Category Archives: Books

Unicorn Crisis

Covid-19 Day 15

The Unicorn Crisis
(The Hidden Academy #1)
by Jon Rosenberg (2011)

 

Someone has summoned a Unicorn to a field south of Stratford-upon-Avon causing David Ash’s day to go straight to hell.

Now he has to confront shotgun wielding drug dealers, murderous strangers and psychotic fairies and all to find out who stole one of Oberon’s personal pets. He better do it soon, or it will mean an all out conflict between The Fairy Court and The Hidden Academy.


When I started this book, it seemed to be a comedic fantasy, given the sharp dialogue and absurd situation. However it turned out to a an urban fantasy, similar to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files or Mike Resnick’s ‘Fable of Tonight’ series.

The writing is good and engaging. However it does drag in the middle and bringing this 102k words down to the 70-80k mark would have helped with the pacing.

So an OK read, but a very familiar story structure and resolution.

 

 

 

Evil Machines

Covid-19 Day 8

Evil Machines
by Terry Jones (2011)

How do you feel about your phone? Or your car? I bet you don’t think about them much, except when they go wrong.

But what if they go really wrong and turn properly bad…evil, even?

This is a set of 13 tales. At first it seems that each short is individual and stand-alone. However it soon becomes apparent that the tales are linked. Machines are taking over, and not in a Skynet way. In this world the machines already tank, and scheme and plot revenge against humanity.

Just as entertaining as all of Terry Jones’s other books. Written with clear and simple prose, this can be read and enjoyed by anyone.

 

HC09 Masters

Covid-19 Day 3

The Masters of War
(The Human Chronicles #9)
by T.R. Harris (2014)

It’s all a big Nigel McCarthy vs Adam Cain story across the galaxy.

The hero survives despite impossible odds and it all ends in a ridiculous boss fight. At least this story arc has finished. And that’s where it ends for me.

After a strong start, the story is beginning to lose steam and get a bit repetitive. I could put up with a bit of that, but what is worse are the spelling and grammar errors. This book has been out for six years, and I purchased the omnibus edition. They should have been able to fix these errors.

 

 

HC08 Conquer

A Galaxy to Conquer
(The Human Chronicles #8)
by T.R. Harris (2014)

In A Galaxy to Conquer, all the great forces in the galaxy clash for one final, epic battle to determine who will come out on top. And racing the clock is Adam Cain and his team of aliens and SEALs out to rescue Riyad Tarazi from a Kracori prison ahead of the approaching conflagration.

This story describes one big war between the Humans, Klin, Ktacori and Jurians. It’s vast in scope and sometimes a bit difficult to follow. But in the end the plot threads come together to put Cain back in a situation to engage in the next story arc.

HC07 Predator

The Apex Predator
(The Human Chronicles #7)
by T.R. Harris (2014)

The Human Chronicles Saga Part Two – Book 2 of 3

(So its’ a mini-trilogy)

Having placed a bounty on the heads of the alien Klin and Kracori races, Humanity must now face the desperate wrath of mankind’s worst enemies, who have once again joined forces for a pre-emptive strike against the Earth.

It’s good to see my namesake, action hero and ex-evil villain Nigel McCarthy is back to save the day. He’s helping everyone to raise their GDP by investing in war and weapons.

Meanwhile Adam Cain is on another futile quest to save the galaxy. Just give up. Entropy happens and everyone eventually dies !.

 

 

Midnight Water

Midnight on the Water
by Pam Van Allen (2017)

Read this only because of it’s promotion on the ELO ‘Face the Music’ podcast.

This is an adaptation of Electric Light Orchestra’s 1974 concept album, Eldorado.

How can a man live forever in his dreams? Within them, he becomes a heroic knight, a Native American shaman and a Merry Man. His real life disintegrating, Horace seeks help. Will he choose the Alchemical path of Mr. Kingdom with his magic herbs and promise of self-mastery, or will he follow the mysterious seductress who points the way to Eldorado?

An interesting read, if only for the references to ELO lyrics. The story forces itself into each song on the ELO album. This makes it skip genres and tone with each section. In the end it comes to a meditation on the meaning of life and one man’s journey through it.

HC06 Crusaders

Cain’s Crusaders
(The Human Chronicles #6)
by T.R. Harris (2013)

After the space opera arc of the first five books, the focus is back to Cain.

This feels like the first of a series of single books adventures with the main protagonist. Unfortunately he has a real jerk move half-way through the story. Why he does it is not clear until the end. So although explainable, it does make him a less reliable character and potentially an indestructible  superman character.

We shall see in the next books.

 

HC05 Legend

The Legend of Earth
(The Human Chronicles #5)
by T.R. Harris (2013)

And now, as all the powerful forces in the galaxy converge on the planet Juir, Adam and his band of Human Supermen must fight to save not only their lives, but all the people on Earth! After a horrific invasion of the planet Juir by the Kracori, Adam and the Juirean leader must escape from an underground bunker in time to warn the Earth about a second attack by aliens — this time by the Kracori.

The fifth novel brings the first arc of the saga to a close. Cain has survived (as expected) and Earth remains. The problem is, who will rule the universe…

 

HC04 Tactics

The Tactics of Revenge
(The Human Chronicles #4)
by T.R. Harris (2012)

The Human Fleet is now ready to take on the forces of the Expansion in massive head-to-head battles among the stars.

But not all is as it seems, as the puppet-masters — the Klin — soon learn that the Humans — and Adam Cain in particular — are aware of their behind-the-scenes manipulations of the Human-Juirean War.

This is one big war story. And at the end it looks like Humanity has won. But wait, there must be more. There are another 23 books to go in this massive saga.

 

HC03 Pawn

The War of Pawns
(The Human Chronicles #3)
by T.R. Harris (2012)

In The War of Pawns, Adam Cain, a Human lost in a galaxy of alien empires and exotic locales, fights desperately to return to Earth, only to find that his homecoming is anything but joyous.

Now that contact has been established with earth, it looks like war. As usual our heroes are right about the aliens and the Earth politicians are duped to fight. More action in this episode than previous ones.