Currently reading Dark Soul, the Complete Collection - Aleksandr VoinovCheck back soon for my review of this series...I have had to take a break from this book, but I promise I will make my way back to it soon.....
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Midnight City - J. Barton Mitchell
This is the first book in his Conquered Earth series, and I have to say I can’t wait for the next book. The way the author combined so many different fantasy and science fiction attributes was amazing. I would have to say this is an excellent combination of War of the Worlds meets Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, a lone and a rare human on a future Earth that has been taken over by an alien invasion. 10 years ago, the Assembly invaded earth. Their ships drove into the earth like giant spikes. After a short series of battles, Earth’s defenses were quickly conquered. Most of the adults of the world were subject to the Tone, a signal broadcast to the matured minds of the world that slowly caused their eyes to turn solid black and drove the infected to immediately drop whatever they were in the middle of, abandon their lives and walk to the closest Assembly ship never to be seen from again.
Holt is a Heedless; a human that is for some unknown reason, immune to the Tone. This also means he was forced to watch everyone he ever cared about abandon him and walk into the horizon. Since losing his sister, Holts only friend has been his constant companion, Max the dog. Holt is sent out to capture Mira Toombs, a Freebooter from Midnight City. After catching up to Mira, they are caught in the middle of an Assembly civil battle between the common variety of Assembly and a new faction, never seen before.
During this battle, a new type of ship appears and is quickly destroyed. It crashes into Holt and Mira’s campsite and after a quick investigation Holt finds Zoey, a young girl, not more than eight or nine years old, inside the destroyed craft. Zoey seems to have a sixth sense and can tell where the Assembly units are and also what Mira and Holt are thinking, but she remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.
After a long, grueling chase the three make their way back to Midnight City, each with a different reason for being there. Mira goes willingly to save an old friend. Holt goes to turn in Mira and claim his bounty to buy his own freedom. Zoey is drawn there but doesn’t know exactly why. Upon arrival at Midnight City nothing turns out as expected.
Within the city walls our three travelers find deceit, truths, lies and love. Will Mira save Ben, the man she has risked her life for? Will Holt get his reward and gain his freedom to live his life out in peace? What of Zoey; who is she; where did she come from; what is in her future?
This action packed book tells the tales of the beginning and if the author can keep the rest of the series as engrossing and nail biting as this first book is, then it will surely make literary history.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Mark of the Witch - Maggie Shayne
This is book #1 in The Portal Series. There is a prequel for those interested, but I haven’t read it yet. This is going to be another on my list of ‘Must Read’ series’. From what I can tell this series will not be one where the main characters go from book to book. The series will be based on The Portal (hence the name of the series) appearing in each book.
The characters in the book are so life like it’s unreal. They grow and change as the plot forces them to face things in their lives they would rather not have. The trials that they go through are relative to the occurrences in the fantasy world, but are also mirrors of trials we go through in real life. Maggie definitely knows how to wield an awesome pen.
In this first book, Indira is a former Wiccan whose reason for the ‘former’ is that she has lost faith in the religion. She kept performing spells to provide her with her soul mate but never found him. When she was practicing she was a Solitary Witch, a witch who never formally joined a coven.
Indira has been having a recurring dream, but this morning when she wakes, the scars from the dream are real in the waking world. She seeks out her best friend, Rayne, who is a High Priestess for the local Wiccan coven. Rayne, fearing for her friend, contacts the one person she knows she can trust, her brother the Priest.
Tomas has been charged by God, and his mentor Dom, to prevent a demon from entering the world through a portal that opens once every 3500 years. It will happen this year. It will start with a witch, a marked witch, that will bring about the apocalypse and Tomas must stop her, must stop Indira.
Tomas tries to convince Indira that she is part of this calling, that she is the witch with the power to destroy the demon and seal him in the underworld forever. Not all goes as planned.
During their adventure Tomas and Indira discover they are reincarnations of the original witch and priest involved in the events leading to the portal creation 3500 years ago.
While I was reading the book, I kept thinking “I know what is going to happen next,” but this book is full of so many twists and turns that I was pleasantly surprised with every flip of the page. Everything was neatly tied up at the end of the book so I can’t wait until next month when Daughter of the Spellcaster is released.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
The Guest – Karen Dales
This is a short story that involves life, death and reincarnation. It can be read alone or as part of the Chosen Chronicles.
The Guest lives at a Buddhist monastery and performs missions for the monks. As a monk approaches old age, the Guest helps to ease their transition from this life to the next. Although the Guest performs his actions flawlessly, he is tormented by the actions he knows he must take. The shortness of the story lead me to think that I would be left with open endings, but they were neatly tied up and although it is not a cliff hanger, I am really wanting to read more. A perfect appetizer to Dales' writings.
This is the first of Karen Dales writing that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed her style and characters. Although it was only 9 pages in my Nook format she grabbed my interest within the first few chapters and provided me with a scene that contained the basics of life on earth. I am very impressed with her writing and can’t wait to read more of her work.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Incursion – Aleksandr Voinov
Incursion is a Sci-Fi novella with an unusual twist. The main hero of the story is disabled. Don’t see this much in main-stream fiction but I think Aleksandr did a wonderful job of it. All in all this book has a lot of great action sequences and has an excellent storyline for only being 70-some pages long.
The protagonist, Kyle Juenger, suffered from a debilitating attack during a battle with the Glyrinny. He lost his legs and was basically numb and useless from his bellybutton down. He was fitted with a metal bridge module that lets him connect prosthetic legs.
Kyle is now retired from the military, living on his own collecting social security. He has no steady home and was now completely out of credits. He had survived the suicidal stages of his wound and has been summoned to the Sector Commissars office. She offers him a job that will provide him with enough credits to replace his clumsy prosthetic legs with cybernetic replacements.
All he has to do now is hunt down Kshar, a Glyrinny double-agent. A shape-shifting, brain-eating morph.
He boards the Scorpion, a mercenary ship that Kshar is supposed to be taking back to Glyrinny space. Once on board he runs into an old friend, Grimm, who is also from his home world.
Unable to catch Kshar on the ground, he bides his time onboard the Scorpion until they reach their destination, Ganesh, just outside Glyrinny space. They land and Kyle and Grimm get a hotel room to clean up after their trip and Kyle gets a surprise during their male-on-male lovemaking session.
After their session Kyle wakes to a surprise. He is arrested and hauled off to jail as a Glyrinny subversive.
Will Kyle ever catch the double-agent he is looking for? Will it get him his cybernetic legs if he does? How will he make it out of jail to finish his mission when his DNA shows he is actually not Glyrinny OR Human…
A surprise ending that makes this reader wish the story didn’t end there.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
King's Champion - Cas Peace
This is the second book in the Artesans of Albia trilogy and I must say is by no means lacking for action. The book starts off with a horse chase through the darkened woods in a brave attempt at a rescue.
I admit, I have yet to read book one in this trilogy, but it did not hinder my experience reading book two. I was drawn in immediately and connected with the characters with ease. The authors prose perfectly describes the scenes with such exquisite detail that you can see it as though you’re actually there. I feel as though I have visited the country side of the Andaryan realm.
Cas’ perfectly portrays the characters as they struggle through the challenges they are faced with. With Bull, Cal, Rienne and Taran ordered to return to Albia they experience a wide range of emotions and I must admit that they were so succinctly written that I shared some of their heartache and fear with them.
Sullyan, as the protagonist of the series, was easy to connect with as well. I felt myself siding with her more and more as her trials were revealed throughout the book. I connected with her and Robin as they dealt with the issues of Marik’s supposed betrayal and valor; as they sealed their love for each other with the bonds of rings; as they feared the end of their relationship due to the poison flowing through Sullyan’s soul.
Rykan’s challenge to the Andaryan King provided Cas with the opportunity to show her skill not only with large scale battle scenes, but also with single man-to-man combat. I sat idly by, forced to watch the scenes unfold in front of my very eyes and not be able to lend assistance where I felt I could reach out and touch the blood-covered ground and smell the scents of death in the air.
I really don’t need to read the first book, King’s Envoy, to connect with the characters from the series. However, with that being said, I think I will anyways, not just to learn more of our friends, but to enjoy seeing Cas’ skill in weaving these fantasy tales.
Farewell to the Albians for now, but only until book three, King’s Artesan, is released in August of 2013.