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The Scarlet Crane: A Transition Magic Thriller by [Hopkins, J. E.]
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The Scarlet Crane: A Transition Magic Thriller Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Description

Product Description

Dr. John Benoit, agent for the Department of Transition Security, is obsessed with protecting the world’s adolescent children from the brief, miraculous gift—curse, really—of transition magic. Rumors have surfaced of a clandestine Chinese program using kidnapped children as disposable pawns. The objective? Geopolitical domination.

The DTS agent assigned to investigate has been found murdered in his Hanoi hotel room. John and Stony Hill, his pierced and scarlet-haired young partner, race across the globe to pick up the threads of the bloody mystery and eliminate the existential threat.

The world will be irrevocably changed before their mission ends. One of them may pay the ultimate price. But nothing can be allowed to stand in their way. Not Washington bureaucrats. Not an enemy attack. Nothing.

Fans of Tom Clancy’s international intrigue, Stieg Larson’s dark edge of human behavior, and Neil Gaiman’s real world fantasy should enjoy this suspense-filled series.

The Scarlet Crane is book one of the ongoing Transition Magic Thriller series.

About the Author

J. E. Hopkins is a retired business executive living in the Cincinnati area, experienced in the science of business communication, softer toilet paper, medical software systems, and bumblebee energetics. All of which have been strangely helpful in the writing of speculative fiction.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1742 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Unseen Worlds Publishing; 3 edition (Jan. 9 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008QOCHSA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #294,083 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have to say this is one of the best espionage-suspense books I have ever read. I've never been so enthralled by a book in this genre. As you probably noticed, I love fantasy books, but this one, this book has a bunch of stories that intertwine with each other showing you several sides of the same cube.
I felt like I was living the story with Dish and Stony. The imagery used through the descriptions, is so vivid that you can see everything, even the scenes I'd rather not be able to imagine. I could feel even the temperature of the different places.
This author obviously has had their share of travel or has studied and research each place in the book, since there were a few I've been to and could see them in my mind as if I was there again.
The minds of each character were complex and full of knowledge and mystery. Every situation could possibly be seen as a reality, except maybe, for the main thread which includes magic, though I do believe there is magic in this world.
I will be re-reading this book soon, since I'm sure I have yet some juicy details to uncover that slipped my eye in this first read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the story and the way it was written. There was a little mystery and a little suspense too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa4c59fa8) out of 5 stars 26 reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting concept, but did not enjoy the read. It's not a bad read, just could have been more fleshed out. The characters are one dimensional with very little background. I was unable to connect with them. And really a seventy something man rushing everywhere and fighting? I don't think so. Too many "bookisms" and stilted dialogue and i thought too many jumps from one group to another. Who's Akina, what's her background? Do any of the characters have family?
Like I said this is not a bad book but there was no depth to it. Don't think I'll finish it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4c94d8c) out of 5 stars Enoyable... March 14 2013
By Maureen G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was an enjoyable read albiet a bit choppy in style. The chapters jump between characters, countries and plots that eventually collide. I enjoyed the protaganist and his female side kick. Oddly I never felt character build up for the victims to care about their fate all that much. I normally do not read books about magic so I was skeptical and not drawn in at all about that topic.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4c94d50) out of 5 stars Spy this book, and fall into the magic of transition April 24 2013
By Sue_McG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to say this is one of the best espionage-suspense books I have ever read. I've never been so enthralled by a book in this genre. As you probably noticed, I love fantasy books, but this one, this book has a bunch of stories that intertwine with each other showing you several sides of the same cube.
I felt like I was living the story with Dish and Stony. The imagery used through the descriptions, is so vivid that you can see everything, even the scenes I'd rather not be able to imagine. I could feel even the temperature of the different places.
This author obviously has had their share of travel or has studied and research each place in the book, since there were a few I've been to and could see them in my mind as if I was there again.
The minds of each character were complex and full of knowledge and mystery. Every situation could possibly be seen as a reality, except maybe, for the main thread which includes magic, though I do believe there is magic in this world.
I will be re-reading this book soon, since I'm sure I have yet some juicy details to uncover that slipped my eye in this first read.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4fce060) out of 5 stars Great job for a first novel - looking forward to more! Dec 10 2013
By Carol Scarr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
First of all, this was a page-turner! Hopkins does a great job setting up interesting situations, putting his characters in unusual locations, and keeping the action moving. I've never been anywhere in Asia, but the descriptions in the scenes that took place in Hanoi, North Korea, and China rang true and matched my impressions from seeing things in the news or in movies, etc. The characters came across as distinct, well-described physically, and internally consistent.

While the characters were well drawn, though, I felt that more could have been done with character development in general and John Benoit in particular. He's the same guy at the end of the novel as he was at the beginning. This is common with series characters such as those found in mystery series, so all by itself that's not bad. But John doesn't appear to have any particular flaws or any hardship to overcome or anything concrete he's really striving for. In this regard, he's similar to James Bond as portrayed in all but the most recent films. So that's not a bad thing, but if you really like getting into the main character's head, John Benoit doesn't give much away in this first outing.

The main way I judge how good a book is these days is how willing I'd be to pay money to read another book by the same author. By that standard, this was a great read, because the day after I'd finished reading it, I bought the sequel and read that in one day. Keeping in mind that this is the author's first novel, it's understandable that there are a few things to work out. The second book was even better, and I'm looking forward to the third.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4fce558) out of 5 stars Genre blender That Works. Excellent First Novel. March 25 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
(Full disclosure: this writer and I exchanged novels and reviews. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't have reviewed it, as I don't have time for stuff that I don't like.)

This novel took me by surprise for two reasons. First, I'm not a fan of magic and fantasy. Second, I expected less from a first novel.

Jim Hopkins blended thriller and fantasy, with thriller taking the lead. The elements of magic were very matter-of-fact. It was as believable as reading a thriller in which a new kind of weapon or virus were central to the plot. So, the magic portion was believable because he didn't overwrite it, and because this is a thriller at heart, first and foremost.

Hopkins is a damned good writer, and displays an enviable mastery of scene and detail. I'm hoping that there's a sequel soon, so that a couple of characters can be fleshed out a bit more.

I don't regret a minute I spent on "The Scarlet Crane". It was a novel that I had to make an effort to set down, as Hopkins carries the reader from chapter to chapter.

Check it out!