Monday, November 9, 2015

Marines don't only storm beaches - they bring the thunder in the sky as well!

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Tippy: Tales of Flying Sergeants by Michael Uva is a tale of a backwoods mechanic turned Marine auto mechanic turned pilot turned war hero turned pastor.  That seems like a lot of twists and turns, but Michael Uva spins a tale that anyone who loves military stories should read.

Typically, Marine enlisted men are not pilots - officers are.  But during WW II, necessity meant that rules were more like guidelines.  Thus, enlisted Marines were thrust into the pilot seats with little formal training and expected to uphold the Marine fighting spirit in the sky.

"Tippy" is a Marine's Marine.  He is the type of guy you want in your foxhole, or in the case of air combat "protecting your six".   But like all hero's, there is much more to the story than many around them know about.  Tippy's story is told through the eulogies that are given at his funeral, which makes them all the more poignant.

So, with this posting date being on the Marine Corps birthday and just a day before Veterans Day - take a little flight with this short book and learn what the men of WW II were made of.  Thank God that America produced such men who sacrificed so much and expected little in return.

While this is a work of fiction, you can tell the author is a Marine himself and knows what he is talking about.  As a Marine myself, the flavor of the book brought me right back to my days when I was fortunate enough to wear the uniform.  Uva is even able to pull off the strong "Esprit De Corps" that only one who has experienced it can even attempt to explain.

I will even admit that some of the stories almost brought a tear to my eye.  It just reminded me very much of the bond that only brothers in arms can know.  Again, this is a work of fiction, but I feel that it captures the spirit and the essence of the men who had to do the dirty work for our nation to survive.

The book is a short read, and I was very fortunate to have been gifted the Audible version of it.  It does have some "film elements" in it - but I found it an interesting insight as to how people who are in the entertainment business think about stories.  (Michael Uva was in the entertainment industry for over 30 years).  I finished it very quickly and wanted more when it was over - which is how anyone in the entertainment business wants it to be.  "Always leave them wanting more...."

Semper Fi, Michael Uva, and Happy Birthday Devil Dog - you have written a book that brought a smile and fond memories back to this Marine and I am sure any others who read it as well.  

(This review was part of a paid package by the author.  This only gave the author "front of the line" privileges.  This review is an honest review based on the opinion of the reviewer)

Monday, November 2, 2015

It's not easy putting together a "super group" of warriors without getting yourself killed!

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The Summoner once had it all in the Empire's land of Malvia.  Huge armies to command against the fight against the Rell and the Orcs, money, power, fame.  He was a true rock star of his age.  But he is also known as the Renegade General - which is what seems to happen when you turn your back on the same Empire that helped make you that rock star.  Now, branded with "The Black Rings", everyone in Malvia knows that The Inquisition would be more than happy to get their paybacks.

Tired of being on the run and having no place to call his own in years, The Summoner, embarks on a yearlong quest in search of the best warriors, mages, holy men, thieves, prodigy's, and psycho's that Malvia has to offer.  There is just one little problem The Summoner has - how to convince these people to meet him months from now in an out-of-the-way pub without telling them the reason for the meeting.  Giving information out is the same as The Summoner writing his own death warrant, especially when you can't be sure that those you invite to the meeting won't just attack you, or even worse, call in the Inquisition on you with the information. 

Oh, and before he can even get started, The Summoner must gather enough Messenger Stones (Malvia's version of holograph walkie-talkies) to be able to communicate with his group.  Unfortunately, these are usually only carried by the best and the brightest of The Inquisition.  Killing off a bunch of their agents isn't going to endear the Renegade General to the Empire or The Inquisition any further.

And, as The Summoner discovers, it sometimes sucks when you ask someone to join your team - only to have them beat the snot of you as a response.  Not that The Summoner can't handle himself (magic in the form of summoning elementals and deadly swordplay come naturally to the Renegade General), but healing yourself after time and time again of getting whooped tends to get old after a while.
The author, who goes by the pen name General Asa, does an excellent job keeping the reader guessing and in a good way.  The book is large, but if you view it as many different short stories of The Summoner trying to recruit the different members to his cause - it becomes much more manageable.

Asa also does a great job developing the characters.  The Summoner is strong and powerful, but not invincible.  He also is a very trusting soul, probably a leftover from being a great leader and having people follow his every command without question.  However, this can become a weakness with The Summoner placing trust in those who may have motive or bad memories of previous dealing with him.

This novel is chock full of magic, battles, sword play, and even an arena scene that will bring down the arena! 

Give Black and Gold: Formation a chance and soon you will be sucked into a world wondering which of The Summoners recruits will join him, ignore him, try to kill him, or just rat him out........   A great blend of mystery, magic, and some good old fashioned butt kicking!!!