Book Review of “ATLAS”

“ATLAS” was published in 2014 and was written by Isaac Hooke (http://isaachooke.com). Mr. Hooke has published 7 novels, this is the first of his “ATLAS” series.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there is Mature Language and Violence. The novel is written in the first person from the view point of Rade Galaal. The story is set in a future where Earth has mastered space travel through out the galaxy.

Galaal makes a feeble attempt, along with his long time friend Alejandro, to sneak into the United Countries. They are caught and given the opportunity to sign up for the UC military instead of being deported. They choose to sign up (which was Rade’s goal all along), and opt for the toughest branch of the military, the MOTHS.

The MOTHS are much like contemporary SEALS, but also deal with missions in space and often use ATLAS battle suits. These are really more like large robots that are guided by a human riding inside.

At the new recruit processing center Rade meets Tahoe Eaglehide and Shaw Chopra. Tahoe joins Rade and Alejandro in signing up for the MOTHS. Shaw opts for space flight school. The story follows Rade and his friends through training. Rade develops a romantic interest in Chopra, but they are not given much chance to pursue it. After training Rade, Alejandro and Tahoe are sent to the MOTHS Teams and then into combat on Earth. His unit is then sent on a secret mission to deep space where they are confronted not only with foes from Earth, but also a species from outside our galaxy.

This is a Military Science Fiction Thriller, with a touch of Romance, which reminds me a lot of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. I thoroughly enjoyed this story! I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

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Book Review of “The Abyss Beyond Dreams”

“The Abyss Beyond Dreams” was published in 2014 and was written by Peter F. Hamilton (http://www.peterfhamilton.co.uk). Mr. Hamilton has written more than a dozen novels and many short stories. This novel is the first of “The Chronicles of the Fallers” trilogy within his “Commonwealth” universe.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there is Mature Language, Mature Situations and Violence. The novel is written in the third person and is set in a far future, 3326. There are multiple primary characters, almost like a series of tightly connected Short Stories.

Nigel Sheldon, one of the founders of the Commonwealth, makes his way into the Void in an attempt to avert the threat the Void holds over mankind. Nigel finds the descendants of those trapped years earlier by the Void. He finds that within the Void the laws of physics are different and that mental powers akin to magic are common place in the humans residing there. The humans trapped there are constantly under attack by Fallers – an alien species that can mimic humans and are merciless killers.

Nigel is constantly avoiding threats from the humans he has come to save. He seeks to find a way to use the Fallers to free the humans from the Void.

I had not read any of the prior works on the Void, but this one read well on its own. As I mentioned before, this seemed more like tightly connected short stories than an integrated novel. I am still not sure why the first story regarding Laura Brandt was there. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Escape the Night”

“Escape the Night” was published in 2014 and was written by Richard North Patterson (http://www.richardnorthpattersonbooks.com/). My. Patterson has authored more than 20 novels.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there are Mature Situations and Violence. The novel is written in the third person and is set in the US starting just after the end of World War II. The primary character is Peter Carey who was born into a publishing family. His parents die in an auto accident when he is very young and he is raised by his uncle. After his grandfather dies, Peter finds himself battling for the publishing house that his grandfather helped found. Peter is afraid that his uncle will sell the business before he can take it over.

The story started off slow with a lot of deep background on the family – nearly the first 25% of the novel. After that the story did pick up into a relatively good Mystery/Thriller. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “The Cruiser”

“The Cruiser” was published in 2014 (December) and was written by David Poyer (http://www.poyer.com). Mr. Poyer has written many sea related novels, this is the 14th in the “Tales of the Modern Navy (Dan Lenson Novels)” series.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. The novel is set in more of less contemporary times. The primary character is the newly promoted to Captain Dan Lenson.

Lenson is thrust into the command of an advanced cruiser that the previous Captain has let run aground. Lenson steps into command of a stressed crew and a tenuous peace in the middle east. His ship and the bleeding edge missile system it carries is critical to keeping the situation from getting out of hand.

The story is filled with the modern US navy and even though this is the 14th novel in the series, it stood well as a stand alone read. There was action, intrigue and the drama of conflicting personalities. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Scrappings”

“Scrappings” was published in 2014 (December) and was written by Amelia Smith (http://ameliasmith.net). Ms. Smith has published three novels, “Scrappings” being the first of the five part “Anamat” series.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘G’. The story is a Young Adult Fantasy set in another time and place, the city of Anamat. The primary character is Darna who has fled her home and made her way to the city. She joins up with three others of about her same age. Their world believes that there are dragons that make things happen, and there are temples dedicated to them. But few on this world actually see the dragons.

Cyril, who is a little older, Darna meets along the way to Anamat. Myril is a little protective of Darna. Myril has premonitions and an acute sense of hearing.

Iola it infatuated with the dragons. Dragons that almost no one else can see. She desperately wants to become a priestess and is oblivious to much of the corruption of the city.

Thorat met Iola along the way to Anamat and has become her champion and guardian. He, like Darna, Cyril, and Iola, can see the dragons.

These four join many other youngsters begging, getting by, living on the streets of Anamat. They survive, trying to save enough to buy their way into an apprenticeship, or are accepted into a temple as a priestess initiate.

The story was OK, but it did not get me fully engaged. For the most part, it seemed a little slow. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Dark Triumph”

“Dark Triumph” was published in 2013 and was written by Robin LaFevers (http://www.robinlafevers.com). Ms. LaFevers has published three adult novels, all in the “His Fair Assassins” series, with this being the second in that series. She has eight other books targeted for younger girls (http://www.rllafevers.com/Home.html).

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there is Violence. The novel is written in the first person and is set in 1489 Brittany. The major character is Sybella who has run away from her father and brothers to the convent of St. Mortain. She is hidden there and trained in the ways of the assassin. One of her few friends is Ismae, who’s story was told in the first volume of the series “Grave Mercy”.

Sybella is sent back to her father’s castle to keep an eye on him. While he says he is loyal to Duchess Anne, there is doubt, and he continually pressures Anne to marry him. Sybella helps save her friend Ismae, and she finds herself surrounded by court intrigue. She is directed to rescue a prisoner, known as The Beast, held in her father’s dungeon. Unexpectedly, Sybella develops feelings for the Beast.

I felt like there was a bit more Romance in this book that in the first, though not too much. Most of the story concerned the intrigue and political maneuvering of Duchess Anne’s court. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Grave Mercy”

Grave Mercy” was published in 2012 and was written by Robin LaFevers (http://www.robinlafevers.com). Ms. LaFevers has published three adult novels, all in the “His Fair Assassins” series, with this being the first. She has eight other books targeted for younger girls (http://www.rllafevers.com/Home.html).

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there is Violence. The novel is written in the first person and is set in 1485 Brittany. The major character is 17 year old Ismae.

Ismae has a brutal father who sells her in marriage. She runs away from her new husband and is taken in by the convent of St. Mortain. For more than three years she learns to serve the old gods and trains as an assassin. She is sent on her first assignment to help Anne, the Duchess of Brittany.

Ismael is faced with conspiracy and danger from both the French as well as from within Anne’s own court. Ismae meets Anne’s half brother Duval and slowly falls in love with him, though she does not let that interfere with her mission.

I was afraid that this novel would turn into a Romance, but I was plesantly surprised that it kept mostly to the intrigue of the court, as well as some action and suspence. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).