Posted in 4 1/2 paws, fiction, Review, suspense on April 28, 2014

Startup banner




Title: Startup
Author: Glenn Ogura
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 486
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON


Set in California’s Silicon Valley, STARTUP follows a young idealist/entrepreneur, Zack Penny, as he strives to achieve his dream of creating a new company that will launch an international revolution in technology through the creation of wallpaper-thin displays that will completely surround a viewer. Zack works for a highly successful company called Display Technik, run by CEO Allen Henley, whose vision is based on a success-at-all-costs philosophy.  Zack sees Henley as a mentor, but Zack’s philosophy favors high morals and values over Henley’s ruthless, end-justifies-the-means model of doing business.

Zack’s dream takes root one morning when he discovers an important paper has been taken from his office. Someone has exposed Zack’s secret plan to break away from Display Technik and start his own company. Henley gives Zack another chance to pledge his loyalty to the firm, but Zack resigns instead, more determined than ever to realize his vision. Soon, the optimistic if naive Zack steps into his new facility with high hopes for success. Henley, however, has already launched a plan to destroy Zack, his company, and Zack’s relationship with Henley’s daughter, Mary Anne.


Upon entering the mirrored-glass and stainless-steel lobby of DisplayTechnik, most people’s eyes were immediately drawn to the immense mobile hanging thirty feet overhead. It revolved ever so lazily, its burnished metal dazzling in the California sun. Ultrathin suspension cables concealed by the mosaic pattern on the wall behind the display created the illusion that the massive structure was simply hovering, perhaps by some trick of magnetism.

The mobile reminded Zack of scimitars and guillotine blades. As far as he was concerned, the truly magnificent work of art in the entrance way was the vast floor of highly polished black marble. Walking across it was like stepping into space: looking down at the pinpoints and streaks of glittering white, one strolled through the stars of the heavens, passing by galaxies, and the streamers of some gaseous nebula. Beneath the steel and glass homage to Allen Henley’s vanity was the constancy of the universe—immoveable, immutable, and terrible in its beauty. A plush burgundy carpet surrounded the receptionist’s area, which stood like an island in the sea of black.

Engineers like Zack weren’t supposed to use the main lobby entrance, and he didn’t most days, but it was only six thirty and any of the flock of senior vice presidents who might care if he were violating company protocol were probably still in bed. He usually got to work early, though not merely to avoid the crawl over Highway 680. He liked to take in the surroundings, soak them up, and breathe in the crisp, mechanically filtered air, knowing that one day his own company would never, ever look like this.

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At the time of my writing this review, I have not yet finished the book.  I had a death in the family so this past week has been a little crazy.  However, I am about 2/3 of the way through the book and I am really enjoying this book.  Allen is VERY easy to hate with the way he treats the people around him including his family.  Zack is a good guy but a little naive and idealistic.  While he doesn’t deserve what Allen is doing to him, he also has to realize that businesses are not “nice” or “fair”.  Mary Anne is very similar to Zack in her beliefs but at the same time has this blind loyalty to her father.

The book is well written (so far!) and it has me on the edge of my seat wondering how this story is going to play out.  I hope that perhaps Zack will find a way to bring Allen down, but not sure if that will happen or not.  It is also fascinating reading about potential technology of the future!

I give this book 4 1/2 paws and definitely suggest the book!  I’m sure I will finish it as you are reading this review……but no spoilers from me!


About the Author

Glenn OguraGlenn Ogura earned a degree in electrical engineering from Queen’s University in Canada. He is currently the executive vice-president for a New Hampshire-based laser micromachining company. Glenn lives with his wife in California.  In addition to his love of writing and talking technology and the study of business ethics, he plays tennis. Startup is his first novel.