Required Reading

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Friday, November 30, 2018

Roar of Sky by Beth Cato

This is the final book in an excellent trilogy.  Call of Fire and Breath of Earth were the preceding volumes.  I would recommend reading them before reading this book.   This book wraps up the adventures of Ingrid, a geomancer, and her beau, Cy, an inventor.   

Cato does a good job of weaving social commentary into steam punk fiction.   Fenris has a secret and Cato makes it clear that a rigid societal structure can prevent an individual from reaching their potential.   Ingrid faces prejudice due to her skin color and her gender.   Cato makes it clear that talent should be seen and lauded regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

The story brings into play the ambitions of a adventuristic Japan with history as a guideline.  Theodore Roosevelt adds color to the story albeit in a minor role.   The fantastics, creature of imagination also add color and interest to the story.   

I enjoy Cato’s books and highly recommend this series and any other of her works. 

Deep RootsWings of Sorrow and Bone, The Deepest Poison, The Clockwork Crown and The Clockwork Dagger are all worth reading.  Click on the titles to go to my reviews.



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, November 25, 2018

The Valley of Shadows by John Ringo and Mike Massa


This is actually a prequel to an excellent series about a zombie apocalypse. The Smith family is introduced and their background is provided to explain many of the following books. In this instance is the political interplay of all the parties in New York City at the advent of the zombie apocalypse.
The authors do a nice job illustrating the inability of people in political positions to play well with others. We aren't currently in a zombie apocalypse but the interplay between bodies of government and elected officials with the public has some similarities to a zombie apocalypse.

Having read a substantial part of the previous books which actually take place after this book I really enjoyed finding out the motivations of the characters and how they became who they were in the later books.

You'll find plenty of action and entertainment regardless of whether you read any of the other books in the series and it read well as a stand-alone.


I enjoyed the book and recommended

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, November 20, 2018

The Storm by David Drake


The Storm by David Drake

Lord Pal is a warrior, a champion and a Maker.   He is unusual as most Makers are not warriors.  He is also unique in he is modest.   As a Champion he is expected to defend the Commonwealth.  This book details his travels doing just that.

Drake creates another environment in this book.   There are nodes of normalcy surrounded by waste.  The nodes are connected by roads which need to be traveled by those who can see it.   Lord Pal can see through the eyes of his dog.   Dogs appear to be able to travel and guide those who travel the road.   The adventures Lord Pal has are interesting and have a fair amount of action. 

The humble nature he exhibits is contrary to the norm of Champions or Lords.  He is in love with Lady May and finds relationships confusing.   A Maker is one who can see the connections apparently and the molecular level of the tools of the ancients.   Makers can recreate what they can sense in the tools of the Ancients. 

As confusing as this sounds it read easily and entertainingly.

I recommend it.


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, November 15, 2018

Denver Moon:The Minds of Mars by Warren Hammond and Joshua Viola



Sometime in the future, Mars has been settled and is undergoing terra forming.  Denver is a private eye who finds herself in a family nightmare.   Her dead grandfather is communicating with her.

I enjoyed the characterizations of the AIs.   Looking at Alexa and Google and one has to wonder how soon this science fiction will be reality.   I’ve been a scifi fan for 60+ years and so much of what I read is  now reality.   The book appears to be a vehicle for setting up a series.  It left a lot of loose ends to lead to another story.

The status of self-aware beings brings up questions that led to our own civil war and slavery.  

There was action and colorful adventure, I enjoyed 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.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Black Triumph by Brendan DuBois


This is the sequel to Dark Victory.  Sgt. Randy Knox is back and so is his K9 companion, Thor.  They are still fighting Creepers, the alien invaders that look like scorpions.   Randy has to face both personal and professional obstacles.   He thought the Creepers were defeated but….

The author does a good job showing the vulnerability of teens as well as their resilience.   The Creepers and their mission are explained but does that really change anything.  Randy is forced to rely on his hard-earned common sense.

Good action and some thought provoking soul searching provided to Randy.

A very good YA book that I enjoyed. 

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, November 6, 2018

November 6, 2018 GET OUT AND VOTE



Graphic from IVN (Independent Voter News)
Just Do It!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Saints: Monster Hunter Memoirs by Larry Correia and John Ringo


Saints: Monster Hunter Memoirs by Larry Correia and John Ringo

I am relatively new to the Monster Hunter series and I have to admit they are fun to read.  There is a general irreverence and specific suspicions as to the veracity and reliability of government.  This is description of Iron Hand AKA Oliver Chadwick Gardenier exploits in a monumental battle in New Orleans.

The authors show an acceptance of a wide variety of beliefs and faiths that merely accompany an action enhanced plot.  It is also shown the belief that as soon as the government gets their fingers in a pie that you may as well throw out the pie and start over.  The broader than reality brush used sometimes lulls the reader into missing the philosophic lessons the authors are providing.

On the other hand, you can ignore all the nuances and just enjoy a rousing shoot’em up.

I enjoyed the book and I have enjoyed the series.



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