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Terminal Departure: A Cleo Matts Novel by Joe Crubaugh

Review: The majority of the time, I do not read other reviews about a book I am in the processing of reviewing, but in this case, I wanted to gain as much objectivity as possible.  I personally found many of the descriptions odd for the character or situation being described, and this distracted me often throughout the book. I would have preferred more of a streamlined version especially during crucial scenes or when action was taking place. The author does have a distinctive, dialogue-heavy style that might certainly appeal to some readers, and while others have described “Terminal Departure” as witty in the turns of phrasing, that aspect didn’t work for me. Sense of humor can and often does vary from culture to culture, as well as personal tastes.

Very pro-American, with a great deal of action and explanations on topics of everything from redheadedness to possible species and their populations throughout the universe or mattresses, the reader is taken on a wide-ranging “trip” including aliens, undercover operatives, deadly plots and all with a dash of romance. I particularly liked the part with the aliens and wish there had been more, yet it’s a fast moving story overall, which compelled me to continue reading. I would recommend “Terminal Departure” to those looking for an off-beat, quirky thriller, and I believe there is second Cleo Matts book in the works.
Description: In the first of an exciting new series, hotshot covert agent Cleo Matts goes to war against an international cabal of the influential elite.

While working desperately to thwart the assassination of a highbrowed microbiologist, Matts runs into scorned Hollywood actress Julia McMichaels. Romantic sparks fly, but there’s a bomb on the plane, aliens outside their window, and a CIA hitman in seat 13-C.

Though they manage to survive the doomed flight, little does Matts know he’s at ground zero of a germ-warfare conspiracy approved by the President of the US.

From the back streets of New Orleans and the corridors of NASA to the super yacht of a gigolo Saudi prince and a showdown in a raging ice storm, the laughs, chases, and shoot-outs come fast and furious in this balls-to-the-wall espionage action thriller.

  • Kindle Edition
  • Published: July 4th 2011
  • ASIN: B005AJBC9O
  • Source: Author

Author Bio:


Joe Crubaugh is the author of thriller Terminal Departure: A Cleo Matts Novel, and many intriguing articles posted on his blog, Hard-boiled Dreams of the World.

When he’s not writing about himself in the third person, Joe spends weekdays masquerading as a software consultant in the ship, plant, and offshore industry.

Joe was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama with his wife, three children, and a couple of dogs. At this very instant, he’s working on the next Cleo Matts novel and sliding around the kitchen floor in his socks.

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Filed under Reviews, Suspense/Mystery, Thriller

A Disruptive Invention by Peter W. Shackle

Review: “A Disruptive Invention” is what might be called “serious” science fiction as obviously the author is well knowledgeable about his topic and this is evidenced throughout by lengthy passages of technical details or one character imparting paragraphs of information. I did find the many secondary characters introduced with extended background information rather distracting, especially in that I had a greater interest in the settings themselves.

I looked forward to the views of Redstone Arsenal for example, as I used to live and work there with a certain level of security clearance. Some statistics seemed a little off regarding Alabama and its population (but only someone who’s lived there might know), but there were other items I knew well, such as the munition testing that sounds periodically and the Biergarten café. I personally know the family that owned and managed, for they are long-time friends of mine.

“A Disruptive Invention” had a great story premise and I found it intriguing from the very first and the author imparted great enthusiasm in his work, but the descriptive attempts at interpersonal behaviors, skills and/or relationships between characters were sometimes a little too stereotypically “geeky” or genderized for me. For example, the woman on the John’s team, Judy seemed to be thinking about men all the time and/or how she looked or having a relationship. When this occurred in the narrative or dialogue, it “stuttered” the story for me, but never stopped my forward motion because of the strength of the central plot.

Those looking for a strong sci-fi story with lots of detail and historical background included would find “A Disruptive Invention” of interest. It really makes you think about what would happen to the world if such technology became widely available.

Description: John Sykes, an inventive young engineer, accidentally discovers the long predicted “Fifth Force” of physics, which allows levitation against gravity. Follow his encounters with the world of venture capital, the patent office, foreign spies and the air force as he forms a company to make a UFO like vehicle that could reshape the global balance of power. John’s adventures take him from his home in Long Beach CA, to the security of the Redstone Arsenal in AL and then on to the ultra secret Area 51. Experience the mystery when the first mission shows that they are not alone in space!

Publication Date:  17 January 2011

Publisher: Peter W. Shackle via Smashwords

Genre: Science Fiction

Format: Ebook and Kindle

Purchase Link/Excerpt

Source: Author

Author Bio:

Peter W. Shackle is a professional engineer and inventor living in Palos Verdes California. He has a Ph.D. in physics from Trinity College, Cambridge in the UK. A life senior member of the IEEE, he has authored 53 United States patents.

Website: http://adisruptiveinvention.com

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Filed under Reviews, Science Fiction