I just love a good SciFi novel, especially when there are gadgets and implants, wetware, soft ware, etc., along with a good strong intense female lead...moreI just love a good SciFi novel, especially when there are gadgets and implants, wetware, soft ware, etc., along with a good strong intense female lead. I'm not crazy about the almost out of control temper on this particular woman, but she's not my best friend or family member, so it's all just part of a good story. Except in the place where I'm rolling my eyes because she's a little quick to lash out with her temper, when she's supposed to be a highly trained soldier....but - it's all story line. To be fair, I do find my self rolling my eyes at many random things lately - maybe I'm just cranky. ;)
In this book, Deviana - aka Devi - has signed on to a ship that is well known as an illfated ship to be on. She signs on to it, because she's too impatient to rise up the ranks and be noticed for an elite position in an elite kings' guard position. This position just about backfires on her.
She ends up almost dying a few times, has some adventures and falls for this cook who seems to be more than your average cook. In fact, everyone on this ship is a little more than appears.
I enjoyed the characters - except for the stereotypical almost sexist co-mercenary who has signed on at the same time. I would hope that by the time any civilization gets into space, and terraforms many planets that the usual male looking down on female coworkers would have been on the down swing; what with evolution, the fact that there are many females in the armies, etc. I would hate to think that we could possibly go thousands of years and still be dealing with males pulling the whole cock of the roost thing. But - then Devi wouldn't have been able to show off her macho state of being, her toughness, and her armor. (Wink)
Aside from that, I enjoyed the story along with the strange characters on the ship. I like the universe and other beings that Bach as written into the story. The backgrounds of each race are interesting - you have to read to appreciate....
Even the Doctor of the ship is of a being that are usually known to humans as a warring race, and Devi almost shoots the navigator before they are introduced. The doctor in fact, is one of my favorite characters.
There are some fun plot twists in this novel - one of three so far. (novels, not plot twists). There is a romance that is nipped almost before it starts, unrequited love, friendships where Devi never expected to find friendships, mysterious crew and captain, a ship raid or three that they barely survive, and some freaky deaky stuff that goes on.
I am looking forward to reading the next in the series - and according to some of the other reviews, book three is even more intense than the first two. wow.(less)
What a fun concept - just the title alone is enough to make me want to grab this book. If the title wasn't enough, then the story by one of my favorit...moreWhat a fun concept - just the title alone is enough to make me want to grab this book. If the title wasn't enough, then the story by one of my favorite up and coming writers did the trick.
The Baron and the Firebird by J.A. Campbell pulled me back into the world of fairy tales, only this one has more of a bite, (haha). A Russian Baron - who happens to be a vampire, a mythical tree the bears magical cherries and a Firebird all come together for a sweet fairytale with a twist.
There are many other good stories within the pages of Happily Ever Afterlife. I haven't read all of them yet, but I'm working on it. (less)
backseat saints is the story of a young woman, raised in a dysfunctional family, with a mother who ran away seemingly abandoning her, who ends up in a...morebackseat saints is the story of a young woman, raised in a dysfunctional family, with a mother who ran away seemingly abandoning her, who ends up in an abusive relationship.
backseat saints is the story of the roll this young woman plays in her abusive marriage and how she finally accepts the fact that if she stays, she's going to end up dead.
backseat saints is the story of how she finally changes her life and how family cares for each other, even though it might not be in the best way. It's about forgiveness and hate.
It's a very hard hitting book. Very striking. I recommend it, it's very good reading, even though some parts may by hard to read.(less)
If you haven't yet read Dust, then Chill isn't going to make much sense. It's still doable, but it's better to read Dust first. The second in a trilog...moreIf you haven't yet read Dust, then Chill isn't going to make much sense. It's still doable, but it's better to read Dust first. The second in a trilogy - Jacob's Ladder trilogy- Chill takes off right where Dust ended. The aftermath of a great battle... but you need back ground. Too bad you're not going to get a lot of back ground from me -- you really need to read the book to get the most out that you can. See, I'm not sure I got everything out of the book that I could. But here's a start...
The generation ship - Jacob's Ladder, has been recently saved from hundreds of years of orbiting a dying star. Using a dangerous combination of events, the newest captain has managed to begin a journey to find a planet for the inhabitants of this ship to colonize. this is something that was planned long ago, though the plans to colonize seem to have been delayed. The original ship dwellers are mostly all gone - there are some who have been around for a few hundred years, but even they don't know all there is to know of the beginnings of the flight; they don't know the complete story to how the ship ended up stranded and orbiting in a dying system for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, though the ship is now traveling, it's also continuing to fail at an even faster rate.
The inhabitants: this is where I believe the SciFi merges with some fantasy elements - whether the author planned this or not, it's how I see it. There are some strong SciFi elements; bio-engineering, computer programs merging with humans; computer programs turned into artificial intelligence turned into "angels"; elite family members with special gifts such as wings, the ability to sense things and converse telepathically with the AI. The background of this book is rich with details of all types.
The support staff of the ship are divided according to the systems they work in - here is where I show how much I don't remember terms, so I'll just describe. The engineering section is one family, the kitchen/life sustenance is another. there is life support, and the ruling class - the Conn's who are not the nicest people in the world. And the ship itself - it's vast. Vast enough to contain seasons, fields and holdings resembling fiefdoms of yesteryear. I cannot do this book and all the details justice.
So, I skip to the storyline. In Dust (Jacob's Ladder #1), we meet Perceval, Rien, Mallory, Gavin, Tristen and Benedict - among a few others. In Chill, Perceval is now Captain of the ship. Two of the enemy angels have warred - with one clear winner. Each ship system had its own Angel, and one Angel was ambitious enough to take over and absorb the other angels, trying to effect a change that would save the ship. Because of this, Perceval's new found love - Rien, is now part of the computer system/angel. Perceval is angry, and trying to adjust.
And even though the war is "over" it's not really over. The ship is losing valuable resources almost faster than damaged areas can be fixed. Tristen (one of the uncles) and Benedict (one of the other uncles) have gone on separate and parallel quests to find out what's going on, and to try to fix the problems. Unfortunately one of the Aunts - Arianne, seemingly captured, has escaped and has some plan she's been putting into action. Mallory - a necromancer who looks like a man and a woman, but who claims to be a woman - is helping. Mallory has the memories of hundreds, if not thousands of previously living people in his ....memory banks. His sidekick is a metal bird, called Gavin who seems to have the memories of one of the other Aunts. This aunt was a sorceress - (you see where I get the fantasy along with the SciFi?)
It sounds confusing as hell, but when you're reading it, you just fall into the story, and the details unfold as you read along. The details as well as the rich surroundings, and the fantastical mix of science and fantasy, computer programs and magic. It's a hell of a mix, ending in a hell of a story.
Another merging of factions is the female vs male, hetero vs homo sexual - only it really isn't a versus type of thing, it's more of a mixture. Sexuality, and even male/female presence is more of an afterthought, or even better - a blending of ideals. For example, as an exalt (the elite members of the family) one can choose to be sexual or asexual. Perceval had chosen to be asexual until she fell in love with Rien, and even then though she really wanted to marry this woman, she wasn't concerned with a sex life, more of a merging and spending a life with her loved one. Mallory - not quite male or female, is with either sex. It's as if an ideal future for the sexes was being described here - a world where people are allowed to love as they will, with no judgement or spotlight. The sexual preferences just ... Are.
Good story, with the promise of more with the third of the series - Grail. I enjoyed the dialogue, the inner thoughts and the lush descriptions of everything from the ship's different sections to the animals and fauna within the ship, and all the different people. It all combines into one hell of a story.(less)
James Decker - aka James Knapp - can write one hell of a good story.
First of all, let me remind y'all, it's been almost a year since I read The Burn Z...moreJames Decker - aka James Knapp - can write one hell of a good story.
First of all, let me remind y'all, it's been almost a year since I read The Burn Zone. There are times when I read a book yet even though I am so impressed by it, I will delay writing a review for NO Good Reason. I read this long ago, and when I finished it, it kept echoing in my mind. That's a pretty good book. Now let's see if I can remember enough to write a coherent review.
Set in the future, and in Asia, life has become...hard to live. Most of the masses are living hand to mouth, eating some kind of nutrient cake made of some kind of insect byproduct (gross, right?). One of the reasons people are so poor and food challenged, is that a huge spaceship landed in a section of a city, instantly killing millions of people - and one of the results is a treaty between the nation and the spaceship occupants to divert a percentage of food to the aliens as well as provide women surrogates for their young. It's complicated, and much more to the story, but the Haan (the aliens) are supposed to be fragile.
So - there are people who tolerate the Haan, and others who would rather seem them disappear. This plays a part later in the story.
One of the women taking part in the incubation/foster - Sam Shao has started life out in difficult circumstances. Seems there are these meat providers who aren't particular about what kind of meat they provide - she was saved at the last minute by a cop, who later adopted her. When the story starts, she's been living with him for a while, he's away on a trip, and she's just coming home and is taking care of her haan baby. He barely comes home when their apartment is raided, cops are there to arrest her father. Since she's been enhanced to sense the haan infant needs, she also is able to sense things about one of the cops - and it seems like this cop is actually a not so fragile Haan.
She escapes the raid, and is on the run for pretty much the rest of the book. One of her goals is to find her father, who has disappeared into the depths of ....where ever prisoners end up when they're so expedient. There's a conspiracy afoot.
Besides the main plot, Decker has weaved a pretty rich atmosphere - future gadgets, like motorcycles that can fly, space travel, air travel, computer whizzes, one who is a friend to Sam, a crowded city full of people who cannot be trusted and danger at every turn. Sam has to stay clear of meat slavers and from the police who seem to be able to find her wherever she goes. Despite seemingly hopeless odds, Sam begins to make a little headway into the mystery of why her father - a respected cop - is being accused of treason and where he ends up. She takes a huge risk attempting to rescue her father and finds way more than she ever dreamed. There's much more to the conspiracy than she suspected.
Everything about this story works - the setting, the aliens, the creepy people, the disgusting black market human meat thing, the dialog, betrayal.....it's all packaged in a hell of a novel. The cover notes that it's part of the Burn Zone series, so I am hoping to read more of this story. A very enjoyable and at times disturbing read.(less)
Perdition is the first book in over two months that I've been able to read in a matter of days. I started it two days ago, and finished reading it las...morePerdition is the first book in over two months that I've been able to read in a matter of days. I started it two days ago, and finished reading it last night. (Yeay!!!!!) seriously, I thought I was never going to finish reading another book (que dramatica)
So. Based on my absolute love for the Sirantha Jax series, I picked this up because it's set in the same universe. I thought it was going to feature a woman that Jax had met while she was in prison, but I was wrong. Perdition is set at least forty years (turns?) in the future, and while the woman is different from who I thought, there is a character from the past Jax years. Jael, who I had a hard time remembering....He turned on Sirantha and co. way back on Ithiss Tor and he's still alive because he's hard to kill, for reasons you will discover if you read this.
Basic story - Dred is the Queen Dread or Dread Queen of ....yes, Queensland. She's been assisted to the dubious throne by Tam, a spymaster who is serving time on Perdition. Perdition is a prison ship that is inescapable - if one is sentenced to Perdition, you're basically sentenced to life imprisonment and to die there. She's a hard woman, who has murdered and is serving her time.
Jael is an incoming prisoner - who has abilities and issues. He's been sentenced to Perdition to keep him out of the way and accessible - though I don't know how accessible one can be on a prison ship where prisoners and supplies are simply dropped off, seemingly automatically. Anyway, he's recruited by Dred. On Perdition when prisoners are dropped off they are recruited by one of many sectors of prisoners, some are way worse than others.
Perdition - while populated with crazed murderers, political prisoners and many characters - none of whom are nice people - still reads a bit like a romance story. Two people meet, bad backgrounds, baggage and history that makes them wary of others must learn to trust each other and accept love.... sound familiar? yes. A romance with (thankfully) a very different background and none of those misunderstood faux-criminals. All these people have really done bad things. Very bad. The story was intresting, the background and setting interesting and the characters were very interesting. The details are what made it good enough for me to end up reading this one straight through. So, good book, even though it was basically a romance with a SciFi criminal twist.
Even though Dred is the Dread Queen of Queensland, it's a constant struggle to hold on to control - takes a lot of planning, watching and discipline. One of the problems Dred faces is two other sectors have decided to attack her's for more territory. So a mini war must be waged, and Dred has to decide who to trust, who to ally with and which moves to make. This is what makes for a good story.
Dialog was good, narration was interesting - Aguirre knows how to write a story. Only thing....(and this really is a minor complaint) I was expecting a voice kind of like Jax's - present first person, but Perdition is written in regular third person - still a good book. (less)
Oh! wow. What a fun collection of stories. Full of steampunk goodness. From the mosquitos (shudder) to the strange happenings in a harbor/bay, to the...moreOh! wow. What a fun collection of stories. Full of steampunk goodness. From the mosquitos (shudder) to the strange happenings in a harbor/bay, to the town that was taken over by the Company (and the woman fighting this) to the submarine used for a section of the underground "railway" to the Assassin who adopts a....well, you have to read it.
J.A. Campbell has put together a very interesting, engaging and entertaining collection of stories that will have a little something for everyone's tastes. Each writer featured wrote a story that featured good dialog, fun plots, and some twisted action. Twisted is good, twisted is interesting. I love twisted stories. One of my new favorites was also featured - Carl, the dinosaur, who was also in Science Fiction Trails; a feature titled Carl's Corner (I hope I spelled it right, Karl vs Carl - I don't have the book right in front of me) where a dinosaur gives his opinion on the subject of the day, in this case how dragon's taste and who would win in a showdown.
Anthologies and story magazines are becoming a favored read of mine - it's good to be able to grab something to read and to read a short story that's full of "flavor". I'm looking forward to more issues of Steampunk Trails, which I'm sure will contain lots of good reading by many good authors.(less)
In keeping with my new policy of reading Y/A books on a more regular basis I happily opened up this novel to read. And though it took me longer to rea...moreIn keeping with my new policy of reading Y/A books on a more regular basis I happily opened up this novel to read. And though it took me longer to read than it should have (not at all the fault of the author's writing, but because I shared the book, leaving it at a location where another person and I could read it in turns) I enjoyed reading this story.
Imagine that Frankenstien's Monster, and the Bride of Frankenstein got together and had a son...er....made a son. What would they do to keep said son safe? Live underground?
Literally - they live underground, within a community of a variety of monsters, most of whom never see daylight or go out in public among the humans. But to keep money coming in, they put on a show - a kind of Broadway or old-style variety show, the main attraction is Medusa, who can freeze one with a mere look, paralyze people with fear and other feelings.... This is where Boy's dad comes in. He disconnects from his emotions and handles Medusa among other duties. But that is a small part of this story.
Boy gets a chance to go outside with the leader of their community, and enjoys it more than he thought he would. His life hasn't been too great anyway at the commune - his parents and him are at the bottom of the small society, ridiculed by the other monsters, who are themselves afraid of going out and living among humans. (there's a moral in there, somewhere. an ironic moral)
Boy also has a crush on one of the Trowes (think lithe troll with panther like moves)... Anyway - long review made short...
Boy leaves the compound, gets a job and starts blending in as a severely scarred human. Only there's this computer code he's been working on that has come back to haunt him, and his crush shows up, things to to hell, Boy ends up on the run, there's a road trip and a new friend/budding romance, danger, enlightenment, personal growth....
And there's some pretty good lessons in the book, not even disguised - straight up lessons - Boy even says so himself. Which is a good way to acknowledge lessons learned in a story - nothing like trying to trick a teen into learning something.
I found the book mostly enjoyable.
Boy's voice didn't really sound much like a teen, which could be either because the writer isn't a teen or that Boy isn't your average teen.
There are many cameos of just about any mythical monster you can name, as well as pop culture monster with some interesting takes on these legends.
It was a fun read with mostly believable dialog and a satisfactory ending.(less)
I don't think I've read anything quite like this. It isn't quite your usual SciFi, or Fantasy novel. Or Urban Fantasy. All the characters are young, p...moreI don't think I've read anything quite like this. It isn't quite your usual SciFi, or Fantasy novel. Or Urban Fantasy. All the characters are young, people don't live very long in this new dystopian world, but in this novel we have war veterans who are only 16 years old, and that's a little hard to take in. Whatever, I didn't let that really sink in, I just kept reading...
The entire world is frozen, and there's a lot of poverty as well as excess spending in places like New Vegas. Even though there's tech, it's weird, because no one quite knows how to invent new tech, or fix things....or at least not many people do. New Vegas is fenced in - either they're keeping people in, or keeping things out. Just try leaving....
Main character - Nat - is working in New Vegas as a dealer. She's trying to stay under the radar, because she is one of the "marked" - a person born with a mark who has special powers. She's been able to work undetected for a while, kind of biding her time until suddenly the opportunity to leave, get out of New Vegas presents itself. The whole time she's been alive, she's been trying to ignore this voice in her mind that keeps trying to tell her to do these things, not always good things. It's not always bad things, more like being guided to survive at any cost.
She hires a young ex-soldier, Wes, to act as her guide to a mythical place that actually has blue skies, warmer weather, clean blue water, and is more like the old earth. No one believes this place actually exists, and yet every once in a while people try to find it. They usually come to a bad end. There are people who take advantage of those who try to leave, people who con them, people who turn them in to the government.... And Wes used to work as a soldier. He's been trying to keep a small group of other ex soldiers alive and eating, and it's tough when you don't really want to take some of the shadier jobs on offer.
Frozen tells the story of how Nat and Wes end up traveling together and touches on betrayal, friendship, slavery, danger and redemption. There's a very interesting mix of "monsters" - there are beings that seem like zombies, but aren't. There is a weird wasteland that is covered with garbage - garbage that seems to have a life of it's own. There's also the very poisoned ocean, which has toxic waters, filled with barges of towering garbage mounds that seem to have mutated. It's a wonder that people can even exist in this world.
I think de la Cruz and Johnston wrote an interesting novel with some very interesting characters, villians and monsters (or other beings). They touch a bit on slavery, slow starvation and some social issues without things seeming like you're reading a lecture or treatise on what's wrong with the world, and at the same time the issues in the book do make you think about waste and the ecology. There's also a lesson to be learned about bigotry and acceptance, with the way the government seemed to steer people into hating the marked by blaming everything bad on the people who were marked.
The dialogue was good, the narrative was good enough to keep me reading - engaging. There didn't seem to be any of those long wordy info-dumps that can make me yawn.... Bottom line - I opened the book and read it in a 24 hour period. Lately, that's been rare for me.
AND.... Though there was a budding romance with a bit of kissing, there were no over the top make out sessions. All in all, a good book for a teen, young teen, and even for an older lady like me.(less)