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Monday, July 6, 2015

The Evolution of Robert Carr



This is my brain on Lovett
I don't normally post a review here and on Pick of the Literate but there doesn't appear to be a major crossover in my readers and this book was worth ballyhooing to the world.  

Che Guevara doesn't have a cameo in this book, except for reference to a poster, but he could have had one.   Lovett is a revolutionary masquerading as a satirist or a satirist masquerading as a revolutionary, I frankly am not sure which.   Regardless of his motivation, this book made me ponder many things.   The least of which was neural enhancement, although that was captivating, the addressing of social inequities was virulent, passionate and sadly realistic as it claimed the right of primogeniture.   The book claims to be social commentary but I would be more specific and say I felt it was satirically critical.

The main protagonist, Robert Carr, reluctantly accepts neural enhancement in able to be competitive in a increasingly dystrophic society.  His enhancement comes with a surprising bonus.  His bonus leads him to be targeted and to evolve as a person.  

Nothing is sacred, including or perhaps pointedly the sacred.  Pontification on greed, religion, the industrial revolution, mechanization, the impact of technology and far more provides a surprisingly captivating book.   Proselytization running amuck or merely driving home a point with the finesse of a sixteen pound sledge characterizes the book.  

I loved the book, Lovett succeeded admirably in initiating critical thought while remaining entertaining, Kudos on a great job!

Site:  https://www.facebook.com/paulklovettwriter/timeline

Neither his blog or website was active.

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, July 1, 2015

Captain's Fury by Jim Butcher


This is book four on the Codex Alera.  The main plot in this volume it the opposition to the Canim invasion but running through the story is the continuing sub-plot of a rebellion and those who oppose it.  Tavi, a young man without any "crafting" in a society that is characterized by "crafting" or the manipulation of materials through an immaterial method, ie wizardry or sorcery is coming into his own.  He has grown both in size and in talent.  

Butcher does a lot of "for the greater good" philosophizing.   The all powerful First Lord is forced to balance "for the greater good" with the realities of maintaining the loyalty of his minions

The Cane are formidable foes with a predator's sense of ethics.   Keep one's enemies closest as they are more predictable characterizes the Cane.    The Marat and the Cane are confused by the excesses perpetuated by the Alerans in their insatiable desire for power.   The contrast of the "barbarian" behavior and the "civilized" Alerans is glaring. 

As said in my previous two reviews, Butcher's characters are his stories strength.   His villains are more believable due to their pragmatic nature.  He gives back story on his villains so they are far more than just the embodiment of evil that seems to be prevalent in most fantasies. The motivation behind the villainy provides succulent content to the story.
      
I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

I highly recommend the book.



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, June 26, 2015

Cursor's Fury by Jim Butcher




I am a fan of Butcher and love his Harry Dresden series.  This is got a slight flavor of Dresden in the humor but otherwise is full fledged fantasy and excellent at that.  The plot is a rebellion and those who oppose it.   I read The Furies of Calderon and reviewed it back on July 13, 2013.  I loved it.  I just reread it because I have gotten all of the currently released volumes in this series and I wanted to read it sequentially.  I read Academ's Fury recently and loved it as well.   This volume continues to follow Tavi, a young man without any "crafting" in a society that is characterized by "crafting" or the manipulation of materials through an immaterial method, ie wizardry or sorcery.  Tavi's still the main focus in this book but quite a bit is also focused on his Uncle Bernard and Amara and his "Aunt" Isana and their part in thwarting the rebellion.

The all powerful First Lord does not play a major part in this volume.    His uncle Bernard and his aunt Isana loom even larger in this book.   There is a mystery about Tavi's birth and his personal relationships.   His relationship with Kitai, a former Marat enemy continues to evolve in this the third book as well.   Butcher's characters may have a leg up on Machiavelli.   Devious doesn't begin to describe some of the machinations of both hero and villian.

The characters are once again the best part of Butcher’s tales.  Don’t get me wrong, his plots are excellent and his story telling sublime but his characterizations are terrific.

Butcher's characters are his stories strength.   His villains are more believable due to their pragmatic nature.  He gives back story on his villains so they are far more than just the embodiment of evil that seems to be prevalent in most fantasies. The motivation behind the villainy provides succulent content to the story and yes this is redundantly familiar from my last review of the series.
      
Again, I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.   This is one of those series I can't wait to pick up the next book and am dismayed that there aren't more in the stack.  

I highly recommend the book.


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, June 21, 2015

Finches of Mars by Brian W. Aldiss



The last book by Brian W. Aldiss I read was Evil Earths back in 2006.  This book is about the colonization of Mars and the deterioration of Earth. 

The book had a dated feel.  I remember enjoying Aldiss and I really didn't care for this book.  The book felt more like a philosophic treatise than a novel.   I didn't find in-depth character development and I never found myself really becoming involved with the characters or the story.

I really didn't feel this was up to what I would expect from the author.

Web Site: http://brianaldiss.co.uk/

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, June 16, 2015

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher



I am a fan of Butcher and love his Harry Dresden series.  This is got a slight flavor of Dresden in the humor but otherwise is full fledged fantasy and excellent at that.  The plot is a rebellion and those who oppose it.   I read The Furies of Calderon and reviewed it back on July 13, 2013.  I loved it.   I just reread it because I have gotten all of the currently released volumes in this series and I wanted to read it sequentially.    This volume continues to follow Tavi, a young man without any "crafting" in a society that is characterized by "crafting" or the manipulation of materials through an immaterial method, ie wizardry or sorcery. 

The all powerful First Lord intrudes on Tavi's life as well as his family.   His uncle Bernard and his aunt Isana loom even larger in this book.   There is a mystery about Tavi's birth and his personal realationships.   His relationship with Kitai, a former Marat enemy continues to evolve. 

The characters are once again the best part of Butcher’s tales.  Don’t get me wrong, his plots are excellent and his story telling sublime but his characterizations are terrific.

Butcher's characters are his stories strength.   His villains are more believable due to their pragmatic nature.  He gives back story on his villains so they are far more than just the embodiment of evil that seems to be prevalent in most fantasies. The motivation behind the villainy provides succulent content to the story.
      
I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

I highly recommend the book.


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, June 11, 2015

Cover Revealed for the New Gorias La Gaul Novel

Cover Reveal for Steven L. Shrewsbury's Born of Swords, the New Gorias La Gaul Novel!

Seventh Star Press is proud to reveal the cover by Enggar Adirasa for Born of Swords, the new Gorias La Gaul Novel from Steven L. Shrewsbury.



Born of Swords will make it's debut at Hypericon, a speculative fiction convention in Nashville TN June 19-21, and then be made available in all eBook formats and print the following week.

Born of Swords is the latest novel starring the iconic hero Gorias La Gaul, returning readers to the world unveiled in the novels OverkillThrall, and the short story collection Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul.

What makes a legend but the stories told about him? Interviewing Gorias La Gaul, the biggest legend of them all, is a dream come true for young scribe Jessica. Where other girls her age would swoon beneath the steely gaze of the warrior, Jessica only has eyes for his mouth, and the tales that come from it...when he takes a break from cursing or drinking.

Unfortunately for Jessica, Gorias doesn’t really have time to babysit. She’s found him in the midst of an annual pilgrimage of sorts, and though he agrees to let her come along, it’s not without a warning: You may not like what you see and hear. Just don’t come crying afterward.

Whether viewing past visions with magical gemstones or jumping into the fray alongside the barbarian, Jessica’s about to get firsthand accounts she won’t soon forget...and discover legends are far from reality, and just as far from being pretty. You wouldn’t expect a youth of love and friendship from the greatest killer to walk the Earth, would you?

These are tales of some of Gorias’ earliest days, back before he’d found his swords, to a time when a dragon needed killing. Tales back before his heart had hardened. Maybe. For most men, the future is not certain and the past is prologue. For a legend like Gorias La Gaul, even the past is up for debate. One thing is for certain about these tales. They will be bloody.  Such is always the way for a man...

Born of Swords...
- See more at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2015/06/cover-reveal-for-steven-l-shrewsburys.html#sthash.3m53U2if.dpuf

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, June 9, 2015

Nightlife By Matthew Quinn Martin


This is a vampire tale and it isn't.   It is a tale of a millennium old conspiracy, complete with a host of identical agents of a secret agency.   It is also a love story.  This is the first book.  Nightlife Night Terrors was the first one I read but not the first book. 

This is too was an interesting book.   Jack and Beth are introduced in this book.  Jack is on a quest to destroy evil and Beth is the bartender at a seedy bar.   Getting the two of them together is difficult.    Jack has a painful history that fuels his quest for justice.   Vampires are introduced in a previously unknown form.  

To further complicate the plot, a secret pseudo-governmental agency is looking for Jack and a secret society may have it's fingers in the pie as well.

This is a good, thought provoking action adventure.


This is a good story that I recommend.

Site: http://www.matthewquinnmartin.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.