Featured Review: The Expansion by Christoph Martin

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Scerakor
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Featured Review: The Expansion by Christoph Martin

Post by Scerakor » 19 May 2017, 14:36

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Expansion" by Christoph Martin.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever pondered about how a massive, internationally sought after engineering project gets off the ground? Have you ever realized that when many nations are competing against each other not only to win a bid like this but maintain their national interest in an area, tensions are extraordinarily high? Christoph Martin, the author of this book, most definitely has and he uses this (and more) to set the stage for his exceptional thriller, The Expansion. This book dips the reader's toe into the cutthroat business world, the sleaziness of corporate espionage, the intrigue of clandestine agencies, and centers it all on the expansion of one of the most influential waterways in the world: The Panama Canal.

Although the book is written from multiple perspectives, the story line mainly follows a British geomatics engineer, Max Burns, as he embarks on the opportunity of a lifetime. Leaving a steady job (and his future wife) behind, Max Burns makes his way to Panama where he has been given the opportunity to be a part of a British company's bid for the contract to expand the Panama Canal. Although they are not the only company putting in a bid, Max collaborates with his long-lost childhood friend to lead a top-notch team in the presentation of a winning submission. Unfortunately, things are not as straightforward as they may seem. Plans for another canal in Nicaragua put into question the motives of the Chinese, the Americans have vested interest in the Panama canal and may do anything to ensure their continued influence, intelligence agencies are monitoring all involved, and back-door deals are a dime a dozen.

This book has a lot of amazing things going for it. I loved how in the first chapters, the main character(s) backstory is given to the readers in order to provide context. Additionally, it is a fast-paced novel that keeps you on your toes from a very early on. The author easily sucks you into a story based on the actual competition towards winning the Panama canal expansion bid, keeps you interested when all of the intrigue is introduced, glues you to the pages as the heat is turned up on all of the characters, and leaves you wishing for more as you finish that last page. Finally, the author is able to bring all of the "main elements" of a novel to the reader without going overboard. For example, for the first time in a long time I read a romantic element within a story without being subjected to the author's raunchy description of a sex scene. What I liked the best, however, was that there were several plot twists that keep you guessing. Unlike many of the thrillers on the market these days it is not readily obvious in this book what the final solution is going to be. Martin has created a situation so explosive that any plot twist you can think of could potentially be the reality.

The only issue at all that I have with this book is the blatant cliffhanger left at the end of the novel. I understand that all of the money in literature these days is in series and sequels, but I am not a fan of the implicit hook at the end of a novel which essentially all but states, "to be continued." That being said, this is a relatively short (~300 page) book and there is ample room for additional tales within the same character base/plot. A sequel would not be unwelcome.

This book was a pleasure to read and is an exciting story, for that reason I have no qualms whatsoever giving it 4 out of 4 stars. This book is meant for a wide variety of audiences including those who love crime/thrillers, those that like a short "airport book", and those that simply like a fast paced novel that keeps them glued to the pages. There are very few readers that wouldn't enjoy this book, but if you are inherently against the C/T/M/H genre, this clearly fits within it, and would therefore not be for you. When Christoph Martin comes out with the sequel to The Expansion I can tell you right now that I will be chomping at the bit to get a copy.

******
The Expansion
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Amagine
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Post by Amagine » 23 May 2017, 17:41

I love that this book has a little something in it for everyone. Whether you like thrillers or short fiction, a lot of people will be able to enjoy this book. I liked the intro of your review BTW.

Great Review! ?
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Post by kandscreeley » 23 May 2017, 17:56

I do love the premise behind this book. I hate cliff hangers though. I wouldn't read this until the next book is out. Then maybe I'll put it on my list.
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Post by Spirit Wandering » 23 May 2017, 20:22

Sounds like an interesting book and I agree with you that trend toward cliff hanger endings is frustrating. However, I am a little confused though about why this one is in the romance book forum? Thanks for the review.

[Moderator's Note: This review is currently a featured global announcement topic, so it displays in all the forums. It is not classified specifically as romance. You can doublecheck the actual genre classification of any book by looking at the book's page on Bookshelves. Click here to view The Expansion on Bookshelves. Sorry for any confusion.]
Interested in books that help one's spirit move beyond the ordinary.

Scerakor
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Post by Scerakor » 23 May 2017, 21:21

Amagine wrote:I love that this book has a little something in it for everyone. Whether you like thrillers or short fiction, a lot of people will be able to enjoy this book. I liked the intro of your review BTW.

Great Review! ?
That is a great way of putting it (and I completely agree): something in it for everyone. Thanks for the comment; I had some fun writing the review too!

-- 23 May 2017, 22:24 --
kandscreeley wrote:I do love the premise behind this book. I hate cliff hangers though. I wouldn't read this until the next book is out. Then maybe I'll put it on my list.
It does work well enough on its own though. Although this cliffhanger is there, enough of the book's issues are resolved to leave you satisfied. Thanks for the comment.

-- 23 May 2017, 22:26 --
Spirit Wandering wrote:Sounds like an interesting book and I agree with you that trend toward cliff hanger endings is frustrating. However, I am a little confused though about why this one is in the romance book forum? Thanks for the review.
Hmmmm, it was/is in the romance forum, odd. Although there is a slight romance within the book it is DEFINITELY not to be categorized as such. Odd. Thanks for pointing this out and for the comment.

[Moderator's Note: This review is currently a featured global announcement topic, so it displays in all the forums. It is not classified specifically as romance. You can doublecheck the actual genre classification of any book by looking at the book's page on Bookshelves. Click here to view The Expansion on Bookshelves. Sorry for any confusion.]

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Post by BookishBookkeeping » 23 May 2017, 23:03

Alright you had me at crazy plot twist and no raunchy sex scenes. This review is excellent. It goes along with the book theme pulling you in and leaving you wanting to know more. Once I get my hands on it, this one is for certain going on the "want to read" shelf. :techie-studyinggray:

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Post by Bookworm_1515 » 23 May 2017, 23:10

Not sure if this book would be for me but I would be willing to try it if Mr. Martin comes out with others to accompany it. I am not very patient with cliff hangers and would need the next installment to keep up the momentum of interest at first. Here is for hoping and good luck to Mr. Martin! Thank you for your review!

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Post by Janien van Rooyen » 23 May 2017, 23:29

This book has been on my shelf for a couple of days now and the review just convinced me to read it next ? Thanks.

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Post by Ebe Read » 24 May 2017, 01:39

It is clear you really enjoyed this book. I also agree with your view on clifhangers. They can be overdone and then you go around wondering if you should look for the next book and if you will ever be able to find it.

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Post by Trishnar » 24 May 2017, 05:39

This was one of the best books I ever read. Liesel was one hell of a character.

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Post by Kialana » 25 May 2017, 13:32

Have you read Fayroll? I've just read it and I recommend everybody to read it! It's the best russian book I have ever read! Also I'm looking for anyone to discuss it! I have my thoughts about it and I want to share them.

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Post by Riki » 26 May 2017, 12:53

Like a lot of people, I think I'll wait until the next book in the series releases because I just can't stand cliff-hangers. My favorite thing to do with a great series is to finish one book and then immediately go to the next like it's just one giant novel.

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Post by Kialana » 27 May 2017, 13:44

Previously I thought like that too, but then my friend advised me this book and I didn't know its translation isn't completed. But I have no regrets. Now I can participate in the contest by this universe.
By the way, can you recommend me any good series of LitRPG books, please? c:

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Post by Ebe Read » 28 May 2017, 04:56

Your review made me want to read this book for myself, but I have so many that I want to read at this point that this one will have to wait a little bit.
I agree with your view that the clampdown on ribald sex scenes that have recently become noticeble in good books is very welcome as I have found it a turnoff to always have to read about the growling and sighing that actually has nothing to contribute to the story.
Nicely done.

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Rana bilal
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Post by Rana bilal » 28 May 2017, 11:26

i love this book there is lots to read in it an have lots of thriller

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