Reviews for "Affirmative Action": A Byron Vogt Novel
1. "Affirmative Action" paints a realistic picture of how a few crazed fanatics can change the country in their lust for power. A provocative story line that combines the politics of House of Cards with the determination of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. Highly recommended for those who enjoy intrigue, politics and battle for societal change & power. T. Ghedi (4 Stars)
2. Power, politics, societal change and a gripping plot make Affirmative Action. Written in a distinctive style at an action oriented pace, Affirmative Action will satisfy any David Baldacci or Vince Flynn fan. A good novel from a first time author. J. Weaver (4 Stars)
3. Novel’s Scenario of A Second U.S. Civil War Holds Object Lessons For Federal Authorities
Roger G. King’s troubling fast-paced debut novel, Affirmative Action, envisions successful assassinations of both the “black president” and his Vice President in a failed violent attempt to overthrow the U.S. government. Code named “Affirmative Action,” the Independence Day insurrection, initially might bring to mind the notorious 1978 novel, The Turner Diaries.
However, the narrative strategy of this 2014 potboiler differs from The Turner Diaries in two key respects: (1) In Affirmative Action, the story unfolds from the standpoint of two “good guys” — a Texas Ranger and an FBI agent; and (2) the book may be read as a cautionary tale about the danger that the federal government’s fixed focus on international terrorism may blind it to attacks by such home grown terrorists as the book’s bad guys.
Convincing verisimilitude — especially with respect to the locations of key national security installations, explosives, guns, and aircraft — evinces a command of the material and technical aspects of the novel’s action and helps to propel its well crafted, if, sometimes over the top, plot. Character development presents the book’s chief aesthetic problem.
Although racial hatred stands as a given of the insurrectionists’ motives, the novel presents few clues about their inner lives. What made them both hateful and willing to act out their hatreds rather than getting in step with the march of time or reconciling themselves to lives of quiet desperation. That weakness is especially noticeable in the portrayal of the insurrection’s African American contingent. Duped into fomenting urban race riots to cover the white supremacist aims of Operation Affirmative Action, Raven and his black marauders seem to serve merely as plot points.
One cannot help wondering whether the novel’s bad actors are an assortment of men like the news media’s characterizations of such killers as the suspected Louisiana movie theater shooter, reportedly a deranged drifter, or like the alleged Emmanuel Nine shooter, supposedly a dissolute and rudderless youth, or like the fired black Los Angeles Police Department cop suspected of a rampage of racially directed revenge killings, allegedly a disgruntled militant sociopath.
Of course, other possibilities exist. Noteworthy examples appear among the amoral, alienated, self-important ideologues of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic political thriller, The Damned, the story of another attempt at violent social change. Affirmative Action reaches no such depths of portrayal. Nevertheless, like some Tom Clancy novels, the book holds much of practical interest to federal authorities and others with more than passing interest in terrorism and law enforcement. (4 Stars) Potomac Will
4. I really enjoyed reading this book, “Affirmative Action” by Roger G. King. I thought it was excellently written plot and pacing-wise and it definitely kept my attention from the dramatic opening to the satisfying ending. It is fast paced and easy to read quickly… finished it in the span of a few nights, but got a ton of story for my money, that’s for sure. This isn’t exactly what you would call a “PC” book, nor should it be… that’s the point. But if you are of the ‘taking everything literal and easily offended crowd” this might not be the read for you. There are some harsh, ugly truths and realities here that are all to present in modern America. Was almost disappointed when I was done, but the ending gave the emotional satisfaction I look for in a great book. Well done. (5 Stars) Cody Brighton
5. “Affirmative Action” is one of the most interesting, action-packed and well-crafted novels I’ve read in a long time! I was completely drawn in from the get-go, and absolutely loved the author’s use of description of the different scenery and locales, and his attention to detail, especially regarding the military weapons and political maneuvering. Can see fans of Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn liking this. There are some editing things, and some weird formatting issues, but nothing that lessens my enjoyment any. The story is strong and so is its message. A great addition to the genre. Hope to read more from Mr. King in the future. (5 Stars) Layla Messing
6. Excellent plot…some writing issues. The good part was that this is an excellent novel that captured my attention from the beginning and never once let it go. Each scene was riveting, imaginative, and well-crafted and added to the progression of the overall storyline (no needless filler fluff here!). The descriptions were good and kept to a minimum. There was no lull in the action…All in all a wonderful story with a powerful, provocative message that kept me eagerly glued to my kindle until the late hours of the evening. The only problems that I found were the many instances of grammar and punctuation errors that could have been cleaned up with a good editing/proofreading job. This may not really bother some people, but it does me. However, even with that said, I really did enjoy this book and would read more from this author. He has a natural gift for creating a well-thought out story and delivering on the drama. (4 Stars) Cameron Jones
7. Okay, I really loved this book, way more than I expected to! Tight writing (a few minor editing things but nothing too major) and kept my attention from the dramatic opening to the fulfilling finish. I’m a huge fan of “24” and “Homeland” so I thought I’d enjoy reading about domestic terrorism, and I was right. I could totally see this being a movie. There are more action scenes in this book than most I’ve read, but it isn’t overdone… just keeps you on your toes! Some unexpected twists, and even though it touches on the ugly side of human nature and our country in general, it gives an important look at what really is simmering in many people’s minds out there… and the horrific consequences. Awesome. (5 Stars) Megan King
8. Trust me on this! The book starts off with an explosive, unforgettable beginning and just keeps going. The characters of The Colonel, (and the others) were genuine and believable, and I think what I liked the most about this book was that it really held nothing back in terms of shining the light on a darker, quieter sentiment that feels like it can bubble to the surface at any time. It is scary because it feels almost too real. There were some proofing mistakes I noticed and the formatting seemed off in many places. Still enjoyed the book just has less of a ‘polished’ finish than I prefer. But am looking forward to more Roger G. King, and I can see fans of political/action thrillers eagerly gobbling this one down. (3-4 Stars) Laura Clake
9. First, I have to say that I don’t normally read these types of books but I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing. I was definitely impressed with the opening sample so I dove on it. Well, I am most certainly glad I took the chance on Roger G. King’s “Affirmative Action”! This was a brilliant novel and very impressive for a debut. The title comes from the plan that is being covertly hatched to bring upon a race war in the United States, and this isn’t created by some dumb, redneck hicks… this is well-funded and goes to the highest levels of Washington. Crazy. The opening scene sets up the connection between a local homegrown terrorist and the others involved. This sets out a chain of events and nonstop action that keeps going all through to the end. All in all a very good read that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing…try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! (4 Stars) Gillian Hancock
10. "AFFIRMATIVE ACTION" was a nonstop, thrill ride of action, intrigue, drama, and political/personal conflict. I liked how the author Roger G. King managed to weave together this complex, but not confusing, story of racial strife and political discord in this country, and the shocking lengths some people will go to achieve their goals. It definitely held my attention throughout, but I admit the time/date stamps on the beginning of each chapter threw be a bit because I could never remember if it was later or not. And for some reason the formatting was off in many places, not horrible, just paragraphs lining up weird or too much space. Overall an entertaining, somewhat disturbing. well thought out read that hits a little too close to home at times. Recommend. (4 Stars) Stephan Beacher
11. I thought that his book was terrific! Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing. It pulls you in from the beginning, and I enjoyed the author’s “voice” and style of writing, and he certainly can create descriptive and dramatic scenes! The dialogue was good and authentic and did a great job of “showing” not “telling” which is imperative for a book such as this. The interweaving plotlines were well-developed and not predictable, and the element of domestic terrorism was was a new angle for me, and it shed light on things I’ve only heard about in the news in passing, or like the Tim McVeigh incident (referenced in the book as well). The characters were all interesting and well-written, and although there were some grammatical and punctuation errors, it wasn’t anything that really bothered me. I’d love to read more from this author in the future! (4 Stars) Elizabeth Brown
12. "Affirmative Action" is a compelling read, and one that will definitely appeal to fans of thriller/terrorism/action novels. Although the concept isn’t entirely new, Roger G. King brings an exciting fresh voice and infuses a unique blend of political turmoil, emotional and personal backstory (with the characters and their motives) military and police procedurals, corruption, and shocking twists. The story itself was fairly fast paced, and even though some part were sort of predicable, there were some things that honestly surprised me. There were some editing issues, and visually the text was off in many places on my e-reader (not sure why), not a huge problem either way, but I feel I should mention it. The writing and plot is dynamic and VERY relevant and I recommend for fans of thriller/suspense who’d like a crazy ride on the dark side. (3 Stars) Marcella Gonzales
13. Wow, Affirmative Action By Roger King was awesome! I haven’t read anything like that in a long time, if ever. For once it seemed like the characters were anything but the stock, ordinary typical hero/protag guys, but instead all had demons, motivations, secrets. I like watching shows about all the game playing and corruption of our government, and we all know there are some crazy people out there who would do unspeakable things to further their agenda. This book brings it all home and I was totally invested until the very end. This was a standalone novel (not a part of any series, it appears), but I hope Mr. King writes more like this in the future. I’d be reading it! (5 Stars) Essia Harmon
14. I’m not one for rehashing the plot (that is what the description is for) so I’ll just say that even though this isn’t my normal type of book (but I do enjoy Tom Clancy novels) I loved the plot line, and thought it felt as real as it could be…I did get a bit lost on some of the jargon, and thought that at times there were parts that when something REALLY crazy happened, it just sort of got glossed over (don’t want to reveal more for spoilers…) But I was really invested in how it would all turn out, and was shocked (horrified, sad) more than once. Sad to think that something like this could almost happen… I pray that it never will. I thought the ending was perfect, and overall it was a genuinely good book. Recommend for older readers. (4-5 Stars) Sherri Warner
15. This was the first book I’ve read by this author Roger King, but I certainly hope it’s not the last. Unique, as opposed to it all just being rehashed to us and keeping us away from the action and the character’s emotions as so many rookie authors make the mistake of doing. I like that this book didn’t feel stale or derivative, but instead like a new niche of suspense that serves well to help diversify a somewhat cookie-cutter genre (in my opinion). I did notice some editing mistakes that could be handled with a good proofreader, and some parts could have been pared down a bit more because on occasion there would be things that would “happen” (or talked about) but didn’t really serve a specific purpose. But overall the entire novel was one that I thought was impressive and kept me reading night after night. Looking forward to more from Roger King! (4-5 Stars) Brenda Maxwell
16. From the opening pages of “Affirmative Action” I knew it would be different from the books I’ve been reading lately and I was right! Mr. King sets of the scene and characterizations in a skillful way that not only pulls us in right away, but creates great visualizations and elicits emotional investments. The name of the book comes from the secret plan to start a race war (essentially anther civil war). The storyline is gritty, and truly scary if something like this should happen. I truly cared about the characters’ fates, and was shocked and saddened at certain things (no spoilers). An interesting and diverse cast of characters, flawed, and with power (some without) along with several intriguing and frighteningly realistic plotlines interwoven against a highly-charged and volatile setting makes this a memorable read. Highly recommend for fans of Brad Thor, Vince Flynn. (4 Stars) Jason Thackery
17. “Affirmative Action” was a very original take on ‘fiction’ for me, and at times
I know that all fiction novels are like that (realistic-feeling stories that are made up), but this one was exceptionally so…. It starts off with some decent backstory to set up the scene and ground the reader in the world-building, which the author Roger King does a wonderfully convincing job of creating a believable scenario… even if at times it does seem a bit far-fetched, one only has to have to have some knowledge of the history of the world to know that NOTHING is off limits or ‘too far-fetched’ to happen, ESPECIALLY when it comes to politics. The author also has a great “voice” in spinning these complex and intelligent plotlines all together. Well done. (5 Stars) Darla Ortiz
18. I found myself wavering around while reading “Affirmative Action” by Roger King. At first I was immediately grabbed into the story, and became immersed in dramatic and enticing opening and the overall plot development. But there were times I felt the story wasn’t as focused as I’d like, with some conversations and scenes maybe weren’t necessary and perhaps could have been eliminated to tighten the narrative some. But at the same time, the pacing was fast (liked the shorter chapters) and there was pretty much nonstop action and some *definitely* crazy developments there toward the end. It felt fresh and unpredictable, always a nice experience, especially in a genre that is fraught with copycats. Would be interested in reading more form Roger King in the future, and would recommend to anyone who wants a high-octane thriller. (3-4 Stars) Jhonni Parker
19. Whoa,… what an insane book! Holy bananas!! Okay, I don’t even know where to begin because so much happens and I don’t want to give anything away… “Affirmative Action” by author Roger King is one of the most original and just flat-out interesting thriller fiction novels I’ve ever read. I liked it for so many different reasons, first the writing was stellar. The strong word choice and fluid, fast-paced narrative and witty dialogue makes it a very easy book to sink into. There are enough descriptions where you can picture everything perfectly, but not so much that it bogs down the pacing. Because of the overarching storylines relating to real events (or plausible hypotheticals) it just felt more “intelligent” than I expected. It makes you think a bit what’s really going on, and worse – what could possibly happen. Recommend for fans of thriller/suspense. (4 Stars) Steph Coleman
20. I was hooked from the first page of “Affirmative Action” and my interest never faded for a moment! I loved the creative and strong characters and plots that continued to build with tension and shock and surprise. Just when you think you know what’s happening, something comes along to throw a wrench in it. This is good because I hate books that are super predictable. And this one isn’t. Although there are some familiar themes and tropes at play, the author brings a fresh attitude and literary style and makes it all his own. I’ve read a ton of political-action thrillers & suspense over the years so I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore but I can say that this author managed to do it. I appreciated the brisk pace and the descriptive details that really brought the story to life – world building is absolutely crucial in selling a believable story and it is done quite nicely here.. Recommend for anyone (adults) who enjoy a well-written, action packed, alternative reality novel with unexpected twists. (4-5 Stars) Jenna Brewster
21. Lately I’ve been in a rut of putting down books and not picking them up again because I lost interest at one point and just never continued. This was definitely not the case with this book, “Affirmative Action” by Roger King! From the very beginning of the book the action flowed seamlessly from one page to the next, and was unpredictable and shocking enough to make me just *have* to see what would happen next. Not formulaic or cookie-cutter at all, even though there are plenty of “familiar elements” necessary for a political/terrorist action thriller. I was impressed with this author’s writing style and will look for more works from him in the future. (5 Stars) Jean Oliver
22. Great writing, great action, great characters, great plot…. Overall a terrific read that I feel really opened my eyes to the threat of terrorism from different perspectives. I admit this isn’t really my normal genre of reading, but the sample pulled me in, and I enjoy movies like “Patriot Games” and shows like “24” so I wanted to see how this would fare. And I wasn’t disappointed; in fact I can totally see this book as being a movie. Could use some proofreading but was better than many ebooks I’ve seen. Recommend. (4 Stars) Carla Biggins
23. I read a lot of books in this arena, so this is a genre I’m fairly familiar with. Although “Affirmative Action” lacks the extreme detailing and depth of others I’ve read, nonetheless, it was an engaging novel that held my interest and made me think. I enjoyed the various POV’s the author employs to show us the different motivations and ramifications of the unfolding course of action, and how the storylines weave together in a tension filled climactic ending. This author crafts an authentic, engrossing novel that haunts you long after you are done. Looking forward to reading more from Roger King. (4 Stars) J.T. Thomas
24. First, I have to say that I don’t normally read books that are about terrorism, domestic or foreign, but I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing. Color me impressed!! And I was surprised to read that this is the author’s first fiction novel. There is such strong, vivid writing, and the characters are all fascinating, flawed, and going through their own problems. Liked Byron, Sissy, Chris, Shoes, even the Colonel…Everything just felt “authentic” for lack of a better word. Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions…All in all a very good read that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing…try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! (5 Stars) Kaylee Stevens
25. It took me some time to get into this book, and at first I wasn’t really sure where it was going. But the more I read the more I got into it, the more wrapped up I got in this world and characters Roger King created. It’s weird to think it’s actually fiction as parts really seem real, and are relatable to current times. I have a feeling that this book and the characters and their fates will stay with me for some time. I thought the overall plot and narration was good, but it could have used a bit more polish as there was rampant formatting and editing errors throughout. It’d didn’t ruin the book, but would make it better if was more polished, in my opinion. Nevertheless I look forward to reading more from Mr. King in the future as he is truly a gifted storyteller AND writer (not necessarily the same thing… (3.5 Stars) Claire Middleton
26. I totally liked this book way more than I even expected to! I was looking for something a little different than my reading fare, and this really hit the mark… in fact, now other books will seem boring by comparison! I like that it felt very plausible and ‘true to life’ on the sense that this is probably stuff that happens in real life, yet is presented in a way that is ‘entertaining’ (for lack of a better word!) and is exciting. I literally could not put my kindle down for the last half of the book, at least. I would describe this book as being very ‘alpha male’ terrorism, thriller, political-action book, but I thought it was awesome! I do think reading this helped me to appreciate and understand certain beliefs and ideologies that I’m not very familiar with other that what I hear on the news, so that aspect was interesting. This was a fast paced book and I highly recommend it to others. (5 Stars) Stacy Decker
27. Awesome. Once I started reading this book I didn’t want to put it down until I’d finished. Seemed never a good place just to stop for a while as the action continued to build and build. Some pretty far out there scenarios that come to life, but well-executed. I personally feel that there could have been a bit more depth to the characters, and some scenes seemed a bit too rushed. Liked the ending, though, and didn’t expect some things to happen that did. Could use more proofreading. For those who enjoy military, terrorism, action, thriller, this is a good one for you. (4 stars) Karen Matthews
28. Let the bodies hit the floor! No lack of explosive drama here! Try and be bored reading this… just try. I dare ya! But seriously, this was one roller coaster ride that I was not expecting. It’s a fast read, one I finished in just a few settings, and the brisk narrative is perfect tempo for a book of this genre. Mr. King uses great word economy and doesn’t bore us with too many unnecessary details. Fast, focused, and to the point, “Affirmative Action” is a frightingly realistic look at what could happen if tour country descended into chaos and another civil war. Riveting and explosive. Bless their hearts. (5 Stars) Sam Ryan
Reviews for CROSS REFERENCE: A BRYON VOGT NOVEL by Roger King
1. This book by Roger King was great. I was completely engaged in from the action-packed opening pages, and enjoyed the personality of the different characters (good and bad) and King’s attention to detail on all fronts, from military to terrorism to the various locations and different countries and historical elements. We feel transported not only into Vogt’s unique and interesting life, but his experiences and it is fascinating to watch the dynamic unfold with him and other characters, especially De Anza and Aeron (and the others). I thought that overall the book was well written even though the formatting needs work as does the editing. And even though I did wonder on occasion where the story was going, it was interesting to see how it all tied together in the end, which I thought was very good. This story has lots of thrills and action, but also touches on the sentimental and emotional at times. Personally I think that Aeron should get her own book next! Recommend for older readers and for fans of thrillers/suspense (4.5 stars) Layla Messing— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
2. “Cross Reference” is the follow up book to “Affirmative Action”, another novel by Roger King that I read and enjoyed, and although this one has some same characters it is a complete standalone and can be read on its own (although the first is quite good – check it out!!)Really liked this one as well. Each scene was engaging, and flowed smoothly from one to the next… never a “dull part” where you get bored or want to skip ahead… in fact almost the opposite with the various interweaving plotlines and going from one character and crazy event to the next. The descriptions were very strong, and I mean with the author’s word choice… vivid and powerful with a nice literary slant, and while I do think at times some of the dialogue and conversations weren’t really necessary—more chit-chat that did little to advance the plot or the tension— it was authentic and real. And even though the book is written in third-person, I felt like I was genuinely inside each character’s head experiencing the world through his/her eyes, for better or worse. Really liked the scenes with DeAnza and liked the character development with Carla and Aeron. I thought the ending seemed a little abrupt, but I liked how it all worked out. I would definitely read more from Roger King in the future as he has a natural gift for creating a well-thought out story and bringing memorable characters to life in an unpredictable and engaging way. (5 stars) Cody Brighton— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
3. Just like the first book I read from this author (Affirmative Action) I really enjoyed this book, “Cross Reference” by Roger King. I thought it was well written with great characters and plotlines, even though it needs some serious proofreading and editing, unfortunately. But it kept my attention from the intriguing opening to the satisfying ending. It is not a fast read by any stretch, nor should it be. There are too many important events and experiences here to gloss over so the author takes his time in carefully developing the various storylines so that we the readers are thoroughly invested the whole way through. I liked Mr. King’s imagination and vision as he brought these amazing characters to life in a thrilling, unpredictable and authentic way, and found myself completely lost in this world he recanted night after night. Was almost disappointed when I was done, but the ending gave the emotional satisfaction I look for in a great book, and I just hope that there is another one coming soon. Recommend to fans of thrillers/suspense/political terrorism or anyone who just enjoys an entertaining, well-written story with lots of action and you actually feel like you are a part of the story unfolding. (4 stars) Cam Jones— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
4. This book “Cross Reference” by Roger King seems to have something of everything… seriously. Action, thrills, drama, suspense, treasures, bioterrorism, romance, and shocking twists… but I was impressed by the seamless narrative transitions and the way that we are able to experience the story through so many different perspectives without it feeling “head-hopping” (my pet peeve!), and while I’m not usually a fan of having so many characters come and go without much grounding or context, it didn’t bother me here much as I enjoyed Mr. King’s careful narrative construct and the way that they all did a decent job of progressing the storyline. Always found myself reading for longer than I planned to, as there was never a good place to just “stop”. This is good too. This book will have wide ranging appeal, although due to some adult subject matter and language it’s best suited for mature readers. I can see fans of Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn and Dan Brown gobbling it up. (5 stars) Megan King— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
5. I really liked the first book I read by Roger King, “Affirmative Action”, and I was happy to read his latest effort “Cross Reference” – a story that is in the same vein as the first, but completely stands on its own merit. Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing (which was pretty hard as this is quite a long book!). It was all I could do though not to rush it… this isn’t a ‘quick-easy beach read” by any stretch, but more like something you sink back with for a while and let it take over your soul and get totally lost in for a while. I enjoyed Roger King’s literary “voice” and style of writing—very energetic and quick paced, with authentic character dialogue that progressed the plot without all the “telling” narrative prose so many authors make the mistake of doing. The interweaving plotlines were intelligently thought out and constructed in an organic and rational manner (even when being a bit crazy!) and (most of) the characters were all genuine and interesting in their own right (love Aeron) and well-written, and I have to commend the author on the way that he managed to tell not only a great story, but did so in a way that I didn’t feel like I’ve read the story a million times before. I’d love to read more from him in the future! Highly recommend to fans of suspense thrillers with a political/terrorism angle. (5 stars) Laura Clarke— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
6. I have somewhat mixed feelings on this novel, “Cross Reference” by Roger King . On one hand it is powerfully written with some of the most interesting and compelling characters and storylines I’ve read in a long time, and I liked how each of them had their own unique set of circumstances and I loved the ‘bad’ characters the most (they were just so interesting!!). But on the other, at times I felt almost like this book was too much at once, and seemed to lose focus of the arc and kept going off in different directions. I feel like it would have been better if it were shorter and more focused, and had higher stakes throughout. Too many long stretches where everything just felt too ‘safe’ and it was hard to get all that invested emotionally. But that is just my opinion, other people may disagree. There isn’t much tension throughout, even though there are moments of conflict, overall it just felt like it was telling us a story that we are on the outside looking in at, and I like to feel more a part of it. And it really needs better proofreading as the errors are quite abundant and distracting at times. But it is a great story, with lots of unexpected twists and some great characters who feel fresh and well developed and I can see people liking it. It just needs some work in my opinion. (3 stars) Stephan Beacher— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
7. “Cross reference” is definitely a compelling, unforgettable read, and one that will appeal to a wide variety of readers due to its far-reaching and relevant plotlines. I always worry that with these types of books I’ll have to suspend my disbelief and go along with the flow for the sake of fiction entertainment, but not here. It actually felt like something that could happen…and the characters were so flawed it made them more believable, more human, if you will. Nothing I hate more than perfect leads! (Boring!) The story itself was fairly even-paced, but I thought the beginning was a bit slow personally (after the exciting opening and first chapter) but then it picked up and flowed well. One thing I particularly liked was how we see the bigger picture by getting all different angles of the story from various character perspectives as it plays out, and while not every character was as fully-realized as I’d prefer, we feel like we are a part of this crazy ride, and we never quite know what is around the corner. I didn’t like the ending as much as would have hoped – felt a bit anti-climactic after all that had happened, but it was very sweet. I recommend for fans of action/thriller fiction with a political element. This is the second book I’ve read from this author and hope there will be more in the future! (4 stars) Gillian Hancock— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
8. This was an action-packed whirlwind that I was not expecting! Love these characters, and even though it did take me some time to feel really invested, by about 25% of the way in I was pretty hooked. There is a wide supporting cast and I enjoyed watching the relationships develop (and dissolve) along the way, and see how it all is connected, even in ways that we don’t initially suspect. There are several interweaving plotlines always at play here, from drug cartels, hidden treasure, to kidnapping, terrorism and romance, and it definitely kept me interested to see it through to the end. Fast paced with a tight narrative prose, but needs better editing. Recommend for mature readers due to some adult subject matter. (3 stars) Annabella Johnson— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
9. I’m not sure how to even describe this book by Roger King as SO much happens, and it seems to touch on so many elements, themes, and subjects. Smooth pacing, plenty of action, and amazing characters/personalities, along with true, real life issues and political/terrorist drama (even if it’s fiction) makes this a definite winner in my eyes. The conversations with the characters were natural and flowed well, even though at times I did grow a bit weary of the punctuation errors and the block formatting – once I got used to it I forgot it was even like that. But there is definitely more to this book than just meets the eye… had a lot more depth than I was expecting, I think that you need to take your time while reading it to really grasp everything the author is saying, as it will require some deeper thought and reasoning, and might even change your perspective on some things and these are some of the more interesting characters I’ve encountered lately. Very easy reading, (even for covering heavy and brutal subject matter at times) and I would certainly recommend to fans of thrillers/ action fiction. (4 stars) April Dawn— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
10. Trust me when I say you’ve never read anything like this before! It’s not a fast and easy read by any stretch, but it will take you through whole different lives and experiences that you’ve never thought of before. I felt a connection with each of these characters that I didn’t expect, and I thought the author’s narrative prose was great, the way he brought the scenes to life, and the attention to the personalities and the scenes details that gave this story genuine authenticity as well as telling a complex and riveting story that was both unpredictable and entertaining and intelligently constructed. I must say that I thought the editing could be cleaner, but it didn’t ruin the overall experience for me. I hope that King continues writing with these characters as Vogt is a great hero to root for, but I also was surprised at how complex and layered Aeron was as well and I’d love to read more about her. Oh and I liked that the General was a woman. Just saying. (4 stars) Elizabeth Brown— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
11. “Cross Reference” is one of the more interesting and unusual series I’ve read in a long time. The author Roger King pulls us in to the story right from the beginning pages, quickly refreshes us on the events from book 1, “Affirmative Action”, (which should also be read in my opinion) and skillfully narrates a wide-ranging storyline full of complex and deeply emotional and high stakes issues that are frighteningly true to life. In my opinion it really is the characters who made this story so good, each so original and conflicted in their own way, and we pull for them throughout their personal journeys. Bryon is a great lead, and Doc, Aeron, deAnza, Carla, and all the others… they all add depth to the story as well and it is so interesting to see this all unfold through everyone’s eyes. Makes you wonder what is really happening in certain parts of the world and the length some people will go to get what they want. Evil is real and it is everywhere. A memorable read and a keeper for sure. Recommend for mature fans of political and suspense thrillers. It has adult themes and scenes, but nothing too graphic. (5 stars) Essie Harmon— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
12. I admit I had no real expectations when starting this series by Roger King when I read the first book “Affirmative Action”, seeing as how I’d never read the author before and the description felt a bit generic to me. But I ended up enjoying it more than I expected, so I was happy to read the follow-up, “Affirmative Action’, and I think I actually liked the second more than the first! (although this is not a true sequel, just written in the same universe. One needn’t had read the first in order to understand this storyline). I was so immersed in this book and impressed with the level of detailing on almost every single aspect. A lesser author would have glossed over some of these scenes that Mr. King carefully and masterfully brought to life in a memorable way. And the characters… Loved them all! (even the ones I didn’t like!) Felt like a got a great dose of harsh reality and the darker side of life and human nature, and how different beliefs, ideologies can clash in ways that are detrimental to the safety of everyone. Love the whole ‘good guy/bad guys thing, and liked that even the ‘bad guy (girl)’ can be good! Interesting and complex with social commentary that is not for the easily offended or faint of heart. Very easy to read, with great pacing and narrative. Recommend for adults. (5 stars) John Goldman— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
13. When I read books, usually I either like the plot, but the narrative seems flat (or too telling and long-winded) or the prose is good, but the storylines (or characters) seem contrived and stale. But I loved how seamlessly everything flowed in “Cross Reference” by Roger King with the nice balance between the two as this made it feel authentic and well- paced, making it hard to stop reading at any one particular point. It had it all, and was more intelligent with a deeper world-view and encompassing many elements and subjects (well-researched I might add) than I expected, but also definitely raw and real and gritty…. King did a terrific job of taking us on an unforgettable and shocking rollercoaster ride on several characters’ live that I won’t soon forget, and I am genuinely glad I read this book. It wasn’t perfect, especially with the grammar and punctuation and formatting, but it was very good! Ready for book #3 from Roger King! (4-5 stars) Brenda Maxwell— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
14. Overall I thought “Cross Reference” was an enjoyable book and a solid continuation of the story world that began in the first book of this series, “Affirmative Action”. It does take a lot to really impress me these days, but there were at least several times in this book that I was caught off guard and surprised, or moved by what happened. Although some parts were a bit slow, and there were occasions of the narrator ‘telling’ us what a character was thinking or feeling (or his/her motivations), but overall it was still an engaging page turner with action, high stakes drama (terrorist and personal), and even a little (unexpected) romance. Even though I’m not a terrorism plot fan that storyline totally works here, so if you aren’t either don’t worry, you will still like it. A few minor pacing issues, and some scenes could have used more focus (I’d wonder what the point was), but overall a captivating and unexpected experience that (mature) fans of thrillers and action-suspense will definitely enjoy. (4 stars) Sherrie Warner— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
15. This was a totally unexpected delight for me, to be honest from the description I was a little confused just what to expect, but I was intrigued by the quality writing sample and decided to dive right in and see where the story took us (I was especially intrigued by that prologue/first chapter). Well I wasn’t disappointed at all, in fact I think that “Cross Reference” is one of the more interesting and addicting and easy-to-read books I’ve read in a while. I like how it felt like we were so involved in the story from the beginning, and whomever is telling the story, whether it is Bryon or Aeron or Shoes or Doc Bull or another character, we see what he/she sees, feel what he/she feels. I thought I’d be at a disadvantage because I hadn’t read the first book, and while I certainly want to read it now to catch up on more backstory of the character, You can totally read this one on its own perfectly. Liked how King writes very descriptively and with great passion and authenticity. I kept wondering how it would all wrap up, but it totally did, and was a satisfying ending. Would like to read more from Roger King in the future, and I’ll definitely be reading the other book in this series, “Affirmative Action”. Recommend. (4.5 stars) Corey Banyan— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
16. I really enjoyed Roger King’s second book, “Cross Reference” He has captured several slices of what feels like a raw, realistic life (for better or worse) with wonderful, well-researched details and unforgettable, high stakes drama starring some really incredible characters. But what I loved most about the book was seeing what they do in moments of great challenge or adversity. Do they rise to the occasion or fail? Are they heroes or cowards? Are they loyal to the people they love most or do they betray them? You never quite know exactly who to trust or what is going on – almost feels like the rug can be slipped out from beneath you at any time, and believe me it does! The characters are all unique and interesting, with great depth and development along the way as well. Mr. King tells this enticing story with finesse and great passion and you can tell he knows his characters and subjects well. It’s hard to read through to the end and remain unaffected in some way, as it seems like these are things that could really happen in the ‘real world’. A definite recommended read, and I eagerly look forward to the next one! (5 stars) Jason Thackery— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
17. Roger King put a lot of heart and time and effort into this story and it shows. He has a wonderful way with words; his descriptions are vivid; you are there with the characters…I felt like I was experiencing what they were; fear, deprivation, confusion, joy, heartbreak, happiness, etc. I found the book very hard to put down, as I had to know what the outcome for each of these characters would be. Each time I did have to stop reading, I found myself thinking and pondering on what I had read, and what might happen next. This is an excellent book; it makes you feel, it makes you think, and it makes you grateful for what you have, worried what COULD happen, yet is never predictable and will keep you guessing right up til the end. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to adult readers of suspenseful action and political thrillers. It needs some proofreading and the block formatting is hard to read, but other than that a great experience! (4.5 stars) Darla Ortiz— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
18. I thought “Cross Reference” by Roger King to be very good—excellent writing and a compelling, realistic, frightening plot set against a familiar background. I like the fact that it is a fully-realized political thriller, action adventure without all the bloat that can sometimes weigh down a complex book like this one. King fills you in as we go without getting bogged down in describing every last thing, but still maintains great character and plot integrity. The story moves forward and you can't help but get sucked into King’s strong narrative, and liked the way the dialogue sounded authentic and natural. And I haven't even begun to talk about the characters, which were fully fleshed out and move the story forward nicely. Some similar themes and motifs found in political thriller/suspense lore, but King does a fantastic job of putting his own unique spin on them. Recommend for mature fans of action/thrillers with a realistic angle. (5 stars) Cale Owens— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
19. There is much to be said about a novel that just reads well. I've mentioned this before in other reviews I’ve written, but a book that keeps you reading long after you plan on putting it down ranks high for me. Not only is it entertaining, but you look forward to getting back into the book each and every time you pick it up, if you have the self-control to ever put it down. That is what reading this book “Cross Reference” has done for me. Typical of much of the political fiction I’ve read, it has much in the way of grittiness and high-stakes political maneuverings, yet it remains inventive. With twists and turns, you won't know who… or what… to believe and trust. The plot moved quickly and even though some traditional thriller archetypes show up, it is not in the usual way, which is refreshing. There only a few parts where I was confused but really nothing that hindered my enjoyment any. A very strong effort by Roger King, and I will be looking forward to reading more from him in the future. Recommend for adult readers of terrorist-thrillers/action/adventure. (4 stars) James Masters— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
20. “Cross Reference” by Roger King is a great piece of action-political-suspense-thriller fiction no one should miss reading if they are looking for an adventurous, entertaining read that has high tension and an unpredictable, yet believable, plot… If you're looking for a work that is completely original and lacking in cliché then I must say that you might have a bone to pick with this, as there were many ‘familiar’ elements that made me almost feel at times that I had read it before (I haven’t). But I believe the author's job is not to be completely original (for is there such a thing as true originality, especially in the political adventure game?) here but rather to tell a powerful, authentic story that stays with you. For I believe that the true future for the genre lies not in becoming ‘newer’ but rather by taking old tropes and telling them better. This is done nicely here and I am impressed with the way that Roger King can tell a story in his own way with characters that we love, or love to hate. I looked forward to my reading time each evening and was a bit disappointed when it was over. This appears to be a standalone novel featuring characters from another earlier novel, and I will be interested in checking that one out as well. (4 stars). Steph Coleman — Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
21. Well worth the read! There is a lot to like about this book, great action, cool tech, weapons, authentic military/terrorist combat and action, and an awesome story with lots of shady characters. I did think the beginning felt a bit too slow for my tastes with not enough conflict to really hook me until I was about 20% or so in – but after that I didn’t want to put the kindle down. Vogt is a great hero, and the content is very authentic. It is clear the author is well-versed in political terrorism/international background and understands global tensions and strife. Overall I do highly recommend this book, it is by no means breaking new ground but if you enjoy action and adventure, it is well worth the read. The ending wraps everything up well and this appears to be a standalone novel but if Roger King writes any more like this in the future, I’d be happy to read it! Recommend. (4-5 stars) Leo Gregory— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
22. I definitely enjoyed this book. I’m not exactly sure how you would describe it (Suspense? Action? Thriller? Drama? Romance? All the above??), but it was very good. I won’t rehash the plot, but in my opinion this is one of those books that really is so much more than what the description or a short review can convey. It was surprisingly complex and visionary and managed to keep me complete engaged from the beginning to the end. I noticed that King avoided the common mistake of “telling” instead of “showing” which was a huge relief (especially in this genre where authors so often feel the need to ‘describe’ everything to death), and I felt a part of the action the entire time, starting with the opening pages where we get right to it. He wastes no time setting the tone for the rest of the book with believable narrative and dialogue with the characters. In addition, King does an amazing job with the believable world-building and for the most part the pacing was spot on and kept me engaged throughout. Was surprised at a few things, and the ending was perfect, and fortunately no cliffhanger! Recommend to readers of thrillers, action and drama. Has some adult content and themes. (5 stars) Darlene Cupp— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
23. “Cross Reference” is wonderful book in which Roger King sweeps the reader away into a multitude of unforgettable experiences and high stakes cat and mouse games on a large, international scale, and with deadly results. He also has the ability to keep the reader totally engaged throughout the entire story, and that is no small feat considering the various of multi layered plotlines, diverse set of characters that come and go, and wildly fluctuating scenery and events and even time periods (occasionally)... You want to keep reading it but at the same time you have to stop to think about it all and let it sink in as it is incredibly intense and disturbing in the subject matter at certain points, and heartwarming and charming at other times, and downright shocking in others. The ending is nice – a bit quick, almost rushed it seemed. I did notice many instances of punctuation errors, but nothing that ruined the book for me. Although I was sad when it was all over, I’d love to read more from Mr. King someday, and I’m happy to see he has another similar book out. Great characters… great writing… great storylines. Fantastic! (5 stars) Nicole Hastings— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
24. I personally think that “Cross Reference” would make an excellent book club choice as there are just so many topics we can talk about and dissect deeper. There are so many different angles and subjects to talk about, and not even mentioning the dynamic characters who bring the book to life in a believable way. I liked that we are able to really able to delve deeper onto the different characters perspectives and their various backgrounds and motivations for doing what they do – even the bad ones have a real ‘human’ quality to them which is crucial in developing a believable storyline. Everyone has reasons for doing what they do. At times it seems so crazy and dramatic, other times so ‘downhome’ and relatable…The pacing could have used some tightening, I thought and at times I questioned the focus, what the real focus was. Some scenes just seemed unnecessary, like fluff just telling us about incidents that didn’t seem to progress the plot much. But there were some amazing events unfolding that were just mesmerizing and made the book that more impactful. I love discovering new authors, and Roger King will certainly be one to watch! A great choice for fans of political thrillers and suspense. (4 stars) Jhonni Parker— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
25. I LOVE to read, but live a hugely busy life. It gets more complicated upon that rare occasion when a book is so captivating, so enthralling, that it is impossible to walk away. With only definitive hours in a day, something has to give. For me, that was sleep! And it was worth every sacrificed minute. “Cross Reference” was the grand slam home run and exceeded my wildest expectations and I would bet, maybe yours, as well. It reads almost like a sweeping poli/terrorist thriller with carefully executed drama that feels ripped from real life, but in an almost unbelievable way. The events that happen are shocking, yet believable, and the characters are drawn in such a way, warts and all, that their humanity comes through and we sympathize, even when they are not so nice, right up to the shocking climatic conclusion. A must read. Adults only. (5 stars) Karen Matthews— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
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