This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 was My Vinyl Record Collection. For the 2023 Challenge I'll be doing something similar with my home book collection. Lots of book stuff from A to Z

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stephen Tremp's "BREAKTHROUGH": A Review

           When I first started blogging in September of 2009, one of the earliest blogs I came across and began following was that of Stephen Tremp, the author of Breakthrough.  Stephen often referred to his novel in his blog posts and discussed some of the technology that appears in the novel.  I was intrigued by the subject matter that Stephen discussed on his blog and about the concept of the story presented in Breakthrough.  And besides that, Stephen Tremp came across as one heck of a nice guy.

           Stephen has been valiantly promoting Breakthrough on mostly his own efforts, which takes some creative ingenuity and a strong positive attitude.  He has not only shown both, but took a rather incredible one step further when earlier this year he took the original version of Breakthrough off the market and released an improved revised version of the book.  This shows some real dedication to his craft and to his audience and he should be admired for that.

             In August I was one of the fortunate winners of a book give-away that Stephen held on his blog.  With the new version of Breakthrough in hand, I was now able to read this book that I had been reading so much about.  I will be honest.  I had no idea what to expect and my expectations were rather low.  Boy! was I ever wrong, and in this review I'll tell you why.

             In a nutshell, the story concerns quantum physics professor/adventurer Chase Manhattan who becomes involved in a quest to recover and destroy stolen technology that is to be used for nefarious purposes by a treacherous enemy group and to clear the technology's innovator, an MIT professor and researcher, who has been charged with a murder.  In a fast-paced story the action rapidly shifts back and forth between Boston, which is in the grip of a major snowstorm, and sunny Southern California. 

            A well drawn cast of characters drew me into the story.  Chase and his friends are likeable, with intelligence and humor.  They are not superheroes by any means and are flawed by weaknesses and bad judgment.  They are characters who seemed very real.  Likewise, the bad guys are villainous, but we see their very human qualities as well.

            The story is very well researched.   The settings are so well drawn that I felt like I was right there in the middle of the story.  The action scenes are so vividly written that I felt like I was watching instead of reading.  Cinematic is the best way I can describe Stephen's writing--the reading experience was almost like watching a movie.

            One good thing about this novel is that it is more of an amalgam of genres then strictly one specific genre.   Breakthrough would primarily fit in the action adventure category, but it also has elements of science fiction, suspense thriller, and romance.  Science fiction fans will enjoy the theoretical concepts of travelling through worm holes, but those who don't care for sci-fi will be pleased that the book does not become bogged down with complex technologies and theories.   The story takes place in today's world with ideas that have actually been studied by scientists.  

           There is enough action and romance to keep fans of those genres pleased.  Stephen also adds enough humor to keep the reader entertained.  In fact, the pacing of the novel is something that made the book such a pleasurable reading experience.  The chapters are short and the writing is succinct.  The reader is fueled with exciting doses of action, and then brought down for a breather that leads to the next action packed sequence.  The book has good writing by an author who demonstrates that he knows the formula for producing best-seller caliber writing.

           Breakthrough is a book that will please just about any audience.  There is very little profanity in the book and what does appear seems appropriate and not gratuitous.  Likewise with sex scenes, there is nothing graphic, but only very tastefully written sequences that are integral to the story.  There was nothing in the book that I can recall being offensive in any way.  I could recommend this book to anyone.

            Allowing that the book is part of a trilogy, I can accept the somewhat abrupt ending as the lead-in to the next novel, Opening, which I hope is not too long in coming--I am anxious to see where this story is going next.  Stephen gives us a preview of Opening at the end of Breakthrough.    Reading this sample filled me with anticipation about book number two.  It sounds like there are some very intriguing concepts still to come.

           My recommendation is buy this book!   It would also make a great gift for the book-lovers on your Christmas and birthday lists.  

Available from:

Visit Stephen Tremp's blog for additional information about electronic editions of the book and other details about the author and his work.

Stephen Tremp will be my guest on Tossing It Out on Tuesday November 9, 2010.

Tomorrow I will be starting my focus for the remainder of the week on Marvin (The Old Silly) Wilson and his new book Beware the Devil's Hug.  On Wednesday Marvin will join me on his tour for an interview.  On Thursday I will offer my review of his book.



  1. What a wonderful review and I echo your thoughts about Stephen being such a nice guy - I recently won a copy of Breakthrough on his blog and am eagerly awaiting its arrival!

  2. I'm hosting Stephen on his tour as well!

  3. I’ve had this on my want-to-read list for a while, but your review makes me think I’ll move it to the top of my list right away.

  4. A wonderful review a real pleasure to read.
    Think I will order on Amazon.

    Have a good week.

  5. Thanks Arlee for the review. I don't know what to say other than thanks a million!

    One quick note I will make. I did not want any part of the book to be offensive just so I could move the plot along. Breakthrough has a diverse cast of characters from many walks of life and are developed respectfully and with dignity. I do not have any F-bombs or G-damns. No reason to add them as they would not add any value to the content. And all eleven murders happen for a reason. There are no random killings.

    Thanks again for the review. Its great to know one's work is appreciated. Have a great week all!

    Stephen Tremp

  6. Great review, Arlee. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Great review, thank you! This book has been a little on my radar, and now it's front and centre. It sounds like a really interesting story, as well as a really interesting journey to publication.

  8. Thanks everyone for your interest in Breakthrough.

    Quick note: If you order a copy please order the softbound version as this is the re-edited version that was just released in August.

    There are still some of the hard cover versions from the first release I'm getting out of circulation.

    Thanks again!

  9. Excellent review! Sounds like there's something for just about every reading taste. Thanks Lee.

  10. This sounds right up my husbands alley!
    Love Di ♥

  11. Ellie --I'll be anxious to hear what you think of the book.

    Alex -- Glad you're giving Stephen support.

    Jane -- By all means bump it up and let us know what you think of the book.

    Yvonne -- The book is worth your time if you like a good suspenseful action thriller.

    Stephen Tremp -- Glad to encourage readership of what I think is a fine book. I do appreciate your sensitivity to readers by leaving out distracting language and scenes that don't help move the story forward.

    Mesmerix -- Thanks for checking this post out today.

    Amie -- It's been fascinating to read about Stephen's journey and I love how he has been so open about it. The information he provides on his blog is of great help to writers who are on the road to being published. By all means, check out his book and let us know how you feel about it.

    Paula -- Thanks! It's a book that would appeal to a wide audience in my opinion.

    Diana-- The book would make a great gift for anyone who likes a exciting read.

  12. I just got my copy of Breakthrough in the mail last week, but it's the hardcover. Oh well, still can't wait to get into it!

  13. Interesting review. I think it is lovely the way bloggers support each other. :-)

  14. ARLEE BOID ~
    This is off-topic I'm afraid, but I meant to tell you that the comment you left on my blog yesterday literally made me laugh out loud:

    >>...Sure some may laugh cause they think it's funny when it's actually creepy and scary.

    Well, you know, there's a little truth in everything a writer writes, right? ;o)

    That was funny stuffs, Brother. Thanks for the laugh!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  15. Cinette, I just sent you an email with a quick way to tell what version you received. If you have the original release I will happily send you a new signed copy.

    So stick with the soft bound versions for now everyone. Hey, they're $10-$15 dollars cheaper too!

  16. Just heard from Cinette and she received the new hard cover version (yay!). I think there are only about ten left in Barnes and Noble's warehouses. I should retrieve those by the end of this week. There shouldn't be any in Amazon's.

  17. Great interview; I can't wait to read it!~ I think I will buy it for my son for Christmas ;-D

  18. Great review...I think it's going to end up on my Christmas list too.

  19. Lee, thanks for sharing this! I've followed some of Stephen's journey on his blog, and I'm thinking I need to get a copy.

  20. Sounds like a great book! I've missed checking in at Stephen's blog and seeking out his progress. Thanks for the reminder to do so.

  21. Cinette -- Sounds like you've got the right one.

    Happy Frog -- It is a community of support, but I also am sincere about the review I gave.

    StMc -- That was a crazy story, but I have to consider its source.

    Stephen Tremp -- Glad you're watching out for your readership.

    Dezmond -- Thanks. I hope you will one day be talking about the movie version of Breakthrough.

    Ellen -- It's a good book and I think it would be suitable for mature teens on up.

    Liza -- I'm sure Stephen would be happy to here that. Now if you can convince 20 more people to put it on their lists as well.

    Karen -- After all Stephen's been through getting his book out there, he deserves the support from the reading crowd.

    Kimberly -- Stephen offers some very candid information about his journey as well as many other very interesting topics.

  22. What an interesting review. You've peaked my interest. I'm not a SciFi reader but generally interested in SciFi concepts. Mentioning that this book is a mixture of genres makes it very appealing.

  23. Lynn -- It's really more action adventure than SciFi. I would compare it more to something like Indiana Jones or James Bond except with a sexy quantum physics professor who is into adventure and it's all very contemporary. It was a very fun read.

  24. That's a gerat review. It makes me want to read it! I also like that it doesn't have anything offensive in it

  25. Arlee, there is quite a bit of Indiana Jones and James Bond in my protagonist Chase Manhattan. However, in contrast to Indiana Jones who searched for treasures from the past, Chase is a modern day treasure hunter searching out new discoveries. I mention Chase's parents who were archeologists. Chase is like a reverse-archeologist who digs out discoveries pointing forward in time and space rather than backward.

  26. Lynda -- I won't say there's absolutely nothing offensive. There a couple of expletives that seem appropriately used. And some of the violence could be offensive to some. There was nothing overly distracting like I've found in some books. I thought everything was presented pretty tastefully.

  27. Hi Arlee .. excellent synopsis .. my book is on its way over the pond! I'm looking forward to reading it .. Stephen's elevator pitch - beguiled me .. so I was really going to enjoy the book .. I shall soon find out!

    Thanks - great review and an informative read .. Hilary

  28. It sounds like a really good book! I don't read much Action/Adventure, but this has piqued my interest. Thanks for the review!

  29. Great review Lee! I'm looking forward to both Stephen's book and the tour! :)

  30. That's one fine review. I've already downloaded Breakthrough onto my Kindle, and I am looking forward to reading it.

  31. Hilary -- Let us know what you think of Breakthrough

    Laura-- Thanks for the visit and comment.

    Golden Eagle -- This is a pretty smart book with a very interesting underlying topic.

    Jemi -- Now I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Opening--the teaser chapter really has me curious.

    Bob -- Are you going to review it on your book review site? I'd like to see what other readers think of Breakthrough.

  32. What a great review. This makes me want to bring Breakthrough to the top of my TBR list. Way to go Stephan
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  33. Wow!!! I can't believe all the love these past few days. Thanks Arlee for the awesome review and everyone for stopping by. For those of you who have or will purchase a copy of Breakthrough you won't be disappointed. Thanks again!

    Stephen Tremp

  34. Thanks for this thorough review, Arlee. I read the original version of Breakthrough and really enjoyed the techno/wormhole concept as the basis for an action novel. I'll be happy, though, to read the sequel and lay that cliffhanger ending to rest. In the original version, there was no sneak peek at the next novel...

  35. Monti -- What can I say! I really liked it.

    Nancy --I encourage you to move it up. I want to hear what others thought.

    Stephen-- I like to give kudos where they are deserved. I hope this review encourages a few more sales.

    Patricia -- I think it's fascinating how Stephen went back and revised the book in order to improve the experience. I'm curious about how the original version reads.

  36. Patricia, I'll send a new copy (signed of course) your way. Can't leave you hanging while everyone else is reading the ending.


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