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Project Namahana

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“An enthralling tale of disappearances, deaths, dark secrets, and corporate evil.” —Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling co-author of the Agent Pendergast series Nothing stays hidden forever... Two men, unified by a string of disappearances and deaths, search for answers—and salvation—in the jungles of Kaua‘i. Together, they must navigate the overlapping and complicated lines bet “An enthralling tale of disappearances, deaths, dark secrets, and corporate evil.” —Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling co-author of the Agent Pendergast series Nothing stays hidden forever... Two men, unified by a string of disappearances and deaths, search for answers—and salvation—in the jungles of Kaua‘i. Together, they must navigate the overlapping and complicated lines between a close-knit community and the hated, but economically-necessary corporate farms—and the decades old secrets that bind them. Project Namahana takes you from Midwestern, glass-walled, corporate offices over the Pacific and across the island of Kaua‘i; from seemingly idyllic beaches and mountainous inland jungles to the face of Mount Namahana; all the while, exploring the question of how corporate executives could be responsible for evil things without, presumably, being evil themselves.


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“An enthralling tale of disappearances, deaths, dark secrets, and corporate evil.” —Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling co-author of the Agent Pendergast series Nothing stays hidden forever... Two men, unified by a string of disappearances and deaths, search for answers—and salvation—in the jungles of Kaua‘i. Together, they must navigate the overlapping and complicated lines bet “An enthralling tale of disappearances, deaths, dark secrets, and corporate evil.” —Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling co-author of the Agent Pendergast series Nothing stays hidden forever... Two men, unified by a string of disappearances and deaths, search for answers—and salvation—in the jungles of Kaua‘i. Together, they must navigate the overlapping and complicated lines between a close-knit community and the hated, but economically-necessary corporate farms—and the decades old secrets that bind them. Project Namahana takes you from Midwestern, glass-walled, corporate offices over the Pacific and across the island of Kaua‘i; from seemingly idyllic beaches and mountainous inland jungles to the face of Mount Namahana; all the while, exploring the question of how corporate executives could be responsible for evil things without, presumably, being evil themselves.

30 review for Project Namahana

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miya (pain at a peak, excuse slow responses)

    Love the topics this brings up. The story is great, but on pages it was confusing at time. My mind had to work a bit hard to stay on track and not get lost in some areas. All in all a good book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hupe

    Thank you, NetGalley, John Teschner, and Forge Books for the opportunity to read this book! It releases on June 28th, 2022. Project Namahana by John Teschner is a thriller revolving around corporate greed. On the island of Kaua’i, there have been mysterious deaths and disappearances. There are corporate farms on this island and two men, Bernt and Lindstrom, seem to suspect that they are behind the deaths. However, investigating this corporation will not be easy. The locals are scared because the Thank you, NetGalley, John Teschner, and Forge Books for the opportunity to read this book! It releases on June 28th, 2022. Project Namahana by John Teschner is a thriller revolving around corporate greed. On the island of Kaua’i, there have been mysterious deaths and disappearances. There are corporate farms on this island and two men, Bernt and Lindstrom, seem to suspect that they are behind the deaths. However, investigating this corporation will not be easy. The locals are scared because the corporation–Benevoment, will stop at nothing to cover their tracks. But if someone doesn’t expose them, more people will die. The premise of this book is SOOOOO GOOD!! I really, really, wanted to love it. It took a while to get into the story, for me, it was at least 5-6 chapters. I had no idea what was going on for a while but I pushed through. There are some good descriptions of the island, but some of the other descriptions were so unnecessary. They would take me out of the story too because they just didn’t need to be there. The dialogue was very much the same way. It was very stilted with no emotion. Now for the characters… I know their names, but I can’t tell you about them besides what they do in the story. There is no characterization. They are just names on a page. BUT. As I said the premise of this book is great. The author really shines a light on corporate greed and the dangers that they bring to the environment and to the locals. Because of their wealth, it is easy for them to cover up any mistakes or silence them. Since this book takes place on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, it really dives into how these corporations came in and destroyed the land and the people, and the evils of colonization. He did a great job at including the impacts on the locals, as well as their culture. I truly wish this book had better “bones” so to speak because this would have been a phenomenal book otherwise. I would normally rate this 2 stars, but I decided to bump it up because I enjoyed the premise so much.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life)

    Initial Thoughts This one was a bit of a struggle for me at times. I had to try a couple of times to get into the story and even then it was hard to follow and rather confusing at times. I did like the story but it took a little bit of extra concentration on my part to keep everything straight. I thought that the setting was very well done and liked the fact that there were some pretty big surprises worked into the story. I thought that the narrator did a great job overall. Review copy provided by Initial Thoughts This one was a bit of a struggle for me at times. I had to try a couple of times to get into the story and even then it was hard to follow and rather confusing at times. I did like the story but it took a little bit of extra concentration on my part to keep everything straight. I thought that the setting was very well done and liked the fact that there were some pretty big surprises worked into the story. I thought that the narrator did a great job overall. Review copy provided by the publisher. Full review to be posted soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Hill

    I really enjoyed this book! It kept me interested and engaged throughout! One of those "marathon reads" for me. Great storyline, interesting characters, and I could not stop reading!! Grab this one now! Perfect for a weekend read, with all the thrills and chills of a perfect mystery. I really enjoyed this book! It kept me interested and engaged throughout! One of those "marathon reads" for me. Great storyline, interesting characters, and I could not stop reading!! Grab this one now! Perfect for a weekend read, with all the thrills and chills of a perfect mystery.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Padraic

    Enjoyed it. Solid eco-thriller. Fond memories from our recent trip to Kauai. Thanks to Talk Story Books in Hanapepe for the recommendation.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I really enjoyed this book! It took me a few chapters to understand the plot, since it was something I had very little familiarity with before reading this book, but once I had a better idea of what was going on I was hooked. The characters and story was very unique and had good themes throughout. I do wish some of the dialog was more detailed (sometimes I wasn't sure which character was speaking) and I also wish the ending was fleshed out a bit more. Overall, it was a great read. I really enjoyed this book! It took me a few chapters to understand the plot, since it was something I had very little familiarity with before reading this book, but once I had a better idea of what was going on I was hooked. The characters and story was very unique and had good themes throughout. I do wish some of the dialog was more detailed (sometimes I wasn't sure which character was speaking) and I also wish the ending was fleshed out a bit more. Overall, it was a great read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    3 1/2 stars rounded up. I've learned I cannot resist dark and gloomy mystery/thriller covers. Especially if they involve the sea, it's a weakness, I suppose. Naturally, this means that I snatched up John Teschner's Project Namahana. Is it possible to work in a corporation and not be affected by its greed? What about the horrors those corporations can cause (intentionally or not). Will those scrape by, or will you feel each and every one? Two men, both corporate employees, are connected – through 3 1/2 stars rounded up. I've learned I cannot resist dark and gloomy mystery/thriller covers. Especially if they involve the sea, it's a weakness, I suppose. Naturally, this means that I snatched up John Teschner's Project Namahana. Is it possible to work in a corporation and not be affected by its greed? What about the horrors those corporations can cause (intentionally or not). Will those scrape by, or will you feel each and every one? Two men, both corporate employees, are connected – through death. There have been a series of deaths and disappearances on the island they call home. It doesn't take long before the men, Brent and Lindstrom, begin to suspect the role they had to play in these deaths. Ohhh. I was so curious about Project Namahana. I've seen plenty of corporate/thriller novel combinations, but nothing like this. It's a different take on the plot of greed and corruption, though it has familiar tones here and there. The whole concept of Project Namahana makes me think of the quote: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Brent and Lindstrom could have looked away from these deaths – it would have been easier (for them) if they had. Yet they didn't. There's a lesson in that. Admittedly, while I wanted to like Project Namahana, it took me a little while to get invested in the story. It was probably a few chapters (maybe a bit more) before I felt like I was getting into the story, mainly because it has a bit of a slower start. On the bright side, I loved the way John Teschner tackled complex situations and concerns, especially those revolving around (as mentioned above) corporate greed and corruption. It's something that we should be discussing more, which feels like the whole point. Thanks to Forge Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Read more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda (The Arizona Bookstagrammer)

    “Project Namahana” by John Teschner. Stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Genre: Eco-Thriller. Location: Kaua’i, Hawaii, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Time: Present. “Nothing stays hidden forever.” A secret project 20 years ago went wrong, and it has a half-life of 600 years. Where are the project workers now? Two dead, two missing, two left. KAUA’I: Beaches, jungles, mountains. Corporate greed, murder, and cover-ups. New home of Micah Bernt, traumatized military veteran who tries to protec “Project Namahana” by John Teschner. Stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Genre: Eco-Thriller. Location: Kaua’i, Hawaii, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Time: Present. “Nothing stays hidden forever.” A secret project 20 years ago went wrong, and it has a half-life of 600 years. Where are the project workers now? Two dead, two missing, two left. KAUA’I: Beaches, jungles, mountains. Corporate greed, murder, and cover-ups. New home of Micah Bernt, traumatized military veteran who tries to protect others from his deep-seated combat ways. MINNEAPOLIS: Headquarters of Benevoment Seed Corp. Home of Michael Lindstrom, Benevoment executive who created the plant chemical that may be causing illness and death on Kaua’i; and who still has nightmares about the secret project. Author Teschner spends the first chapters describing Bernt and Lindstrom and how/why they each end up investigating Benevoment’s Project Namahana. Perhaps his detailed descriptions for each scene could have been edited to help the action move along. The book speeds up as their private investigations intersect on Kaua’i, and they must choose who to trust while staying ahead of the law and corporate big agriculture. Teschner asks us if it’s possible for corporate executives to be responsible for evil things without being evil themselves. It’s a long book with shifting points of view, very detailed descriptions of combat and weapon use, and many side stories. You think you know what’s going on, but it turns out there are clever plot twists that make you think: “That’s what started it?” and “Wait, what?” The author lived on Kaua’i for 7 years, and consulted local cultural and military experts to ensure his book accurately represented its subject. It’s 3 1/2 🏝⭐️tropical stars rounded up to 4 stars from me.🌵📚💁🏼‍♀️” Thank you to Forge Books/Macmillan USA for the advance copy! This book published June 28, 2022

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Project Namahana by John Teschner is not for the flippant reader. This slow burn suspense thriller will require engagement. I was swept up into the Kaua'i landscape and culture through the narration skills of Kurt Kanazawa. A solid ⭐⭐⭐⭐ story! I normally like to go in a story like this blind, but on this one I think it's helpful to know what you are getting into. This is an environmental suspense that involves corporate and individual greed that still manages to give nuance to the very real dilem Project Namahana by John Teschner is not for the flippant reader. This slow burn suspense thriller will require engagement. I was swept up into the Kaua'i landscape and culture through the narration skills of Kurt Kanazawa. A solid ⭐⭐⭐⭐ story! I normally like to go in a story like this blind, but on this one I think it's helpful to know what you are getting into. This is an environmental suspense that involves corporate and individual greed that still manages to give nuance to the very real dilemma farmers all over this county face. If you are looking for a fast and fluffy thriller, this is not that. The characters that give their perspectives struggle to make their morally ambiguous decisions and we hear their defenses and their growth. I enjoyed the depth of this story, and as a farmer's daughter (in a decidedly not tropical locale), I resonated with several aspects. The Story: this is a very atmospheric mystery that starts strong with the sudden death of 3 boys. Two men find themselves drawn back to this event years later in their very divergent ways only to find they need each other to expose the truth. What they discover threatens jobs, the local economy, and definitely their lives as more and more people end up dead. I am so glad I listened to the audio of this one. There is a fair amount of Hawaiian phrases and in the audio, pronunciation. I really love listening to correct pronunciation (assuming it is accurate), since I know I won't get it right. Kurt Kanazawa did a fantastic job with all the vocals and I appreciate the fluid narration. I definitely recommend this in audio form. Thank you to @NetGalley, @forgereads and @macmillan.audio for this Advanced Listening Copy. It is available now!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jamele (BookswithJams)

    This was a fascinating read, and I thought this eco-thriller was well done. It was a struggle to stay focused at times, and while I think the audiobook helped to do so, there were parts where it did seem to drag a bit. A story about corporate greed, there were some twists I did not see coming and that I really liked. Eco-thrillers are not my normal sub-genre to read, but overall I liked the setting, it was dark, which I love, and I am very glad I read this one. Thank you to Forge Books for the ad This was a fascinating read, and I thought this eco-thriller was well done. It was a struggle to stay focused at times, and while I think the audiobook helped to do so, there were parts where it did seem to drag a bit. A story about corporate greed, there were some twists I did not see coming and that I really liked. Eco-thrillers are not my normal sub-genre to read, but overall I liked the setting, it was dark, which I love, and I am very glad I read this one. Thank you to Forge Books for the advanced copy to review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I struggled with this book a lot. I didn’t particularly care for it at all. The book starts off very confusing and it takes a while for it to make sense. The author decided to write a very descriptive book, but I’m not someone who loves useless description in books. I want action. I found myself very bored while reading, to the point where I had to force myself to read it. Due to this, I was never fully engaged in the storyline. Another downfall for me was the use of the local slang. I don’t min I struggled with this book a lot. I didn’t particularly care for it at all. The book starts off very confusing and it takes a while for it to make sense. The author decided to write a very descriptive book, but I’m not someone who loves useless description in books. I want action. I found myself very bored while reading, to the point where I had to force myself to read it. Due to this, I was never fully engaged in the storyline. Another downfall for me was the use of the local slang. I don’t mind local dialect in a book, as it gives the book authenticity, but what I would prefer authors to do is to provide a small definition of the slang just one time so that readers that are not familiar with the local dialect doesn’t have to spend the time to look it up, or just glazes those sections. There was one small aspect of the book I did like and that was Lindstrom’s internal struggle. This book has been listed as general fiction/mystery and thriller. I think it’s best described as general fiction.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    A very compelling read. I would recommend it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Corporate greed and manipulation result in a tale about secrets and disappearances, with the island culture of Kaua'i providing an interesting backdrop. I enjoyed this novel both for the compelling story and for its setting. I received my copy as part of the Goodreads Giveaway program. Corporate greed and manipulation result in a tale about secrets and disappearances, with the island culture of Kaua'i providing an interesting backdrop. I enjoyed this novel both for the compelling story and for its setting. I received my copy as part of the Goodreads Giveaway program.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Happy Pub Day! 6/28/22 I am immensely grateful to Forge Books for my review copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bob Kochinskas

    really enjoyed this book, and glad to have gotten an early copy from the publisher. suspenseful and immersed in island culture.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tim Kruser

    A wonderful debut novel from an author I will be following closely! The attachment the author has for the local culture is palpable, & described so eloquently in the prologue.

  17. 4 out of 5

    OjoAusana

    *received for free from netgalley for honest review* This was overall a pretty good book, kinda slow in a weird way but turned out pretty good, certainly a murder mystery lol

  18. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    They talk about shareholder value because they need to call it something. But there’s no accountability, not to shareholders, not to anyone. It’s chance. You can do everything right, but if there’s a drought in India and orders drop ten percent, you’ll be blamed. Unless you can get transferred in time for the blame to hit the next guy. And it goes all the way up. No matter what anyone tells you, or what they believe about themselves, all anyone is trying to do is make sure there will always b They talk about shareholder value because they need to call it something. But there’s no accountability, not to shareholders, not to anyone. It’s chance. You can do everything right, but if there’s a drought in India and orders drop ten percent, you’ll be blamed. Unless you can get transferred in time for the blame to hit the next guy. And it goes all the way up. No matter what anyone tells you, or what they believe about themselves, all anyone is trying to do is make sure there will always be a chair for him to sit on when the music stops.” -------------------------------------- “To quote Dr. Wilson,” said Professor Higa, “Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary. Can anyone explain?” Project Namahana is a book about responsibility. Who accepts it. Who ducks it. How it is spread around so thinly that it ceases to have any substance. Are you responsible if you shoot someone? Sure thing, unless they were shooting at you first. Are you responsible if people are killed because of decisions you made? It begins to get tougher. What if you know there was potential for harm? It can be difficult to assign personal blame, particularly when decisions are made by a range of people. See the quote at top. John Teschner - image from The Big Thrill Jonah Manokalanipo takes his son and two cousins to a nearby dam for a swim. When he returns for them, after a heavy rain, he finds all three dead. What killed them? Jonah has an idea, and raises a huge fuss. Micah Bernt is a military veteran, a loner mostly, seriously PTSD’d. He uses this to keep people at a distance, for their safety. He is not completely wrong to do so. Bernt is living on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, working selling outboard motors, renting a small place from a friendly older couple. He finds their comity off-putting, not wanting to get too attached and maybe expose them to his darker side. There is one. He did not get his screaming meanies from spending too much time in a knitting circle. There is plenty of guilt to go along with his unwelcome memories. Michael Lindstrom is an exec with the Benevoment corporation, producers of GMO seeds and bespoke pesticides. There is a particularly promising project underway on Kauai that could yield major gains in production. But it is not quite ready for prime time, and the upstairs suits are eager to try something else, a different genetic mix, that would be particularly harsh on non-buyers. Lindstrom has been in charge of the older product line since its inception, and wants the company to hang on with it just a bit longer. But when it is implicated in the deaths of several local boys in the Namahana area of Kauai, Lindstrom is sent from the home office in Minnesota to get things sorted. Of course, there are additional complications as there might just be a connection to the several locals who have gone missing or worse. From the sociologist Robert Jackall I learned corporate managers make directives as vague as possible, forcing those lower down the chain to make ever more concrete decisions. And from Stanley Milgram, I learned it’s human nature to shift our model of morality when following orders, justifying actions we would never do on their own. – from Teschner’s Tor/Forge articleBernt’s landlord, Clifton Moniz, is one of these. The circumstances of his death are seriously hinky. Moniz’s widow, Momilani, knowing that Bernt has some military police background, asks him to look into the death for her. And we are off to races. Chapters flip back and forth, mostly between Bernt’s local travails and Michael Lindstom’s coming of conscience, as he begins to really feel responsibility for what his company might have done, recognizing that many of the relevant, bad decisions that had been made by the company had been his. He engages not only in an investigation of the problem at Namahana, but in considerable soul-searching. [the] novel was inspired by a NYT Magazine story of structural violence: for decades, as told by Nathaniel Rich, DuPont factories dumped toxic chemicals in West Virginia streams, abetted by permissive regulators and a corporate bureaucracy that distributed the action of poisoning other human beings into a chain of indirect decisions carried out by hundreds of employees. - from Teschner’s non-fic piece in the Tor/Forge blogBoth Lindstrom and Bernt are on roads that lead to the same place, literally, as well as figuratively. Micah and Michael (maybe the reason for the similarity in names?) are both in great need of redemption, Michael for his managerial sins, Micah for whatever crimes had gotten him discharged from the military with an honorable discharge but maybe not so honorable a final tour. There is considerable local color, showing a part of Hawaii that is not on the postcards or tourism brochures. Teschner lived on Kauai for seven years, so, while not a native, he knows a bit about the place. This includes not only elements of the local economy, but the relationships among the residents. There is considerable use of local lingo. I read an EPUB, so do not know if the final version includes a glossary. You might have to do some looking-up, but not at a problematic level. Literally millions of people visit Hawaii every year, but I venture to say that few will find anything familiar in here except for the landscapes. The tourism industry on Hawaii has been so successful, the unique culture of the island itself is almost completely hidden by the stereotypes and the carefully managed visitor experience. - from the Big Thrill interview Teschner may have presented us with a purely evil Benevoment ag-biz corporation, but his company exec is much more nuanced. We get that he is a well-meaning sort, who sees his work as helping ease world hunger, even if there might be some collateral damage in getting from place A to place B on that road. Micah Bernt is also a good-hearted soul, even if that soul may have acquired some indelible stains. These internal conflicts give the leads some depth. That said, we do not learn enough about Micah Bernt’s challenges while in the military. Project Namahana looks at systemic, institutional violence foisted on locals by higher-ups in government, the corporatocracy, or both, looks at how personal responsibility fits into that, and fits his two leads with a need for expiation. It is fast-paced and action-packed, with the requisite twists and turns, and even a complicated love interest for Micah. We get to see both the welcoming aloha tradition and the darker side of a brilliant place. It is a fine first novel, showing some serious talent. I expect that the proper reaction to this book is to say Mahalo. The newest version was the most effective yet, but the tweak in chemistry had made the volatility worse. Morzipronone wouldn’t stay where it was sprayed: a slight breeze carried it miles. It didn’t matter what they put on the label; no application guidelines could prevent drift onto neighboring fields. Any crop that wasn’t genetically modified to resist it would cup and die after just a few exposures. Review posted – July 22, 2022 Publication date – June 28, 2022 I received an eARE of Project Namahana from Tor/Forge of Macmillan in return for a fair review, and some of that wonderful Kona coffee. Thanks, folks, and thanks to NetGalley for facilitating. This review has been, or soon will be, cross-posted on my site, Coot’s Reviews. Stop by and say Hi! =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to the author’s personal, FB, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter pages Profile - from the Big Thrill interview John Teschner was born in Rhode Island and grew up in southern Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, professional mover, teacher, and nonprofit grant writer. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya and rode a bike across the United States. He spent seven years living on the island of Kaua’i with his wife and two boys, where he helped lead Hui O Mana Ka Pu’uwai outrigger canoe club and became a competitive canoe racer. He now lives in Duluth, Minnesota, where he is learning how to stay upright on cross-country skis. PROJECT NAMAHANA is his first novel. Interview -----The Big Thrill - Project Namahana by John Teschner Items of Interest from the author ----- The Non-Fiction Pieces That Inspired Project Namahana by John Teschner -----Tor/Forge - excerpt

  19. 4 out of 5

    Staci Suhy

    I received this book for free as part of a first reads promotion

  20. 4 out of 5

    D.W.Jefferson

    Set on the island of Kaua’i, the fourth largest of the Hawaiian archipelago, this novel starts with the death of three local boys, apparently by drowning. The book is mostly narrated by the two main characters, Micah Bernt, a former military special forces soldier, living on Kaua’i, and Michael Lindstrom, an executive and former lead scientist for the Benevoment Seed Company, living in the Twin Cities. The book includes a lot of conversation in Hawaiian accents. This makes the narrative especiall Set on the island of Kaua’i, the fourth largest of the Hawaiian archipelago, this novel starts with the death of three local boys, apparently by drowning. The book is mostly narrated by the two main characters, Micah Bernt, a former military special forces soldier, living on Kaua’i, and Michael Lindstrom, an executive and former lead scientist for the Benevoment Seed Company, living in the Twin Cities. The book includes a lot of conversation in Hawaiian accents. This makes the narrative especially entertaining to read. Author John Teschner spent seven years living on the island of Kaua’i. So his use of Hawaiian words and phrases is authentic. Further, his descriptions of Hawaiian cultural situations adds a great deal to the novel. As the novel progresses, other persons either disappear or die under suspicious circumstances and questions are raised about Project Namahana, a Benevoment Seed project on Kaua’i. Mount Namahana is the island’s highest mountain. The two protagonists try to unravel the mystery of what happened to the three boys and the others. First working separately and later together on the island as the mystery accelerates into an action thriller with the protagonists being pursued by those eager to keep the truth hidden. As a person who can count the Hawaiian words I know on one hand, I would much appreciate the addition of a glossary of Hawaiian terms to this book. I love the authenticity of having the characters talk like Hawaiians, but would like to be able to look up expressions I have any question about. Teschner says: “I hope this book entertains, educates and moves my readers, but most of all, I hope it honors that spirit (of the Hawaiian people).” Enjoy!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ryo

    I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. This book is a mystery/thriller that takes place in Hawaii, where people start mysteriously dying. Some are connected to farms sprayed with chemicals from a single company, and the mystery isn't really that much of a mystery from early in the book. The story didn't really keep me interested with the various corporate shenanigans; it was basically "the big corporation is evil and hiding the truth" with not much more nuance than that, I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. This book is a mystery/thriller that takes place in Hawaii, where people start mysteriously dying. Some are connected to farms sprayed with chemicals from a single company, and the mystery isn't really that much of a mystery from early in the book. The story didn't really keep me interested with the various corporate shenanigans; it was basically "the big corporation is evil and hiding the truth" with not much more nuance than that, which is really a simplistic view of big corporations. There's attempts to flesh out various supporting characters, but they never really made that big of an impression on me. There seem to be quite a few that just come and go quickly, and a lot of them seem to exist solely to provide a necessary clue to keep the plot moving. The villains are really underdeveloped, and after painting the big chemical corporation as the bad guy, some individuals on the island seem paltry in comparison. I didn't feel like we even got a proper introduction to a lot of the bad guys before weapons started coming out. A lot of the exploration and action scenes were muddled and unclear, and before long I really just wanted the book to end, which it finally did, but without a very satisfying conclusion. The action ends only shortly before the end of the book, and the fallout from all the chaos isn't really explored much, and the fate of one major character is just mentioned in passing without really any detail. But on the plus side, it's a pretty short book, and the Hawaii setting and culture seemed like they had very authentic details in the book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tamara (CoffeeOnABookshelf)

    💭 ᴍʏ ᴛʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛꜱ: This book wasn’t really for me. Although I was intrigued by the synopsis I couldn’t really get into it. It started off confusing; it took me a while to get a grasp of the storyline. The local dialect being used didn’t help with that either. Normally I would love that as it gives more authenticity to the story. It missed a bit of the thrill I was hoping for. I did like the topic of local struggles and corruption being woven into it. Interesting read but just not for me. ⭐️⭐️ 🤓 ʀᴇᴀᴅ ɪ 💭 ᴍʏ ᴛʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛꜱ: This book wasn’t really for me. Although I was intrigued by the synopsis I couldn’t really get into it. It started off confusing; it took me a while to get a grasp of the storyline. The local dialect being used didn’t help with that either. Normally I would love that as it gives more authenticity to the story. It missed a bit of the thrill I was hoping for. I did like the topic of local struggles and corruption being woven into it. Interesting read but just not for me. ⭐️⭐️ 🤓 ʀᴇᴀᴅ ɪꜰ ʏᴏᴜ ʟɪᴋᴇ: Corporate corruption Short chapters Hawaiian Jungles Local dialect and struggles ꜱʏɴᴏᴘꜱɪꜱ: 𝘕𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘦𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳... 𝘛𝘸𝘰 𝘮𝘦𝘯, 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘴, 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘫𝘶𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘒𝘢𝘶𝘢‘𝘪. 𝘛𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘭𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢 𝘤𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘦-𝘬𝘯𝘪𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺-𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘴—𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘣𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮. 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘕𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘔𝘪𝘥𝘸𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯, 𝘨𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴-𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥, 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘒𝘢𝘶𝘢‘𝘪; 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘺 𝘪𝘥𝘺𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘤 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘫𝘶𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘔𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵 𝘕𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘢; 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦, 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘣𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘺, 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    A two plot mystery that comes together very, very slowly. The first is set in Hawaii in the coffee fields, where men are dying or disappearing, where people are getting sick from chemicals used to treat the soil and plants. The second thread is set on the mainland at the chemical company where there's a tug-of-war to decide which chemicals to continue using despite the side-effects. After a startling first chapter, the book lags and lingers. It takes over 75 pages for the threads to make sense and A two plot mystery that comes together very, very slowly. The first is set in Hawaii in the coffee fields, where men are dying or disappearing, where people are getting sick from chemicals used to treat the soil and plants. The second thread is set on the mainland at the chemical company where there's a tug-of-war to decide which chemicals to continue using despite the side-effects. After a startling first chapter, the book lags and lingers. It takes over 75 pages for the threads to make sense and tie together, sort of. That's a lot of reading to figure out if you care about a book. I'd say, give this one a miss unless you are really curious. I was and wonder why I stuck with the book. I heard the author speak and was intrigued by the environmental / agro-thriller. But it's really a slowly plotted mystery and a debut novel. I expected more from a journalist who was setting real events and issues into fiction. Writing flaw: the scenes in Hawaii are written in dialect with lots of Hawaiian thrown it. It's often difficult to figure out what the Hawaiian characters are driving at as the local language is not translated for readers. Thanks to the BookLoft of German Village (Columbus, OH) http://www.bookloft.com for an ARC to read and review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    2.5 stars *ARC provided by the author/publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an honest review* I gave this one a low rating simply because it was so confusing. The storyline was simple but the story was confusing. If that makes sense. Even the language was confusing. It wasn't horrible but it just wasn't for me. 2.5 stars *ARC provided by the author/publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an honest review* I gave this one a low rating simply because it was so confusing. The storyline was simple but the story was confusing. If that makes sense. Even the language was confusing. It wasn't horrible but it just wasn't for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michele Rice Carpenter

    Good book, but hard to get into. I confused characters, and had to be certain to only stop at the end of a chapter. The idea of the storyline was good, but I think it could have been written better in the first 4 chapters. I would recommend this book to other writers for analysis. I won this book as a Goodreads giveaway.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beth-Ann Cosenza Bourgeois

    I could not get into this book. I tried hard to like it. It caught my attention with the prolog but then the technical stuff was not interesting to me. Chapter 3 is started to get interesting. Since I wasn't liking the book I kept confusing the characters so the book was hard to follow. I could not get into this book. I tried hard to like it. It caught my attention with the prolog but then the technical stuff was not interesting to me. Chapter 3 is started to get interesting. Since I wasn't liking the book I kept confusing the characters so the book was hard to follow.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy Davenport

    Read this book on vacation and thought I was guessing how it ended but the plot twisted and I was wrong. I like a story that leads me to think in one direction and then takes me somewhere I never thought it would go.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Donald

    First time author, rough awkward start but found his stride. Too much technical jargon to dig through. Give it a 100 pages. Chose it because I’ve never read a book placed in Hawaii since Michener’s. Would like to read another book with these characters.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diogenes

    Compelling murder mystery / thriller with a complex protagonist and fascinating plot. Not a police procedural. Set in the Kauai that tourists seldom see. Fine portrayal of Hawaiian culture and values. Could benefit from a short glossary of Hawaiian and Pidgin terms in the dialog.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Clow

    I won this book and I can’t wait to read it . I heard it is a very Excellent book

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