'Red Sky at Morning' 

 

- from thechristianmanifesto.com

 

Author Steve Wilson has created a new series of novels with a strong male character, Lieutenant Michael Neill. In Red Sky at Morning, the first book in the series, Neill is a logical choice for an assignment in the Ukraine to verify nuclear disarmament in the former Soviet Union. He speaks the language as well as a native and has a strong friendship with Ukrainian officer, Colonel Andrei Ulyanov, which may aid in the quest to accomplish his mission.  As a military member he is valuable to the United States government due to his expertise. He is also given an additional secret mission by the National Security Advisor who wants to know what is really going on in Russia.

 

There is a building plot going on that is about to endanger many people.  An 'old enemy' is new again and could present a great danger to the world.  This thread that runs through the book is intense and simply excellent.

 

The character of Michael Neill is multi-faceted.  The refreshing aspect of the man is that he is a Christian with strong convictions which gives a certain challenge for the writer to keep the story believable, interesting and present the man as strong, magnetic personality.  A military member himself, Wilson pulls this off with a plot that moves smoothly from start to finish.  The character is an honorable Marine, intelligent and attractive.  Women find him interesting which created a few sparks in this book.  A romance could be feasible in a future Michael Neill Adventure.

 

The story moves forward with a building intensity.  I enjoyed this book as there were interesting facts about the area where Lt Neill was deployed.  These kinds of books always teach me something.  Author Steve Wilson has been deployed to several areas around the world and has visited the former Soviet Union several times which gives him experience and insight into the characters and areas he writes about.  This makes the scenarios more realistic in my opinion.  I think any teen to mature reader would enjoy this series..  It reminded me of a Tom Clancy book that was short enough to be read in a fair amount of time.. I love Clancy but it takes commitment to read such long books.  Wilson's book provides a great read without being bogged down in pages of military, character or regional backstory.  Another factor that I appreciate is Wilson is a writer who is able to pull off a manuscript with action, adventure, tough men, plus life and death situations and does so without using crude language.  He has also left plenty of leeway to further develop the character of Lt. Neill and carry him through many more adventures.

 

 

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'Tempest of Fire' 

 

- from thechristianmanifesto.com

 

A brand new advanced nuclear Chinese naval submarine is taken out by a mysterious and powerful weapon.  This news is kept quiet. The United States and its allies are aware that something odd is going on around an out of the way area surrounding a series of islands in the South China Sea.  An island that is rumored by local natives to be haunted is the perfect place for hidden secrets.

 

Michael Neill and a team of military men assemble to undertake a mission for Nation Security Advisor, Willis Avery.  The characters are men that one would be proud to know.  There is a bond between them and a loyalty to fellow officers and country along with a thread of humor to break the tension during a dangerous mission to the island.

 

Tempest of Fire, the newest book by author Steve Wilson starts with one ripple in the water and builds the plot into a virtual tsunami of action, heroism, tension and suspense.  He creates characters that are honorable and brave, serving in many areas of the world.  He has none his craft, building a storyline around characters that the reader becomes invested in and cares about.

 

Wilson's military knowledge, in part due to his experience as a U.S. Marine, lends a quality to his work.  The action of the story , the description of the jobs of the military members and officials of the country brings a well-rounded plot to life.  I really like the fact that the author lays out a pattern of events and locations like blips on a computer screen to give sense to the intricate story that unfolds.  He builds a tension that kept me  on the edge, wondering what would happen next.

 

Over the years I have seen news reports or read about maneuvers and joint military operations to test vessels and equipment. This storyline takes that kind of endeavor to a whole new level.  Wilson's imagination accompanied by the knowledge of military capabilities, seagoing vessels and technology combines for another excellent read in the Michael Neill Adventure series.

 

Wilson creates powerful story-lines and characters.  The captain of the Chinese submarine is one character that is unforgettable for me.  I can't say more as I don't want to compromise the intense portion of the book that he is in.  Readers who have been anticipating this new book will find that it was well worth the wait. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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'Trinity Icon' 

 

- from thechristianmanifesto.com

 

 

Russia threatens an arms race, assassins are settling into place to take out certain enemies and Poland has rejected plans for an anti-missile shield from NATO.  An enemy produced accident causing disaster in a Polish village changes lives and plans around the globe. National Security Advisor, Willis Avery has developed an important strategy which depends on the help of  U.S. Marine Captain, Michael Neill, as the world looks to increase tensions in central Europe. 

 

Steve Wilson, author of the newest Michael Neill Adventure series, Trinity Icon, starts with and intriguing historical perspective. I wanted the beginning "Warrior Priest" background story to be its own book. I felt immediate interest in the warrior priest and the nobleman who worked with him.  This opening sequence of events, which dealt with the 1655 invasion of Poland by the Swedes, showcases Wilson's amazing talent for detail.  He can describe the color of a belt paired with an outfit a woman is wearing or the lines and embellishments of an important piece of a triptych in a church and I can visualize the scenes from his words.  I enjoy this in a book.  Any life-long reader appreciates being able to feel that he or she is part of the story, standing in a corner, so to speak, taking it all in.  This author invites us in, invisible observers in a world he has created.

 

The reader is taken to modern day Poland which is dominant in this novel.  The past swirls into the present even as Captain Neill's life is subtly changing, shifting in new directions.  I could see more of his persona that accompanies his Marine status in this novel.  This is the third adventure for the character and the author keeps things fresh, never allowing the life of the center focus of the series to become stagnant.  It is a stand-alone book, but I highly recommend that the new reader choose to read the series form the start.  You will understand the story and the relationships to other characters that have been built since book one.  Neill has good morals, a sense of honor and duty as a man and as a military officer even during the many challenges he faces.  One particularly interesting challenge is the fact that two beautiful women who have been featured in past books meet face to face in this tale.  Series fans have waited to see who may become his love interest.  His interactions with a fellow Marine, Staff Sergeant Christina Arrens, and a journalist from his past, Viktoriya Gavrilenko, are quite telling as to the honorable man that he is.

 

The female characters are strong and intelligent which leads to Neill's appreciation of them and their dedication to very different careers. It is particularly comical to me that these two women communicate with one another in a language that Neill can't understand.

 

The author's range of knowledge is amazing as he translates it into a wide variety of capabilities and talents displayed by characters in his novels.  I have learned something new when reading each book in this series.  Wilson creates puzzle pieces and the reader must pay attention as they rotate and click together to create the entire picture he has painted with words.  Wilson has brought together characters from the past two books and created an additional new set, which are particularly fascinating to me.  This team of men is an interesting and elite band of protectors and warriors.  I'm wondering if the author has plans for them to appear in his future writing projects.

 

This novel really hits the emotions of Michael Neill Adventures fans.  We learn more about his father, which is quite intriguing.  We see evidence that his feelings for a certain lady are strengthening.  There is also a danger-filled and powerful scene which stuns the reader.  I can't help but wonder what unavoidable changes will be seen in the next novel which is underway at this time?