A Jake Bendel Thriller
by J. Luke Bennecke
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 22 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 04 Aug 2021
A thought-provoking thriller about a very real threat to the essence of life: water. Jake Bendel and a cunning team of experts create a five-plant desalination system – all powered by environmentally friendly molten salt reactors – providing clean, healthy drinking water to millions of thirsty Californians. But the dark side of humanity sees this as a chance for revenge against the United States. A genius weaponizes the system, threatening to kill more Americans than all of World War II.
The clock is ticking. Can Jake and the FBI stop the terrorists before more innocent people are murdered in the name of the Jihad? WATERBORNE will grab you and pull you into a vicious struggle that will define the fate of the world for generations to come.
Average rating from 22 members
Before Jake can find a way to save California from devastation, he’s injected with the virus, forcing him to track down the twisted terrorist group leader before all hell breaks loose. What a wonderful book! This instantly pulled me in from the very beginning. This was a fast paced thriller. The characters I really enjoyed. The writing was extremely well written.
Made possible with Netgalley.com This book was amazing! I love fast-pace, race against time action and this book delivered. Many of the characters were unique and brought the story to life. I'd totally recommend this book to any of my friends!
This is quite good. It has all the right elements -- engaging plot, good dialog, interesting characters, etc. The story is complicated enough to be engaging plus there are some good twists along the way. A solid thriller. Recommended. Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!
It seems I’ve been reading a lot of SF about EVIL androids lately, and it’s a nice change of pace to read this high tech thriller. The story open with the hero and villain both a Chili’s restaurant—but not together. On page two, we learn that our hero wears an Apple watch, and our bad guy has an Android? Is this another evil Android... or just a funny coincidence? Hmmmm. Apparently this story is part two of a trilogy, and I have not had the benefit of reading part one. Luckily, the story moves right along with no sense I’ve missed any crucial action. It reads along the same lines as other thrillers I’ve read. I can give it a solid thumbs up and recommend this to readers of the high tech thriller genre. Many thanks to NetGalley for giving me early access and seeking my opinion.
This was my first Jake Bendel book but it won’t be the last! I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the Publishers in exchange for this review, however the views are my own. I was hooked right away. I devoured this book over a couple hrs spread over the course of my busy Saturday. I couldn’t wait to find out how everything turned out. The premise is that a virus that genetically modules DNA is injected into the water supply in California. We follow Paige and Jake along with Cavanaugh from the FBI on their quest to solve how this happened. At the heart of it is Viktor who they thought was dead. This book is a quick read and you won’t want to put it down.
I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of the other Jake Bengal books so felt at a bit of a disadvantage as I like to get to know the characters as they grow. But after this one I may have to have a look to find more in this series. What would happen if a virus is put in the water supply? We need water, we rely on water, so this would and does cause problems. Set in California it’s up to Paige, Jake and Cavanaugh of the FBI to look at and solve how the virus was added. Can they stop it in time before it infects the whole of California. In the middle is Victor who they believed to be dead! This is a fast paced gripping read as the heroes try to stop terrorists from winning. This is a story that certainly makes you think, possibly more so as we are living through a pandemic. Water is something we all need to survive, so if someone pollutes that how can we survive. A heart pounding read, that at times will have you gripped. I would like to thank #netgalley and #blackrosewriting for an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
I received this book through "NetGalley" Read Now program. This story caught my interest right at the beginning. The story refers to the events which occur in the engineer's life as he attempts to open 5 water plants. He is abducted at a restaurant and drugged and winds up doing something that he was not aware of. The group responsible want to contaminate the water supply and cause havoc. As the story progresses, Jake, the engineer, discovers along with his friend Paige that Viktor who was responsible for Jake's wife's death is still alive. Viktor causes a great deal of problems for Jake and is responsible for killing a large number of people associated with Jake's project. Jake is working with the CDC and the FBI to find a solution to the contamination occurring. Once they have gotten a final location where Viktor was located, Jake and Paige, arrive at the location where a fight occurs. To discover what the group responsible for the contamination and how the events that have plagued Jake are finally resolved, then you must read this book.
This was a very intriguing concept. I really liked the characters and this is definitely a book I feel I need/want to read again. If this comes out as an audio book I would definitely buy it
This book is the second installment of the series, featuring Jake, an engineer and “Big Man” in the California climate crisis. He has spearheaded designing and building five water treatment plants, that take ocean (salt) water and purify it to essentially end the California drought crisis. Unfortunately, Jake has some history with criminal mastermind Viktor, who killed Jake’s wife in the first installment of the book. Viktor becomes involved with attempting to contaminate the water in the plants with a biological weapon affecting the men who drink it. The book is a huge game of cat and mouse between Jake and Viktor, and other twists and turns thrown in. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t feel that the first book was a necessary need, as a lot of needed details were provided. It may have helped a little with understanding Jake’s backstory and motivations, but overall not necessary to understand and enjoy this story. Some of the writing got a little technical, but things were “dumbed down” for the novice reader (my knowledge of engineering, for example, is pretty limited.). I would recommend this to people who want an entertaining read, with a lot of action, twists and turns, and enjoy speculative fiction (as some of the concepts and technology mentioned in the book are not available or mainstream, as of yet.). Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions!
Waterborne by J. Luke Bennecke is a recommended action/thriller set in the near future and the second novel in the series featuring Jake Bendel. Jake Bendel with a team of experts has invented a desalination system that will radically innovate the availability of clean, safe water for Californians. The system is powered by environmentally friendly molten salt reactors and once complete the project will consist of five plants running, making ocean water safe to drink. Water will never be a problem for California again. Jake and his team are behind schedule, but are working hard to get the whole system up and running. In the back of Jake's mind is always the fact that Viktor, a vicious criminal featured in the first book, is still out there, wishing him harm. He is right to be concerned because Viktor does have nefarious plans and eliminating Jake is part of it. Simultaneously, someone has released an unknown virus into the water system, weaponizing the water, and Viktor is the prime suspect. Jake works with the FBI to uncover who is responsible and stop them before all of California is infected, while at the same time Jake needs to watch out for his own safety. The premise of Waterborne is thought-provoking and the idea of someone weaponizing the water supply is always frightening, which makes it exciting escapism. The premise of the novel and the details require you to suspend disbelief, go with the flow of the action-movie plot, and avoid asking any questions about details. An attack by drone is one of the exciting chase scenes, although it was handled a bit too easily. There is information provided about the plot in the first novel, but I still felt as if I was missing some important details and information by starting with the second book. Also the writing felt off to me. It was as if in all the descriptions of people and places Bennecke tried a bit too hard to be trendy and cool. The character development is also light, but often this doesn't matter in a thriller where the action is the main event. This was previously published as Civil Terror: Waterborne; the first book is Civil Terror: Gridlock. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Black Rose Writing in exchange for my honest opinion. The review will be submitted for publication on Amazon, Google Books, and Barnes & Noble.
A couple things that made me put this book down at the 40% mark: One, I didn't realize this was the third book in a series. It's not marked that way on NetGalley, or on Goodreads, but once you get into it, it is obvious this is not the first book in a series. You get thrown into the middle of things, but they are explained enough that I was okay with it. What I was not okay with is the virus. This is totally a personal thing, the story itself is written well and the action kept me interested until this point. When you find out what the virus actually does, though, I got kicked out of the story a bit. The bad guy's plan, and what havoc they are causing with this virus, just is not very believable to me. I have a biology degree and used to work in research science, so I'm familiar with what viruses are capable of doing, and altering personality traits on the Y gene only is not one of them. Yes this is the future, but it just seems like a bad plot device to me. I was totally okay with it being the next COVID, but adding the genetic alteration component just made it fall flat for me. I am still interested in this story, but I really would have liked to start at the beginning rather than on book three. Having that notated would have helped. I may still pick up the first book, as the story itself is interesting and I do like the writing, but having that indicated somewhere would have kept me from reading potential spoilers if I decide to re-read this from the beginning. So three stars from me for what I did read, which was entertaining, but I'm going to have to loop back and read the first two to properly rate this one in the future.
Waterborne is a high-tech thriller with antagonist Jake Bendel taking the lead. He has developed a safe water system for Californians. The system is powered by salt reactors that result in making the oceans safe to drink. His arch-enemy has plans to destroy Jake. Someone has put a virus into the reactor which makes the water lethal. The book has a good plot but needs more structure. I didn't particularly root to any character.
WATERBORNE by J. Luke Bennecke is the second book in the Civil Terror thriller series featuring Civil Engineer Jake Bendel. This is an action packed, fast paced thriller set in the immediate future that is equal parts thought provoking, edge-of-your-seat thrilling, but also a fun read with characters good and bad that remind me of an over-the-top movie adventure. While you can read this book as a standalone, I believe all the main characters and their motivations are better understood if you read the first book, “Civil Terror: Gridlock” first. Jake Bendel is “the” civil engineer in California who has big ideas and answers to many of California’s and the nation’s climate problems. Jake is working to get five desalination plants up and running which are powered by an environmentally friendly nuclear reactor to solve the shortage of fresh water problem and the nuclear waste problem together. A criminal mastermind works to weaponize the water flowing from the plants with a waterborne virus that effects not only humans, but plant life, also. Can Jake, his friends and the FBI discover who is behind this plot and find a way to neutralize the virus and save the infected? I really enjoy reading this series of thrillers! Mr. Bennecke writes a protagonist who makes being a civil engineer exciting and demonstrates the many solutions they work on for the good of civilization. Jake is an average man thrown into extraordinary circumstances and danger. The premise of the book is interesting, realistic and thought provoking. It is easy to read and fast paced with plenty of thrills, but it is the characters that pull me in and keep me turning the pages. The characters are over the top, especially the evil antagonists and so are the FBI agents. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. For me, this series of books are an action-adventure thrill ride based on a realistic premise.
Jake Bendel is a genius engineer, having manufactured environmentally friendly water plants, to provide clean drinking water to millions of California residents...ending the water drought forever. He has made an enemy with a Jihad extremist, Viktor, who was thought to have died two years ago. Men and plants in California start turning up sick and the government has evidence against Jake that he may have put in a waterborne virus in his water treatment plants. This book was a sci-fi thriller book and I enjoyed learning more about bioterrorism. The virus spread had a tri-fold design. Only attacking males with a flu like virus AND it also had a harmful side effect that would change the males DNA and it would affect all off-spring with the lack of fear and anger in their DNA! It also, contained a virus specifically for plants that caused them to die. All this from the public’s water supply! Talk about scary. All in all, I would recommend if you enjoy sci-fi thrillers, that could potentially teach you something in the world of biotech engineering.
3.5 stars Jake Bendel is a genius engineer, having manufactured environmentally friendly water plants, to provide clean drinking water to millions of California residents...ending the water drought forever. He has made an enemy with a Jihad extremist, Viktor, who was thought to have died two years ago. Men and plants in California start turning up sick and the government has evidence against Jake that he may have put in a waterborne virus in his water treatment plants. This book was a sci-fi thriller book and I enjoyed learning more about bioterrorism. The virus spread had a tri-fold design. Only attacking males with a flu like virus AND it also had a harmful side effect that would change the males DNA and it would affect all off-spring with the lack of fear and anger in their DNA! It also, contained a virus specifically for plants that caused them to die. All this from the public’s water supply! Talk about scary. I however thought the book was very convoluted bringing into play too many unexplained explosive twists. All in all, I would recommend if you enjoy sci-fi thrillers, that could potentially teach you something in the world of biotech engineering.
This fast-paced thriller intrigued me, frightened me, and kept me on the edge of my seat. How would this virus affect the population and crops? The crux of this story takes place over a few days but the whole book spans about two weeks from the initial chapter until the end. The story begins with Jake kidnapped leaving a diner and injected with a drug that made him susceptible to coercion but won't remember anything that he said or did afterward. That is until weeks later when his project with a water plant starts to go awry. That is when everything starts unraveling. While it isn't necessary to read the first book by this author, Civil Terror: Gridlock, I think it would be very helpful. I will admit I was a bit confused at the beginning not understanding the relationship between Jake and Viktor and how their lives intersected and why there was such animosity between the two. However, I did finally put the pieces together, but had I read the first book I wouldn't have felt discombobulated in the beginning. The book does have some technical jargon peppered throughout, but I didn't find it to be overwhelming or take away from the story. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their relationships with one another. There are some surprising twists in the story, so don't think you have it all figured out! We do know who is behind everything early in the book and there is a surprise near the end that has me intrigued and ready to read the next book to find the answer. This book hits a range of emotions and is well done. Sure some of it may not be realistic, but that is the great thing about fiction, you can make anything possible and in the future, it just might become a reality. We give this 4 paws up.
A quick escape read that kept me turning the pages until the very end. Engineer Jake Bendel and FBI agent Cavanaugh are fighting against the clock to stop an old enemy from affecting California men with a virus that will adversely affect future generations. Having not read the first book “Civil Terror-Gridlock”, I was a bit confused in the beginning as the author kept referring to the events of the earlier book but I quickly became immersed in the story. I did find the ending a bit rushed. The author’s notes at the beginning on the difference between light-water nuclear reactors and the Molten Sea reactors was fascinating and added a depth to the story. This book reminded me of Nelson DeMille’s John Cory books but not quite as polished but still a real page turner that I found very enjoyable. Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I received a free copy of this book. I'm giving this book a 3-star review. It's not lower because the book is fun, with nicely written action sequences, fascinating albeit improbable ideas, and compelling in a way. However the rating is this low because it's less a book and more a bunch of pages seeking a movie option--and I hope it gets it 'cause this would make a great movie. This book continues the adventurous life of Jake Bendel, who was featured in the 2019 book Civil Terror: Gridlock, and his current effort is to provide easy and inexpensive water and energy to California via molten salt nuclear reactors. A noble cause made difficult due to the machinations of evil genius Viktor who uses a variety of direct and indirect actions to harm Jake and his friends as well as derail his engineering projects. This might sound dry but it's anything but. We encounter exploding houses, an disembodied eye, an ex-military assassin and his team, killer drones, industrial sabotage that harms hundreds of thousands and even plant blight. I almost forgot a Tesla with only half of its windows--too close to that exploding house. Unfortunately the author force feeds info to the reader via data dumps and the plot often advances in very forced ways. Lots of good ideas here but not presented very well and a kinda odd obsession with pens.
Dr. Jake Bendel has used his knowledge and engineering degree to improve the quality of life for people in California. Two years back, his wife died in a terrorist attack. He has been instrumental in Súr Systems, a company that introduced driverless cars on the street. These cars run on the road with an infrastructure that helps them car run smoothly. His latest project involves supplying fresh water to wipe out the drought and use the MSRs (molten salt reactors) to generate electricity. But his plans are thwarted by a terrorist organization, and his desalination plants are at the center. The people of California are affected by strange flu symptoms, and it’s not only people but also affecting plant life. CDC and the FBI plunge into investigating the case, and Jake has to do everything to stop it. Set in futuristic California, this action-packed story spans over roughly two weeks. The investigation happens in less than 48 hours. This the second book in the series, and the author has given enough information from the earlier book to fill in the gaps. Dr. Jake Bendel is a man with a good heart, but he is no superhero. He is a very regular guy with anxieties from the tragedies of his life. But Jake keeps them at bay. He is an engineer, and it reflects the way he talks and interacts with his team. Paige is his closest friend and shared a similar fate in his personal life as Bendel (again, it relates to Book 1). Bendel’s archenemy is Viktor, whose idea of revenge has consumed him. He is stubborn and will do everything to stop Bendel. The book has a small pool of characters, and it very easy to navigate through them. There’s a sense of impending danger, and this tension pushes the reader through the book. The writing is easy to read and free-flowing. Not for a moment reader will lose their attention. The book starts with a punch and carries its thrill until the end. The author described the scenes well, and readers can imagine them with ease. The first page also gives facts related to the MSRs and nuclear reactors. I will read book one to understand the characters better, even though one can enjoy this one without reading the first book. Waterborne is an edge-of-the-seat thriller, Jake Bendel has to run against time to save the people of Earth. My rating for the book is 3.5 stars. Thank you, NetGalley and Black Rose publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.