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Crossfire
by Dick Francis


Book with an orange cover....In Crossfire by Dick Francis, the main character is veteran Tom Forsyth who returns home after time in the British military. His estranged relationship with his mother, Josephine, presents tension right away. At first, Tom falls back into his usual catty ways with his mother and stepfather, both of whom he's never felt close to or overwhelming love towards. Soon however he discovers that his mother, who is a renowned horse trainer and owner of Katrina Stables, is intentionally making her horse lose a race. After doing some detective work, Tom finds out that his mother is being blackmailed and is scared of her tax fraud being discovered. Despite his underlying distain for his mother, Tom uses his military training to hunt down the blackmailer and help his mom become current with her taxes so she may avoid prison. The mystery has a few twists but in the end the Kauris come out winning. Tom loses the love of his life in the process, but inherits the horse stables when his mother retires. I listened to this and enjoyed the voice actors very much. Their accent made the story come to life.
 
 


Enders Game
by Orson Scott Card


2021 Challenge; category: based off a game or vice versa. Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" takes place in the future. The main character, Ender, is the third child in his family and starts life as an outcast. He is considered excess in a world that embraces only two children per family. Ender's siblings, Peter and Valentine, start as polar opposites with Peter being mostly destructive and Valentine playing the protective role for her younger brother Ender. At first Ender is monitored by military intelligence for possible recruitment after his siblings failed. He is accepted into a type of military academy and quickly rises through the ranks, often with great exhaustion and loss of his childhood innocence. After passing every challenge with military precision and finesse, Ender joins the real military that is tasked with winning an intergalactic war against an alien species, nicknamed the buggers. After fighting what he thought was a practice war, Ender finds out that he was fighting in real life and kills off an entire alien species. In the end, Ender is faced with a decision to help hatch the last living alien egg to restart their species or kill their last hope for survival. Ender vows to spread the truth as presented by the aliens until human beings can see the errors in their own destructive ways. I thought it was a well written book with some unexpected alliances and twists in the plot to keep it interesting through all the military descriptions.
 
 



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