Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Have I made a brilliant discovery, or created a monster?”
Things quickly change for scientist, Marcus Hall, as the initial 5G Wi-Fi receiver he’s creating just isn’t enough for that knowledge-filled brain of his! The idea of inventing a whole new piece of technology and learning what the characters in this book discover as a result just blew my mind. A brilliant book, perfect for those who love action-packed thrillers! I’m so happy to be opening the blog tour for this book – make sure you check out all the other reviews over the coming week from all these book bloggers!
The greatest scientific invention of modern times…
Capable of curing humanity…
But more adept at controlling it…
Sydney scientist, Marcus Hall, is developing a radical 5G Wi-Fi receiver for CSIRO. With access to secretive Lamarr computer chips – this technology promises billions to repair Australia’s ravaged economy. On a caffeine boosted whim, he inadvertently discovers a therapeutic breakthrough in neuroscience. Or so he thinks…
His seemingly trustworthy lab partner, Henry, is an unlikely Australian spy. His official duty is keeping tabs on the project and their Lamarr chips. But the whole project is now classified top-secret.
Marcus remains blissfully unaware of the many secrets surrounding him, until he witnesses the graphic murder of a colleague. Could this event reveal Henry as a master deceiver and ruthless double agent? Will the scientific discovery be fatal for Marcus, those he loves, and the one he yearns for? Marcus faces a soul tearing dilemma: is the only means of stopping the carnage to weaponise his prototype?
Foreign intelligence agencies realise the top-secret breakthrough is priceless. One particular spy leads the race to seize the invention. A psychological master of the long game, espionage, and extortion, his only rule according to Kung Fu: Win.
Friend and foe alike confront this psychotic mastermind. All will FEAR him, but is their FEAR real? Only the next six minutes will tell…
It doesn’t take me long to decide whether I’m going to really like a book or not when I start reading, and this one was a very pleasant surprise! From reading the blurb, I initially expected the vocabulary and language used to be complex and heavy to take in, when actually it was quite the opposite. The story unexpectedly drew me in quite quickly with its prologue, and I found myself loving the characters we’re introduced to straight away. There’s plenty of action in the opening scenes which is brilliantly described and everything feels so intense and real. It’s isn’t long before we meet a cast of new characters, and it was clear these people would play a significant part in what was to come. I was curious to learn more about Henry’s new undercover role, as well as get to know Marcus and Madeleine, who I got a really good feeling about as soon as I read more about them and witnessed some of their banter. Just reading simple dialogue between the two impressed me no end!
We soon learn about how Henry and Marcus are connected through their work, and we’re introduced to the Lamarr project. I loved the idea of a book about scientists creating something new and exciting, and I think this concept is one of the main reasons why I flew through this book like I did. The book does get a bit complex here as we learn more about the project and exactly how it was created and executed, but even so, I admired the detail the author goes into and it really didn’t take the enjoyment out of the book for me. I was quickly drawn to another character we meet, Sarah Pease, the project manager, and learning more about her and the situation she finds herself would be crucial to the story later down the line. She’d gotten herself into a sticky situation and I found myself feeling sorry for her. Could she ever get out of her agreement, and what did this agreement have to do with the project? I was already questioning certain parts of the book and I was looking forward to exploring things further.
“Without any conscious thought whatsoever, Les exercised the only option available to him, and became the efficient and deadly law enforcement machine he was trained to be.”
The relationships between characters are written really well, but I was particularly curious about Marcus and Sarah here, and just what would happen if their spontaneous one night stand took the next step in terms of their relationship. With them working together, could it hider what they were working towards? Working on their projects sometimes lost me a bit as the explanations were a bit too high-tech for me, and I was sometimes wondering what on earth everything meant, but I could still get the general gist of what the characters were trying to achieve. Saying this, I admired just how much the author has done his research, and it’s clear just how much passion and hard work has gone into the creation of the project. After getting a bright idea for a new creation, this was where I really became interested. The Marc1, Marcus’ clever invention, gives him more than he’d bargained for… I started thinking of all the possibilities, and this was where things really started to click in my brain. This story had the potential to be excellent and I hoped this would continue!
I really liked the main idea for the book, but I found a lot of it up to now to be unnecessarily sexual. It seemed there could be so much more the author could explore with such a complex invention in its early days, but all we seem to do is focus on how the “wearer” can relive past sexual encounters or explore fantasies which became a little much and a bit repetitive at times, especially for a spy thriller! I hoped this was just the start of discovering what this invention could do, and that it would evolve in a way to help others in more meaningful ways. Saying this, I did enjoy hearing about just how much it changed brain activity, and thought the way this was described was perfectly detailed. Just as I’d had these feelings of uncertainty about this invention, we learn of something much more serious which helped the story to redeem itself (thankfully!) and I was once again looking forward to exploring a much more intense part of the book.
Letting other people into the secret of the invention, which only Marcus and Henry knew about at first, was a risky business, but necessary if it was to progress. Would they understand just how important it could be? That it’s a breakthrough unlike anything they’ve experienced yet? I enjoyed seeing other characters become impressed with what they have created, and I could only imagine how more brilliant brains could evolve this new technology. There was the possibility that it could make a ton of money in the future with the right development, and I became more and more curious about Marc1’s future! The author keeps us intrigued about this new technology, almost making us as excited as the characters for what the future holds, but there were some concerns about safety. There is so much explored here, so much to take in, and I almost couldn’t believe there was still so much excitement to come. The depth in this book was really impressive, even if it did require a lot of concentration, and this was consistent throughout everything I read.
As we jumped into the detail about different emotions and how love seemed to be the strongest, this made me feel a bit better about all the sexual references at the beginning of the book and everything made much more sense! Marc1 was already changing lives for the better, but what would happen if the opposite happened? Sarah tries the device for the first time, and it was intriguing to learn that she dreamt of her parents, (who had previously been killed by COVID-19) and didn’t dream of any intimate encounter with another. The fact this device affected people differently and potentially provided a cure for insomnia and depression took things to a whole new level. This thing could be life changing in both positive and negative ways however, which we were soon to find out. Peter is certainly one character to keep your eye on as you read, and things began to heat up as Henry’s undercover agent role is put to good use once again… A great first half to the book leaving readers with so much to think about!
“She struggled to control her tears and wished her namesake eternal peace. Marvelling in the machine that had made this all possible and wondering, strangely, if she reminded him more of her than just by name.”
The book quickly turns pretty dangerous and fully action packed. As expected, news of the new device sparks interest with a lot of people as it circulates, with Peter going to extreme lengths to get more information. Characters are held against their will, guns are involved and I was left hanging on the edge of my seat! I found Henry to really step up when it mattered, protecting his friends and just being the ultimate undercover hero! However, we do hear about the unfortunate murder of one particular character which was so saddening and shocking, and I really wanted to know exactly what recent events meant for the project now. Reclassified as top-secret, there was even more at stake, but even more excitement for us readers to explore further. I enjoyed hearing more about Henry’s role and I hoped that even though he withheld information from Marcus, that their trust and friendship could be saved.
I liked how the author switched points of view and focused on different characters, and I was particularly curious about Peter for the longest time. Just what exactly was he planning? We see the ultimate twist concerning the murder I was so distraught about which really impressed me, and the delivery of this from the author was just perfect! Marcus finds himself in a scary position with a request to share exclusive data and a working prototype of the Sara1 device, in order to save the lives of people close to him. He’d have to work cleverly and carefully if he was to see either of them again and ensure they stayed safe. I liked how much Henry’s partner, Jane, played an important role in the book at this point, and I felt that without her clear head and rational thinking, we wouldn’t have made as much progress as we did! Each character plays such an important part in each problem they face, and I loved how they worked together. I looked forward to seeing how the author ended things!
With house raids imminent and no indication of whether they’d be successful or not, the story takes a much more suspenseful turn. I found myself hoping and praying that some of my favourite characters would stay safe and stay alive, and I also became addicted to just how well the tension builds towards the end of the book! The raids themselves had my eyes glued to the pages, with exceptional description from the author which just added to the whole experience. However, the end result isn’t what the team hoped. With one of the three hostages found, this just led to more questions about where the other two were, and whether they were just too late. Why couldn’t they have just agreed on a simple trade?! This part of the book was definitely my favourite as there was so much going on, yet it was put together with clarity and an excellent knowledge of a range of scenarios. I don’t think we could ask the author for anything else here!
Finding out exactly how the Fear element of the Marc2 had an impact on a person was fascinating, but horrifying in equal measure. The development of the device continued to blow my mind and I was enjoying everything we learn about its capabilities, even so close to the end of the book. Flicking back and forth from character to character at such a fast pace worked so well at this stage and made me more eager than ever to find out whether the hostages were safe. Would Marcus be able to hand over the Marc2 and leave with the hostages? Somehow, I didn’t think the encounter would be so straight-forward. I could sense more danger than we’d experienced already! Even though he’s quite obviously terrified of what could potentially happen, I admired the bravery of this character and just knew he’d do all he can to make sure those hostages walked out of there alive.
“Say what you have to say, do what you have to do, but get them back. Forget everything else.”
With Marcus failing to put two and two together about Peter and the Russian who had summoned him, it seemed we were in for an eventful ending. We understand more about Sarah and Peter’s agreement that I was curious about at the beginning of the book and we see two characters battle out an intense question and answer session, allowing the reader (and Marcus) to learn a little bit more about what we may have missed before. I loved how this discussion, even though it could turn nasty, filled in a lot of blanks and tied up a few loose ends too. It really was a gripping part of the book! The detail here is something to be applauded and everything plays out incredibly well. You can’t help but feel like you’re right there with these characters, feeling everything they feel so deeply, and wondering whether or not they’ll get out of this mess alive. How things have escalated from the beginning of the book!
The final few pages of the book were explosive; with so much going on and so many characters to keep an eye on, you’d have thought this part of the book would be difficult to keep on top of. However, it has been written flawlessly and understood with ease, and I’m still thinking about that ending some time after finishing the book! All characters impressed me, both good and bad, and I even found my opinions on some characters changed slightly – all this couldn’t have been done without the author’s exceptional story writing. This journey has been one that I’ll not forget in a hurry! I only had very minor issues about the book early on, but hold on for that ending – absolutely brilliant. The epilogue was everything I’d hoped for too, explaining the future for Sara1 and Marc1, with the possibility of them helping so many lives. I was curious about where the author would take this series next!
I think this is the only Australian spy thriller I’ve ever read (maybe even in existence?) but it succeeded in setting the bar exceptionally high for me! I’ve enjoyed so many elements about this one – the intense action, brilliant characters and one-of-a-kind inventions that will satisfy anyone’s inner science nerd! A promising introduction to the series and I’m looking forward to reading book two to see where these characters end up next!
A huge thanks to the author, Chas Murrell, and Emma at Damp Pebbles for my copy of the book and place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of Yearn To Fear on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback. Make sure you’re following the author over on Twitter and Instagram for more updates!