Category Archives: Books

Hero Quest

A Quest of Heroes
(The Sorcerer’s Ring #1)
by Morgan Rice (2012)

This fantasy story revolves around a 14 year old boy from a small village. Thorgrin senses he is different from the others. He dreams of becoming a great warrior, of joining the King’s men and having adventures.


This starts with a well-worn trope, the boy who would be destined for greatness and presumably survives the 17 book series.

So despite the generic fantasy series and cut-out characters it works well. Things move at a good pace and with sufficient pace to keep the reader guessing. Looks like an interesting ride.

Siege

Siege: Trump Under Fire
by Michael Wolff (2019)

The sequel to Fire and Fury takes us inside the Trump presidency to reveal a White House under siege.

The basic premise of the book seems to be .. look – it’s worse than you think. This is a compilation of events, accounts and tantrums from the President.

It’s just what you think it will be, an entertaining character assassination of the most incompetent president in American history.

 

Jesus 8

Jesus and the Eightfold Path
by Lavie Tidhar (2010)


This novella tells the story of Jesus, from his birth to his death and resurrection. But in the style of an action adventure. The three wise men start the story and a roman soldier recounts the final days of Christ.

Very strange, but apparently based on the three companions of the Buddha in the Chinese classic Journey to the West.

 

Anarchist

The Anarchist Kosher Cookbook
by Maxwell Bauman (2017)

 

Purchased as part of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Satire Bundle, this turned out to be a debut collection of strange Jewish-themed stories with a shock or modern twist on various religious themes. From burning bushes, virgin ghosts, leviathans, Baphomitzvahs, and how to create your own golem to fight off Neo Nazis.

Some were thoughtful, some entertaining and one definitely horror. Well written enough to keep you coming back for more.

 

 

Vessel

Vessel
by Lisa A. Nichols (2019)

An astronaut returns to Earth after losing her entire crew to an inexplicable disaster, but is her version of what happened in space the truth? Or is there more to the story….


This is the first book by the author and being read as the Sword and Laser July pick.

First up, it’s easy to read. The prose has been polished to a bright shine that makes everything clear and easy to read.

Second, it’s rather predictable. I picked up about 20% through the story what had happened; it’s in the title. So the remainder was obvious.

Third, it’s not really Science Fiction. It’s mostly it’s about a woman and her relationship with her husband and daughter. While the world building is good, there isn’t much of it. I would have preferred to have more about the planet they visited.

And finally (forthly) a rather weak ending. While it makes some sense the solution was not the best one.

So on the whole, rather average.

 

Flux

Flux
by Jeremy Robinson (2019)

 

For Owen McCoy, a typical day on the job as head of security for Synergy, a research company conducting mysterious experiments, is boring at best. And that’s the way he likes it. Patrolling the Appalachian mountainside, where his now deceased father taught him how to hunt, is relaxing and connects him to the past.

But today is not a typical day on the job. It begins with asking a thief to join him for breakfast. Seeking to set the young man on a better path, Owen invites him to walk the perimeter with him and consider a more honest living. Before their patrol can begin, they discover evidence that the facility has been breached. When Owen’s truck explodes, he’s confused, but ready for whatever might come his way.

At least, he thinks he is.

 

Attack Angles

Angles of Attack
(Frontlines #3)
by Marko Kloos (2015)

The first in the series was good, the second not as good but the third tanks. While I could put up with the slower pacing in the second, this third novel just takes it’s time a bit too much. Too much ‘hurry up and wait’.

And the plot seems to lose  focus, just what it this about; fighting the aliens or internal conflict among the forces ?

Then I started reading earlier chapters. There is something seriously screwed up with the formatting of this book. About a third of the way through the preface turns up ??

Interest ended.

Departure Line

Lines of Departure
(Frontlines #2)
by Marko Kloos (2014)

 

Humanity is on the ropes, and after years of fighting a two-front war with losing odds, so is Commonwealth Defense Corps officer Andrew Grayson. He dreams of dropping out of the service one day.


In the second book, it’s a war against the unknown aliens. But also internal strife in the Military. Not as good as the first book, but still a good story and setup for the books to follow.

 

Enlistment Terms

Terms of Enlistment
(Frontlines #1)
by Marko Kloos (2013)

The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways to get out.

You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service.


The start of an excellent military science fiction series. There isn’t much background as to why there is need for a military space force, but it seems the earth is in decline and human habitation has spread throughout the galaxy.

Mod the the book is fairly standard ‘boy joins the army’ genre. Everything has an internal logic and not too much time is spent trying to explain the science of the ships, FTL travel etc.

It’s not until the final third that the aliens show up and humanity has a problem with it’s expansion to other planets. It’s all looking good for an interesting for the six book series.

 

 

Mercury Falls

Mercury Falls
(Mercury #1)
by Robert Kroese (2009)

 

It’s a good thing I didn’t read this first book by the author first as it would gave put me off the other two series; Dis and Rex Nihilo.

The problem is the the author is trying so hard to be funny, with witticisms, back-story, character asides and tangents it just derails the story. There appears to be one there and it may have been good but I just got lost. And even though I persisted to 90%, at the end I just lost interest.