Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Review: Breakthrough

 Breakthrough: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan by Stephen Tremp is a thriller. The backcover blurb is very long, so I’m shortening it here.
A group of graduate students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has stolen a breakthrough in opening and stabilizing Einstein-Rosen Bridges, commonly known as wormholes, that allows them to instantly transport people from one location to another. Their goal is to assassinate any powerful politician and executive controlling the world’s banking system that would use this technology for their own greedy gain rather than the advancement of man.

In south Orange County, California, young Chase Manhattan, part of a new breed of modern-day discovery seekers, seeks to leave behind his life of danger and adventure and settle down as an associate professor of physics at University of California-Irvine. He also desires to build a lasting relationship with a beautiful woman he has not seen since high school….

As the death toll mounts, Chase and his friends must battle this group of misled zealots from M.I.T. on both coasts and in cyberspace in a thrilling, desperate race to determine the outcome of this monumental, once in a millennium discovery that will drastically change life as we know it – for better or worse.
Breakthrough is sort of a scientific James Bond book. Chase Manhattan has money, brains, beautiful evil women who have sex with him, then try to kill him, the martial arts skills and quick thinking to equal his adversaries, and a crew of friends willing to back him up and even go into the fire with him.

You don’t have to worry that you might get lost in the technology of wormholes. Tremp keeps it understandable and since the M.I.T. group has already accomplished transporting through space, there are no long passages explaining Einstein-Rosen Bridges.

Tremp has come up with a new twist on the action-adventure and given this modern-day Bond a team with the expertise to back him up. Chase Manhattan has the knowledge and skills to go up against the M.I.T. gang.

I would have liked more background on Chase and his life as a “discovery-seeker” so I could understand how he came to be so skilled in martial arts, wealthy, and passionate about righting wrong.

Another thing that bothered me is that although I knew this was part of a series (“The Adventures of Chase Manhattan”), I expected it to be a stand-alone within the series, with a beginning and a wrap-up. It is not. It is an installment that continues in the next book.

So, I’ll be looking forward to the next book and finding out how Chase stops the beautiful assassin, kills the main bad guy and then decides what to do with this amazing, yet potentially earth-shattering technology.

Since this is the first in the series, I give Breakthrough a Hel-O!

ISBN 978-0-595-47400-4 (sc)
ISBN 978-0-595-71070-6 (dj)
ISBN 978-0-595-91677-1 (ebook)
Publisher: iUniverse
FTC Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Stephen Tremp, an online friend and the author of Breakthrough. Knowing him as a fellow blogger did not influence my review, nor did the fact that he autographed the book. What did influence me were two of the characters: Chase Manhattan, because he’s rich as all get-out and can afford to rent a plane at the drop of a hat to fly him and his crew across the country and stay in expensive hotels; and Susan, Chase’s girlfriend, whom I wanted to strangle. Chase gets the crap beat out of him by the beautiful assassin with whom he’s spent the night having wild sex, then Susan rushes over to care for him. Grr. Having growled that, my strong feelings about these two characters show that Stephen Tremp did a good job of bringing his characters to life.

Come back tomorrow when Stephen Tremp will be here to talk about Character Arcs.


  1. Wow, this one sounds like an action-packed thriller, keeping those pages turning. And I'm with you, I like personal history on the mc's. Maybe more of the backstory on Chase will come out in the next installment?

  2. I've got Stephen's book on my Kindle, but between NaNo & report card season, I haven't had a chance to read it yet! Can't wait :)

  3. I'm looking forward to the second in the series as well.

  4. I'm glad you wrote this review. The technology aspect of Stephen's book worried me. Now it doesn't. The "Grr" in your disclaimer said a lot! I'll be looking forward to reading more tomorrow.

  5. Chase Manhatten is a great character name. I think that says a lot right there. :)

  6. Great review and sounds like a very intriguing book.

    Thoughts in Progress

  7. Helen, thanks for the review! Ia always appreciate it when people read Breakthrough and post reviews on their blogs.

    Joanne, there is quite a bit of backstory on the second installment titled Opening. We get to know the characters on a far more oersonal level.

    Jemi, November is a very busy month. Good luck with Nano as this is so time consuming.

    Laura, I have the next two books drafted. Now I'm just filling them out.

    Liza, I stayed away from the tech stuff as this bores a lot of people. I did take one chapter to explain basic concepts of wormholes that's told in laymans terms.

    Helen, you mention your Grr moment regarding Susan. I like to ask women about this. To my surprise about two out of three stated in this situation they would take Chase back if they really loved him because Susan only had one date with him. Its not like they had been seeing each other for a long time. Yet there are still a lot of women who said they too would like to strangle Susan.

  8. The book sounds fascinating, Stephen, and a good read. Thanks for the review, Helen.

  9. Honest review and another great disclaimer. I'm still waiting for this book to appear in the iBookstore.

  10. Thanks for the review, Helen. I read about this book on another blog - sorry I can't remember where - and that blog writer said they were really put off by the name Chase Manhattan. She immediately thought of the bank and could not get that out of her head. So, my question to Stephen is did you realize that the name was the same as the bank, and did you do that on purpose?

  11. Maryann, great question! Please take a moment and check out this link as I discussed this very issue not too long ago:

    The Name Game

  12. I'm having fun, Stephen, reading about you and your book on a lot of different blogs. You've really intrigued me.

  13. Hi all. Thanks Stephen for dropping by to answer questions.

    Apologies for my absence. Federal jury duty is a time suck. I'll try to check in tomorrow during breaks.

  14. What a great summary of the story. Totally made me want to read it ... well, it's on my list anyway, but I think it just moved up a few notches! :)

  15. Thanks Helen Ginger for hosting Stephen Tremp. Thanks Stephen for a succint look at character arcs and how they are essential to any story - whether the characters evolve, change, grow. I love the examples that illustrate your points - esp Beauty and the Beast!

    Good luck with your novel, Stephen Tremp!! Take care

  16. Growling at books I see!
    I made sure all five of the books in my series were stand-alones - most people want a conclusion.

  17. I have to interject on what defines a stand alone book in a trilogy. Breakthrough does end with Chase being rescued by his freinds, but there is still unresolved conflict that picks up in the next book. So there is closure. With a trilogy, its not possible to tie up all conflict. Otherwise, its not really a trilogy.

  18. Good to read another positive review since I loved this book so much. I can see the frustration that some had with the ending, but for me, though it seemed abrupt, it also wrapped up the story that was being told in this particular book. And the little preview of things to come was a big plus for me.
    I believe in the old show business adage of always leave 'em wanting more. Hey--that comes with a little frustration and impatience--that's what wanting more is partly about.

    Good review and disclaimer.

    Tossing It Out

  19. Hi Helen and Steve .. another great take on the book & with an honest reveiew - that makes Breakthrough even more interesting to read .. my copy has arrived in little England .. so soon I shall take the plunge and get completely engrossed I suspect.

    I'm popping back to see the Name Game post .. to understand why 'Chase' is Chase and perhaps 'Manhattan' is Manhattan -

    Good to be here .. hope the Jury duty is finished? Have good weekends .. Hilary

  20. Hilary, glad to hear your copy has arrived. I hope you like why I named Chase the way I did. It just unfolded this was as I developed the story and character.

  21. Hi Stephen .. I see I had read and commented on your Name explanation post - but it was a very busy period .. so I'd forgotten! Thanks for reminder and obviously - now having the book and following you through your tour .. I have more background and thus more interest.

    I know - I need some space to sit and read ... a book! ... that's in the schedule (sometime!) .. but I'm looking forward to it.

    Thanks for coming back to me .. Hilary

  22. A great review. Your reviews are a story in themselves, interesting.

    I will put this on my Dear Santa list. :)

  23. Sci-fi James Bond sounds good to me :) I've not read any near science fiction stuff, so I think I'll give this a try :)


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