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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Madness in Solidar by L.E. Modesitt, jr


This is a continuation of the Imager Portfolio.   Quaeryt is ancient history and little remembered.  The Collegium he established has declined in power and authority.  The Rex is not respected and once again the High Holders are grasping for power.

This continuation of a story generations afterward is a frequently used plot of Modesitt.   It allows the story to stand alone but provides a richer experience if you have read the series.  

Alastar is a typical Modesitt protagonist.  He is thoughtful and slow to wrath.   His goal is to keep both his Imager charges safe and his nation from disaster.   He is added by Alyna, a Pharsi descendent of the Vaelora of Quaeryt.   Alyna is a strong female protagonist who supports Alastar.

The cast of characters do not have the sheer power demonstrated by Quaeryt in the earlier books.   Their Imaging power has deteriorated along with or perhaps is the cause of their decline in political power.

As in past books, there is some philosophical pontificating which does not detract from the story.   Modesitt showcases political intrigue and greed without drawing any parallels to modern society.  He allows his reader to make the obvious connections.

Melding self awareness with the humbling recognition that your body, soul and

The common thread, as I stated in previous Modesitt reviews is the lone soul fighting for self identity in a harsh world.   The aloneness is tempered by a supportive wife and extraordinarily loyal comrades.

I highly recommend.  





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

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ultra Bowl by I.J. Weinstock

This book is more visceral than cerebral.   Football aficionados
will find it more palatable than the rest of the world.  I'm not sure it is a YA book but it reads as if it is.   An award winning football team is drafted to the future.

The premise of the book is a stretched version of the current concerns about the safety of football.   Recent players who have retired rather than play bring more feasibility to the premise of the book.   If you take automated pitchers from baseball or tennis ball throwing machines and project their genealogy into the future you might find the probability of the book increasing. 

Far fetched comes to mind when reading the book and that is from a die hard SciFi fan.   With that said, I enjoyed the book.   It was a fast paced read and carried some current concerns to a seemingly logical conclusion.  

https://twitter.com/ultrabowlbook

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, April 8, 2015

Lady-Protector by L.E. Modesitt, jr



This book follows the Lord Protector's Daughter  of the Corean Chronicles.  The weight of the crown is clearly illustrated in this book.   Mykella finds she is a true descendent of Michael the Great.

Once again I will admit to being a major Modesitt fan.  He does a great job on a series but allows each book to come to a reasonable conclusion and thusly stand alone.   I have also mentioned in other reviews how fond I am of strong female protagonists.   Sci-fi and fantasy have seemed to have had a male centric leaning for years and that would possibly explain why more males than females seem to be fans.   I think that strong female roles will encourage not only superior social development for girls, it will attract more readers.   Perhaps sci-fi and fantasy authors can help stamp out misogyny.

Regardless of the satisfying social implications, the book has a great story line that ties in beautifully with the rest of the series.   Greed and narcissistic characters are shown for what they are and Modesitt once again offers his take on socio-economics.

The common thread, as I stated in previous Modesitt reviews is the lone soul fighting for self identity in a harsh world.   Modesitt makes social commentary entertaining as well as illuminating.


I highly recommend.  



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, April 4, 2015

The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr


Steam Punk alternate history horror might aptly describe an interesting take on a mixed mélange of iconic fiction.   Eliza Jekyll is the bi-polar protagonist dealing with Dr. Watson's legacy.

This is an interesting book with lots of twists and turns.   Eliza is a police physician in a misogynist society.   Victorian style England is depicted as a soul less police state.   The scene settings are squalid and vile and lead to incessant hand washing after reading.   Seriously the squalor is palatable as well as the depravity of the "institutionalization" of the mentally unstable. 

Lizzie is both appealing and appalling while simultaneously depicting unbound, unrestricted liberation.

The author did a masterful job in depicting an alternative environment where electricity ran amuck amid the muck.   Murder and mayhem abound in this tale of kindred soul discovery.

I recommend.  

site: http://www.violacarr.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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale



I enjoy alternate history.  This is the invasion of the Midwest of the United States by a Roman Legion. 

Gaius Publius Marcellinus is the protagonist.  He is the tribune of the legion.   The book details his experience in invading the Midwest from a Chesapeake Bay landing.   His opinion of the American Indian is very low since they use gurillea warfare tactics and refuse to fight pitched battles.  

The legion runs into the Mississippian civilization of mound builders that is characterized by the author as the Cahokians.   The mound builders are a historic mystery as they left little behind besides their mounds.   The author builds on their mounds, add his own twist with bird clans and Roman innovations.

Smale did a great job with this book.  You are in the mind of Gaius and suffer with him through his losses and successes.  The story builds on real historic perspectives but the author leavens these with his own twists.

I highly recommend the book.

Site:  http://www.alansmale.com/clashofeagles/

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, March 27, 2015

Heart of a Lion by Stephen Zimmer



Stephen is aware of my penchant for strong female protagonists.    Note the list of books at the top of my Azure Dwarf site on butt kicking female protagonists.   Digressing, Person of Interest, the TV series is populated by some seriously strong female characters.   Caring on for Stephen Zimmer's latest treat, Heart of a Lion is an excellent fantasy where Rayden Valkyrie is traveling home through many trials and tribulations.

Rayden is a no nonsense woman who takes her men by her choice and her's alone.   She battles injustice as she sees it and internally philosophizes as she travels.  She faces horrific danger with pragmatic good humor and depends on her wits and strength of arm to see her through her occasionally self destructive behavior.

The plot is intricate without being confusing.  My only note of discord is that I felt her abandonment of Ammanus was out of character.

I highly recommend it.  

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



Excellent Trailer

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, March 23, 2015

The Lord-Protector's Daughter by L.E. Modesitt, jr

This blog is not becoming an all Modesitt blog.   However I do have the next book in the series on order.   Ha!


This book is set before the first three books in the Corean Chronicles and after the next three.  Court intrigue and succession are the major themes in this volume.

Mykel of the last few books is now a historic figure.   The land that he undertook to protect has flourished but seems to be in a decline.   The current Lord Protector does not seem to measure up to the Talent that Mykel displayed.

Mykella, a female namesake, is the protagonist in this book.   She discovers facets of her being that were previously unknown.   She also faces the Soarers who have been in every volume of the series.

If you have read any of my reviews, you have seen I am  fond of a strong female protagonist.   The men in this book seem terrified by competent  women and dismayingly enough, I know a few guys who would fit in that category.   Kudos to Modesitt for providing strong role models for both young men and women.

In my repetitive closing on Modesitt's books, I am an admitted admirer of Modesitt's style and work.  There is a common thread of honor and responsibility through his work.  His characters struggle to maintain their core identities and to remain truly humble in spite of increasing power.

I highly recommend.  




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