Science fiction can be a very mixed bag. It's not my favorite genre, mainly because when authors bring in starships, space battles, and futuristic troScience fiction can be a very mixed bag. It's not my favorite genre, mainly because when authors bring in starships, space battles, and futuristic tropes, characters seem to disappear from the stories. Luckily, Justin Macumber doesn't skimp on characters in favor of technology or world building.
The story has many different plot lines that ultimately intersect into spectacular conflict. Cyborg-soldiers who were sent off to destroy humanity's greatest enemy were all but forgotten and faded into mere legend. However, those soldiers were still fighting their war decades later. At the moment of triumph, they suffered the greatest defeat of all--turned into machines to slaughter humanity.
A single soldier manages to escape and attempts to warn the human systems of the impending danger. In the process, a young man and his mother become wrapped up in the fight to save humanity while warring with two different governments and pirates.
Haywire is a story about a young man coming of age and learning to use powers that both frighten and exalt. His transformation from a relatively self-centered teenager into a savior of humanity is striking. Not only are the characters likable and realistic, the way they interact with their world of high technology is fascinating.
Macumber has not only created a great world of lore and science, but he has set up a universe I wish to visit again....more
Characters are far more interesting to me than the stories they might be in. A good character can make any book worth reading, so long as sloppy writiCharacters are far more interesting to me than the stories they might be in. A good character can make any book worth reading, so long as sloppy writing doesn't get in the way. When I read a story told in first person, a character's voice is even more important to me. Without a good cadence and personality, a first person narrator can completely destroy a good story.
Edward Lorn's "Life After Dane" has a compelling, empathetic first person narrator that has one hell of a voice. Ella Peters is an older woman, mourning the execution of her psychopathic son. But she's not just mourning his passing--she's mourning his past.
Raised in a home of violent abuse, both physical and verbal, Dane Peters became a monster beyond anyone's control. Ella tells the story of how the boy was raised, her life with her brutal husband, and all the choices she didn't make that led to such an abusive childhood for her son.
Lorn's tale is a testament to battered wife syndrome as well as child abuse and is definitely not for the faint of heart. While Ella is sympathetic, despite her admissions of weakness, I found myself wanting to reach through the book and scream at her while she reveals her past. Her staunch refusal to protect her son in the past compounds the hypocrisy of her pious religious beliefs.
The book intermingles the stories of the past with the present as Ella encounters supernatural occurrences involving the presence of her dead son. Dane's spirit, for lack of a better term, aims to get revenge on those that made him what he became. While Ella tries to comprehend and explain away the incidents with her religious beliefs, Dane's restless presence begins another murder spree she is helpless to stop.
Ella's voice makes the book difficult to put down. I found myself reading pages of the ebook every time I had a brief moment of time in my busy day. The last fifty pages or so sped by like a good film, with well-written visuals and bone-chilling details. Only a talented writer like Mr. Lorn could write a long character piece like this that tells two stories--the mother's as well as her son's-- from a single viewpoint. It's a study in inhumanity and terrified apathy that readers won't soon forget....more
It's my book. So of course I think it's awesome. :P. BTW--the only reason this review exists is because I needed it in order to add a feature. GRRRR..It's my book. So of course I think it's awesome. :P. BTW--the only reason this review exists is because I needed it in order to add a feature. GRRRR... PLEASE POST HONEST REVIEWS!...more
Over all, this is a good book. As with the first Joe Ledger book, the narrative switched between 1st person and third person points of view. Perhaps tOver all, this is a good book. As with the first Joe Ledger book, the narrative switched between 1st person and third person points of view. Perhaps this is just a personal nitpick of mine, but can be a bit jarring. I completely understand the author's reasons for doing so, but it's still a difficult practice to wrap my head around.
The Dragon Factory presents a rather terrifying vision of a modern was using eugenics to "improve" humanity as well as twist natural evolution.
In many ways, the big reveal at the end of the book was expected although it still chilled my blood. Although certain ideas are rather retreads of other novels (including the "Boys from Brazil"), Maberry is not walking in their shadow. Instead, he reinvents.
My largest complain with the e-book is the crappy QA the idiot publisher did. I can only give this book 3 stars because the publisher left in typos, did not catch a large number of formatting mistakes including missing words, paragraph breaks and etc. As an author and creator of e-books, it remains a mystery to me why big publishers charge so much for their e-books and then give the audience such horribly cheap products.
Dear publisher: you should be f'ing ashamed of yourself....more
"Heart-Shaped Box" is a rather unique ghost story, if that's the right word for it. From the moment the protagonist, Jude, purchases a ghost from an a"Heart-Shaped Box" is a rather unique ghost story, if that's the right word for it. From the moment the protagonist, Jude, purchases a ghost from an auction site, his life and his lover's are turned into a carnival show that includes the constant appearance of a tall man dressed all in block with x's over his eyes. The figure waits in chairs. The figure appears in hallways. The figure is always there.
As Jude begins to guess to the ghost's true owner and the reason it's haunting him, the reader discovers Jude's past as a rock star and his penchant for throw-away girls. But the actual reason for the haunting and the motive behind the constant psychic assaults on his sanity are a welcome surprise.
The characters stayed with me after the novel and as a writer, I have to say I greatly admired the way Hill not only told the story, but the general flow and description.
If you've not read a Joe Hill novel, you've no idea what you're missing out on....more
This book is an example to all writers of how to write. Hill does a superb job of mixing in magical realism while probing the minds and hearts of threThis book is an example to all writers of how to write. Hill does a superb job of mixing in magical realism while probing the minds and hearts of three characters. Iggy, the protagonist, is portrayed with such honesty that it reminded me of Stephen King's own characters from "The Body."
I think it's wrong to call this a horror novel. Instead, I would call it magical realism with a bit of the macabre. While it has its moments of gore and violence, it's more of an in-depth study of the sins we hide from ourselves, the people we are behind our public masks, and the lengths we will go to for love and vengeance.
I can't wait to read another of Hill's books....more
Quite possibly the most exciting of the Dresden series in a long time. The book ends in such a way that I immediately wanted to get the next in the seQuite possibly the most exciting of the Dresden series in a long time. The book ends in such a way that I immediately wanted to get the next in the series, but I wasn't willing to fork out $14.99 to the publisher for a freakin' ebook. Highly recommended though....more
Quentin Barnes has been through a lot of hell in his life, but "The All-Pro" definitely sends him through several different hells he'd never imagined.Quentin Barnes has been through a lot of hell in his life, but "The All-Pro" definitely sends him through several different hells he'd never imagined.
In the middle of fighting to get his team to the playoffs, Quentin has to deal with internal team politics, crime-lord manipulations, as well as evaluation of his decisions and ideals. It's a hell of a good book and it certainly foreshadows what's to come in the series.
I have only two complaints: The kindle edition had many typos. The ending leaves you hanging by your toenails.
I can't wait for Sigler to put out the next one....more
In typical fashion, Butcher puts our favorite wizard protagonist through utter hell. This book sets up a future adversary that will no doubt span manyIn typical fashion, Butcher puts our favorite wizard protagonist through utter hell. This book sets up a future adversary that will no doubt span many of the next novels.
We do discover some things about other wizards of the high council that were previously unknown, and for that alone, I'd say this book is well worth it. I'm a big fan of the Dresden series and as usual, Butcher didn't fail to entertain. I couldn't put down the last 120 pages....more
The Starter is the sequel to Scott Sigler's The Rookie. The GFL universe takes place in the far future where football has become an interspecies sportThe Starter is the sequel to Scott Sigler's The Rookie. The GFL universe takes place in the far future where football has become an interspecies sport. The series follows Quentin Barnes, a quarterback in the GFL, through football seasons against the backdrop of a fascist empire that has forced many of the galaxy's races into subjugation.
Instead of merely focusing on football, Sigler examines racism, economic instability, slavery, politics, CRIME, and, of course, the off-field antics of professional athletes. Its essence is action surrounded by beautiful descriptions of terrifying alien races, their planets, and technological advancement.
Sigler has done a great job of making hard sci-fi and football accessible to all audiences. I highly recommend both The Rookie and The Starter and cannot wait for The All-Pro to come out later this year....more
First person narrators work best when they have their own voice. When that voice is full of snark, sarcasm, and irony, any tale can become a feast ofFirst person narrators work best when they have their own voice. When that voice is full of snark, sarcasm, and irony, any tale can become a feast of words and laughter. "Beat the Reaper" is an entertaining jaunt through one man's endless night in a hospital as he tries to save lives while hiding out from the mafia. It's a cracking good read and the author does a great job with his footnotes, providing medical and mafia esoterica as the author talks.
I look forward to trying out another of his offerings when available. Definitely recommend this....more