Review of “A Choice of Treasons”


“A Choice of Treasons” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by J. L. Doty ( Mr. Doty is the author of 10 novels and this is the second of his “Treasons Cycle” series.

I received a galley of this novel for review through I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The setting of this Science Fiction Thriller novel is in a far future. Humanity has spread through the stars and we have come into contact with a few other races.

The Empire and the Directorate have been at war for years. The main character in this story is Lieutenant York Ballin. He is a ‘lifer’, one of those rare in the Imperial Navy that seems to find themselves constantly at the front. Ballin has been on the front lines for more than 20 years.

Ballin has had an odd career, starting out as a teenager who joined the Navy instead of doing prison time. After some service as a non-com, he is sent to military college and is now an officer. Being aboard ship on the front lines for more than 20 years Ballin has experience in most facets of the Navy.

When the officer commanding the Marines on board his ship is killed, Ballin is placed in charge of the Marines. Over time he builds respect with the Marines. The Directorate attacks and Ballin with his Marines must rescue the empress, with her retinue and daughter, as well as the embassy staff from a planet before it falls into Directorate hands.

This begins a wild chase with the Directorate forces close behind Ballin’s ship. When no other competent officers prove to be available, the empress puts Ballin in command of the ship. Now he must find a way to get his high value passengers back to the Empire. Things are not all as they appear within the Empire. Soon Ballin and his crew finds that the Directorate is not their only enemy.

I enjoyed the 16.5 hours I spent with this 418 page novel. It reminded me a little of the “Lost Fleet” series. While this is the second of the author’s “Treasons Cycle” it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. The character of Ballin is a little rough around the edges and willing to ignore the rules when they get in the way, but he is firm in his commitment to keep his crew in top condition. Nor does he lightly think of sacrificing the men and women under his command. Besides the pure military aspects of the novel, there is also conspiracy and intrigue within the leadership of both the Directorate and the Empire. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

The February issue The Analog has been published


I finished writing the February edition of the Central Texas Section newsletter, The Analog, a short time ago and have uploaded it to the Section web site. You can find it here and there are instructions at the very bottom on how you can subscribe if you are interested.

All of the various Chapter meetings currently scheduled for February are listed, as well as some of the other Tech events scheduled for the area.

With International Engineers Week coming up February 21-27, there are many activities planned for that time. A list of those I am aware of can be found here.

Review of “Ashley Bell”


“Ashley Bell” eBook was published 2015 and was written by Dean Koontz ( Mr. Koontz has authored nearly 150 novels.

I received a galley of this novel for review through I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Situations and Mature Language. The setting of this Paranormal Thriller novel is contemporary California. The primary character is Bibi Blair, a young woman in her mid thirties who is told she has less than a year to live because of cancer.

She has been a surfer and now is a successful author. While in the hospital, she is visited by a strange man and a dog. Her cancer is gone. But that begins a strange trail of death and a mission by Blair to save Ashley Bell.

The problem is that she has never heard of Ashley Bell. The journey Blair takes to find and save Ashley Bell is dangerous and puzzling. There seems to be a powerful agency at work to thwart her at every turn.

It soon becomes a race to see if Blair will be able to get to Ashley Bell in time to save her.

I like Dean Koontz and have read many of his novels. I think that this is one of his better ones. The tale is a little bizarre, with many twists and turns. It also has a paranormal element that so many of Koontz’s novels contain. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

I’m Sorry, I Just Don’t Love You!

I found this an interesting assessment of popular books. I have to disagree on “Game of Thrones” and “Dune” as I really enjoyed both of them and their series. I do have to agree though that both seemed to drag out at times and there was a large set of characters in each to follow.

I have to admit that from time to time I find a popular book that does not do anything for me either. We each have our own preferences. It is good these days that there are such a wide range of well written novels so that each of us can find enjoyment.

Cafe Book Bean

tumblr_inline_nlzp7mvEGI1su6hze_500I’m always on the lookout for a great book; ones rated well and with a good reputation among other book-lovers. So, if a book is rated high, within a genre I enjoy, and sounds interesting, it makes it to my queue. However, now and then there are books which are extremely popular, which I then read, and find myself sorely disappointed. Despite all the qualifications for a great read, I’m left hauntingly unimpressed.

Here are a few books that just did not do it for me:

(I hope I don’t lose any friends over this :/)

Game of Thronesby George R.R. Martin
Rated 4.5 on
I can’t believe I’m admitting to this. I am a huge fantasy fiction fan, but I just could not get into these books. I got through the first one and just felt exhausted by it. It takes so long to get around to…

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