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Eyewall by H.W. Buzz Bernard

Eyewall (edition 2011)

by H.W. "Buzz" Bernard

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1391886,313 (3.97)7
Authors:H.W. "Buzz" Bernard
Info:Bell Bridge Books (2011), Paperback, 246 pages
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Eyewall by H.W. "Buzz" Bernard


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How often does hubris put people at risk? More often than you think. Although [Eyewall] by [H.W. Bernard] is a work of fiction it is grounded in fact. Facts that the weather service is not always right, that some people feel their areas are immune to disaster because none happened in their memory, and that the media serves it's own interests.

All these facts lead to an harrowing trip into the eye of a category five hurricane. What these people do to survive and the lessons learned by them should not be lost on us a a larger society. I very enjoyable read. ( )
  MsHooker | Jul 27, 2016 |
It seems like Eyewall by H.W. Buzz Bernard should have been a guaranteed winner, after all it features a category 5 hurricane making landfall in Georgia. I'm a long-time weather geek and have followed storms and systems with rapt enthusiasm for years. Additionally I gave my highest endorsement to Bernard's second book, Plague shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/2012/10/plague.html so I was really looking forward to Eyewall. Alas, there were a few flaws in this debut novel. There were also a few things he did right.

Hurricane Janet starts out as a category 1, but it soon begins to intensify due to rapidly changing weather conditions. Bernard's story basically follows three different men: a weather channel expert forecaster Dr. Nicholas Obermeyer; Air Force Hurricane hunter Major Arly Walker; vacationing family man Alan Grant. As Obermeyer fights his boss to air an evacuation warning when he realizes the hurricane is strengthening, Walker and crew fly into the storm unaware of the danger they are facing. Grant and his family are on St. Simons Island, which is now the targeted area where the hurricane will make landfall.

All of the weather information, the changing conditions are based on solid information and years of personal experience, so this was a definite plus in Bernard's novel. The crew flying into the hurricane and what they experience, is all very captivating and riveting. The Grant family... not so much.

I didn't like one character associated with the Grant family and found that whole storyline annoying at best. One reviewer somewhere mentioned that he felt this might be more of a guy's novel. He's right. There is not one woman I have ever known who wakes up very early in the morning, worried about the approaching hurricane, and then decides they want to make coffee for their man, bring it to him, and then talk like a pirate wench while initiating sex. And oops, while this scenario was playing out their 15 yr. old daughter slipped out of the house to meet a strange guy she met online. Now they must rescue her. I won't even go into the other issues I had with this group.

I was good with the other characters, but good grief, the female characters were all a joke. Okay, Donna the shrewish wife of the Major was so over-the-top in her venomous comments it was cartoonish. And, again, what's with the fantasy material? In the event that a young woman and her older co-worker are fired from their forecasting jobs because they have tried to warn people about an approaching catastrophic storm and they head to his place for breakfast, what young woman is going to start making eggs, excuse herself to go to the bathroom, and come out in her sexy underwear to seduce said older co-worker? Really? really?

Toward the end I had to ignore a couple of other events/actions that had me shaking my head.

In conclusion: the science is solid, and presented in a way that is easily understood and follow even if you aren't a weather geek, and following the flight into the storm and the subsequent crises was gripping-nail-biting suspense, but there are a few problems that prevent me from going more than Recommended.


AIRBORNE, 175 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE GEORGIA COASTLABOR DAY SUNDAY, 0800 HOURS Dead ahead of the aircraft, a massive redoubt of roiling clouds, the eyewall of Hurricane Janet, billowed toward the heavens and poked into the underbelly of the stratosphere. Between the aircraft, an Air Force Hurricane Hunter, and the towering wall, layers of white and gray clouds, innocuous outliers of the storm, cluttered the skyscape. But the eyewall itself was obsidian, foreboding. opening

“Don’t be such a dick head. At least admit it was our decision. I thought we agreed your career in the Reserve was shot to hell. No more promotions. Stuck in-grade.”
“It doesn’t matter, I love to fly.”
“The point is, not only is your Reserve job in the toilet, so is your bank job,” she snapped. “Your real job.”
“I’m an assistant vice president.”
“Dime-a-dozen. You should be an executive vice president by now, climbing the corporate ladder, investing your extra time at the bank instead of tootling around in cloud formations with your tin-soldier flyboy buds.” Location 251-263

For thirty years, he’d studied rapidly intensifying hurricanes, and over the last ten had forged a theory, the essence of which he’d scribbled onto an old-fashioned paper checklist. Inflow, outflow. Stability, instability. An upper-air low pressure center here. A high pressure ridge there. On and on. Twenty-two factors. Until this morning, he’d never seen them all positive, all favorable. Now he was looking at a monster-in-the-making. Location 468-473

Again McSwanson fell silent. When he finally spoke, his words came out wrapped in a growl. “Although I know it’s a stretch, just give it to me straight. What are ya seein’ that nobody else is?” Obermeyer started to speak, but to his surprise, no words came out. He cleared his throat and tried again. “A cat four or five landfalling somewhere along the south Georgia coast by early evening.” Location 1048-1054

You gotta squeeze people off that island like they were coming out of a sausage grinder at warp speed. You’ve got Andrew’s big sister coming at you.”Location 3825-3826

“It’s not a mother-thing, it’s a woman-thing. Don’t you know it’s a female prerogative to comfort, to soothe, to give approbation?” Location 5763-5764

( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
Giving this a star is actually stretching it a bit. I couldn't decide if this book was a pop science piece dolled up with a little soap opera or if it was a melodrama dusted with a little science information to give it some respectability (or try to). These were the flatest and least original characters I can remember all together in one book. Turns out I didn't really care enough to finish the book and find out. It wasn't even worth the effort it took to remember how to spell the title. ( )
1 vote herbcat | Mar 11, 2013 |
EXCELLENT x's 10! ( )
  shawnaneronewton | Dec 26, 2012 |
This book was courtesy of Bell Bridge Books and Netgallley.

I was very impressed by this book, authored by a former meteorologist. I must admit that I did not hold high hopes for it, but Mr. Bernard can write!

I began reading this book at the height of hurricane season and it completely held my interest. Although I found some of the characters stilted, and some of the sexual innuendo a little cliched, the adventure was great. I learned a few things about weather patterns and hurricanes in the southern states, and I thought the author did a great job of balancing "educating" his readers, without being condescending.

The writing style was nice and comfortable!

My enjoyment of the book was tempered by the fact that I was reading a PDF version, which I find clumsy and time-consuming, on my device. Had it been easier for me to read, I know that I would have breezed through the book in no time - it is a very manageable 230-ish pages.

I'll look forward to reading more of this type of novel in the future, and hopefully "Buzz" will have at least one more entertaining read for us to enjoy in the near-future.

Three and one-half stars (out of five) ( )
1 vote michellereads | Nov 20, 2011 |
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