Andy and Tina by Gideon Marcus. Andy and Tina are two Soviet cosmonauts caught in a continuing deception by theirUneven Anthology of Alternate History
Andy and Tina by Gideon Marcus. Andy and Tina are two Soviet cosmonauts caught in a continuing deception by their government. Lots of feelings on the part of Tina, the viewpoint character, but precious little action or decision.
The Matthew by Christopher Edwards. The Matthew is a ship which (in this version of history) took Christopher Columbus' brother to the New World under the auspices of Henry VII of England. Most of the narrative is taken up with the complicated political manuevering between the nations of Europe. Lots of tell, not much show.
The Emperor of the North by Rob Edwards is a tale of an alternate ice age coming upon us, and Finland's attempts to cling to habitability. The characters are as interesting as short story characters get, but the plot twist isn't much of one.
The Accused by Casia Courtier is a story of a girl accused of witchcraft in some future puritannical society. I found it to be unconvincing virtue signalling, and the ending deus-ex-machina
The Fairy Courts by Jeff Provine tells of a Victorian age in which fairies of various sorts are real and have been captured into a menagerie. Moderately interesting viewpoint character, but the plot demonstrates a flaw in the concept - were it that easy to set them loose to such damage, what would the world in which they live be like?
The Dust In The King's Library by Cindy Tomamichael was a ray of sunshine. A tale starting from a supposition that George III of England was cured of his ailments and sponsored scientific research, and the effects upon the future.
Pillars Of The Past by Brent A Harris is basically a melodrama that convinced me of nothing so much as that the author doesn't understand what causes political revolution or why tactics are tailored to fit a situation.
1969: A Space Oddity by Jessica Holmes is a tired moon-landing conspiracy trope.
Lueger's Wager by Bonnie Milani is a different take upon the notion of what if you could prevent Hitler from doing what he did.
Under Pressure by Leo McBride is a pleasant little whodunnit revolving around an underwater colony
The Goose's Wing by Daniel Bensen tells the tale of a 'Connections' type television personality trying to tell the tale of how gliders altered the path of the world he lives in starting in Andalusian Spain. I thought it interesting enough.
The characters are the star of this book, the plot of which could almost be lifted from a twelfth century passion plaGood interplay between characters
The characters are the star of this book, the plot of which could almost be lifted from a twelfth century passion play. They are all well defined characters who do the things they do for reasons which are or become apparent over the course of the book. Nobody steps out of the character they really are in order to advance the plot. The research into the infernal is mostly good, although there are a couple of surprising holes.
The reader should be aware there are some explicit descriptions of sex acts - this book is not advised for anyone who is not an adult. In my opinion, it would be a better story if the author used the sexual chemistry less and other mechanisms for achieving the same end more, but it's a worthwhile and enjoyable story as it sits....more
Really having difficulty deciding on a rating. I'm going to settle on three stars because it feels more honest to me, but there's a case to be made foReally having difficulty deciding on a rating. I'm going to settle on three stars because it feels more honest to me, but there's a case to be made for four.
This book is a series of vignettes, all on the same theme. It's a theme I agree with, but it gets old well before the book is over. It just keeps hitting the same notes over and over again. There were at least a couple opportunities to expand the story, but they are bypassed without a second thought.
The main character is a nobody slacker. He never changes, he never grows, and his final fate is fairly appropriate to the non-entity he has devoted his existence to becoming.
The writing is interesting enough - there are a couple of vignettes that show real talent, most notably the battle with the mouse and the aftermath - but neither the characters nor the plot develop any. The mouse battle and aftermath would be a pretty good standalone short - but as a component of this book it's wasted. By the time I got to it, I was frustrated at the lack of anything resembling real plot or character development.
I'm likely to buy and read more of the author at some point, but this is a disappointment. ...more
There might be the kernel of a decent story here, but it was so disjointed neither my wife or I could finish it.
First, it needs a proofreader. I can fThere might be the kernel of a decent story here, but it was so disjointed neither my wife or I could finish it.
First, it needs a proofreader. I can forgive occasional typos and mistakes, but there were so many of them it became distracting.
Second it needs a story editor. There was not one character I sympathized with. The main protagonist is abused in a cartoon-like fashion, and characters change without warning, not to mention the author badly needed some knowledge of how pre-power technology farming and farming communities work.
The action scenes were disjointed, and often non-sequiturs. Ten against one is a heroic fight if the one can even come close to pulling it off - instead at least seven of the ten mysteriously have no method of being removed from the fight visible to the reader.
I don't like writing reviews like this. I would encourage this author to revise the story and try again....more
This is a coming of age story set in an alternate version of early twentieth century San Francisco in a world where inhuman creatures such as vampiresThis is a coming of age story set in an alternate version of early twentieth century San Francisco in a world where inhuman creatures such as vampires and lycanthropes are real.
It took me some time to figure out that what the author intended was neither "The Perils of Pauline" nor a Wooster and Jeeves type story, as there are elements of both here. The protagonist is Helena Brandywine, a sheltered little rich girl whose main issue is nobody has ever really held her to the same standards as everyone else, which is a pity (and appears likely to be remedied in future volumes of the series) because she's game to work and wants to make a difference. You can't help but like her, no matter how helpless she appears because she wants so badly to improve things. At one point, she's asked to make a major personal sacrifice and agrees almost without hesitation in order to rescue some people she believes need the help. It's not that she's unwilling, it's that her guardians and keepers have, for reasons of their own, kept her sheltered from the world (the title of the story is a fairly obvious euphemism for something else). So when she goes haring off here and there on wild goose chases only tangentially relevant to her self-appointed mission, it's because she doesn't know any better, not because she's incapable of making a coherent plan. Her primary foil is a police detective who actually possesses the skills she finds herself desiring, including a worldly knowledge such as only someone who's had his face rubbed in the ways of the world can possess. She wants to be Sherlock Holmes; he actually comes fairly close to being Sherlock Holmes.
Most of the supporting cast are at least reasonably distinct characters, and although the plot reflects some of Ms. Helena's present scatterbrained nature, it does come to a coherent conclusion. Although it's something of a 'to be continued', I didn't mind as I think I'm going to keep reading the series.
I give Pretty Waiter Girls a solid seven out of ten rating. By Amazon standards, a four star review....more