Review: The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette

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Publisher: Gene Doucette

Publishing Date: December 2015

ISBN: 9781519189394

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 4.6/5

Publishers Description: When a spaceship landed in an open field in the quiet mill town of Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts, everyone realized humankind was not alone in the universe. With that realization, everyone freaked out for a little while.

 Review: This was a really entertaining ride down the SciFI trail with alien controlled zombies, a government risk analyst and a 16 year old girl. Throw in two militant lesbians, a guy that poops in the woods and a girl that no one seems to remember and you get a great recipe for entertainment.

 Annie is a great character and develops nicely with the story line while rendering a somewhat glib, funny and sarcastic commentary on the people (past and present) of Sorrow Falls. This was hard to put down but a man has gotta sleep.

 

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Review: Alternate by Ernie Luis

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Publisher: Ernie Luis

Publishing Date: October 2015

ISBN:9781519199607

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.4/5

 Publishers Description: In 2030, he became the most lethal assassin for The Watchtower, a secret organization that uses time travel as a means to bend reality in their favor. If he works for them long enough, he’ll get to go back and save his daughter. Or so they say… 

 Review: An interesting take on time travel that involved discrete time periods and a bleak future for mankind. The internal dialogue was a bit lengthy at times and the muddling over life’s regrets and subsequent self-recriminations tended to detract from the movement. The pivotal moments in the assassins life help explain why they are mere tattered remnants of a better self impacted long ago. It is a backwards way of building a character and there were too many gaps in the characters development to impart any sympathetic identity with the reader (me). The idea that a former Special Forces operative can get beat up by a girl is ridiculous as are the repeated tactical errors.

What I liked was the creative world building, and when not mired in self-ruminative dialogue, the movement was really good. The writing, technically, was excellent and flowed nicely. A solid read that would make a good TV series.

Review: Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet by Philip Harris

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Publisher: Philip Harris

Publishing Date: August 2015

ISBN: 9780993888700

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.4/5

 Publishers Description: As project head Dr. Zheng discusses the gateway, an armed man calling himself John Smith takes Zheng hostage and causes an explosion. When the rubble clears, Glitch is alive but trapped with Air Force Captain Scarlett Anderson on the other side of the gateway!

 Review: This was a fun romp through space-time with lots of aliens, movement and repetitive cliffhangers. A glib look at Science Fiction that reminds us to not take ourselves so seriously.

 

Review: Web of Wizardry by Juanita Colson

 

 

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Publisher: Venture Press

Publishing Date:   September 1978

ISBN:9780345273376

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.2/5

 Publishers Description: The outer islands have fallen, and soon the sorcery-driven soldiers will be striking at Krantin’s heart. The only hope for survival lies in an alliance of Royal forces with the fiercely independent desert marauders, the Destre-Y — and with a perilous linkage of all of Krantin’s adepts of magic. The young Troop-Leader Danaer, Destre-born but sworn to Royal service, is the key to the uneasy partnership of ages-old enemies.
But his love for the enchantress Lira is now imperilling the final confrontation between the malignant enemy sorcerer and the protection of the web of wizardry… 

 Review: This work has being re-distributed from the original publication in 1978.  It has all the key elements that make up a good fantasy novel: reluctant/innocent hero, budding love, evil/good sorcery, impossible odds and subsequent triumph at great loss.  This was a very good novel when the movement was paced but tended to drag, especially towards the end where dialogue and detail seemed to rule. The characters are well built and develop with the story line. Solid world building as well.

 

Review: Waking Up Alive by Emma Shortt

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Publisher: Entangled

Publishing Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9781633755444

Genre: SciFI

Rating: 2.5/5

 Publishers Description: After surviving the zombie apocalypse for two years, Tye LeBow never expected to be saved from a hungry gang of zombies by a geek with a bad attitude and a penchant for explosives. Tye can’t quite work out why scientist Polly Parker saved him. She doesn’t want his protection, and she certainly doesn’t want his company. But Tye has no intention of leaving the beguiling geek behind.

 Review: This book follows the first only it is Tye’s journey to the South with his insta-love companion.  Why did this fall a little flat? Tye is just not a character that develops at all. The only thing that develops is a boner for Polly. The constant “Baby Girl” endearments really wore thin.  Polly is not believable as a post-apoc survivor of 2 years. She’s shy, demure, weak, slow and blind….all the attributes that got most of the population killed off. She’s been working at the University think tank but somehow knows how to shoot a pistol like an expert because “it’s all mathematics..”. Sorry Polly its not all mathematics. Its more about body control, practice and technique. Like the first installment, all the main characters carry machetes, katanas or axes. Forget that the USA has billions of guns and even more ammo but somehow food is easier to find.

Honestly, this novel should have just carried through with Jackson as she was a finely crafted character. Although she makes an appearance its all about whiney Tye and dull Polly. Still, this novel was entertaining if you don’t get hung up on the details.