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(Brainrush #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  5,071 ratings  ·  496 reviews
Publishers Weekly heralded this first book in Richard Bard's Brainrush thriller series as "terrifically entertaining" and "inventive and compelling." It went on to earn The Wall Street Journal's #1 Action/Adventure slot in their Guide to Self-Published Big Sellers.

Before he slid into the MRI machine, Jake Bronson was just an ordinary guy with terminal cancer. But when an
Kindle Edition, 307 pages
Published May 26th 2016 by Richard Bard (first published March 23rd 2010)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This book hovers between 3.75 and 4 stars for me. Some parts I really liked. I liked Jake a lot. He was a very good guy and some awful stuff had happened to him. I liked the different acts of the book. The author kept the story moving and incorporated lots of twists and turns so that the reader would not have time to get bored. I feel that the writing was a bit amateurish at times. The author was clearly excited about this story, and that's great. However, I think the plotting suffered at times. ...more
A Terminal Illness. Psychic Powers. Terrorists. Human Experiments. High Stakes Gambling. Mercenaries. And...Aliens?

Yes, you read that right. Brainrush had ALL of the above. It's definitely made my top 10 of the craziest books I've read, EVER.

Jake Bronson is terminally ill but he comes out of an MRI with brain powers. Instead of keeping it to himself, Jake foolishly brags about the whole thing in public and before you know it, everybody wants a piece of him, including Battista, a mastermind who's
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book knowing it was not going to be very realistic fiction. The publisher's synopsis was- "When terminally ill combat pilot Jake Bronson emerges from an MRI with extraordinary cognitive powers, everyone wants a piece of his talent". So, when the 'extraordinary cognitive powers' turned into telekinesis, I accepted it. When the love interest turned out to be an empath (who could read the feelings, emotions and intentions of 99% of people. Her boss was in the 1%), I accepted it. I ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I got this on a recommendation here and it's a good book. This is a thriller and it's pretty well put together. There's a lot to say here and the book crosses a few genres. This would have worked as a comic book...pardon me, a graphic novel.

Our hero here is not in a good way. he's dying from cancer. Being a noble hero he's not told anyone that the cancer he thought he'd beaten before had returned. Tough dude huh?

Then a nasty accident happens...and he begins to develop, "super powers" the ac
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Brainrush in one session. Were the characters likable? Yes. Did the story line have a paranormal twist? Yes. Did the author provide a believable backdrop for the story? Yes. Was the writing smooth? Yes. Did I not want to put it down? Yes. Was it well-edited? Yes.

I couldn't ask for anything else.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Clearly, this is one exhausting slam-o-rama of an action thriller! I couldn't decide if Bard was trying to be Clive Cussler, or Steven Spielberg, or perhaps a little of both? When you combine a plot involving brain alteration (via Michael Crichton's "The Terminal Man") and save-the-world from fanatic Muslim jihadists (pick a movie...any movie), throw in a twist of Venetian romance, and mix in a LOT of combat scenes (think, "Hacksaw Ridge"), you're getting a pretty close idea as what to expect in ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What A Rush. This was a very good book, even if I did have a few quibbles with it as an Autistic. The action is among the craziest I've seen in novel form, in all the best ways. And the pacing of the abilities and how they are discovered is slow enough to seem "plausible" and yet quick enough to keep the action going well. Excellent work, looking forward to the rest of the series.
Lisa P
I really enjoyed Brainrush…fast paced, lots of action, never a dull moment! I love stories that have me racing around the world, and this one didn’t disappoint. Books that include special ops are also some of my favorites (probably because they usually contain a lot of action, and are full of cool weapons and gadgets). This book had both(especially in the second half of the book)…just a little overkill on the descriptions of said weapons and gadgets though. I like a little explanation, but when ...more
Wanda Hartzenberg
I bought my copy of this via audible!

I knew nothing of the story going in.
This is what I found.

Extreme -- you have mad scientists. Terrorists. Hero's. One with real super powers, and yes! ALIENS!
That is alotta stuff in one book. If I read the blurb and it mentioned all this then I would have bought another in its stead.
I mean seriously...I would have made a big mistake. The author pulled it off brilliantly!

Hard to pin point within all these plot lines but I think it is the p
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my favorite book of all time until I read the 2nd book: Brain Rush, Enemy of my enemy and now book 2 is my favorite.. But you have to read them both to really appreciate what a great author Mr Bard is. Both books are wonderful and will keep you interested and they are hard to put down. I can't wait for the 3rd one to come out this fall. I wish it would be here sooner. I need to read more of the Jake Bronson series and find out what is next for them all.. Wonderful reading and a great wr ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Started with some potential. Turned into a mushy love story in the middle. At 62%, I was totally bored with paragraphs full of loving descriptions of weapons. Not even fun weapons like swords, but various projectile killing machines. Come on!

You could have been a contender, but blew it.

I did give it 2 stars because the writing is fairly solid. Some (maybe most) people will think it's just fine.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it

The Premise was daring. It was exciting to see the transformation Jake experienced after the event in the MRI unit. It kept me reading, though apparently I didn't get what I was expecting. The story became difficult to follow at times (mostly military speak). I doubt I will read more of this series.
BRAINRUSH (Pub. 2011) by Richard Bard is an intriguing read, with a couple twists that keep it from feeling like the standard formula-driven thriller/AA read. It held my interest all the way through with a unique physical aspect that comes into play for Jake Bronson, following an earthquake striking while he's in an MRI machine. And the author doesn't waste a minute getting us there. Jake's newfound skills lend the story a contemporary SF/paranormal vibe without crossing too far over the line in ...more
Sandra Stiles

Every now and then, a book comes along that you just can’t put down. I tell my students that if they find a book that takes them on a visual trip as well as an emotional rollercoaster, then they have truly found an awesome book. That pretty much describes this book. This is one of those books that once you start reading you can forget about obligations to your family because you won’t be able to put it down. It has a bit of science fiction tied into a military thriller, along with just a touch o
Meenaz Lodhi
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! A great thriller, full of action, moving around different countries, mental abilities and great adventures! Will continue with the series, for sure!
Tony Parsons
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
VA Medical Center Santa Monica, CA. Uncle Doc & Jake Bronson were in the basement admiring the Advanced Prosthetics Technology Center.
Physical therapists were working with those in need.
Alex was helping Mississippi Mike (PTSD, US Army vet) take his 1st. steps with his new prosthetics.
A IED had taken care of both his human legs.
Fujian Province, South China. Uncle Timmy had made sure Sarafina (13, sister), & Ahmed (brother) were on a plane.

The plane was descending at a very fast rate & the 3 wou
Mike Nemeth
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Writer Richard Bard successfully combines the power of a thriller with the twist of science-fiction in "Brainrush," the first in his well received series. The combination is a well-executed and fast-moving novel that takes Jake Bronson (a former military pilot with a dose of darkness and anti-hero legacy) from a near-death bout with an MRI to a battle with terrorists that starts in Italy and concludes in Afghanistan. Along the way, Bronson, who believes he's got just months to live, learns that ...more
Action/Suspense Well named

What an enjoyable read! The characters are likeable, the writing engaging and the plot fast-paced.

Usually with male authors writing male protagonists, I have a hard time connecting, but that wasn't an issue at all here. In fact, I really like the main character, and even the secondary characters have enough depth to inch their way into your heart.

I was able to follow along effortlessly with the action scenes, and found them both thrilling and believable. Really superb
Rosemary Cantrell
Initially, this looked like it might be OK - a man with a tumor that was not treatable. Then there is an accident in the MRI during an earthquake and suddenly things start to go weird.

The special ops aspects of the story had potential, but it was carried too far and I found myself skimming through some of the descriptions. I thought the characters were shallow and not well developed. In fact, my initial feel for the main character that he was a weakling and it turned out he was some well-experi
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was hesitant on reading this book and on giving it a good grade. But, when I got into it, I found this book a never ending, thrill packed, hard-to-believe read. I had to come up for breath. I sometimes shook my head thinking, "how could the author keep coming up with these?"

The essence is our normal guy hero has an MRI during a California earthquake. The result is he can envision things and react to things before anyone else. As word gets out (e.g., that he could catch a knife by the handle as
Kelly  Brun
2/5 stars: This book was ok. I choose this book based upon excellent reviews on Amazon. What a disappointment. I suppose that this book might appeal more to the male population than the females due to the load of descriptions about guns, ammunition, terrorists, and combat. In the beginning I thought this book had potential. It read as an action/mystery - with the plot centered around scientifically possible geniuses. So perhaps the reason I hated this book so much was because the ending placed t ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have very mixed feelings about this novel. First and foremost this was pure brain candy, which is not always a bad thing. I'm all about reading things I like for the fun of it! The problems start with the formulaic manner in which the plot was laid out and the characters inserted and developed. And the lucky breaks that fall Jake's way, omg I'd like to have a fraction of the good luck he has! After a time I had to completely suspend belief and go with the flow through to the end. The pace of t ...more
Carolyn Walkden
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure where this story was going to start with, so many facets to it. The story starts with a MRI accident where Jake Bronson, who has been given a few months to live, is suddenly empowered with enhanced brain function. Soon this leads him into a world of kidnap, experiments and murder. His friends Tony, Marshall and Lacey are determined to save him and are drawn into a story that goes from science to mayhem. I loved the endearing storyline of Jake's connection to two children, in partic ...more
The only reason I finished this book is because I love RC Bray, who was the audiobook narrator. It certainly wasn't because I was hoping that at some point all the terribly-written action scenes would redeem themselves - I knew that wasn't going to happen fairly early on.

This is not a one-star book because it does have a good premise and a solid beginning. It just unravels really fast into a hot mess of paranormal activities, action, gun fights, terrorists, telepathy, riddles, high-powered explo
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is well-written, and I can definitely see the appeal. The plot was a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, and it definitely took me by surprise. Having said that, I think I might skip the rest of the series as it just didn't grab me like I had hoped it would.
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, fast paced, interesting and well written. The characters are believable and it has twists that you just won't see coming, I was shocked and it takes a lot to do that. Go pick this book up for sure, I'm already reading the second book.
Dee Haddrill
Originally read 14 July 2014; listened to via Audible 10 Feb 2017

A good action thriller that is fast-paced and leads you places you don't expect. The characters are well written and likeable. I look forward to the next one.
Jim Arona
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I thought that this book had at least two good things going for it. Number 1 is that he doesn't feel the need to have his main character engage in improbably sexual antics. Number 2 is that there is plenty of action and it is well-described.
The writer is pretty ignorant.
Much is made of the Dari language, the claim being that it is remote and difficult to learn. Dari is, as it happens, a state language of Afghanistan, and being a dialect of Farsi is not particularly difficult to learn.
Mandy Walkden-Brown
Fun, escapist, but a strangely compelling read.

Well that was one exhausting read. But a very enjoyable one. A surfeit of action, really interesting characters and some very good twists.

Rather had me at the brain morph following the MRI gone awry, thanks to an earthquake, but when the anti-terrorist plot appeared I had my eyes riveted to the page (screen) from then onward.

The perennial mad scientists and their brain implants, while not a unique idea was handled deftly.

There's a lesson here, i
Serena Buffaloe
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a RUSH !!!

When I first began reading this book, I ended up having to put it down. However, once I picked it up again, I couldn't out it Down !! It was one thing , after another, after another... One situation turned into a bunch more , and I LOVED every word !! Poor Jake is injured in an MRI machine that was supposed to ( perhaps) tell him how long he has to live due to a recent re-diagnosis of cancer . He can feel how his body is changing, and deep down , he knows it's not good news. Plus
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Richard Bard draws on his own experiences as a former USAF pilot and cancer survivor to craft compelling characters who risk it all for love and loyalty. Born in Munich, Germany, to American parents, he joined the United States Air Force like his father. But he left the service when he was diagnosed with cancer and learned he had only months to live. He earned a management degree from the Universi ...more

Other books in the series

Brainrush (7 books)
  • The Enemy of My Enemy (Brainrush, #2)
  • Beyond Judgment (Brainrush, #3)
  • Brainchild (Brainrush, #4)
  • Smoke & Mirrors (Brainrush, #5)
  • No Refuge (Brainrush Series Book 6)
  • Against All Odds (Brainrush, #7)

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