Category Archives: Science Fiction

Book Review: “Home: Interstellar”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Home: Interstellar” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Ray Strong. This is Mr. Strong’s first published novel and the first book in his “Hope’s War” 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Meriel Hope.

When Hope was 12 years old she somehow jumped a starship loaded with the dead crew and a handful of surviving children to Enterprise Station. Now that ten years have passed she is constantly being told that the ‘pirates’ she claimed attacked her family’s ship never existed and that she is suffering mental issues resulting from her experiences. 

Hope is still in touch, at least she thinks the contact is real, with the other surviving children. She has been struggling for years to get her family ship back and reunite the survivors. Still, she suffers from nightmares of the event and is prescribed compulsory drugs. When she again tries to find information about the mythical planet called ‘Home’ that her mother was investigating, she triggers the awareness of those who want her story, and the survivors, forgotten. 

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 355-page science-fiction thriller. While the plot was good and I liked the characters, the pace of the novel seemed a little slow to me. I do like the selected 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: “Walking to Aldebaran”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Walking to Aldebaran” novella was published in 2019 and was written by Adrian Tchiakovsky. He has published nearly two dozen novels or novellas.

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 scenes of Violence. The story is set in the near future. An object has been detected at the far reaches of our solar system and an international group of astronauts is sent out to investigate.

The primary character, Gary Rendell, is part of the group to land on the object and begin its exploration. When the team is attacked Rendell flees and is lost in the labyrinth tunnel system. He must find a means of survival as he wonders the tunnels. The tunnels hold what he thinks are other explorers trapped on the object. The object seems to have many entrances and exits at many different points in space.

The time wondering alone begins to affect Rendell, then he finds the heart of the object and goes through a transformation, or at least he thinks that he does. By the time he finds his fellow humans, he has changed.

I thought that the 3 hours I spent reading this 105-page science fiction novella were interesting. I found this to be a very strange read. Had it been longer, I would probably have called a Rule of 50 and just dropped it. It mostly deals with Rendell slowly going insane. This is not one that I would recommend. The cover art is OK. I give this novella 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).

Book Review: “Tangle’s Game”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Tangle’s Game” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Stewart Hotston (https://stewarthotston.com/). This is Mr. Hotston’s third novel.

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 a near future. The primary character is Amanda Back. 

Back gets swept up into something she didn’t see coming. A former boyfriend sent her information that many want and are willing to go to any length to obtain. She sets off to find out what the information is. 

I was disappointed with the 2.5 hours I spent reading this 235-page science fiction thriller. It took me only 2.5 hours as I simply called a Rule of 50 at that point and put the novel down. I don’t do that very often, but I just couldn’t get involved with this novel. To me, it seemed chaotic with a lot of political preaching. The cover art is an interesting choice. I give this novel a 2 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “The Pilot”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Pilot” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Michael Cole. Mr. Cole has published nine 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the near future. The primary character is former US Navy SEAL Victor Seymour. 

Seymour leads a team of elite mercenaries on a mission for the CIA. He has been told that hostages are being held on a remote island by the North Koreans. Seymour and his team are dropped off and make their way onto the island. What they find is far from what they expect. Korean forces on the island seem to have already come under attack and are trying hard to leave the island. 

As Seymour and his team investigate, they find strange growth in the jungle around the island. They have stumbled upon a foe that they are not prepared for. An alien, the pilot, has been released on the island and it is killing and infecting all living creatures on the island. Not only must Seymour and his team struggle to stay alive, they must find a way to prevent the alien from leaving the island and infecting the rest of planet Earth. 

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 221-page science fiction thriller. I liked the basic plot, but, as so often with thrillers, actions stretch beyond the believable. While nominally a science fiction story, there is an edge of horror in it as well. I like the selected 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: “Star Marque Rising”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Star Marque Rising” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Shami Stovall (https://sastovallauthor.com). Ms. Stovall has published five 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in a far future. The primary character is Clevon Demarco. 

Demarco is a genetically modified human who has been involved in many activities on the dark side of the law. He lives and works around the shady space station, Capital Station. This all changes when he crosses paths with Endellion Voight, the captain of the starship Star Marque. 

Though Voight arrests Demarco, she gives him a choice. He can be taken to a prison planet or he can join her crew. He doesn’t take long to choose her crew. It unsettles him some that the Star Marque is working for the superhumans that run the human expanse of space. The Star Marque acts as a mercenary police unit enforcing the superhuman’s laws. 

Voight and Demarco grow close as the Star Marque pursues its missions. They eventually become lovers. Voight has a goal of becoming the first human planet governor and she will let nothing get in the way of that goal. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 455-page science fiction thriller. Demarco is a dark hero. He has had a ruthless past, but as he serves on the Star Marque, he gradually becomes part of the crew and the Star Marque becomes a home he has never had. I liked the plot of this novel and see great opportunities for further books in this series. I also like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4.6 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

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

Today is “National Science Fiction Day”

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(See my other Reading related posts) – I have been reading science fiction since Junior High. It is my favorite genre. I think that reading science fiction is part of the reason I became an engineer and developed an early interest in computers.

From the National Day Calendar website:

National Science Fiction Day promotes the celebration of science fiction as a genre, its creators, history, and various media, too. Recognized on January 2nd annually, millions of science fiction fans across the United States read and watch their favorites in science fiction. 

The date of the celebration commemorates the birth of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.  An American author and Boston University professor of biochemistry, Isaac Asimov was born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov on January 2, 1920. He was best known for his works of science fiction and his popular science books.

HOW TO OBSERVE #ScienceFictionDay

The day encourages reading or watching science fiction. However, consider exploring science fiction in other ways. For example:

    • Introduce science fiction to an entirely new generation. Offer to read excerpts from your favorite science fiction author to a youth group at a library. 
    • Explore the authors of science fiction you’ve never read before.
    • Study the history of science fiction and how it has impacted modern culture.
    • Share your favorite science fiction story or character. 

Use #ScienceFictionDay to post on social media.

Book Review: “A Gift From the Gods”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “A Gift From the Gods” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Marin Gunn.  Mr. Gunn had published two books. 

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 Violnce, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in an alternative universe. In this aberration of the timeline a ‘god’ nudges the spacecraft of an alien race out of control so that it will crash where Nazi Germany can find it. 

That begins a technological growth by the Germans. While the Third Reich still fails in this timeline, the technology gleaned from the crashed spacecraft in 1935 allows the Nazis to rise again 50 years later in an attempt to establish the Fourth Reich. 

The exploitation of the alien technology is being overseen by Waffen-SS officer, Hauptsturmführer Gustav von Brandt.  He will let nothing stand in the way of the Reich. The story takes the reader from Germany, to South America, and to the United States. While the Nazis go dormant after WWII they are far from dead. Now with alien tech they again begin their effort to dominate the world. Only one CIA officer is standing in their way. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 338-page science fiction thriller. This was a little different for a science fiction story with the alternative history slant to it. Overall I thought the story was pretty good. I am not fond of the selected cover art. It reminds me more of a horror novel than a science fiction thriller. I give this novel 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: “Emergent”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Emergent” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Lance Erlick (https://lanceerlick.com). Mr. Erlick has published 15 novels. This is the third novel in his “Android Chronicles” 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 near future, though one with intelligent androids.

The primary character is Synthia Cross, an extremely advanced human form of AI. Not only does she contain an advanced AI, but she also has the memories of one of her human creators, Krista. She has been on the run for months, avoiding all attempts to capture her. She is not alone though. She has unexpectedly allied with Maria Baldacci, an activist that is campaigning against advance AI and the pending singularity. 

Not only must the two avoid those who seek their capture on legal grounds, but there is a powerful AI that is working against Synthia as well. Synthia is doing all she can to avoid the singularity and prevent an army of intelligent androids from being created. Will they remain free or is their time almost up?

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 290-page science fiction novel. I did not read the first book in the series, but I did the second “Unbound”. While it will help to have read the prior books in the series, you can read this one as a stand-alone novel. I 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: “Knight”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Knight” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Timothy Zahn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Zahn). This is the second book in his “A Chronicle of the Sibyl’s War” 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’. The story is set in more or less contemporary time, but it is predicated upon the abduction of the main character, Nicole Hammond, as well as a few others from Philadelphia by aliens. 

In the first book of the series, Hammond was taken aboard the starship Fyrantha. While she is far from the only human on board, she is the only human with the ability to communicate with the aliens and the ship. The enormous ship is divided into areas controlled by different factions. The aliens pit various races against one another looking for who is the most combative. The aliens that abducted Hammond seem to be testing the races to find those capable of becoming soldiers. Once identified as having warlike tendencies the information is sold to others who will enslave them for their wars. 

Hammond and a few of the other humans aboard the Fyrantha realize the need to make humanity look incapable of taking up arms. That is the only way they think they can save Earth. Hammond finally gets tired of keeping off the alien’s radar and decides she needs to take action. She feels she must find a way of taking control of the ship from the aliens. 

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 326-page science fiction novel. I thought that the beginning was a little chaotic. There was no lead-in to the story. Definitely, the first book in the series should be read before this one if possible. The plot is different and enjoyable. I’m not sure that the cover art is a very good choice. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of relation to the story. 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).