I would love to say something extremely witty in my opening line for my review of Bill The Vampire. After all, it's been since June since I have posteI would love to say something extremely witty in my opening line for my review of Bill The Vampire. After all, it's been since June since I have posted a review and Rick Gualtieri has waited an unforgivable amount of time for it. I read Bill The Vampire months ago and i'm still freaking giggling about it. I don't giggle much. Laugh, well yah. A good deep giggle? Not too often, hence, I treasure anyone or thing that causes them.
Bill has been added to my favorite list and belongs there. Even though life circumstances kept me from writing, I kept Rick's book in the forefront of my mind as the first review I would write when it was possible.
Bill is a geek, as you can surmise from the book cover and summary to follow. Awkward, self-deprecating, and goofy. I connected. I have a huge crush on geeks of all types. There is no truer and more exciting group of people you will ever encounter. They are heart-felt and honest in their pursuit of all things labeled geeky and i'm one of them.
Rick Gualtieri get's it and his portrayal of an unlikely vampire is dead on, (pun intended). Smart and goofy, Bill takes us on his journey through a dangerous world of supernatural killers but stands back with the rest of us as we see hilarious stereotypes, vampire posers and a trashy heroine who treats Bill like crap, leaves him for food then uses him for her own purposes. Tramp with a heart of gold?
As characters are so important to me, I focused on all of them and was rewarded with unique and entertaining personalities from the vampire leader, Night Razor to his steriod-raged cronies, I was thoroughly involved and turning pages like the wind.
Bill The Vampire contains the mind of a geeky dude, the heart, mostly, of a street-tough vamp chick and the ego of a wannabe Vampire Master. A hilarious string of events when all are combined and an unexpected conclusion that has you cheering and giggling.
Book Summary: There are reasons we fear the night. He isn't one of them.
Meet Bill Ryder: programmer, gamer geek, and hopeless dweeb when it comes to women. All he ever asked for out of life was to collect his paycheck, hang out with his buds, and eventually (someday) ask out the girl of his dreams.
However, then Bill met Sally. She was mysterious, aggressive, and best of all...smoking hot. Bill never stood a chance. Before he knew what was happening Sally had lead him to his death, and that was only the beginning of his troubles.
Now Bill awakes to find himself an undead predator of the night. The only problem is he’s still at the bottom of the food chain.
He’s in way over his head, surrounded by creatures more dangerous, better looking, and a whole lot cooler than he is. Worst of all is the dreaded Night Razor, a master vampire who just can’t stand him. He gives Bill a 90 day deadline to either prove himself or meet a more permanent kind of death, and the deck is definitely stacked against him.
But Bill isn’t exactly average. A vampire like him hasn’t been seen in over five centuries. He's got a few tricks up his sleeve, unlikely allies to help him out, and an attitude problem that makes him just too damn obnoxious to quit. He may just pull it off... if he doesn't get his teeth kicked in first.
The first thing I noticed about Alison Wonderland was the contradictory reviews on Amazon. Now, I made sure not to read the actual reviews, a very bad The first thing I noticed about Alison Wonderland was the contradictory reviews on Amazon. Now, I made sure not to read the actual reviews, a very bad practice for reviewers in my opinion. (I am big on opinions, I know.) I did, however, notice the Star Ratings. Fours, twos, fives, threes... it was odd. Having corresponded through email with Helen Smith, I knew her to be articulate and very interesting so I was confused with the ratings I saw.
So I began to read. And read, read some more, remember I missed dinner, and read while I ate dinner. I was delighted! Helen Smith's writing style is enchanting in it's vibrant colors, neurotic characters and flamboyant plot-lines. It's like listening to that wonderful friend, the one who travels all over the world; wears bohemian mixed with designer clothing; has friends with yachts and still can't wait to regale you with her stories, talking non-stop into the night with bottles of wine piling up on your coffee table.
I can see where some would get confused if they tried to take the characters too literally and too seriously. Helen Smith is very clever in that she weaves many "Easter Eggs" into most aspects of the story. It's like falling into the rabbit hole and discovering brilliant people who aren't quit what you expect and scenes filled with double-entandre. I loved every minute of it.
Please do not misunderstand me, this is not a bizarro read in which nothing makes sense and you have to re-read every chapter to get it. In fact, it flowed for me and I became lost in the story. In fact, the story is very straight forward. (Smiles)
Alison Temple has hired an all woman investigative company. She wants to confirm that her husband is not cheating on her. She eventually becomes an investigator at that very office. Once she has become experienced her boss sets her on a very secret assignment and the adventure begins.
You will love her friend Taron who is just plain nuts and lovely. Her neighbor Jeff, who is madly in love with her, is an inventor of crazy but useful things. The relationships are refreshing and funny and believable.
This is a smart story. Fantastical and fun. A decadent read that I loved and strongly recommend to contemporary, urban fantasy, mystery and the curious! Just kick off your shoes, lay back and open your mind, then open the book.....
Here is the Summary from GoodReads but I warn you, it doesn't do it justice. When Alison joins Mrs Fitzgeralds Bureau of Investigation as a private detective, her new job takes her on a series of loosely linked adventures involving an abandoned baby, a transgenic animal and secret tunnels under The Thames. She travels from London to the seaside town of Weymouth and back again with her new best friend Taron, a girl with a hundred candle smile. But someone is betraying her. Is it Taron? Is it Jeff, the sweet-natured inventor who writes her poetry? Or are there darker forces at play? 'Only occasionally does a piece of fiction leap out and demand immediate cult status. Alison Wonderland is one.' The Times...more
Alan Ryker has become one of my all time favorite authors. His characters are some of the more 'realistic' people I've ever read. The people he writesAlan Ryker has become one of my all time favorite authors. His characters are some of the more 'realistic' people I've ever read. The people he writes about make sense to me given the circumstances they are faced with, as well as the type of life they have lived. The fact that Alan Ryker writes Horror, Speculative Fiction and Urban Fantasy adds to my enjoyment all the more.
Blood Tells True is the continuing story of Jessica Harris, first introduced to us in Burden Kansas, a most brilliant "Vampire-Western" that propelled Alan into my "Authors Are Rock Stars Hall of Fame". Jessica has lost her entire family to vampires. At just seventeen she has assumed the role of avenger and protector to a community which shuns her and is unaware that vampires exist. She has become hard, as hard as her uncle had been when he confronted these creatures. As hard as he had been in life. A loner with a brittle disposition that kept the small community at arms length and just as suspicious of him as they now are of Jessica.
Positive that Jessica was in some way involved with the tragedy that befell her family, even the seedy element in town are speculating. When a drug dealer with a grudge comes to town he vows to eliminate Jessica as a possible threat to him and his dealings.
What follows is a series of actions taken by this dealer and Jessica herself that threatens even more lives and Jessica knows that she is the only one that can stop the inevitable carnage.
The vampires are ugly, animalistic, and brutal. They are unorganized and avoid other vampires. They do not seek out high school girls to seduce nor do they 'blend' in with society to amass wealth and be thought of as handsome, beautiful and mysterious. They are freaks, monsters and without conscience.
Jessica is not a cute and curvacious coed who finds herself developing super strength and paranormal powers in which to fulfill a romantic destiny. Instead she is angry, guilt-ridden and obsessed with the slaughter of these creatures and is becoming sadistic as she begins to enjoy the challenge and thrill of the kill.
Blood Tells True is an all out showdown at sundown between a girl and a pack of remorseless monsters. Clint Eastwood with a ponytail versus vamps who do not shop at Old Navy, unless the salesgirl smells good.
Book Summary: One year ago, vampires killed Jessica Harris’s entire family, compelling her to become a vampire hunter in order to protect the small farming community that hates her.
Six months ago, a meth dealer put a price on Jessica’s head.
Two days ago, a hit-gone-wrong released a vampire more powerful than Jessica has ever known. A vampire she created.
Today, in pursuing her monster across the Kansas prairie, Jessica uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to wipe an entire town out of existence.
Tonight, she fights.
In his gritty Vampires of the Plains series, Alan Ryker takes vampires out of the cities and places them on the sun-bleached western prairie. Blood Tells True continues the Harris family saga begun in Burden Kansas, but is a complete tale that can be enjoyed on its own.
I am so impressed with this novel. As far as I know, and I have checked, this is a debut novel from Glen Hendrix. I have to stress DEBUT before I procI am so impressed with this novel. As far as I know, and I have checked, this is a debut novel from Glen Hendrix. I have to stress DEBUT before I proceed with the review because it will start to sound as if I am reviewing a well established Science Fiction writer. There is a tendency for reviewers to give overly optimistic review ratings because it is so very hard to give a lukewarm one to a writer you have been corresponding with. I do not do this even though it is very stressful for me. I shudder when an author reads a review I have written but I have to be honest in my opinion.
Having said all of that....Glen Hendrix is STELLAR! Glen Hendrix is my new best friend! I am now the official Glen Hendrix fan club President whether he likes it or not! OK, OK, review time....
Transmat World opens in Jakarta, 2045 A.D. Daniel Fulbright, a businessman is wrapping things up and getting ready to leave his hotel room for the airport. The world has been made aware of an asteroid that will pass close to Earth but will not strike and since this has happened many times before it is basically ignored. Daniel sees the asteroid skipping across the sky then a blinding flash which immediately tells Daniel that this asteroid did not miss. What ensues is a very realistic and frightening race for Daniel and a few others he has rescued to get to a safe haven Daniel thinks will survive the devastation the impact will cause. You are completely immersed in this scene. Glen Hendrix understands the consequences of this type of disaster and he uses that knowledge to great success. I was left reeling. Much to my surprise, we are then taken into the future of Earth and it's recovery from the asteroid. More importantly, we are introduced to Vince Miller as a college student and his brilliant father who invents a teleportation technology called Transmat. This amazing technology can do wonderful things for all types of applications but it also results in the downfall of any transportation business as well as others and eventually a crash of the world market. Vince and especially his father become hated but Transmat technology is bigger than any hate and Vince goes on to lead the company to even higher success including his dream to use Transmat to explore space and eventually find sentient life there.
Then the author sends us back hundreds of thousands of years into the past and millions of light-years from Earth to another society which is somewhat more advanced than us but a more brutal society geared towards the hunt of lesser species on their planet. Among these people, the Kolpak, is a hunter who has become bored with his prey and commissions a robot to be made to challenge him. Through a series of events, this robot has unintentionally been given freewill and the intelligence of it's creator. It gives itself a name, Maxlux, and decides it's his duty to stop all higher life forms that kill those less than them. Then Maxlux builds a ship, a really big one and decides to travel the universe in search of more civilizations to stop and Earth is in his path.
In Transmat World, Glen Hendrix creates a civilization of robots that are human-like with their intelligence and emotions. You follow them and their struggle to free themselves from Maxlux and his mission. You also see the history of Earth evolve as the leader of the freed robots tries to prepare our civilization to combat Maxlux. It is fascinating and very personal. In spite of it's far reaching timeline this book draws you in to the lives of human and robot alike. I became completely invested in the characters. More importantly, there is a lot of hard science in this story but Glen Hendrix made it approachable and completely interesting.
There is no way I can do this book justice with my limited writing skills. I can not stress enough how epic this novel truly is. I can compare it to the likes of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle with their brilliant books The Mote in God's Eye and Lucifer's Hammer which is the highest praise I can give.
Transmat World has been added to my all-time favorite books right alongside of those works of Niven and Pournelle. I cannot recommend this story enough.
Here is the book summary: Nine hundred thousand years ago in a galaxy right next door--the Greater Magellanic Cloud--an artificial intelligence is created to be a hunter’s prey. An accident produces a maniacal machine that destroys the civilization that created it and proclaims itself the Prime Mechanical and Supreme Arbiter of Known and Unknown Existence. With a space ship the size of the orbit of Mercury and an army of strikemechs, it prowls the Milky Way for sentient organics.
In the year 2045, the asteroid Isadora strikes off the west coast of Java, killing billions. Post-Hit Earth comes to realize the capricious nature of the cosmic weather forecast and begins to plan accordingly. Just when things are looking up, along comes Transmat (the first teleportation device) and the world's economy collapses. The inventor is assassinated, leaving his son, Vince, to deal with a planet that hates him and a fast-approaching Supreme Arbiter.
Book Summary: If everyone told you love wasn't real, would you still be willing to die for it?
Citizens of a six-moon system in our arm of4.5 STARS!!
Book Summary: If everyone told you love wasn't real, would you still be willing to die for it?
Citizens of a six-moon system in our arm of the Milky Way don't remember Earth, only the History of a generational worldship culture. In their multi-partner society a caste system rules tradition, but the governing body of the Embassy rules everything else. Obsessed with celebrity, beauty, and power, relationships and conceptions are based more on DNA than emotional ties...or should be.
What the citizenry can't escape are the human feelings of love and jealousy that turn the sterile to honorable suicide, force a couple to make the ultimate sacrifice, and allow rebels to spin their world into a violent revolution.
Ambasadora Sara Mendoza becomes the unwilling face of this revolution. Captured, tortured, and given a second chance at freedom, she proves that sacrifice for the man she loves is more honorable than sacrifice to a society's antiquated mores.
I just can't say enough good things about this book and this Author! The cover and summary doesn't do the actual story justice and I mean no offense by that. I just really expected an average Sci Fi Romance, which would have been fine because I love those. I got so much more! There is hard science fiction, so my geeky scifi heart was content. There is great action, so my adrenaline pumped and the romance kept me yearning until the last page. With Ambasadora, Heidi Ruby Miller creates a multi-genre read that fulfills the voracious reader in me. I just couldn't read it fast enough and I hated reading the last page. In fact, at times I turned the page before finishing it and had to go back. The characters are complex, which is a sticking point for me. The world-building is believable. The author doesn't assume her readers are of lower I.Q. so doesn't water down the science, neither does she talk over our heads. I will admit to needing some time in the opening scenes to wrap my mind around this new world but thank goodness because I love exploring new societies through reading.
I highly recommend this to Science Fiction, Action/Adventure, Fantasy and Sci Fi Romance readers!...more
Read this before I joined GR so Im gonna re-read soon and review. I do, however, remember I loved it and was bummed number 2 wasn't out yet. Thanks toRead this before I joined GR so Im gonna re-read soon and review. I do, however, remember I loved it and was bummed number 2 wasn't out yet. Thanks to Twitter, saw a thread on Gini Koch and moved this series up!...more
This was so much fun to read. As I started reading the first chapter I was kind of put off by the hero's first-person account. At first I wasn't sureThis was so much fun to read. As I started reading the first chapter I was kind of put off by the hero's first-person account. At first I wasn't sure why but as I continued to read I realized...OH, I'm a chick. You see, the hero is Owen Z. Pitt. He is an accountant and avid gun lover. He is a big guy and has trained in fighting techniques so when he describes the opening fight to the death scene it's all very macho.
On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.
Now, I didn't just wake up that morning and decide that I was going to kill my boss with my bare hands. It really was much more complicated than that. In my life up to that point I would never have even considered something that sounded so crazy. I was just a normal guy, a working stiff. Heck, I was an accountant. It doesn't get much more mundane than that.
That one screwed-up event changed my life. Little did I realize that turning my boss into sidewalk pizza would have so many bizarre consequences. Well, technically, he did not actually hit the sidewalk. He landed on the roof of a double-parked Lincoln Navigator, but I digress.
My name is Owen Zastava Pitt and this is my story. and...
Legs and heart pumping, I heard the door behind me crash off of its hinges. Not sparing the time to look, I yanked open the door to Finance and rushed through, trying to pull it closed behind me. The door slammed into Huffman's claws and muzzle. I tried in vain to close the door but he was far stronger than I was. He swiped his talons down across my chest, tearing cleanly through my clothing and into me. Pain. Unbelievable pain. Screaming, I fell on my back and activated the fire extinguisher, directing the spray into the werewolf's gaping mouth and eyes. The creature howled, reared up on its hind legs, and covered its face. I lashed out with my foot, kicked the creature in the ribs and knocked it back into the corridor. Scrambling to my feet, I pulled the door closed and locked it.
My chest burned from the lacerations. The injury looked bad, and blood was soaking across my shirt, but the pain was now just something throbbing in the background behind the wall of adrenaline rushing through my system. The hurt would come later. I had a monster to worry about right now.
Then I thought about the guys I work with and yes, they would speak the same way when telling a story like this.
The great news is as soon as I hit chapter two things began to flow for me. I really started liking Owen, I was intrigued by the situation he found himself in and excited for him to become a monster hunter.
The story just kept getting better. All the characters in this book were real to me. I loved the different personalities. The sarcasm and comraderie are fun to be a part of and best of all... the storyline is very strong. I was captivated and I enjoyed it so much that I'm reading the next installment very soon!
This is the second book in the Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. I really enjoyed the first book. I loved how a young and innocent gThis is the second book in the Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. I really enjoyed the first book. I loved how a young and innocent girl was thrust into the deadly games of politics where any wrong move could be met with her death as well as the death of her loved ones and shame for anyone associated with the name of her family the Acoma. In book one Mara is 17, becomes Ruling Lady of the Acoma facing powerful enemies with only 37 warriors to protect her and her hard to defend estate lands. Through cunning, the help of her beloved advisors and a quick grasp of the Games of Council, Mara outwits one of the five most powerful families in Kelewen. Survives attack and marriage with a violent man to restore lost honor to the Acoma. This book laid the foundation needed to understand this world and it's people. At the same time it was exciting and fun. I didn't feel like it was an introduction used to prepare for the rest of the trilogy and was absorbed at page one. Book two knocked my socks off. It starts right after book one ends and you fall seamlessly back into the world Feist and Wurts created. Not only that, the pace picks up and the stakes are raised even higher as Mara and the Acoma are faced with an even more ruthless enemy. Surprisingly, this conflict is no longer the center of the story. In a world steeped in tradition, the face of things begin to change. Life as the Empire knows it is torn apart by the effect of interaction with the 'Barbarian World Midkemia'. As Mara and the highest of rulers start to question tradition the resulting consequences are epic. We see our heroine, Mara, make decisions in haste that cause more conflict and we cannot predict how this story will play out. I was completely invested in this book. I could not put it down and I am anxiously looking forward to reading the third one. ...more
"Magic and murder engulf the realm of Kelewan. Fierce warlords ignite a bitter blood feud to enslave the empire of Tsuranuanni. While in the opulent I"Magic and murder engulf the realm of Kelewan. Fierce warlords ignite a bitter blood feud to enslave the empire of Tsuranuanni. While in the opulent Imperial courts, assassins and spy-master plot cunning and devious intrigues against the rightful heir. Now Mara, a young, untested Ruling lady, is called upon to lead her people in a heroic struggle for survival."
4.5! I am a sucker for this kind of story. Mara is 17 and thrust into the role of Ruler of the Acoma. She is an innocent of sorts since she was literally moments away from taking vows to renounce all worldly matters when tragedy struck.
The people, their traditions and surroundings remind me of centuries ago Japan. Honor of self and family is first and foremost and politics are 75% subtlety and 25% cunning. I loved it. Mara moves people around like chess pieces as she becomes more versed in the all important 'Games of the Council'. Left with most of her Honour Gaurd destroyed and no allies she must outwit seasoned warriors and diabolical rulers. I was entranced and hooked from the third page. I want to tell you so much more but i don't want to give anything away. The collaboration of Feist and Janny Wurts was brilliant....more
I've read reviews that contain complaints about the tension with Soviet Russia in the beginning of the book and the difficulty visualizing the 'world'I've read reviews that contain complaints about the tension with Soviet Russia in the beginning of the book and the difficulty visualizing the 'world' Greg Bear created. I can see where these things might turn some off. However, I remember the Cold War and it was freaking scary as hell. I remember the collapse of the USSR as being a wonderful surprise. I can hardly blame the author for not forseeing that. To me the tension and politics at the beginning of Eon are perfectly believable. It's fiction anyway. I may not have imagined the 'worlds' as Greg Bear wanted but what I did visualize was awesome. It filled me with wonder as the scientists discovered new worlds and new things within the environment the author created. These scientists from all over the world also learned about eachother and to me, that was cool too. Granted, I first read this at 16yrs but i recently re-read this and was just as entertained. I am a fan of Hard Sci Fi and will always love this story. ...more
**spoiler alert** Clever, very clever! Mr. Herbert knocked me out with this one. Read it in my late teens but made my immature mind think. And think..**spoiler alert** Clever, very clever! Mr. Herbert knocked me out with this one. Read it in my late teens but made my immature mind think. And think... A young family goes to London to look into a prime career offer for the husband. Wife and daughter get caught in an IRA bombing. Scientist husband takes revenge on Ireland and the world and ends up putting the Earth on the path for extinction.
The clever bit is when he decides to tour Ireland on foot in order to see 'ground zero' first hand. Breathtaking....more
Wow, read this years ago and remembered being intrigued, creeped out and challenged to understand and accept the main character. I was uncomfortable bWow, read this years ago and remembered being intrigued, creeped out and challenged to understand and accept the main character. I was uncomfortable but so impressed even that couldnt make me put this story down....more