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Book Review: Black Sparrow by A.J. Griffiths-Jones

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Black SparrowBlack Sparrow by A.J. Griffiths-Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Black Sparrow is a thrilling adventure that completely surpassed my expectations… and that’s only because the plot was so tightly woven and the characters were so incredibly complex, it just floored me in a super positive way. This was the second book I’ve read by A.J. Griffiths-Jones, and while I really enjoyed the first one, this was truly a fantastic and memorable read of a different level. I definitely recommend this to those who like international connections, religious beliefs buried in character’s logic, and tons of surprises in the story.

There are several main characters that connect to two primary travelers on a flight to Paris. One is a young Muslim girl who longs to be with her French boyfriend and to escape the clutches of her very religious and overprotective parents. Another is a man nearing retirement who must finish one last contract before he can decide where to spend the remaining years of his life. They notice one another at the airport and again on the plane, but what they don’t know at the time is how connected their lives will be for the subsequent week. Throw in a hotel owner, the young French boyfriend, the extended Muslim family, and a couple of other people who fill out the story, and you will truly not know what to expect. This is an adventure I will not forget anytime soon!

This wouldn’t be a proper review if I didn’t tell you how much the Muslim girl’s family thoroughly annoyed me beyond any reasonable expectation. I understand different religions have different beliefs, and I respect it. I recognize that there are extremists who fail to understand the delicate balance to a successful life. I get that there are still men in this world today who think they can control women. But all of it can still develop an intense hatred for the way some of these people behave — and thanks to the phenomenal style of delivering these character’s emotions and motives, Griffiths-Jones successfully pulled that utter frustration and anger from me. She created such tension and drama, I wanted to leap into the book to hurt these people.

As if that wasn’t enough, the torture of some characters was simply brilliant. After several chapters of thinking someone will suffer a certain type of pain — BAM — you’re thrown for a loop and down a different awful pathway. I hated it and loved it at the same time. Hated it because of the end result, loved it because I didn’t want to put the book down. All-in-all, this story will take you up and down several peaks only to slap you with the truth in the end. It’s often difficult to keep things under wraps for voracious readers, but this time I didn’t see the end coming.

Part of me believes that I was so engrossed in the story and the wonderful writing tone that I didn’t want to think about what would happen… I just wanted to experience it as the words hit each page. That’s the kind of story and book that makes you thrilled by an author’s talent. A strong recommendation for me on this novel. Be prepared, there are some extremes, and while the author is merely choosing characters and beliefs that aren’t always the reality, it definitely happens and represents the truth of what some people experience even in today’s modern society. Sit back and enjoy it… and let your passion develop for a multitude of reasons. It’ll be the kind of read that prompts you to shake the book or tablet like a madman at times!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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TV Show Review: Madam Secretary

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4 stars to “Madam Secretary’s” Season 3, Episode 6 “The Statement.” This season started off a little shaky but has been growing much stronger. I look forward to each new episode unlike the prior season where it sat waiting in the DVR station.

Story

Henry’s former asset, Dmitri, has gone rogue. Henry flies to his new undercover location to try to save him, subsequently learning that Dmitri doesn’t want to live if he can’t be near his family or in a career protecting the country.  Henry acts fast to find a solution to try to meet one of the two requests.  And he succeeds…

The presidential election is heating up and it looks more and more like Dalton will lose. All their decisions about current politics and US relations with the world are based on this election.  Realistic much?

Poor Matt is tied to a radical Islamic terrorist bombing, or so it seems… perhaps it’s the Afghan government’s connections who are behind it all.  Matt made a donation to a mosque which is under scrutiny, but he refuses to speak to the press.  He’s branded a traitor by some American new groups and in the end, he’s proven innocent (of course). But it was a very clear picture of what it’s like in America these days…

Strengths

  1. Reality. It mirrors so much of what’s going on right now, it ain’t funny!
  2. Matt’s story was moving. You saw what it was like for someone being accused of a crime they didn’t commit purely because of religion. Awful.
  3. Tea Leoni’s angst and determination are unparalleled.  She was born to play this part. Maybe she should have a real role in government. 🙂

Suggestions

  1. Less about the Middle East in the future please.  Sometimes we need a different topic. I look forward to next week’s about Venezuela! Maybe we can find with Trudeau’s counterpart in Madam Secretary Canada?
  2. The family comes in and out too much. It feels disconnected.  As does the plight of the rest of the Secretary of State team. I understand giving each actor a chance to shine, but sometimes we lose traces of what’s going on in all of the character’s personal lives, e.g. what is up with Blake?  Can we please find out who the heck he is after 3 seasons?

Final Thoughts

It’s the best of the political dramas.  Scandal is good… and I can’t wait for that to come back in 2017, but it’s a little too drama-oriented.  Madam Secretary is all drama too, but it’s based in reality where people do things that make sense and that I can understand. I hope it’s renewed for season 4. Check out more at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6102296/?ref_=ttep_ep6.