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Catalyst - A World War II Thriller Paperback – October 9, 2007

23 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Breakneck Books (October 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979692938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979692932
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,792,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul grew up in Oregon on the shores of the mighty and mysterious Columbia River, and spent endless hours daydreaming on the beach in front of his house, making up stories about the ships from exotic ports all over the world that steamed up the river - what secret cargo might they be carrying; did they harbor spies who were on dark and exciting missions?

Later in adult life, he moved to another mysterious and provocative city - Las Vegas, just outside the famous Nellis Air Force base. After work he would sit on his porch and watch the fighters take off and land, igniting his imagination with visions of secret missions and rich speculation about what could possibly be hidden at Area 51.

After moving back to his native Pacific Northwest, Paul worked for the Navy and took every opportunity he could to speak with veterans from WWII to the Gulf War, listening to them swap stories and relate the experiences of a lifetime.

So it is this combination of a passionate love of history, a vivid "what if" imagination, and a philosophy of life that boils down to the belief that - there are few things in life that a bigger hammer won't fix - that led Paul to become a writer of exciting, fact-based action-thrillers. His greatest joy is leaving his readers wondering where the facts end and the fiction begins.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
When you sit down to read Paul's book don't plan on doing anything else for quite a while. Catalyst is an overwhelmingly powerful book with suspense, plot twists, action and romance that will keep you engrossed for hours on end. The characters are well thought out and incredibly human. Paul's knack for description, the wealth of information and attention to the exact history of the time will put you into this book like no other.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Oz Dillon on February 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
International author Paul Byers, comes out of the hangar with all guns blazing in his first suspense novel, "Catalyst". Mr. Byers grips his audience from the first page on, setting the scene for a fast paced spy thriller.

The aerial fights evoke what it must have been like back then, alone in hostile skies, sitting in a tin coffin with a view. You can almost hear the Merlin engines scream and the roar of machine guns and smell of cordite in the cockpit during the dogfights. The terror of the loser, and the relief of the victor...

Set in a what-if era of World War 2, he takes the reader on a whirlwind chase from war torn Europe to the very heart of the USA, to ferret out one of history's greatest traitors, while trying to stop a devastating attack on America that could well turn the tide of the war to Hitler's favor.

I give Catalyst two thumbs up!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark E. Stout on May 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book a lot. I am a novice to WWII air warfare. I found the book interesting, face paced, thrilling, and educational. It is language respectable and appropriate for most age levels. I Highly recommend the book to anyone old or new, who wants a great introduction to WWII air warfare.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carmine R. Bassano on December 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Having finished reading this great book, I can honestly say I was amazed that Paul Beyers was a first time auther.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story line and the detail with which he was able to describe the scenes.
It was particularly absorbing to me, an ex USAF fighter pilot; especially the air battles.
Well done Paul; I await your next effort.

CR Bassano
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Naas on July 23, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a huge fan of just about anything pertaining to World War II, particularly with regards to the aviation side of the conflict. Picking up this book was, at the time, a no-brainer, especially since there's a pair of P-51D Mustangs chasing what looks like a Ho 229 the cover.

The story has an interesting mix of action and suspense, and for the most part the writing was well done, though there were some editing issues (note that I'm reviewing the Kindle version here).

However, I've only given this novel 1 star as it was quite predictable, pretty much from start to finish, and there were quite a few historical errors that blew my mind. It was fairly obvious that the author is also a fan of WWII aviation (author profile states he plays the WWII flight sim called Warbirds), and while I understand the need to geek out a bit about the aviation side with some of his descriptions of aircraft during the novel, they took me away from the action in every case. Now, maybe this was because I already know quite a bit about WWII aircraft, but after the story was finished there were several paragraphs devoted to aircraft descriptions. It would have been much better to leave out a lot of technical descriptions during the bulk of the action.

There is no indication during the novel exactly when this story takes place, though there are several references to the fact that everyone thinks the war is nearly over and Germany is on it's last legs. Some other clues are that part of the plot revolves around French resistance cells, the Maquis, located in a town in France that remains un-named throughout the book, and while it's not specifically mentioned, it's obvious that D-Day has already occurred, based on actions later in the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on November 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Catalyst puts you on the edge of your seat with action and suspense. You find yourself wanting to turn the page to see what will happen and what will be revealed next. The plot was great. The characters where believable. And the detail of the dogfights will make you feel like you are in the cockpit.

I especially enjoyed the way Paul Byers can weave words together to describe a scene (a sunset or a battlefield) that is colorful and creative without being obtrusive.

For all WW2 historians, you will love this book. Catalyst is a treasure trove of WW2 interesting facts that inevitably will, at some point in the book cause you to pause and go, "huh, I didn't know that".

A great read, can't wait for the movie!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick L. Irvin on November 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Catalyst was a great read - can't wait for this author's next book. His attention to the fighter combat scenes puts you in the cockpit with the characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Finisher on October 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was given a copy of this book by a relative that knew I liked Clancy etc... I wasn't disappointed.

I particularly liked the fact that the author avoided the usual, while tying up all the loose ends at the conclusion.

Nicely Done.
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