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Friday, April 30, 2010

Pittsburgh Storm by David O’Keffee


This is a post apocalypse story centered in Pittsburgh. I suspect it hit home a little harder than it might due to the fact I am so familiar with the setting. Matt Cahill finds himself alone in a city of death. The plot centers around his survival.

O’Keefee set the stage quite nicely. He painted a grim picture of life after civilization’s end. There were enough twists and turns to make a good story. I prefer a clearer closure but that is just me. O’Keefee wraps up the story with a tiny glimmer of hope. I found the book well done but depressing. It is in essence a story of survival and what you need to do to survive. The protagonist agonizes over both events and what he might be become. Agonized introspection characterizes Matt Cahill.

The book is available for free download or a donation at the author’s website.

I recommend the book.

Web Site:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marque and Reprisal By Elizabeth Moon

Kylara Vatta thought her she left her troubles behind her when she finished up at Sabine. Little did she know that her life was not destined to be honchoing a stellar delivery service. Actions and events change her life drastically and she has to stand and deliver.

Elizabeth Moon is one of those special authors that forces you to stay up late and push off chores to keep on reading. Her characters are so well painted that you feel you may have met them. She keeps you on the edge of your seat with her cliff hanging action. She doesn’t hesitate to kill off a likeable character to further the story. Kylara is changing, morphing into a new and different person as she deals with mind numbing grief.

I highly recommend the book.

Body of work of Elizabeth Moon

Web site:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth.

I had reservations when I got this book. Another vampire story just seems to be over the top. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a fast moving, captivating story. A vampire serving as a secret agent for generations of American presidents was a storyline that worked out surprisingly well.

Nathaniel Cade has served his nation for 140 years. Protecting an unsuspecting population from a veritable Ripley’s Believe it or Not cast of villains. A vampire with morals, ethics and regrets was a nice change of pace in the plethora of vampire stories. Zach’s growth as the vampire sidekick was surprisingly well done. Don’t hesitate to try this book, even if you aren’t fond of vampires. It has plenty of action and very little of the cheesy scenes we have experiences with some of the other vampire books.

I recommend the book.

Body of work of Christopher Farnsworth

Web site:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We Few by David Weber and John Ringo




The grand finale of the four book series until they decide to write another one. Weber and Ringo are still unbeatable in my book. They do not spare your emotions in that characters you really like often don’t reach the end of the book alive. I’m 6’2” tall, 220 pounds of weight lifting, manly man old guy who on occasion, tears up during the Star Spangled Banner and the loss of a well loved character in a series that has encompassed around 1600 pages. These bozos seduce you into caring about the characterizations then take them out in an exploding plasma rifle. Needless to say the book is action packed, adrenaline pumped with occasional interludes of civics instruction. An intoxicating if sometimes head scratching mix, I can only hope they decide to do another in the same venue. I highly recommend it.

Body of work of David Weber
Body of work of John Ringo


Review: http://en.risingshadow.net/index.php?option=com_library&Itemid=67&action=book&book_id=7231

Web Site http://www.davidweber.net/
David Weber’s web site is under construction.

Web Site: http://www.johnringo.com/

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dragonback Bargain by Timothy Zahn

Dragonback Bargain is a bargain. It is a anthology including the complete novels: Dragon and Thief,Dragon and Soldier and Dragon and Slave. The premise of the series is a 14 year old orphan acquires a K’da warrior as a symbiote. The K’da warrior’s appearance is that of a Chinese dragon the size of a small tiger. The K’da people are fleeing the Valahgua who is perpetrating genocide on all races they meet. Jack Morgan, an orphan, is fleeing an unknown persecutor. Jack’s only companion is the computerized download of his late Uncle’s con-artist personality. Jack and Draycos team up to face their foes.

My only frustration with this series is that I thought it was three books and it is six books. In one way that is great because I really enjoying the series, on the other hand I don’t normally read series until I have acquired the entire series. I am now forced to track down the remaining three books.

I haven’t seen that the series is characterized as young adult but that is how I would characterize it. The story is enjoyable, the characters are well done. Jack is suitably torn between his lonely desire to have a friend and his wish to placate his late Uncles computerized personality. The emotions are pretty clear and so is the conflict. There is a lot of action but it is tempered in a manner that is appropriate for the younger reader.

I highly recommend the entire series.

Body of work of Timothy Zahn

Web Site: none found

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rune Warriors The Sword of Doom by James Jennewein and Tom S. Parker

Their Backkk! Dane the Defiant, Klint the Raven and Astrid Mistress of the blade have returned. Dane discovers that fame and fortune are fleeting. His 15 minutes of fame dissolves is the mundane issues of protecting and leading a community.

Dane and company provide an enormous range of interesting characters. Dane finds himself and his friends in another quest complete with the requisite evil villains and outlandish monsters. The interplay between Dane and his friends provides comedic relief. Atrid’s support helps Dane maintain own resolution. A surprise ending just when you think all the scary stuff is over sets the stage for another book.

The authors did a nice job showing courage, cooperation, conflict resolution while interjecting age appropriate humor.

I recommend the book .

Body of work of James Jennewein
Body of work of Tom S. Parker

Web Site: http://www.runewarriors.net/home.htm
BTW, very cool web site.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The River Kings’ Road by Liane Merciel


Great Book! I enjoyed this book. It was populated with realistic characters set in a medieval time who were dealing with magic, war and questions of succession.

This could be qualified as a morality play. Is Lord Leferic an ambitious patriot or a crass villain? Does mercenary Brys Tarnell have a secret or is he exactly what he seems? This is a well done story that also forces you to ponder the motivation of the characters. What makes them tick? Why do the do what they do? Are they just what they seem or are they more. The story line is good but the characterizations are marvelous! I can’t wait for the next installment.

I highly recommend the book and can’t wait for the entire series.

Body of work of Liane Merciel

Web Site:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mage-Guard of Hamor L.E. Modesitt Jr.

In the continuing saga of Recluce, Modesitt picks up the threads of Rahl, the exiled natural order mage. Exiled from Recluce because his strength and his talent were frightening to the establishment, Rahl suffered a high level of abuse in the last book. In this book, working with Taryl, the former Triad, Rahl begins to gain control of his considerable talent. The intrigue and maneuverings of the various Hamorian factions leads to action and war.

L. E. Modesitt Jr. is a master in keeping you involved. I have enjoyed the entire Recluce series. Modesitt paints his characters with perception and compassion. You feel like you are relating to a real human being. Rahl’s love for Deybri, the healer, is portrayed with honest frustration. In the real world, relationships are never simple and Modesitt takes the time to accurately portray a complicated relationship. Rahl’s relationship with Taryl is no less complicated with mysterious overtones.

This is a great story, it can be read alone and stand on it’s own merit’s but if you are not reading the Recluce saga, I highly recommend both the series and this book.

Body of work of L.E. Modesitt

Site: http://www.lemodesittjr.com/

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Work in Progress

I truly wonder how I ever had time to work. This is a work in progress so bear with me as I finalize the structure. The only concrete thing so far is that I will be posting only SciFi and Fantasy here all with lots of encouragement regarding literacy & reading for fun.

This is the Azure Dwarf representative of both fantasy and scifi.   Clad in chain mail, obviously horny, weaponized to the max the Azure Dwarf bridges that gap between Science Fiction and Fantasy.   A star in his own right he will battle the forces of illiteracy and bring to your attention astounding fiction!  

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fireships by David Drake


Fireships is the third book in the Reaches series. This book deals with Sarah Blythe, a starship captain, and her need for revenge. An attempt to hijack her ship by federation minions results in several crew members dying. Her righteous indignations propel her into the chaos of the Venus rebellion.

While mildly entertaining, I didn’t like this series nearly as much as many other Drake books. The battles and action Drake portrays are always exciting. The implacable presence of Stephen Gregg and his search for a personal soul gives a strong character to ponder. The Venus rebellion and it’s “privateers” are by Drakes admission, modeled on Sir Francis Drake’s exploits. Drake also notes that Sir Francis was not a relative. I liked the character interplay between Gregg, Piet and Sarah. The anguish Gregg demonstrates seemed very real. Even though I don’t feel this is as good as some of the other Drake work, the worst of David Drake is generally better than most other authors. I recommend the book but you really want to read “Igniting the Reaches” and “Through the Breach” before reading this.


Body of work of David Drake


Web Site: http://www.david-drake.com/


Review: none found


The Purple Dragon Moves To the Azure Dwarf

Color me crazy for one more blog but Pick of The Literate doesn't seem to gather the fantasy scifi crowd. The Azure Dwarf defined from Wikipedia, in astronomy, a blue compact dwarf galaxy (BCD galaxy) is a small galaxy which contains large clusters of young, hot, massive stars. These stars cause the galaxy to appear blue in color. Azure being a deep blue. I hope to have both young hot new authors and fine old red dwarf type of authors.

Content will be SciFi and Fantasy, nothing more and nothing less!