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Falling Star (The Watchers Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Philip Chen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.25
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $12.26 (80%)

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

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Book Description

Only One Man Can Save the Planet - But He Just Died.

Mysterious but silent objects have been found buried deep in the murky depths of the ocean.  Dormant for decades, they are now awake and sending messages to outer space. Mike, pulled back into a clandestine world to finish a job he started as a young Navy Ensign and help decipher these strange messages, is attacked by gangs of ordinary Americans and must fight for his very life.

As he struggles through these challenges, Mike also learns that a revered friend has died. With the death of this friend, is mankind's last hope for  understanding the signals lost forever in the silt and muck of the ocean bottom?

From the deepest reaches of the abyssal plains to the arid but mystically  beautiful deserts of the American Southwest, Falling Star takes you on a journey through the darkest aspects of human existence to enlightenment of mankind's soul.  It is a realistically written novel and contains scenes of graphic violence and strong language.

Thriller/Techno-Thriller/Science Fiction. 98,250+ words, 354 pages.

EDITORIAL REVIEWS:

Highly Recommended by Noted Book Reviewer:

Alan Caruba, Charter Member of the prestigious National Book Critics Circle had this to say about Falling Star:

"It is rare when a novelist makes his debut with as powerful a novel as Philip Chen's Falling Star ($15.25, available from Amazon.com, softcover and on Kindle). It begins in 1967 and concludes in the Oval Office in 1993. In between Chen introduces you to an array of characters, all of whom have unique talents, some of whom are U.S. Navy officers, some with the FBI, all devoted to the protection of their nation. They are a handful of people who know about mysterious entities far beneath the surface of the waters surrounding the U.S. Others are members of a rogue KGB unit, moles who lived among us, but whose mission ended when the former Soviet Union collapsed. This novel stands out for the way you are introduced not just to the characters, but the physical reality in which they live, the sights and even the smells. Slowly and then with increasing intensity, the mysteries are unraveled, the enemies identified, as life and death often hangs in the balance. Drawing on his own life as an ocean research engineer, attorney and banker, Chen brings an authenticity to the novel that provides a heart-pounding reality that forces you to ask "What if?" What if Earth was under observation by those from another planet that is circling a dying sun?   What if they intended to colonize it? What if the year for this was 2013? If you read just one novel in 2011, make it Falling Star."

Pre-publication Review by Award-Winning Author:

Robin Hathaway, well-known mystery author of the Dr. Fenimore and other series, and an Agatha Award winner (1998) and the David G. Sasher, Sr. Award (2009) winner, writes,

"The discovery and subsequent search for a mysterious weapon buried deep in American waters, is the chilling subject of this thriller. The author's knowledge of engineering and his use of specific detail increase the credibility of this intriguing story. A colorful cast of characters are involved in the search and their dramatic interaction is vividly portrayed.

"Anyone interested in the future of America's defense and weaponry will find this novel gripping."

********

Cover photo (c) by Tomo Yun

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philip Chen was born in China in 1944 and immigrated to the United States in 1949. Growing up in Washington, D.C., during the 1950s and 1960s, Philip learned both the pains and triumphs of American society at a crucial turning point in America's history.  In the fifties and sixties, Washington stood at the crossroads of southern institutionalized racism and northern false hope; a point not lost on the young Chinese immigrant.

After receiving a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with Distinction from the University of Virginia and a Master of Science from Stanford University, he worked as an ocean research engineer in the development of deep submergence systems. Part of his work dealt with vehicles that could freely dive to 20,000 feet of water depth. He also participated as a hyperbaric chamber operator for manned dives inside a pressure chamber to 1,500 feet. He holds one U.S. Patent for an underwater mooring system.

After his stint as an ocean research engineer, Philip was an environmental and energy engineer, a trial attorney, a public securities attorney, an investment banker, a corporate executive, a private equity manager (in Africa), a strategic consultant, a cartoonist, an illustrator, a website manager, and author. He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota.

One of his mentors once told Philip that it wasn't that he couldn't hold down a job; he couldn't even hold down a career! Philip's biography has been included in Who's Who in America and in Who's Who in the World for many years.

Product Details

  • File Size: 477 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 145389845X
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YCPK4C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,313 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Disturbing Premise October 15, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Philip Chen has had an extremely interesting career and it shows in his work. His detailed descriptions of highly technical equipment and clandestine government operations is very impressive. The thought of what mysteries might lurk beneath the vast expanses of our planet's seas and oceans is in itself a thrilling yet sobering thought. Philip's use of our innate fear of the unknown and irrepressible curiosity about the unexplained catches the reader's attention in the beginning of the novel and our curiosity builds as he feeds us titillating tidbits throughout the book.
Underlying the bigger mystery in the sea, another mystery unfolds on land as his characters are set upon by unknown forces willing to stop at nothing to stop the top secret agency known as C-SAC from learning about a powerful new weapon based on sound technology. The action is fast-paced and illustrated by colorful descriptions of blood and gore as the C-SAC couriers are eliminated one by one while its top members search frantically for the leak in their chain of command information dike. Their findings are as chilling as the mysterious objects at the bottom of the sea and Philip's expert rendition lends a completely believable air to the situation that perhaps leaves its readers with slightly different views of the little old lady sitting next to us on the plane or the grease monkey changing our spark plugs.
Falling Star ends just as mysteriously at it begins and puts the reader in the mood for a possible sequel.
Mr. Chen's writing style is precise, almost military and chock full of information that makes the reader wonder if this story might not be fiction at all, but something very real and very disturbing.
I noticed very few grammatical/spelling errors in the book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good techno-thriller with sci-fi overtures. (less)
like this book
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise but needs some work January 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
It all began with an anomalous magnetic signal. From there, the situation expanded quickly, drawing in multiple acronym-plagued departments, too many officers to count, and a great amount of confusion, thus eliciting a combination of paranoia and justified concern on the part of the United States government. Chen's story is well thought-out, the many layers of conspiracy a clever merging of the political and the fantastical.

Chen appears to draw upon many of his own experiences in this work, as evidenced by the technical minutiae provided for every underwater vessel, as well as the similarity in background between his education and ethnicity and those of his protagonist, Aloysius "Mike" Liu. In spite of this connection, however, Chen evenly distributes his focus between several key players and avoids focusing solely on the experiences of one. This enriches the storyline by encompassing multiple arenas in which important action is occurring.

Unfortunately, there were in fact too many characters introduced over the course of the book. Many of them had intricate backgrounds, which detracted from the story by giving the reader too many things to take in at once. Most of the characters we are told about only appear for one or two scenes, after which they vanish, save for a brief reference later that was nice as a tie-in but not wholly necessary to make the novel work. This book might have benefited from having the spotlight focused on the central characters, with dimmer lighting for what is essentially the background.

Perhaps what contributed to the confusion was my distraction by several writing ticks. The author has the tendency to repeat himself, such as restating the subject in every sentence within the same paragraph.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shows promise...but. September 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The basic story idea for this book is quite good. The execution however is mostly mediocre, at times excruciating. For every interesting character (and there are a couple), there are a number of forgettable ones. The author also makes the mistake of trying to make characters that _should_ be forgettable, interesting. To exaggerate, sometimes it's like reading a scene where the primary protagonist gets pizza delivered, and one and a half pages are then dedicated to the pizza delivery man's upbringing. Then a single sentence of him handing over the pizza and never being mentioned again.

This amount of pointless detail extends to actions as well. At times it's like reading a book about a racing car driver, and every few pages being subjected to exactly how the key is inserted into the ignition, followed by the turning of said key in order to activate the starter motor. It gets downright embarrassing when this level of detail is attempted in areas the author hasn't researched properly. Especially considering it wasn't necessary to go into detail in the first place. Sometimes, all we need to know is that they got into the car and started it (not how an engine work). Or stopped at a diner and had something to eat (not what, as well as how the cook prepared it).

And then there's the telling of the story. It reads more like disjointed journal entries than a cohesive story. The dialog is at times atrociously poorly written. There are too many instances of irrelevant scenes clearly inserted because the author wanted to include experiences from his own life. The list goes on.

I'm generally a big fan of indie authors. But they need to run their novels through a few filters before publishing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Started off good.
Started off as a sci-fi story but then morphed into more of a fiction "spy" type story. My single biggest complaint is that the author would go on for literally pages of... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Virginia Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
Loved the book. Know the author personally and was so pleased at the success of the book.
It was entertaining, exciting, and a hard one to put down. Great writing, Phil.
Published 16 months ago by Charles Fjeld
2.0 out of 5 stars Totally illogical book.
I'm giving this book two stars because I feel there is some redeeming value but it's hard to find. SPOILER ALERT. If you're determined to read it then do so. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
I am not sure where these 4 and 5 star reviews are coming from to be honest. I felt like I was reading a different book to these reviewers. Read more
Published on June 4, 2012 by Jedi
5.0 out of 5 stars I Believe!
Philip Chen, has definitely set himself up to be an author to follow. His very realistic thriller is simply captivating, and seriously grabs you at every page. Read more
Published on April 21, 2012 by Chris LoParco Author
1.0 out of 5 stars Falling Star
Finally the story line began to move forward and then it ended abruptly. I mistakenly believed the great reviews instead of the honest ones. Read more
Published on March 14, 2012 by Bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars great
My review is in my blog just click this link this was by far one of the best books I have read in a while loved it would read again and going to tell everyone I know to read... Read more
Published on January 27, 2012 by Anna Bernyc
3.0 out of 5 stars Struggling with the book
I really want to like this book, but I am struggling with it. It really needs a good edit to cut down the material and tighten up the prose. I usually don't expect much from 0. Read more
Published on January 20, 2012 by ER
5.0 out of 5 stars Riviting Story!!!!
I seriously must admit, this book was more than I had anticipated. I am seriously not a teckky, as can be attested to by my children and those around me. Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by grammy1
4.0 out of 5 stars The Abyss meets Contact and somewhere in between
In March of 1967, on a routine fact finding flight over the Atlantic Ocean, Navy pilot Thomas "Buck" Morrow and his crew discover a mysterious magnetic anomaly which will set in... Read more
Published on December 27, 2011 by lovestodive
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More About the Author

Philip Chen was born in China in 1944 and immigrated to the United States in 1949. Growing up in Washington, D.C., during the 1950s and 1960s, Philip learn both the pains and triumphs of American society at a crucial turning point in America's history. Washington in the 1950s was at the cross roads of Southern institutionalized racism and Northern false hope; a fact not lost on this alien child as he navigated the treacherous shoals of an Asian in a segregated society.

After receiving a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with Distinction from the University of Virginia and a Master of Science from Stanford University, he worked as an ocean research engineer in the development of deep submergence systems. Part of his work dealt with vehicles that could freely dive to 20,000 feet of water depth. He also participated as a hyperbaric chamber operator for manned dives inside a pressure chamber to 1,500 feet. He holds one U.S. Patent for an underwater mooring system.

After his stint as an ocean research engineer, Philip was an environmental and energy engineer, a trial attorney, a public securities attorney, an investment banker, a corporate executive, a private equity manager (in Africa), a strategic consultant, a cartoonist, an illustrator, a website manager, and author. He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota.

One of his mentors once told Philip that it wasn't that he couldn't hold down a job; he couldn't even hold down a career!

He is married with two adult children and two beautiful granddaughters, who are his pride and joy.

Phil's biography has been included in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World for many years.


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