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  • F. D. Gross

Author Spotlight: Lee Murray

Recently I connected with author, Lee Murray from New Zealand, and was pleased to find her work to be quite good. I had the chance to check out three of her latest titles, Into the Mist, Into the Sounds, and Into the Ashes. All of them taking place in her homeland, NZ. Her work is quick, witty, and full of action. If you like action/adventure type books, you'll definitely like her book series focusing on the main protagonist that is Taine McKenna, a prominent leader and soldier in New Zealand's Defense Force. Below you will find three reviews I've written on her work. Check them out if you get a chance.

Lee Murray -

Into the Mist, by Lee Murray, was a fresh take on the Jurassic Park sub-genre.

Although not related to the mega story classic about dinosaurs, there were similar and dissimilar

qualities one can appreciate if you are a fan of such tales and epic adventure. Having taken place entirely in another part of the world, New Zealand to be exact, two of the most unlikely groups (a geological survey team and a squad of defense force soldiers) join together to experience something truly extraordinary. And not necessarily for the better. Each having their own objectives, they set out into wild bush of New Zealand to encounter some truly horrific and worthwhile discoveries. Narcissistic ambitions, conservation of protected lands, the search for missing persons. It’s all here in this tight packed story of reconnaissance field work. Deception waits beyond the bush. As mentioned before, there is a huge presence of Jurassic Park influence in this story, however, one could throw some Predator into the mix as well, for the very word implies what sort of action takes place in the story.

The two groups are forced to worked together to survive an immediate threat seemingly plaguing the park in which their expedition takes place. But this story wasn’t all science and guns. Throw some mythical lore coupled with some spiritualistic shaman and you have another set of doors opened to you. There’s enough point of view to keep you interested and the plot loops were easy enough to follow. The ending to this fast-paced action adventure had a nice twist to the end to give it its own flare. I recommend the book to those looking for an intense survival mode type story in a short period of time (just my kind of tale). The writing was solid and confident, leaving very little room for error. I am reading the next one in the series titled, Into the Sounds, curious as to what sort of new threat awaits. 4 out of 5 stars.

You know when you watch a really good movie and then after, you keep thinking about it days later? That’s what this book, Into the Sounds by Lee Murray, has done to me. It was that good. And yes, it could be made into a movie.

The smell of gun barrel smoke. The ricochet of shrapnel and bullets. The taste of metal and grit. This book makes you feel alive. Murray knows how to drive all of the senses making this story one hell of a roller coaster ride of human emotion. Like a conglomeration of many ideas thrown into one story:

Indiana Jones, Uncharted, Pirates of the Caribbean; Into the Sounds carries these elements plus so many more. With endless non-stop action provided to you throughout, it’s no wonder it was hard to put down this gripping story. Taine McKenna is back with Dr. Asher in this new tale of wild discovery and ancient ways. Without going into spoiling details, let’s just say there is a new discovery found unlike anything before. Starting as a conservation trip originally, they’re adventuring trip suddenly turns out to be more than they bargained for. Mercenary pirates, wild ambition, death seemingly around every corner, this bizarre turn of events soon turns against them as they race to protect one of New Zealand’s most sacred and unknown secrets.

You get to learn about New Zealand’s first settlers and their way as a bonus as Murray send you down a learning experience of cultural roots. This story has a little bit of everything and a ton of heart stopping moments. I look forward to the next installment in this scifi-adventure series. What will we encounter next?

Five out five stars for me.

Into the Ashes

Lee Murray is back at it with her next installment of famed New Zealand warrior soldier, Taine McKenna. A one way ticket to hell is the best way to describe this action packed, roller coasting, runaway train! With danger lurking in every moment, in every fiber of existence, the reader is catapulted into a nightmare chain of events, each with its own possibility of death at the forefront. It’s no surprise Murray subjects her characters (victims) to the refinery of raw nature (that is New Zealand) once again in this high octane thriller of survival and destruction! Having no chance to breathe, figuratively and literally, readers will find themselves gasping for air as the choking smoke clouds of erupting volcanoes fling their fireballs of death. Throw a band of escaped convicts into the mix and you have yourself a serious situation turning even more deadlier than a giant lizard or squid. Murray has a unique way of implementing the lore of New Zealand gods into the mix which creates a rich texture of background that leaves you caring about the land and it’s people.

Like the previous stories in this series, Taine McKenna has one purpose: save as many lives as possible.

And so stays ever true to his nature, throwing himself in harms way the first chance he gets. (He has to do this, wants to do this). There seems to be an ever present theme with Murray’s novels, that being a connection between the land and its gods, and the primordial elements involved (so far, beast - Into the Mist water - Into the Sounds, and now this novel, fire - Into the Ashes). It’s a good way to understand where she’s coming from and what might be expected in future novels. Some exciting moments (more than others) is her ability to mash it up on a spare of the moment situation, even right from the beginning. She has the ability to draw you right in, using action and dialogue resourcefully. There is good solid writing to be had by Lee Murray and I look forward to more works by her in the future. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read an advance reader copy.

4 out of 5 stars.

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