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5/9/18 4:49 P

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The Gone World (Hardcover) by Tom Sweterlitsch

Impossible to put down!! Yes really, it's *that* good! I usually don't care for time travel tales as they usually seem to fall all over themselves with contradictory plot and storylines. No so this one! Also, it's compelling murder mystery, and solving it takes to the edge of space and time, and brings back some unimaginable evil.
The bad guys are very bad, but they are trying to stave off the extinction of Earth. Which they sort of, basically helped to create. The good guys are good, except when thy are bad, and our hero just never quits. No matter when she is busy getting the crap beaten out of her, or even when she finds herself in a lovely triste.
Anyway, you literally will not put this down until you finish, so pick it up now!

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5/8/18 12:19 P

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Disruption (Singularity's Children #2) by Toby Weston

Note: Because I bough the two book set from Amazon, I will review both in one statement here.
Very well done indeed! Both books have some fanciful turns, and a great cast of characters. The characters drive the plot, and are driven by it.
This is near future, and Earth is about what you expect. The Haves have and the Have Nots don't. And it gets worse by the day. But a few brave souls see to cross the threshold, but how much does that cost them? There is cause to celebrate, and cause to be distressed, and you are done before you know it!
So now I am not so patiently waiting for the third book!

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5/6/18 2:48 P

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Semiosis (Kindle Edition) by Sue Burke

Wonderfully constructed and cleverly written! When one of the main characters is a plant, that continues to evolve and grow thru the various generations, you know you are in for a treat.
I also enjoyed reading about each different generation's particular struggles, and the ways they were dealt with.


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4/29/18 11:49 P

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Burning Paradise (Hardcover) by Robert Charles Wilson

I don't generally read stories about alternate history. But I'm glad I read this one! The story is so very compelling, and beautiful in it's simplicity, even as it grows ever more complex. The plot draws you in quickly, but there you are.
The characters are compelling, and really do drive the plots. There are plenty of twists and turns and characters that evolve and grow. There are surprises both wonderful and tragic. I especially enjoyed the settings, and the places, and those cultures. And actually, our wonderful, American 2014 culture held a lot of questions.
I think this book is especially poignant today.

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4/29/18 11:39 P

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Blueshift (Kindle Edition) by Joshua Dalzelle

It was an interesting read. The premise was rather stretched thin, but the author did make do. The characters were all rather one dimensional, until they each evolved in whatever fashion. The plot was driven by circumstance and characters, but really was an interesting journey.
I enjoyed the various relationships of the crew members in this book, and they felt authentic. And when each of the crew started to go beyond his to her "norm" that was when he plot really did get going.
Yes, there are some continuity problems, but happily they are minor, but do detract. I'm thinking of how someone can be shot in the back, when they are advancing towards you.
Anyways, it's a fair read.

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4/24/18 9:24 P

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Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge (Kindle Edition) by Mike Resnick

Seven short stories that chronicle the end of Mankind, from it's beginning. If that sounds rather ambitious, it is! But the book is so well written, that you keep turning the pages. Each story does feed into the next one, and answers a lot of questions while not answering so many more. Yet, you do get context, and you can feel the history of that sacred place as the stories evolve. Beautifully done!

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4/24/18 9:18 P

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The Cloud (Paperback) by Ray Hammond

An interesting enough read. Set in the near future, but close enough to recognize the gizmos and what nots. The characters were pretty one dimensional, and the main plot was driven by thier various responses to a ginormous, installer cloud of gasses hurtling towards Earth. Which, as it so happens will be completely bereft of life when said cloud finally leaves.
The plot was quick, and usually the science was good. Altho there were a few plot points that simply could not be. Ah well, as I said, it's an ok read and iced quick enough to just slide through.

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4/19/18 1:13 P

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The Tea Master and the Detective (Xuya Universe) by Aliette de Bodard

A real scifi detective thriller... or not. It's hard to try and pidgeonhole these book, so don't. The worlds the author crafts in this universe are complex, and very well done! The characters drive the story along, and they are well textured. I loved seeing the development of the relationship between our two heroes in this book. Both are very much damaged, and the relationship is rather rocky.
But once again, the story evolves in an organic fashion, with taught writing and drew me in.
I really hope the author returns to this universe, and soon!

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4/19/18 1:06 P

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The Citadel of Weeping Pearls (Xuya Universe) by Aliette de Bodard

A wonderful follow up to Red Station Drifting. Set some years later, and in a different stelar neighborhood. But, once again, the characters are flawlessly drawn. And driven. And in this book we get a better idea about being a ShipMind as well. I really like that the author doesn't feel compelled to connect each and every dot, which draws in the reader even more.
Her characters varies interactions, and relationships, serve the plot well, and there are many twists and turns. Another wonderful read!


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4/19/18 1:00 P

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On a Red Station, Drifting (Kindle Edition) by Aliette de Bodard

What a breath of fresh air! I absolutely fell in love with this novella! The writing was taught, yet perfectly timed. The author drew you into the world of the Station, "Prosper", and the histories therein. The arrival of our hero cum run away politician cum war criminal (?) is set at odds straight away with the woman in charge of the station. Two very strong headed women, who alternately use, and abuse thier positions of relative power. Weave in some rich and dynamic texturing, and not so gently fold in the ShipMind, and voila!
As soon as you finish this one you will reach fo the next one!


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4/16/18 1:13 P

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The White Fleet (Blood on the Stars #7) by Jay Allan

Well, another in this series. Military SciFi cum Space Opera, but enjoyable for the most part. This is really a transition book between the previous war, and the next one. It will be interesting to see where the author takes us next as the new bad guys appear to be quite nasty indeed. and the ending makes certain that we have to have that next bon, doesn't it?

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4/11/18 1:53 P

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Mission One (Kindle Edition) by Samuel Best

Not one of the better books I've read lately. The author is a decent story teller, but needs to do more research on how a crewed launch works. Also some of the plot points were decidedly flat, and felt contrived. The characters were okay, but not v very well fleshed out.
That said, I did read it to the end, so it wasn't horrible.

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4/8/18 5:52 P

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Blue Hope (Red Hope, #2) by John Dreese

The good news is that his writing has improved considerably. The bad news is that he still doesn't know how space exploration, or NASA, actually works.
The characters were better written here, in general. Although Chris Tankovitch really didn't function as a bad, good guy. And yes the plot was contrived, but had some good points. Hopefully the author will continue to improve upon his craft.

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4/4/18 3:00 P

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Red Hope (Red Hope, #1) by John Dreese

I'm giving the author a bit of a pass, as this is his first book. But really, Mr. Dreese needs to realize that if you are writing in the Science Fiction genre, science really is the first half. In particular, he shows no real depth of knowledge about space travel, or any of the very important details of space craft. The characters were all pretty much one dimensional, and therefore not very real. That said, it was quick read, and I hope that the sequel is better.

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4/4/18 2:54 P

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Gnomon (Hardcover) by Nick Harkaway

ZMOGA! What did I just read?! I'm not even sure how to describe this incredible tale? Or is is a bunch of incredible tales? I think that Hunter would think so, as would the Inspector!
At first, the book seemed rather wordy to me, but I was just getting used the author's style. Later on it became very clear to me that he used all those words to greet effect.
The characters did come to life in this tome. Even the ones that weren't alive. Or maybe especially those. Having each of those character's stories woven very skillfully into a frightening whole, was no small feat. I am probably going to read it again, just to see what I glossed over on the first run through. And the ending is perfect.

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4/4/18 2:39 P

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The Tangled Lands (Hardcover) by Paolo Bacigalupi

I don't read a lot of fantasy, but am delighted to have read this book! It's actually four, short, interconnected tales of a place where magic was routinely used, which brought about just a wee bit of societal destruction. These stories are sequentially in the aftermath of that. Each story is well told, and the characters are well developed. (Or as well developed as it can get in a short story).
Given the premise of the landscape, the plots flow well, and the crisis are quite logical. (Oh my, did I just say that there was logic in a fantasy?!)
I hope the authors return to this place again!

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3/10/18 12:08 P

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Welcome back Matt!! Always lovely to se another fab in here!

Crimson Worlds Collection I (Crimson Worlds #1-3) by Jay Allan

If you enjoy well paced Military SciFi, then this series is for you! Jay Allan is on form in this trove of books. I'm glad that he placed them into there sets of three books each, as that makes it less cumbersome to read in it's entirety.
I especially enjoyed the First Person perspective of the first book. It really gives the reader a good working knowledge of Eric Cain. But really the series doesn't start to ramp up until the second book.
Here the characters are introduced at an appropriate pace, and developed well. Plus the author took time to give us some rather subtle nuancing, that made the characters feel more real.
The action scenes are amazing as well. And the technical aspect of this futuristic plot make sense and hang together quite well.
So now on to the next set...

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3/3/18 12:03 P

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I'm getting ready to do a re-read. I was looking for something yesterday and came across some old friends. David Eddings The Belgariad and The Malloreon series. 10 books in all, plus he did a couple of other series as well that I enjoyed, and one that was totally off (The Dreamers).

The only other books I have read the past couple of years are non-fiction. Mostly self help and diet books.

Oh, by the way, I have returned after a long absence. Just trying to get into again.

Matt



"I'm not out to change the world...just my waistline."

Tomorrow will be another Today


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3/1/18 12:43 P

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The Complete Circuit Trilogy (Omnibus Edition) (The Circuit) by Rhett C. Bruno

I ended up liking the series, but it is rather heavily skewed into the opera style of SciFi. Yes, there are some problems with continuity, and sometimes I found the writing rather choppy. But the characters were compelling, and the vision and scope was stellar.
So yes, it is Space Opera, but, in the end, a satisfying read.


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3/1/18 12:34 P

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The Unforgiving Minute (Kindle Edition) by Paul Casselle

A fun short story that explores a bit of time travel, and murder. As it is a short story, the characters are not very multi-dimensional, but they are fun. The time travel theme has been done many times, but I really enjoyed throwing in an apparent murder, and also our poor, bumbling Professor.
Some very clever twists and a perfect ending!

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2/22/18 5:19 P

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Nelf Rings (Kindle Edition) by Mervin Miller

Well written and a great story. Set in the near future, with a backdrop of Humans finally developing a superluminal drive that will take us to the stars. So far, we've only been able to go out to about 200 lightyears away, and only a small handful of settlements. Each place has some alien, Nelf stuff there.
The characters are well developed, and quite plausible. As the various adventures, and subplots infold, the story takes on greater and greater emphasis. And the various folks reactions to some very unexpected twists, and through some very dark corners, is very real.
We some brain wiped people become human again, with the aid of a small piece of the Nelf technology, and then the story extrapolates from there.
Definitely a worthy read!

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2/17/18 2:06 P

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Elysium Fire (Prefect Dreyfus Emergency, #2) by Alastair Reynolds

The Glitter Belt is mankind's utopia. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, except for some unexplained and seemingly disjointed murders across ten thousand habitats orbiting a planet. Which said planet also appears to have some unsolved murders of it's own. We are reunited with our old friends and Prefects Tom Dreyfus, Thalia Ng and Sparver Bancal. Once again, this unlikely team has been set to figure out why people are suddenly, and without warning, dyeing, and what's causing their implants to melt.
Add in a bit of civil insurrection by a new villain, and the appearance of an even older evil, none other than Aurora herself! Who seems to be on the side of the Good Guys this time?
Alistair Reynolds is on top of his game in this novel, and you don't want to miss it!

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2/17/18 1:58 P

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The Wrong Stars (Axiom) by Tim Pratt

Fun romp and well written! The characters are also well written, even if a bit one dimensional at times. But the plot moves along briskly, and you keep turning the pages. I really enjoyed the wild west style of the trans-neptunion shenanigans. And yes, we even have some issues to resolve that are about five hundred years out of date? Add in a motley crew of delightfully not normals, and mix well with pirates and other nefarious folk. Read on, and you will enjoy!


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2/7/18 4:42 P

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Austral (Kindle Edition) by Paul McAuley

I don't often give a 5 Star rating, but this book deserves it! The author (a favorite of mine) does a great job of world building, and setting the novel in a fantastical place and time. Our hero is quite unlike your usual definition of that word. In fact, she has dome numerous things that might lead one to think she was not a good guy. And really, I don't think she cares much about what you and I think at all. There is a lot of Nature vs Nurture in this tale, and somehow the final answer is a bit of both. Events transpire that she seeks to gain from, but somehow turn and slip out of her control.
Austral is the perfect definition of the road to Hell being paved with good intentions. But at each turn she will need more than intentions to get her, and her unwilling charge, out of trouble. Oh, and also do try to not get dead (or worse).
Meanwhile the background and back story are compelling and draw you in. It all leads up to an epic tragedy, and the conclusion is absolutely right for the book. Well done indeed.

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1/29/18 7:26 P

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Norse Gods (Hardcover) by Johan Egerkrans

If you have any interest in the tales and myths of the Norse gods, you need to read this book! It is gorgeously illustrated, and wonderfully written. This is one of those books that simply navigates through the land, and allows your imagination to take hold. Your inner Viking will be glad you did!

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1/28/18 9:29 P

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Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery (Hardcover) by Scott Kelly

Thoughtful and well written. Astronaut Scott Kelly intersperses his memories of growing up, and becoming an astronaut, with his year long mission in space. He shares some great stories, and pulls no punches along the way. I like that he owns up to reckless behavior, and it's well earned consequences. Happily, he has no need to concentrate upon those events. But even better is that you can see him continue to grow, as a human being, through his year long mission onboard the International Space Station.
I imagine this book is quite a bit like the man himself. No, he's not the raucous sort like Clay Anderson, nor is he the humorous astronaut like Mike Mullane. But neither is he hide bound, nor pretentious. And his real journey, one of true discovery, is well worth the read.

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1/26/18 6:56 P

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Dauntless (Blood on the Stars #6) by Jay Allan

A very good conclusion to this series! And this series needed to come to a close, especially after the events in the last few books. But make no mistake, this universe still has quite a few stories to go, so who knows? Happily the characters are well written and textured. The action scenes (most of this book) are well done and gripping. By thus point you know the people, and also know thier intentions, abilities and shortcomings. And the beauty of this series is that all the characters have plenty of nuanced shortcomings and also bits of brilliance.
So yes, this last, heroic effort by Tyler and the fleet is what the Confeds need against the Union. And the Alliance is there to help, but also has it's own problems back at home (Thank you Sector Nine). And the Union is on the verge of collapse, and the Confederation is sick and tired of a never ending war (oh look, Sector Nine is at it again).
But this battle is for all the marbles, and it plays out in spectacular fashion! Read on to see what the conclusion is, and then wonder about the next plays.

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1/17/18 11:47 A

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The Tabernacle of Legion (Kindle Edition) by Kevin Schillo

The author reached out to me via Amazon and asked me read a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Well, the kindle version only cost 99 cents, so I bought it.
Alas, this book is not worth the money nor time I invested in it. There were some good passages, but overall, the book failed to pique my interest.
The characters were all one dimensional, and pretty much cliche. The two exceptions to that were Ask (whom I thought was appropriately named) and Jed. Otherwise the author wastes too much time in building characters that you have seen in every bad SciFi movie and TV show.
The plot bumbles along, with no surprises, throughout the whole book.
And the ending is wholly unsatisfying, and sets up for a sequel. A sequel that I, for one, will never read.

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1/13/18 4:03 P

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The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.by Neal Stephenson, Nicole Galland

A nifty tale of SciFi and time travel and witchcraftery. What's not to love?
Plenty of fun and challenging journeys for our band of unlikely heroes. A plot (and various permutations thereof) that somehow combine just the right amounts of science, and fantasy to seem real. Also, among our likely heroes, are some very unlikely heroes as well. Who would have ever thought that a grad student with considerable knowledge of dead languages would become such a power player? Oh sure, her counterpart is all mil-spec, but their relationship is not. Happily, the entire affair is well sprinkled with humor, especially the acronyms that arise from any quasi-military, scientific bureaucracy!
So without giving too much of a spoiler here, the manner in which certain strands of the tale are woven, and warped and wefted keeps you turning the pages. If you start to get bogged down in parts where it seems it's all going to be just memos, and reports, just play along as it rebounds nicely!
Also, the authors did a fine job of researching the various histories of the various times and places re players have to contend with. The characters really are well dimensioned, and subtly nuanced. Except when they are not, ha!
And the ending is superbly well done. Besides, who doesn't love a Viking to really get things chopped up? Happy reading!



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Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, #7) by James S.A. Corey

If you pick this book up, and expect to see our merry band of heroes kicking butt and taking names, you might just need realize that it's 30 years after the previous book! Yup, our merry (and oh so angsty) crew has aged. And in some cases not for the better.
So it's ben three decades since Anton Duarte and his scrabbled together navy went to Laconia. A time of relative peace in our solar system. But no good deed goes unpunished, and High Consul Duarte has lofty ambitions indeed. And a whole lot of alien technology to go with it.
So yes the family onboard of Rocinate somehow finds themselves in the middle of it again. So they are older, but are they wiser? You will need read this book to discover that answer. Also, if they have lost a step or three due to getting older, what have they gained, if anything?
The characters drive the plot, and there are plenty of twists and turns that keep you turning the pages. You get to know our family of good guys (and some not so good guys) in a deer way than ever before. And the finish of this book is not what I wanted, but what the book needed. Now I need the next book!

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Tool of War (Ship Breaker, #3) by Paolo Bacigalupi

The author saved the best book for the finale. More intense than the first two books, and We delve much deeper into Tool's twisted psyche. Just what does this half man, half monster really want? And why? And what is he willing to sacrifice to get it?
Also, why does his former owners feel it necessary to destroy an entire city just to kill Tool? And what lengths will the former masters go to in order to be assured of Tool's complete destruction? We also see some old friends in here, but now they appear to have grown and healed from their previous miserable existence. But will they even be able to help their former pack mate?
You will just have to read the book and find out for yourself!

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The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker, #2) by Paolo Bacigalupi

The second book in this trilogy, and it seamlessly follows the first. Tool now has a different place, and a different pack. But he also seems to be getting some on the job training in causing death and destruction. But he also seems to be getting a conscience, which could undo everything he wants to do? Again, the characters are multi dimensional and drive the plot. And good and evil square off yet again, but is any character really only one or the other?
Read on and find out for yourself!

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Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1) by Paolo Bacigalupi

The first of three books, and what a start to an incredible journey! The characters are multi dimensional and drive the plot. the twisted landscape they drive through is well brought with many dangers, and also an assortment of truly evil folks.
Pay close attention to Tool, as he ultimately becomes the driving force. But the other characters are also flawed and important.
This is a great trilogy, so go start reading it now!

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Artemis (Hardcover) by Andy Weir

A fun read from start to finish! Our oh so flawed hero is a smuggler just trying to make ends meet, and also get rich quick. Not an easy thing to do on the only city on the moon. Jazz stumbles along from each Bad Life Choice to the next, but maybe that's just part of her charm. You really do like her, even though she's a misfit. And her merry band of friends, and frenemies, and enemies get progressively more twisted with each turn.
The characters are well developed and manage to drive the plot off several cliffs. But do read on, dear reader, as this book will keep you actively engaged till the end.

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Bennu Strand: The World Inside Book One (Kindle Edition) by Alexander Pink

Please note, the author gave me a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Since I am reviewing this for the author, my review will probably be a bit more detail oriented than my normal couple of paragraphs.
First things first then, and that would be the first chapter. I was (pinches fingers) this close to not reading the rest of the book after finishing the very first chapter! Why, you ask? Because as I was reading it, it was truly very chaotic and jumbled and scoff and fantasy and what the hell? I did realize that the author had done some world building, but the entire universe was suddenly all stuffed into that first chapter, all at once! ACK!
I did, however, persevere, and yes, eventually it (mostly) made sense. But honestly, it wasn't until about somewhere in Chapter Six that the story got rolling along. Honestly, eve after reading the entire book, I'm not certain that I have it all down? But as the plots were presented, and the story shifts to the kids, then it became much more personable. And personal it really does become!
The author does a credible job of mixing some past, present and future events and interweaving them with the various characters. And yes, the characters drive the fantastical plots indeed. To me, this was much more of a fantasy novel with a bit of scoff thrown in for good measure. And once I deduced that, it helped me finish the book. (just saying)
Speaking of which, even tho the scifi was mainly for pretty, shiny stuff, a lot of times it was seemingly done in a haphazard fashion. Altho, there was one battle that happened in both the past and present, that was skillfully done.
In the end, I stuck with the book because the author did bring the children to life. There is so much potential in this set of stories, it really does clamor to be brought into the light! I just hope that with the next one, the author might also grow a bit and come into his own voice. So yes, I will hafta read that on as well.
So my main conclusion is that there a lot of really great points, but also some really bad ones. Just bear that in mind when open it up for a read. Oh, and if you skip the first chapter entirely, you won't miss a thing.

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The Icarus Hunt (Mass Market Paperback) by Timothy Zahn

Hmmm... What a fun read! It's a SciFi, murder mystery, whodunit, political thriller. With lots of characters who make for an entertaining read. Our erstwhile heroes are some rather clumsy smugglers, who stumble into a trading mission that upsets the balance of economic and geographic powers that be.
Toss in some truly bad baddies, and some very twisted plot lines, and scratch you head trying to figure it all out. Oh, and an ending that was unexpected and very satisfying. Pick this one up and enjoy the trip!

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The Rapture Effect (Paperback) by Jeffrey A. Carver

Quick read and fun ride! The author does a very credible job of establishing the humans, and the AI, and the aliens in this book. The characters might not have a lot of depth and dimensions, but they are likable nonetheless. And the AI has a great story as well. The Ell are also quite alien, but understandable.
All this makes for a pleasant read, so go ahead and read it.

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Provenance (Kindle Edition) by Ann Leckie

Wow! What a ride! This is a SciFi, murder mystery, political thriller. Or something. Definitely wonderful characters that drive the plot. And also manage to drive all over each other. Siblings that have a very pressing rivalry. Power and possible war.
Pick it up, and you won't put it down until it's done.

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Duel in the Dark (Blood on the Stars, #1) by Jay Allan

Military SciFi, and well written. The author takes his time in building the characters, and their respective cultures. The plot is decidedly character driven, and done well. Yes, this is Space Opera, and SO done well. Happily the author does not delve into minuscule detail about the throw weight of each type of missile, nor any other arcane detail that sometimes is focused upon by other writers. Instead, the battle scenes are more real as they center on what each individual character is thinking, or feeling, and how that prompts the action. I think this sets a good tone for the series, so now I need read the entire thing!

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Neverness (A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, #0) by David Zindell

The prequel to the series. And the only book in which Mallory and Soli do anything together. It's well written, tightly paced and character driven. Go read it!

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The Punch Escrow (Paperback) by Tal M. Klein

Well written and wonderfully paced. This novel is a quick read, but mainly because you just have to keep turning the pages. Our heroes have quite the dilemma, and also quite the identity crisis along the way. The characters are mostly straight forward, but that actually helps the story along.
Sylvia is way over her depth, but seems to be altruistic in her goals. Her boss, however, really does become a Mad Scientist type. And Joel, her husband is somewhat beside himself (both literally and figuratively) in trying to sort out this mess. Toss in a few cryptic (are they really) good guys, and blend well. Enjoy!

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Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter

What a truly classic epic! This became way more involved than I thought it would. There were so many issues to be explored, one story, or chapter, at a time. And the collective whole was spun together very well indeed.
The characters were developed and well nuanced. And they certainly did drive the plot along. And so many issues along the way that this quickly became one of my all time favorite reads. The people felt oh so real, and at the same time you could identify with their struggles. Mix in a true sense of awe and wonder, and cycle through a few many) generations, and let simmer. Then when it all boils over, what will they do?! You, dear reader, will keep turning the pages to find out.

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Magellan (Kindle Edition) by Scott Baird

I paid .99 for this book, and it was almost worth it. It wasn't so terrible that I didn't finish it, but that was mainly due to it's brevity, thank God.

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Autonomous (Hardcover) by Annalee Newitz

Woosh! What a techno thriller with romance and pirates and drugs and robots and slavery oh my!
This book touches on so many different fronts, at the same time, that your head can be forgiven for spinning on occasion. The author, Annalee Newitz is new to me, and I already look forward to reading more! The characters are multi dimensional, and nicely layered. They drive the plot, and the story feels real. Our heroes are also bad guys, and vice versa. So much of what happens is due to conflicting loyalties and nothing is quite what it seems.
This is indeed time well spent.

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Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, #4) by Lois McMaster Bujold

Hmmm... I thought this was the first book in the series, not the forth?! I suppose I will hafta check out the rest of the series, in time. An interesting enough book, and the writing was quickly paced and generally well thought out. That said the characters were all rather one dimensional, and some were rather cliche. But I kept turning the pages until I was done, so it was ok.

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Starplex (Hardcover) by Robert J. Sawyer

Written in the mid 90's, it still holds up well today. This was the author's last major Space Opera, and features Humans and Aliens. Some of each that you like, and some of each that you don't like. The characters drive the plot, but are mostly more or less one dimensional. The best developed character is the protagonist, our erstwhile Director of the mission. Keith Lansing does, by necessity, undergo some rather painful growth curves. And his inner mission is very neatly entwined with the Starplex mission. A lot of Star Trek (Original Series) feel in this book, and that's by design. The author does a good job of bringing some of the Star Trek philosophy, but still making it unique. Some of the aliens onboard are pretty unique as well, and Sawyer does a good job with them. Some of the aliens onboard are not so unique, but that makes for a more compelling read.
All in all, a good book, and a fun time!

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Quantum Space (Quantum Series #1) by Douglas Phillips

A fast paced SciFi thriller. Set in today's world, and using a lot of actual science, this book looks at what would happen if we could somehow utilize those extra dimensions of the quantum world. In particular, how could we use those dimensions to transport stuff they our 3D space?
The characters are not all that complex, but since this is the first ins a series, the main characters will probably get more development.
My one niggle is that the author incorrectly identifies the left hand seat of the Soyuz as the Commander's. Actually, it's the center seat. But really, if that is the only thing to complain about, then he's doing pretty well.
The book does have the wonder and awe factors that remind me of some of the other great books, like Rendezvous With Rama, and others of that sort. I hope the next books come very swiftly, I want to see where this is going!

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9/21/17 12:50 P

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Red Planet Blues (Hardcover) by Robert J. Sawyer

What a fun romp! This is a Mickey Spillane style murder mystery, set on Mars. There is no lack for action in this fun, little book, and also no dearth of humor. The plot is entirely driven by some not entirely real characters. But it's those foibles that make for a good read.
Lots of double crosses, mystery, action, murder, and everything else. Oh, and a fun ending as well.

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9/19/17 11:38 A

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Marooned in Realtime (Across Realtime, #2) by Vernor Vinge

A murder mystery 5o million years in the making. This worthy sequel to The Peace War explores the obvious use of a Bobble, not as a weapon, but as a time machine. What happens when anyone can simply bobble a few thousand, or even millions of years into the future?
And what did happen during the 23 Century to make humanity go extinct?!
But most importantly, who murdered Marts?!
We have a new set of heroes and villains, and one old friend who may be both. Vinge does a very credible job of positing humans who are so technologically advanced so as to seem like gods. Happily, they are in the minority, but the low techs are still silly humans too. WW Brierson is the detective that must untangle this very messy web of intrigue, lies, and fantasies.
This is SciFi writ large, and on an expansive canvas. Enjoy!

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The Peace War (Across Realtime, #1) by Vernor Vinge

Originally published in 2003, this novel is still a great example of hard SciFi. The characters are multi dimensional, and well textured. And yes, the drive the plot, and drive it well. Plus we have the BDO (Big Dumb Object) to contend with.
Our heroes are an unlikely band of survivors, that come from various pasts. But Paul, in particular, has a fifty year grudge to settle, and oh yeah, destroy the current world domination scheme. Part of his continuing anger results from how the Peace Authority misuses the aforementioned BDO in rising to power.
The storyline is well conceived, and well written. Plenty of surprises along the way, and this is a very compelling read.

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9/14/17 12:56 P

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Diamond Cut (Glass Complex Trilogy #3) by John Hindmarsh

A great finish to the series! I completely enjoyed reading this last installment of the trilogy. The writing was clean and the timing well paced. The characters drove the plot, and were more dimensional than before. The action was clean, and well done.
So go read it!

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Fracture Lines (Glass Complex Trilogy #2) by John Hindmarsh

A well done sequel in the trilogy. Throughout this book, the author hit's his notes well, and keeps the plot moving. The characters are still a bit one dimensional, but they do drive the twisted plot. and the plot is devious enough to keep you turning the pages.
And why is it that Imperial Security in every universe are always the bad guys? And in every part of the timeline as well. But our her bushes onward, and does a credible job of saving the day. Now on to the conclusion.

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Broken Glass (Glass Complex #1) by John Hindmarsh

A passable read, at best. It is Space Opera, but not the top of that genre's form. The characters were all flat and one dimensional, but they did drive the plot. It took me about one third of the way to find the author's voice in this. Even so, I found the narrative to be somewhat stilted.
That said, I did finish the book, and will probably finish the series.

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Golden Fleece (Paperback) by Robert J. Sawyer

Meh. Not terribly clever nor original. It was, at least, interesting enough to read through, but nothing Earth shattering really. *shrugs* Moving on...

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Raven Stratagem (The Machineries of Empire #2) by Yoon Ha Lee

A stunning conclusion to the first book. We peer ever deeper into the Hexarchate, and the various way it works, and doesn't work, to keep the galaxy under it's thumb. Never mind the mysterious Calendrical Warfare and Exotic Technologies, that's just the dressing.
The real stuff is the characters. And in this book we really get a better handle on Shous Judeo, obviously at the expense of Kel Cheris. Or not?
And we have some new friends to meet and greet as well. Soon Ha Lee has done a superb job of interweaving the disparate plots, and various and sundry folks, into a very consistent, and well appointed whole. The pace is as fast, or as slow, as needed. The people feel very real, and are many layered. Plus a few surprises along the way, and it all makes for a great read!

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Star Surgeon by Alan E. Nourse

A very quick, easy read. Really I think this could fairly be a YA title? And please note that I do enjoy YA titles, so that was not a bad comment. I actually read the entirety of this book on my flights home from Denver a couple of days ago. Yes, it's that quick.
So, yes a quick read, but fun nonetheless. Basically a young outcast seeks to embitter himself, and also serve the greater good. He has troubles with his fellow crew on the Patrol Ship Lancet, and also from the hierarchy from on high.
The characters are all pretty one dimensional, and pretty much what you would expect. But they do drive the plot, and there are some interesting ideas that are brought up.

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Borne (Hardcover) by Jeff VanderMeer

A curiously twisted story of scavenging and redemption in a hellish place. Out two main characters are certainly quite flawed, but somehow they muddle on. The city is set with all sorts of dangers and dangerous people, and things.
the backstory is quite minimal, which is perfect for this book. Rachel and Wick make an unlikely pair, either as partners in crime or lovers. But there it is then. And Born is the ever enigmatic person that he is.
The story of these three people, set against the wasteland of the place in which they dwell, and the horrific bioscience of The Company make for some very interesting reading!

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Strange Dogs (ebook) by James S.A. Corey

A compelling side tale of The Expanse universe. It's a very quick read, but still well done. And I liked that it gave us a glimpse of life on a planet that was through the gate!

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8/17/17 6:50 P

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The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3) by N.K. Jemisin

The ending is also the beginning. And vice versa. This epic tale finally comes to a close, and what a mighty tale it is indeed. Once again, we see Essun, and Nissan, mother and daughter, orbit around each other until at last they close, for battle.
We learn oh so much achingly more about our friends, our enemies, the Stone Eaters. History repeats, even when it doesn't. The many journeys are driven by need, and anger, and pain, and love. And hatred. The players are complex and subtly nuanced. They drive the plot, and still there is room for magic. And science. And longing. And sacrifice.
It will no doubt be a long while before I read another epic tragedy of this caliber.


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8/11/17 5:53 P

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All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1) by Martha Wells

A fun jaunt! A happily dtysfunctioning robot that has committed numerous murders, but will protect the crew he is assigned to, with everything he's got. Tightly written, and a quick read.
Even though this is a novella, it touches on so many issues of today, and looks at them through an unusual set of eyes.
There is a loot going on within this fact paced romp, so take time after to think through some of what has been explored.

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Infinity Born (Kindle Edition) by Douglas E. Richards

Meh. Yes really. The book never really got me engaged nor suspended my disbelief. About one third of the way through, I almost quit. But I read the reviews and decided to give it another chance. Time wasted really.
There is nothing new here to see. All the characters are one dimensional and pretty much cookie cutter. the plot is driven by the characters, but there are very few surprises along the way. And yea, the ending is as lame as the rest of the book. Moving on...

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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1) by N.K. Jemisin

A long journey across the world, and many lives indeed. I don't usually go for Fantasy, but having read some of her SciFi, I decided to try this saga. Jamison has woven a very good tale indeed. The world is many layered and textured, as are it's various characters.
Plenty of subplots along the way, and some stories that truly tug at your heart, or equally mystify. Of course, when an epic like starts with the ending of the world, you just have no idea what to expect next. There are some various forms of (almost) magic, but it only adds to the story.
The plot is unhurried, and the characters are well nuanced. A steady pace and you keep turning the pages...

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7/29/17 3:28 P

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The Turing Exception (Singularity #4) by William Hertling

Definitely a great way to end the series! The author really hit his stride in this book. Our c characters are "all grown up" now, and also have to battle the worst possible AI monster ever. Add in some delusional thinking from the usual political and military suspects, let bake for a few thousand iterations, and voila!
XOR really is the arch nemesis that (of course) thinks it has the job of ridding the Earth of the vermin. Said vermin being you and me. The tension ratchets up nicely and the writing is crisp and well paced. I especially enjoyed the various thinking processes that took place to bring the final battle to bear. And yes, you have seen this before, but this also done in a fresh way, that explores a lot of issues. If you have read the first three books, then you simply must finish it!

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7/27/17 4:16 P

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The Last Firewall (Singularity #3) by William Hertling

A worthy successor in the series. The author is starting to hit his stride now, and it shows. The characters are definitely more dimensional and nuanced than before. Also the interaction of A.I. and human is fresh, and in some cases deadly. The various characters do indeed drive the plot, we can now feel their pains, and their joys.
I do think, however, that the zombification of Tucson is beyond a stretch, but it works (barely). This is a fast paced book, and the various scenes all push towards a worthy ending. Again, there is nothing in this series you and I haven't thought of, but the various issues are brought to life in some creative ways. Well paced and I enjoyed the change of perspective towards the end.

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A.I. Apocalypse (Singularity #2) by William Hertling

The second in a four book series. This book is set in 2025, but really should be much later considering the pervasive amount of tech, and also the A. I. implications. Also, once again, the characters are pretty much one dimensional, and we don't see any real surprises from them?
That said, the plot is well constructed (if a bit heavy handed) and the action scenes are tight. I must admit that the idea of a teenager who basically destroys the world by infecting every single computer was a bit too much like the old War Games movie from the 80's. Also I took exception to literally everything being shut down.
Once you get past that, however, you see that the issues the author is dealing with are indeed timely, and he does it in an interesting manner. Also, his writing did improve over the first book, so I am encouraged. Go ahead and read it, it's a fun ride.


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7/16/17 7:03 P

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Avogadro Corp (Singularity #1) by William Hertling

So just how does an unassuming email program end up becoming Skynet? Well, read on for the answer. This is the first book in a series, and it's a decent start. The characters are good, but not great. They do drive the plot (when something else isn't). However, the characters are mostly one dimensional and not textured at all. Which means that they seem rather like cliches, but they do the job well.
The book was intriguing enough that not only did I finish it, but will read the next one. So the storyline carries and I look forward to seeing how the story, and characters, and plot continues.

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7/15/17 11:24 A

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Rosetta (Kindle Edition) by Stephen Patterson

Please note, the author reached out to me and gave me a free kindle edition of this book for an honest review. And here is my review, and it's honest. *chuckle*

I really enjoyed this book! This is his first effort, and I think it's a handsome one indeed. The characters are complex and textured, and they drive the plot. There are a few bumpy spots where I wasn't really sure of how our hero (or sort of hero) made certain connections. I did, however, enjoy the protagonist as being made to be a hero, even when he did not want to be. (How's that for obfuscation?)
I think that the author did a very good job with regards to revealing Tony's past bit by bit, and letting us get to know him by and by.
The action scenes were also well done and quite believable. I almost felt some bruising after a coup of them!
The end, I thought, felt a bit rushed. And all of a sudden we have too many angles to muddle through. Tony is a bright boy, and did get through them, but I'm still not sure how. But in all, a very good read indeed! I look forward to the next one already.


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The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1) by John Scalzi

Buckle up and enjoy the ride! John Scalzi is on top of his game here, and this is a great start to a new series! The characters are delightfully complex and nuanced. And yes they drive the plot, and drive it well. The one thing they cannot drive, however, is the Flow. Which only gives our galactic Interdependancy it's reason for existing. Ruh rho.
Yes, there are times when you can see ahead of the plot a bit, but there also many other times when you are surprised by it. Also the author's narrative is fun, and the timing is well paced. Now I *need* that next installment!!

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7/8/17 6:22 P

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Proof of Concept (ebook) by Gwyneth Jones

However much time and money I spent on this book was a waste of both. Yes, you did hear me correctly. It's not very often I pan a book, but this book deserves it. The characters are flat, and not really developed at all. The plot is often confusing, and not well managed. It was just barely interesting enough that I finished it. But just barely. I think the author has some real potential, and would love to see her develop her story telling skills. Until then, take a pass on this one.

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7/6/17 1:38 P

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Change Agent (Hardcover) by Daniel Suarez

Set in the near future, this novel is a runaway hit! Our hero, Kennth Durand, is a data cop on a mission. In this future gene edits are a very profitably, and in the case of most desires, highly illegal. So our erstwhile hero sifts thru data for Interpol, to coordinate raids on illegal labs, which sell fixes of unborn children, to their parents.
but mr. durand is about to become the very thing he hates the most. and in a very insidious manner. He is ripped from his life and transformed into the very thing he hates the most. His journey to get back to who, or what, he once was is terrifying, and transformative (to say the least!).
We meet an odd collection of traveling companions along the way, and Ken makes some very interesting friends. Friends who are really enemies. Or friends. Sometimes we're not quite sure what they are.
This is a fast paced thriller and well constructed. The characters are well developed, and surprisingly real. The implications of the crimes involved are truly world changing, and not for the better.
Oh yes, you do want to read this book!

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6/28/17 3:04 P

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The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story (Gap, #1) by Stephen R. Donaldson

The start of a five book adventure, and a fun romp! Of course our main protagonist is a piece of work. And his soul is the most tortured pirate ever. But even as we go along in a journey thru some layers of different Hells, we also see the abject honesty of the person behind the mask. And it ain't pretty!
I loved the plot lines as well. Very tight and crafty indeed.
After this, I will probably read the rest just to se what happens.

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Man Plus (Man Plus #1) by Frederik Pohl

This story was published 17 years ago, but is still relevant today. Yes, the technology to transform a human into a cyborg that can live on the surface of Mars is nonexistent. And probably always will be. But look past the parts where they rebuild the Six Billion Dollar Man, and the story holds up.
The characters are a bit one dimensional, but for this tale it works. And our hero does undergo many transformative events in his journey.
So it's a quick read, but a fun escape.


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6/23/17 12:40 P

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Walkaway (Hardcover) by Cory Doctorow

Set in the near future, we find ourselves in post scarcity landscape where the "zottas" or the 1% or the uber rich, control the planet basically thru institutions that are designed to keep the poor as downtrodden, and themselves in power.
Toss in some young folks who are sick and tired of all those games and decide to simply walk away from it all. Thus they leave the "Default" behind.
And what an incredible journey it becomes for each of them! What started out as a kind of game becomes all to real in a very quick way. They have to struggle with their own inner demons and deliberately work out a place in this new culture. And make no mistake, this is not your father's Communism, or any other ism. It simply is a bunch of folks that are sick and tired of playing the game.
And how does Default react when they see that what was once a cute, little, commune run by kids becomes a world wide movement? As society increasingly crumbles, the Zottas try to grip harder.
And that's when the times become interesting indeed.
This is a very thoughtful novel, and you can draw however many parallels to our situation today. But mainly you really do become involved with our merry band of misfits, and go along the journey to see where it takes you.


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6/23/17 12:20 P

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Vellum (The Book of All Hours, #1) by Hal Duncan

So what would happen if you took some LSD, and wrote a book about all the mythologies? I think this is *exactly* the book you would get! It tells a story, or is that many stories of the same thing, but different. Oh, and remember that Angels and Demons may be neither inherently good, or evil in and of themselves.
Oh, I know, let's really torture one unlucky bastard continually and apparently with no good reason, other than to see if we can torture him? Sort of.
If you happen to subscribe to the "Many Worlds" philosophy of physics, then there ya go.
So yes, a strange book indeed, and not easily read. But I did. And I'll read the sequel as well because I do want to know how the whole thing ends. There, I said it.


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6/2/17 11:53 A

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The Chronoliths (Mass Market Paperback) by Robert Charles Wilson

A quick read, but the ride goes on. What if you could change the future by inserting a menssage into the past? Yes, I know it's been done before. But the author does it so well, and leaves enough mystery to make this work very well. Our characters are complex, and the narrative is just disjointed enough to make you believe.
You truly do get that sense of impending doom as each monument arrives. And the reactions of the world's population seems to be caught up in that ebb and flow. I also enjoyed that our hero was essentially a layman, so he can talk about the concepts, without getting bogged down in the mathematical details.
A streamlined story, and a tale well told.


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5/29/17 4:30 P

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City of Miracles (The Divine Cities, #3) by Robert Jackson Bennett

By all the gods, lesser and great, what an adventure this is! This (presumably) the last book in this series. I think there are still many other stories which could be told, but not as an extension of this epic. And make no mistake, it truly is an epic!
Our main hero, Sigrud, has seen the worst parts of humanity for some time, and even has planned and executed many of them along the way. But each mission he has undertaken, has cost him oh so achingly dearly. And when his one, lone compatriot, Shara, has managed to get herself killed, he pursues one last mission, to save the life of Shara's daughter Taty.
His is the character most noble, and thus most tortured. His path seems to burn (or explode, or worse) everyone, and everything around him, as only he can do so well.
But his journey also is very surprising. And some of those surprises are not only lethal, but also self-revelatory. In fact, our hero journeys quite deep into very turbulent waters, and somehow manages to not quite get himself killed each time he meets some new (or not so new) creature of Divine making.
This last book is a perfect ending, and done perfectly. The writing is taut, but somehow the story is expansive. The ideals and issues are just at home in our world as in the one you read about, albeit with a bit more of the miraculous happening. Unfortunately, said events usually don't go well for Sigrud, and this time is no exception. But we journey with him, and his chosen companions, because we too want to know what will happen next.

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5/23/17 6:31 P

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Void Star (Hardcover) by Zachary Mason

Quite the ride! I have not read this author before, and am quite glad I have now. His near future society is well created, with more than a few dark twists and turns. And also some fun happening along the way. We have an ensemble cast that we are never quite sure about. And they seem to interact with each other in the strangest of manners.
The characters are a bit distant and disjointed, as is the storyline. Yet in some improbable manner it just works. Our characters each seem to be a bit more, and also less than human, and the story is so much better for it. Each person has to come to some understanding of who, or what they really are. And it these dispute journeys that end up linking them all together that makes the plot so intriguing.
Read it and wonder how human you really are.


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5/13/17 12:49 P

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The Stars Are Legion (Kindle Edition) by Kameron Hurley

Truly one of the most imaginative books I have read lately. When you read the blurb, and see the phrase "World Ships", you might think of Star Wars type Death stars and the like. You would be wrong. Instead the author weaves a narrative of biological construction where everything and everyone are a part of the whole. This includes pregnancies and giving birth, and life and death and everything in between. (Oh, except that it never includes us Y Chromosome carriers?)
The various journeys are all very hard fought, and not just on a physical plane. Our heroes are also our villains. And they live, and die and live again. It's the last journey that means so much. Read this book and be, at turns, sad, happy, disgusted, joyful and more. It's not an easy book to read, but well worth it!

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5/7/17 6:25 P

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Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch #3) by Ann Leckie

This is where things get really strange! New characters, old hatreds, galactic greed and old rivalries, oh my! Which emperor will show up and what is going to happen?
Our friends have their backs against the wall, and it doesn't look good, to say the least. This time our hero must depend on other humans, and ai's to get the job done. but that's not easy when no one can beastly depended upon, and loyalties are not clear.
This novel wraps up the action, but leaves so many questions unanswered. The trilogy touches upon many different questions and issues, which could be endlessly debated. However, as she has observed on more than one occasion, you just put one foot ahead of the other and keep on walking.
I hope that we get to come back to this universe at some point, I really want to see what other stories we have waiting for us!

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Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch #2) by Ann Leckie

Second in the trilogy, and continues apace! We get deeper into our hero, and also her conflicts with the Emperor, Humans and AI's. Our hero continues down a path that is certain to draw attention from the wrong people, but here sense of justice is uncompromising. I think she is beginning to become human, in spite of herself, or her wants and needs.
The characters drive the plot, and the result is very well done!


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Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie

The first of three novel in this series. A very worthy read and very involving as well. I really liked that the main character is not quite, or maybe more than, human! I especially enjoyed her various difficulties in coming to terms with who, or what she really is. And also her coming to terms with her relationships with those around her, whether AI or Human, she just doesn't quite fit.
I won't spoil the plot, you just need to read it!

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4/24/17 11:19 A

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Six Wakes (Paperback) by Mur Lafferty

Definitely a great read! The story starts out with a lot of chaos, and a lot of mystery, and a lot of death, and blood and ick. Our heroes are also left with no memories of the past 25 years, and so they each struggle to discover who killed them all. Plus each of the crew has some truly terrifying inner demons. Or is that daemons?
Every time we get a little deeper into the mystery of who among us killed us all (here's to a new life by being your own clone!) each of the six crew members also sheds a bit of the mask that keeps their own, unique, evil at bay.
The story is very well crafted, and the writing is tight and to the point. The concepts and idea that are touched upon here make for some very interesting reading indeed. You will want to pick this one up. And you won't want to put it down until you are finished with it!

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4/20/17 12:34 P

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The Fortress at the End of Time (Paperback) by Joe M. McDermott

What a strange journey. This missive takes the shape of a confession, albeit a rather rambling and disassociate one? Our hero is his own worst enemy. And his actions have the opposite effect of what he wants. He's sent to the ass end of humanity's exploration, fresh out of War College, to a dismal and depressing post.
His military carer starts out on a bad note, and continues from there. He has no real friends to speak of, and his love life is a sham. No wonder he wants out.
As for the writing itself, this book is written quite well. Depressing, but well written. In the form of a confession, our hero attempts to lay his should bare, but even he can't see what is to obvious to everyone else. So I think that explains the lack of chapter breaks, which I understand, but didn't approve. Overall a worthy read, but a bit of a challenge.

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4/15/17 3:04 P

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New York 2140 (Hardcover) by Kim Stanley Robinson

Wowzers what a book! So well written, and oh so timely! Interestingly enough, you could say that the city itself was a character in this book, always there, lurking about, changing constantly and yet always the same.
then you get to the real characters, and what a set of characters it is! We get to live thru several different stories, and from several different view points. The writing is at it's best when these stories collide, and interweave, then separate again.
Who really drives the storylines? Were the characters really in charge, or were they reacting, or trying to be proactive? Well, yes... and no. That's the fun of this tall tale set in the sort of near future. As someone who has gone to NYC a handful of times, I enjoyed the geography, and history (both past and future) and the many different ways that NYC is NYC.
Some fun technical hiking combined with some basic character flaws, and oh yeah let's try to not get dead along the way make for a great book!
Go read it now, you will thank me later!

Why yes, as a matter of fact I do blog:
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4/3/17 1:17 P

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The Atlantis World (The Origin Mystery, #3) by A.G. Riddle

A good finish to the trilogy! Fast paced and plenty of action (as per usual). Plus you finally get the answers too all those nagging questions. Character driven plot, and also a few new friends along the way. If you have read the first two books, then yes, you need to read this one!

Why yes, as a matter of fact I do blog:
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3/30/17 1:47 P

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The Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery, #2) by A.G. Riddle

A worthy second book in the trilogy. It did, however, stumble about a bit in the first few chapters. But the author found his stride and kept on from there. The characters are all a bit one dimensional, but it keeps the black hats and white hats at bay. I was hoping for some more character development, but giving the timing, and pace of the book, I can understand why they are not more complicated.
And yes, this continues to be a character driven storyline, and also we delve a bit deeper into the SciFi parts of the story. Whereas it is true that a bit of cliche does happen, I kept turning the electronic pages as fast as I could to find out that happened next.
So, if you have read the first novel in this trilogy, go ahead and read this one too!

Why yes, as a matter of fact I do blog:
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3/26/17 3:01 P

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The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1) by A.G. Riddle

This is the first book in the trilogy, and the author's first book as well. So, it started out kinda clunky, and also relied on some clipped plot stuff. That said, about 1/3 of the way thru, the author hit his stride, and the storylines and the writing were much improved.
The plot lines seem to weave in and out of each other, and there are some fun, and not so fun, twists. Yes, the characters are rather predictable, and so are some of the plot contrivances. But the pace is quick, and so you keep turning the page to see what happens next.
There is a fair amount of facts in this fiction, so that helps when the story is decidedly fantastical. The plot lines are driven by the various characters, and the white hats and black hats are squared off against each other. But by the end of the book, things have taken some quite unexpected twists, and turns, and so you race to find out how it ends. A nice way too spend the day indeed! And now on to discover what these folks have in store for the next book!

Why yes, as a matter of fact I do blog:
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3/24/17 12:05 P

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Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2) by Ada Palmer
With the author's narrative style that harkens back to the 1800's, but set in the 2450's, this book was a bit challenging to read. Also, with all of the intricacies of the *many* various relationships, and interrelationships, and curlycues, and details and such... Yeah. Mostly I had forgotten all that stuff since reading this book's predecessor Too Like The Lightening.
Of course the many characters drive the plot(s), but what, or who, drives the many characters? And our humble narrator Myles does a brilliant job of being as obscure with whatever he feels is the truth, at that moment, to really make things clear as mud. Most of the time. Also a penchant for the littlest detail to be observed while ignoring the main point of the interaction seems to be a driving point?
So, yes I read it, but it took me until way past half the book for it that universe to click in again, as it is so dependent upon the first. And, of course, there will be yet another one. Which I probably will read too.

Why yes, as a matter of fact I do blog:
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3/17/17 6:49 P

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Infinity Engine (Transformation, #3) by Neal Asher

ZOMG! Neal Asher takes us to the very edge of space and time in the conclusion to his Transformation series. Let me tell you what, I think I need a cardiologist after reading this book! It was nonstop, pulled no punches, took no quarter, and held no prisoners!
This is a thick book, but with all of the many subplots involved, it had to be. If you have read the first two books, then you understand why. When you drop a rider into the Polity universe, the reader finds that this is indeed a huge epic, writ large. The characters are each complex and many layered. And yes, they do drive the plot. But they also drive each other (In more ways the one!), and bounce off of each other, and interact with, and annoy, and so on and so forth.
I thought it very well done that in this final epic, Penny Royal (the erstwhile antagonist and protagonist) of the previous books is almost a minor character? Well, as "minor" as she could be? At least until the very satisfying conclusion. I also was pleased that in a space and time where AI's and aliens, and all manner of things can be done, it was a (not so) simple human that had to make a choice. And what a choice he made!
Make no mistake, I right now (in some part of the Polityverse) rolling over and lighting one up! Yes, it was just that good!

Why yes, as a matter of fact I do blog:
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