Book Review: Saving Paludis by Clayton Graham

Publishing Date: June 2018

Publisher: Books Go Social

ISBN:9780994495631

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.2/5

Publisher’s Description: To keep his home world alive, Stefan must team with two strangers, a botanist and a mysterious seer. As embattled factions vie for control of the universe, the trio must trust in each other to keep the new technology from ripping time and space apart. Saving Paludis is an electrifying sci-fi thrill-ride. If you like futuristic technology, alien political intrigue, and high-octane, paranormal action, then you’ll love Clayton Graham’s interstellar adventure!

Review: This was some hard SciFi where it embraced the premise of alien life on a conquered world and the technology used to overcome interstellar distances. Initially, the aliens played well in this universe as the perspective was rendered as it should be….wholly without humanistic forms of expression. The native life on Palludis was interesting but never wandered far from the Earth norm. The characters evolved nicely with the movement (generally) and the few that stood out were entertaining.

“So why you no give 5 stars!!?”.  The aliens became not that “alien” as the novel progressed and reverted to brandishing humanistic reactions to emotionally charged situations. They just dd not come off as alien as the story line progressed.  The flora and fauna were not expounded upon to lend the planet the “alien-ess” that it needed. A big lizard that can be tamed and some kelp just about rounded up the all the weird that the planet had to offer.

What really nose dived this novel from 4 to 3 stars was Clare. Oh my fuk, what a turkey. She is not only speshul by way of brains and hotness level, she was singled out by the evil empire to spy on Palludis unbeknownst to, well …herself. Captain Stefan has a space boner for her and she wants to be compliant but is/was currently having her brain purged while fending off various men from raping her (because she is so hot). She is in a constant state of helpless bewilderment but seems to find her spine when there is no man to cling to. She starts to snivel and whine when guns are either mentioned or brandished and always manages to muster the strength for action when in this enduring state of frailty. So good job author of tanking a really promising piece of work with one lame character.

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Book Review: Domani: The Outer Ring Series, Volume 1 by Carolyn Gross

Publishing Date: December 2017

Publisher: Carolyn Gross

ISBN: 9780692979419

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.4/5

Publisher’s Description: Lulu knew the people of Dalia deserved to live in darkness. The knowledge existed in her bones as surely as she knew that the flames were coming to end their existence. But their protector planet was shifting away from them and the shadow that once sheltered them was disappearing. The strength and power Lulu discovers about herself will place her at the head of a massive uprising that will span across an entire galaxy. Does she become the catalyst needed to destroy the empire that created her?

SPOILER ALERT!

Review: I would first like to get something out of the way that relates to a Goodreads review on this particular piece of work. It received a DNF for the simple reason that it was confusing. Now mind you that the review that was written was confusing and lacked an iterative attempt at cogency. So we must consider the source (reviewer) in this instance. Add to that all the spelling and grammatical errors and, well, there you go. So rather than go through each point and dispute it, I discarded that notion due to my own identity inconsistencies.

The Good– In the first movement of this novel, Lulu is scrambling about like all the other castoff of denizens of the Domain on a moon rife with religious control. Her smart ass personality comes out in spades under a determined and independent mien. When the head religious leader speaks the truth about coming events he is about to be assassinated until Lulu saves him.  The novel only gets better when events escalate, new characters are introduced and the twist in the story line pulls you under it’s spell. Is life on a moon orbiting a gas giant that protects them from the sun supportable? Probably not, but I just did not give a shjt as the writing was fantastic.

The Bad- And then ………Lulu is???? Yup, speshul. Not just a gal that may have an inherent gene sequence that is valuable to the Domain. Noooooooo. Her fingers fukin’ glow as she lights a beacon and can manipulate light and burn people to ash or take out hundreds of soldiers with a thought.  As I kept reading the second movement I thought, “Who the fuk wrote this?”. No really, it is like two different people sat down and hashed out two disparate pieces of a novel and forced them to mate and have a novel baby.

The Ugly- Well at the end of the day, we have a promising author with fleeting brilliance that lost her own voice to patterned tropes. Romance and aliens that are not alien but thingies with an anthropomorphic bent round out some of the crap to swallow.  Evilly Domain people meting out rape and cruelty on a whim does not a believable SciFI novel make.  The Over -the-Top good vs. evil shtick, while reminiscent of Star Wars, lacked the lengthy build to draw you in.

I really hope this author pulls her head out of her….well, finds and builds upon the voice we heard in the first movement. Make it alien, weird and SciFI, not this mix of Fantasy/Romance crapola littered with the kind of shjt people churn out en masse. Make the effort.

Book Review: To Die Again by Sandy Parks

 

Publishing Date: March 2018

Publisher: Kobo

ISBN:9781941787168

Genre: SciFi/Romance

Rating: 1.0/5

Publisher’s Description: Dr. Mona Signoretti has the rare ability to shield her Infinitas life energy from others, making her appear human. She uses that talent by going undercover for a special FBI unit to investigate one of her species suspected of developing a deadly toxin to gain power in the human world. If she fails, not only are humans at risk, but also the mission to save her race from destruction. When her role is discovered and her life-sustaining energy threatened, an all-too-human agent, Grant Thornton, is assigned to keep her alive—not an easy task in a world where enemies refuse to die.

Review: Not a lot of reviews out on this one, but dang they are of the 5 star variety. I don’t know about 5 stars, but lets read on to find out.

The Good- Initially this was really well written (cogent) and the premise is spot on. Alien hottie immortal, seeking evidence of a bio-toxin aimed at killing humanity. Ah, the stage was set for a pretty kick ass novel with a tough and interesting heroine leading the charge.

The Bad- But….sadly no. After a lab disaster aimed at killing Dr. Alien Hottie-Pants, Carey Grant Huge Johnson saves the day and therein after, Mona has her head buried in his lap. Forget that she is a 2,000 year old alien with literally years of experience and wisdom behaving like a hormone addled adolescent.

The Ugly- The dialogue within various scenes lacks not only logical progression but fails at making a cogent argument about what is being considered. Usually when you have two people making assumptions, developing hypothesis and communicating in a iterative way, there is a culmination of rational perspectives that embraces a choice or two. In this novel, all the assumptions are made by asshats that 1) have nothing to do with the story line 2) wander to and fro and then totally abandon the initial premise 3) are extremely juvenile and pedantic in approach to the problem, and 4) spit out some non-related outcome that suddenly moves the story line in the direction intended.

Well, once again I am reminded that just because it says science fiction and has a snazzy cover does not mean that the content is rife with romantically inclined trash. My sincerest wish is that romance writers stay out of the SciFI/Fantasy genres and build a novel like all the others. Set on a dude ranch, strawberry blonde hair, heaving breasts, that bitch mother-in-law, love triangles and a sketchy past that erased all trust…blah, blah, blah.

Book Review: Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Publishing Date: May 2018

Publisher: Tor

ISBN: 9781250186928

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 4.4/5

Publisher’s Description: It has a dark past—one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

Review: This was a really fine read. Great world building coupled with superb characterization. The novella flows really well for a work truncated in nature and builds interest to the point where you cannot put it down. An easy 5 stars if written to length rather than as part of a multi-series.

Book Review: The World Ends Tomorrow by Eliade Moldovan

 

Publishing Date: April 2018

Publisher: Books Go Social

ISBN:9781980737414

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.6/5

Publisher’s Description: Four hundred years into the future, Clara, the Secretary, is faced with a dilemma, mankind is facing extinction and our only hope is alien technology, but it comes at a price.
Fracony, a super-civilization that visited Earth in the past, built models showing that this apocalypse, triggered by human virus experiments, was inevitable.

Review: I picked up and put this down quite a few times. Dithering to either give up or grind through. The only reason I picked it back up was I had no other books in the queue. “Why”, you ask? The start of the novel thrusts you into gang-scape futuristic world that is more of the same post-apocalyptic or near, shtick. The dialogue is halting and reads like robots talking about their ancestral roots as Sybians.

So what grabbed my attention was the sudden shift from the tired and mundane to a continent that embraced measures to stem the tide of environmental destruction with the help of alien technology. The author has this ability to pull you into a visual world through descriptive detail. Where it falls down is the endless robotic-like dialogue that ensues between Clara and her staff. It is like reading a novel written by Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. Great movement then………dulls-ville.

I have to say that I still had a good time reading this novel that could have used a BIG dose of pre-publication editing due to all the grammatical errors throughout. I hope this author refines his skills as he has an inventive take on the future.

Book Review: Rage of Winter by Sam Herrera

 

Publishing Date: April 2018

Publisher: Matador

ISBN:9781788034814

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 1.0/5

Publisher’s Description: Kyle Thayer is an ex-soldier with no family and very few friends. His dishonourable discharge has left him few options and he spends his nights dodging knives and fists while working as a doorman at Cielo, a has-been nightclub, and dreaming of something better. These two people have nothing in common and may never have even met if they hadn’t both made a very strange discovery in a cave beneath Thompkins Park: the Rage of Winter, an extremely advanced fighter aircraft unlike anything ever seen before. It is capable of invisibility, crossing oceans in minutes, has mounted guns, missiles, medical supplies, an armoury and can even leave Earth’s orbit.

Review: I am going to attempt to break this down into some sense of cogency in hopes that my brain resets during the process.

In the first movement we get Kyle rescuing a 13 year old rich girl, Mara, and they become fast pals riding around the world in a spaceship. And I mean inseparable buddies. Like he’s her Dad kinda buddy but with this weird pedo vibe thrown in. As the story line kind of develops we find these two defending each other almost violently as “they have been through so much together”. When that was uttered i thought, “Been through what?”. Flying to beaches, Mara teleporting to Borneo and sitting on top of the Statue of Liberty having lunch kind of travails?

In the second movement Mara moves to England and we all get mired in YA teen angst and a plethora of names and people that have no bearing on the story line. This goes on for chapters while emulating Mara’s growth into adulthood. Meanwhile Kyle bangs Mara’s auntie and gets thrown in jail for being a serial killer.

In the third movement, hell is unleashed on Earth as they battle genetically engineered talking dragons and the anti-Christ while hiding out in caves.

To say this novel was confusing is an understatement. This novel needed a HEAVY dose of editing and perhaps a re-write or two. The schizophrenic way in which the novel evolves demands at least some form of logical progression in order for the reader to understand what is going on. Just because you write and understand what you are saying does not mean the reader does. That said, this writer has a lot of creative ideas that need to be harnessed and focused for better effect.

Book Review: The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken

Publishing Date: October 2018

Publisher: Rebellion

ISBN: 9781781085707

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 4.7/5

Publisher’s Description: Balisarius is a quantum man, created to serve, made for a world that requires every moment to be monitored. He flees—his creators, his supposed place in the world, his purpose—to curve out a normal life. Now, he is the world’s most infamous con-man. When a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of warships across an enemy wormhole, Belisarius must embrace his true nature to pull of the job.

Review: It has been a long time that I have been this excited for the evening to come in order ply the pages of a scifi novel. Wow, was this good. The ideas presented follow the author’s understanding of physics and what might become in the near future. This cognitive resonance interacts with characters that are set in a wondrous universe of the weird.

And I mean fukin’ weird, as in a genetically designed race of beings called the Puppets (Homo pupa). No way am I giving this one away, just read it and shudder along with the rest of us. Creepy doesn’t even begin to describe these freaks. The Homo eridanus in the form of Stills was so funny I almost pooped my pants. Wrap all this strangeness and hilarity around a cogent and well thought out story line and you have novel gold.

So much of this novel could be spun off to create a varied and entertaining universe. You could have a whole series on just the Puppets but you would probably throw up. The Eridanus with their in your face belittling via curses and put downs would be very entertaining.  The Homo quantus will need to continue it’s expansion in other novels, as we have not quite reached a culmination of self-discovery.

This author has a great future so get on board early.