Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Captain Hawkins by H. Peter Alesso (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT








Captain Hawkins

by H. Peter Alesso

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GENRE: Sci-fi

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BLURB:

Jamie Hawkins was living on an obscure planet in the twenty third-century when on one fateful night--his life changed forever. His heroic effort to save the lives of innocent women and children, caught in the cross-fire of war, placed him squarely in the cross-hairs of avenging soldiers.

Hawkins was stunned when his rescue effort was seen as treachery. Unfairly convicted of treason by a corrupt judge, he was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor on an infamous penal colony.

Once in prison, his courage and perseverance won him the admiration and trust of his fellow convicts. While he was plotting his escape, an enemy attacked the planet--giving this daring warrior his chance. Together with his fellow prisoners, he launched a bold assault and high-jacked an enemy warship.

From then on, Captain Jamie Hawkins and his ship the Indefatigable fought against a corrupt government--only to discover a mysterious alien presence behind the war.



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EXCERPT

The black of night had fallen, but Jamie Hawkins couldn’t sleep. Though the surgeons had patched up his many wounds, the remorseless pain persisted, even now, months after his medical discharge from the Marines.

BAM! BAM! BAM!

Despite his desire to ignore the unwelcomed thundering blows, he answered the door to his country home and found his neighbor, tall scrawny seventeen year old Joshua Morgan, gasping for breath.

“Captain Hawkins, come quick! Come quick, or they’ll all be killed!”

“Who? What are you talking about, Joshua?”

“I’ve just come from the city—it’s a war zone. People are dying,” Joshua’s voice broke. “The hospital is taking care of the wounded and sheltering women and children, but its force shield is buckling.” He finished in a breathless rush, “It’s only a matter of minutes before it fails.”

A troubled frown creased Hawkins’s face. Their mothers had been friends and he had known Joshua since he was born.

Has the boy been drawn into the turmoil? He wondered.

Hawkins had listened to the broadcasts throughout the day, absurd in every detail; demonstrators declared that they were only protesting injustice, while the government insisted the violence was a last resort against rebels.

Which is the greater lie?

“I told one of the doctors, I knew someone who could help. My flyer’s right outside, sir. You must come,” begged Joshua, his expressive eyes pleading.

A more kindhearted man, who possessed his insight, might have agonized over what was happening in the capital city, but though Hawkins was not unsympathetic, past adversity had left him more hardboiled and cynical than most.

“That’s not my concern anymore,” he said.

Joshua’s desperate voice squealed, “You’re a veteran. You could make a difference, sir.”

Hawkins put his hand on his hips, threw his head back, and barked, “Ha!”

Then, giving vent to a deep inner passion, he demanded, “What difference can one man make?”

As a Marine, Hawkins had been a hot-blooded warrior, always quick to action, so at this moment of great upheaval, while frenzied violence was playing out in the capital, he surprised himself with his reluctance to act. As he ran his hand over the long jagged scar that marred his chest, one thing was certain, the foolish mutinous passions of the people could only lead to ruin.

But the look that spread across the boy’s face was indescribable—it was as if he had just lost his hero.

“Alright, if you won’t come, at least tell me how to maintain the shield,” said Joshua, showing a daring and persistence beyond his years. “I’ll go back alone, but you must tell me what to do.”

“You have no idea what you’d be getting yourself into. All hell has broken loose. Can’t you see, you can’t contribute anything worthwhile, and most likely something terrible will happen?”

“I must go back, my mother is a volunteer at the hospital,” said Joshua. Throwing back his shoulders with a determined jerk of his chin, he challenged Hawkins’s jaded gaze, pleading, “Please. Tell me how to fix the shield.”

Hawkins opened his mouth, but the words froze on his lips. The boy’s courage was a splash of cold water in his face, stinging his sense of honor. It wasn’t in his nature to send this boy to certain death—for Joshua could never accomplish what had to be done—nor it was in his makeup to let innocents be condemned to death with the hospital’s destruction.

A gritty resolve washed over Hawkins. He said, “Let’s go.”


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations, and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of ten books.






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a Rafflecopter giveaway



The tour dates can be found here

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First, thanks to the author for his service!

My review:



3.75 stars

Captain Hawkins by H. Peter Alesso is the first book in ‘The Jamie Hawkins Saga’, a science fiction story that follows a medically discharged Space Marine who is thrust into rebellion against his corrupt government. A series of circumstances that drag him further into the struggle between those from the Earth colonies and the dictatorship under those from Hellion force him into a pivotal position against both factions. His skills and personality garner him allies who aid him in his battles, but it is his determination that will be the most important factor in his struggle.

There are great elements of space opera in this story. Struggles over planets and colonies in space, possible alien contact, humans who are willing to sacrifice anything and throw themselves into the fray, scientific advances, and weapons capable of mass destruction. I was drawn into the story immediately, and sympathetic to the main character and his young associate. This is one of those stories where the villains are so evil that you want to boo and hiss every time they have their time in the spotlight.

I was a bit frustrated because Hawkins seems virtually indestructible, in the fashion of a superhero, and the characters are not well-developed, but I enjoyed much of the action as it unfolded. I do take exception with the purported romance, particularly given the tragic event that immediately precedes the long-awaited kiss, not to mention the mysteriously fortuitous intervention that tilts the struggle favorably at the end. 
 
I really hope that I was given an advance reader copy for review, as there were editing issues that were pretty distracting, especially the random commas that altered the flow of the story. Those who are bothered by shifting points of view might also be a bit disturbed by sections of the story. 
 
I think this author has a great facility for imagining other worlds and space battles and this is a fun and exciting story, it just needs to be polished a bit more. Hopefully, subsequent stories in the series will give more insight into the key characters as well as tie up some of the dangling threads.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review.


30 comments:

  1. Thank you for the review and for hosting.

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    1. Hi there! My apologies for being such a poor hostess. I hope the tour is going well and thank you for taking the time to visit and for penning such a fun and exciting story.

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  2. Sounds good. Added to my want to read list.

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    1. Excellent, Susan. I hope you enjoy it!

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    1. It is fun, Rita, especially if you like space opera. Come back and let us know how you like it after you read it!

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    1. My pleasure, Victoria, great to see you!

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  5. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

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  6. Thanks for hosting and the review! :)

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    1. Happy to host and always love reading new books. Thanks for coming by, Jenn!

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  7. Thanks for hosting. Really great review!

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    1. Thank you for the lovely compliment, Emily! I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read it!

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  8. I do enjoy a saga. This sounds like an interesting beginning.

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    1. Glad you like the description, Mary. Thanks for dropping by!

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  9. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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  10. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt! Sounds like a great read!

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  11. Excellent review! Sounds like a great read!

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, Ally, I hope you get a chance to enjoy it. Great to see you!

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  12. This book went straight to my TBR, thank you for introducing me to it!

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    1. Excellent, Dario! I love helping add to TBRs, lol.

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  13. I really enjoyed the excerpt. Can't wait to read this!

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    1. Good to see you again, Emily! Thanks for visiting.

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