Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

Fe Fi FOE Comes

Title: Fe Fi FOE Comes
Author: William C. Samples
Genre: Fiction, Sci Fi
Reviewer: Frank Evans

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 098006810X

This is a Saga in real time that links actions and consequences of yesteryear to the current maladies of civilization, then beyond to a possible future as an alternative to the ongoing drive to the continuation of catastrophes, and to the future extinction of all life. It begins in our world of the here and now. A storyteller, a praetorian, and two seemingly innocent bystanders are caught up in a race for their freedom from the authorities of a world now devoid of human rights or personal liberty. The crime? A manuscript the authorities find provocative. Now the ideas in the manuscript have been acted on and the Future is the Present; all that has happened is the Past. The links forged between progress and regulation, the rulers and those they rule, freedom and slavery are all broken, except in those places held by the rogues. Alaska is the focal point around which the Earth turns, and it has given birth to the champions of liberty. Life is war they say. All living things struggle against natural and organic forces that would end their living existence; in that sense all living things are in continual battle with the elements and living predators to stay alive. There is a new predator for the wicked in the world. Fe Fi FOE Comes! Yet it is in the Past that the foundation for the Empire must be built, and we discover it is forged in Hell. It is to Hell that all the Alaskans go, and this becomes a place where the tiny spark of freedom is fanned into flames. But fate is not kind, and those of the Alaskan Empire suffer treachery, and war beyond which they may not sustain.

A call has also come from the stars, and a single ship that took the wealth of a world and the geometry of an idea to create is dispatched to see if those across the vastness of space are friend or foe. The answer, which lies in the Future can only be answered if the Past has prepared for it. The blueprint is drawn in the Past and now an answer in the Future is possible ... it will take a new beginning.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Samples, William C.


Title: D.E.R.O.S.
Author: John Rider
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Tony Lazzarini

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1601453205

The year is 1968. Wired in-series, trip-hammer shocks jolt the country...the capture of the USS Pueblo, Tet, LBJ declines to run, the murders of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.

In Vietnam, a USAF pilot gets news that, to him, is every bit as jarring as those electrifying events: An airline wants to interview him for a cockpit job. In Dallas, three weeks from now. They have no idea he's in Vietnam. He still has fifty-six days and a wake-up before he can leave. Jack Boland is a Forward Air Controller pilot, part of a small USAF detachment stationed with a U.S. Army brigade, at a base camp in the jungle, seventy-five miles north of Saigon. Flying small, vulnerable spotter aircraft, the FACs fly over the jungle, looking for VC -- and when Brigade grunts get in trouble, bring in jet fighters to get Charlie off their backs.

The story is at times funny, as well as brutal, terrifying, idiotic, and in the end, tragic..Catch-22 in Vietnam.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Rider, John

Crossing the Blue Code

Title: Crossing the Blue Code
Author: Miette Wells
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 059546906X

Crossing the Blue Code is the powerful autobiography of Miette Walker, a young girl who joins the United States Air Force in pursuit of a promising career. He basic training at Lackland Air Force Base proves to be anything but basic as Walker soon finds out she has entered an alternately rigid and chaotic new world.

Crossing the Blue Code is the beginning story of Walker's difficult and sometimes horrifying experiences during her four years in the US Air Force. Harassed by her fellow recruits and discriminated against by her superiors, Walker is sometimes forced to suffer in silence for fear of the notorious "Blue Code" that keeps Security Police from breaking ranks and reporting even the most heinous crimes.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Wells, Miette

Carry On Pvt Dahlgren

Title: Carry On Pvt Dahlgren
Author: Conrad Larson
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Lee Boyland

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1441579583

The hundredth anniversary of the First World War is nearing. With every turn of the year, the tales from this remarkable moment in history is also unfortunately fading. With the aim of preserving this noteworthy event, author Conrad Larson pays tribute to the veterans of the war with a gripping account of one man's war adventure, Carry On Private Dahlgren: World War I Runner.

The war that was supposed to stop all wars was cruel and brutal to all civilians and even soldiers.The sacrifices made by the men who stepped up to represent and protect their motherland should be remembered and be given the honor that they deserve. Reflecting the greatest on American character and courage, Carry On Private Dahlgren: World War I Runner presents the nostalgic, personal journals of Pvt. Oscar Dahlgren of World War I. The journals, as found by the author's family, were handwritten with notes written in margins at a later date by Dahlgren. It fascinatingly documents names of peers, superiors, dignitaries, and others. In detail, it chronicles Dahlgren's exploits during the upsetting era, including names of places, some which have different names today. It is an untainted piece of history for unless changes were made for clarity, the style of writing, spelling and grammar were left the way Pvt. Oscar Dahlgren wrote it.

Carry On Private Dahlgren: World War I Runner allows you to relive history and be awed by the fascinating account of one man's life filled courage, hope, brotherhood, and patriotism.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Larson, Conrad

Carolina Roots - From Whence I Came

Title: Carolina Roots - From Whence I Came
Author: Thomas Shytle
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Inspirational
Reviewer: Lee Boyland

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1419695193

The author was a product of a hard hit area during the depression years. He was barely a year old and the great depression was at its peak when his family moved from the cotton mill village where he was born to relocate near Bryson City in the heart of the Western North Carolina mountains. The economy there was worse than it had been on the mill village; and after struggling to survive on a dollar a day his Father made working for FDR's Works Project Administration (WPA), his family held on for six years living in the most poverty stricken area of the country. He was seven when they moved back to the same cotton mill village and to much better conditions than when they left, thanks to the most part for Hitler's war that was raging in Europe. His story is about his experiences while growing up near Kings Mountain, NC followed by twenty-five years in the USAF. The years spent in the military are related in detail from the viewpoint of an Air Force non-com; from the Korean War to an assignment to a covert unit whose cold war mission was to "Develop an unconventional warfare capability that included inserting, supplying, and extracting indigenous partisans, to provide them with refitted small arms, and to design, produce, and airdrop psychological warfare materials into Eastern European countries, and to support U-2 over-flights of Eastern Europe and Russia." Throughout the book you will feel his reverence for his convictions, his devotion to family and an unquestionable commitment to duty, honor, and country.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Shytle, Thomas