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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pawn's Gambit by Timothy Zahn


 
Zahn frequently poses questions on social issues.  This book of short stories, almost novelettes,  has some stories that make you think.   Cascade Point or The Giftie Gie may have been my favorites of the book.

Giftie Gie points out the disabilities or differences are often used to discriminate when the differences are often self imposed.  I really enjoyed the interplay between Neil and Heather.   The Final Report on the Lifeline Experiment gave some thought to the ramifications of abortion.   Cascade Point made one think about dimensionality. 

Overall Zahn satisfied as he always does.

I recommend it.    

I'm always shocked when I find an author without a website, particularly a scifi author, however I could not find one for Zahn.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimothyZahn


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

BLOOD OF INNOCENTS by Mitchell Hogan--NOW on sale

BLOOD OF INNOCENTS by Mitchell Hogan
Book Two of the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence
On-Sale: 2/2/2016 | ISBN: 9780062407252
BLOOD OF INNOCENTS by Mitchell Hogan  my review

A novice sorcerer may hold the key to saving his world—or be the instrument of its destruction—in this second book in The Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing saga of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.
Anasoma, jewel of the Mahruse Empire, has fallen.

As orphaned, monk-raised Caldan and his companions flee the city, leaving behind their hopes for a new beginning, horrors from the time of the Shattering begin to close in.

With Miranda’s mind broken by forbidden sorcery, Caldan does the unthinkable to save her: he breaks the most sacrosanct laws of the Protectors. But when the emperor’s warlocks arrive to capture him, Caldan realizes that his burgeoning powers may be more of a curse than a blessing, and the enemies assailing the empire may be rivaled by more sinister forces within.

And soon, the blood of innocents may be on Caldan’s own hands.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
When he was eleven, Mitchell Hogan was given The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to read, and a love of fantasy novels was born. He spent the next ten years reading, rolling dice, and playing computer games, with some school and university thrown in. Along the way he accumulated numerous bookcases filled with fantasy and sci-fi novels and doesn’t look to stop anytime soon.

His first attempt at writing fantasy was an abysmal failure and abandoned after only one page. But ideas for characters and scenes continued to come to him and he kept detailed notes of his thoughts, on the off chance that one day he might have time to write a novel. For ten years he put off his dream of writing until he couldn’t stand it anymore. He knew he would regret not having tried to write the novel percolating inside his head for the rest of his life. Mitchell quit his job and lived off dwindling savings, and the support of his fiancĂ©, until he finished the first draft of A Crucible of SoulsA Crucible of Souls won the 2013 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel.

He now writes full time and is eternally grateful to the readers who took a chance on an unknown author. Mitchell lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, Angela, and daughter, Isabelle.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Born Lucid: Book 1 of the Born Lucid Series by Christopher C. Evans


This book had an Indiana Jones flavor leavened with some John Ringo type of violence.   Ancient alien technology clashes with corrupt capitalism and a potential invasion for the plot of the book.

Lucidus, formerly known as Chris, is a Greenpeace type of advocate who while working on an expose' becomes exposed to an invasive alien technology.   This tech changes his life and automatically enrolls him in the ranks of enhanced enforcers of a shadowy, greed ridden world wide conspiracy.

Evans jumps back and forth from a current guerrilla style of life to the development of the warrior who becomes Lucidus.   Evans postulates all manner of evil to be laid at the feet of egomaniacs who dominated the world through power and money.  It is a thought provoking book.

I recommend it.    

I'm always shocked when I find an author without a website, particularly a scifi author, however I could not find one for Christopher C. Evans

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005243797015


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

1635: A Parcel of Rogues by Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis


If recollection serves me this story is connected to the premise of a chunk of current time real-estate transported back to 1632.   The last book of this I read was  Grantville Gazette back in 2011.  

I enjoyed this series in the past.  This book never captured me.  I don't know if it was the lack of action or the tedious pontificating of some of the characters.  I have read quite a bit of Eric Flint and this is the first one I struggled to read.  I taught English history years ago and the populating it with time transplanted characters who are familiar with Cromwell and other notables was entertaining but not sufficiently to entrance me the way so many other Flint books have done.

Web site:  http://www.ericflint.net/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hunter by Mercedes Lackey


This is hopefully the first book in an excellent new series.   Hunter Joyeaux is dragooned from her cold nest in the mountain monastery by the rulers of Apex.  Joy is a hunter of creatures and she uses magic and her hounds for that purpose.   Her hounds are not dogs but outsiders from some other place.  We are never sure where or what that other place may be.   This book is her initial adventures in Apex.

Joy is an orphan and her only family is her Uncle, the Prefect in Apex.  Political and magical intrigue are rampant in Apex.  Joy is more used to the rural outback where if folks don't stick together they end up dying alone.  

Lackey's character development shines in this book.   She creates a realistic and hyper-capable teen who is laudable and nearly believable.   Mercedes Lackey has that rare ability to elicit a strong emotional response to her characters.   I can only hope this is just the initial book in a new series.

I highly recommend the book. 

web site:  http://www.mercedeslackey.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Barsk by Lawrence M. Schoen



Do not, I repeat, DO NOT give up on this book.  I was not captivated and almost put it down but I persevered and it was well worth the read.   Anthropomorphism runs in a heavy vein through my favorite books and one would have expected me to fall immediately in love with this book, which I eventually did.   This book is fraught with symbolism and consequently very thought provoking.  

The author paints the galaxy as being populated by the animal kind of Earth.   The story starts on Barsk, the home of the Fants.   There is skullduggery afoot and the Compact, protecting the planet Barsk, is being systematically violated by no greater villain than their own interplanetary government.  

Prejudice is, perhaps, the most deeply flaunted ill illustrated by the book.   The author shows both the destructive nature of individual and group prejudice.   Resistance against change regardless of it's negative or positive potential is also illustrated.

Schoen provides social commentary in a fictional setting that nevertheless forces one to contemplate issues.   If self identity is the linchpin of person, does amnesia lead to personality disintegration?    Ponder that!

I recommend this book.

Web site: http://www.lawrencemschoen.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel

 My initial fear as I started this book was it was a romantic fantasy wrapped in a SciFi pseudonym.   I guess I was unprepared for the exceptional story that was revealed.  Conflicting life styles characterize the story line.   Planet bound corruption is juxtaposed with laissez-faire government and gypsy policing.   The book is people focused with the trappings of a future that is both hopeful and predictable.

The predictable part is that corporate greed and corruption continues after space travel becomes common place.   The interaction between disparate lifestyles with Elena of the Corp and retired PSI captain, Treiko Zajec, is the core of this excellent story.  (I'm finding that trying to type while listening to the outstanding Lizzy Hale on YouTube is providing far more typos that normal, but my typing speed is dramatically increased.)

A inherited mystery of a starships disappearance along with the interpersonal conflict between Elena and Captain Foster is leavened with the sadistic violence of the so-called authorities.  The interpersonal stuff is the root of the story but the trappings of wormholes, starships and corruption provide the hot sauce that jolts this story into the realm of great success.

I really liked this book.

Web site: https://elizabethbonesteel.wordpress.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.