Sunset Tuttle spent a lifetime looking for alien species. Twenty-five years after Tuttle’s death, Alex Benedict discovers a stone tablet inscribed with cryptic symbols, now in the possession of Tuttle’s one- time lover Rachel Bannister. Benedict is determined to decipher its secret-one Bannister doesn’t want revealed. Could it be that Tuttle’s obsessive quest was successful?
Review 5 of 5 Stars
I really enjoyed this book from start to finish and find that I very much like the Alex Benedict novels as a whole. It was a true mystery/thriller science fiction story and I loved it. I’m a big fan of mystery/thrillers and to have it all bound up in a science fiction story is almost more than I can ask for if it comes to getting everything you want out of a reading experience. Echo was very much my type of book. It was smart, suspenseful, had that gritty quality that allows you to suspend your disbelief and really get into a story. Both Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath are fantastic companions to take on your adventure. They are smart, resourceful people who like getting at the answers. I hate to say too much and give away the ending which really makes the whole journey worth it. The intrigue and mystery will lead you upon an interesting path that takes you to an unexpected conclusion.
Reading this book has set me on a path of adventures with Alex Benedict and I hope you enjoy this book as well as others in the series as much as I did this one. I fully recommend it.
When Alex Latham and Michael Beecham are brought together by a series of explosions around the world, little do they know that things are about to go from bad to worse. Tasked with saving mankind from extinction, they battle a powerful evil, but soon they discover that what they’re fighting is far beyond anything they ever thought it could be…
Review 3 of 5 Stars
I don’t usually break things out as writing quality versus storyline, but I thought it was important to do so for this book. The writing in this book is really pretty well done. There are some places where it could use another look, but overall it flowed well. However, I’m completely burnt out on zombies and I don’t know that adding them to the matrix made them any more appealing for me. I want to be honest though. I was thoroughly enjoying this book at the beginning until it became zombies in the matrix and started to feel rushed. The suspense was there, I was intrigued, etc. If the story line had turned out to be almost anything else (and I was really hoping it would even as my suspicions were aroused) I probably would have enjoyed the rest of the book a lot more.
It is not the author’s fault that I’m not all that fond of zombies and there is a whole cult following who love those stories. If I had known that was the path I was going to be led down I would have probably skipped reviewing this story. In fact, I thought about not reviewing it. Nevertheless, the writing was decent and moved along easily for the most part so I wanted to give the author a shout out for that. If you are a zombie fan I think you would probably enjoy this story, but I did have several unanswered questions at the end and I think the pacing was better at the beginning of the book than later on.
The first part of the story was intriguing and suspenseful. In fact, I was still enjoying it even when I suspected that the zombie equation might pop up at any moment and I was trying to ignore that since the storytelling was being done pretty well. Part way through the book the pace really picks up and starts to feel rushed. I don’t know if that was intentional, but it may have been. If it was a TV show or a movie I can see how that might work, but it seemed like things were being glossed over more after the midway point in the story.
Noah’s Ark is not a story without a few problems, but it’s a zombie book and I managed to finish it which certainly is a good reflection of the book in my eyes. Generally I just give up when I find the zombies, but I basically liked it. As I said earlier, the writing was decent and I would be interested in reading some non-zombie material from the author in the future should he decide to do that.
Looking forward to reading this when I get done with the Sand omnibus. Thanks to Peter Cawdron for sharing his thoughts on Peace in Amber by Hugh Howey.
In 2013, Amazon launched Kindle Worlds, which enabled a commercial avenue for what has been disdainfully called fan-fiction.
Critics attacked the idea.
Readers attacked the idea, saying “it’s a stupid move,” and “it will never last.”
Even such stalwarts of science fiction as io9 attacked the idea, saying, “Kurt Vonnegut? F*CK AND NO. The man is one of America’s literary icons. To allow fan fiction based on his work is a disgrace.”
Is there the possibility for fan-fiction to be a poor imitation of the original? Yes. But to assume that Kindle Worlds will “tarnish… America’s greatest authors,” is short-sighted. Rather than tarnishing Slaughterhouse Five, Hugh Howey has produced a story that is undoubtedly one of the greatest science fiction sequels ever penned.
There are a handful of stories that are iconic: Old Man and the Sea…
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I just want to share this since I am originally from Charleston, WV. I’ll be there in a few days to visit my family and I guarantee I’ll be bringing my own water and extra for my family rather than taking a chance from getting sick after the chemical spill as others have been since the Do Not Use order was lifted in their area.
My dad, a lifelong firefighter, used to teach Hazardous Materials Response and Safety classes to first responders. The first informational point he covered at the beginning of the course was how to read the classification marks on transportation tankers—the little diamond-shaped signs, usually mounted on the back of the tank, that announce via numerical code what kinds of chemicals are stored in those transport vehicles, and what levels and types of health risks would be associated with a spill in the case of a wreck. The first homework assignment he gave was for the firefighters to go home and stand on the main cross street in their neighborhoods and home towns for about an hour, and write down the numbers on every tag they saw pass through that intersection, then go look up the numbers. Dad said that the next week, when those students came back for class, invariably there’d…
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Thought some of my self-publishing friends would appreciate this.
This is very welcome to see. Thank you, Natalie Whipple, for taking the time to share your understanding.
Forty-Eight Complete Works – Four novels and forty-four short stories starring Sherlock Holmes, in order and unabridged. Books included:
Novels: A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Valley of Fear
Short Story Collections: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow
Review 5 of 5 Stars
If you read my about page you’ll notice that I mention mysteries, which I don’t often review as my taste in mysteries isn’t always the same as others. However, it’s hard to go wrong with Sherlock Holmes and as I was in between seasons of the UK TV show Sherlock I picked this up to get my fix so to speak. This was a great buy from Amazon at 99 cents for the Kindle and the stories are in order and aren’t abridged, which I felt was important. I don’t want to read a book or story after someone who feels they ‘know better’ has taken a whack at censorship. Apparently there is another collection on Amazon that has 56 short stories for a few dollars more, but I didn’t see that one when I was out shopping around. On the whole, I was pretty happy with this purchase and really enjoyed reading it in between my sci-fi and fantasy books.
I was a fan of the old Sherlock Holmes movies when I was young, but had not read the actual books or short stories. For the time they were written these stories really cover some pretty gutsy territory with regard to social issues. For anyone who enjoys mysteries and hasn’t taken the time to read the stories, instead of watching movies like I did up until now, I think you will find a richness and depth that was not always present especially in the older versions of the movies.
Anyway, lots more sci-fi and fantasy books on the schedule to be reviewed, but I thought I would share a review for this collection as I consider it to be a really good bargain and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Interstellar antiquities dealer Alex Benedict and his assistant Chase Kolpath travel to the most remote of human worlds and uncover a secret connected to a decades-old political upheaval-a secret that somebody desperately wants hidden.
Review 3 of 5 Stars
Okay, so Alex Benedict is off on another adventure with his assistant Chase Kolpath. A superstar horror writer, Vicki Greene, has left Alex a message and a load of money, but she came back and had a brain wipe so she can’t tell him what she wanted him to do. Being Alex Benedict he cannot help but chase down the mystery.
This book actually starts out pretty well, but by the end it was just dragging for me. They follow an overabundance of leads that go nowhere, get in quite a bit of trouble, and then spend an inordinate amount of time trying to escape from a mostly inescapable place. They also manage to expose a secret that I think it would have been pretty difficult to keep a secret despite the reasons given in the book for why the secret was able to be kept.
I just couldn’t buy it. I’ve enjoyed several of Mr. McDevitt’s other books now, but this one just didn’t do it for me. Sometimes it’s like that. I have two more of his books on the shelf to read and I’m hoping to enjoy those as I have enjoyed the ones before this.
The author tells a good story and the writing was good, but it just seemed to drag on until I wasn’t as interested in the mystery (the strangely successful well kept secret) anymore and kind of just wanted him to give up and get on to the next case.
Book 1 of The Movement Trilogy
Earth is on the brink of ruin. Great storms destroy cities. Rising seas reshape the continents. Afraid for its survival, mankind constructs a fleet of space stations in orbit, and steps off-world.
Among the humans fighting for their future are Micah Sparrow, a widower who uncovers a plot to return mankind to the dark ages; Tasneem Kyoh, who undergoes life-extension treatments and begins the search for humanity’s next home; and David Dewbury, a prodigy who believes he knows where that home might be.
But in space, the rules aren’t the only things that have changed. Man himself has changed, and with the Earth in tatters behind him, man turns his attention to the one thing left to destroy: himself.
Earth has become an artifact of history. Children are no longer taught that it is the birthplace of mankind. For them, history begins with the Citadel, the enormous institution that governs the system with a heavy, vicious fist.
Three hundred years have passed since the events of Book 1. The Machine class, oppressed and broken, has scattered throughout the system, building outposts and colonies on every surface they can find. They rely upon the Onyx class, the privileged ones, for sustenance.
But the most brutal attack in human history relights the fuse of war between the two classes, and rebellions break out on every moon, planet and rock between Earth and the stars. And somewhere in the chaos, Tasneem Kyoh and David Dewbury still fight for mankind’s future… a new Earth, and a new beginning.
Review 3 of 5 Stars
The story is interesting if a little slow at times and it skips around a lot. I read these two books one after the other as neither is very long and they have kind of joined together in my mind as they could easily have been one book with Parts 1 and 2. So I’m just going to review them in that manner as well. Tasneem Kyoh and David Dewbury are the characters that tie this story together through all the skipping around as they are the only two around for the 500 years covered in these two stories.
The writing style was peculiar in that the author chose not to use quotation marks for dialogue in either book. I don’t know if he was trying to save ink on his printer or what, but I found it somewhat annoying while reading. I can’t think of any reason to choose to write dialogue without proper punctuation unless perhaps quotation marks have committed some horrible crime in the future and have been outlawed. On the whole it was distracting to me as a reader. I would have given it a 4 if this had not been so.
Nevertheless, once I got past the grammar the story was really pretty well done and I found it interesting. In the first part, The Settlers, humans are fleeing Earth to live in orbital space stations constructed to save the population from the greed and lack of foresight humankind has shown which has resulted in the planet’s weather, volcanoes, etc. being destabilized to such a point that it’s becoming unsafe to live on the planet. Having just been saved from certain death on the planet below that has been destroyed at their hands they are more willing to pull together to try to make a go of continuing the species.
By the time we move to the second part of the story, The Colonists, humankind is once again suffering under greed and corruption from those who feel obligated to try to control others in a totalitarian state where the Onyx class lords over the Machine class. People are mad and revolution is in the wind (or the air filtration systems as the case may be). I just watched Elysium the other day so it is difficult not to draw a comparison between the two story lines.
All in all the story itself was good and I was pretty interested. As I mentioned above, I would have given these a 4 if not for the distraction of the improper punctuation or lack thereof.