I realize I haven’t posted book reviews in some time. Mostly that’s because what time and energy I have away from work has been concentrated on trying to finish the three partially finished books I’ve been writing. Aside from that the majority of what I’m reading right now isn’t science fiction and fantasy, but non-fiction and political information. My country is having a bit of an identity crisis and I think it’s important to be involved. I’m not going to go on a long political spiel since this is a book blog, but thought I should post an update. Hoping to read just for enjoyment again soon…
Hi all. Some of you may remember that I had hip replacement surgery last October. We’ll, I had the other one done about a 2 weeks ago. The past year has held some health challenges for me and has drawn me away from the blog. I promise I’ll be back soon. I’m out of hips to replace so I should be able to sit and type again soon.
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.
Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.
When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.
Review 5 of 5 Stars (Obviously)
For Mother’s Day my son bought me the 60th Anniversary Edition of Fahrenheit 451. This book had a profound effect on me when I read it as a teenager. It was one of the books that made me sure that we are supposed to fight for freedom. Considering my home, the U.S., currently has a president who admits he doesn’t read and gets most of his information from TV this book seemed particularly poignant as I read it.
I was amazed at how many parallels there are to today’s society where people keep their faces buried in their phones, ear buds in, blocking out those around them. Socializing is becoming a thing of the past. We have come closer to Bradbury’s society. More and more people feel hopeless and alone as Montag does in this book. It’s a reality now, not fiction. Presently it’s especially dark and perilous. Complacency is the enemy of freedom.
If you need some inspiration to defend the things you love this is a great book to re-read. If you haven’t read this book, then perhaps you should. This is a classic. It doesn’t need my review, but I thought it might be nice to share it with anyone who had not yet had the chance to read it.
There are some nice additions to this edition that book lovers and writers will enjoy, as well as any Bradbury fan. At least I did. Truly one of my favorite books and a wonderful Mother’s Day present. The description does an excellent job of describing the story, but doesn’t convey any of the emotion that comes with reading this amazing book.
There is so much more than can be conveyed in a review. Unlike the author in the book, I can’t effectively convey the taste of ash and the smell of kerosene as books and their owners are destroyed.
Knowledge is power. Read more books.
In a future where wars and poverty are quickly on the rise, the universe has hit its ultimate enemy: itself. Once known for their dedication and loyalty to the good of the universe, the seythra, a strong-willed alien race, have attacked and declared war on the rest of the universe. Now, throwing their immense numbers against the opposition of the Confederate Military, hope is dwindling. Trust between factions, races, and planets are weakening by the moment. What caused the seythra to rebel? Why can they no longer be reasoned with? And most importantly, can anyone stop them in time?
Seraph Aydrian, an infamous soldier one reprimand away from termination, must lead an army of soldiers, mercenaries, and civilians against the seythra assault and not only stop the chaos and destruction, but uncover the dark and sinister motives that are driving the murders.
Review 3 of 5 Stars
The author requested that I review this book; however, it was only $0.99 on Amazon so I bought a copy out of my blog budget instead of having the author send me a copy. On with the review.
Good points first. If you enjoy military sci-fi then this would be a fun book to read. It was a good book, but not a great one. There’s lots of action and some of the team members are pretty interesting folks. Some of the characters are definitely more interesting than others, kind of like life. The writing flows well and I only had a few minor proofreading notes overall that I’ll share with the author, but for which I did not deduct points.
The action is good. The only line that really ripped me out of the book was when one of the characters holstered their knife instead of sheathing it. It always amazes me which things grab my attention and break the flow of the story. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the characters and will state that this book was just shy of being a really good book.
Unfortunately, we are now to the part where I tell you what I didn’t like. The description of the book spends almost as much time on the background of why this all happens as the book did. It’s mentioned that the economy is suffering, but very little time is spent on the topic. There’s no real “showing” of poverty ripping the universe apart or anything of the sort.
I realize this is mostly a military sci-fi action book, but I think that if the author had spent a little more time shaping the universe this would have been a much better book. A lot of things seem to be glossed over and/or rushed instead of being expanded to enhance the story. As it is I come away with a decent amount of interest in the characters, but there was not enough plot for my liking. To each their own and all that. Maybe the rest of the plot is in the second book as it is set for a sequel. Happy reading.
It was inevitable, for history is always written in blood.
The human race has finally unraveled, forcing the survivors into a newly formed sovereign utopia in the center of Africa, called ‘The Mainland’.
Religion and nationalism have been outlawed, blamed for humanity’s self-destruction.
For the first time in history, an artificial intelligence is put in charge of internal affairs, unaffected by greed, lust for power or nepotism, while its subject residents are forbidden to use the technologies that plagued their forebears.
An archaeological expedition is sent to the dead zones in the north to document the world that once was. Muracius Goodmond, head of the Department for the Study of History Verification, is secretly rushed by his fellow scholars into an isolated dig site. There an ancient document is uncovered, which Goodmond is horrified to learn contradicts objective scientific knowledge. Matters become graver still when he realizes it may determine the future of the regime, and the fate of eleven innocent children.
Now the scholars have to face an impossible dilemma: in order to pursue truth, they have to break the law. They have to trust their inferior human minds.
Review 4 of 5 Stars
I received a copy of this book from the author’s representative in 2015. Obviously, I’m behind. Nevertheless, I loved this book. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 due to some wrong word usage, editing errors and a slow, slightly confusing start. However, in the end, this was a very good book. I loved that archaeology is the start of the story and that the archaeologists stay involved instead of being pushed aside by military or government as so often happens in stories.
As mentioned above, this book began slowly and was somewhat confusing in the beginning. In fact, I considered putting it down for another. I’m glad I didn’t. This is a complex story with many characters and the author does an excellent job of jumping from one perspective to another without losing the reader. Once I got into the book, I read it at every opportunity.
Everyone lives by Stupid John’s Instructions. The Instructions say that “Animals were considered superior to people because their minds weren’t susceptible to influence by lies and brainwashing.” Therefore those on the Mainland are monitored by “Justice”, an AI that determines if crimes have been committed. Crimes include such things as practicing any religion, robbing or injuring another person, or distinguishing a group from others by using symbols. It is also illegal to publicly shame someone unless ordered by the Protectors and the labels of “human” and “racial recluse” (those not of mixed blood) are the insults of the time. On the whole, the instructions all deal with preventing self-destruction of the human race. Should these instructions be ignored, Protectors serving the Holders of Responsibility are dispatched to deal with the problem in whatever way they see fit. The world created is beautiful and frighteningly limited at the same time.
Excellent characterization, philosophy, action, mystery and drama. If you like to delve into the thought process of a world and its society, I think you will really enjoy this book. The author has done an exceptional job with the storytelling. I was also intrigued by the futuristic world portrayed. In some ways things seem very nice, but in others stifling and sometimes cruel. This book builds the world, introduces the characters and leaves you with a gut-clenching what happens now at the end. I can’t wait to see what happens next and am very much looking forward to the author’s next book.
THE BEECHWOOD FLUTE is a coming-of-age story about a young man finding his courage. At seventeen, Kiran wants to become a warrior to avenge his lost father and brother, but his talents lie in playing the flute. Then, when his nerve fails him, he allows his young sister to be stolen by Savages. Guilt and regret lead Kiran on a quest through the forest that leads him through servitude and suffering to discoveries about his broken family, and finally to a decision that pits his conscience against everything he has believed since childhood.
Review 5 of 5 Stars
Okay, this is a win for authors who post on Twitter. I downloaded the sample after a tweet grabbed my attention. I’m so glad I did. I bought the book when I reached the end of the sample.
Pendred Noyce is an amazing storyteller. Amazing! Officially this is a young adult (under Children’s books on Amazon), but I was sucked in by the absolute grace with which Ms. Noyce told the story. For children I would expect them to be at least preteen before they would grasp the entire story. Also there are some dark/painful parts to this story that may not be for the much younger set. All of that aside, what a great story this was and excellent world building. The characters were real people that I followed along with on their adventures and setbacks. I was completely entranced, which is nice since it has got me out of my blogging slump.
The book description hardly does justice to the amount of adventure, tragedy, soul-searching, twists and complex situations Kiran, our 17-year-old hero, manages to get himself and his friends into. He truly experiences some awful things as a slave. His circumstances would be enough to thrust anyone into a bout of depression and some would just give up, but Kiran has a particularly stubborn streak. He is a very likable and clever character despite his shortcomings, which he spends the course of the book overcoming. He also seems to have pretty good taste in friends as they rarely let him down when he needs them most.
All in all this was a great journey and an engaging story. I enjoyed it very much. It took me far away from concerns about world politics and was good enough to have me looking forward to when I could read some more. I hope some of you will also have the opportunity to enjoy it. Happy reading.
Tunguska, Roswell, the Bermuda Triangle, the Mary Celeste… For hundreds of years, the danger of collision has been ignored as mere crackpot theories, until now, and now it’s too late.
Collision is a short story commissioned by Vanquish Motion Pictures for development in film and television, and is the first in a series of character-rich, mystery-driven science fiction grounded in science fact.
Review 4 of 5 Stars
Hello again. I’m still trying to clear out the list of stories I read while I was away for surgery. Plenty more to come, but I read a lot of short fiction when I first got home because I slept a lot and am making my way through most of that first. For clarity, I did receive a copy of this story from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Collision was a little something different though still very much in keeping with the author’s style. It was not what I expected from the title or the blurb, but I was pleasantly surprised once I got into it. One of the things I love about stories is getting a quick glimpse into how someone’s head works, what they dream and wonder about, etc. This short story takes us down the rabbit hole of possibilities for how we might encounter other life.
At just 48 pages it’s a quick, but enjoyable read although I would have liked it to be a little longer. Of course, I have that problem with a lot of stories I enjoy. In this case, I can hardly detract points because I enjoyed it enough to want more and it is a serial so is to be continued. The characterization was well done, which is something I’ve come to expect from Mr. Cawdron and there was plenty of interest along the way. The main character’s interaction with the reader took on an almost conversational tone in this story. I don’t know if that’s worth noting for readers. I found that along with the action it drew me into the story immediately.
This tale starts right in the action with vivid and personal descriptions. I really enjoyed the turns it took and am interested to see what more in this series. This story was just enough to start wondering what might be next along this path.
For those of you around the world who have already celebrated or are celebrating the many holidays of this season, I wish you all the best. Happy reading.