who was she really? What did she seek to do with her life? Her past had been stripped away, the prison of her former existence gone. She was free, and yet Dally did not know what the word even meant. What course did she wish to chart for herself? She found herself struggling not to weep, though many of those gathered here bore tear-streaked faces. She was wracked by a sorrow that made no sense. She had a purpose. She had gifts. Her life held meaning. Should she not be thrilled? Where was the joy?
     In the silent, sunlit warmth, Dally realized she had no idea what she wanted. The confusion was as powerful as guilt, though she had done nothing wrong. She felt herself being reshaped by the questions as though images that had not yet appeared required her to ask what she had spent years fleeing.
     Worst of all was the simple fact that she did not even know her own name." (pg 102-103

Purpose. We all seek a purpose for our lives. Why was I put here, in this time and space? What does God want of me? This we, like Dally, seek to find. Purpose for our lives.

   "The longer she focused upon this heart's light, the clearer Dally saw beyond her trapped state. For the first time she glimpsed a realization all her own, a purpose large enough to justify the hard life she had known. Here was an objection so gigantic, it made her years of lonely toil not just bearable, but necessary.
    She had never given up. Wept, yes. Ached and sobbed and experienced hardship, most certainly.
     All for this moment." (pg 178)

What moment... I can't tell you that it would give away

Some day I hope to find the same thing Dally did. A purpose for all my suffering... all my families suffering. In the meantime I will continue on. I will not give up. I have wept, many times. I am sure I will weep again. I have ached and sobbed like Dally, but I have not given up, and I will not give up now. It may be I don't know why things happened until heaven. Until then I will keep on and try to serve my Lord, my family and my community.

Do you want to know what happens to Dally? Do they save Hyam? Read and find out.
I highly recommend this book and if you haven't read the series start with book one. This series is great. I am pretty sure I heard that book four is on the way soon.

Note: I was sent this book for free for me to review. My thoughts and review are honest and not influenced by the fact that I received the book for free.

Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge prompt – A book that's published in 2018

Debbie Phillips
all content on my blog is ©


Related Posts with Thumbnails