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Richard Bard Richard Bard
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Reader Reviews


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

Brainrush: It's not often I like a book because of EVERYTHING about it. But this is one of those rarities. I was first attracted to it because of your own brush with cancer. I wrote and had published a non-fiction book about my 18-year old son's teenage bone cancer, so I was keen to see how you utilized your experience. And this book, when it is published, will have a permanent place on my very own wooden bookcase. This is brilliant. The concept. The construction. The writing—oh especially the writing, which is so vivid and so immediate, with impeccable syntax and strong verbs and no words wasted. This is heading straight for the ED.
   —Backed with pleasure and admiration, Sheila (Pinpoint)

Brainrush! This sure is a fun read and fine piece of writing to study for effect. The author stays on point, keeping a smooth mix of science, emotion, characterization and reversals that are always sum able and answered in an active and light manner. I found myself constantly amazed by the use of 'reversals'. —No matter what the author added in to the tale, albeit science, emotion, motive or more, and no matter how much of a "leap" the believability of said information might appear....—the author always comes around and answers the questions that are being posed by insertions. Even when elements might seem to on the nose...suddenly each bit takes it's place, getting out of the way for a greater piece of interesting info. This writing really helped me to consider my own pitfalls of being vague in plot or withholding answers....kind of like harboring secrets can really slow the reading. I'm pleased to see how Brainrush allows all information to feed the pace and digest quickly such that my brain is ready to gobble more. Very effective storytelling. All characters seem perfectly three-dimensional and living, acting and useful. The quick payoff of tying back into these elements makes for a very On-Point read. Brainrush moves right along, picking up speed and turning its own pages. It's a real treat to read a piece as this, lending much to think about via the speedy escape into Jake Bronson's adventure. Glad to see this work at number one!
   —stona

Richard, I just finished Brainrush from start to finish. That is saying something about your work. It is unbelievable. Every chapter delivered. Intrigue, political/scientific/military type entanglements, blunders, betrayals, and just when I thought all was lost—well, it wasn't. This is the best book I have read thus far and it screams to be published so it can become a best seller. Great work and even better imagination with even more better literary crafting. The most bestest, however, is the character interplay. But dang you, Richard; I meant to read your book with a critical eye and take a lot of stuff away for me. I lost all of my critical eye as well as my basket of goodies, and all because your story was so interesting; I just plain forgot why I was reading it. You deserve everything that a work of this magnitude can bring, and I wish you the best for the second time.
   —PawPaw Mike

There are many good writers plying their trade on this site—this guy is in the top five. Exceptional storytelling with a narrative skill that puts you right there. Thought I would give it a glance and have read seven chapters. I will be back to it tomorrow. If HC wants a best-seller, this is the one. I certainly would buy it and wait eagerly for the film. Outstanding.
   —Able Kane

Hi Richard. By halfway through the first page I knew that a) if I were browsing at an airport or station, I would buy the book instantly; and b) I'd back this book. Those of us who have been through an MRI scanner will have shivered as we were reading; those of us who haven't will also, I suspect, have shivered whilst reading. Your descriptions are so effective, sense of timing and suspense so spot-on, that the reader knows this is going to be a good book. Your writing is just as I like it: clear POV, crisp, punchy. Backed right now. I'm going to settle down and read the rest of this for pleasure (is that the right word?) If I've got any adverse comments when I've finished, I'll be sure to let you know. However, I suspect you won't need to hear from me again ... (in the nicest possible way).
   —Chris (Maelstrom)

Richard your action scenes were so well done that I found myself getting up to take a breather as I experienced my own adrenaline rush. This book goes beyond being a thriller. The introduction of the [spoiler intentionally omitted] angle was a good bit. It raises some interesting question about human nature. I liked how your prime villain Battista, though a fanatical nutbar, can justify his actions by referring to the history of aggression inflicted by the west on his people. That is the beauty of this novel everyone has justification for their mayhem and cannot see that the barbarians at the gate are themselves. I don't often read books of this nature but I would like to see Jake continuing his adventures in another novel. I am really keen to see if he can help the world avert cosmic retribution.
   —E. David Brown

Richard, It's easy to see why Brainrush is in the number one spot. I'm no expert on thrillers, but you build suspense and structure for the plot at the perfect pace. I like how you don't over describe your characters, but reveal them through dialogue and action. Solid, likeable characters. Chapter cliffhangers are effective, esp. "They were running out of children." Chilling. Backed with pleasure.
   —Jan, Fringe of Darkness

Can someone say, "The heir to Michael Crichton?" Backed with extreme prejudice.
   —Roxanna R.

Hi Richard, This story gripped me from the beginning and I understand them wanting to make it into a film. I will be watching out for it. Good luck.
   —Dawn, My Friends and Me

You are a master with words! I am enjoying your book SO much. This will be a fantastic movie when it comes out. ;-) No wonder you're #1 on the ED!
   —Melissa The Seventh Blessing

Wow—what a ride! I love how you keep putting poor Jake deeper and deeper into danger. He keeps wading into the dark waters of the unknown, one nail-biting step at a time, while the water—and the stakes—get higher. You've done a great job bringing socially relevant topics together as a tight bundle of kick-ass. The autistic kids, the Jihadists, the medical technology... add a dash of sci-fi and a beautiful psychologist, and you have a deadly thriller cocktail.
   —Mary J. Webster

Spellbinding best seller! Jake Bronson's depth of character is a rarity in such a taut thriller. I'm impressed
   —Shimmer

I haven't finished reading it yet, (I'm a slow analytical reader) but I will tonight. I have to know how it ends. Richard this is a stroke of pure literary genius. The pace is comfortable allowing the reader to absorb what they are reading. Sometimes I get lost in these kinds of books because the author moves so quickly through the information it's hard to keep up. Great job. I did Back Brainrush already, but, I'm still going to finish it.
   —DR Wood

Hi Richard, Wow, what a read!!! The pace is amazing right from the start, and you handle the POV changes seamlessly. This novel is going to be an absolute stunner. One of my favourite movies was Phenomenon, and this book combines that with fast paced action that will have boys (and girls if they give it a chance) desperate for more. Battista has a hint of a James Bond arch foe, but you add so much more depth to this usually one dimensional character. A rare piece of truly exceptional writing, thank you for sharing it. Just one question, are they really making Top Gun 2?
   —Best wishes, Charles

Richard, Tally one more reader who made it all the way through. I backed Brainrush after reading just the first few chapters, and I now know that I was right to do so. Hooked from the beginning, I've cocooned myself away from other responsibilities to make it through—including my own writing. It's no wonder Brainrush is the #1 ranked book on this site. I know I'll see it in print soon. Until then, It's earned the #1 spot on my virtual bookshelf. GREAT JOB, and I look forward to a sequel. You truly are a "Bard" weaving a tale like that.
   —Andi Pray

When I first looked at this story and its 50 chapters, I thought, there is no way i am going to read all 50 chapters on a computer screen, but once I started I could not stop. You had me enthralled from the start to the finish. This is a brilliant story packed with surprises. Who could not back this story?
   —Best wishes, Edward (morewords)

Richard, as your surname suggests, you really are 'The Bard'! Fantastic, gripping and with a realism not often found in modern fiction. Sir, I applaud you.
   —Phil

Richard, A genuine addition to the genre. The short chapters really keep it rolling. Excellently structured. I can see why Hollywood is interested! Well done.
   —Dominic

Your style is a lot like Preston and Child in my opinion. You have a professional touch with your characters; you introduce real world information mixed in with the fiction which makes for a sophisticated read. My attention was captured from the onset. Jake and Marshal have a dialogue that actually sounds like a real conversation. Jake's realization of not being able to see Top Gun 2 in theaters really made me think about how life goes on even if you are staring down your own end of existence. The use of mind alterations for terrorism profiling is also a neat idea, language adaptation etc. I hope this book gets the publication it deserves.
   —Good Luck, John Payne (Apostles of Sera)

Richard, Finally have gotten the time to read your entire book. Wonderful, Powerful and like your postscript of possibilities. I am a bit skeptical of governments or agencies of doing this research! Oh gosh am I cynical or what. This book should sell well and I hope you get a deal soon continued good fortune with this. :)
   —Diane

Richard—I am loving this, I would've finished the whole thing last night if my battery hadn't died. The story pulls you along, well drawn characters and I can't wait to see how it ends. Happy to back this. Later: I just finished. Wow, you completely wrong-footed me, the ending really is a doozy! Best thriller I've read in a long time. Four stars :-)
   —Paula L.

The Institute for Brain Studies Venice Italy contacted me I think! Thank Christ volcanic ash grounded all flights in Europe otherwise my attendance and appointment might have been short-lived. The staff at the institute is engaged in human experimentation, international terrorism and murder. Brainrush is an engaging pulsating thriller that will make you think twice before visiting a Hospital or institution ever again. I'm backing this story.
   —Daniel Manning

HI, Richard—Just backed your book with great pleasure. I'm a neuropsychologist with the VA, so the opening scene in the MRI caught my attention. You got the details right—including the incredible claustrophobia—and the amnesia after the seizure is right, too. Brainrush reminded me of a combination of Crichton's Terminal Man (only, frankly, yours grabbed me better at the beginning) and the movie Phenomenon from a few years back. My wife Bobbi (delhui, The Long Black Veil, which you've backed—thank you!) put together a reading list for me from Authonomy and put three stars next to your book. I've only read the first few chapters, but her praise and your success are both well-deserved. Congratulations, good luck, and I look forward to reading the rest soon—gotta know how this comes out!
   —Bill

I love your writing style! It's easy to read and follow and pulls me right into the next chapter! Jake is a good character and so far i love the plot! I'm on chapter 7 and i can tell this is a book that i will be reading to the end. Actually I could tell that after chapter 1! LOVE IT! Good luck!
   —Chloe (The Underground—Search for the Spoon)

Richard—I just finished your book. It was great. Granted, you've heard all of this time and again but you have a great novel here that screams out series. Nicely done!! My best wishes are with you as your writing career takes off. You deserve it.
   —HK Savage, Life Blood

Brainrush: I try to be honest and clear when reviewing a book on this site. I try to be objective and considered in my approach. But you leave me breathless. This book is a must read. There is no question that this is the best thing I have encountered as a thriller on site. I have just glanced up to the top of the page to ensure the complete novel is n site. This is one book that I will read from start to finish. If you would like one piece of advice...start to write a follow up...any publisher worth their pay will want more from you.
   —Raven Scott

Hi Richard—Effortless and as sharp as a butchers knife. I was immediately drawn in by your clever dialogue and attention to detail. Most of all the story line is engaging and very readable. Without a doubt you deserve every success with this.
   —Best Wishes, Richard

Really excellent—one of the best pieces of writing I've found so far on Authonomy; no wonder it's doing so well.
   —Best wishes, Roger

I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced and gripping story, despite my reluctance. This isn't really a genre I'm a big fan of, but this book may have changed my mind. I thought after one chapter I might put it back on my shelf for a while, but truthfully, the rest of my day's tasks have been put back whilst I've gotten further and further into a well-written, polished book of wide appeal that I'm determined to finish...not that I'm finding it a chore ;0)thanks Richard
   —Amy, Chameleons and Coinkidinks

Yeah, this is fantastic :) Expertly crafted, each word is there for a reason; it's real page-turner stuff. It's a perfect example of this genre, and will make a cracking screenplay. The first chapter is a master class on how to hook a reader...There's not much more to add that hasn't already been said, but this is quality stuff. And now, I'm going to go back and finish it...
   —Victoria Ridley

Three chapters of this fast-paced, slick, and to the point, thriller, has me wanting to read every attention-grabbing word, Richard. Your writing style is superb my friend—and you have the reader in your pocket the moment they find themselves in that dark and claustrophobic machine at the hospital with the hero.I can see why the industry is taking notice of Brainrush—for it is, in the words of this humble Scot—A BLOODY CRACKER. The thriller genre has a deep ocean of competition, but I can see (even so soon in) that your novel floats safely above the rest. Backed—and eagerly looking forward to reading more Richard. I wish you all the best with this, but I don't think you'll need it...
   —James

WHOA. Richard, I must admit that this book blew me away. The action scenes, especially at the end, were phenomenal, and I found myself trying to resist the urge to flip to the back and see how it ended. The relationship between Francesca and Jake is a unique one, and I kept shouting at my computer, hoping Jake would realize he wasn't doomed to die. And then, wow [spoiler deletion]! the plot thickened by about a million points, and I was so confused (what, were they going to die? Was this Jake's fault, or just cosmic justice after what Battista had done? Wha...?!) I love your subtle foreshadowing, especially when it comes to Battista's inside source. I loved it! Backed, and shelved! Best of luck, mate!
   —April Archer

This is excellent, really. You do something that is very compelling—you write in a narrative style that gives us insight into the character immediately. We are completely drawn in, hooked, in the first three paragraphs. "He didn't want to do it today, trapped in this MRI scanner." So we know that Jake is an active guy, not one to be bound down. "Like a nineteenth century artillery round." So we know that Jake is a tough guy, a man's man. "Comforting." Also a bit of a smart a$$! And so with the first chapter we have an intriguing story about a former USAF pilot who is dying of cancer, but that isn't enough for you! You introduce a compelling bit about artificial brain augmentation and before we can catch our breath, we're in Afghanistan with a sleazy character and another aspect to this multi-faceted story. If only I could crawl onto the couch and spend my whole day reading this! Expertly done, really just begging to be in print. Good luck with ABNA, would be amazed if you don't win. Happy to back this.
   —MVW888

Hey Richard Wow I just finished...sorry it took me so long, like I said time...back to your amazing novel, well done in the end you really had me going when I thought Jake was dead...killing of the main character always seems to twist the story, but was glad to find that he wasn't. I love the intrinsic detail that you have used in this, the sand under his eyes from his goggles you can tell that you had at one time experienced some of this story letting the reader in not only on a fascinating adventure, but a small glimpse at your life as well. Brainrush the title at first I was unsure of the name, now I am clear of the reason for the selection, once finished I really did feel a rush, and now thanks to your wonderful style of writing will have to find something else to keep my high going;) LOL I wish you the very best with this, I can see it in film like the Jason Bourne movies, and it sounds like you are well on your way. I can't wait to buy a copy in the stores or better for me watch it on the big screen!!
   —Leah

Start with a rush and then continues, as the genre demands. I had a few moments of wondering at the possible implausibility of it all, but then, we only need sufficient plausibility to entertain us—and it does entertain very well. What is more, it comes to round to a satisfying ending—not just a cathartic shoot-out. That lifts the whole tone of the story and makes me not at all surprised it has been doing so well. I normally would not lift a finger to turn a page of this genre, but that would be a mistake. Well—we learn if we live. Congratulations Mr. Bard.
   —DB, All these are memories of my voyage

Brainrush is a REALLY good story. Polished to perfection, pacey, good tension, a real page turner. Everything about it is spot on and I am so enjoying reading it. It must surely get to the Editor's desk, and from there it should just be a hop, skip and a jump to the book stores. Congratulations.
   —Shalini x

Absolutely wonderful. The pitch is well written, and the plot, narration and style of writing spot on. You write with such accuracy that it seems you have either experienced some of this or your research is thorough. Great Job, I have no doubt this will do very well. Backed.
   —Rakhi (Sir William...)

Richard, I feel compelled to leave a comment even though the last time I tried, I encountered an error and the darn thing didn't post. I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your book. I appreciate that you put up the whole book and didn't leave us poor readers hanging. Anyway, here's what I have to say. Your book is fabulous!!! You put together all of my favorite elements: action, adventure, mystery, romance and, of course my favorite, paranormal. I have been reading stories on Authonomy for a while now and I have seen some good ones, some great ones and some "Oh My God, Why Aren't You Published Yet" ones. Your story is definitely in the "Oh My God..." category. This book would be something that I would snatch off the shelf at my local chain store and sit on pins and needles until the next one comes out so I can find out what happens with Jake and his friends. I look forward to watching you rise to the editor's desk and I hope that you will share your experiences with that agent you were telling me about.
   —Best wishes, Mrs. Parker

Just finished it—so glad you loaded the whole book, I would have been pulling my hair out if unable to finish it. Brilliant from first to last chapter, would make an amazing film. When it's in print I will buy it and read it again.
   —Jilli

I am jealous of your pure genius way of flowing with words! You deserve to be noticed. I will forever back your book and back you as a writer. Soon as this comes out on the shelves I will have it on my book shelf. Thanks for sharing it with me and I am going to finish it. You were right. The 1st chapter draws you in perfectly.
   —AutismAuntie

Richard, Until I read this, I felt my book could stand toe-to-toe against any on here. I can no longer make that statement. I humbly back this powerhouse, and I hope you'll allow me to "borrow" some of your writing style! If I purchase only one book from this site, rest assured it will be yours. Simply put: magnificent!
   —Yarlledo

One of the more interesting stories I've read on here. And it helps that the quality of the writing is excellent. This really looks like something I'd expect to find in Waterstones right now.
   —M J Francis, Requiem

If I am honest this is not really my kind of book, I was drawn to it with the mention of Venice, as I am to all things Italian. My first impression was it's a "mans read"I usually read non-fiction, as this helps with my own writing.This morning I should be writing my own book, but instead I am still reading this and can't stop! It's very well written and it keeps you interested as there seems to be so much going on, like four stories in one. I'd like to say more but need to get back to my reading, it's Brill!
   —Jilli

Hi Richard, I am not an easy man to please. I look for two things—Writing and Storytelling. Writing for the technical stuff, grammar, punctuation, mistakes etc and Storytelling because without that it doesn't matter how good the words are constructed. What you have here is as near perfect in both areas and as such I am backing you.
   —Best of luck. Mick B—Gibbous Moon

This is my kind of thriller! Fast paced, cool concept, interesting characters and a run-for-your-life mission. There's no doubt in my mind that you'll find a publisher. Do you have an agent? If not, email me through my website. http://www.cherylktardif.com Exceptional writing. Makes me think of Michael Palmer's earlier thrillers.The whole MRI during an earthquake scene made me hold my breath. Can I breathe now? When this is published, let me know. I'd be happy to provide an early review blurb.
   —Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Children of the Fog

This is, quite simply, brilliant, Richard. Your writing reveals a masterly use of language—highly evocative or crackingly paced, depending on the situation, and of course, the opening chapter is a first-rate grabber! Even if I weren't a claustrophobe, it would have been almost unbearable. As it is, with my serious physical reactions to claustrophobia, I was at the point of screaming. How well I remember those feelings! You are clearly at home with the thriller format, as your reading preferences substantiate. Your pitch is intriguing, walking the tightrope between "what if" and the scientifically possible. Then you have a viilain who (thinks he) has a conscience, and a poignant love story. Irresistible. I would buy this book tomorrow (well, Monday!) Come to think of it, I don't have to. I can read it all here. Deserves to reach the top. Shelved with a racing heart.
   —Jann King ("Making Connections")

One of the best page turners on the site. The writing, the flow, is all there, but it's the story that stands out!
   —Lockjaw

I read at least two books a week, but this one I savored. You have a talent for writing with an effortless flow that keeps the reader interested in what comes next, creating a 'can't put this book down' experience! This has definite number one potential.
   —Kidd1

Hi Richard, Wow, this is really good work. I mean it. The way you've developed this story is incredible, maybe it's from your brush with cancer, or it could just be raw talent. Jake is a character that the reader will instantly bond with, feeling his pain, anger, and despair. I've read up to chapter 5 and I promise you I will keep reading. Just had to let you know you have 100% of my support for your work. Good Luck.
   —Backed 100% Patrick Armstead, Dark Lands

I backed this a couple of weeks ago but didn't comment at the time. I have now read this entire book and what can I say that has not been said already? Great story, a really enjoyable read...Good Luck, it deserves to go all the way to the desk.
   —John Booth

Well done thriller. It keeps up a frantic pace, remaining sure-footed throughout whether in a California hospital or a casino in Monaco. Good job. Richard
   —Binky Myers

Damn dude...what are you doing on this site? You are flawless. This is perfection. I love it...truly love it. Smooth effortless writing can only flow from the pen of a pro. You are a pro man...believe me. I am not worthy to offer any critique...muy perfecto!
   —DKTD1

Richard, This is an outstanding thriller. I reckon it has all the ingredients for commercial success, a superbly worked out plot, pace, suspense, exotic settings, and wit. I also think it has potential for translation to a screenplay. Happily backed.
   —John (Kirkling)

Brainrush: Taut, fast-paced, and brilliantly written, this is a page turner of the first order. Jake is a wonderful, highly sympathetic character, a regular guy whom everyone can identify with, and thus somehow the unfolding of his strange abilities is made even more engaging. I find this highly unique, crisply written, and certainly worthy of publication, if only I had any say in it. Backed with pleasure, and I wish you the very best. Oh, and I am claustrophobic, so now I dearly hope I never need an MRI. ;-)
   —Cheers, G. M. Atwater, "Nobody's Knight"

AWESOME. One of the best reads on Authonomy. A flawless diamond.
   —Frank McGrath