The Milan Job by Krista Cagg Blog Tour – Excerpt and Review

2020, Book Reviews, By Year

Happy Sunday!! Today is my stop for the Milan Job Blog Tour by Psst Promotions! Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in my very first blog tour. I had a blast of a time reading this and putting together this post.

For this tour, I’ll be sharing an excerpt and my review of the book!


Meet Captain Alexandria de Sade, the proud and once loyal captain of Naviwerks chrono-ship #25.
When she learned the truth about how the company was fleecing their customers she turned her back on the promotion they offered her, left the man she loved without a word, and disappeared with her ship.

With a plan in mind to undermine Naviwerks’ business of artifact and heirloom retrieval, Captain Alex hired on several like-minded misfits to crew her chrono-ship which she re-christened The William’s Hunt. They are: An awkward but genius Horotech, an irascible ex-marine, a flamboyant playboy, a churlish physician, and a hot-shot pilot.

Their first venture: go to Milan, Italy 1490 and retrieve the working model of Leonardo da Vinci’s Gran Cavallo before Naviwerks does. What should have been a simple snatch and run mission for the newly formed band of pirates goes south nearly immediately. In their struggle to recover, they learn that there is much more behind Naviwerks’ actions. Captain Alex and the crew of The William’s Hunt are the only ones that stand a chance of putting things right, and it seems as if her crew’s every step takes them deeper and deeper into discovering just how nefarious Naviwerks truly is.


Print Length: 203 pages
Publisher: Corrugated Sky Publishing, LLC (January 18, 2020)
Publication Date: January 18, 2020
Language: English
ASIN: B083VQV8SR
ISBN10: 1950903141
ISBN13: 978-1950903146
Buy it now on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ybh2xekw

Excerpt:

Agent Nash was crouched amongst some scrub on the side of a hill that overlooked the walls of Milan. It was mid-morning when they arrived. He had watched them come down the road in the cart then had shifted his position to one knee. With well-practiced movements, he removed from the sack beside him pieces of a rifle to assemble. All the while he kept his eyes on the target. Line of sight was perfect, but from this distance his point of interest was unclear. With steady motions the rifle clicked together piece by piece as the cart drew closer to his position. 

The final piece to fit into place was the tubular sighting apparatus. He polished the magnifying glass on the end with a soft piece of chamois, and then put the rifle butt to his shoulder so he could peer through the sight. Some might find the motion of the world through the lens nauseating, but it didn’t affect Nash as he swung the rifle from side to side until the passengers of the cart came into view.

He observed them for a few moments. Anger welled up within him to see them, the traitors. Other similar emotions tried to join that sentiment, but the neural therapy worked within his brain and suppressed them, as it was designed to do. Nash hadn’t even noticed the adjustments. He simply made use of the focus that remained to load a plasma cartridge into the rifle. He would need only one.

He returned the rifle to his shoulder as he shifted his crouch to allow for recoil, and then he brought his target into view through the lens. He took a moment to admire her. Even Naviwerks and their nanotechnology couldn’t eliminate basic human behavior, and she was certainly worth a second look. But that didn’t change the fact that she was a renegade, a thief, and would-be pirate. His orders were clear.

His finger slid through the trigger guard and curled around the small metal arm as he took aim. “Hello, Alex.”

BLAM!

Review:

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

For a while now, I’ve been searching for a good Steampunk book. There’s probably a couple in my TBR list, but I never actually got around to reading any of them. So, when I was sent an email about a blog tour featuring Steampunk, floating ships, strong female characters, time travel, and pirates that have a better moral compass than the antagonists (the “good guys” of the world)…yeah! I was picking it up!

What really caught my attention was Captain Alexandria de Sade. She sounded like a badass Captain, leaving her old employment and stealing an entire ship on her way out! She sounded cool and I’m all for a cool female protagonist especially one that’s now a pirate!

The great monopoly of a company, Naviwerk, is known to make generous contribution to mankind and history by using time travel to retrieve long lost artifacts, antiques, and family heirlooms for their clients; families and museums. They are quite successful in their business…a product of charging these families and museums insane prices for turning over those artifacts that they retrieved from history. Big corrupted businesses do not fly well with Alex and she refuses a promotion before leaving the company, stealing one of Naviwerk’s chrono-ships on her way out!

The book, The Milan Job, is a compilation of five shorts, episodes, written by Krista Cagg and starts off with the introduction of the former hopelessly unemployed Laurence Kane on the first day of his job. He’s quickly picked up by Nigel Wellington III (the historian) to board the chrono-ship. Laurence eventually meets the rest of the crew: the scary and quick to anger ex-marine turned security officer, Gerald (Geri) Reynolds, the crew’s not quite friendly doctor, Abraham Hennessey, the Pilot, Angelica (Angel) Flynn, and of course Captain Alexandria de Sade.

Third person is my favorite POV and, naturally, I come across a good deal of them, but this is probably my first experience with an omniscient third person POV (and I had to look it up) where there’s more of an overseer to the story and not just to a limited single character’s thoughts or actions. The first time I caught on to this was when, during his tour of the ship, Laurence noticed the lack of luxurious seating that he might have expected to find in the ship’s dining hall, which was decorated to be suitable for even nobility. This comes up again when the reader spends a little time, in the following chapter, with Angel and Alex having a private conversation and this line pops up as the narrator goes to describe Alex’s chair:

“Here were the plush accommodations Mr. Kane had expected in the mess hall.”

It was just something interesting to note upon (at least…it is for someone, like me, whose has never read anything but limited perspective 3rd POVs).

Overall, I enjoyed the book! It was a pleasant and a quick read and while you might have tons of questions by the end of the book, you’re never left stranded without a life jacket here. World building and technical terms of horotechnology, chronotechnology, and time travel is well explained in this book. There is a lot of detail and I really mean…there’s a lot of detail. On one hand, I loved the details because…guess whose never lost?? On the other hand, there are readers that may find this as a turn off.

Not only is the technology well described here, but it includes every single little detail you would need to completely picture the scene, from the details of Alex’s chair (the finishes, the type of wood, the pattern of the etchings) down to Nigel’s fingernails (which Laurence noted to be well-manicured). It’s amazing the level of detail being placed here. For me, I didn’t mind it but it’s something to note on. This was my first steampunk and while I have a good grasp on what cyberpunk might look like, I struggled to picture the chrono-ship because it’s just…so out of my imagination’s grasp.

The crew is a ragtag bunch with only the best of the best (and did I mention ragtag groups are one of my favorite troupes?). We have a comical playboy of a historian and a grumbling retired (but caring) physician. Laurence, I especially liked. I have a soft spot for the poor socially awkward lad. He reminds me so much of myself on my first day on any new job, bumbling, anxious and awkward, and tripping over his own clumsy thoughts. An unrecognized genius, who previously couldn’t find any employment, Laurence is the newbie to the crew and he’s trying his best to see where he fits his personality and talents into this group of people who seem to all already know each other (anyone new to a previously established friend group can relate). Angel knows her stuff as a pilot (a “hot shot pilot” even better at flying ships than Alex) and when I first met Alex, I fell in love. She was calm and cold; she was so cool (I literally said that out loud to myself). She just exuded a commanding vibe.

The pros and cons:

What I loved about this book was the storyline. We’re talking about time travel via a ship that runs off steam, electricity and stimulated atoms. We’re talking about pirates who have a moral compass better than the “big generous corporation that provides historical contributions to museums and retrieve lost antiques and heirlooms to families.” We’re talking about a cool captain with her handpicked and talented ragtag bunch of crew-members. We’re talking about big corrupt corporations. We’re talking about steampunk…all in one book.

I loved that the gang is small. This book gives off Fire Emblem vibes; a small group of six people against a monopoly of a corporation (and thus it’s “we got what we got” versus a corporation with what seems like endless funds to expend on their goals and evil plans). Yet, even with only six people, they manage to do well because each member is brilliant in their own roles. Even our bumbling bundle of nerves, Mr. Laurence Kane, the horotechnologist, is a confident and a capable man of genius ideas and great inventions. When he’s placed in the right environment (say in front of a chrono-engine), Laurence will forget his nerves and notices only the oh so beautiful engine, forgetting about his surroundings.

The concept behind horotechnology and chronotechnology is mind blowing in the fact that…the idea behind time travel, this that world, is so…simple and yet so complicated and complex. With a bit of electricity, steam, and stimulated atoms you could punch through time! I had tons of questions by the end on time travel, of which I’m sure would be answered in the following books.

There was one thing that I did not like and it was pretty disappointing. One of the main reasons that I was so interested in this book was because of the strong and proud, Alex . However, she and Angel did not get much of “screen time” or scene time. She comes in with a sword and plasma pistol but both weapons are unused because…well…she never got to be part of the action. She’s still the mentally strong and ready to kill you with a glare woman I expected out of her, but I had expected something a tad bit more.

However, this is the first volume and it’s mentioned that there’s more to come. This volume gives you a taste of the world, setting, conflict, and the characters as they begin their involvement with something far bigger than previously imagined. The pacing isn’t too slow. There isn’t a lot of character development yet as The Milan Job helps to give you a peek of everyone’s personalities, quirks, talent/abilities, and where they fit into this crew. A small team, everyone has their own place to belong. So, despite the lack of attention to a couple characters, I am sure they will be further fleshed in the future as everyone gets their fair share of adventures. A great and quick read!

About the Author:

According to her mother, Krista has lived in her own imagination since birth. The real world let her down. It was, frankly, boring beyond belief. After she discovered fantasy novels and comics there was no going back. This didn’t win her any popularity contests (or dates) until after high school. Art school introduced her to other geeks and the wonderful world of AD&D. A love for RP eventually led to LARP (the goth/vampire era of her life). Finally, sci-fi/fantasy/fandom conventions introduced her to the beautiful world of Steampunk. Music. Clothing. And books. She dove into the books she took a shine to and absorbed them. But something was missing. She wasn’t satisfied. During her recovery from neck surgery something she’d heard somewhere stuck out in her mind: “If you can’t find the stories you want to read then write them yourself.” On a couch in Savannah, GA. with Sons of Anarchy playing in the background, The William’s Hunt began.
Currently, Krista lives in her home town in Pennsylvania with five cats, a husband, and a weiner dog, Pete, who watches from the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
Check out her website: https://www.kristacaggauthor.com/ and follow her on social media.

First Line Friday

Tea Corner (Blog)

08.21.2020 > Past, Present, and Future

About a year ago, I was wandering through some Etsy shops and had come across a little shop called FortuneJars that sold jars of origami stars with prompts in the middle. Some jars were daily positive affirmations, some were self-care stars, and there was even a jar of TBR prompts! Well, bored out of my mind, with no books lined up as my next read, and not yet introduced to the book [writers/readers] community (now I have TOO many books I want to read), I was inspired and wanted to start my own little TBR jar. Too bad I didn’t have a jar. So instead, I printed out strips of first line quotes, folded them up, and threw them into a…..ziplock bag :’)

First Line Friday is nothing new, but it’s fun, easy, and anyone can participate. All you have to do is grab a book, find the first line/sentence, and share it with others! Remember to put up the titles and authors so others can find the books too!

This week, I wanted to share three quotes: One for a book I’ve already read, one for a book I’m currently reading, and one for a book that’s in my TBR.

Past: Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Adamat wore his coat tight, top buttons fastened against a wet night air that seemed to want to drown him.

Present: The Eye of The World by Robert Jordan

The palace still shook occasionally as the earth rumbled in memory, groaned as if it would deny what had happened.

Future: Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

The stains of rust seemed to map blood seas on the black, pocked surface of Mock’s Vane.

Teaser Tuesday

Tea Corner (Blog)

8.18.20 > The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

It’s Teaser Tuesday! A weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker where all you have to do is to grab your current read, pick a random page, and select a non-spoiler sentence or two (from somewhere on that page) to share! If you enjoy the teaser, you might even want to add it to your own TBR!

Remember to share the title and author so others can find the book too!

This Week’s Book is The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva!!

((Siri! QUICK! HELP me Pick a Random Number Between 1 and 281!))
The Existence Of Amy
Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description is >HERE<

Goodreads Summary:

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

Teaser Location: ~33% of the book

“Think nice thoughts. Think nice thoughts. Don’t think about the chair. Think nice thoughts. Don’t think about the chair. Think nice thoughts. Think nice thoughts.”
I eventually drift off into a disruptive sleep. Did I make the right decision? Should I have just stayed awake and kept my head protected away from any contact with the chair?

This Week in Reading

Tea Corner (Blog)

[08.17.2020] >> Busy Weekends, Reading Slumps, and New August TBR Addition

I’ve been reading “The Milan Job” in pieces throughout last week and managed to get through 50% of the book just by occasionally glancing at my phone [on a mobi reading app] throughout the day at work. It feels like nothing major MAJOR has happened just yet so I’m intrigued on what the remaining 50% has in stock for me. So far, I’m impressed and I have quite a lot of thoughts on the book already, but more on that for the actual review. I had saved this weekend to finish up the book, but things got extra busy on my end for both Saturday and Sunday…I think I need a break from my break 😂

WoT has been on the back-burner for a couple of weeks now…I hate that it’s giving me the slumps because I was just so excited to get into this series. I’ve seen this book mentioned on countless forums, booktweets, and on booktube as one of the “must reads” of fantasy. When I got the notification that it was ready for pick up at the Amazon Locker, I jumped up and rushed out to grab it. I don’t hate the book in any way and I’m actually adoring the writing style so I can’t figure out why I’m so…stuck…
The formatting (mass market paperback) might be a contributing factor to why I’m having such a hard time with “The Eye of the World” or maybe it’s because I’ve been simply too busy to read a physical book, but whatever the case…I’m hoping to get the train rolling again soon.

Lastly, I have a new addition to my August TBR list, “The Existence of Amy” by Lana Grace Riva! The author had reached out to me, via email, a little while back to see if I was interested in reviewing the book (I said yes) and the book arrived about a week ago. I’m so excited to read it. WoT has been my only physical book since Reaper: Drone Strike back in May (…wow!) and being a Mass Market Paperback…the font is so small and crammed together that when I opened up “The Existence of Amy” my first impression was “Wow I love the font” :’). I’ll make a separate reading update post about the book once I get started on it.

Any hoots…I am getting restless and pumped to read again so I’m hoping this upcoming and brand new week is the one to break me out of reading slump jail!

Toodles my sleepy peeps…keep cozy and keep sipping tea.
Remember to stay hydrated!

August TBR [Maybes]

Tea Corner (Blog)

I finished July in a burst of last minute adrenaline. Three books took everything out of me so I’m hoping August will be a little less busy. While my list here is a bit extensive (for me) and maybe pushing it, I’m hoping that I can get through at least 2 or 3 of the books on this TBR and hopefully, if miracles can happen, I might finish the first book of WoT too 😅

Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America by George Mahood

32453157. sx318
Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

Again, I went on a Amazon hunt for any new “Free to Read” books. The first of the two books I picked out, for this month, is “Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America” by George Mahood. I know nothing else about this book besides that it’s a book about a road trip between two British guys and the last time I read a travel book, I loved it, so I might as well try another one.

Goodreads Summary:

Two Brits, George and Mark, set off from New York City to explore the back roads of America. In this calamity-ridden travel tale, George sets out in true clichéd fashion to discover the real America.
Throw in plenty of run-ins with the police, rapidly dwindling finances and Josephine – the worst car in the world – and you have all the ingredients for a classic American road trip. Will George and Mark make it all the way to California?
And then there is Rachel, George’s girlfriend, left back in England. Would travelling to the United States without her turn out to be the stupidest decision he had ever made?

The Light in the Hallway by Amanda Prowse

45891138
Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

I loved my first Amanda Prowse book, “The Day She Came Back” which also happened to be my first Netgalley read. It was the first time I cried so much that I started to keep a cry count (not even kidding). The first chapter made me cry, the last chapter made me cry, every other chapter in the middle made me cry, the book was Niagara Falls inducing!

So when I found an Amanda Prowse book on the Prime Reading list, I was overjoyed. This is one of the books I really hope I can get to during this month!

Goodreads Summary:

When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsure how to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly.
In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy?
And in the aftermath of tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?

The Milan Job by Krista Cagg

50536796. sy475
Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

The most exciting part of August is here! I’ll be taking part of my first book tour hosted by Psst Promotions! I’ll be sharing an excerpt and a review for this book towards the end of August so look forward to it (because I sure am!!) Finally a Steampunk book that suits my extra picky tastes :’) I’m…really…REALLY excited…! I read the first few pages and already have this bubbly giddy feeling in my tummy.

I’ve been craving a steampunk-like book for a long long time and it’s been an even longer time since I last read a book with a decent female protagonist that doesn’t fall into my least favorite trope where the female protagonist starts out strong…only to need rescuing by her love interest (I’m 80% sure it’s called the “Damsel in Distress” trope). The book comprises of five episodes in roughly 200 pages. I’m gearing up for a good time reading these shorts (which I’ve come to discover that I love). Paired with one of my favorite tropes (the “ragtag bunch of misfits”) I can only expect an exciting and adventurous read.

Goodreads Summary:

Meet Captain Alexandria de Sade, the proud and once loyal captain of Naviwerks chrono-ship #25. When she learned the truth about how the company was fleecing their customers she turned her back on the promotion they offered her, left the man she loved without a word, and disappeared with her ship.
With a plan in mind to undermine Naviwerks’ business of artifact and heirloom retrieval, Captain Alex hired on several like-minded misfits to crew her chrono-ship which she re-christened The William’s Hunt. They are: An awkward but genius Horotech, an irascible ex-marine, a flamboyant playboy, a churlish physician, and a hot-shot pilot.
Their first venture: go to Milan, Italy 1490 and retrieve the working model of Leonardo da Vinci’s Gran Cavallo before Naviwerks does. What should have been a simple snatch and run mission for the newly formed band of pirates goes south nearly immediately. In their struggle to recover, they learn that there is much more behind Naviwerks’ actions. Captain Alex and the crew of The William’s Hunt are the only ones that stand a chance of putting things right,and it seems as if her crew’s every step takes them deeper and deeper into discovering just how nefarious Naviwerks truly is.
All five of the monthly episodes of the maiden voyage of The William’s Hunt are collected here in The Milan Job! Follow Captain Alex, Laurence Kane, Geri Reynolds, Nigel Wellington, Dr. Hennessey, and Angel Flynn as they try to stay one step ahead of Naviwerks and Agent Nash, all the while making a grab for the swag that will keep The William’s Hunt in operation.

Walks with Sam: A Man, a Dog, and a Season of Awakening by David W. Berner

48772922
Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

My Netgalley selection of the month is another, “Read Now” book. I had waltzed into the wrong section earlier, my exhaustion-cloud hazed eyes and my cotton candy brain had mistook the humor section for the horror section (again!) and went through 3 scary summaries before realizing I was in the wrong section and promptly hopped right off. I spent a good few seconds in the humor section before giving “Nature and Outdoors” a try. to my surprise, the genre isn’t all “garden guides” like I had assumed…An ARC with a publication date of August 28th, I hope to finish this before then and get a review up maybe a day or two beforehand.

Goodreads Summary:

A man, his dog, and a long walk can lead to unexpected discoveries. In the tradition of many literary walkers, David W. Berner sets out on foot hoping to reexamine his life, look back and forward, and most importantly, through the help of his young dog, Sam, try to find harmony in new beginnings and the uncertainties of the present.
In a series of chapters, each dedicated to one walk during a summer of hiking, the author finds that it is his beloved pet that allows him to awaken to a new spirit of mindfulness, finding beauty, wonder, and comfort in the ordinary, and to see a life, a neighborhood, and even a country with brand new eyes.

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

944073. sx318 sy475
Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

Now this one is really pushing it. Every time I look up recommendations for epic fantasies, the same few series keep popping up and one of them is The First Law series. I’ve read a Mark Lawrence book (Prince of Fools) and commented about how much I loved the witty dialogue and writing and someone (on Reddit) had mentioned that this book had a similar witty writing style. SOLD. I actually have no idea what the book is about. I never made it past the first two chapters before I fell into an affair with maybe 10 other books, but I’m hoping to get back into this one and give this well hyped book a try. Maybe not this month…it’s 500+ pages…so I’ll throw it into the “very much hopeful, but extremely unlikely to start or finish” pile.

Goodreads Summary:

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.
Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.
Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.
Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.

Note: None of these books are in reading order… I simply grouped up the Prime Readings up top because there’s two of them. I’m going to tackle the ones that have “deadlines” first (Milan and Sam).

The Adventures of an Air Force Medic [Book Review]

2020, Book Reviews, By Year

Book Name: The Adventures of an Air Force Medic
Series: [Standalone] Book # N/A
Author: Dave Ives
Book Type: Ebook > PDF (Netgalley)
Obtained: Netgalley > Read Now
Pages: 486 (PDF)
Genre: Fiction > Historical Fiction, Romance
Start Date: 07.22.2020
End Date: 07.31.2020
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Disclaimer: An e-book copy of this book was provided to me for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. A big thank you to Netgalley, the author and publishing company; all opinions are of my own.

Cheers to my third NetGalley read! I picked this one because I knew there was no way I was going to finish the first book of WoT by the end of July and I wanted to squeeze in at least one extra book in there (somewhere). This book had an amusing cover and summary so it was a quick pick with no regrets.

Link to the Goodreads Page: >HERE<

Netgalley Summary:

Imagine ‘The Shaw Shank Redemption’ meets ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ in a crazy, fast paced, action, drama, comedy, romance.
Sean Mitchell finds out, ‘The needs of the air force come first, and the air force needs you to become a medic.’ 
Sean’s visions of high flying aircraft, exciting missions and flight line glamour are shot down. Instead, after six short weeks training in north Texas, he’s assigned to Mather Air Force Base Hospital, near Sacramento California, as a medical service specialist; commonly known as medic; derisively known as ‘bedpan commando.’ 
Sean’s situation turns hopeful when he discovers the air force ‘needs’ engineers more than medics. He locks on to the dream of building an ‘escape route’ from medic to engineer. The dream supercharges him into action causing fellow medics to wonder, ‘What’s wrong with him? Does he work for the CIA? Is he a spy?’ 
In his bid to ‘escape’ the air force medic world, Sean discovers something amazing – his life as a medic is more adventurous than he ever imagined. 
The Adventures of an Air Force Medic is based on Dave Ives’ personal experience as an air force medic in the early 1980s. He brings to life the crazy military hospital world; a world full of exotic characters; a world of mixed up romance; a world of tragedy and pain; a world of offside humor; a world unknown to the outside world.

Review:

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I needed a book and, with a brief glance at a few covers and summaries, this was the one that peeked my interest the most and I just grabbed and went with it. No regrets there.

The Adventures of an Air Force Medic is a story based on Dave Ives’ (author) time as an air force medic. Thus, while this book has an overall plot and goal that the main character is working towards, most of the chapters and stories are told in a chronological and anecdotal manner with a focus on “a day in the life of” an air force medic. The book is told in the first person point of view of Sean Mitchell. Having dropped out of college and working at an electronics firm as a “no skill” laborer, he was having trouble making ends meet financially. He ended up at the armed forces recruiters office where he was talked into joining the air force on two choices; guaranteed job (your pick of jobs but could take anywhere from six months to a year) or open general (three months with the down side of not getting a guaranteed job; you do what they assign you). Desperate for a job and a way out of his troubles, Sean sees open general as his quickest way in landing a gig and ends up as a medic.

I had a great time with this book. I got some laughs in, some tears, some cringe, and lots of other in between emotions. A very humorous book, we join Sean through his adventures of joining the air force medics and quickly doing everything in his power to get right back out; in his case studying like a madman to get into the AECP (Airman Education and Commissioning Program). A highly competitive program, you would have to study rigorously to be selected, sent off to a major civilian university (tuition and books included) and have three years to graduate. After graduation, you’d be sent to Officer Training School and eventually you’ll be a commissioned second lieutenant. It’s an awesome deal and all he’s got to do is study hard and make it in!

The majority of the book’s main plot would revolve around Sean studying to get his pre-req classes out of the way, take the AFOQT (Air Force Officer Qualifying Test), his SATs, and send in an application. The rest of the book revolves around his time as an Air Force medic. As someone who initially went into the military, sold on the fame and glory of it all, he’s disappointed to be placed as an air force medic. However, he knows it’s his own doing. Multiple times through the story he reminds himself that he’s there because that was the deal. Sean had chosen to get a job as soon as possible with the trade off being that he wasn’t going to get to choose what job he was going to get (open general) and that means he was going to take whatever was thrown his way; no complaints…seriously…Sean never seems to complain.

The book doesn’t go too in depth with characters and sometimes my memory of individuals meld together. It’s a story to recount his days in the air force as a medic and thus is written like so. Occasionally you might see sentences like “To this day, I won’t go to San Francisco unless I’m packing…packing heat…in the form of warm clothes” (Page 291). His friends are more like acquittances during his stay. It’s an interesting read, however, because despite that, everyone is still so vibrant. Sean’s interactions with his co-workers, friends, lovers, and patients is the main theme in a lot of the chapters. Each story is a retelling of something in the past or stories of his daily life as a medic. He listens as his friends and patients recount their own stories to him; how they are doing, what they’d experienced in life and the diversity here is vast! Every chapter reads like it’s own short story, with some minor details popping up again throughout the later chapters like recurring characters or when you read a sentence like, “And, I heard one of the guys killed, one of the trainees, has a wife here in the hospital, wonder who that is?” (Page 326) and immediately it clicks and you go “Ohh…shit…😢…oh no…I know who he’s gossiping about…”

My favorite thing about Sean is that he’s down to do anything. You give him orders and he will do his best to get it done. In fact, he didn’t even know that refusing to do a task was a possibility. You scold him for a wrong doing that he couldn’t have possibly known about (missing a meeting because he wasn’t told there was one) and he’ll apologize with an “I’ll accept any punishment.” Too nice and too honest, chill on the outside even when getting yelled at (I suppose they train you to toughen up?) I sometimes read and admire Sean. Trouble now, deal with it now. Trouble over, no point pondering on it.

I especially enjoyed the formatting of this book. (Mostly) short and written in an easy to digest language (as opposed to some flowery and lyrical/poetic writing styles [which I love too]) I was able to fly through the book without going, “Wait, wait, wait…read that again? And again? One more time…I still can’t understand that sentence” and it’s pretty refreshing.

The chapters start off with a main chapter title in bold. I read a lot of books, nowadays, where most of the chapters are either not titled (blank) or just numbers and reading titled chapters gave me a special kind of joy I can’t explain… With each chapter title, you get a chapter excerpt; literally a sentence ripped off from somewhere in the chapter and plastered underneath the bolded title and then italicized. It became a game for me to read the sentence and go hunting for it in the chapter. Sometimes I would come across a particularly interesting excerpt and try and guess what the chapter would be about just based off the one measly sentence I get for a clue. Already a fun and humorous book (there are tearful scenes too), the excerpt hunts made it an even more entertaining read. I’d love to see more of that in other books!

If there was anything negative I found about the book it would be the handful of typos and minor proofreading errors. I didn’t know if it was alright to mention them because I don’t know if it’s an ARC thing (as it’s already released on Amazon with the Kindle preview edition retaining the same errors, so I don’t know). I figured to at least mention it. A lot of times, they are hardly noticeable, but it’s enough to go, “Oh, another one.”

The errors aren’t glaringly distracting and most of the time they’re easy to brush aside. After all, they didn’t take away anything from the story. The biggest distraction came in the first chapter and I couldn’t figure out if it was a play on words and meant to be written as “Wecome to California” or it was actually “welcome” spelled wrong…I think that one simply stuck out the MOST because it was smack on the title page of chapter one and it just bugged me the entire way through the book.

Overall? Yes, I loved this book! I loved the humor, I loved the interaction between Sean and the other characters (and the other characters interacting with others as well), minor annoyances with dorm life, the ups and downs of medic life, coping mechanisms, seeing repeated patients, Sean’s inability to find a partner, and him studying like hell to get into uni. Sean is a competent worker who is honest and quite a humble person whom people love to work with. I held my breath, with him, when he finally gets his results and his letter back from a college.

An engaging read with each chapter, a story of its own, this book is captivating and filled with laughs, tears, struggles, successes, and camaraderie; medics watch each others backs. The quote that stuck out to me the most was “We can fix broken, but we can’t fix death.” Sometimes, you have to push past the fear of giving someone broken bones if it means that you can ultimately save them. A longer read than I had expected (almost 500), I still flew through the book because it was written in an easy-to-read and easy-to-digest way, no fancy flowery language, just what’s happening as it is. It flowed well and if there was ANY medical or military tech/terminology that I didn’t get, no worries Sean/Dave would never leave the reader to guess what the word or acronym means; it’s almost always quickly followed up with an explanation. Some of the times, I hop on Google to look up a term only to feel mighty silly with the definition right there…a few sentences later. Never once did I feel lost because I didn’t understand hospital talk.

A great way to past the last few days of my July wrap up, thank you for a wonderful time, Dave Ives. I had an amazing read and would recommend this to anyone that enjoys a book that has a larger theme and plot but with chapters that are written in an individual short story-like manner.

This Week in Reading

Tea Corner (Blog)

[08.05.2020] >> Windy Days, Kindle Collections, and Steampunk Reads

This week is already exciting. It’s one of those week where you can just feel something good is about to happen! And for once, I didn’t end my [walking] commute from work drenched in sweat because it’s extra humid and/or extra hot outside. While the ground was a sea of tree limbs, due to the tropical storm during the afternoon, my evening walk was actually very nice and a bit breezy (the better description would have been “it was extremely windy” and “my hair looked like a dust bunny by the time I got home” but shhh).

Over the weekend, I discovered something called “Collections” and I never knew this?!???? Apparently, you can create little folders in your Kindle either directly on the device or on your Amazon account settings and you can basically sort and categorize all the books you have on your Kindle into its own collection folder. It’s still a mess with some folders being genres “contemporary,” some being series names “Shattered Sigil” while others are author names “Sandford.” BUT! at least my Kindle library is no longer a random pile of different books sitting next to each other with endless scrolling through the pages to find a single title (and you all know just how SLOW e-readers can scroll sometimes…)

My current read for this week is, The Milan Job by Krista Cagg. It’ll be my first book tour and I’m extremely hyped for this book. I don’t recall ever having read a Steampunk book…but it’s a genre I’ve always wanted to read. I just didn’t know how to break into that world since I’m so extremely picky with my reads…

I usually have a set format for my “currently reading” posts which is basically a post with a book cover, the description, the summary and how I came across that book. Then I realized that I pretty much rewrite the same sections during my reviews and figured I’d try something new, with my “currently reads” posts, in the form of “weekly reading [diary] entries.” One of my favorite gaming guide websites posts weekly newsletters which involves her talking about her personal garden and life but also talks about that week’s gaming news (for that game series) and I thought, “I’d love to do a weekly post with a bit of life and a bit of books!”

July Reading Wrap Up

Tea Corner (Blog)

I just managed to read my third book in the nick of time. I had initially approached July with a solid plan to read two smaller books and one larger one, but WoT ended up being a harder read for me than I had originally thought. Simply put, July has been my busiest month in both my job and life. Reading had been shoved towards the back corners of my brain closet, next to the cobweb covered Kalimba that I swore I was going to learn how to play. Kindles were the only thing I could read, not because I particularly liked e-books over physical ones, but because with the Kindle apps being on my phone, my paperwhite, on my tablet, and even on my laptop…it was simply easier to whip it out and read a quick few pages (even when waiting on line at Burger King!)

45993809. sy475
Cover from Goodreads. Link to Book Description >HERE<

The Family Journal by Carolyn Brown

[Book Review Post]

My Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The first book that I finished was a surprising read. I never pick up romance books. It’s not my thing because it feels like I could easily predict their ending. Someone will eventually fall in love with someone else and it’s a happy ending. I didn’t realize this book was a romance book until a few chapters in and it’s not the book’s fault for me not checking the genres so I just continued reading.

At the end of the day, it was a pretty good read that had it’s romantic moments, yes, but mostly revolved around two heartbroken people and them getting together to be a proper family with Lily’s kids, Braden and Holly. This book was pretty Christian themed, it was a nice warm read and it was nice to watch Holly and Braden finally have a proper father figure around (because their last one was a piece of 💩). Neither parties was a give all with the other being a take all person. Lily helped Mack with his own troubles and he helped her in return. A sweet read.

26084421. sy475
Book Cover from Goodreads. Link to Book Description >HERE<

An Invisible Client by Victor Methos

[Book Review Post]

My Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

My first legal thriller and audio book experience! Boy, 2020 has been a huge list of “firsts” for me! I picked this book up on the same day I had picked up The Family Journal. I’d finally subscribed to that Amazon Prime thing and wanted to look through all of the reading deals. I left the house that morning with one downloaded already and then downloaded the other during lunch break.

At first a bit boring, this book easily picked up it’s pace towards the middle and as the case seemed to get more hopeless, it started to get more exciting as well as you begin to ponder on how just exactly how Noah is going to win this hopeless looking case. From what seemed to be a cold protagonist at first, without much traces of empathy in the man, we watch Noah go from simply agreeing to at talk to the company for Rebecca (his client, Joel’s, mother) to a man betting his everything, including his own firm, on the case. What a change of heart with a lot to lose! An exciting read with a big, creative twist in the final courtroom showdown, I enjoyed this read immensely and got to try out audio books. Not my thing…but was a nice companion during lunch break walks and my morning/evening commutes.

53578518. sy475
Book Cover from Goodreads. Link to Book Description >HERE<

The Adventures of an Air Force Medic by Dave Ives

My Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

My last book of this month is a Netgalley read that I had just managed to squeeze into the tail end of the month. I mean…really…I finished with maybe 2-3 hours left of July 😂

When I realized that I had no more time to finish WoT and needed something to make it to three books this month (more than that is too much for me), I looked around and found myself book that looked decently amusing. Turns out, it was an amazing read that kept me turning and kept me laughing (and crying occasionally). Dave Ives, the author, recounts of his days as an Air Force medic in the form of this book’s main character, Sean Mitchell. An aimless young man, Sean joined the air force under open general where he’s not guaranteed the job he wants but the job that they will assign him….and they assigned him to medic.

I love the formatting in the book and I’ll write about this book in a review to come soon, but while there’s a general plot in this book (Sean’s goal to get into the AECP program) the book is divided into chapters that feels more like little snippets and short-stories of the daily life happenings of Sean the Air Force medic. Each chapter is a glimpse at an event that has happened (Sean is narrating this book and retelling of his days as a medic from a future POV) such as why he went into the Air Force, why he ended up as a medic instead of what he wanted, his interaction with friends, co-workers, lovers, and patients, and so on. It was a very entertaining read and I can’t wait to write about it.