Review and Giveaway: Rip the Sky by Mark Packard



Mark Packard

Speculative Fiction / Fantasy / Science Fiction
Publisher: Bluestreak Publishing
Page Count: 317 pages
Publication Date: August 21, 2023

Scroll down for a giveaway!

After a shocking courtroom tragedy, a disturbed Vietnam veteran and the vindictive judge who sent him to prison become an unlikely pair of time travelers in a chaotic multiverse. The fallen angel who rescues them wants to guide them to a radiant new life. But first they must return to the scene of a ghastly crime.

Billy Worster was a naïve teenager ill-prepared for the gruesome realities of war. The sole survivor of a deadly massacre in a Vietnamese jungle, he avoided certain death only because he ran away when the shooting started. Riddled with guilt, he comes home to a dusty Texas farm with post-traumatic stress disorder and the crazy notion that he can fly in and out of parallel worlds.

As Billy struggles with addiction and questions his sanity, he is arrested on a drug charge and ends up in the courtroom of Judge Madeline Johnston, a bitter old judge tormented by a dark secret surrounding her father’s death. She callously tosses Billy into prison, but when a greedy executor files a lawsuit to steal his inherited land, Billy is hauled back to her courtroom in chains, where a stunning twist of fate launches them into the sky on an odyssey of discovery and healing.

Spanning forty years from the jungles of Vietnam through infinite, parallel worlds, Rip the Sky examines how the power of forgiveness can lead us toward a better life, no matter how many worlds we may live in.


Billy Worster is young, inexperienced, and unprepared when he’s sent to fight in Vietnam. A vicious fire fight leaves him badly wounded, his spirit broken and bearing a deep secret. Back at home, he hits the bottle, hard, spiraling out of control. With the support of his father and a  local rancher he’s given a fresh start but is unable to maintain sobriety. Some poor choices lead to drug charges and a confrontation with a hard-nosed judge  lands him in jail and swindled out of his inheritance. Unbeknownst to him, his fate is tied to the judge.

On a deeper spiritual level, Billy believes he can fly and has a strange encounter with a man in clouds who tells Billy that in an alternate world, he, Billy, leads a blessed life, happy, married, children. Billy longs to reach this world but constantly fails to achieve it. 

Rip the Sky is not an easy read and Billy is something of an anti-hero, constantly sabotaging his life. His struggles with PTSD are heartbreaking and the lack of care more so. Author Packard shines a light on the trials of soldiers suffering from this disorder and blends it with a message of hope, justice, forgiveness and redemption. 

I recommend this book to open-minded readers who like to see beyond the obvious and imagine what could be. 


Mark Packard spent the last 38 years as a trial attorney and is now retired from the courtroom and working as a mediator. In a life before lawyering he was a journalist and regrets waiting far too long before returning to his roots to write his first novel, Rip the Sky. Though he knows he should have jumped off the merry-go-round years ago, he hopes to hang around long enough to craft a few more tales. Connect with the author:

Signed hard copy of RIP THE SKY & $50 Amazon gift card
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 10/13/23)


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  1. Your last line says it all! I really look forward to reading this book -- it seems COMPLETELY different. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Describe your perfect hero or heroine.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to evaluate my book. I appreciate you so much!


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