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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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10 04, 2015

Review: Fortress in Orion by Mike Resnick

By | April 10th, 2015|Categories: Audiobooks, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Rating:

fortress in orion book coverReviewed by Marcus Hammond

The Fortress in Orion is the first book in Mike Resnick’s series The Dead Enders. The story follows Nathan Pretorius, a war weary soldier for an intergalactic government, as he attempts to pull off an impossible mission. Nathan is well-known throughout the galaxy as the Democracy’s most successful and trusted military asset. For that reason, he is given the task of putting together a team that can covertly replace the Democracy’s greatest enemy, General Michkag, with a perfect clone. To do so Nathan and his team of unique mercenaries will have to infiltrate the Coalition’s headquarters in the Orion constellation. While the characters have potential to be interesting, there’s a lot of poorly constructed dialogue and the overall story demands too much suspension of disbelief (even for science fiction) to be enjoyable.

The idea of

30 03, 2015

Review: Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher

By | March 30th, 2015|Categories: Action & Adventure, Audiobooks, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

dark intelligence book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Dark Intelligence is the first book in a new series called Transformation in the Polity Universe. The book begins by introducing Thorvald Spear in a virtual resurrection room. He has just been resurrected from his recently recovered memory implant. Apparently, he was found sitting in a jewelry store window set in a nice brooch.

After going through his acclimation process he has a chance to absorb his last memories and it leaves him with a need to revenge himself and his friends. It appears his last days with his friends were on a planet fighting against the Prador. One of their own ships carpet bombed the stronghold and wiped out the whole unit. This and some other not so pleasant memories coming back to him leave him with a burning hatred for one Penny Royal, a rogue

14 03, 2015

Review: On the Imperium’s Secret Service by Christopher G. Nuttall

By | March 14th, 2015|Categories: Audiobooks, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , |1 Comment

Rating:

imperium's secret service book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

On the Imperium’s Secret Service is the first book in the Imperium Cicernus series and it proved to be quite an interesting space opera. I had the audiobook version and in my opinion, the narrator did a great job and made the book much easier to listen to.

We jump into the story with Mariko and her sister May, stuck in prison, awaiting an auction to see who will be the highest bidder and their future owner. They happen to be in this prison because Mariko refused the forceful advances from the son of a powerful man–with her knee. The only reason they haven’t had rougher treatment at the hands of the guards is because that same son is expected to win the bidding and he has ‘plans’ for them.

When it appears that Mariko has finally pissed

26 02, 2015

Review: Line War by Neal Asher

By | February 26th, 2015|Categories: Action & Adventure, Audiobooks, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Rating:

line war book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Line War is the fifth book (sixth if you count the prequel) in the Ian Cormac series which is set in the Polity universe. I’ve read Gridlinked – the first installment – and then I tried this one as an audiobook. I have to say that the gap between the first and the fifth book was too big for me to fully grasp the story. If you’re new to the series, I would not recommend starting with Line War. However, I think the series has merit and I have the prequel sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

The Polity is a human based government that spans a large portion of the Galaxy. The AIs have fairly bloodlessly taken over and in general do a much better job than humans ever did. They appear to be a benevolent

26 01, 2015

Review: Juliet’s Nurse by Lois Leveen

By | January 26th, 2015|Categories: Audiobooks, Contemporary, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , , |8 Comments

Rating:

juliet's nurse book coverReviewed by Colleen Turner

Like just about everyone else who experiences an American public high school education I remember reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and really enjoying it even if I found the language rather difficult to get through. After almost 20 years my memory of the intricacies of plot and character development are somewhat blurry but the overall image I retain is of an all-consuming love between two young and naïve members of two feuding families against a backdrop of greed, power and jealousy. Beyond that things get hazy. With Juliet’s Nurse the reader is drawn back into this world of corruption and political rivalries and given the opportunity to view this much-read story from a new perspective, that of Juliet’s wet nurse and strongest advocate, with its world coming to life like never before in a way that

31 12, 2014

Review: A Witness Above by Andy Straka

By | December 31st, 2014|Categories: Audiobooks, Contemporary, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

a witness above book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

Meet Frank Pavlicek, a former New York City police detective currently working as a private investigator. As a young detective, his career in police work ended after a teenager and a police officer were both killed. Years later, that fateful day still hangs over his head. In A Witness Above – the first book in the Frank Pavlicek Mysteries – by Andy Straka, the reader is introduced to Frank while he is out falconing one morning. In the middle of nowhere, he manages to nearly stumble over a decomposing body. As an experienced PI, he quickly checks for clues and flips through a wallet near the body. Inside he happens to find his daughter’s phone number on a slip of paper, leaving him with a mystery to unravel.

What follows is the tale of Frank’s investigation as he

12 12, 2014

Review: J by Howard Jacobson

By | December 12th, 2014|Categories: Audiobooks, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , , |8 Comments

Rating:

j book coverReviewed by Colleen Turner

When Kevern and Ailinn meet and fall in love they aren’t entirely sure if it is fate or someone else’s machinations pushing them together. Both come from such mysterious backgrounds, neither knowing really where they come from nor being entirely sure where they are going, and the fact that they have found each other in the brutal and secretive world they live in seems quite astonishing. As certain acquaintances of theirs draw closer and begin dropping information about their families’ pasts the lovers begin to realize their relationship was not an accident and there are those who would use them to make up for a horrible wrong done in the past that the world has long been trying to erase from memory and history. But is this a wrong that can be corrected or has it all

21 11, 2014

Review: Lock In by John Scalzi

By | November 21st, 2014|Categories: Audiobooks, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Rating:

lock in by scalzi book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Lock In by John Scalzi was much better than I expected. In fact, it was a very good book. The audiobook I listened to was read by Wil Wheaton and he did an excellent job as the narrator as well. This book takes place in our not so distant future–about 30-35 years after a terrible calamity had struck.

The story starts about 25 years after the pandemic that eventually comes to be called the Hadens Syndrome. It started as a serious flu which was just as deadly as most others, only more virulent.  It also had a long gestation time; those sick and spreading it were not aware of doing so until it was too late. Some recovered like normal and others experienced a second stage of meningitis like symptoms. Of those that survived a

4 10, 2014

Review: The River of Souls by Robert McCammon

By | October 4th, 2014|Categories: Audiobooks, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , , |7 Comments

Rating:

51NJ8Nfk34L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

The River of Souls is a tale of Matthew Corbett, a “professional problem solver” in 1703 Charles Town—a Carolina settlement—who finds danger lurking amongst plantations and swamps as he valiantly attempts to keep himself and those around him alive. Executing his duties, similar to those of a modern-day private investigator, Matthew has faced his fair share of danger. He’s also faced his share of people preferring he keep his nose out of their business.

After some cajoling and far from his New York home, Matthew acts as escort to a rich man’s daughter. He suspects the real reason for her father’s extravagant measure of paying for an escort is because the daughter is as ugly as they come. Little does Matthew know that the real reason for his commission is much more sinister than ensuring his date’s companionship for

12 07, 2014

Review: Sand Omnibus by Hugh Howey

By | July 12th, 2014|Categories: Audiobooks, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Rating:

20509356Reviewed by Marcus Hammond

Hugh Howey has a talent for placing vivid, emotionally gripping characters in devastating environments. In Sand OmnibusHowey builds a world, covered in sand, that takes as much of a physical and emotional toll on the characters as do the events of their fractured and unsympathetic lives. The story, originally published as five separate novellas, follows Vic, Palmer, Conner, Rob, and Rose through personal, familial, and external turmoil. As each chapter deftly flows between character perspectives, the psyche’s of each is laid bare. The realness of each characters reaction to their personal lives, the chaos of a devastating terrorist attack, and the harsh terrain surrounding them makes each character relatable and likeable.

The story begins with Palmer, the second oldest boy in the family, taking a sand diving job from a group of foreigners. He is hired to