From the April Issue of the Penn Book Review
More than just another exciting and entirely plausible suspense-thriller; Contrary Warriors is unique and deserving of a space on any thriller enthusiast’s bookshelf.
An excellent addition to the political and military thrillers fictions, Contrary Warriors: Opposite Sides of the Coin is a must read. Written by a former pilot and engineer turned author, Sheryl Wright’s work will attract readers with her mystifying world of western spy craft and adventures.
The story revolves mainly on Tori Braithwaite, the protagonist’s involvement in Special Operations Executive (SOE) which is a special task force dispatched by both CIA and MI6. As a commander of SOE, Tori had to lead to force to investigate on Iran’s nuclear intention. With the addition of Cleo Deseronto, a retired RCAF pilot into the team, the story gets more thrilling as actions unfold and conspiracies become uncovered and unlocked.
The author is brilliant in capturing the readers’ attentions by foretelling much on Tori’s life on the first page of the story. With the colourful descriptions and almost believable summary of the woman’s life and a detailed introduction on the intelligence services, readers will be instantly hooked on Tori. By doing this, Wright has successfully avoided creating a Mary Sue character, an issue often found within the genre.
Interlaced with witty dialogue, character exploration and extensive research into the details of politics and military services, Wright has wielded her magic in creating a visual reading experience. Readers will be captivated by this narration on the world of politics and military with her clever word play and satisfying ending. Contrary Warriors: Opposite Sides of the Coin’s chapters are fast-paced and heart stopping, making this novel one that is impossible to put down.
A highly ambitious novel with a brilliant plot and accurate facts, Contrary Warriors is indeed a recommended novel for political and military thrillers fans.
SFBR Gives Contrary Warriors Five Stars
With the challenge of trying to find proof of secret nuclear research by Iran, what would be the best way to get undercover operatives into the country to look? How about native Americans flying a vintage airplane on a goodwill ambassador air tour? And while that may not seem like the most likely of premises, author Sheryl Wright makes it work in // Contrary Warriors//. Cousins Cleo Deseonto and Bo Commanda are both assigned to the task force and bring old family problems along with them With their commander Tori Braithwaite, they tour around the world, heading for Iran as just another leg on their trip. All three women have their own agenda, yet have to pull together carry the operation off.
Contrary Warriors is a fun novel with plenty of action, interesting characters, and a fun premise. The use of Native American characters isn’t forced,or felt like it was added on for flavor, but an integrated part of the story and the characters. Bo tries to undercut Cleo, while Cleo is attracted to Tori, and Tori is just trying to get everything working so she can complete what might be an impossible mission. The dialog rings true, and the descriptions of the places they go come to life. The descriptions of the planes and flying come across accurate and make the reader want to fly (or at least visit an air show.) Overall, a good good story to recommend to fans of action thrillers, current events, and military fiction. The focus on three women as main characters steps out of the usual male-dominated thrillers and provides a different perspective that also passes the Bechdel test, where a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.
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Let me begin by saying that I really enjoyed reading Contrary Warriors. I immediately connected with the writing and liked how the author, Sheryl Wright, got into the story right away. I was whisked into Tori Braithwaite’s busy world and in her drama from the opening chapter. So much suspense and intrigue is built up just reading the short summary of this woman’s life. I also really loved the introduction of Cleo. From their initial meeting the chemistry of these characters comes through the pages, I immediately knew that this was going to be a special relationship.
In Tori and Cleo’s characters I see two different types of strong feminine protagonist. Right in the middle of what you would expect to be a highly masculine world there is the strength and attitude of Cleo and Tori providing direction. These characters and their relationship and interaction are beautifully developed. It was a joy to be with them throughout the story and if I went too long reading without one of them in the scene I would find myself missing them and wanting them back.
The author’s knowledge and expertise of current events, politics, the military, intelligence services, among many other topics, comes out in the writing. This was a really smart book and it was interesting to read and learn about real life political dramas and institutions in the context of a novel. I think that this is a major strength of the book and why I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to my friends. Anyone who has not been living under a rock for the past 10 years knows of the military drama that the world has been going through with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the build up with a war in Iran among other events of Middle East turmoil. Many, many thousands of hours of news coverage, discussion, and analysis have been given to the topic. I think that the over exposure has had a numbing effect to the general public. I think most people outside of the military do not care one bit about another story of the military and the Middle East.
This story does something really special by making this narrative fresh and interesting. Wright is able to do this through her knowledge of the subject and also through the masterful development of the personal stories and relationship of Tori and Cleo. The creativity and insight of the author provides highly interesting and entertaining perspective on the topic. Wright does a wonderful job teasing out the storyline, integrating a deep understanding of several topics, and dropping some not-at-all preachy commentary. In short, this was an excellent story with great writing and character development. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a fresh, interesting, and highly entertaining read.
Reviewer: Lacy Raynes, Kentucky
This book is an amazing read. I was held by it from start to finish and hated to see it end. There is so much intrigue, mystery and loyalties tested. The story line is engaging, and being an avid reader, I have not read a book quite like this one. It touches on events that can be real and I found it to be so compelling. I loved every page and all of the
emotions. It is raw and deep and a delight to read. The characters are so well defined and developed, very real and I felt I knew them. They complimented each other and made the story even more intense. Cleo endures so much and her strength is amazing. I loved the romance and the depth of love. The attention to details is outstanding and so vivid, I was pulled into the middle of it all and truly felt like I was there. It is well written and has such a wonderful flow, so easy to stay with and impossible to put down. The author, Sheryl Wright is brilliant. I love her style and her amazing imagination. Her mind holds endless tales and I can not wait to read more of her work. Her passion and love for writing comes through every word.
This is one of the best books I have read and I highly recommend it to everyone. It would be an awesome movie.
Reviewer: Valerie Porter
Contrary Warriors raises the question of whether, in literary form, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. It’s part military thriller, part relevant political mystery, part lesbian love story, part story of aboriginal (Mohawk) Indians, part family drama…
It’s a highly ambitious undertaking, and to the author’s credit, the writing is entertaining. The key segment of the book, where the secret mission is underway to prove hidden Iranian nuclear capabilities exist (while having two Iranians officers themselves on board the plane involved in the mission), is written with a skilled sense of tension. The book’s premise is cleverly designed, too – to make a covert operation seem like a goodwill press junket to represent the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.