Sunday, July 28, 2013

Free Kindle Books 7-28-13

PLEASE. Do everyone a favor and write an Amazon review if you end up reading a book (or trying to and giving up in disgust). It does not have to be much. Just tell what you think of the book. By the way, many times I have found the 1 and 2 star reviews on self published works to be far more revealing about the book than the more stellar reviews. Reviewers need gratification too, so if a review is helpful to you, please click on the voting button to indicate it was helpful.

Most times these books are only free for a day or two, so you have to grab them while you can. Worry about whether you really want to read it later if it seems interesting. And be careful, they can change from free to not free at any time. I have also decided to list books for no more than 3 days in a row to avoid cluttering up the posts, unless there is some reason I think the book deserves extra attention.

From the top 100 free list
As is typical, there are also several religious and recipe books on the list today, along with the usual assortment of romance, porn and near porn. I don't call them out because they don't interest me. Click on the link above and search through the Free List Tab if you are interested in such books.

Dirty Martini - A Thriller (Jack Daniels Mysteries)
And now, in Dirty Martini, Jack faces her toughest adversary yet: a sicko who's poisoning the city's food supply. But that's just the start of what he has planned, because he's aiming to kill fifty thousand people in the single biggest act of terrorism the US has ever seen. Can she stop him -- and decide whether to accept boyfriend Latham's surprise proposal -- without destroying both her reputation and her sanity?

5 star:(144)
4 star:(79)
3 star:(13)
2 star:(2)
1 star:(4)

[#1. Lots of good reviews for this book from an author regularly on the top 100 free list. This one has been free before, but I have not looked at it.]

Brief Synopsis
CONNECTED is a speculative fiction thriller with touches of science and philosophy, which reached No.1 in Amazon UK's Bestseller lists for both Thrillers and Science Fiction within 5 days of release.

Beginning with the funeral of a renowned classical violinist in a sleepy rural hamlet in the Lake District, a former theoretical physicist tries to make sense of his brother's suicide. Across the country, a university student, enjoying the unexpected attentions of an enigmatic seductress, is disturbed when his best friend falls to his death from the thirteenth floor of a neighbouring campus tower block.

As each tries to unravel the mystery behind the apparent suicides, they are drawn into an obsessive search for a computer-generated fractal video sequence, with startling effects on human consciousness, and which might just pave the way for discovery of the ultimate Theory of Everything.

However, they are not the only ones to have seen the potential of this mind-altering video, and soon find themselves in a desperate race against time with gangsters from the shadowy worlds of sex, drugs, cyber-crime, and massively multi-player on-line gaming.

Science Content
Although, as the reviews testify, CONNECTED has been enjoyed by many with no background in computer science, Mandelbrot Fractal geometry, string theory, quantum physics or brain science, those with some interest or knowledge in these areas seem to have particularly enjoyed the book.
One reason for this appears to be that most of these references are actually based on fact. Of course, some readers have preferred to skim these sections, and claim that this did not detract from the story. Others have appreciated the scientific detail and fidelity, and some have even thanked the author for explaining such things in a way that enabled them to learn something new.

Philosophy, Science and Religion
Although CONNECTED is mostly enjoyed as a fast-paced mystery thriller, it is also, to a limited extent, about the inevitable conflict between science and religion. The two main male protagonists happen to be atheist, and some of the dialogue explores the different thoughts and attitudes concerning some of life’s deeper questions. These include the origins of the universe, the nature of consciousness, and whether there could be life after death. Again these philosophical references to faith and atheism are few, and mostly quite short, but all are crucial to the story.

Setting and slang
CONNECTED is a contemporary novel, set entirely in England. As the story unfolds through two converging plot threads, the action switches between a fictitious village in the Lake District, the University of Essex in Colchester (an old Roman town about 60 miles north-east of London), Bracknell (a newer suburban town some 40 miles west of London), and North London.
Consequently, there is some British slang and occasional use of bad language (e.g. a few instances of the F-word etc.) in keeping with the age and background of the characters.

Why Connected?
Years ago, while the author was at university, a fellow student had a breakdown and was admitted to the local psychiatric hospital. A few, who knew him well, went to visit and reported that he’d subsequently lost the plot and was gabbling incomprehensibly of having found the answer to life, the universe and everything.
While most people seemed consumed with sadness and pity at this, the author’s first thought was, “What if he really had discovered some universal truth?” Although never seriously believing that he had, it was on that day that the seed of an idea lodged in his young brain – a seed that years later would germinate into the drafting of the first three chapters of CONNECTED from a cabin in the French Alps.
For more details, please visit the author's website.

5 star:(44)
4 star:(35)
3 star:(20)
2 star:(2)
1 star:(0)

[#5. As brief synopsis go, it is not real brief.  A 3-star review says "My first issue is the way the paragraphs are formatted into large chunks of text, sometimes as long as a page, and often without any indentations at the start. The large text blocks made for a cumbersome reading experience, and my attention would end up drifting halfway through the page." This kind of thing is not uncommon with self published works, where there is no professional editing to keep the writer on track. It has a fair number of 4 and 5-star reviews by people who apparently do not care about the potential editing issues. Such things do bug me though. YMMV.]

Cherry Bomb - A Thriller (Jack Daniels Mysteries)
At the end of Fuzzy Navel, J. A. Konrath surprised readers with an agonizing cliffhanger: One of Lieutenant Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels's loved ones is dead. But who? Readers were left clamoring to know more.

Cherry Bomb, the sixth Jack Daniels mystery, opens at the funeral. While Jack stands graveside, tears in her eyes, her cell phone rings. It's the killer, escaped maniac Alex Kork, taunting Jack, drawing her ever further into a twisted game of cat and mouse. Because while Alex is more than willing to kill random victims, Jack is her true prey. But which woman wants revenge more?

Cherry Bomb is J. A. Konrath's most gripping novel of suspense yet--filled with twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

5 star:(80)
4 star:(54)
3 star:(28)
2 star:(10)
1 star:(10)

[#11. Lots of good reviews for this book from an author regularly on the top 100 free list. This one has been free before, but I have not looked at it. The author has the #1 spot today as well.]

Whiskey Sour - A Thriller (Jack Daniels Mysteries)
[#13. 2nd day. From an author regularly on the top 100 free list. I read one of his Jack Daniels short stories. Pretty good. If you like this genre, this book is probably something you will appreciate. The author also has the #1 and #11 spots today.]

Noble Intentions: Season One (Episodes 1-5)
[#19. 3rd day. Was also free back in April. I have not looked at it yet.]

Collapse (New America-Book One)
BOOK ONE in the NEW AMERICA series.

What would it take for the United States to fall from within? In a not too distant future, America is put to the test. With the American people deep in The Second Great Depression and two of the most powerful hurricanes on record to contend with, the United States is in no condition to deal with hidden terrorists on its soil, maniacal politicians, and the most formidable military threat the world has seen since the Third Reich.

This is the story of three men from three very different walks of life: Howard Beck, the world's richest man, also diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome; Richard Dupree, ex-Navy SEAL turned escaped convict; and Maxwell Harris, a crippled, burned-out chief of police of a small Texas town. At first, they must overcome their own struggles and fight for their survival against impossible odds. In the end, the unlikely trio must band together to save their beloved country from COLLAPSE.

Empires topple. Nations crumble. Civilization is fragile. In 2027, America will fall.

5 star:(214)
4 star:(99)
3 star:(40)
2 star:(21)
1 star:(18)
[#45. This one has been free before, but I have yet to look at it.]

Forbidden The Stars (The Interstellar Age Book 1)
[#58. 2nd day. The distribution of reviews suggests the book has issues that may annoy some readers - possibly related to a lack of professional editing. Not an uncommon situation with self published works.]

Armored Bears: Vol. 2, The German 3rd Panzer Division in World War II
First major treatment of the 3rd Panzer Division in English
Covers the division's battle on the Eastern Front from 1943 through the end of the war
The division had nearly 50 Knight's Cross winners by the end of the war
Numerous photos of soldiers and their tanks
Based on the daily logs of the division and recollections of its commanders and soldiers

[#100. No reviews. This was on my list two days ago as a free Stackpole download but had not made it to the top 100 free list yet. This is its 2nd day on the top 100 free list.]

 Free From Stackpole.

Ghost, Thunderbolt, and Wizard: Mosby, Morgan, and Forrest in the Civil War (Stackpole Military History Series)
Noted Ranger historian Robert W. Black turns his attention to a trio of the Confederacy's--and America's--most infamous raiders and cavalrymen: John Singleton Mosby, John Hunt Morgan, and Nathan Bedford Forrest. Combining speed, mobility, and boldness, these three soldiers struck critical blows against the Union during the Civil War, including Morgan's notorious 1863 raid that penetrated farther north than any other uniformed Confederate force. While not overlooking their flaws, Black believes these men revolutionized warfare and sees them as forerunners of the Rangers and Special Forces of the modern era.

[3rd day free. 1 5-star review.]

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