The readers have spoken:
"I`ve just finished reading your book ... and I enjoyed every minute of it.
It's excellent material for a Hong Kong movie. I need to talk to some people I know in the movie business...
5.0 out of 5 stars An action-packed tour de force. Extremely well-researched and masterfully presented, this first novel of Alex Brillantes is great fun to read. I was drawn to all its characters because they breathed and bled for real and jumped out of the pages. The plot would rival the best of Tom Clancy, realistic yet imaginative, shocking and satisfying at the same time. I've got the feeling that "Ron Bello" will become a household name, the Asian crime-fighting undercover agent of the "James Bond" variety. I can hardly wait for the sequel! - B. Choi, Hong Kong, P.R.C."
"Thank you for your work, SLAVES, SPOOKS & THE PRAYING MANTIS OPERATION RED FOLDER , illegal human trafficking has been placed on the world map.
The novel was a joy to read, a head spinning cleverly written want to cry novel that hurls along at 1,000 MPH.
Full of twists, turns, bluffs and double bluffs, it`s an edge-of-the-seat read cannot put down novel from beginning to end.
I am in love with Julie. The Philippines, Hong Kong, and China comes to life with your pen.
In my mind you are the new Lee Child, Simon Kernick, Stuart Macbride of the savage crime world. You are a true international thriller writer.
I intend to place your work within the Seaford Library back home in Great Britain, East Sussex.
I look forward in reading your next crime novel. I hope you will not go to prison for your no holds on the Philippines & China
they don`t like true words to come from within a novel & hope they don`t burn your work." - George Edward Caulfield, Seaford, East Sussex, UK.
"I am interested in purchasing 3 more books of "Slave, Spooks etc; I was quite impressed by your creative novel, "Slaves, Spooks and The Praying Mantis"! Will Ron become the new James Bond of the "Wild West of the Far East"?
Parts of the novel were fun and humorous but you stuck with deadly serious themes of drug smuggling and corruption; your passion, concern and love for the Philippines were evident, particularly in one section where you looked at "big picture" issues effecting the country and East Asia. Fiction can mirror profound truths and situations that should be known and not hidden.
I know from speaking to one of them [slaves] that her experiences in Hong Kong were such that she is happy to leave them in the past and to look forward to a much better life in Canada.
A CSIS agent named "Loblaw"? Is that some kind of Canadian joke, eh?" - L. Foerster, Toronto, Canada
"Alex Brillantes is an excellent and a brilliant first time writer. I could hardly believe he wrote this beautiful story (based on the real facts on whats going on in that country).
A book to recommend to my friends and to my family members. I finished reading the book in less than a week.
So much learned about Hongkong and the realities of the domestic helpers. Their hardships and their working conditions.
Way to go Alex!!! Congratulations and more power ! Looking forward to your second book." - MJ, Ajax, Canada
"Ayos na ayos ang storyline. Medyo nadadalian lang ako sa pagpasok ng bida sa pag-connect sa layer of firewalls, ika nga ng mantis.
Sa movie e puwede mong pahirapan na may kung baga e medyo baka mabuking na ma-compromise. Pero overall OK na Ok.Translation:The storyline is great. I just thought the leading man got inside the layers of mantis` firewall rather easily.
In the movie version, you might make it a little harder, with compromised operations. But overall, it`s truly great." - R. Rivera, New Jersey, USA
"I like the Push of Slaves, Spooks, The Praying Mantis. You`re not just a writer... You`re greater than that...
Shades of Rizal resurrected... Noli Me Tangere or El Filibusterismo... Deja vu all over again, says Yogi. Hope you stir scared hearts... expand awareness among us... and in the old country ...
Hopefully it doesn't take another 300 years to decide that enough is enough ...Onward the revolution!" - C. Frondozo, Long Island, NY, USA
"Thanks for your beautiful book. I starting to laugh first ... I'm interesting to read your book. It's realistic. God bless." M. Patdu, Toronto, Canada
"Hi Alex, Congratulations - Great Novel !!!! A thriller of a love story !
Gives a glimpse of the struggles of helpless overseas workers, how they are victimized and left at the mercy of their employers.
On another angle, it opens the reader to the inner workings of the crime underworld that spans several countries, and how it takes root and is propagated at the local level, through law enforcement agencies.
The novel`s relevance in the modern world of globalization and its effect on every aspect of human life is brought down to the personal level, with the plight of two young lovers caught in the midst of the intrigue and power struggle of politics and the underworld.
The reader is drawn to be an eyewitness to the drama and the excitement that unfolds. A culturally-aware, globally-relevant and humanely-compelling story!" - G. Nepo, Scarborough, Canada
"Your writing is superb. It could be understood by all who has spent the time to read and enjoy the story which is OUR Philippine story to give to the world. It uses language and terms that need NO deciphering, although, for some acronyms/initials provided for authenticity, explanations were provided to keep the readers abreast of their surroundings.
Knowing you as the author, I would have thought that you would have been one of them, who worked as an undercover agent.
I felt Ron's every breath and his love for Julie. Julie, on the other hand was every bit the brave Filipina, any young girl can always hope to be. Every young man wants to be a Ron Bello, gifted and had a place in this world. The people and places in this story were so real, it is hard to believe you never lived there!
The social and political issues tackled are relevant, they sizzled where the hot parts are.
This story is a thriller, a love story, a fiction novel which strikes a spark of warmth in people's hearts. There were moments which may alienate a reader when details of the masonic fraternity bears a strong but insignificant leaning towards the success of the novel. The storyline and the writing was strong and mature enough to stand on its own credit without leaning on any organizational uplifting, not unless it adds more to authenticate the story.
The best part was, I love happy endings!!! Congratulations, Alex." - C. Hernandez, Rouge Hill, Canada
"All intriguing adventure of the Masonic brotherhood that depicts a sordid story of human exploitation at the hands of those in power & position.
Topic of corruption & scandal of those in power is readily known but not often spoken of. It is absolutely refreshing to be reading a non-U.S.story of government conspiracy.
The courage and honor of those who have gone through such experiences is beautifully written and all tied into a heart-warming love-story
I've thoroughly enjoyed the book & cannot wait for the next book to come out!
A non-stop thriller!! Hard to put the book down!!!!
" - J.Kim, Toronto, Canada
"5 Missed train stops, 7 missed bus stops, approximately 4 people walked into and 1 wall.
Suffice to say I could not put this book down, I finished reading in a week and a half and could have been sooner if I didn't have to go to work.
The characters are captivating, inspiring, terrifying and humorous and as a fan of spy novels, I put Slaves and spooks on the top shelf.
My only disappointment was actually finishing it... so, I read it 3 more times. I feel like I am an unofficial NBI Agent. Thank You Alex!!
" - E.James, Toronto, Canada
"I am reading [your] book slowly, not that I can't read fast, but I want to experience every word. It feels so lifelike even if you are only reading it.
Next thing to do maybe is to write a screenplay. Even if it becomes just a "B" movie, it would be a big success considering that it is a first work.
I nominate [you] to be the Ian Fleming of the Philippines.
" - S. Balderama, Dublin, California, USA
"Highly recommended book - check this out
Hi, guys. Check out the book 'Slaves Spooks & the Praying Mantis' by Alex Brillantes. Nakaka-aliw na nakaka-touch (translation: Entertaining and touching). Kung may kilala rin kayong mahilig magbasa, (translation: If you also know of anyone who loves to read,) highly recommended for a good reading.
Date: Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM. Subject: Take time out from tennis once in a while and relax
For those of you who are into reading, I want to share with you a chance to get a good book written by Filipino author. It is "Slaves Spooks and the Praying Mantis" by Alex Brillantes. It is available in bookstores here in the US of A. For complete listings of book availability worldwide go to www.abrill.com ... it is right there near the bottom of the webpage. Take time to relax, HAPPY READING.
" - E. Ortiz , New Jersey, USA
"I highly recommend this fiction book to all of you guys, the characters are really breathing and one comment is right! jumping out of the pages once you started reading it , seems you're just beside the characters looks so real.. it's like you are watching a movie. Check it out guys... -:)
" - J. Galvea , Hong Kong, P.R.C.
"I love your book Slaves Spooks and The Praying Mantis. I am very proud of your achievement. What a terrific book! I finished it at exactly 6:50 pm tonight.
Well written, terrific plot, great research with a very exciting pace. Most of all, just plain enjoyable. I love the names of your characters.
I am very impressed.
" - E. Villaroya , Oakville, Canada