- Published: February 3rd, 2014
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Genre: Thriller
- Pages: 278
- Quote: “You should know by now you’ll never escape your black cloud.” —Source
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- A copy of this book was provided byPubshelf for free in exchange for an HONEST review. Pubshelf is a site dedicated to promoting self-published authors.
The Prequel to Past Aghast…
Captain Jack Bass becomes the target of hatred and malicious jealousy from his commanding officer. Blaming Jack for his own failings, he sets his sights on Jack as a scapegoat. Fighting for his life, and new found love with Lori Darden, the pair learn how dangerous it can be to raise the ire of a psychopathic boss.
When the chain of command breaks down, Jack Bass fights back and attempts to prevent his world from turning to ash right before his very eyes.
Jack Bass is…
In the Line of Ire. —Source
Ed Dasso’s works of fiction leverage many of his “stranger than fiction” experiences from years of practice at major medical centers and community hospitals. Fiction writing is reviving a lost love from earlier periods in his life. In addition to a number of years as a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care specialist, he has published articles in national healthcare journals, written many “Ask the Doctor” columns and has spoken frequently at national healthcare forums. He has also been instrumental in designing and deploying population health programs to help people deal with depression. —Source
Review of the Characters:
Jack— He was noble, brave and smart– the typical hero. This was a great introduction to Jack’s character as the author did a fantastic job of setting up an instant connection to Jack. The opening scene in the novel starts with a bang as Jack is forced to operate on a patient with live ammunition in his chest (a Grey’s Anatomy moment). With encouragement from Lori, Jack acts calm and cool as he operates. It’s a tense scene but it gives us an immediate sense of Jack and what to expect from this character.
“Don’t take this the wrong way but…you’re beautiful. You’re just not what I expected to find in a career Army nurse. There had to be so many other opportunities for someone like you…” —Source
He said stupid things like the typical man. What a guy thing to say, but in the end it made him believable.
Lori— I enjoyed watching this character develop, she was a strong woman. She was fierce and determined, not a force to reckon with. I think what I liked most about her was that she was equal in the romance between her and Jack. She had independent thoughts and acted on her own intuition instead of needing a man to guide her path. She provides a lot of the humor in the story with her sarcastic one-liners and ultimately enhanced the story quite a bit.
Blackburn–– This guy was a psychopath, and I don’t mean maybe. I would have preferred if we had been able to see Blackburn’s slow descent into madness, but instead our first encounter with him leaves us with no doubt that the man has some serious issues. It made it hard to believe, because his madness goes to the extreme and without that explanation as to what lead to that, it can be a bit far fetching. He also raises a question; when we meet this character his rank is General and he has been in the army for over thirty years. So why are people just now noticing his issues? I can’t imagine that Jack and Lori were the first to stand up to him, I have higher faith in humanity than that, so how did Blackburn possibly get away with his behavior? The army can’t possibly be that oblivious in real life, so it makes his character a bit hard to believe and one-dimensional.
Review of the Story:
Typical of the thriller genre, this novel is fast paced and full of suspense. We encounter a number of cliff hangers and climaxes, action scenes and surprises. Honestly, I had no idea what was going to happen next but that is mainly due to the character Blackburn as he is so crazy, we have no idea what he is capable of.
The medical background was fascinating, as Jack is a doctor in the army we are exposed to a wide range of medical cases throughout the army. And the author does a great job of making sure that the info is relatable to the readers, I was surprised how easily I understood what was going on as he described medical procedures (well, not that surprised since I’m an avid watcher of Grey’s Anatomy).
The only problem I had with the story was the ending. There seemed to be several climaxes, just when you thought it was over something drastic would happen. It started to get repetitive which means with each new encounter there was less excitement.
Review of the Writing:
I had one particular issue with the writing and that was the way the chapters were split up. More than a few chapters were only a page and a half long and that’s fine as long as the chapter includes some meat in them. There should be a concrete issue in each chapter that is either introduced or resolved but that was not the case with this novel. I believe that many chapters could have been grouped together and while the way the author does it doesn’t necessarily interrupt the flow of the story, you are left wondering, why?
Another issue I had was the way the author would describe a character doing something and then feel the need to narrate what was happening as well.
“Ah, I could use a little Kahlua and cream.” She smiled as she bent down to open her locker. She rummaged around until she found the bottle of her favorite liqueur, and then carefully poured some into the thermos. She screwed the cap on tightly, then hid the bottle in the bottom of her locker again. “Now to slip over to the mess tent and see if I can find some half-and-half.” —Source
The reader is smarter than that, we don’t need to be narrated too and it actually takes away from the believability of the character as most people in reality don’t say what they are going to do next out loud and to themselves.
Other than that though, the author does a good job of writing a fast paced novel, you’re never bored and your constantly at the edge of your seat to see what happens next.
This was a great introduction to Edwin Dasso’s Black Cloud series, the protagonist is everything you want him to be and with the constant action and suspense, you won’t want to put this novel down. Besides the issues I’ve stated above I look forward to reading Past Aghast, the next novel in the series
P.S.– My next read is Looking for Alaska by John Green