Review: Black Magic Academy by Emily Martha Sorensen



Publisher: Emily Martha Sorensen

Publishing Date: January 2012

ISBN: 9781468081497

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.4/5


Publishers Description: Mildred doesn’t like black magic. But her mother was once valedictorian of Black Magic Academy, so her aunts insist she needs to follow in her footsteps and become one too. 

 Review: This was a fun, short read. I liked the characters and the premise. The novel would have been much better served had the world building been expanded and movement utilized to create a greater depth of character development. This may have been due to the YA bent of the novel. 

The storyline was good as was the writing. I look forward to more from this author and their “world”.

Review: The Awakening by Adair Hart



Publisher: Quantum Edge

Publishing Date: September 2015

ISBN: 9780996717205

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.4/5


Publishers Description: A heavily damaged alien research vessel in the Andromeda galaxy is hurtling toward a planet. The aliens should not be there. They have been traveling through space and time, abducting apex predators and sticking them in virtual simulations for research. The problem is the virtual simulations are powering down, unleashing the specimens on the ship.

 Review: This was a fun read. Lots of aliens from across the multi-verse, unleashed to run amok in an alien research vessel. There were some hiccups with scene progression that you often wondered “how did I get here?”…from there, but overall not too distracting. The characters developed marginally as the movement stole the show as the storyline focus. I look forward to the Evaran chronicles to see whether or not this series adds some much needed grit.


Review: Pawns Gambit by Timothy Zahn



Publisher: Open Road

Publishing Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9781504016209

Genre: SciFI/Fantasy

Rating: 2.8/5


Publishers Description: The pieces included in Pawn’s Gambit range from the adventure science fiction Timothy Zahn is famous for to post-apocalyptic tales and humorous fantasy. In “The Price of Survival,” an alien ship arrives in our solar system without hostile intentions—but with a desperate need that could destroy humanity. “The Giftie Gie Us” is set in a post-apocalyptic United States, in which two lonely survivors find love among the ruins. And in the title story, a human and his alien opponent face off over a game that will decide which one of them will return home—and which will not. This collection also includes the Hugo Award–winning novella Cascade Point and eight stories previously unpublished in book form. 

 Review: A collection of old short-fiction stories that “launched” the career of the author. Self-aggrandizement where is thy sting? Some were good, some were so-so.   Pretty average fair when you add in a lot of phrasing to expedite the scenes (said softly, growled and murmured). Get it, don’t get it, no one will care.


Review: Drake by Peter McLean



Publisher: Angry Robot

Publishing Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9780857665126

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.6/5


Publishers Description: Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself. Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice The Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.

 Review: Drake reminds me of an old hard-boiled detective and the setting is reminiscent of said era. Only the hot blonde is a fallen angel that is charged with killing the Furies and a tiny demon familiar called the “Burned Man” that expedites assassinations and suckles blood from his chest.

Fug, this was good. The movement is non-stop and the characters, myriad. The author does a great job developing characters that reside in a fantastic world. I WANT MORE!


Review: The Tea Machine (preview) by Gill McKnight



Publisher: Ylva

Publishing Date: November 2015

ISBN: 9783955334321

Genre: SciFi

Rating: NR


Publishers Description: London 1862, and Millicent Aberly, spinster by choice, has found her future love—in the future! She meddled with her brother’s time machine and has been catapulted into an alternative world where the Roman Empire has neither declined nor fell. In fact, it has gone on to annex most of the known universe.

 Review: This is a preview that is somehow supposed to render itself salable through 3 or so chapters. Its generally about two lesbians (one hot and one manly) that interact through time/universes from the Victorian age to some future era where there are spaceships and space squid.

Read this if you want your bloodline cursed for many generations.


Review: Destroyer (#2) by Brett Battles



Publisher: 47 North

Publishing Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9781503951594

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.2/5


Publishers Description: With the whole of human history altered, Denny Younger may be the last rewinder in existence—and the last person on earth with a chaser unit capable of time travel. While caring for his ailing sister, Denny must discover a way to recharge his device before he’s left with no defense against a past that wants him dead.

 Review: This is still a fun read but readers of the first novel beware. There are even bigger plot holes in this installment. Lidia is on the loose (how? I have no idea) and wants to exact revenge on Denny for taking their original world away. A good follow up to “Rewinder” with the usual 6 foot Denny getting his ass kicked by a hundred pound gurl.


Review: Rewinder by Brett Battles



Publisher: 47 North

Publishing Date: July 2015

ISBN: 9781477830833

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.5/5


Publishers Description: You will never read Denny Younger’s name in any history book, but the world as you know it wouldn’t be the same without him. Denny was born into one of the lowest rungs of society, but his bleak fortunes changed the day the mysterious Upjohn Institute recruited him. The role: “verifier of personal histories.” The job title: Rewinder. After accepting the offer, Denny discovers he’ll have to do his research in person…by traveling through time.

Review: This was a fun read. The characters were entertaining, although they lacked depth in places but overall Denny seemed to grow with the movement. There are a lot of plot holes as mentioned by numerous reviewers but this failed to limit the fun I had reading this (teenagers impacting time events, choices not obvious to the characters that have better outcomes, world building constraints etc. ). 

If you want fun within the bounds of alternate history, get this.