Readers' Favorite Reviews

Raven: Birds of Flight

​    Is it reasonable to call a man a terrorist for desiring to be left alone, to live his life peacefully? J.M. Erickson explores this question in his thriller "Raven: Birds of Flight". The book is a sequel to "Albatross", the first book of the 'Birds of Flight series'. Set in modern USA, the novel focuses on the life of Alexander J. Burns, a life far from easy. Identified by the FBI as a terrorist because of his attempt to negotiate a peaceful life for him and his friends in exchange for stolen classified records, Alexander J. Burns's character enables the reader to analyze the conscience of a so-called terrorist at close quarters.
    The writer refers to true-to-life events, contributing to the realism of the story in its descriptions of Military Intelligence strategies, ambushes and the realities of intellectual terrorism. This novel is more character-driven than plot-oriented. It manifests the urge to live, to change and to gain peace in a chaotic world. "Raven: Birds of Flight" is a thriller with mounting tension and by any standard, a pleasurable reading experience for the fans of the genre. - (5) Gayani Hathurusingha, Readers’ Favorite

    In "Raven" J.M Erickson has created a sequel to "Albatross" and reunites the reader with one of their favorite characters Alexander J. Burns. Alexander was instrumental in taking down the agency he used to work for, leaving a lot of people that would love nothing less than Alexander’s death. Some of the people he used to work with want to negotiate for some top secret files. While living off the grid Alexander manages to arrange a deal with the FBI; he will give them the information in exchange for him and his team being able to live in peace with no charges filed. Of course nothing goes according to plan. The FBI flubbed up the meeting and Alexander’s old bosses would like nothing more than to see him dead! The information being made public does affect the US. Alexander was taking hits from all sides. Alexander must make a choice. So what will it be?
    I did not read the first book in this series "Albatross: Birds of Flight"; however, I was still able to quickly grasp the concept of this book and like the characters. J.M Erickson weaves the details you need to know to feel connected to the characters into the new story while not bogging it down too much. That makes "Raven" able to be a stand-alone book if, like me, you haven’t read the first or a fast moving sequel. The deepness of the plot that J.M Erickson has written is almost mind boggling. I did find myself at times feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the plot itself. The twists are so cleverly executed that I had to read a few passages twice to keep up with the flow. However, that did not take away from the overall enjoyment of the book. I enjoy a book that makes me use my brain and puzzle out some of the pieces.
    If you like a book that is going to keep you on your toes, move fast and take you on a ride, this is a great one for you. I plan to go back and read the first book in the series so that I can have a fuller understanding of "Raven" as well. This really is a fast-paced thrilling book that is likely to get your heart racing with its action. – (4) Kathryn Bennett, Readers’ Favorite

    Alex Burns aka Falcon 5, is the type of operative you want on your side. He is the head of the Foreign Intelligence Agency and a group of operatives considered renegades. Burns has many enemies that would love to see him dead. Burns and his team have several stolen classified files that they are attempting to exchange for a peaceful life. They just want to be left alone. In an attempt to turn the documents over to the FBI Burns and his team come under attack. If the documents fall into the wrong hands the world as we know it will be destabilized. 
    Fans of Albatross will be thrilled to be reunited with their favorite operative, Alex Burns in this fast paced sequel, “Raven, Birds of Flight: Book Two.” Author J.M. Erickson brings readers a complex plot in his latest psychological thriller. I find it incredible the way Erickson managed to have high action from beginning to end and yet the suspense builds to a crescendo. This book stands well alone although it is the second book in this series. The plot has great depth making this a book you won’t want to rush through. There are more twists and turns than a pretzel.
    The actual events mentioned in this tale give the plot a feel of realism. Often character driven plots fall short of expectations but not In “Raven, Birds of Flight: Book Two.” This book not only meets expectations but surpasses expectations. Fans of thrillers will not want to miss this one. – (5) Anne Boling, Readers’ Favorite

    Alexander J. Burns is the leader of an outcast team of government counter terrorists. They have in their possession stolen and highly classified government records with contents that can destabilize the whole world. Accepting an offer from the FBI to return the documents in exchange for amnesty, Burns and his team come under attack, after the first attempt at exchange was bungled by the intelligence agency. The FBI then creates a squad to bring Burns back in the fold and at about the same time covert operations are being staged by the US against their enemies as well as allies in Europe and America. His former superiors at the Foreign Intelligence Agency want to eliminate Burns and he is now considered as a terrorist. With his back against the wall, Burns is forced to do things that may result in serious repercussions all over the world. 
    J. M. Erickson's novel "Raven: Birds of Flight" is an action-packed story that deals with betrayal within the US government's anti-terrorist agencies. This novel is actually a continuation of his earlier novel "Albatross" of the 'Birds of Flight Series'. "Raven" is fast-paced and character-driven, resulting in an exhilarating read. It is also a psychological thriller and gives us an insight into how these trained antiterrorist agents think and act when they are under extreme conditions. Faced with what seems like an impossible situation, the lead character Alexander J. Burns is also confronted with a moral dilemma.
    Enjoyable and thrilling, this is one of those books that I want to finish reading in one sitting. It’s extremely fast pace makes it even more interesting and gives me the feeling of being in Burns's shoes. It is also evident that the author has done his research on how these agencies operate. In a world where terrorism has become a common occurrence, this book will be relevant for all of us. – (4) Maria Beltran, Readers’ Favorite

Alex Burns, skilled field operative for the newly created Foreign Intelligence Agency, is known to his superiors as Falcon 5. Terrorists are planning coordinated attacks during rush hour when many people will be in one place. It is known that these attacks will be staged at Paris' Eiffel Tower, Heathrow Airport near London, and both the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge in the United States. Burns stops the attack at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco but violence ensues. At the same time, on the other side of the world in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, Marine Warrant Officer Diane Welch is on guard with her group of fourteen sniper/surveillance and combat support marines. Her men, including "Ice", an Ojibwe Native American who shares his prophetic dreams with Diane, are ready to free the women and children hostages of a small village and then move in to kill enemy forces and liberate the cache of weapons. Instead, the FIA middle manager Thomas Webber is near Diane's location and has his forces totally destroy the village, hostages and all. Webber then abandons Diane and her marines. Meanwhile, Burns has become a rogue agent and his beloved Samantha is killed just as she meets with government agents. But the FBI and local law enforcement were not the assassins. All signs point to Thomas Webber. Could Webber have an agenda of his own? 
    "Raven, Birds of Flight: Book Two" is a thriller whose complex and slowly unfolding plot will delight readers of that genre. There are many characters such as Alex Burns, Diane Welch, Denise Cratty, and David Caulfield all of whom contribute to the depth of plot and the overall effect of the novel. – (5) Alice DiNizo. Readers’ Favorite