(Star Trek: Discovery)
by David Mack (2017)
Aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Lieutenant Michael Burnham, a human woman raised and educated among Vulcans, is promoted to acting first officer. But if she wants to keep the job, she must prove to Captain Philippa Georgiou that she deserves to have it.
She gets her chance when the Shenzhou must protect a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel that has surfaced from the deepest fathoms of the planet’s dark, uncharted sea.
As the author notes in the Acknowledgments:
This story originated in a request from Star Trek: Discovery co-creator Bryan Fuller, who asked me to craft a tale that would feature both the Shenzhou and the Enterprise commanded by Captain Pike. And put Michael Burnham and Spock together. Thanks for the idea, Bryan!
So Spock and Burnham are together to defeat an unknown ship. We know that both will survive, but that doesn’t stop this from being an exciting and tense story. In the middle section, Mack holds together multiple plot lines with two away-parties, two star-ships and the government of the planet.
A good read and a precursor for the TV Series Star Trek: Discovery.
by Desmond Bagley (1965)
In the biting cold of the Andes, their hi-jacked plane crash-landed, Tim O’Hara’s passengers are fighting for their lives. While O’Hara leads one group along a deadly, snow-covered pass, the other is working to stall the armed soldiers who plan to kill them all. Ingenious ideas are put into action as they attempt to survive until help arrives.
Desmond Bagley has been a long time favorite and it’s good to get back to an author with a tight prose style that concentrates on the story unnecessary talk.
Written in third person it follows firstly the main character (O’Hara) then the group of survivors before splitting the group into two. This means that while the setup is fairly predictable, the story takes some unpredictable turns before an exciting conclusion.
Recommended reading for thriller readers.
A Life Transparent (Monochrome Trilogy #1)
by Todd Keisling (2007)
Who is Donovan Candle? He is the consummate husband. Stable, hard-working, and dedicated to his wife, Donovan is a paragon of the Middle Class.
Strange visions of a monochromatic world. Bizarre sensations of physical transparency.
At first, Donovan fears he’s losing his grip on reality, but as the week wears on and the odd afflictions intensify, he wonders if he is truly fading from existence.
Ad odd mixture of fantasy, science fiction, horror and thriller. This is an intriguing story of what happens when boredom takes over. It’s a satisfying story, but at the end, not much is explained.
The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook
(The Housewife Assassin #1)
by Josie Brown (2011)
Every desperate housewife wants an alias. Donna Stone has one…and it happens to be government-sanctioned. She earned it the hard way: her husband was killed the day she delivered her third child. To avenge his death, she leads a secret life – as an assassin. But espionage makes for strange bedfellows – and brings new meaning to that old adage, “Honey, I’m home…”
This was unexpectedly a good read. It’s a satire of spy vs spy thrillers with an evil villain out to do bad things.
Told in first person from the POV of Donna, it’s sharp and witty writing. Despite not knowing her age (or of anyone) she becomes an agent while raising kids. Just when you think the plot is a bit hackneyed, it takes a few unpredictable twists (although I expected the last).
There are snippets of wisdom at the beginning of later chapters on how to be a good housewife and spy.
A fun, light read although there is a bit of explicit sex.
The Last Valkyrie
by Jeremy Robinson & Tori Paquette (2017)
What used to be Antarctica is no more. Shifted to the equator, the continent, now known as Antarktos, has thawed and bloomed. Endless ice has given way to lush tropical jungles, and all the people now living here are protected and led by Solomon Ull Vincent, the Last Hunter and King of Antarktos. My father.
From what I can find, this was written by Tori with help from Jeremy. At a novella length (just under 50,000 words) it is similar to the Jack Sigler stories. It’s a straight forward adventure story; save the sister, destroy the bad guy and return. This gives it the feel of an old fashioned pulp era novel, not a bad thing. Characters develop as they move through the plot and the story has sufficient unexpected turns to keep it interesting. A good addition to the Antarktos series.
(Antarktos Saga #3.5)
by Jeremy Robinson (2007)
A phenomenon known as crustal displacement shifts the Earth’s crust, re-positioning continents and causing countless deaths. In the wake of the global catastrophe, the world struggles to take care of its displaced billions. But Antarctica, freshly thawed and blooming, has emerged as a new hope. Rather than wage a world war no nation can endure, the leading nations devise a competition, a race to the center of Antarctica, with the three victors dividing the continent.
The Last Hunter: Ascent parallels the events in Antarktos Rising.
Here Robinson mines just about all of the Bible’s Genesis myths to create monsters he has to overcome in a race to claim new ground. The mythology gets a bit over the top, but the action and the story drives things on to a familiar ending.
The Last Hunter: Descent
(Antarktos Saga #1)
by Jeremy Robinson (2010)
I’ve been told that the entire continent of Antarctica groaned at the moment of my birth. The howl tore across glaciers, over mountains and deep into the ice. Everyone says so. Except for my father; all he heard was Mother’s sobs. Not of pain, but of joy, so he says. Other than that, the only verifiable fact about the day I was born is that an iceberg the size of Los Angeles broke free from the ice shelf a few miles off the coast.
Again, some would have me believe the fracture took place as I entered the world. But all that really matters, according to my parents, is that I, Solomon Ull Vincent, am the first child born on Antarctica; the first and only Antarctican. I was born on September 2nd, 1974.
This is an eight book series, and the author appears to have anticipated the long journey ahead and chosen a slower pace this time. There is still the adventure and action of other Robinson novels, just a bit slower and more deliberate.
The Spires of Denon
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (2009)
Set in the same universe as ‘Diving Into The Wreck’. The Spires of Denon doesn’t involve Boss or her crew. Instead, this novella follows Meklos Verr, hired to guard an archeological dig near the mysterious Spires of Denon.
This starts slowly and feels like it could be a bit boring. However things become more interesting as characters motivations and opportunities change. In retrospect, you can see how Rusch has carefully mapped out an intriguing story.
by Jeremy Robinson (2015)
Crazy has no memory and feels no fear. Dangerous and unpredictable, he’s locked away in SafeHaven, a psychiatric hospital, where he spends the long days watching Wheel of Fortune and wondering what the outside world smells like. When a mysterious visitor arrives and offers him a way out Crazy doesn’t hesitate to accept.
But outside the hospital Crazy is faced with a world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, and find himself relocated to Neuro Inc., a secretive corporation with strange government ties. When he discovers evidence of human experimentation he escapes with a syringe, the contents of which are unknown to him but precious to Neuro. Cornered and with a complete disregard for the results, Crazy makes himself indispensable by injecting the substance into his leg….
At about 120,000 words, this is one of the longest of Jeremy Robinson’s books. Where other authors pad out with characters standing around and talking, Robinson just adds action, and there is a lot. There is so much it feels like a sprint.
Also, the tone of this book is more like a horror novel than any of the others I have read (so far). There are a few times when it’s easy to get lost in the combat, so the only criticism I would have is that there were times when he could have slowed down to establish the place and situation of all the characters. But if you like Robinson because of the thrills, this is one you won’t want to miss.
Space Team: Song of the Space Siren
by Barry J. Hutchison (2017)
Cal Carver and his Space Team may have lost their ship, but they haven’t lost their knack for attracting trouble.
Just hours after setting foot on a new planet, Cal and the crew find themselves caught up in an interplanetary kidnapping plot. Reuniting the suspiciously-silent young victim with her parents on their far-off home world will make Cal rich beyond his wildest dreams. Unfortunately, half the pirates and bounty hunters in the galaxy have the same idea, and they’re more than happy to take the girl by force.
The fun continues. Things go awry and the series just keeps getting better.