Sunday, April 19, 2015

Underground Serial: Parts 1 – 3 by Cassandra Carr Blog Tour

Follow this 10-part serial throughout 2015 featuring Ethan, aka Slapshot, a hockey player whose life is ruined, forcing him to disappear forever. Ethan joins Underground, a black ops organization and is trained as a deadly operative. There, he meets Ciana, a woman with a dark past of her own. As Ethan and his Underground colleagues embark on dangerous missions worldwide, he finds a new purpose in life. But will his former problems come back to haunt him?

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Off the Grid

The seemingly impossible has happened. The unthinkable. Those I trusted most have betrayed me. I’m a hockey player, and gave control of my finances to my parents so I could concentrate on my game. Big mistake. They stole from me, bankrupted me, in fact. And then someone came looking for money I don’t have and I did something terrible that will haunt me forever. After that, I took off with no thought about where I’d go or what I’d do.

But a secret organization found me and offered a new start, a salvation. I would no longer be a hockey player, I wouldn’t even be an actual person. Doing this would require me to go totally off the grid. I’d be a shadow, fighting crime with a group that’s underground, literally. Do I want that life?

If I went back, what kind of life would I have? Probably one in prison orange. The choice to join Underground is painful, but necessary. As my hockey coach always said, though, pain is weakness leaving the body. I will not be powerless ever again.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Off the Grid is the first instalment of a 10 part serial. This is a quick read which jumps straight into action. This first instalment is setting up the story for our hero, Ethan and when it ended I kind of felt like I'd just watched the first part of a new tv show and gone to a commercial break.

I enjoyed this first instalment. I'm interested to see how Ethan can successfully go from hockey star to black ops.

While this is the first part of a ten part series, I felt like there was much to be desired. We get Ethan established in what happened to make him join the Underground, but that felt like that's all it was. There wasn't really a whole lot to the story.

I think if we'd seen him in action as a hockey player instead of just told about it, it would've helped. It just felt like there was something missing. We were introduced to a lot of new people and shown around the facility, but that’s about it. While I know there will be many more installments, this one was just lackluster for me.

I would still be interested to see how he adapts to live in the Underground even though this one was just an info overload.

This is part one of a ten part series. It explained Ethan's background and why he went from a well-known hockey player to an Underground operative. I was a little bored with it. There is a lot of telling of Ethan's history, but I couldn't get lost in it. Very fast paced, but nothing really happened.

The idea has some promise but I think it lacked in execution. This being the first in the series I'm not writing it off just hoping for more from the next one.

Creating Slapshot

I’ve left my old life behind and officially joined Underground. It appears no one knows where I am or even if I’m still alive. I don’t know how I feel about that. My friends thinking I’m dead leaves a hole in my heart, but I’ll drive myself crazy if I obsess about it. So rather than allowing myself to wallow in self-pity or anger about what’s happened, I’m throwing all my energy into training. You would think that whole “elite athlete” thing would make everything easier, but all these new techniques I need to master—hand-to-hand combat, weapons training, surveillance procedures—are kicking my ass.

For my whole life, I’ve only had one identity. Ethan, hockey player. Now that sense of self is gone forever, slowly being replaced by my new identity, Slapshot. Surreal doesn’t even begin to describe this transformation. But the more I find out about the world around me, the problems I ignored for the most part as I played a game for an obscene amount of money, the more I want to make a difference. This is not a game. It’s real life, and I have the chance to be a hero. It’s going to take everything I have—or have left, to do it.

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Book 2
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

We join Ethan has he starts training with the Underground and tries to settle into his new life. We get to meet a supporting cast of interesting characters including, Ciana, the weapons expert, who is presumably going to be Ethan's love interest. We are only given one tiny spark between Ethan and Ciana but I'm looking forward to seeking where they spark will take them.

Another good instalment.

This is the second part of the 10 part series and to me it was a lot like the first.... a big info dump. We follow as Ethan starts his training and to me it was just way too slow with way too much information at one point. The best part of the entire thing was when he sits down with Helen and Ciana. We get to see him react and interact rather than being taught how to shot a gun or do other not so interesting things. While I understand the need for showing how much training he is going through, it is really hard to get through when I'd rather get to action or learning more about the characters.

As excited as I was about this series, I'm quickly losing interest since it is very, very slow going to get to anything exciting.

We learn more about Ethan and his weapons training. Again to me it was more information thrown at me than a story I could get lost in. I did enjoy the interaction with Ciana, but that was so minimal in the overall read.

I felt it needed more action or more feeling. I can see the potential with Ciana but again nothing happened. I had high hopes for this one to pull me into the series but I don't think that is going to happen.

Initiation by Fire

I have my first assignment--helping track down a man targeting Cuban bodegas and then using an automatic rifle to massacre all those inside after they're attacked by a Cuban gang and his wife is killed. Underground is tasked with figuring out who this dangerous man is and stopping him before he goes on another rampage. Though I only play a small role in this first mission, it’s satisfying to know I helped find justice for all the innocent people the man has murdered.

Despite that, I still find myself thinking about what I left behind, as I learn more about what my parents did with my money, and my former hockey team struggles to deal with my apparent death. Guilt weighs me down, and the rest of the team does their best to keep me focused on this new life. Can they do that, or will I snap under the pressure?

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Book 3
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the third instalment of the Underground serial and I'm hooked. The story is starting to move along now with Ethan starting to show an interest in Ciana.

Ethan's training continues as the Underground team are investigating a serial murderer which gives Ethan the opportunity to put his new found skills to the test.

I'm very much enjoying this series and I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

I thought this was the best of the first 3 installments of the series. It had action, suspense and wasn't quite so clinical in everything that was happening. We got to experience some of the team bonding and working as a unit.

Ethan is feeling more comfortable in his position at Underground, but he still feels like an outsider. Although he does start to show a teeeeeny tiny bit of romantic interest toward one of the female members, he doesn't know what to do about it. This is the part I am most interested in, but that's the romantic in me.

I liked the way the unit worked together and helped support Ethan on his first mission.

For me this is the best of the first three I've read. There is action, suspense, and a little romantic interaction being thrown in, I am starting to enjoy Ethan.

With Ethan going on his first mission there is finally that suspense/action combo I have been waiting for. He's unsure if he can do it, questioning everything. The only issue with this one is the length just when I was getting into it, it ends.

Cassandra Carr is a multi-award winning romance writer. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out online. Cassandra's books have won numerous “Best Book Of” awards and her novella Unexpected Top was nominated in the E-book Erotic Romance category of RT's Reviewers' Choice Awards.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Off the Grid (Underground #1), Creating Slapshot (Underground #2), and Initiation by Fire (Underground #3) by Cassandra Carr to read and review for this tour.

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