Review: Bane by Keary Taylor

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Publisher: Keary Taylor Books
Publishing Date: March 2013
ISBN:9780615769806
Genre: Scifi
Rating: 4.0

Publishers Description:Before the Evolution there was TorBane: technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter. It had the ability to grow new organs and limbs, to heal the world. Until it evolved out of control and spread like the common cold. The machine took over, the soul vanished, and the Bane were born. The Bane won’t stop until every last person has been infected. With less than two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction.

This was pitched in the genre “Romance, Teens/YA which was a big mistake. This is a great little scifi novel with frickin’ human cyborgs out to infect every human on earth. You can see why virus’ are self-defeating in a way.

There are some minor story-line flaws in this novel. Like how does a water tank burst into flames when a bullet penetrates it. And how does throwing bones outside the perimeter of your camp keep wolves away?? Another myth is that a gas tank explodes when hit by a bullet. The cover art could have better depicted Eve in her wildest state and in no way relects the Eve I visualized. The author never really reveals alot of gun details, which is kind of a letdown as it is quite central to the book.

I have never seen more mixed reviews on Goodreads for this novel than this one. Reviewers either loved the whole premise, or hated the love triangle thingie. I am not so much a divisive story-line guy, meaning that if there is a part of the story that runs parallel and kind of sucks, I don’t get too hung up on it. As long as it doesn’t drag the whole novel down. In this instance it was pretty close, but did I say frikin’ human cyborgs out to infect humans???? I think what saved the book for me was the writing style. A very good writer that seems to be starting out and would do well with an editor and established publisher.

My suggestion for the next cycle might be go on a planet encompassing scavenge to find immunity for the last humans of Eden. Scavenge/sortie stories can create multiple scenarios and infinite mini-stories that keep the reader gripped and entertained. Kind of like the Darwin Elevator novel. Who knows what they find out, or find on each sortie?? Maybe they find a portable EM pulse generator gun and EMP suit for Eve, or way for Eve to interface a computer with her head chip that allows her to fly helicopters or turns a satellite into a huge EM pulse gen, or …….. The possibilities are endless.

I am excited about this new talent and I wish this author well.

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Review: Demon Witch by Geoffry Huntington

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Publisher: Regan Books
Publishing Date: July 2003
ISBN: 0060595515
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3.2

Publishers Description: Devon March matches wits and wizardry against a five-hundred-year-old evil in Demon Witch, the spine-tingling sequel to Sorcerers of the Nightwing. Long before the days of Madman Jackson Muir, a witch named Isobel the Apostate waged war upon her fellow sorcerers, the noble order of the Nightwing. Burned at the stake for her crimes, Isobel vowed to return and conquer the world. Now that she is back, the only person who can prevent hell on earth is fourteen-year-old Devon March. In a battle that takes him from modern-day Ravenscliff to Tudor England and back, Devon must unleash the Nightwing power within himself and call upon friendships in the strangest places to stand against an evil that has waited five centuries for revenge.

This series was published quite a while ago, and was re-released as revisions/updates warranted. The author made the series more current (tweeting, texting etc.). The author plans ten novels for the series with book 3 (Blood Moon) set to re-debut sometime in October of 2013. You can read more about this at http://geoffreyhuntingtonauthor.com/blog/.
This novel jumps right into the action, unlike the first and sets a fairly fast pace throughout. The story is well crafted but the writing style is what draws you in. There is a step-wise logical progression or formulae the author uses to hook the reader and lead them down the horror trail. The author uses innocent characters to align your emotions with regards to good and bad, then a series of unknown occurrences in rapid succession that are either linked or separate having both direct and indirect effects on said characters, and the constant threat of friends being perhaps foes due to their innate nature or manipulation of outside forces coupled with very good descriptions of the creepy venue in which this all takes place. That, my friends, gives you the creepy vibe. I did not like this as much as the first, as it was too evident whom Morgana was/is, and we still have to endure that little brat, Alexander. I get that everyone is tight lipped with regard to information, as this makes the novel what it is, but there are some pretty glaring holes with regard to the dispensing of relevant information, that you are left with a sense of contrived writing that does not follow a patterned norm of behavior. So, you’re left with characters that fail to develop awareness, powers, common sense and depth.
I am not sure how long the author can maintain an audience through 10 novels in this particular series without casting back to build certain characters that have holes in their pasts (which the author intends to do). Back stories, tend to detract from the theme, and should be built into the current story-line in small reveals. I really don’t want to read the whole back story of Rolfe and Mrs. Crandall unless it is current or relevant to the “present” story-line of Devon. Hopefully this is not a greedy push by the author to sell a lot of novels.
In summation this work is a little stilted, not as creepy (by far) as the first, has loads of infernal dialogue, characters are not developing through previous experiences (perhaps getting dumber) and the main protagonist, although purveyed as a total badass, has nowhere near the impact that the madman had in the first novel. Succubus? Really? “Look into my eyes, my beautiful eyes, you love me, I love you….”. Blarg.

Review: The Plague Forge

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Publisher:Del Rey
Publishing Date: September 2013
ISBN:9780345537164
Genre: Scifi
Rating: 3.0
Publishers Description: The Plague Forge delivers an unbeatable combination of knockout action and kick-ass characters as the secrets to the ultimate alien mystery from The Darwin Elevator and The Exodus Towers are about to be unraveled.

Review: Like the description above the Forge has great action, but interminable and lengthy diatribe leading up to said action. In depth descriptions of rooms, places etc. that are not very good for mind/image translation. If you really can’t see the characters in a setting due to a lack of descriptive expertise, then the novel fails at rendering. A lot of the filler descriptions are not only lacking in appropriate detail, but bludgeon you with infernal dialogue. Shjt like their emotions involving their whiney past or current guilt complex related to some direct or indirect slight. Hard line scifi should involve the reader, but not bog them down with emotional baggage. This novel had a little too much propriety involving the characters in a post-apoc scenario. Sex should have been more descriptive and been flying around in all kinds of places. This is the 23rd century right? With zombies and cults killing everything, right? Living on the run with alien structures and devices on the ground and in the sky, right?

I could write pages about why Tania is a story-line disaster but to encapsulate (whiney, guilt ridden, conflicted, shy, indecisive, dumb, not horny etc.). She gets people killed for her stupidity, throws friends under the bus, doesn’t fuk (oh but she’s hot), and after less than a year of “martial arts” training, she is now some badass to reckon with BUT withers under fire, BUT then suddenly “snaps” and is able to lead under pressure and kill sub humans, BUT, still has a hard time killing subhuman kids. The writer just waited way too long to grow her into a woman.

This novel could have been great. I really liked the scavenge theme resurrected, as that always leaves you in a state of the unknown. That should have been the focus of the novel. Would have kept it at a fast pace without the space station filler bs and Yawnia….er.. Tania.

Review: The Exodus Towers by Jason Hough

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Publisher: Del Rey
Publishing Date: August 2013
ISBN: 9780345537140
Genre: SciFi
Rating: 4.2
Publishers Description: The Exodus Towers features all the high-octane action and richly imagined characters of The Darwin Elevator—only the stakes have never been higher.

This is the second novel in the Dire Earth Series (of three).
Not sure I wanted to like this installment, mainly because of the limited source material and available physical settings in the first novel. I am glad that the author continued on in the scavenger vein, with perhaps the ability to travel farther for items or immunes of interest. Kind of keeping the spirit of adventure alive, so to speak. A lot more redundant filler and internal dialogue in this work, that tends to drag the whole novel down, like a boat anchor on the titanic.

Failing that, I really enjoyed this novel. The author surprises you contantly with developing alien weirdnesses that are just not expected. Evolving subs and crystalline growths makes for a menagerie of interesting stories that make a whole.

I rated this lower than the first, only because the orbital portion of the story was weak, and rather contrived as most of the action takes place on earth. Plus you have the filler/dialogue crap. You will kind of get sick of Tania whining about everything, until you figure out that “e-book slapping” is the rapid touch turning of pages to get to the relevant chapters.