Book Review

Mastermind by Andrew Mayne [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Mastermind

Author: Andrew Mayne

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: September 7, 2021

Genre: Technothriller

Series: Theo Cray and Jessica Blackwood #1

My Rating: 4/5

Mastermind by Andrew Mayne

BOOK BLURB

A mysterious electrical storm plunges Manhattan into darkness. As a strange, smothering fog rolls in, all communication crashes. In the blink of an eye, the island seems to vanish into a void.

FBI special agent Jessica Blackwood and brilliant scientist Dr. Theo Cray know this isn’t a freak accident. It’s a sinister sleight of hand. Their greatest adversary, a serial killer and cultist known as the Warlock, has escaped during a prison transfer in New York. A depraved master of manipulation, he promised the end of days. He’s making good on it.

One by one, cities across the globe are erupting in chaos as they disappear into the same black holes. Even for two ingenious trackers like Jessica and Theo, there’s still so much to learn about the pattern to the Warlock’s madness. The voids are just a warm-up for something bigger. To discover it—to stop it—Jessica and Theo must descend into the darkest of shadows—and minds.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Mastermind brings together two of Andrew Mayne’s popular characters in one novel. An electrical storm in New York City starts a mystery that needs the expertise of Jessica Blackwood and Theo Cray. The storm appears to be the work of the Warlock, a serial killer. Jessica is a FBI agent with a history with the Warlock. Theo is a biologist who specializes in forensic science, and has a great track record for catching serial killers.

Mastermind is told with the alternating points of view of Jessica and Theo. Both characters are intelligent and unique. There is a quite a bit science/technology discussion in this book. The story is wild, and it makes for an entertaining read.

This is the first book that brings Jessica and Theo together. I have read The Naturalist series that features Theo, and have enjoyed all of them. I have not yet read the Jessica Blackwood series. I recommend reading Mayne’s other books, but it’s not necessary to have read any of them before reading Mastermind.

Fast-paced and exciting thriller. A good book for fans of Andrew Mayne’s other books.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Theo Cray and Jessica Blackwood series:
  1. Mastermind
Book Review

The Passengers by John Marrs [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Passengers

Author: John Marrs

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: August 27, 2019

Genre: Technothriller

Series: na

My Rating: 5/5

The Passengers by John Marrs

BOOK BLURB

You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, “You are going to die.” 

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an undocumented immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save?…And who should we kill first?”


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Eight self-driving cars are hijacked. The hacker of the cars has told the passengers that they are going to die. Meanwhile, a jury is convened to determine the cause of accidents involving driverless vehicles. The jury and the rest of the world watch as the hacker controls the fates of the eight passengers.

Told with the alternating points of view of the passengers and a jury member. The hijacked cars and the jury are all being captured on camera, and the live videos go viral. The hacker gives the jury the opportunity to try and save a passenger. As the jury questions the passengers, secrets are revealed. Public opinion of which passengers should live and which should die are all trending on social media. A intriguing mix of characters in a unique story.

The Passengers combines the future of self-driving cars, social media, and human behavior. I enjoyed the technological aspect of the story, and found it both realistic and disturbing. Fans of John Marrs are sure to enjoy his newest thriller. Addictive, exciting, and suspenseful.

I received a digital copy of this book from Penguin’s First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.

Books by John Marrs:
  1. When You Disappeared
  2. Welcome To Wherever You Are
  3. The One
  4. The Good Samaritan
  5. Her Last Move
  6. The Passengers
  7. What Lies Between Us
  8. The Minders
Book Review

Recursion by Blake Crouch [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Recursion

Author: Blake Crouch

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Publish Date: June 11, 2019

Genre: Sci-fi & Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Recursion by Blake Crouch

BOOK BLURB

Reality is broken. 

At first, it looks like a disease. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But the force that’s sweeping the world is no pathogen. It’s just the first shock wave, unleashed by a stunning discovery—and what’s in jeopardy is not our minds but the very fabric of time itself.

In New York City, Detective Barry Sutton is closing in on the truth—and in a remote laboratory, neuroscientist Helena Smith is unaware that she alone holds the key to this mystery . . .and the tools for fighting back.

Together, Barry and Helena will have to confront their enemy—before they, and the world, are trapped in a loop of ever-growing chaos.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Barry is a New York City police officer who gets intrigued with a case concerning False Memory Syndrome – a mysterious disorder where the victim remembers a life they never lived. Helena is a scientist working on a project to help preserve past memories. When dangerous technology threatens past memories, Barry and Helena work together to save the future.

Told using various timelines and the alternating points of view of Barry and Helena. This is a mind-bending time travel thriller. The first part of the book is a little slow as the story builds, but once it comes together, it becomes an action-packed read.

A captivating sci-fi thriller about memory and time travel. Unique, riveting, and exciting.

Books by Blake Crouch:
  1. Dark Matter
  2. Recursion
Book Review

The Sound of Echoes by Eric Bernt [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Sound of Echoes

Author: Eric Bernt

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: June 4, 2019

Genre: Technothriller

Series: Speed of Sound #2

My Rating: 4/5

The Sound of Echoes by Eric Bernt

BOOK BLURB

Only one man can stop the most dangerous conspiracy ever designed in a shattering thriller about the end of secrets from the author of The Speed of Sound.

After going on the run—for what he knows and has created—autistic Eddie Parks is back in Harmony House, the think tank that has been his sanctuary for sixteen years. With his miraculous invention, an “echo box” that excavates sounds from the past, Eddie achieved the only thing he wanted: to hear his late mother sing. But where Eddie sees good, others see infamy. Because no conversation ever held will be a secret again.

For Bob Stenson, leader of the American Heritage Foundation, whoever controls the echo box controls the future. To seize the game-changing device, he has to get Eddie where he’s most vulnerable: by kidnapping Dr. Skylar Drummond, the only person in the word Eddie trusts.

But Stenson has underestimated his prey. Eddie has the power of echoes on his side. Now he must follow them—into the most dangerous places he’s ever ventured—to save Skylar and the country.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The Sound of Echoes is the second book in the Speed of Sound thriller series by Eric Bernt. I read the first book in this series, and was looking forward to the next adventure with Eddie and his “echo box”. Since this book picks up where the first book ended, it is best to read The Speed of Sound before reading The Sound of Echoes.

Eddie is a high-functioning autistic savant. He lives in a place called Harmony House, a think tank for autistic savants. In The Speed of Sound, Eddie was working on an “echo box”. He had dreams of using the box to hear his deceased mother sing. Of course, there were others wanting to use the box for more nefarious plans.

Eddie doesn’t trust many people, or anyone really, but he has formed a trusting relationship with Dr. Skylar Drummond. This book opens with Eddie back at Harmony House and Skylar in danger. The people interested in the echo box decide to go after the one person Eddie cares about. Eddie and Skylar are thrown again into a fast and thrilling mystery.

An exciting and action-packed technothriller. Not exactly realistic, but a fun and fast-paced read. Enjoyable characters, a bit of humor, and plenty of action.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Speed of Sound series:
  1. The Speed of Sound
  2. The Sound of Echoes
Book Review

The Speed of Sound by Eric Bernt [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Speed of Sound

Author: Eric Bernt

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: June 1, 2018

Genre: Technothriller

Series: Speed of Sound #1

My Rating: 3/5

The Speed of Sound by Eric Bernt

BOOK BLURB

In this propulsive thriller, one of the most ingenious young men in the world has also become the most dangerous…or has he?

Harmony House is more than a “special place for special people.” It’s a think tank where high-functioning autistic savants harness their unique abilities for the benefit of society. Resident Eddie Parks’s contribution is nothing less than extraordinary: an “echo box” that can re-create never-recorded sounds using acoustic archeology.

All Eddie wants is to hear his late mother’s voice. But what he’s created is inadvertently posing a threat to national security.

To Harmony House’s shadowy government backers and radical extremists, the echo box is the ultimate intelligence asset—an end to the very concept of secrecy. Now for Eddie and the compassionate Dr. Skylar Drummond, the true nature of the institution is becoming chillingly clear.

As ruthless competing enemies close in on Eddie and his miraculous machine, Skylar risks all to take him on the run. Because once that prize is won, Eddie Parks will no longer be considered a “special person” but a dangerous redundancy. An inconvenient echo that must be silenced.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Eddie lives in Harmony House, a think tank residence for people with autism. Eddie’s project is creating an “echo box.” Eddie’s main desire is to hear his late mother sing, and if he can complete the echo box, his dream will come true. Unfortunately, other, less scrupulous people would also like the echo box to work. The newest doctor at Harmony House is Skylar, and she immediately connects with Eddie. As the danger increases, Skylar helps Eddie.

The Speed of Sound has interesting and likable characters. Eddie has autism, and has a few special abilities that go along with that. He has very delicate hearing and he is a human lie detector. Both of these abilities come into play throughout the story. Skylar is a little more stereotypical character. She is a new doctor at Harmony House, and she also truly cares about the patients. Eddie has a hard time with people, but he quickly learns to trust Skylar.

The story is action-packed. As Eddie gets closer to finishing his project, it seems more people are interested in getting their hands on it. Skylar is important since she wants to keep Eddie safe, but she also wants to see him achieve his dream of hearing his mother sing.

The Speed of Sound is exciting and fast-paced. This is the first book in a series, and ends on a cliffhanger. Good for fans of techno thrillers.

Books in the Speed of Sound series:
  1. The Speed of Sound
  2. The Sound of Echoes