Category Archives: Science Fiction

Book Review: “Ballistic”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Marko Kloos http://www.markokloos.com published the novel “Ballistic” in 2020. Mr. Kloos has published ten novels with this being the second of his ‘Palladium Wars’ series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because of violence and mature language. The main character is Aden Jansen. But that is only the name that the crew of the Zephyr knows him by.

The novel is set in the far future. Jansen is approaching middle age and is trying to keep a low profile. No one knows that he is part of the wealthy Ragnar family. Or that he was an officer in the Gretian military. He just wants to assume the role of linguist aboard the merchant ship. That she also sometimes smuggles critical goods does not help him maintain his anonymity.

Insurgents are stirring up unrest on the planet Gretia. Political conspiracy and intrigue add to the mix. Then the crew finds that a ‘special cargo’ they are carrying is a powerful weapon. They must make some decisions, and they may not be in Jansen’s best interests. He also may be forced to contact his estranged family.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 355-page science fiction novel. I have read three novels by Kloos and enjoyed them all. I did think that this novel ended a bit abruptly. I do like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: The Green Alliance

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Andrew J. Rafkin https://andrewjrafkin.com published the novel “The Green Alliance” in 2019. Mr. Rafkin has published seven novels. This is the second novel in his ‘ORCA Adventures’ series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence, mature language, and mature situations. The main character is Reef Johansson, who is an agent for ORCA. ORCA is a private security organization engaged by many countries, including the US.

Tragedy has befallen the US as the political leadership has been simultaneously assassinated. The role of the President falls on the Speaker of the House, Carolyn Dupont. She finds herself in a vicarious situation. China is attempting to extend its control in the South Pacific. The eco-terrorist organization Green Alliance is making matters worse. It is attempting to alter the global climate. Fortunately, she is close friends with the Reef & Alexis Johansson and can call on ORCA.

Reef, his fellow agent, and wife Alexis, and the rest of the ORCA team must save the day. Without ORCA’s elite force and advanced technology, all would be lost. ORCA has two missions to accomplish. First, find those responsible for the assassinations. Second, stop the China power grab in the Pacific. Neither challenge is without peril to the ORCA team.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 287-page science-fiction thriller. This is another of those thrillers that are fun as long as you don’t think too much about the plot or science. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Pandora’s Eyes”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author James M. Corkill https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/james-m-corkill.html published the novel “Pandora’s Eyes” in 2016. This is the fifth in his ‘Alex Cave’ series. Mr. Corkill has so far published six novels.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because of scenes of violence. The primary character is Alex Cave. He is both a geologist and clandestine special operations agent.

Earlier in the series Cave had discovered alien artifacts. The devices have powerful and largely unknown capabilities. They are potent enough to affect all life on Earth. Three of the four known devices had been taken to a top-secret storage facility. Two of those have gone missing. One has found its way into orbit.

The orbiting artifact has been incorporated into a satellite. It is intended to clear and recycle the junk cluttering space. The use of the devices begins to trigger climate changes on Earth. Their activity also wakes from stasis an alien. He and his ship have been buried deep in the Earth for millions of years. He claims Earth was theirs. This humanlike race is technologically more advanced than humans. They also have a severe bias against people with brown eyes.

Pandora is a beautiful young woman who is a servant on the alien ship. The ship AI takes control of her mind and body so that she may act as a conduit to the humans. The alien and the AI argue that the brown-eyed humans must be exterminated. They want to keep from contaminating their advanced race. When the world powers refuse, a virus is released that attacks all brown-eyed humans.

The infection is rapidly spreading around the world. Cave and his organization must find a way to stop it. Cave and his organization have developed impressive military tech. They become the only hope to keep the aliens from destroying the human race.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 270-page thriller. This novel can be read stand-alone, but I recommend reading them in sequence. I had not read the first four novels, so I entered this one without the background. Beyond the main plot, there are other subplots. This is one of those far-fetched science fiction/thrillers that keeps things moving along at a rapid pace. It is a fun read where you don’t want to think too much about the science or plot details. I do like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

New Science Fiction Series Invasion Coming to Apple TV+

Image from https://www.apple.com/

(See my other trailer-related posts) – A new series is scheduled to begin on Apple TV+ 22 October 2021. The name of the series is Invasion and it is a science fiction story about Earth being invaded. The story is told through the experiences of different people all around the world. The official synopsis per Apple TV+ is: Earth is visited by an alien species that threatens humanity’s existence. Events unfold in real time through the eyes of five ordinary people across the globe as they struggle to make sense of the chaos unraveling around them.

The trailer looks intriguing. I have been a science fiction fan since I was in Middle School. I look forward to watching the series when it begins in October. This first season includes 10 episodes.

Book Review: “Interdicted Space”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Gillian Andrews https://www.gillianandrews.com published the book “Interdicted Space” in 2019. Ms. Andrews has published seven novels. This is the second in her ‘Enforcement Agency’ series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘PG’ because of scenes of violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Ryler Mallivan Bell.

Months have passed since the first book in the series Termination Shock ended. Bell and his crew have become the Interstellar Enforcement Agency. They are on the starship Nivala and are on their first patrol. None are happy with their mission. They are tasked to transport three unwelcome passengers to Nephealis. Once there, they are attacked by the birdlike Vaers.

Bell and the group are trapped. The young girl Zenzara surrenders to the Vaers to save the others. That sets Bell and the rest of the Nivala’s crew on a desperate hunt for the young girl. She and her abilities are being used to establish wormholes across the galaxy. A development that will drastically change the balance of power. It will also likely cost Zenzara her life.

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 341-page science fiction novel. I like a good space opera and this series fits right in. It does have a few technical glitches. Like mentioning a location ‘west of [the planet] Nephealis’. There are no compass directions in space. Not even an up or a down. Overall though, I enjoyed the novel. This could be read as a stand-alone love, but it would be best to read Termination Shock first. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Arriving 24 Sept 2021

(See my other trailer posts) – I have been a science fiction fan since I was in Jr. High. One of the authors I read a lot of is Isaac Asimov. Among his works are the seven novels of his “Foundation” series.

These were published over decades from 1950 through 1993. The premise of the story (per Wikipedia) is:

in the waning days of a future Galactic Empire, the mathematician Hari Seldon spends his life developing a theory of psychohistory, a new and effective mathematical sociology. Using statistical laws of mass action, it can predict the future of large populations. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a Dark Age lasting 30,000 years before a second empire arises.

I read the first five of these novel years ago. Apple TV is bringing the series to their network beginning 24 September 2021. I can only hope that their version of Foundation is as good as the novels were. I am looking forward to it!

Book Review: “Termination Shock”

Author Gillian Andrews (https://www.gillianandrews.com) published the novel “Termination Shock” in 2019. Ms. Andrews has published 11 novels. This is the first book in her Interstellar Enforcement Agency series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Ryler Mallivan Bell. 

Bell is on board the training ship Commorancy. They are unexpectedly attacked and boarded by the Avaraks. Bell is Captain of a freighter and is only there for a three-week space defense course. Bell and a handful of survivors gather for mutual survival. He is the most senior of the group by a few days, so the role of leader falls to him. Bell leads the small group in their escape from the doomed ship. After that, the group seems to fall into one dire situation after another. Their journey is both complicated and sometimes assisted by their young Tyzarab companion, Zenzara. 

The very young girl was aboard the training ship with visiting dignitaries. Bell had saved Zenzara’s life and now, as per the custom of her people, she must repay to him the life debt. Life becomes more complicated after another alien encounter. Zenzara begins to develop into something far more than just an 8-year-old Tyzarab girl. 

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 331-page science fiction novel. On one level I found the plot a little simple and repetitive. It also seemed to gloss over the facts and the laws of physics occasionally. That said, I found the story to be a fun space opera read. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Dark Nebula: Discovery”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Sean Wilson (https://www.seanwillson.com/) published the novel “Dark Nebula: Discovery” in 2021. This is the second novel in the author’s ‘Dark Nebula’ series. Mr. Wilson has published five novels. 

I received a copy of this novel from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains mild scenes of violence, mature language, and mature situations. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Bradley Olivaw. 

The story in this volume of the series picks up in parallel with what has transpired in volume 1. Olivaw is part of the Earth colony in the Tau Ceti system. When the colony receives a message from Abigail Olivaw they are amazed. She announces that aliens have arrived in the Solar System. She is the President of the Confederation of Planetary Explorers (CoPE). She is also Bradley’s sister.  

They scramble to prepare for the aliens to find them. The message has taken years to reach them so they expect contact at any moment. They have no real defenses so that is the first priority. This is only the first of several revelations that the colony must absorb. These discoveries lead Bradley and a handful of colonists on a risky but vital mission. The long-range plan that Abigail has set in motion will take them far from home and their families. They will also find themselves with some new allies.  

I enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 458-page science fiction novel. This is the third book in the series that I have read. The others were Dark Nebula: Contact and Dark Nebula: Isolation. I have liked the plot of these novels. The story in this volume feels to be a bit choppy, but it is still enjoyable. I do recommend reading the first volume of the series Dark Nebula: Isolation first. The story will make far more sense. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Dark Nebula: Contact”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Sean Wilson (https://www.seanwillson.com/) published the novella “Dark Nebula: Contact” in 2020. He has published five books, all in his ‘Dark Nebula’ series. This is a short prequel to the first novel. 

I received a copy of this novella for signing up for the author’s newsletter. I categorize this novella as ‘G’. The story is set in the far future of 2278. Humanity has spread throughout the Solar System and has ventured to a few stars. The novella has a few different characters. 

Without warning alien spacecraft appears in the solar system. That does not mean that they were not expected at some point. Abigail Olivaw President of the Confederation of Planetary Explorers (CoPE) knew they might show up one day. She just didn’t expect them to arrive in her lifetime. CoPE has been in an ongoing conflict with the Outer Ring. Old animosities are hard to forget. They are mostly set aside when the alien ships from the Galactic Alliance arrive. Humanity has enjoyed many significant scientific advancements. Most have come from the Olivaw family businesses. Few know that the basis for this technology is derived from a probe discovered by Olivaw’s ancestors. Stolen technology from the Galactic Alliance. 

The novella describes what the reactions are to the alien arrival. It sets the stage for the first full-length book in the series. 

I enjoyed the 2 hours I spent reading this 88-page science fiction novella. Fortunately, I had already read book 1 (Dark Nebula: Isolation). It helped me to understand what was going on in this book. I had hoped to learn more about the background of the Universe this series is set in. Unfortunately, I do not think that this book adds much. The story seems to jump around between the characters. My complaints would have likely been addressed if this had been a full-length novel. That said, it was a reasonably enjoyable read. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Resurgence”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – 

Author C, J. Cherryh (http://www.cherryh.com) published the novel “Resurgence” in 2020. This is the 20th novel in the author’s Foreigner’ series. Mr. Cherryh has published more than 35 novels. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains some violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is diplomat, Bren Cameron. 

The dowager Ilisidi takes the famous Red Train to a remote town. Onboard are Cameron as well as a diverse assortment of characters. Her plan is to make a deal that will bring a close to the hostilities in the south of the Atevi continent. She is playing a risky game of intrigue and politics with Cameron at the center. 

I enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 347-page science fiction novel. I found it a little slow and confusing. While I had read book 17 (Visitor) in this series back in 2016, it was a little difficult to pick up this novel. I would certainly recommend starting at the beginning of the series to get the most out of the novel. While there is some excitement, this book is more about politics and intrigue. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).