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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge



This is the sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep.    This book demonstrates the Tines advancement and the perfidy that the human soul is capable of demonstrating.

Ravena Bergsndot and the Mad Bad Johanna are featured prominently in this volume of the series.   The "children" become  divided over whether the Blight is real or not and this presents Ravena with a number of difficulties. 

Prejudice rears it's ugly head and counter pointed by the efforts of Johanna.   I like the way that Vinge demonstrates a variety of human emotions and aberrations and ascribes them to a different species.   He humanizes the Tines while keeping their unique abilities alive and well.     

I thought this book was going to finish a trilogy but alas that is not the case.  Alas only because I can not find any evidence that he is working on the sequel to this book which leaves many, many unanswered questions. 

Vinge is a respected scientist as well as an author of science fiction.  You may want to read an interview with him in Wired Magazine.

I enjoyed the book and frankly I think the pacing in this volume is the best of the three so far.  I highly recommend it.

Fan Based web site:  http://mindstalk.net/vinge/ /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, July 17, 2014

Elsewhens by Melanie Rawn


Touchstone  was the first book in this thought provoking trilogy.  It was a behind the scenes look at theatrical production powered not by animation but magic.   Touchstone is a theatre group struggling for success and identity.  In this volume, Touchstone has had some success but made some enemies and allies in the process.

Political intrigue is introduced in this book.   It is not apparent who is behind it until the final pages and then it is dealt with circumspectly.   This book shows more depth on the characters and explains Cayden Silversun's  elsewhens.   His elsewhens might be described as precognition of a limited nature.  Cayden is particularly concerned with the elsewhens referring to his glisker, Mieka. 

Cayden feels that what Touchstone can do through theater is nothing less than change his society.  Again societal ills are shown such as discrimination, prejudice, poverty and more.  

This is the second book in the trilogy, I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

I recommend the book.
  
Web Site: http://www.melanierawn.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, July 9, 2014

Sacrifices by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

 This is most definitely a YA book.   That is not to disparage it but a caution that it may be a bit juvenile and if that turns you off , you should be aware of that fact. Spirit White finds herself thrust into horrific circumstances.   Losing her entire family in a mysterious auto accident, she ends up in a pseudo Hogwarts Academy.  This volume in the four book series has the Shadow Knights taking over Oakhurst. 

This story is centered on a group of kids who have all ended up as wards of a school of magic.  They have all been orphaned, most in a violent manner.   The kids discover that their being orphaned was not an accident.  Their protectors, the alumni, are famous game authors who have formed Breakthrough Adventure Systems.   Breakthrough arrives at Oakhurst and take over. 

The kids that band together are a likeable group.   The school is the primary setting and the details are more than sufficient.   The mystery is why some students are periodically disappearing.   The action and plot are nicely done and you can't help but like the characters.  It turns out this the third book of a four book series.   A King Arthur flavor is definitely developing.  

I recommend the book.

web site:  http://www.mercedeslackey.com/
                 http://www.sff.net/people/eluki/

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

Victories by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill


Victories is an excellent wrap up to a good four book series. The authors did an excellent job tying up loose ends and making clear everything that had gone on in the previous three books.  I thought the previous books dragged a bit as they focus primarily the insecurities of a bunch teenagers.  This book has more action and consequently was a more interesting read.

This book is definitely a young adult book and is marketed as such.  That is not to disparage it but a caution that it may be a bit juvenile and if that turns you off , you should be aware of that fact.

Spirit White finally discovers what her magic powers are.  She finds out some surprising facts about herself and her friends.   Losing a friend provides the pathos of the book making victory a bittersweet success.   The kids face their insecurities and tap their inner heroes in battling evil.   The King Arthur aspect is finally clear in this final volume.

This was a good series.  For my taste, there could have been more action in the first three books but overall it was a good series.  

I recommend the book.

web site:  http://www.mercedeslackey.com/
                 http://www.sff.net/people/eluki/


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 2, 2014

The God Killers by John F. Allen


Ivory Blaque is my favorite kind of female protagonist, takes names and kicks butt!  This novel details a brief period in Ivory's life of an art recovery specialist.   A former art thief, Ivory now walks a reasonably straight path recovering stolen art.   She has some seriously skewed friends and associates, werewolves, vampires and miscellaneous Fae.  

Ivory falls afoul of a secret government agency detailed to keep a lid on paranormals.   If that doesn't complicate the plot enough, she also offends the Vampire lord of the city.  

Allen packs a lot of action and violence in his work.   Ivory does not escape unscathed and has to deal with some major changes in her life.   A former mentor and a pair of paranormal pistols provide additional challenges to Ivory.  

This is Mr. Allen's first novel and I am impressed.  It kept my attention, I got involved in the plot and it was intricate enough to surprise me with some of the twists and turns.   It should be a good starting point for a rousing series.  I look forward to reading more about Ivory Blaque.

I highly recommend it.

 Web Page: http://johnfallenwriter.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.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge




Vinge is a real world, honest to goodness Computer Science professor.  His books are accurately described as hard science fiction.  This story describes a later chapter in Pham Nuwen's life.  Pham was part of the space faring group of merchants, the Qeng Ho, benefiting from the time dilation effect of interstellar travel.   They did not know they were trapped in the Slowness, a part of the universe where true faster than light travel was impossible.  This story looks a a bigger slice of the universe where people can ascend or transcend to a higher plane where technology becomes synonymous with magic.  Keeping in mind Arthur C. Clark's admonishment that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

Ravena Bergsndot is a librarian at Relay, a network node akin to DropBox on steroids.  A repository and clearing house of data.  Information is king and as a clearing house Relay is paramount in it's neighborhood.   A perversion arises that threatens the known universe.   Ravena  is partnered with Pham and they become shipmates of two plant people, Geenstalk and Blueshell.  

The shipmates dive into the deeps of the Slowness watching their technology degrade to find a weapon to battle the perversion and to incidentally rescue some children marooned there through no fault of their own.   Mixed into this mélange of aliens, the shipmates meet pack mind folks who have woes of their own.  

Vinge has captured multitasking in his story telling.   The stories culminate together and are tied up neatly.

I highly recommend it.

Fan Based web site:  http://mindstalk.net/vinge/ /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 22, 2014

Free: Victoria Simcox's The Warble 6/23/14 to 6/27/14


Free: Victoria Simcox's The Warble 6/23/14 to 6/27/14



A Great treat and it isn't even Halloween!
Get Victoria Simcox's delightful book, 
The Warble  FREE for a very limited time.



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