Operation Congo by William Meikle

Operation Congo by William Meikle
Publisher: Severed Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Action/Adventure
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A mission to the Congo starts badly for S-Squad and gets worse fast as they trace a team of captured WHO medics to a lost world in the interior.

The Squad are isolated, split up, and face terrors long since thought extinct.

Mokele-mbembe walks this jungle.

And he is not alone.

The S-Squad has been sent deep into the jungles of Congo, far from where even a satellite phone can call for help. A WHO team of medics have been captured and more than just the natives are restless. As usual things quickly move from bad to worse as the team is split up and the monsters start coming from all directions. Can the team and their targets return back to safety?

I absolutely love this series and I was thrilled the Scottish lads finally managed to get a ticket to somewhere warm. I also really enjoyed how a few of the squaddies had some profound growth in their character arcs and this was a true joy to read – along with the big beasties and everyone needing to steer clear of being a tasty snack for the monsters.

If you’ve read even one of the previous books (and I can’t recommend strongly enough you give them all a whirl – this is the best series) you’ll know roughly what to expect. Our team of Scottish heroes are sent into the back of beyond to rescue a group of civilians. Things are nothing like what they appeared to be at first glance and soon monsters are trying to eat everyone in sight.

With loads of bullets flying and more than a few wise cracks from our squaddies this is yet another delightful romp of a book. I was particularly impressed with both the high number (and decent quality and placement) of the quotes managed by the squaddies referencing the movie, Aliens. A few scattered quotes are normal for this series, but in this book the author really outdid himself.

If you’re looking for a complicated plotline or an intricately woven story this won’t suit what you’re after. But if you love a bunch of wise-ass soldiers being brave, fighting the monsters and rollicking along then this is definitely the book for you. I love this series and can strongly recommend them all – especially this addition.

A Team Of One by Brad Lee

A Team Of One by Brad Lee
Publisher: Simply Sensible Entertainment Inc
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Action/Adventure
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Former Navy SEAL “Axe” Southmark is enticed out of retirement to help the analyst and the President. But does he have what it takes to save the world?

As a Navy SEAL, Axe was trained to never give up. But after fifteen years on the front lines, it was time to let younger, faster men take the reins.

When he’s enlisted to help the President’s niece search for both a terrorist on the loose and a traitor in the government, he doesn’t hesitate.

It’s what he does: protects the vulnerable and kills bad guys.

With New York City threatened by a virtuoso bomber, there’s plenty of both to be done.

Will they be able to stop a madman before it’s too late? And is there more to the plot than meets the eye?

Find out in this wild ride of a story.

Former Navy SEAL, Axe is trying to settle into civilian life and find his niche when a former colleague reaches out with an enticing offer from left field. The President’s niece has uncovered some unusual activity in her job as a junior analyst, but unwilling to be treated differently she knows she needs more data. As Haley and Axe begin to uncover more, they realise this goes far deeper – and higher, politically – than either of them could have believed. Can they save New York and the country?

I purchased this book on a whim, having never heard of the author before and boy am I glad I did. This is a deliciously woven story with some excellent characters and a solid pace. I enjoyed the fact a little time was spent at the start showing us who Axe is and what he’s capable of. While still enjoyable the first few chapters were more of a scene-setting pace, easing the reader in and allowing them to get conformable with the author’s writing style and get to know the characters. Readers should also be aware that while this book does have a strong military theme the author has seemed to take great care to keep it primarily plot and character focused – there is plenty of gun, action and military detail here, but the characters and plot always seem to take the primary focus which I loved.

Pretty soon though I found the pace grew quicker and more action orientated. By the time we reached the middle of the story I found it exceptionally difficult to put the book down and to go about daily life. As more pieces of the puzzle came together – and as the Big Bad Plan began to take action – the pace really skyrocketed and all I wanted was to read the next chapter and then the next. Be prepared to stay up later than you expected for this one. It’s been quite some time (like a year or more) since I’ve stayed up into the very early hours on a workday just to read “a little bit more” but I truly just couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.

I really felt the author had a good blend of action and adventure along with plot and characterization. I’m always a little nervous of military-heavy sorts of books because while I enjoy some strong details in the story, I find often military-based outlooks can be a bit gun or weapon heavy. This book had a really good balance I feel, it was realistic and detailed enough to satisfy readers who want every piece of information, but the characters and plotting were also detailed – and fast paced enough – to not have me feel bogged down by this. I also felt that while the “taking over the world” sort of overall plot is not very new, this was a different enough take on that to feel fresh and the action and characters certainly kept my attention focused and I didn’t need to skip forward.

Finally, I also was seriously impressed with some of the plot twists towards the end of the book. A section revolving around the president in particular really impressed me and – for me personally at least – it was a unique, outside-the-box type of solution that I’ve never read before. Even now, days after finishing this book I’m still turning it over in my mind and thinking about the book as a whole and how some of these plot aspects unwound. I found the book as a whole exceptional.

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book and was very happy to see it is part of a series. I had ordered the next two books and the first in a different series by this author before I’d even reached the half way point of reading this. I am quite eager to see what’s in store for Axe and Haley in the next installment. A really enjoyable and fast paced read. Recommended.

Mysterious Island 3: Here Be Dragons by Greig Beck

Mysterious Island 3: Here Be Dragons by Greig Beck
Publisher: Severed Press
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Below the English town of Ipswich a tunnel boring team is digging through solid rock when unexpectedly, they break into an ancient cave system filled with animal bones. Strangely, there were also the remains of men, knights in armor, some crushed, and some seemed to have had their bones and flesh melted. And there was one more thing found: a huge, egg-shaped ruby that glowed like a setting sun.

Just over 2000 miles away, still trapped on the lost island of Lemuria, Troy and Anne know that the time of monstrous beings long thought only existing in our legends or lurking in our nightmares, was returning.

But they now have a chance of escape – they have found the fabled submarine, the Nautilus.

Together, Troy, Anne, the secretive Elle, and the huge Viking woman, Yrsa, work together to break free so they can warn the world of the terror that is coming.

Under the earth on a mysterious island, Troy, Anne, Elle and the huge Viking warrior Yrsa are working together to escape the lost island of Lemuria. They’ve been gone for almost two years, but after surviving death many times they remain determined to return to their world. Will they be successful?

Meanwhile in the town of Ipswich in England a team is boring a tunnel unexpectedly find they break through into an ancient cave system filled with animal bones. The team discover an enormous, egg shaped ruby and all too soon human greed takes over on a journey that can’t be reversed.

This is the third – and technically final – book in the “Mysterious Island” trilogy by Greig Beck. While I do feel this book can be enjoyed by itself and much of the plot is very well explained just be reading this book alone, I do strongly feel the characters, the overall story arc and much of the deeper emotions will be better enjoyed if readers start at the beginning with the first book. I was very relieved and pleased that the bulk of the story throughout this full length novel was centered around Troy, Elle and Anne returning back home. This was the part of the story I was most heavily invested in from the previous two installments.

That said, I thought it was exceedingly clever of Mr. Beck to have incorporated from the beginning a secondary plotline about a new egg/dragon ruby being found in England and the new problems arising from this. A part of me felt very vindicated for Anne – human greed being what it is I nearly despaired of anyone believing her theory about these “dragon rubies” and having Anne proven correct felt wonderful to me. I was also deeply satisfied that even though I felt he was seriously slow on the uptake – Troy finally managed to work out who he could trust and who would turn on him when the opportunity arose.

I must point out that a number of Mr. Beck’s books don’t end on a traditional Happy Ever After (and not even a Happy For Now) style of ending. This is absolutely one of those series. There are a few twists at the end. One of them was fairly clear – to me at least – from early on in this book but another was quite a sharp plot twist right at the end of the book that I really didn’t see coming. Readers who like all their loose threads neatly tied up might not find this to be a fully satisfying ending, so be warned. This also does not have anything close to a traditional ending so readers should be aware of that, as well, going in.

Mr. Beck has loosely mentioned on Facebook that there may be a fourth installment coming. I think I’d be equally fine whether that happened or not. While I completely understand the ending might not be comfortable for everyone and might not be my own personal preference – with exceptional writing, brilliant characters and a fabulous plot a few small niggles can be easily overlooked.

A brilliant trilogy with a solid plot, dragons and Vikings and deep under-ground worlds, adventure and plenty of danger, I feel this book straddles numerous genres and should be a fabulous read for everyone.

Cobalt Blue by Matthew Reilly

Cobalt Blue by Matthew Reilly
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Paranormal
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

For 35 years, the United States and Russia each had their own superhero.

Three days ago, America’s hero died. Today will be bad.

In the face of an overwhelming attack, one young woman – unassuming and anonymous – might be America’s only hope.

Her codename … COBALT BLUE

An accident in the Antarctic unleashed a strange substance and the two infected individuals became the world-renown superheroes – Cobalt from America and the Fury of Russia. In the decades that have followed each have had a number of children – all superheroes in their own right, though only half as powerful as their famous parent. When Cobalt dies, the Fury storms America, devastating the entire country and wreaking havoc. Through the rubble of the damage, it appears the fate of the world rests on the slender shoulders of just one, hidden woman who has never been in the spotlight before. Cobalt Blue.

I really love Matthew Reilly’s books and this was an exceptional stand alone novel that went immediately onto my keepers shelf. With a rollicking fast pace this was an action orientated thrill of a ride and I loved every page. There are a number of moving parts to the plotline and I was really impressed how small sections of the story are in different colours and fonts to help the reader easily understand when perspectives change or something important is said from one of the other colours. There are a few (four or five I believe) colour illustrations that really helped me see and understand exactly the superhero characters that were being described. I really loved this too and it made the book feel even more special than the words and storyline itself.

I can’t say a lot about the plot without giving stuff away, but I was impressed how the main thrust of the plot was very simple – bad guy is trying to destroy the world and good guy tries to stop them – but with about a dozen or so main characters and a number of jumps back and forth in time the book was so much more layered and complicated than at first glance. I also really enjoyed how the story didn’t get bogged down with those layers either, like a good movie the pace kept up a good clip and I easily kept reading for more and more. This is a very hard book to put down.

While there are a few very small aspects to the plot that might not be teen or YA friendly, for the most part I feel this is a book that should appeal to both adults and YA/teen readers. Parents might want to read the book first just to gauge the small parts of plot that are more adult-centric, but I do feel many YA readers will really enjoy this story too.

Fast paced and with some excellent characters and plot this is a great book and one I will absolutely be reading again soon. Recommended.

The Housekeepers by Alex Hay

The Housekeepers by Alex Hay
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group UK
Genre: Historical, Action/Adventure
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Mrs. King is no ordinary housekeeper. Born into a world of con artists and thieves, she’s made herself respectable, running the grandest home in Mayfair. The place is packed with treasures, a glittering symbol of wealth and power, but dark secrets lurk in the shadows.

When Mrs. King is suddenly dismissed from her position, she recruits an eclectic group of women to join her in revenge: A black market queen out to settle her scores. An actress desperate for a magnificent part. A seamstress dreaming of a better life. And Mrs. King’s predecessor, with her own desire for vengeance.

Their plan? On the night of the house’s highly anticipated costume ball—set to be the most illustrious of the year—they will rob it of its every possession, right under the noses of the distinguished guests and their elusive heiress host. But there’s one thing Mrs. King wants even more than money: the truth. And she’ll run any risk to get it…

After all, one should never underestimate the women downstairs.

Mrs. King has worked in the most illustrious home in Mayfair since she was a teenager. Now the housekeeper, having worked her way up throughout her whole life, she is suddenly dismissed with no character and no references. Determined to take her revenge, she knows exactly who to turn to – other working women who have been similarly treated poorly. So on the night of the biggest ball for the season, these women are planning their own grand event, the biggest heist of the century.

I am always a sucker for a really good heist novel and the fact this book was set in the middle of 1905 and has a cast predominantly of women – and “downstairs” working women at that – only made me more eager to give this book a try. And I was really happy with the story as a whole. The characters were believable and multi-layered, the plot was logical and for the most part quite believable too. This is the author’s debut novel and the story stood very well by itself and I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything from previous installments. I was really happy with the story.

The first half or so is the preparation phase really. The cast had to all get together and for such an enormous task there was obviously a lot to set up and prepare – so getting to see the workings of all this was really good. I also felt the pace of this part of the story was really well handled. The author didn’t skim by it which I was pleased about since this is clearly a massive part of the plot and the story itself. But I didn’t feel like this part dragged too slowly either. Much like any heist movie the setting up of the parts, the organizing and planning beforehand is of almost equal importance to the actual “go night” itself. Without proper planning and structure put in place the main event simply won’t happen. So, reading through all that really helped sell the book and event to me. Equally – the actual heist night was about the latter half of the book along with the repercussions, so I felt this was really well handled as well.

With interesting, complicated characters who all have their own reasons and agenda’s along with a lovely plot of the heist itself this was an interesting and many layered story that I really enjoyed and can strongly recommend.

Gone To Ground by Bronwyn Hall

Gone To Ground by Bronwyn Hall
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers Australia
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A heart-in-the-mouth and utterly addictive adventure thriller from a phenomenal debut Australian talent.

UN surgeon Rachel Forester is posted at a remote medical clinic deep in the jungle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With violence escalating in the region, Dr Forester risks her life by remaining to tend an injured child while the rest of her team evacuates. On the cusp of her final desperate chance to leave, a soldier is carried into the camp by three other members of his unit, his condition so critical, his airlift must take priority over hers.

With no help coming, and in the path of warring militias, this small unit must flee through the heart of the jungle to reach the safety of the province capital. But in the dark wilderness lies a strangling web of crime and corruption. As they get deeper, they discover a sinister mining operation and stolen children with evidence indicating shadowy ties to the UN. But aren’t those the people Dr Forester works for? The only people who know she’s still lost out there? And now, the people who want her dead?

The further they delve, the more the web closes around them. Will they make it out alive?

Dr Rachel Forester is an Australian working with the UN deep in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. What was meant to be one week delivering much needed vaccines to the tribal children living in the remote jungle areas has turned into more than a month. But with the violence escalating she and her one remaining nurse, Michael, are about to be evacuated when the fighting suddenly explodes and – while saving a Canadian soldier – Rachel finds herself fleeing with the military team into the jungle in a rush for their lives.

I picked up this book on a whim having never heard of the author but the blurb and first few pages really captured my attention. I’m so glad I listened to my instincts as this is absolutely one of the best books I’ve read this year – and possibly a new “must read” author for myself. I found this book had a really wonderful blend of action, adventure, military plotline combined with medical attention and a small hint of romance amongst the mystery/suspense. I never would have guessed this was the authors debut novel – but Google assures me this is Ms. Hall’s first novel. I found the plotlines, pacing and writing exceptional and really enjoyed this read.

Readers who like very strong military (ie loads of description about the guns/weaponry/helicopters etc) might not find this quite to their tastes. While there is ample description for me – I’m more of a reader who enjoys the plot/character lines and I am very satisfied with enough description for me to imagine what’s going on without needing to go overboard on the army/military angle. I was pretty pleased there were a few plots interweaving throughout the whole story – as well as a very slowly simmering romance which is given very little screen time but just enough to keep you guessing will they/won’t they.

I feel this story should appeal to a wide range of readers and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve already noted for myself that I want to buy the next book (another stand alone it appears) and I am eager to see if Ms. Hall’s second book matches the highly satisfactory outcome of her first. A really enjoyable book and one I will reread very soon.

Firebreak by Richard Stark

Firebreak by Richard Stark
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Action/Adventure
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Between Parker’s 1961 debut and his return in the late 1990s, the whole world of crime changed. Now fake IDs and credit cards had to be purchased from specialists; increasingly sophisticated policing made escape and evasion tougher; and, worst of all, money had gone digital—the days of cash-stuffed payroll trucks were long gone.

But cash isn’t everything: Flashfire and Firebreak find Parker going after, respectively, a fortune in jewels and a collection of priceless paintings. In Flashfire, Parker’s in West Palm Beach, competing with a crew that has an unhealthy love of explosions. When things go sour, Parker finds himself shot and trapped—and forced to rely on a civilian to survive. Firebreak takes Parker to a palatial Montana “hunting lodge” where a dot-com millionaire hides a gallery of stolen old masters—which will fetch Parker a pretty penny if his team can just get it past the mansion’s tight security. The forests of Montana are an inhospitable place for a heister when well-laid plans fall apart, but no matter how untamed the wilderness, Parker’s guaranteed to be the most dangerous predator around.

Parker is brought in on an interesting heist by two colleagues he’s worked well within the past. This time it’s the Montana refuge of a dot com billionaire and his very well secured mini art gallery that’s in the team’s sights. With plenty of security the team’s tech is positive he can overcome they’re keen to get the many priceless paintings. Only someone is on Parker’s tail and the team is on a tight timeframe. Can they make it work?

I’ve found the Parker heist series to be an absolute gem. Tersely written and somewhat gritty, this series might have been around for a while but it solidly holds up to time. Some things – like heisters planning and executing a heist – simply doesn’t go out of fashion to my mind. Parker himself also holds true. Focused, driven and coldly professional he’s an anti-hero but one of the absolute best to my mind and still somehow the character you’re rooting for most. Even if I’d not want to try and carry out a conversation with him.

Stark’s usual formula is also at play here. The book is divided up into four sections and they each weave perfectly together. Readers who pick this up and are new to the series are in for a treat – these are like a block of the very best chocolate or a packet of your favourite treats. Once you start you simply want another then another. The pacing is excellent – fast enough you get carried away by the action and heist itself, but not so fast you can’t work out exactly what’s happening. The characters are leanly written and there’s virtually no flourishes at all to the writing – it’s like an older, hard-boiled kind of detective novel in all the best ways.

An excellent heist story with a small but intriguing set of characters and an exceptional writing style that gives you everything you need and a few good twists in the plot I found this to be a wonderful story and another addition to a series that’s one of my absolute favourites. Recommended.

Saltwater Sorrows by Rhonda Parrish (editor)

Saltwater Sorrows by Rhonda Parrish (editor)
Publisher: Tyche Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller, LGBTQ, Paranormal, Romance, Historical, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Deep, mysterious, beautiful . . . dangerous . . .

Women and the sea have been tied together in myth and story from the beginning of time. Tales of women being drawn to the sea or being left on the shore, waiting for their men’s return, have been passed down through the ages.

But what mysteries lie beneath the sparkling placid waters? What power drives the wind and waves crashing against the shore? There is transformation and exaltation—magic—in the ocean and women alike. And both know that while the sea gives, the sea also takes.

Sink into the icy depths of the ocean with these stories by: E.E. King; Natalie Cannon; Morgan Melhuish; Paul A. Hamilton; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Sarah Van Goethem; Adria Laycraft; Dino Parenti; B. Zelkovich; Lisa Carreiro; Lea Storry; Nikoline Kaiser; Elin Olausson; Chandra Fisher; Hayley Stone; V.F. LeSann; Catherine MacLeod; and Jennifer R. Donohue.

Safety isn’t guaranteed, but magic is.

Adelia lost multiple relatives to the sea in “Salt in Our Blood, Salt in Our Tears.” When she grew older, she attempted to figure out a way to keep her loved ones safe while they were on the water. I loved her determination and grit and couldn’t stop reading until I’d learned her fate. She wasn’t a wealthy or powerful woman, so anything she accomplished took every ounce of energy and luck she could scrounge up. This was one of my favorite instalments, and I’d love to read a sequel to it someday if the author ever writes one.

In “The Ghost of Violet Gray,” Arthur was distracted by a mysterious woman while surveying a beach to see how much damage the erosion on it was doing to the historic properties that lined the shore. The descriptions of the beach and the stately old homes that had weathered so many storms were beautiful. I would have happily remained in this tale for much longer, especially once my suspicions about how the plot might turn out began to be confirmed. This was a gorgeous snapshot of how the past can be honored by a community who also must adjust to an ever-changing coastline that can’t safely be used in the same way it was before.

“Glass, Paper, Salt” explored how a small group of strangers reacted to a zombie outbreak. The combination of references to zombies, mermaids, and the sea surprised me, especially once I realized how logically the characters were thinking about their longterm chances of survival now that their world was falling apart. This is one of those stories that works best if new readers walk into it unaware of what is coming. I only mentioned the zombies in this review because of how quickly they appeared in the text, but I will leave the rest of the creative plot twists up for others to discover for themselves. It was yet another excellent addition to this book.

One of the biggest reasons why I gave this anthology a full five-star rating was how beautifully different each tale was from one another. Some of them were heavy, difficult, but deeply meaningful reads, while a few were surprisingly light and airy given the dark theme. I wish I had the time and space to review every single one of them in this review. It was tricky to narrow down my selections to only a few! I’d recommend reading this with an open mind and while making as few assumptions about what might happen next as possible. There were so many gems included here.

Saltwater Sorrows was the perfect snapshot of the ever-changing nature of the sea.

Operation Mongolia by William Meikle

Operation Mongolia by William Meikle
Publisher: Severed Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Action/Adventure
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

It’s supposed to be a routine job, walking a pair of stranded archaeologists out of the Gobi Desert.

But when the rains come unexpectedly, S-Squad’s troubles are only starting.

There is something in the sand, something red and wriggling.

Thirsty for water.

Hungry for flesh.

When Captain Banks and his team of squaddies are told to head over to the Gobi Desert and collect two archaeologists stranded with Chinese Rebels nearby the entire team hopes they will finally have a simple, regular assignment. And all is going well, initially. They meet up with the two boffins, the squad is ready for the long walk out of the desert to their rendezvous point with a helicopter. Everything is all sorted out. Only then the rains hit and something red, wriggling and with plenty of teeth is waiting for them under the sand – and these critters are thirsty.

I absolutely love this series and am eagerly working my way through them all. They are quite short stories – about 130 pages each or so – but filled with oversized, B-grade monsters, the squaddies are believable, utterly ribald and a bunch of laughs, and usually the plot isn’t overly complicated. I find them wonderful escape fiction when work or life is dragging me down a bit. If you want something deeply plotted, or with a complex puzzle then this isn’t the series you’ll want to grab. If you’re in the mood for something lighthearted with plenty of shoot ‘em up style, a few crass and tasteless jokes and banter with a whole bunch of action and big monster sized beasties – this will suit you perfectly.

I do like how a number of the squaddies are now becoming quite familiar. These books can all absolutely be read independently of each other – and in virtually any order – though I did notice there were a few single sentence long Easter Eggs recalling previous adventures in a few places that really made me chuckle. I found personally it really added a nice zing to the story for me, but I absolutely feel readers who find this book by itself should be very happy to crack it open and give it a try having not read anything previously by this author.

A rambunctious and fun read, this was a lovely lazy afternoon I feel was very well spent. Recommended.

Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties by Tom Watson

Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties by Tom Watson
Stick Cat, book 1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Contemporary, Childrens (ages 6-12), Action/Adventure
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

There’s a new pet in town: Stick Cat!

Perfect for fans of the Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Timmy Failure, and Stick Dog books, Stick Cat features Tom Watson’s trademark combination of laughs, adventure, and hilarious stick-figure drawings.

It’s a big day in the big city for Stick Cat and his best friend, Edith. There are treasures to hunt, songs to sing, pigeons to catch, and naps to take. But way up on the twenty-third floor, danger lurks just around the corner. Terrible noises and violent crashes trap a desperate man in the building across the alley. Stick Cat will need to navigate his way across the alley—and around Edith’s peculiar ways—to attempt a rescue.

Stick Cat’s high-wire act is sure to please cat lovers and Stick Dog fans everywhere—even reluctant readers.

A brave cat and a big adventure with a friend.

Readers who like pictures with their story, but need more of a chapter book format will love this book. It’s cute, has adventure and a lesson to be learned – without being too bold about that lesson. The story moves along well and kept my attention. I’m sure it will for my younger reader friends, too.

Stick Cat likes to have playdates with his friend Edith. They play with cat toys and sleep and are cats. That’s what they do. They also listen to music played by Mr. Music in the piano building across the way. When an accident causes Mr. Music to get hurt, it’s up to Stick Cat to help save him. The way the story enfolds is fascinating and had me on the edge of my seat to know more. I mean, how was Stick Cat, on the 23rd floor, going to help Mr. Music? There are thrills, chills and it’s all fantastic. Plus, there’s a lesson in how to be a friend, how to work with your friend and that sometimes stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t bad.

If you’re interested in cats, adventure and friendship, then this is the book for you. Give it a try!