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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato










I characterized The Clockwork Dagger as a Steampunk romance.  This sequel is substantially more than that!   I really enjoyed Dagger but this book is better!   Okay that is enough exclamation points.   I think Cato did a follow up that is excellent.  She continues the story with Octavia's romantic interest Alonzo Garret.  That should satisfy any romance fans.   The Steam Punk theme continues with Leaf, buzzers and air ships.   The political intrigue of the king and the Wasters provides the violence as well as the misplaced affections of a younger sibling.  

The Lady and her Tree continue to manipulate Octavia and impact her very existence.   I particularly like the way Cato has infused Octavia with such resiliency and fortitude.   Octavia is a strong, focused woman who exemplifies the fact that women so often are stronger than men.   This isn't a feminist diatribe merely the observation that strong female protagonists are needed in all forms of entertainment.

The story concludes in a very satifying manner.   Cato did an excellent job in providing an exciting pace, excellent characterizations, plot twists and action a plenty. I really liked this book.  

I highly recommend both this book and The Clockwork Dagger .  

Site:  http://www.bethcato.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, April 24, 2015

The Doomsday Kids by Karen Langhorne Folan





I don't know what motivated Folan to author this series.  However I see it being read primarily for entertainment but my hope is that it may provide some hidden and insidious thought provocation.   Kids who read this series may actually start to appreciate their lifestyle.  Post holocaust life will not be populated with a Star Bucks on every corner.  Nor will the local dealer be offering their wares at every school.  Turning one's nose up at cafeteria food may be re-evaluated with starvation as an option.   The apparent mid-teen target market often surprises both parents and teachers with their insightful behavior.  Admittedly kids often take for granted the many "cushy" aspects of suburban life but a series such as this may make them more appreciative of what they have.  Stranger things have happen! 

Regardless of provoking thoughtful insight, the series looks to be entertaining in a manner highly palatable to the mid-teen market.   Check it out!  or buy them at Amazon. 


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, April 20, 2015

Mindbridge by Joe Haldeman





This takes place in the not too distant future where instantaneous transfer to the galaxy is discovered accidentally.  The basic premise of the story is when the team of galactic explorers run across another intelligent species.

Jacque and Carol are the most frequent protagonists used in the story. Their exposure to the alien race has an impact on both of them.  They use a possibly intelligent species as a telepathic mind bridge thus the title of the book.  The story also illustrates some of the dangers of telepathic communication.

The book is lauded as being a classic and perhaps it is but it didn't do a whole lot for me.

It's worth reading but it certainly wasn't a book that was going to keep me up at night to finish it.  I enjoyed his Forever War much more than I cared for this book.  Worlds also held greater appeal for me. 

Site:  http://www.joehaldeman.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.

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.