All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Velocity – Steve Worland

on August 24, 2012

Steve Worland
Penguin AU
2012, 336p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Judd Bell used to have it all. He was the top of his game as an astronaut, the man of the moment. And he had a beautiful, smart girlfriend named Rhonda who worked along side of him at NASA. There was no denying that Judd Bell was going places.

But then the space shuttle Columbia is lost, taking with it Judd’s best friend and the man of the moment loses his mojo. His career is suddenly going in a downward spiral, not rising up through the roof and it’s Rhonda that is rising. When she is chosen to pilot a new mission in space, Judd knows that things between them have changed. She’s different now, and he doesn’t know how to fix it.

As the space shuttle Atlantis is preparing for take off, the unthinkable happens – the shuttle is highjacked by an advanced team of terrorists and completely taken over. The high level of skill, funding and even luck required to be able to pull off such a thing is baffling and no one can believe that it has actually taken place. A space shuttle, stolen off the launch pad – it’s unbelievable. This could be the end of the space exploration program, the end of everything if they don’t get that space shuttle back and prevent whatever it is the terrorists want to use it for.

But to Judd, that’s all secondary – what he cares about is the fact that Rhonda is strapped into that space shuttle and is little more than a pawn in a terrorist’s game. If they pull off their mission, there is no way the love of his life will come back alive and Judd knows he can’t let that happen. Frustrated about being sent to Central Australia to gain access to a satelite dish receiving data after the terrorists destroyed valuable ones for collecting flight tracking data in the take off, Judd is suddenly shocked to realise that he could just have inadvertently ended up right in the thick of things. A space shuttle gone blind in the night…..might not be so untraceable after all.

But Judd is going to have to overcome some problems if he wants to stop the terrorists and save not only Rhonda, but the world as well. For starters, he’s alone in the unforgiving Australian desert with nothing more than a crazy helicopter pilot who talks to his cattle dog for company and back-up. And Judd also has that little problem of his confidence….

Velocity is a heart-stopping new thriller from first time Australian author, Steve Worland. Having previously worked in film and television, Worland has now turned his talents to novel writing and the result is a fast-paced, action packed story that takes a reader on a pretty wild ride! We start with Judd Bell on top of his game, knowing he’s at the top of his game and that his life couldn’t be any more perfect. He’s an astronaut on the way up, he’s got a fantastic girlfriend, he’s the man. All of that changes when space shuttle Columbia breaks up upon re-entry to Earth’s orbit and Judd is crippled by grief and also, doubt. All of a sudden he’s making mistakes, he’s struggling with simple SIM exercises and chances are, he’s not going into space when Atlantis is cleared for its mission. Not only that, but his relationship with Rhonda is suffering greatly. Judd’s lack of confidence has caused him to become needy and Rhonda is not in a position to be able to shore him up and deal with that neediness.

When Atlantis is high-jacked and Rhonda along with it, Judd’s focus is getting her back. The fact that he also needs to stop what the terrorists have planned is in his mind, but his thoughts are primarily for Rhonda. At times I did question whether or not Rhonda deserved such devotion from Judd – she was quite rough on him in terms of his state of mind and unable to really want to deal with a boyfriend that was no longer the man of the minute. I felt that I didn’t quite get a good enough handle on the good times of their relationship to really appreciate the depth of Judd’s feeling and desperation to save her.

But apart from that, this book was really fun! I don’t really like action movies so much because I am the person who always criticises the lack of plausibility but for some reason, I don’t seem to have that issue when I am reading books. I think that Worland really thought out the possibilities of actually high-jacking a shuttle, what it would take, how long it would take, the sort of skills that would need to be involved and that shows in the writing. So many things are covered, so much planning and meticulous detail and this continues throughout the story when Judd is sent to Central Australia and what he discovers there. I know that Worland is Australian, so it’s not surprising to see our country playing a large role in the plot but I do always get a kick out of seeing Australia featured in a global story as an important part! I also really came to like Corey, the rather ‘different’ Australian helicopter pilot that assists Judd, and his dog Spike. At first I wasn’t quite sure about them – but I think the amusing dialogue combined with Corey’s relaxed manner and skill as a pilot won me over.

Worland is currently writing a sequel to Velocity which will be released next year from Penguin AU and I’ll definitely keep reading. If you are fond of expansive terrorist plots, explosions, gun battles, stunt flying and the battle of good vs evil then you’ll find lots to enjoy in this book. It makes a great story to read in one sitting.


Book #164 of 2012

You can buy Velocity online from Booktopia, Fishpond, or for Kindle from Amazon

3 responses to “Velocity – Steve Worland

  1. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    I think I will enjoy this!

    • I didn’t want to draw too much of a comparison but it reminded me a bit of the Scarecrow novels in terms of pacing and stunts but this one has much less in the way of excessive description. It’s all plot, much tighter and left more up to the reader to visualise.

  2. […] Other reviews of Velocity: Book’d Out, All The Books I Can Read […]

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