Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 18543
date submitted 30.01.2010
date updated 10.08.2011
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Popular Science
classification: universal
incomplete

BRAINRUSH

Richard Bard

Given just months to live, Jake Bronson never dreamed that a freak accident would draw him into a whirlwind of terror, self-sacrifice and love.

 

Jake was prepared to die; he just didn’t want to do it today, trapped in an MRI scanner during an earthquake. Instead, the accident increases Jake’s brainpower ten-fold, attracting the attention of a terrorist group working to perfect cerebral implants to enhance the abilities of its Jihadist spies. Convinced that an exam of Jake’s brain will catapult their research, they kidnap him.

Held captive in Venice, Italy, Jake bonds with a psychologist, Francesca, and two kidnapped autistic-savant children—the next subjects in the terrorists’ deadly experiments. Jake vows to save them, even if it means trading his life for theirs.

Meanwhile, Jake’s friends have tracked him to Venice. But their attempt to free him in a guns-blazing raid backfires when the terrorist leader uses Francesca and the children as hostages, fleeing with them to his Afghan mountain stronghold. Jake and his friends gather a specialized ops-team for a daring rescue mission, where Jake discovers that his new-found talents carry a hidden price tag that even all of mankind may be unable to pay.

An original weave of present-day circumstances bound by colorful locations and cutting-edge technology, BRAINRUSH appeals to thriller fans that enjoy action-packed stories with unexpected twists.

 
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action, adventure, autism, brain, children, genius, hostage, intrigue, italy, kidnap, military, mystery, pilot, romance, science, suspense, technology...

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RichardBard wrote 1090 days ago

In April 2011, BRAINRUSH made the cut as one of the fifty semifinalists in the the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest (second year in a row!). Here is the latest Publisher's Weekly editorial review on the unpublished manuscript:

ABNA Publisher Weekly Reviewer
A terrifically entertaining thriller with three finely executed set pieces strung together with nice characterization. Jake Bronson, a terminally-ill combat veteran in Redondo Beach, Calif., is receiving an MRI when an earthquake interrupts the procedure, resulting in Bronson taking on telekinetic powers. A terrorist named Battista kidnaps Bronson with the intent of experimenting on him, leaving Bronson’s best friends, Marshall, Lacey, and Tony to search for him. They find him in Venice, and after a gunfight, Battista escapes, and Bronson and crew stop off in Monte Carlo, utilizing Jake’s powers to win at the casino before heading to Battista’s hideout in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, where a massive firefight culminates in a particularly outrageous and fitting conclusion. The muscular narrative is only occasionally muddied by thriller conventions -- technical specifications of weapons and transport and the need to repeat established plot points. Especially successful is Bronson, an amiable, low-key tough guy able to rescue his princess, survive brutality, and retain a sense of humor.

RichardBard wrote 1405 days ago

In May, 2010, BRAINRUSH made the cut as one of the fifty semifinalists in the the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest (out of 5,000 entries). Here are the professional editorial reviews generated during that process:

AMAZON.COM EXPERT REVIEWER #1 (on the first 5,000 words)
Brainrush looks to be an exciting techno-thriller, with medical and psychological aspects. This excerpt gives me the impression that Brainrush will have the fast-paced plot that is expected in a thriller, but will also deliver a sympathetic, nuanced main character. If I had the full manuscript in front of me, I would keep reading.

AMAZON.COM EXPERT REVIEWER #2 (on the first 5,000 words)
I like the theme of human beings facing their own mortality. It is the most frightening aspect of our life, but it is also inevitable. How easy it is to really accept one's predicament that they have a limited time left on earth/ Does that change a person in some way? Hopefully this book addresses some of those quesitons in the way they affect Jake Bronson and people who know him.

FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (on the entire manuscript)
An inventive and compelling hybrid of science fiction, adventure, and political thriller, this novel follows combat pilot Jake Bronson as he investigates the origins (and extent) of the extraordinary mental powers he's gained after enduring a medical accident. Suffering from terminal brain cancer, Jake submits to an MRI exam that should determine how long he has to live; after the machine malfunctions, Jake finds that he has savant-like powers of memory, cogitation, and anticipation, as well as superhuman physical reflexes. Terrorist Abdul Abdali, who is posing as Italian researcher Luciano Battista, learns of Jake's abilities and wants to study him in order to create a race of supermen whom he can train as terrorists. After he is kidnapped and brought to Battista's compound in Italy, Jake encounters two autistic children, Sarafina and Ahmed, on whom Battista has been experimenting, and vows to escape and destroy Battista for their sake. When, after a battle with Jake and his rescuers, Battista kidnaps Sarafina, Jake and his friends, including empathic scientist Dr. Francesca Fellini, who has been unwittingly aiding Battista's work, follow Battista to his remote compound in Afghanistan. Rather than end the novel with a simple rescue operation, however, this author provides a far more intriguing and unexpected conclusion. Jake discovers a secret that could spell the end of the human race. A fast-paced and engaging thriller, the novel is politically topical and raises moral questions about scientific matters.

Sharahzade wrote 1504 days ago

Hello Richard Bard,

Almost midnight, same day, and I just finished reading all 50 chapters. Perhaps I am just sleepy but my first reaction was accurate. This novel is perfect. The ending is uplifting and so creative. A beautiful way to compensate for all the tragedy that went before. In my mind there is a great message in this story that the world needs to hear.

Your characters moved across the screen of my mind, alive and vivid. I was amazed at your command of the technology of all the war equipment and the strategies of Jake's team. How did you do that? Either you spent years in research or you have been there and done that. Whatever the case, you told it with complete reality.

I honestly thank you for asking me to read Brainrush. It was exciting and more entertaining than any film I have seen since Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was a real pleasure to back this best seller to be. Your name does you proud. You are indeed a first rate Bard.

Goodnight.

Mary Enck
A King in Time

BigSimon wrote 1446 days ago

Richard,

Your book has just given my brain the best rush it's had for a long time!
It is quite possibly the most gripping and engaging thriller I have ever read - not just on Authonomy - but anywhere.

Right from the start, I was held in its suspenseful grasp, shaken, caressed, dropped, picked up again and shaken some more - all the while quite powerless to wriggle free until I had reached the end.

Thought provoking, touching and continuously exciting, this is so much better than most published action thrillers. Not only is the story exquisitely crafted with a colourfully varied cast of eminently realistic characters but the writing is perfect. Every word, every simile and every metaphor falls so naturally into place that never once was I distracted from the seemingly effortless flow of narrative.

Reading this book is rather like going white-water rafting through the most breath-taking scenery imaginable whilst knowing you are in the hands of a master raftsman.

If this book does not become an instant best-seller, I will eat my manuscript!

Simon, CONNECTED

monicque wrote 1059 days ago

Geez!! Fantastic work!! I'd bookshelf it for sure, but I'm guessing you don't need that? Congrats on having your work published!! I am sooo jealous!! lol. I know my work is good, but yours is a step above the above-average. I'm gonna read your book and try to learn how you did it!!!!

Congratulations Richard, I'm very impressed!!
Monicque Sharman, The Multiple Choice

Hey Richard: I put my book on here 2 days ago, (when I joined) and it's in the top 3 rated for this week already!! Did Brainrush rise to the top of the pack quickly and stay there? I'm interested to know. Thanks (if you get time) :)

RichardBard wrote 1090 days ago

In April 2011, BRAINRUSH made the cut as one of the fifty semifinalists in the the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest (second year in a row!). Here is the latest Publisher's Weekly editorial review on the unpublished manuscript:

ABNA Publisher Weekly Reviewer
A terrifically entertaining thriller with three finely executed set pieces strung together with nice characterization. Jake Bronson, a terminally-ill combat veteran in Redondo Beach, Calif., is receiving an MRI when an earthquake interrupts the procedure, resulting in Bronson taking on telekinetic powers. A terrorist named Battista kidnaps Bronson with the intent of experimenting on him, leaving Bronson’s best friends, Marshall, Lacey, and Tony to search for him. They find him in Venice, and after a gunfight, Battista escapes, and Bronson and crew stop off in Monte Carlo, utilizing Jake’s powers to win at the casino before heading to Battista’s hideout in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, where a massive firefight culminates in a particularly outrageous and fitting conclusion. The muscular narrative is only occasionally muddied by thriller conventions -- technical specifications of weapons and transport and the need to repeat established plot points. Especially successful is Bronson, an amiable, low-key tough guy able to rescue his princess, survive brutality, and retain a sense of humor.

Woodville wrote 1185 days ago

Wow, a great HarperCollins review AND you got into the Amazon Breakthrough contest. Will we see Brainrush on the bookseller shelves soon?

bonalibro wrote 1188 days ago

Regarding the HC review. "A stiff breeze" is quite hard to imagine? Although original in writing? Where has this reviewer been? Surely not to the U.S., where it's a standard collocation. I suggest the editor have a look at the English corpus. Anyone who doesn't know the language well enough to recognize such an expression surely cannot be trusted to assess the written word.

Shawn Hendricks wrote 1188 days ago

Went through a couple of MRIs at the VA. Your characterization of the VA staff is not, in my experience, accurate. The technology of the MRI has progressed quite a lot since your last visit, I would venture, since my brain scan took something like 10 seconds total. I had a chest CAT scan in an Australian hospital that needed to use disclosing serum (my term) to reveal lung structure and even that took about 30 seconds.

That's just facts, though, and you are writing fiction. If this book is set fifteen years ago, it might actually be accurate. I like the way you have described an older CAT scan with attendant claustrophobia and panic button. Most CAT scanner manufacturers would never, ever permit a little thing like a power outage be the cause of patient distress so that should have been addressed. Again, this is fiction.

I didn't feel pulled in. Possibly this was due to the inaccuracies and maybe it was because I didn't have to invest dollars in a book and maybe because I'm trying to work on my own friggin' book fer cryin' out loud.

Try to clean up the VA bits. The same thing can happen with a completely competent VA radiological technician, can't it?

Pia wrote 1208 days ago

Dear Richard, your support counts, I hope you'll have a look at my message. Thanks, Pia

ccb1 wrote 1283 days ago

The editor’s desk, was it worth? Was your book reviewed by HarperCollins? Did you receive a book publishing offer, or have other publishing houses expressed and interest in you book? We have found the comments and suggestions from the other authors on Authonomy helpful in revising our book, but were just curious as to the benefits of landing at the top.
CC Brown
Dark Side

Jaye Hill wrote 1362 days ago
Silo62 wrote 1368 days ago

Richard congratulations on the best book I have looked it on this site. A spectacular read. Your prose is smooth and the characters are rational and well defined. Great writing.

Athanasius wrote 1379 days ago

Hey Richard, no wonder BrainRush made it so far. It is a fast-paced, thrilling read. I am excited to continue reading. Thanks

StrangeLove wrote 1382 days ago

Finished...one of the best reads this year...brilliant...congrats on all you have a achieved ... well done!

Ana, The Sorceress and the Guardian

M.H.Thonger wrote 1383 days ago

hi there, I would appreciate your qualified comments on 'the compulsive traveller' if you have time. Real life drama, danger,travel and humour. Thanks Mike

BookBetty9 wrote 1387 days ago

I'm two chapters in and already caught up in the story. This is good stuff.

Robert McIntyre wrote 1387 days ago

I think the problem with the premise that the aliens are going to exterminate humanity if they haven't overcome their violent tendencies is that extermination is itself breathtakingly violent.

LRM wrote 1388 days ago

Congrats, Richard! I knew you'd make it! :D
~Linnette

MMQ wrote 1389 days ago

Just finished the first chapter, I will look forward to reading the entire novel!!

Jayne Lind wrote 1389 days ago

Hi Richard: Congratulations on getting an agent. Question - at what point in the process did this happen? I'm beavering away and close to slipping over into the 500's - but it is time consuming, keeping me from writing. However, your post gives me incentive to keep on. Best of luck - Jayne (the President's Wife is on Prozac).

amir.thewriter wrote 1391 days ago

BRAINRUSH is exciting, kept me intrigued in each chapter I read. I wish you nothing but success with your novel!

-amir

Ysabetwordsmith wrote 1393 days ago

Good title, highly original method of gaining superpowers. Not enough to hook me into opening the book, though. Redline: "BRAINRUSH appeals to thriller fans that enjoy action-packed stories, such as the BOURNE series."

mrsjmsmith wrote 1394 days ago

CONGRATULATIONS!

Faine wrote 1394 days ago

Nice job, Richard. All the best.

Kevin

Beth Anne Wilkins wrote 1394 days ago

Great for you, that makes me happy because I backed your book. Beth

LouH wrote 1394 days ago

Richard,

I've neglected my house, own writing & all else, but I've finished your book! Once caught in the grip of the suspense, I had to follow the story to the end. Congrats on what will undoubtedly be a best seller, right up there with Vince Flynn's, Dan Brown's and a very few others who can tell a fantastical tale and make it feel real. Spectacular writing and story-telling!

Of course, I see a movie, as I'm sure you did while writing it. And, lots of small editing concerns which have probably already been addressed. In particular, notice things spell check won't catch: 'he still could (n't) believe ... glance for (an) instant ... to be with (her) here ... taught (taut) ... steal (steel) ... passed (past) and so forth. Hopefully, as a probably best seller you'll have a good editor. Best of luck.

Can't wait for the sequel with the same (surviving) cast of characters.
Lou H

Idea Girl Consulting wrote 1394 days ago

cool title and great synopsis.. i've put you on my watch list.. my shelf is full today :)

jacks wrote 1394 days ago

I've just read the first three chapters.

It was very interesting. Only three chapters, but the descriptions were nice and short and clipped and Bronson seems like an interesting protagonist. I was looking at the Amazon.com reviewers and I have to agree with them on three things

1. Bronson is a nuanced protagonist

2. The theme of morality and the hint from the description of the terrorist organization raises some interesting questions

3. I'm a sucker for a pyschological character study


A crticism

I dont like Marshall. I guess his dialogue in chapter two just sounded corny.



Overall, I like it. I'll be back to read more.



John Sullivan
(The Empire of Your Destination)

jacks wrote 1394 days ago

I've just read the first three chapters.

It was very interesting. Only three chapters, but the descriptions were nice and short and clipped and Bronson seems like an interesting protagonist. I was looking at the Amazon.com reviewers and I have to agree with them on three things

1. Bronson is a nuanced protagonist

2. The theme of morality and the hint from the description of the terrorist organization raises some interesting questions

3. I'm a sucker for a pyschological character study


A crticism

I dont like Marshall. I guess his dialogue in chapter two just sounded corny.



Overall, I like it. I'll be back to read more.



John Sullivan
(The Empire of Your Destination)

villette wrote 1394 days ago

Have readthe first chapter, not my sort of book, but I wish you every success with it.

villette wrote 1394 days ago

Have readthe first chapter, not my sort of book, but I wish you every success with it.

fortyplus wrote 1394 days ago

Hi Richard. I enjoyed your book so much, that i read it on my blackberry.. all of it! i could not put it down. My eyes are still taking strain!
Angi

fortyplus wrote 1394 days ago

Hi Richard. I enjoyed your book so much, that i read it on my blackberry.. all of it! i could not put it down. My eyes are still taking strain!
Angi

JessRo wrote 1394 days ago

This was a book that I just kept coming back to as I wanted to know how it would end and what twists and turns were going to befall Jake, and it certainly didn't disappoint. The pace and action of thge book could not be faulted, the only slight criticism that I have if any would be that I would have liked to have had a little bit more information to distinguish the members of Jake's team who weren't in his initial group of friends as this would have made some of their actions towards the end of the book that bit more authentic, but this is minor and the book was still believeable and had me hooked. All in all a very enjoyable read.

kategrimes050 wrote 1394 days ago

I have read the first two chapters of BRAINRUSH, Richard, and I must say it's BRILLIANT. It's like reading a book about James Bond and the six-million dollar man rolled into one. Even the technical bits are easy understandable without losing the thread of the plot, something I'd find hard to do. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the m.s. One good thing about this site is being able to read at my own pace, and to have such a wide variety. I'm definatly backing this book.
Great read.

Steven Hayward wrote 1394 days ago

Highest quality writing - very polished. It does my TSR no favours to spend time reading a couple of chapters and backing this, and my novice ranking will have little effect on BRAINRUSH, but I wanted to know what it takes to get to the top on this site - I found the air to be very thin up there. I also wanted to get my backing in today so I can say I helped in some small way! Congratulations, this is a clear winner. I look forward to reading the whole story while holding the bestselling book in my hands.

Steve Hayward ~ Mickey Take

Paul_aucuparius wrote 1394 days ago

Very well written, I like the fast paced style, you certainly know how to grab the attention of the reader and to keep up the level of tension. A great main character. I will keep reading on.
Paul

Leon Torres wrote 1394 days ago

read the first couple of chapters, and loved it, congratulations on making number 1

Danny O'Bigbelly wrote 1395 days ago

Not my usual genre, but I can see why this has made it to the top of the rankings. It's a page-turner. Best thing I've seen here yet. Backed with gusto.

A couple of nits, however:

- DARPA's budget is only 226M this year, so I don't think they're going to be giving out any grants for $750M... But just knock a few digits off the grant and it will be plausible. A few million dollars buys a lot of egghead time.

- Maybe chapter 17 was rewritten? I thought Jake let one of the guards live (drugged but alive), but now he's being credited with killing both of them in chapter 18.

- Nobody could carry all the weapons and ammo mentioned in the final firefight :-)

- The subplot of the alien puzzle left so they could figure out when humans achieved a certain level of intelligence feels extraneous, and too much like "The Sentinel" or "2001, A Space Odyssey" (and they had a better puzzle). There's plenty going on in this story already without adding aliens. Are they necessary?

- Referring to all of the enemy soldiers as "tangos" repeatedly in the last several chapters makes it sound like a video game. I can imagine why the characters might use this term when talking to each other, but for the narrator to use this term is somewhat dehumanizing.

MyffyB wrote 1395 days ago

Okay, Richard. I am a huge reader and also a published writer - I'm not bigging myself up but I can tell pretty quickly if someone is a good writer or not and you are superb. This is faultless. Right from the fact that you introduce the character straight away and we know immediately where he is. We are in his head and living his nightmare and that is the true skill of a professional writer - to hook and draw in. Were I an editor I would get this published. I haven't time to read the whole thing but please put me on your list of people to email when you are because I will buy it. You don't need a break down critique.You deserve your number one spot. Currently I am worried about this site because a lot of poor writing is getting gushing comments and high ranking and I wonder how true talent can ever break through, but it is heartening to see the right book in the no.1 spot. I wish you well and kindest regards, Sarah England

michaeltc wrote 1395 days ago

Wow! Fantastic story! Can't wait for Hollywood to get their hands on this!!!!

Xenton06 wrote 1395 days ago

Wow i totally love this idea. Ever since i came up with the idea of the Xenton i was kind of stuck on how to create new heroes. It didnt occur to me that freak accidents like being stuck in an MRI machine would do the trick. I love the originality and totally hope that we can work together one day. Maybe do like a justice league novel or something like that lol. Thanks for the back on the Xenton Chronicles.
Xenton -W.M.

Richardmilton wrote 1395 days ago

Richard, I've just read through the first couple of chapters of Brainrush in some detail and I see now why you are at the number one spot! (Congratulations, by the way.) Your premise is exotic enough to be exciting and yet perfectly feasible - as you say, such things have happened before. Above all, you have constructed your narrative to have the most important quality of all - I simply had to find out what was going to happen to Jake next! You don't need my help to get you to the top, but take my good wishes anyway.

I have one tiny suggestion to make and that is some of your descriptions and some of your dialogue come perilously close to cliches. I can see you have made strenuous efforts to keep your text cliche-free, but I felt you could simplify further in places and also get the benefit of a slightly fresher text - for instance instead of 'Marshall cut to the chase' you might consider something like 'Marshall's tone became direct.'

I have backed Brainrush with pleasure and will wait with interest to see what happens on the day!

Kind regards
Richard Milton

John C Hatch wrote 1396 days ago

Nice, since you asked, I took time to read the first 2 chapters. the first is already perfect of course, although the first two paragraphs let the reader become aware of the temblor before it occurs. The opening paragraph of the 2nd chap has a gull 'seeming' to float. gulls actually do float on the wind. Now for the important stuff
1) when not writing dialogue, use apostrophe's as quotation marks
2) eliminate 99% of all hyphenation
3) remove the first word from every third sentence on average, all those 'This', 'That', 'When', and 'Then's really slow down a read that deserves more.
And thanks so much for your comments on Enchanted Devices John C Hatch

Laurel Lamperd wrote 1396 days ago

A well written thriller that moves along at a fast pace. I imagine you put a lot of the treatment of your illness in the book, Richard, as well as the re-action of your family to it. I like how you slip easily into how Marshall, Jake and the reader discovers Jake's new mental powers. The endings to the chapters are good and drive the reader to discover what happens next. You have excellent narrative and descriptions. Just a thought - I couldn't download ch 3 due to an error. I wish you all the best with the book. It has a great cover, which should help sell it.
Laurel Lamperd

Jerold Richert wrote 1396 days ago

Richard,

Apologies for taking so long to get to your book. Much on at the moment.

I enjoyed Brainrush. It is an interesting and believable concept, carried along in some measure, as you are aware, by Rainman and other savant phenomena that appears regularly in the news. That’s a big advantage and you have used it. The story is well paced and the main characters fairly well rounded. The brief title is good, commercial, and relates to the concept. The all important beginning has impact and raises the necessary question of why. With some overall cutting and polishing I believe you have a winner.

Because of time restraints, I must admit to not reading the entire story, but only large chunks; enough anyway, to hold the thread and get the feel of where it – along with the characters - was headed. I have made a few comments that I hope you will take as purely professional observations that I myself have been subjected to by sharp–eyed and hard-nosed editors in the past forty or so years that I have been in the writing game. Pandering to creative egos is not professional and certainly not helpful if we aspire towards excellence in our craft. So, my comments are not criticisms, merely observations. Of course, there is always room for opinions, and ultimately, you are the author and must tell the story in your own way.

I made notes as I read, intending to quote page and paragraph when making a comment , but sort of lost the plot with how the pages are formatted in authonomy without indents etc. Not to worry, I’ll just make the comments general. I’m sure you will apply them where necessary.

I go along with Stephen King when he says that if you want to be a writer you must do two things above all else; ‘read a lot and write a lot’, and Hemingway, when asked by a reporter why he had to write the last page of For Whom The Bell Tolls thirty five (or was it thirty eight?) times, he answered ‘to get it right.’ And then William Strunk, who believed that vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer makes all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat all his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. Stephen King dislikes the use of adverbs in dialogue attribution, (and rightly so), and Mark Twain disliked adjectives; ‘you should hunt down your adjectives,’ he advised, ‘and when you find one you should kill it.‘ I wouldn’t go quite that far, but if you find two adjectives cuddling together you should certainly kill one of them. Less is more. We should write with nouns and verbs.

I won’t go too much into details and typos. Much of that can be edited out on rewrites. A few things, though. You should keep contractions such as he’d or they’d to dialogue and not use it in narrative. It comes across as sloppy writing.

Play close attention to some of your longer sentences. They tend to become a little – dare I say it – autistic? (a joke) When you become mired in a sentence it is best to start afresh and not try to fight your way through against the odds of syntax. Usually what is wrong is that the construction has become too involved at some point and the sentence needs to be broken apart and replaced by two or more shorter sentences. If story is king, then clarity must be the queen.

Try not to use the expression ‘the fact that’, (Battista - the more serious problem lay in the fact that they were running out of children…) It is a phrase that caused professor Strunk (and me) to shiver with revulsion.

In dialogue, it is common practise to use ellipses rather than a dash with unfinished sentences . “I’m so sorry, I could barely keep my balance. I…”

Try not to overstate. Overstatement is one of the most common faults.) A single carefree superlative has the power to destroy, for the reader, the object of the writer’s enthusiasm (Ed White). “Sharp burning needles of blinding pain blossomed at the back of his skull, wriggling through his brain.” Another example is when Francesca appears at his door and he opens it to see her smile. Good. But we don’t see her smile as much as we see her pillow-soft lips. The impact and intent of the smile has been lost to the reader in favour of description. It also smacks of author intrusion, because the description is not Jake’s.

Be careful of starting every scene with description, and if you must, then make it telling and relative to the story or to set a mood with the imagery or smells. The story is king, and irrelevant detail slows it down or distracts. When it comes to scene setting and description, a meal is as good as a feast. What we want to know is ‘what happens next?’ We don’t want to read a brochure of Venice or material list of Sammy’s bar. And the same goes for description of clothes and other accoutrements. I have no idea what ‘Keds’ are, and I’m sure I am not the only one. Be wary of ‘brand’ names. They can date your story. You can get away with iPhone now, but will that still be the case ten years from now? This also applies to language and vocabulary. In a few years words like ripoff, rap, vibes, dude and copout will be the words of yesteryear. You want more than just young people to read your books - and enjoy them. With Marshall’s character, it somehow doesn’t convince that he would use the word ‘dude’ unless it was in a jokey, facetious manner. I see him as a little more sophisticated. Probably an age thing with me, or perhaps because it is an expression not much used out of the U.S. and then mostly with skate boards, high fives and caps worn back to front.

I liked the understated ending, which leaves you guessing, but at the same time content with the knowledge it will be a happy one.

These are not serious problems; no major surgery is required. Rewriting is common among the best writers. You have a good story that can only be improved by some judicious polishing, which in turn, will also improve your chances of being published.

Good luck!
Jerold Richert
The Flamingo Room


madunn007 wrote 1396 days ago

I only read the first chapter. The detail is wonderful and I'm positive I will return to read the rest.

HopeStands wrote 1396 days ago

Richard, not only does your manuscript have and amazing plot, but also your writing style is suburb. What I appreciate is an author that does not waste words. You say just enough in your sentences and paragraphs. While you supply plenty of detail, the story moves forward brilliantly. Nice balance. And nice work. All the best to you and I consider it a privilege to have reviewed Brainrush.
Cheers,
Sam

LintonWood wrote 1396 days ago

An easy read and well written, there's so much that's already been said by others so I'll just wish you luck.

Linton

Seraphim62 wrote 1396 days ago

Hi Richard,

I was so intregued by Brainrush's description that I had to start reading during my lunch break. So far it's brilliant. Being a comic book fan, I love the concept, and the characters have jumped out at me.

More than happy to back!! :)

Jake

anydegg wrote 1396 days ago

Wow. I am so honored that the #1 writer on this site would even look at my book. Thank you so much for backing it. I'll work on reading your book in its entirety. Definitely sounds capitvating.

spike67 wrote 1398 days ago

Richard-
Your story is very readable. I can see the influences of our mutually liked authors in your writing but you do have a distinctive voice. #1 on authonomy is not easy to acheive but with your story, it's easy to see what it's up there. Best of luck.

Spike67

hkraak wrote 1398 days ago

BRAINRUSH: Ooooohhhhhhh!!! I sat down this evening intending to read a few more chapters, and I couldn't stop until I'd finished. First, I must applaud your ability to suck a reader into an over the top engaging adventure. From California to Italy (Loved the Carnevel costumes. I'd also just taken the Hearst Castle tour this last spring, so the image of Jake's room was right on.) with brief stopovers in Monaco (Loved the nod to Rainman with the gambling...no card counting in this. :)) and Kuwait before hitting the ground running in Afghanistan...the excitement doesn't end even through the epilogue's cliffhanger. Your imagery and turn of phrases are wonderful. Your characters are real and believable.

Things that I noticed along the way:
chpt 15: We had already been told about his brother's death, so this seemed to be a reiteration. It could stay, but just tweak it so it doesn't seem the same.
chpt. 20: Typo - ...he discovered a an unabridged encylopedia
chpt. ?: Boo for Francesca losing her slipper -- way too Cinderella cheesy. :)
chpt. 29: Jake is not miserable in the first paragraph. He is grief stricken and hollow. He just lost his soul mate to a killer.
Ahmed "still has difficulty with physical contact." It has only been a few days, so he would not have lost that so soon.
chpt 30: Monaco - the writing changes to present tense in the first paragraph. Also, no need for "in mind's eye," just use pictured. Bond is...(present tense) Chihauhau's (doesn't need the apostrophe). Parted like the Red Sea -- this phrase was used already in an earlier chapter (can't remember what for).
chpt 33: My kids say, "Down low." "Too slow." Instead of never slow. If that's an inside phrase between Jake and Marshal, then it probably should be explained. (Or maybe they say it differently in different parts of the country?)
chpt 35: My brain went, "Tony...nooooo!" Good thing it wasn't true. :)
chpt 39: But then here it went again,"Willie...noooo!" I know, I know, somebody has to be the fall guy. :( Poor Willie. Also, I don't want to know about the locator being planted on Sarafina. It seems too contrived. (And how did they get it on her without Francesca knowing?) I'd rather find out about it when Jake and Tony do. Unless you have it on her before they put her in the cell. Otherwise it seems like Battista knows he's going to lose them, and he has much better odds on that mountain than Jake does.
chpt. 40: Loved this -- Like a Costco for terrorists. :)
chpt. 41: Did not love this --- ewww the doctor's eyeball. But, yes, keep it in (the book, not his head). I just will totally cover my own eyes during that part in the movie. Ewwwww... :)

Not sure what I think about the aliens. That again seems a little contrived. I think I would rather just have the thousands of years of bad blood between people be the downfall. It still leaves a ton of room for a sequel without bringing in the Sci-Fi.

I love, love, love the connection between Jake and Francesca with their ability to read each others' thoughts. However, I'd be careful with how much that will be used later, because in sequels it might be a little disconcerting for them in reality. I know you are still in the first weeks of marriage, and that honeymoon stage is awesome, but after awhile, you might not want to know exactly what your significant other is thinking or you might not want her to always know what you are thinking. :) Just being practical. :)

I'd also like Francesca to be a little more feisty. I'd like her character to be stronger; not so damsel in distress and more an equal with Jake. Her dad knows guns, maybe she should know her way around one too.

Almost done....Maria is supposed to have Jake's back for the next 24 hours. I didn't see that happen. I'm not sure why she was even there as the only female. Also, Lacey did nothing during the rescue. Where was she?
Oh, and glad you didn't leave your main character on that mountain. :)

Steven Pemberton brings up a good point with Ahmed. Maybe have him throw a fit about not being able to come along (he knows no one else in the whole world, and he's autistic so he needs a connection)...Maybe use him on the mountain (he and Marshal can navigate since he knows the tunnels or he can say don't go that way or something)...just give him a reason to be there.

Okay, I'm done. When this comes out on the big screen, I want to be invited to the movie premiere. :) You have a great book with huge potential for a bestseller and a blockbuster. Congratulations!!

Heidi