Tag-Archive for » Sci-Fi «

A Mug’s Game: A Review

I was given a copy of this ebook by the author, C. D. Swanson, in exchange for my review.

A Mug's GameThis book started of very intriguing, and had a very interesting main character. It’s a bit of a mystery/thriller type book and has some elements of science fiction with the references to advanced video gaming. I found the way of building suspense by withholding information rather than letting events build tension to grate on me a little. I’d have kept turing the pages anyway even if I’d known more, but it was only a minor irritation.

Character wise there were some really interesting and diverse characters and I liked the main character and how he wrestled with what was right and necessary. The detectives were a little stereotypical but otherwise fine as well.

I had a few problems with the formating and there were quite a few spelling mistakes still in the text, which was surprising for a book that appears to have a publishing company behind it. The first letter in each chapter was englarged and apart from one chapter the third line didn’t indent to make room for it so it covered up some words. There was also one strange bit in the third or fourth chapter where a sentence was all jumbled, then there was a gap and then the next sentence was in a completely different font.

All in all, not a bad book, although I’m not sure exactly what genre to call it. I’d read the author again but I’m not sure I think much of the publisher.

The God Particle: A Review

I was given a copy of this ebook by the author, Daniel Danser in return for my review.

God ParticleThe blurb for this novel really made me rather interested in reading and finding out what the story was about, as it mentioned the CERN project and as the title suggests the quest for the Higgs-Bosun particle, otherwise known as the God Particle. I was expecting a sort of dan brown mystery with a whole bunch more sci-fi and that was sort of what I got.

I liked the story idea and thought it was a really interesting look at what might happen with the collidor if it’s left on for too long. It was a little far fetched in places but almost all disaster stories are to make something fairly normal lead to an epic disaster, so no complaints there.

Mostly though I found the book a little tough to read, especially near the beginning. I couldn’t actually work out who the main character was to begin with and felt a little confused as to why I was introduced to so many characters that appeared for that one chapter and then that was it. I know it was a way to provide a more human perspective on what was happening to the world, but I found that it just made me loathe to get attached to any of the characters. The only one I liked of these was the one towards the end with the surfer, as it felt more tense and well described than the others.

I also felt the ending dragged out a little. I got to a bit several times where I thought, this is the final showdown, and then something happened which led things elsewhere, and then someone escaped, and then there was a another bit, and then another character escaped and finally it got to the end, at which point I wasn’t sure I’d enjoyed the book.

All in all a book I’m still not sure if I enjoyed or not. There was nothing in particularly wrong with the writing itself, I just was never quite sure where I was and who I was meant to be getting attached to.

Where’s Lolly: A Review

This is the third book in the Class Heroes by Stephen Henning, and I was given a copy of the ebook in exchange for my review.

Where's LollyI loved the first two books in the series and the plotline in both, but this one is by far the best. Lolly is just perfect in this story and despite being the third in a series it really stands alone well. I definitely think this is my favourite so far.

None of the other major character’s are in this novella, just Lolly, which made me a little wary when first picking up the book. I didn’t like Lolly (with good reason), when reading book 1 and only started to like her a little in book 3, and while I still can’t agree with all her methods I must admit she’s really grown on me and now I’m very eager to read book 4 and see her reunited with the other characters.

In terms of the writing style, Stephen has grown as an author over the series and this one really shines. Well written with a great pace and sense of style.

Can’t wait to read book 4.

Memes of Loss and Devotion: A Review

This ebook was given to me by the author, Darren White, in return for my review.

Memes of loss and devotionInside is a collection of short stories and I must admit I really didn’t like the first one. It was very slow going and full of purple prose. I put the book down only a few percent in and then had to come back to it, which is a real shame because the later stories are much less over the top in terms of description.

While a lot of the stories feature around romantic devotion they are also pretty much all of a sci-fi sort of nature, apart from a couple that were more horror based and that felt out of place to me. There was one with what seemed to be a serial killer in it that seemed a lot like it didn’t belong in the collection at all.

A few of the stories I thought were very good, mostly the more heavily sci-fi ones that had a bit more plot to them and a little less waffle about strange things happening. I don’t want to plot spoil so I can’t really say which bits were overdescribed but often the more supernatural or strange stuff was described far too much.

All in all a bit of a mixed bag. I’d skip the first story or two and get into the third one and read from there.

The Contaminants: A Review

This book was given to me by the author, Devin K. Smyth, in return for my review of it.

The ContaminantsThe cover of this book is very simple and works with the story which initially pulled me into reading something I would normally be a little wary of. It’s in first person present tense which is never something I find easy to read but the author did a good job of sucking me into the story quickly enough that it didn’t seem to matter.

The pacing is quite fast without masses of description, which for the most part is a good thing, especially as it’s a dystopian sort of book. A few times I’d have liked a bit more information, especially given the strange new tech. I found myself confused occasionally and unsure what something was or what it did as the characters just started using it. Sometimes this gave a sort of Deus Ex Machina feel to the plot, but it was only a slight niggle.

I liked the two kids, although I felt they were very similar and a lot of the adults were too, but I was definitely engaged enough to care.

All in all I was suitably entertained and would read more about these characters and the world they find themselves in even with the few imperfections.

The Wonderful World of Print

Recently both Sherdan’s Prophecy and Sherdan’s Legacy were moved over to the 2nd edition, complete with the shiny new covers. I’ve also recently published Sherdan’s Country, the third book in the series, and that has a matching cover to the new editions. While I try to get my books in print fairly soon after the ebook it sometimes takes a little while to sort out the logistics, but we’re finally all there.

2015-01-14 14.12.14As you can see the new set look wonderful together, and I’m really pleased with them. They make me want to work on some further plot ideas for Sherdan’s world just so I can have some more with shiny covers like these. It’s just a shame I can’t think of a really good idea at the moment.

As usual I’m selling signed copies of these myself, so if anyone wants one, drop me a message here in the comments or to my email address under about me and I’ll get back to you with how we can make that work.

Now excuse me while I go back to stroking the shiny.

1984: A Review

This was another bookclub book, and one I’ve wanted to read for a while.

1984I’d heard lots about this book before I read it. Plenty about Big Brother and the idea of a controlled nation where no one could think for themselves but nothing quite prepared me for what I found once I read it. For one it’s also partially a romance. The main character falls in love and it’s the motivating force behind lots of his decisions.

As with most classics its not the easiest to read language and there’s some very complicated thoughts and ideas in the book, with things like doublethink and thoughtcrime as words for what you should and shouldn’t do with your thoughts. The explanations of doublethink especially were interesting and suggestive of the delusional way we convince ourselves that a bad thing can be a good thing when in powerful positions.

I can see why the book is still so popular. Given that it was written over seventy years ago it has incredibly accurately predicted some aspects of human life and where the world is at now. George Orwell had a good handly on human nature, our drive to discover and invent, and our attitude towards war and other nations.

Not an easy read, and the romance was rather dry and emotionless, but still a book I’d recommend for the ideas and thoughts it might provoke. A very good book to discuss after reading.

The plan: 2015

This is a little later than I hoped but it took some more tweaking to get it straight than I thought. My plan for the year.

I’ve got quite a lot written that needs to be published and a lot of it is already with the editors so I expect there to be quite a flurry of releases this year. I’m hoping I might even manage one per month. The first expected release is a fantasy prequel of mine, The Hope of Winter, within an anthology called Flights of Fantasy. It’s to raise money for another good friend who has been diagnosed with cancer.

The next few releases will be collaborative works, also mostly sci-fi and fantasy. There will be more on those as they get closer. I also have plans for lots of Mycroft Novellas. The second and third are written but I also want to write at least two more this year.

On top of that I’ve got a significant chunk into the sequel to With Proud Humility. I fully intend to finish that this year and then get started on the next one of those, although the last one might not be done in time to publish this year.

With the collaborations and all the Fantasy stuff I have already that’s looking like 10-12 releases. I’m very excited, although I’m aware that’s going to be a lot of hard work. I’m sure it will all be worth it.

Here’s to a productive story filled 2015

Last Day In October

So today is technically halloween, but that’s not something I’m really into so sorry if people were expecting some kind of halloween thingy. I’m just not that into it. It is also the night before NaNo, so there’s all that I’ve got to worry about too so I’m busy with last minute preparations. On top of all that my good friend Brandon is still in the process of fighting cancer (doing a second round of chemo currently) and I think, given the day and the fact I have no review written, it would be good to mention his awesome set of books.

Firstly there’s the Day soldiers series which is about vampires, but a bit more of a traditional viewpoint on them, as in they’re evil and humanity is fighting against them. If you like action books with plenty of fast pacing and life or death situations it’s a great book to read and it’s also free to grab right now, on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and all the other major ebook retailers.

Brandon also happens to be really good at the cowboy sort of stuff and has a brilliant series of cowboy futuristic dystopian novellas in the Man from Newella series. You can get that on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk too. It’s only 77p or 99cents.

Release day: Sherdan’s Country

The books is finally available, and if you were one of the people who pre-ordered it then it probably appeared on your devices sometime around midnight.

It seems like it’s been quite a ride with these characters and I’m a little sad to have finished the third book but I’ve always made it a rule not to write sequels just for the sake of sequels so until my brain can figure out what more might happen in Sherdan and Anya’s world that’s the trilogy wrapped up.

Sherdan’s Country concludes the beginnings of Utopia and continues the fast paced action and emotion fuelled politics around the new country and its leader, so if you’ve not grabbed a copy yet and want to find out what happens you can do so at all the major ebook sellers – Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.