moment I read and loved Skyward Inn and From The Neck Up just cemented this. Each and every story stands out and there isn’t a single story that is weaker than the others. Whiteley is a power house in spec fic writing and you just need to start reading her works if you haven’t already.
The Body Scout is my first Lincoln Michel book, and I have to say I was impressed with the writing, for the most part. Lots of intrigue and mystery, and characters with interesting storylines. The author did a great job of catching – and keeping – my interest.
The book follows the exploits of Bel (isarius), a Homo quantus (genetically engineered human quantum computers who crave knowledge about the fundamentals of space/time). Due to a ‘flaw’ in his engineering, he chose to abandon his people and lives as a con-man in outer edges of space. He gets an offer to move ships across a wormhole where both of its ends are protected by a species called the Puppets. To do his he recruits a team of genius people with diverse talents, each having their own agenda. What happens next makes for the plot of the book.
In the authors note at the very beginning Nina Allan talks about her journey as a writer, and about the stories that are within the book. She lets you know that the first three are very early stories, and that she has mostly left the stories untouched, except for some minor edits and clean up. The first three stories are definitely different to the rest, they show huge potential and give you a lot less answers than the rest of the stories. They’re ones that leave you wondering just what was going on, and to be honest it wasn’t my favourite. However, where they really shone was to show just how much Allan’s writing has grown and developed over the years.
Activation Degradation is well-known author Marina J. Lostetter’s latest published novel, and I found it to be a really interesting story. Dubbed as “The Murderbot Diaries makes first contact…”, I only found a tertiary connection to the famous cyborg. Honestly, though, it does not need the comparison, as the story is able to stand on its own two feet.
Pieces of Eight was a nearly perfect sequel to Bloodlines and I am so excited to see what the Guardian of Empire City must confront next. Hartog’s character work is so well done that choosing a favorite character is almost impossible. While parts of the ending fell a little flat for me, my overall enjoyment of the book was not affected. The Guardian of Empire City series has become one of my favorites and I can’t wait for the next entry.
I’m typically not a big fan of reading Novellas and prefer longer formats and this month I read 3, and Hard Reboot was a good one. I would have preferred to read this premise in a longer format to get a better picture of the world, characters and main storyline, but Django maintained my interest and kept me turning pages despite the shorter format.
James Kennedy has crafted a premise and a novel that starts in one place, and ends up somewhere completely and utterly different. It only takes 300 pages but it works perfectly and at no point does it feel rushed, or like anything is missing. We follow our narrator in across almost his entire life. Intertwined with the present day parts are bits and pieces from his past. It ranges from Physics camp with his new best friend, days out with his ex-girlfriend and affairs while he travels. Every moment is important, every moment somehow leads into that ending. You get something entirely different to what the blurb promises, but in the best possible way.
Well, this review has been a long time coming. Very rarely do I find myself so conflicted by a book, but N. K. Jemisin’s latest, The City We Became, left my emotions mixed and two months later I finally feel I can deconstruct the reasons why. With this book, I had no idea what to expect, but I knew it wouldn’t be an easy read. Despite my suspicions being confirmed, I came out the other side both captivated and frustrated.
For context, and giving no spoilers, the story centers on a Light Chaser, or Amahle, a sort of interplanetary goddess whose responsibility is to travel through a universe packed with planets and gather/provide collars to its habitants to collect memories for a higher power. But this is the setup. Where the story quickly gets interesting is in its enigmatic character that keeps popping up who quickly challenges Amahle’s status quo and therefore sets a series of events that will change everything.
The protagonist, Marca Nbaro, practically hits the ground running right from the get go and along with her, the reader is propelled into a plot full of character interactions you live for, a long list of mysteries waiting to be solved, and a brand new fascinating world whose main undercurrent is hope, learning to trust others, and the beauties of trading cultures.
The Guardian of Empire City series is shaping up to be an amazing trilogy (or longer) series, much like the Dresden files by Jim Butcher. And the comparison doesn’t stop there. Every book so far is a big mystery to solve and contains urban fantasy (with also) sci-fi elements. So in conclusion, if you’re a rousing fan of big murder riddles set in worlds filled with shiny toys, magic dust and grim creatures of the night, Peter Hartog’s Pieces of Eight should be high on your TBR and is a near perfect sequel to Bloodlines.