Book Review: Sparkles of Blue by Ray Zdan

Publisher: BooksGoSocial

Publishing Date: January 2017

ISBN: 9781999737702

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.7/5

Publishers Description: The secret world of Sleepers broke my life like a powerful twister.

Review: This was released a year ago and has only garnered one review on GR. A little puzzling even if released specifically in the U.K. This is about an average office worker that is bitten by a snake on a train that resides on the body of an unknown man. Soon his life changes when he falls asleep in his current reality, he wakes up in a world of Fantasy. These worlds start to merge within his life experiences making life a bit more hectic than usual.

The story line premise is a good one. By design it constantly thrusts the reader into spritely paced movement while giving the reader a chance to breath when sleep for our hero prevails. These instances grow shorter as various villains start to hunt Prince Kyleb/Kyle.

The world building was hard to visualize as the descriptors lacked a well defined progression. No matter how hard I tried, I could not entertain  the soaring vertical black cliffs, raging river and the kingdom as a cogent entity. The outer realms were equally hard to visualize, especially the “Braid” and the further reaches.

The characterization was very good except for, you guessed it, the main character. Which is pretty important in pivotal situations. Kyle goes from a mewling trembling wretch to Prince Kyleb, master at arms and genius war general. This constant flutter of personas residing in the same person was not only tiring but wholly unbelievable. The priest was a great addition to the novel but sadly got very little page time. Additionally Prince Kyleb’s sisters are interesting as well.

So, there you have it. A tame review that seeks a bit of clarity from a burgeoning talent. While the ending is abrupt to further whet your stone on a series, the next installment requires some changes in Kyle’s character development  along with some enhanced world building to further your interest.

Book Review: Gravlander by Erik Wecks


Publisher: Wecks

Publishing Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9781978137318

Genre: SciFi


Publishers Description: Nineteen-year-old Josephine Lutnear is just months away from becoming the youngest fleet surgeon in history. And she’s miserable. As a young girl, Jo watched the Unity Corporation murder her family and barely escaped the moon Aetna’s destruction. Eight years later, the Unity started a war that left Jo running for her life. Alone aboard a hidden rebel fleet, she grew up studying the only academic course open to her: medicine.

Review:  First Movement.

Jo is super speshul with sugar in her butt. Her heightened sense of myopia knows no bounds. Pages of internal dialogue litter your eyes with narcissistic blather. “I am so frustrated that I am the youngest doctor in space and not allowed to help these aliens that are not aliens. I can’t help it if I am smarter than everyone. I think I will cry and have a tantrum for the next 20 pages.”  And so it goes for awhile until………she finds the fucking cure for the alien’s that are not aliens, plague. But really it is a computer that does all the work. and you’re never told how she cured them and by what specific mechanism.

What is completely unbelievable is Asshats…, Jo’s choices in life. She feels trapped on a rebel ship and chooses to go with aliens that are not aliens (whom everyone knows hate humans that are humans) to their floating mishmash of wrecks floating in space. Really? Is the grass greener in shit hole central? I guess this is what is called setting up the story line narrative, but man, what a weak leap.


Second Movement.

Well Jo is now named Katy because UNITY still wants her for some reason that only the writer knows. So she is in disguise and becomes a total wreck when she can’t save everybody in the universe while wondering “when am I going to screw this up as well?”.  From a know-it-all narcissist to ditch swilling low self-esteem gurl was a shift not expected because of the “wha??” factor. Well, while on her new ship that embraces her like family (through much resistance), Katy-Jo finds her true calling. She is in a persistent state of disbelief even after all that has happened to her and is constantly “trembling, horrified, sickened, and growling while sitting in a waking nightmare”.

So, as we trundle along in Jo’s sociopathic wake, wondering how she is going to save the galaxy from UNITY and become the messiah /Space Princess of the aliens that are not aliens by bringing them out of the galactic gutter, that is exactly what happens. Well, not really. But if I had to guess where this shjtbucket is going that is the direction I am inclined.

The ending is abrupt but that is what you get from serialized novels.  So, if you like 19 year old DOCTORS that save “not aliens” and the galaxy at large (maybe) then this ones for you.

Book Review: Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe by Marshall Ryan Maresca


Publisher: DAW

Publishing Date: March 2018


Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.7/5

Publishers Description: The neighborhood of North Seleth has suffered–and not just the Holver Alley Fire. Poverty and marginalization are forcing people out of the neighborhood, and violence on the streets is getting worse. Only the Rynax brothers–Asti and Verci–and their Holver Alley Crew are fighting for the common people. They’ve taken care of the people who actually burned down Holver Alley, but they’re still looking for the moneyed interests behind the fire.

Review: This was labeled “Fantasy” as there is some magical instances with a mage of mercenary intent.  Throw in alternate universe/Victorian steampunk mystery and you might have an apt description. Think olde London with Oliver Twist scarping about.

Asti Rynax has a crew, of sorts, that are seeking justice for a land grab that involved the burning of their homes. They are all fiercely loyal to the Rynax brothers of which the “whys” are never built upon and you wonder where this deep level of caring comes from. Helene seesaws back and forth from ardent supporter and caring crew mate, to shifting her outlook in order to serve her own livelihood. This inconsistent rendering paired much of the characterization a bit flat. The players are numerous and most are solidly built within a very fast paced environment.

Overall it was an enjoyable read, if a bit patterned with the damaged hero and the evil hottie spy protagonist shtick.

Book Review: Monkeys Luck by Bonnie Milani

Publisher: Booksgosocial

Publishing Date: December 2017

ISBN: 9780993242564

Genre: SciFi

Rating: DNF

Publishers Description: Monkey’s Luck. That’s what the Commonwealth citizens call the kind of hard luck that turns even the good stuff bad. For a not-even-legally-human woman like Kat, it’s the only kind of luck there is. Why else would her regiment be shipped out to an unknown post at the edge of human space in the cargo hold of an old freighter?

Review: Let us follow some story line pathways together, and perhaps find a cogent thread from which logic blossoms. (Deep Breath). Ok, Kat is a soldier in a cargo hold with other soldiers whom all die and she is the only survivor. She makes her way on board the main part of the ship to find a lady boy (sprite) with BABY BROWN EYES and a huge sexy Lupin wolf guy, whom she shoots. Good plan, as they are at war with the galactic wolf people. She calls for help, is arrested by a colonel that raped and tortured her in another phenotypical form, he lets her and Lady boy go, and now she is bringing sausage sandwiches to sexy wolf man whom is being tortured with this inner mantra constantly in play….”I must save sexy wolf man and lady boy as soon as possible.”.

So with all the fucks out there to give, why do I give a fuck? Well one reader saved looks good on my karmic record or I have an ego that demands attention. So how has Kat determined that Colonel Klink is evil (besides being a rapist and bumping into him in a huge galaxy) and that she must thwart any plans the military has as it will throw the galaxy into inter-stellar war the likes of which no one has ever seen? Or how she suddenly throws all her training and battle hardness out the door to save a sexy wolf guy and a lady boy with BABY BROWN EYES in lieu of a court martial? Or how a hidden military sister hood resides in a military camp where she is immediately invited into and the women there have fucking wolf mates on planet wolf with little humanoid wolf puppies? They ask her about her DEEP CONNECTION to sexy wolf guy cause he touched her forehead. Really?

Lets take a look at Lady Boy. As you can guess he has BABY BROWN EYES, as it is said over and over and over. He is a slave or claims to be but is a fucking medic that fixes Kat’s broken foot while staring daggers at her the whole time. When no one is looking, there is something deep, dark and hidden within Lady Boy. We get it. Foreshadowing. This little turd should have been dumped or killed real quick but manages to derail and mitigate a story line into crap.

So that’s as far as I got before throwing in the reading towel on this POS. If you can make sense of this novel please tender your fucks in the comments section.

Book Review: Ardulum: First Don by J.S. Fields

Publisher: Ninestar Press

Publishing Date: February 2017

ISBN: 9781945952647

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.8/5

Publishers Description: Neek makes a living piloting the dilapidated tramp transport, Mercy’s Pledge, and smuggling questionable goods across systems blessed with peace and prosperity. She gets by—but only just. In her dreams, she is still haunted by thoughts of Ardulum, the traveling planet that, long ago, visited her homeworld. The Ardulans brought with them agriculture, art, interstellar technology…and then disappeared without a trace, leaving Neek’s people to worship them as gods.

Review: I am glad I did not pass this up based on the LGBTQMNOPQRSTUV designation that prostrates itself before the holy secularized schism and anyone who happens to be paying attention between bites of ground and seasoned tofu masquerading as meatable products.

Gender-less pronouns are funny in that they prescribe an affinity to nothing while masquerading as deeply entrenched identity. In this case it works, as the aliens become more viable as a believable instance and not some parody of humanity. The problem with Ardulum is the aliens are never carried to that next “instance” of alien-ess and interact with established humanistic idiomatic traits. There is some attempt at stilted alien dialogue and base physicality to make the aliens seem more alien, but is never adequately pulled off to render the depth needed for visceral SciFi.

I still enjoyed the story line and the characters as they traipsed across the vacuum in light space operatic fashion.

Book Review: Sanctuary Creek by John Kavanagh

Publisher: Riverdale

Publishing Date: December 2017


Genre: ScFi

Rating: 2.2/5

Publishers Description: In Sanctuary Creek, the third novel in the pop culture Macroglint Trilogy set in the near future, Chicago is the new home of the Papacy and the American Pope. But all is not peaceful. This American Century of new Catholicism is rocked by evidence of the authenticity of the recently discovered diaries of St. Sebastian (who claims Jesus was a third-rate magician), the suspicious death of one of the new Pope’s closest cardinals, and the rumored existence of a porn video featuring the world-renowned Catholic pop star Angelique and someone very high up in this new American Catholic Church.

Review: To be fair I did not read the first two novels in this series. Which seems to be acceptable as the first two don’t have anything in common as per the descriptions. Had the novels had a deeper connecting thread, then there would not have been the need to create and entertain exhaustive backstory in the form of explanatory prose. Just when the story line becomes interesting, you are thrust into page after page of supportive backstory that totally derails the story line and subsequently, any interest you had in reading the outcome.

While Terry, Peter II and Angelique are interesting characters, you never get a real consistent reveal as you are under a mountain of faux history. There is also a definite hostile and passive aggressive take on religion, specifically Catholicism that tends to grate after awhile as well.

Book Review: Time Heist by Anthony Vicino


Publisher: One Lazy Robot

Publishing Date: December 2014


Genre: SciFi

Rating: 4.2/5

Publishers Description: Time Vice Detective Tom Mandel lost everything when Malcolm Wolfe pulled off the biggest heist in Unity history. The next nine years passed in a drug-induced haze filled with nightmares of all the millions of lives Tom failed to protect. But now, with less than 24 hours left on his government-issued Life Tracker, Tom is given a new reason to live. Revenge.

Review: This started out a bit patterned. A sort of SciFi Sam Spade detective noir rendition. Then it becomes infused with this futuristic implosion that leaves you guessing and transfixed at the same time.

The movement is constant and builds the characters in tandem to a high degree. The scenes are vividly crafted and the tech, highly plausible. There is much blood and gore but thankfully there are nanobots doing their biz in profligate manner. I really enjoyed this interlude over the holidays but missed the initial release by a few years.

Book Review: Working Stiffs by Scott Bell

Publisher: Red Adept

Publishing Date: December 2017


Genre: Scifi

Rating: 4.4/5

Publishers Description: Joe Warren, an unemployed electrical engineer, has a terminally ill girlfriend and a bank account bumping rock bottom. Jobs are scarce in 2050, since nanotechnology has created the ability to animate the recently deceased, who are put to work performing menial labor at low wages. These Revivants have glutted the job market, leaving their living counterparts out in the cold. Joe goes looking for a helping hand and mistakenly gets arrested with a group of freedom fighters. The only cause Joe wants to fight for is Joe, but federal agents coerce him into spying on the Children of Liberty.

Review: When I started this novel I thought “Crap, sucked in by another zombie/dystopian novel”. Luckily I ran out of books to read and pulled this back out from the DNF pile. Glad I did. This has it all. From social and political commentary ridden hard  like a lathered horse to great characterization and story line crafting.

You will have a good laugh at yourself reading this.

Book Review: The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard

Publisher:Subterranean Press

Publishing Date: March 2018


Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.0/5

Publishers Description: Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appareance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

Review: This gets a max rating for novellas based on their compressed and truncated nature. This is a talented writer that deserves the audience to come. Expand this universe, please.

Book Review: We Care For You by Paul Kitcatt

Publisher: Unbound

Publishing Date: November 2017


Genre: SciFi

Rating: DNF

Publishers Description: Margaret Woodruff is slowly dying in a care home. When her son is presented with the chance of exceptional care in her final months, he finds the offer hard to resist.
Winifred is assigned to Margaret’s care.

Review: This was freakishly boring. Robots deciding that humans are undeserving of what they have is a very tired story line that should be racked like the zombie genre. Besides this strange robotical infatuation with Margaret’s “WISDOM” there was not enough movement to satisfy a hummingbird dick.