☆☆➹⁀☆ 3 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
About the Book:
Spain 1057: During a thunderous battle, the first King of Aragon wrestles Alexander the Great’s priceless Egyptian weapon from the Moors, but finds it holds a terrifying and mysterious power.
Nearly a thousand years later, on a fog-shrouded Napa Valley morning, gunshots and the sound of breaking glass rip through the silence. Maddy Marshall, an app designer with special martial-arts abilities, and her twin brother, Will Argones, quickly run toward the sound. Horrified, they discover a sniper has cut down two members of their family.
Before the pool of blood on the living room floor is dry, their father sends the twins on a dangerous quest to recover Alexander’s ancient weapon. Joined by a broad-shouldered friend who harbors a secret alliance with VanOps, an ultra-black covert agency, they soon discover the lethal sniper is from Russia.
They follow time-worn clues from a medieval Spanish castle to a lost warren under the streets of Jerusalem, racing to unlock the secrets that will lead them to an arcane power—before a hostile state seizes the power and cripples the United States.
To survive, they must go undercover and off-grid. No place is safe, a wrong move means death, and even a simple phone call is off limits. Because now, the sniper has his sights set on them.
Guest Reviewer Lisha’s Thoughts:
Being a fan of thrillers and writers like Dan Brown, I was eager to try out a new author and was looking forward to a new adventure series. VanOps: The Lost Power is the first book in what appears to be a possible series. The story was very quick paced with the main characters, Maddy, Will, and Bear running for their lives while on a quest to find a lost ancient weapon with the power to take down the security of the United States.
I was kind of disappointed with most of the story plot. The situations that the characters kept finding themselves falling into seemed mostly contrived and hard to believe. They were constantly the target of sniper gunfire and despite family and loved ones dying – they were able to keep moving forward with seemingly little emotional effect. When their family connection to Spanish royalty was revealed it seemed just too convenient and a little over the top.
I love a very strong female character but Maddy was too much of a Mary Sue. Her quick evolution into a Lara Croft transformation seemed slightly implausible even with her Aikido skills. Also, Maddy was harboring a lot of animosity toward her twin, Will, which did not endear me much to her character and I didn’t understand the reasoning for it for the storyline. I felt the author was knowledgeable, but I would have like to have seen more plot twists.
About the Author: AVANTI CENTRAE blends intrigue, history, science, and mystery into non-stop action thrillers. The Lost Power took home a Genre Grand Prize at the Chanticleer International Book Awards and an Honorable Mention at the Hollywood Book Festival. She resides in Northern California.
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