Storm Rising

Storm risingAuthor: Ronie Kendig

Series: Book of the Wars #1

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: July 2, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

After years of serving under the command of someone else, Leif Metcalfe now has his own team to command, bringing his very own adventure more complicated than any he has faced before.

Leif Metcalfe has a difficult past and knows that it will be hard to push past all that to command his very own team. The time has come for him to step up and take charge. He and his team are tasked with finding the notorious Book of the Wars. They are not the only ones looking for it though. Iskra “Viorica” Todorova, a notorious Bulgarian operative gets to the book first. Iskra is being used by the man that kidnapped her, raped her and trained her to be a skilled assassin.  If she can bring the book back to him, she might be able to secure her freedom. As both Leif and Iskra work to secure the book, strange storms blow up around the world that foreshadow the wars described in the book. To get away and secure her freedom, Iskra will have to do the one thing she thought possible, trust someone. Leif doesn’t know if he can trust Iskra but he also knows it might be his only way to secure the book and stop the destruction before it is too late.

If you are a fan of Kendig’s Tox files, you will not want to miss Storm Rising. Many of the same characters are back with Leif including Mercy Maddox (one of my personal favorites in this and I can’t wait to see more with her). I loved the pace of this stor; it was very detailed but not so much so that it took me out of the story. The Tox Files got so deep with the archeology aspects that it can be hard to keep up with everything happening sometimes, still a great story though. Here we get a much lighter story that reads very smooth and will easily keep readers engaged throughout. Ronie Kendig has always had a way of weaving a story that is so rich in history, suspense, and characters that are drawn together in a way that feels natural and real. With each new novel she just gets better and better. This is by far her best work, especially with character development and a natural flow with the relationships and how they fit together smoothly. When dealing with a team like this, there are a lot of characters and at times it can seem like a few too many but as the story plays out readers discover the need for each one. With the next book, I hope to see even more development for these smaller roles.  As I said earlier, my favorite character in this book was Mercy, she is feisty, real and exhibits such energy that I can’t wait to see her further develop. She has so much potential as a lead character and I would love to see that for her. I recommend Storm Rising to fans of Kendig’s earlier work, but if this is your first time picking up a book by Ronie Kendig you won’t be lost. Even with the tie in to the previous series, new readers will be able to pick up and follow along with the story without a problem. Another great addition to my library.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Crown of Souls

Crown of SoulsAuthor: Ronie Kendig

Series: Tox Files #2

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

In less than one ten-thousandth of a second, lives will be changed causing Tox and his crew to face their toughest mission yet and not all will survive.

Having earned some much-needed rest, Cole “Tox” Russell and his crew have hit the beach to relax. When a sniper hits Cole and the shooter is discovered to be one of their past team members, things quickly become more interesting. The shooter, Alec King is one of the only other people that could be considered as good as Tox. He is carrying a grudge from years ago when a mission they were both on didn’t end as he would have liked.  Ever since, he has been enacting his own form of justice. He wants Tox to join him to prove that they can be unstoppable and Alec is willing to stop at nothing to convince Tox to join him. Tox worries that maybe Alec is right and he is more like his old friend than he would like to admit.  Secrets long kept are unearthed along with a mysterious artifact that could lead to the destruction of humanity. Tox and his team must race against the clock and find a way to stop Alec before more death and destruction is unleashed.

If you are a fan of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, or even National Treasure, I would highly recommend Crown of Souls and The Tox Files. Ronie Kendig has become a master of Military Thrillers. This book goes back and forth between Tox and his mission, to the past and why the artifact they are hunting is so important. If you don’t follow both times lines closely, you might miss some important information for the story. The best thing about a Ronie Kendig novel is there is something there for everyone, Romance, Suspense, History, Mystery and so much more. There are intense moments at just the right time and then things mellow out to calm the reader before being thrust right into the next tough and tense situation. It was hard for me at times to follow the past and present parts, but they did enhance the story and made the mystery all the more intense. It is obvious throughout the entire book that Kendig is familiar with the military and isn’t just writing about something she has no clue about. The lingo, the way they team interacts with each other on missions and during down time makes each one believable as a valuable member of the team and an asset to the story. One of my favorite things about reading books by Kendig is I know I’m going to be entertained and enjoy the story along with the characters and how they connect with one another. I recommend Crown of Souls to all readers that enjoy a good thriller with a military background and strong ties to an ancient mystery that could devastate the lives of all it comes in contact with.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Close to Home

Close to HomeAuthor: Robert Dugoni

Series: Tracy Crosswhite #5

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Robert Dugoni delivers the next series installment getting Tracy involved with the Navy in a case that could sink more than one career, and life, if she’s not careful.

When Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite is called to the scene of a hit-and-run death, she doesn’t expect the case to lead her to the Navy. The suspect is a serviceman at the local base, which causes the local Judge Advocate General Corps to get involved.  The case is then transferred to the military court where the key piece of evidence goes missing.  Tracy has made a promise to the family of the victim that she will make sure justice is served for the death of their son, giving her no other option than to pursue the case. The further Tracy digs into the crimes, the more connections pop up to recent heroin overdoses.  With each new clue, Tracy, and those around her are put in danger and not everyone is guaranteed to make it out alive.

The Tracy Crosswhite series has become one of my absolute favorites. I love the way Dugoni has taken this character and made her someone the reader wants to cheer for and strive to be like in so many ways. Close to Home is the fifth in the series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.  There are references to the first book in the series, but nothing about this book makes it necessary to have read the entire series.  For me, this was more of a mystery than a suspense thriller.  There was not the usual edge of my seat, can’t wait to see what is going to happen next moments.  That’s not a bad thing, it’s just different from the way Dugoni has written these books in the past.  I enjoyed the way he spent extra time building up a few of the secondary characters we have seen throughout the series.  I really enjoyed the different tone to the story with incorporating the military and JAG lawyers.  I am a big fan of military shows and novels and thought this fit in so well with the writing of the characters already established in the series. It will be interesting to see if any of the new characters introduced here make it to the next in the series.  I recommend this book to anyone looking for an excellent mystery that will leave you guessing and cheering with the way the story comes to an end.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Conspiracy of Silence

consiparcy-of-silenceAuthor: Ronie Kendig

Series: The Tox Files #1

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: December 6, 2016

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

After a failed mission, Cole “Tox” Russell has found himself an outcast, but now that the world needs him, he isn’t sure if he is the best man for the job.

It’s been four years since Cole “Tox” Russell was involved in a tragic mission that ended his career and that of his team. He was able to cut a deal and keep his team out of trouble, unfortunately it put him in the hot seat.  He has become an outcast, which is what he really wants, to be left alone.  It isn’t long after his exile that a centuries-old disease is unleashed in the world and he to be called back into action.  His estranged brother is now the President of the United States and enlists his help to keep not only his family but also the entire world safe.  He gets his team back and is working with FBI Agent Kasey Cortes to find the answers they all desperately need.  It is a race around the globe to fight the plague and an ancient secret society that is adamant to remain hidden.  With secrets uncovered and enemies at every corner, Tox and his team have to learn to work together once more in order to survive and break the conspiracy of silence.

Ronie Kendig has crafted another intriguing tale that will take readers on an adventure around the world and keep them on the edge of their seats until the very end. This is the first book in The Tox Files, if you don’t count the prequel, The Warrior’s Seal.  I highly recommend reading the prequel, which is a free ebook, before starting Conspiracy of Silence.  While the story is great and I found myself flipping pages as quickly as possible to find out what was going to happen. There were a few points throughout that got a bit wordy and could have been trimmed down slightly to make it flow a little better.  That being said, most of what is written is very relevant to the story and doesn’t need to be skipped over.  I have become a fan of Kendig and her military thrillers and have to say this should not be missed.  Tox thinks he is Toxic to those around him and doesn’t want to have any kind of a relationship with anyone for fear of causing them pain.  It is obvious there are feelings between Kasey and Tox and the way the relationship is played out was very well done in my opinion.  I liked how Kendig threw Kasey into the mix, she wasn’t field trained like the others but didn’t let that stop her from pulling her own weight and doing whatever she could to help the team.  The story was tied up nicely at the end but still left open for the next in the series to follow.  I for one can’t wait to see what comes next for Tox and the gang.  I recommend this to anyone that enjoys a good thriller.  There are a few moments of violence that wouldn’t be recommended for a younger audience but overall it is a good clean story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.