Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Velocity (Judd Bell & Corey Purchase #1)

Title: Velocity (Judd Bell & Corey Purchase #1)
Author: Steve Worland
ISBN: 9781921901102
Date Published: August 2012
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Pages: 344

 The MAN - an astronaut who has lost his mojo

The MISSION - to seek and destroy a hijacked space shuttle

The CARGO - enough weapons grade Uranium-235 to irradiate Manhattan

The STAKES - the woman he loves and the fate of a city

Strap in for a supersonic ride as 'Velocity' blasts off at mach speed. From NASA's Cape Canaveral to the Central Australian desert, screenwriter Steve Worland's debut thriller sets a heart-stopping pace. A cast of brilliant characters combined with explosive action make this hugely enjoyable novel a genuine blockbuster.

Before I dive into this review, I have a little story to tell about this book. I was looking for something to read last month and I came across this book on my "To Read" list. So I grab my Nook and go to download it. But it's not available! And I hate it when that happens. For some reason, I see it as a challenge ... OH, you don't want me to read this book, Barnes & Noble?!? Well, guess what, I'm totally going to use my Kindle app then!! That will show B & N! 

But it wasn't available on Amazon either. In ANY format. So then I started checking the web. I was going to read this damn book! I started perusing the web, looking for any place that I could buy this book. I found it on two sites. Yay!! And then I saw that the shipping was close to $30!! Boo! That's highway robbery! I guess that's what you get when it's coming from Australia. 

Wait ... Australia? And that sent me looking into the author, Steve Worland, to see what he's all about. Come to find out, he's written tons of scripts for TV shows but also for Bootmen! BOOTMEN!! (Bootmen happens to be one of my absolute favorite movies, it stars Adam Garcia (Coyote Ugly) and Sam Worthington (Avatar) - go watch it!) Anyway, so I found out that he wrote Bootmen and I damn near passed out. I had a bit of a flashback moment from when I met Matchbox Twenty ... on both occasions, I may have squealed and/or done a little dance. But I'll never admit it. 

At this point, I'm getting my hands on this book. I don't care what has to happen. I have to read it. My curiosity is eating me alive! So I decide to send (the amazing writer) Steve Worland a message and ask him where I can find his book in the United States. Embarrassingly enough, I even gushed about how much I LOVE Bootmen. I wanted to smack myself in the forehead because instead of a 33 year old woman, I sounded like an idiot teenager. For a moment, I even hoped that Worland wouldn't respond to my message. But thank goodness he did!! He is the nicest guy in the world and to my utter dismay and surprise, he even sent me a copy of Velocity since I adore Bootmen so much. 

Okay, all of that being said ... I am going to give a completely honest opinion of the book. My interaction with Worland and my love of Bootmen will not sway my thoughts or feelings on the book at all. It totally should, though. Bootmen kicks butt. 

So ... diving in ... Velocity took me a bit by surprise. I don't know what I was expecting but it definitely wasn't what I encountered on that first page. Reading a new (to me) author, I try to go in with an open mind ... no prejudgements or expectations. You get thrown into the story right away. There's no ... meet this character or here's some background info. No, you are right there in the middle of things immediately. And while it felt like being pushed into the deep end, I found it pretty refreshing. 

You don't know from one paragraph to the next what the end result is going to be with Velocity. Just when you think you know what is going on or whose side someone is on ... oh, no you don't. You're wrong. I grew attached to a few of the characters pretty early in the book ... I don't know why ... but there was this one bad guy that I was actually rooting for when he met an untimely demise. That was a bit shocking. I had to put the book down for the rest of the day on that one. And the kicker is that he wasn't even this super important character! I think it may be because Worland writes these ... lifelike ... characters that you grow attached to very quickly. 

I really found myself getting wrapped up in this book. It reads like a movie and by that, I mean that it reads in such an explosive and animated way that it's really brought to life as you read. The main character is named Judd and he's one of those characters that you can't get enough of - I have to read more about him. Man, is he messed up. Such a perfectly flawed character and I can't wait to see what he gets into in the next installment. 

So why didn't this awesome novel get five stars, you may be asking. Well, first of all, this is an amazing book. I'll definitely read it again and I'll be reading the remainder of the series. It only fell short because the first couple of chapters were a bit confusing with all of the technicalities of all this equipment that was being used and the large number of characters in the beginning ... there were quite a few and I did have a hard time keeping up with them. And all of the technical data ... did that make the book hard to understand? No. With all of the info that was given, you would think that it would read like a manual but it doesn't, it was just a little overwhelming at first.

But that's it. A great read - especially if you like the whole astronaut/pilot/military-esque book. Which I happen to love. I thought that I was going to have a huge hole in my future library where these types of books reside because on of my top 3 favorite authors passed away this year ... Vince Flynn. But it looks like Worland novels will fit right in. Sigh. Such a good book!!

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