Book Review: The Second Death of Daedaleus Mole by N. Slater

 

Publishing Date: January 2019

Publisher: Unbound

ISBN: 9781912618330

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 0.5

Publisher’s Description: The plan: fly his unwanted passenger, Erin, to her destination, squeeze her for every last penny, then immediately find refuge in the nearest pub. Unfortunately, when the galaxy is on the verge of economic collapse and your passenger has a bounty the size of a planet on her head, there’s only so much another drink can do to help.

Review: This may take a bit, and hopefully does not trend into the dramatic (as reviewers are wont to do).

This was one of the best space operatic novels I have read since the late Brian Daley. UP until about the 70% kindle mark and then it turns to pure shjt. Here is why.

The Good: Mole is a great character along with his crazy resident ship’s AI, the alternatively move through universe in an interestingly expansive and at once myopic way. This is mostly due to Moles penchant for drinking himself into oblivion while attempting to make a living. His dualistic nature of depression shielded with forced narcissism makes for a very compelling character. Along the way he picks up a non-human alien that has been bartered as a slave and is now on the run. She is also a compelling character that rejoices in her freedom in rather infantile ways. Add in a huge lumbering female Petradon and the tropes are satisfied.

The Bad: What once was a straight forward story line that progresses in logical fashion turns into a rash of incomprehensible instances. Why in a universe littered with life forms is Erin suddenly so extra fooking speshul as to lead the RESISTANCE! as a figurehead <cough>. How and why is Mole suddenly selected by a semi-omnipotent being to do something of which I am still unclear?

The Ugly: Besides the derailment of the story line which sends the flow of the novel to a screeching halt, you have Erin having inter-species alien lesbian sex with her shipmate. Forget the improbability of alien love-sex and our acceptance of it in literature, as it was none of that. It just did not fit the story line to that point. It was almost as if it were a secondary in consideration and added to satisfy a community or create character depth or……….???

I have only read a couple of novels that went from good to poor in abrupt fashion. Never have I read a novel that begins as a solid 5 stars go to unreadable.

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Book Review: The Amulets of Sihr by Abu Bilaal Yakub

 

Publishing Date: July 2018

Publisher: Books Go Social

ISBN: 9781999387020

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.8/5

Publisher’s Description: As the world plunges into darkness, how will mankind survive the purge? Mukhtar is a young blacksmith, facing everyday struggles to support himself and his widowed mother. Life is brutal and harsh, even harsher while governing body of the empire looks only after its own, and the rest of the people are left to fend for themselves.

Review: Really not much to say here. As with all good novels, the author covers all the bases. Story line, character development, world building and movement all interleave to create a fantastic synergism. Thankfully, the story doesn’t end here and I await the next like a patient grass viper.

Book Review: Darkness by Iain Richmond

 

Publishing Date: January 2019

Publisher: Lore Mountain

ISBN:  9781946807090

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.8/5

Publisher’s Description: Lieutenant Jack Falco woke up, said goodbye to his wife and daughter, three hours later his family and half the world’s population was dead. When he couldn’t put a bullet in his head, Falco did the next best thing, took a commission as captain and left for humanity’s furthest boundary, Station Pluto. Five years in a scout-class boat refitted for the long haul, and Falco escapes the horrors of earth only to find something worse waiting in the vast Oort Cloud, an ancient civilization with a history of violent expansion and humanity has unwittingly entered their territory.

Review: At first I thought this was a little smug and self-serving in writing style. Hero flyer/martial expert/doting father/lover/estate owner and all around mans man. Kind of like being in a room of all knowing liberals basking in pseudo collective entitlement. But…..that lasted only a few pages and Falco transforms into a shattered wreck.

So Jacky-boyo captains his ship of devoted followers to the outskirts of the solar system to sniff around for mining opportunities and some anomaly in the Oort cloud. Consummate to his mission, Jack has plenty of naughty/guilty thoughts for his brilliant staff officer. She happens to be hotter than a popcorn fart what with her shaven, tattoo crowned Brazilian noggin’ sitting on top of a hot chassis. MEOW! Thankfully this is not the story line, entire. Humanity has way bigger problems other than whether or not Jack whets his whistle.

The aliens were fairly “alien” and the worlds in which they reside is bizarre in the extreme. This novel was one that grew from so-so beginnings into a vast world of possibilities, so extreme as to be rejected from the pits of normalcy. The follow up novel should bring more of the bizarre galactic to life.