Voyager 2

Full Circle

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
288 Pages
Reviewed on 09/02/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Voyager 2: Full Circle is an historical fiction novel written by D.R. Vervalin. Hiroshi Ishikawa was excited to be graduating from the Imperial Naval Academy. It was 1941 and, like many other graduates, he had dreams of being assigned to a Yamato-class battleship. This dream was also his father's and Hiroshi felt sure, with his being among the top ten percent of his graduating class, that when he walked up to receive his assignment his dream would become a reality. He looked for his father in the crowd and saw that Admiral Kumamoto was there with his parents. After he received the sealed packet containing his orders, he joined them. Opening the packet, he was confused and disappointed to see that it was empty -- there were no orders and no appointment to a battleship. Instead, his father and the Admiral explained that his assignment would be a top secret one and one of great importance to the Empire.

D.R. Vervalin's historical novel, Voyager 2: Full Circle, is a fascinating and exciting story set during World War II in the Pacific arena. Ishikawa's story is framed by that of Bane Skiles, a veteran now living in a retirement home in Maui. Vervalin's story is impeccably researched, and he includes a comprehensive list of references at the back of the text. His characters are compelling and believable, especially the young Naval graduate, Hiroshi Ishikawa, his fiancee, Emiko, Bane Skiles and April Downs. The historical aspect of this story really ramps up the significance of the hunt for sunken treasure in which Bane and April become unwillingly involved. April Downs and Emiko Yamagata are strong, independent female characters whose roles in the story are significant, especially considering the cultures and the historical eras to which they belong. I had a grand time reading this historical novel which mingled wartime with a hunt for gold. It's highly recommended.

Raanan Geberer

In Voyager 2 by D.R. VerValin, Lt. Hiroshi Ishikawa is the very model of a young Imperial Japanese naval officer in training. He’s the son of a prominent industrialist, devoted to the emperor, and engaged to a proper young woman who was carefully picked out for him. He’d hoped to serve aboard a ship, but he’s instead assigned to several top-secret tasks. The last is to collect and catalog, at a remote location, gold and treasures Imperial Japan has stolen from China, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies and other territories that it has conquered. When the war starts going badly, he makes preparations to ship the gold home, but his plans don’t succeed. Also during World War II, a young woman, a survivor of a bombing, is found wandering around in Darwin, Australia, her memory lost. After the war, she accidentally discovers her real identity. And with that discovery comes danger, because she has a former fiancé – an American serviceman from Hawaii who, although he doesn’t quite know it, has a connection to the lost gold.

In addition to fans of mysteries and historical fiction, Voyager 2 will appeal to history buffs in general because, as VerValin points out, many people know about the treasures the Nazis stole from Europe, but few know that the Japanese did the same thing. The characters are completely believable, the plot unfolds well, and this reviewer couldn’t stop reading chapter after chapter, wanting to know what happened next. VerValin, in his introduction, talks about the changes in Hawaii after World War II, and one wishes we could see more of this in the novel – many of the scenes in the second half of the book are set on the islands. All in all, however, Voyager 2 is an excellent book.

Rabia Tanveer

Voyager 2: Full Circle by David R. VerValin is the story of Bane Skiles, captain of the ship that is on the way to uncover some priceless treasures. When he joined the Imperial Navy, he thought that the course of his life was set. Now, as a captain of a ship, he embarks on a journey that will take him to places beyond his imagination. The past is back to guide him and to make him see what is in front of him and what is right. It is his decisions that make him the kind of man he is, but he is nothing but human. With the promise of treasure and riches beyond everyone's wildest dreams, it is up to Bane to find his way through the black sea and make the decisions that will change his life.

I really love it when I get to read novels that are installments in a series, but I understand what is going on without reading the previous novels in the series. Voyager 2: Full Circle is one such novel. I was gripped by the vivid details from the very first chapter. I really enjoyed the fact that Mr. VerValin made Bane a "human" hero and not some mythical man who makes everything better with the blink of an eye. Bane had to work hard to make things right, and I really enjoyed and appreciated that. Lastly, the cover of the novel is so good and falls in perfectly with the theme of the novel. A job well done!

Tracy Slowiak

I just finished reading Voyager 2: Full Circle, the new book by author David R. VerValin, and all I can say is Wow! As a reader who absolutely loves historical fiction, I have to say that many books in the genre recently have been a disappointment to me. The genre seems to have been overtaken by people who are not experienced writers, or people who are writing about time periods they really don’t understand. But I was so pleased with this book. Following the story of Bane Skiles, intrepid adventurer, as he continues on his quest for lost treasure, but this time with a broken heart. When Bane’s grandmother has a vision of his ship, the Voyager, sailing with black sails on an eerily black sea, he worries about what that vision might be. He finally finds some answers in the past, along with a treasure he thought he’d lost forever, but at what risk?

All I can say is this: Voyager 2: Full Circle is an absolutely fantastic read. I picked it up intending to read a few chapters before going to sleep, but instead I stayed up to all hours reading until the very end. Author David R. VerValin is a gifted writer, and has drawn vivid and realistic characters and scenarios that will make the reader feel as if they truly know those in the book. Any reader who enjoys historical fiction, seafaring tales, action, adventure, or just a plain thrill ride of a book that is deftly written and impossible to put down will love Voyager 2: Full Circle. This book is the first I’ve read by David R. VerValin, but it won’t be the last; in fact, I will be ordering the first book in this series as soon as I can. And I certainly hope that Mr. VerValin is hard at work on the next installment. I, for one, will be eagerly waiting for it!

Faridah Nassozi

In Voyager 2 - Full Circle by David R. VerValin, Lieutenant Hiroshi Ishikawa's dreams were finally starting to come true as he became an officer in the Imperial Navy. Little did he know that the rest of his career path was already predetermined by those above him. Accepting the changes, Hiroshi gave up his hopes of serving on a battleship and instead embraced his new assignment. Then his new dream, one that had been chosen for him, was brutally shattered when his first mission ended with countless causalities and him in hospital missing an eye and some fingers. But the same fate that had altered his journey so brutally would be the same fate to deliver him to a greater purpose in service to his family and his country. Meanwhile in another part of the world, a young woman is found wondering about with no memory of who she is and without any form of identification after surviving a bombing. The only personal items on her are a necklace and an engagement ring. Voyager 2 is a narration of why World War II started, how it changed the world, and the countless lives whose paths it altered.

Voyager 2 - Full Circle by David R. VerValin is a well-detailed narration of the main events of World War II and the lives that were forever changed by this major historical event. Woven into the writer's creative work are historical facts and theories about the war, making the book a captivating mix of fact and fiction. The book, although a clear work of David R. VerValin's imagination, felt genuine and gave a real feel and understanding of World War II. Although fiction, it felt well researched and stayed true to the main theme of the events it aimed to portray. David R. VerValin did a truly amazing job portraying Japan's side of the events through a detailed plot and a memorable setting.