Monday, July 30, 2012

Legends of the Dragonrealm:Shade



This book chronicles a period in the life of Shade, a Vraad semi-immortal spellcaster.  Shade is a case study of fantasy schizophrenia, he can not decide if he is good or evil.

The cast of characters and their colorful natures provides a rich setting for this tale.  I enjoyed the Bedlam family although they were aptly named.   Dysfunctional doesn’t begin to describe this well intentioned group of spellcasters.

The plot was complicated and involved and the action was non-stop.  The wealth of characters and their dynamic nature made it difficult to identify the combatants and their allegiances.  
This was a good fantasy, action and questing adventure.


I recommend the book.

Body of work of Richard A. Knaak

Web Site:


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 26, 2012

Kop Killer by Warren Hammond






This book continues the story of Juno, a down on his luck ex-cop I met in Ex-Kop.   Once again the book brings new meaning to gritty.  Juno continues to struggles with his identity.  This planet epitomizes an amoral environment. 

Maggie, Juno’s Ying to his Yang, is forced to evaluate her moral stance regarding Juno’s actions.  This soul searching takes it’s toll on both characters.  Hammond has a rich imagination and carries some less savory current aspects of society to a logical progression to infamy.  In many ways the book makes you uncomfortable.   That, in no way, detracts from the story line.  In fact making you squirm seems to be a goal of Hammonds and he does it well. 

Old testament justice is an acceptable solution to many of Juno’s problems but he delves it out with less relish and more introspection than in the previous book.   This story concludes well but I hope there is a follow up book. 

I recommend it.

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" >Warren Hammond </a>

Web Site: http://warrenhammond.net/
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, July 22, 2012

Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johsnston




This book is a back story for Ender’s Game.  If you have not read the Ender series, do so, you will not regret it.   Victor is a mechanically talented young man in a mining clan thrust into the role of interstellar hero. 

Card has the ability to create characters with utter realism.  You may even think you have met some of his characters.   Stretching the comparison, I was a small independent computer dealer in competition with corporate entities like Compaq, HP and Dell.   I often felt the competition unfair and frustrating.   In one instance I was selling IBM pcs to a community college and was underbid by IBM direct sales.  Since I am a firm believer in no spoilers, you will have to read this book to see why I am reminded of the often cut-throat aspects of small business vs. big business.

Sadly it is too long ago that I read the Ender series.  The book did not resonate with those books.  It did however stand alone very nicely and should entice an entire new group of readers to Ender’s story.

The afterword, which I often don’t bother to read, provides an explanation for this book and for future and concurrent titles.   Again if you haven’t read the Ender series,  jump online and buy it now but read this book first. 

I recommend it.

 Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Orson Scott Card</a>

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Aaron Johnston</a>

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 19, 2012




Two days only
July 18th and 19th, 2012

SciFi/Fantasy Freaks This Is
A Deal You Are Going to LOVE!
Free eBooks At Amazon
 by:
Michael West
Steven Shrewsbury
Jackie Gamber
Stephen Zimmer
D.A. Adams
David Blalock
Go to  www.seventhstarpress.com  for the details right there on their homepage.  
This is a DO NOT MISS event.

Check in at www.seventhstarpress.com  to see what FREE books you can score!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Amazing Amazon Free Book GiveAway By Seventh Star Press




Two days only
July 18th and 19th, 2012

SciFi/Fantasy Freaks This Is
A Deal You Are Going to LOVE!
Free eBooks At Amazon
 by:
Michael West
Steven Shrewsbury
Jackie Gamber
Stephen Zimmer
D.A. Adams
David Blalock
Go to  www.seventhstarpress.com  for the details right there on their homepage.  
This is a DO NOT MISS event.

Check in at www.seventhstarpress.com  to see what FREE books you can score!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik (A Novel In the Temeraire Series)



This is the latest (2-27-12) book in the Temeraire series. I have not read the previous books but will definitely be doing so. I extrapolated from this book that Temeraire (the dragon) and his rider, Captain Laurence are in an ongoing war with Napoleon and his allies. This story has Temeraire taking care of business in South America and his encounter with the Inca empress.
Anthropomorphism is still one of my favorite themes. I greatly enjoyed the personalities ascribed to each dragon and all of their idiosyncrasies. The interplay of the dragons is very entertaining. As I volunteer occasionally in a kindergarten class I see some age related parallels. Of course, weighing many tons, breathing fire, tornadoes or acid is normally not seen in kindergarten, the parallel is a bit fanciful but the willfulness is not.
Captain Laurence is clearly the most mature acting of the characters including the other humans. The situation was well portrayed and the social aspects of dragons and people well laid out. Dragons as weapons and their allegiance to warring nations provides an excellent environment for story portrayal.
I enjoyed the story and will read it’s predecessors. I think there the current Crucible of Gold should be read after reading the earlier books. A clear back story would make this book even better.
I recommend the book.
Body of work of Naomi Novik</a>


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sky Dragons by Todd & Anne McCaffrey


Seldom has my mark of  appreciation been more appropriate.







This is a tale of dragons from Pern, the home of Anne McCaffrey’s dragonesque imagination.    Plague has decimated the dragons of Pern and their riders to the point where there is an insufficient defense against Thread.  This book details how a small band of courageous dragon riders preservers.

I don’t know if I own every book that Anne McCaffrey authored but if I don’t it isn’t for lack of trying.  I am a major dragon fan and some of my all time favorite dragon tales are from Pern.   This book was apparently co-authored with Anne’s son Todd.   It gives a glimmer of hope that the wonderful tales won’t cease with the sad demise of the towering Anne McCaffrey.   The flavor was most definitely Pernese and was totally satisfying.  

The interaction between dragon riders, dragons and folks in general has always been the strength of the Pern books.   Sure the dragons and the exotic setting with the abundant action are a factor but the love and loyalty of the protagonists are the spine of the book.  

I do not remember Mrreows so they may be new.   Much like the dolphins of Pern, I think there could be a story featuring them.

This was an excellent rendition of Pern.
I highly recommend it.

Anne McCaffrey’s talent brought many a happy hour to me and my family, may she rest in skies free of Thread. 


Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Todd McCaffrey </a>
Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Anne McCaffrey </a>



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, July 6, 2012

Catacombs: A Tale of the Barque Cats by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Scarborough




This is apparently a story that is part of a larger series. The protagonists are all cats with some sidebar humans. This story returns the Barque Cats to their normal environment.
This book needs more back story. I felt like I had started on page 150 and had no way to get caught up. The story really never caught my interest and I am truly fond of anthropomorphism.
The cats see humans as some what dull servants which actually seem pretty much the way my cats always treated me. I found that aspect quite believable. I was disappointed overall as I could never get into the book. Sad to say I found it shallow and I have many books by McCaffrey and Scarborough. I am sure I have never characterized a book by either as shallow.
Die hard cat lovers will and probably should read the book but for the rest of the world, it may not be their cup of catnip.
Body of work of Anne McCaffrey </a>



Monday, July 2, 2012

Winners of The Stephen Zimmer Trilogy



Fires of Eden eBook GiveAway 

June 23rd to July 1st, 2012

  Book One: Crown of Vengeance 

  Book Two: Dream of Legends 

 Book Three: Spirit of Fire 

 Winners are:

Anne from Toronto

Robin from Kentucky

Julie from ?

Congratulations!

Please come back frequently as I often have GiveAways
 Thank you Stephen Zimmer and Seventh Star Press for the books.
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, July 1, 2012

Ex-Kop by Warren Hammond




This book brings new meaning to gritty.  Set on Legarto, a planet with few resources and a failed economy, you can feel the despair.  An ex-cop finds his wife and life threatened by former friends and struggles with his own identity. 

Hammond truly creates an environment that makes your skin crawl.  I found myself looking for one of his ubiquitous towels to dry my head.   Periodically I found myself scratching or shooing away a gecko.   The scene is set with detail to the despair of the inhabitants.   

Juno is a protagonist in a major anti-hero pattern.   He is not a very nice person but Mr. Hammond leads you to believe that he is who he is for the sake of survival.   Juno as a protagonist is counter pointed by Maggie who is a breath of fresh air in a cesspool. 

This book is in the vein of the old Mickey Spillane type of hard nose detective except that Juno would eat Mickey Spillane’s lunch.  This is not a book for the faint of heart.  The language and depictions of deprivation are graphic and detailed.  They do fit the story line and thus in my opinion are not just gratuitous displays of violence.   I will be reading the next in the series, it does captivate.  I want to know what will happen next, although this stands alone quite well.   

I must commend Hammond for his inclusion of a back story.  Too often a 2nd or successive book leaves you wondering how things got to where they are.   He makes it clear how Juno got to where the story begins. 
I recommend it.

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" >Warren Hammond </a>
Web Site: http://warrenhammond.net/


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