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on July 5, 2017
When Nick Carter, a former Marine Recon expert now working for the PROJECT, a special agency that reports directly to the President, is assigned to provide security to Selena Connor, niece of a wealthy man who was slain for his money and an unsuccessful attempt to acquire an ancient text supposedly containing the secret to immortality, he didn’t know what he was getting into.
When attempts are made by armed Chinese to abduct Selena, the stakes suddenly get higher, and Nick finds himself at the epicenter of a plot that could lead to war with China.
White Jade by Alex Lukeman is a riveting thriller of international intrigue and violence that will keep you turning pages until the chilling climax. This story of unbridled lust for power will also keep you awake long after you’ve finished reading it.
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on January 2, 2014
Harrison Ford has nothing on Nick Carter as he deftly tackles one covert assignment after another for the government agency and the director of the "Project", answering only to the president. His tours of duty have left him with some emotional scars as well as the physical and recurring flash-backs that he convinces his psych team are under control so he can be brought back to protect the life of Dr. Selena Connor, niece of William Connor. Connor had been sadistically executed in an attempt to retrieve an invaluable artifact along with four million dollars.

In this fast-paced novel, you are catapulted from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., Beijing, and Tibet, following an ever-expanding plot that hints at the ancient Chinese book's elixir for immortality, the secret recipe of which could transform permanently the modern world. Getting inside the heads of the bad guys as well as good, along with the brilliant mind of Selena and the cloistered and classified world of Director Elizabeth Harker, along with the twists and turns of the plot keeps you reading--indeed, I read it to my husband on a long trip south this winter.

I generally do not like reading a part of a series, as having one part usually leaves you hanging assuming the book is a real page-turner. This book was received, however, in an Amazon Bookbub promotion and definitely now leaves me wanting more! Complicated and intelligent without being convoluted beyond understanding, enough of a challenge to keep you on the edge, the story line never drags or contradicts itself. Can be read as a stand-alone book, but with characters this fascinating, plot this thrilling, and choreographed scenes with this depth of description, why would you?
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on February 28, 2017
This is a shoot-'em-up-blow-'em-up action/adventure story. Right from the beginning chapter the bullets fly. Nick Carter a member of an elite special terrorism task force under direct control of POTUS becomes involved with a girl Friday, Selena Connor, and the two of them go off on an action/adventure romp while having a cozy relationship. The pages turn with rapidity and the read is comfortable. The protagonist duo thwart anything the Chinese government and Triads can throw at them with grace and agility. Don't expect anything to tax your gray matter. It is a pleasant digression and the price is right.
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on January 27, 2014
Alex Lukeman's White Jade, the first book in a series about a secret government agency known as the Project, is a far fetched but generally entertaining action/adventure thriller. The Project is an elite counter terrorist organization that can take direct, immediate action when the national interests are threatened... sort of like the CIA on steroids.

The national interest is definitely threatened here, as rogue Chinese agents plot to launch a major attack against the U.S. as part of an even larger conspiracy. The Project gets wind of their plans when they torture and kill a wealthy industrialist to get their hands on an ancient book in the tycoon's possession that supposedly contained directions to a remote location in Tibet where the secret of eternal life was hidden. The Chinese are after something else at that location, a supply of enriched uranium capable of multiplying their nuclear weapons capabilities tremendously. The book's hero, former battle-hardened Marine turned Project operative Nick Carter, teams up with the dead man's niece, Selena Connor, who happens to be an expert in ancient languages and can help translate the book. Together, the two try to stop the Chinese plot.

There's a lot of action in the book, as you might expect, and Lukeman handles the assorted car chases, brawls, and shootouts quite well. In addition, the good guys wind up doing an Indiana Jones impersonation when they find the remote location referred to in the book and have to make their way through a variety of booby traps en route to some startling discoveries. It's all pure hokum, but I could easily suspend any sense of disbelief and had a good time throughout much of the book.

I had a tougher time suspending disbelief at some amazing logical howlers in the book, such as the thought that trained Chinese agents would try to kidnap Selena to find out what she knows by staging a high speed car crash on a major interstate just outside Washington, DC, in the hopes she would survive the crash... or that the fallout from the resulting chase and crash, which resulted in totaling a number of civilian vehicles and several dead bodies, would not make front page news all over the country. Nor could I accept the Chinese characters, who are poorly drawn stereotypes, practically drooling at the thought of having their way with American women, who act as if they are auditioning for the role of Fu Manchu in a community theater production.

As long as Lukeman keeps his focus on the two main characters and their travails, the book works very well. Carter is given a lot of emotional baggage in the form of a fiancée who died tragically that he has to work through during the book, and Selena is a feisty original. It's only when Lukeman expands his canvas, to the stock Chinese villains and the large scale political intrigue that occurs in both the U.S. and China, that he loses his focus. The last part of the book, in which the U.S. president has to work with Chinese officials to stop a war, should have been a powerful climax but, instead, was a bit of a letdown after Carter's frenetic activity in the previous pages.

First novels are rarely perfect, and White Jade is no exception. However, the flaws in the book... the stock, ridiculous villains, the annoying lack of logic in places, and the tepid political intrigue can be improved. Lukeman's back story of the long lost temple where the secret of eternal life is located (which, after a fashion, Carter finds out does exist) is the sort of highly imaginative backdrop for a thriller that makes for a entertaining, albeit farfetched story. Add some genuinely exciting action scenes and a likable main couple to that premise, and you have a good, entertaining but undemanding escapist read.
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on September 13, 2017
I'm a fan of fast reads, but this didn't click. Right from page one. It is a collection of disjointed action and 'cliched' language (if there is anything like that in the first place). Ask me and I would say it is a weak book, with weak characters and poor setting. Perhaps it gets better past chapter nine (where I stopped), and the only reason it ended up on my shelves it's because I accidentally hit the Kindle 'Buy with One Click' and it was downloaded causing my heart to palpitate only to realize it was FREE and I sighed. The problem is, most American writers, led by James Patterson (he once inspired me) start these book series projects that end up irritating ... but this irritated right from the first word. And to hear the writer has other 12 books in the series (grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh! - I know it's cheap!).
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on December 7, 2014
A Great, what if, situation story revolving around the Chinese Military leadership and a top secret American group dedicated to keeping the lid on volatile tensions that are found world wide. All around the world there are people with their own agendas as to how the world should be run, at heart each nation thinks that that theirs is the only true way to live and will go to extreme lengths to make this happen. This author has woven a tale of a what if, with this story regarding the Chinese military's assumption that they are the supreme rulers and it is their right to rule the world.
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on October 31, 2014
I picked up this book, not as a stand alone, but as Book One of a Trilogy, that from the reviews, I wanted to read because it is in my genre of interest of political espionage. As an aside, as I write this, I am in the midst of Book Two, "The Lance", which, when I'm finished with it, I'll likely write a review of it as well.
At the risk of being cynical, "White Jade" as a story was more tongue in cheek for me than it was a serious undertaking of the genre. In other words, as I was reading it, I found the story to be ludicrous, so much so that I could not take it seriously.
To make a point, there is a segment in the story which smacks very closely to a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is that segment to which I refer as the book being written tongue in cheek by the author (REALLY MR. LUKEMAN?). There are other parts of the story equally far fetched, but since I don't re-tell story lines in my reviews, I won't recount them here.
I do not intend to segue into the book I'm currently reading, but suffice it to say, it is reading more true to life for me than the story line in "Jade". So maybe there's hope for this series after all.
My purpose in a review is to offer a critique of whether I think the book was a worthwhile read or not. All things considered, this book gets a "3". But, if you start "Jade" and find that it is not living up to your expectations either, finish it and then pick up "The Lance". I think you will be satisfied that the latter book is a more worthwhile read, at least so far.
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on June 15, 2016
By Alex Lukeman

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

International intrigue with a little bit of mystic Chinese background is one way in describing this thriller. I did find the premise an unlikely event.

However, the writer did keep me interested with his crisp prose. The characters were well defined and would be enjoyable to follow through this series encountering other evil doers.

The main character is a super spy a la Indiana Jones who teams up with his strong arm sidekick and an extremely intelligent, beautiful, karate kicking Chinese women. Their mission is to save the world from WW III.

How they go about it, keeps you thinking that failure is right around the corner up until the final act. The action will have the reader turning the page and not watching the clock.

Well done.
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on November 2, 2013
I almost gave up after the first chapter...I didn't like the act of violence in it (which is funny, considering all the books I've read that have similar scenes). I thought it was just another author using violence to write a book. I went on to chapter two, however, and I'm glad I did. There was more to this book than incidents of violence. Clever plot, interesting characters, and I learned about an ancient language called Linear A. I thought the author made it up, but I read more about it online. I liked the interaction among the various characters, the equality of ability between male and female characters. The description of the murals in the building in Tibet made me want to see them myself. And the author had a good editor, something that is sorely lacking in a lot of books these days. I will be reading more in this series.
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on April 30, 2015
I had never heard of Alex Lukeman until I came across one of his books on Amazon while looking for something to read on my Kindle while at the doctor's office. I have read several of his books now and he now ranks near the top of my list of favorite authors. His writing is reminiscent of Clive Cussler who is my favorite author of all. I am particularly fond of the archeological aspects of this type of writing, as I find archeology fascinating. The bringing together of the past, present and the possible future along with the interaction of the characters makes for pleasurable reading. And that is why I read, for the pleasure of it. I am not looking for deep, complex, technical or scientific writing. I am a cancer patient and I read for the excitement and pure joy. I don't have the memory that I used to have due to the chemo so that rather precludes a lot of difficult to read jargon. But I really enjoyed the concept of this book seeing as how we are so deeply involved with China without really knowing what they are doing militarily. It really makes you think about that. If you are like me (I am female by the way) and read for the pleasure of of the subject matter and character interaction, I think you will enjoy this book as well as his others. If you are looking for a deep psychological character study or intense technical writing, I don't recommend it. If you read for the joy of it, I think you will be happy with this choice. And if you do, please read his other books as well. They are all quite satisfying, at least to me,
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