Book Review

#Scif Worth Reading: Space Murder #BookReview

Looking for some space fun and some laughs? Space Murder: Captain Liz Laika Mysteries 1 by Nikki Haverstock will fulfill that wish.

The action is nonstop in this story, and the characters were really fun. Captain Liz is head honcho on a very slow freighter that delivers goods from place to place. Convinced her life isn’t great, she keeps to herself and doesn’t realize how much she has to lose. Not until she’s framed for a murder committed aboard her ship.

This novel is very well written and has fun twists and turns. It’s basically a cozy mystery in space. A lot goes wrong very quickly in the plot, and then keeps getting worse. Nothing was boring about this read. It was very enjoyable. Yup, I recommend this one, and, yes, I was attracted to the dinosaur on the cover.  Couldn’t say no to that.

For everything there is a season…
Once the star student of her training class, Captain Liz Laika is now an outcast, a casualty of family scandal. Now stuck in the worst post in the Fleet, she should keep her head down. But when a Cerulean passenger is found decapitated, and Liz is framed for the murder, she has no choice but to fight for her life. No easy feat when she’s facing kidnapping, ship-eating whales, horse-sized spiders and corrupt fleet officers with personal vendettas. And in the middle of the intergalactic murder drama, her ex-fiancé reappears. Captain Liz needs to clear her name–and fast.

 

 

#SciFi Worth Reading: Dark Nebula #BookReview

After starting a bunch of books I didn’t care to finish, I found a gem-Dark Nebula: Isolation by Sean Wilson. Well written, well-plotted, and a treat that kept unfolding.

This is a space opera with a great cast and a plot too big to be contained in one book. The pages turned quickly while I gobbled down this fantastic read filled with intrigue, mysteries, secrets, and aliens. There was fascinating new technology, and the whole book is spent in space. In this future world, humanity expands into the solar system and beyond. Plans were put in place to save us from a threat that arrived hundreds of years ago and kept a heavily guarded secret.

The worlds and populations are interesting and complex. A lot went on before the novel opens, which impacts parts of the story, and a lot is going on when the aliens arrive in our solar system. Their intent isn’t friendly, and it all hinges on that old secret.

A very excellent space opera, and I look forward to reading more in the series. Of course, I recommend this one.

 

Lies crafted from good intentions. Death spreading through the stars. When the past returns to claim its due, will anyone survive?

Earth Solar System, the Future. Abigail Olivaw is drowning in self-doubt. Hiding a devastating secret from the populace, the President of the Confederation of Planetary Explorers is horrified when hostile aliens arrive to announce they’re putting humanity on trial. Forced to act as her species’ defender in court, she struggles to hide her family’s hidden multi-generational history that could lead to a sentence of genocide.

Epsilon Eridani Colony. Joyce Green’s passion for her job is dwarfed only by her love for her son. So when he dies from a mysterious virus that threatens the entire settlement, the Director of Colonization vows to stop at nothing to discover what triggered the deadly infection. And as she uncovers the truth bit by bit, her heartbreak fuels a berserk need for justice.

Trapped by guilt over a mistake she didn’t choose, Abigail falls into a tailspin when the invaders reveal the facts of her race’s origins. And when Joyce unmasks a traitor, the rest of her people would be lucky to only die from disease.

With their paths on a collision course, will the women’s consequence-laden decisions destroy humankind’s last hope?

 

 

#SciFi Worth Reading: All Systems Red #BookReview

Robot stories aren’t usually my thing, but All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells changed my mind.

Murderbot was easy to identify with and to root for. It just wants to be left in peace to watch TV but is forced to figure out what it wants. The clients it is contracted to watch over end up in a pickle, and Murderbot decides to help.

Murderbot can ignore its programming and surprises itself by continuing to assist its humans.

The story stirs up all sorts of questions. What is life? If it can think and feel, does it have rights? Mostly, what will Murderbot do now?

I’m so curious, I ordered the second book. Yup, it was that good. There was suspense and action, and I got to spend some time on an alien planet. All pluses for me.

I would recommend this book, however, t’s a short one. It doesn’t take long to devour it. It’s also a pricey series.

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.”

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

 

 

 

#Fantasy Worth Reading: A Shudder of Specters #BookReview

If you’re looking for a delicious escape, Shudder of Specters: A Fantasy LitRPG Adventure by Christine Rains is a novel you’ll want to add to your Kindle ASAP.

The story is fun and fast-paced, and it was easy to place myself in the setting. The characters and plot caught my attention from page one and didn’t let go. Eagerly, I returned to this book every night and turned the pages longer than I should have (on a work night).

The premise: A usual game night turns into most players’ fantasy-actually living in the game world.

A fan of the Elder Scrolls, it was easy for me to slip into the world and envision the monsters, the adventure, and the characters. I’ve not read a book in this genre before but now I will look for more.

And great news! I know Christine Rains is about to publish the second book in this series. Awesome for me and my Kindle.

So, yes, I would recommend this book. A lot. Well, if you want to actually enjoy what you’re reading.  You can find it on AMAZON

In every one of their games, the bard dies first.

But this time, she may be the only one who can save them all.

Nora Quinn wants to play a bard like no other seen before, and the newest table-top role-playing game is the perfect chance to show off her skills. Yet when Nora and her friends find themselves in the dark fantasy world of Khthonia, she struggles to be any type of bard at all. There, things aren’t as straightforward as the games she’s used to playing.

If she and her friends want to get back to the real world, then Nora has to lift the curse plaguing Khthonia for over a century. The fate of the realm and their way home rest in Nora’s hands, but will she survive when the bard is always the first to die?

 

 

#SciFi Worth Reading: Cage of Souls #BookReview

Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky is a richly woven tapestry on a future Earth that resembles an alien planet. Inhabited by monsters and mechs, the residents are surrounded by a planet bent on destroying them.

It starts with the main character on his way to prison. There are only two civilized places: the main city and the prison.  The creatures attacking the boat on the way to the ‘Island’ were horrifying and fatal. They were as alien as if they came from another planet.

This story was thick with lots of atmosphere and character and layers and ideas. Through the terror of the prison, we learn that life outside the prison isn’t any easier. Once the darkness of the Island has steeped into the  psyche, the city is made known. Its inhabitants and culture didn’t seem like freedom either. To me, it seemed like a different type of prison.

In this epic, we’re human to the end with all our flaws. I was constantly searching for what had made our world this way. The characters didn’t know so the reader is left to infer with hints and clues here and there. Which was rather fun.

It’s not a quick read, but it’s a story worth knowing from cover to cover. And if you care to delve into the mirror written in the pages, it’s easy to see our current culture and society. Makes me wonder about the bars of my cage…

The sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapar, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, Shadrapar is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity.

Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new is Stefan Advani: rebel, outlaw, prisoner, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; that transported him east down the river and imprisoned him in the verdant hell of the jungle’s darkest heart; that led him deep into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters, madman, mutants.

The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?

 

 

 

Speculative Fiction Worth Reading: The Midnight Library #BookReview #SciFi #Fantasy

A little bit sci-fi, a little bit fantasy, the Midnight Library by Matt Haig was a thought-provoking read. It starts off dark with the main character, Nora, killing herself.

She has no hope and has nothing worthwhile to live for. Dark as this opening is, it’s easy to identify with. The basic premise is discovering the meaning of a life even when it seems trivial and small and not of much consequence.

After trying to kill herself, she wakes up in a library between life and death. There are myriad books all on the same subject, Nora. She can undo any regret she has and try on any life.

In the end, I thought the message was beautiful, and it made me think better of myself and my life. I definitely think that’s a book worth reading.

I won’t say much more about this book, because it’s beauty is what you discover in the pages. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting blockbuster novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.