Category Archives: Science Fiction

Book Review – Uranus

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Ben Bova is the author of nearly 100 novels. Uranus was published in 2020 and is the first book in his Outer Planets trilogy.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R.

With the financial backing of billionaire Evan Waxman, Reverend Kyle Umber has built Haven, a habitat orbiting the planet Uranus. To Haven Umber has invited “the tired, the sick, the poor“ of Earth. Many have responded, and the population has grown to around 4000. A second habitat is under construction to accommodate the growth.

Chilean astronomer Tómas Gomez was awarded a grant to conduct research on Uranus. With his arrival at Haven and the initial results of his work comes a great deal of unwanted attention. Attention that interferes with the production of drugs and other activities that would be illegal on Earth or the inner planet outposts.

Beautiful Raven Marchesi is one of those who have fled to Haven. She was orphaned at an early age and had grown up in the slums of Naples, Italy. She became a prostitute working the streets and was arrested when she was 20. While she was being held in prison, she was offered the chance to move to Haven and restart her life. Like many, she jumped at the opportunity.

Marchesi is assigned to help Gomez when he arrives. A relationship develops, but they soon both become aware of the sinister side of Haven. Knowledge that could get them both killed.

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 368-page science fiction novel. This is not the first novel by Mr. Boa that I have read. In 2016 I read and enjoyed Millennium. I look forward to reading the following books in the series. I give this novel a rating of 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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

Book Review – Wakers

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Orson Scott Card http://hatrack.com is the author of 70 novels. Wakers was published in 2022 and is the first book in his Side Step trilogy.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this book/novel as G. The primary character is teen Lazarus ‘Laz’ Hayerian.

Hayerian wakes up in the Vivipartum cloning facility on Earth. At first, he is alone with just a few dogs for company. The only other humans he encounters have been long dead. There are many other humans in the cloning facility, but they are all dead. At least he thought so at first. That is when he found the girl. She was the only other living human he had encountered. But she was still asleep in her container.

Hayerian can remember his life before, or at least the life of his original. He hadn’t had the easiest life, but he did have an advantage. He can switch or side-step to a parallel universe. If he finds himself in danger or confronted with a problem, he just side-steps to another universe. He chooses one where the Hayerian’s circumstances there are different.

He survives with just the dogs for a while. Then he encounters another human and discovers why the town is deserted. At that point (about 30% into the novel) he attempts to wake the girl.

After that, they are both swept up in humanity’s attempt to save themselves. A rogue planet is on a collision course with Earth, and finding a friendly alternate dimension is their only hope.

I enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 397-page science fiction young adult novel. I have read several novels by Mr. Card, and I have consistently enjoyed them. The others are Ender’s GameSpeaker of the DeadXenocideThe Worthing Chronicle, and Lost and Found. The cover art is plain but does relate to the story. I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

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

Book Review – When Earth Shall Be No More

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – This is the first novel by Paul Awad and Kathryn O’Sullivan https://kathrynosullivan.comWhen Earth Shall Be No More was published in 2022. It is the first in a planned trilogy.

I received an ARC of this book through a promotion on BookSirens with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to a few scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as PG. The primary character is environmental scientist Constance Roy, but she is present in two parallel universes.

In one, Roy is one of a handful of people rescued from a doomed Earth and taken to the Orb. The Orb is an Ark spaceship currently orbiting Jupiter. Their saviors are an alien race simply referred to as the Curators. After nearly a year, their orbit is beginning to decay. A new home for humanity is still being sought and there only seems a short time left.

In the other, Roy is a single mother trying to discover what happened to her mother. She has been supported for years by a mysterious Foundation. When the two universes cross, she discovers that the key to saving the Orb Roy lies in her son, Nicolas.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 316-page science fiction novel. I thought that this was an odd story. It did have some of the familiar tropes of a “dying Earth”, but having the same character in two parallel universes is a unique twist. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review – Queen

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Timothy Zahn is the author of nearly fifty novels. Queen: A Chronicle of the Sibyl’s War was published in 2020. It is the third book in his Chronicle of the Sibyl’s War series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Sibyl Nicole Hammond is the primary character.

As a Sibyl on the spacecraft Fyrantha, she is one of the few humans who can communicate directly with the ship. The ship was built by unknown aliens and is now home to different sentient species, including humans. The Ship Masters who currently control the Fyrantha evaluate, then sell off species they determine to be battle worthy. She has turned into a rebel and has evolved into a leader.

Hammond leads the humans and their allies in revolt against the Ship Masters. It is the only way she sees to save humanity.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 378-page science fiction novel. This novel dives right into the plot. You will be a bit lost if you have not read the prior books. I at least had read Knight, the second novel in the series. As with that novel, while I like the chosen cover art, I don’t see much of a connection to the plot. I give this novel a rating of 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 – The Paradox Hotel

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Bob Hart https://robwhart.comis the author of eight novels. The novel The Paradox Hotel was published in February of this year.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to violence and mature language, I categorize this book/novel as R January Cole is the primary character of this novel. She is head of security at the Paradox Hotel.

Hotel security is never easy, especially when most clients are among the most powerful and wealthiest people. All at the hotel for their excursions back in time. Being located near the only working time portal has introduced its own set of weird problems.

The days ahead look particularly stressful for Cole. The US government owns the time portal, but it is about to put the facility up for sale. If that was not enough, Cole saw a corpse in room 526. But only she has seen the body. Her earlier work with the Time Enforcement Agency has caused her to become Unstuck in time, an affliction that will eventually prove fatal. She knows she is getting worse, but is unwilling to leave the hotel. At least being there she can experience flashbacks of her deceased girlfriend.

Then things get worse. Something goes wrong at the time portal, causing pending trips to be canceled. The master clock in the hotel atrium begins to malfunction. There are deaths in the hotel. Cole has to get to the bottom of the mystery while she can still function.

I enjoyed the 9.5+ hours I spent reading this 321-page science fiction novel. This novel was a little weird. Unlike most novels I have read, I didn’t really like the main character in this one. Previously I read The Warehouse, one of Hart’s earlier novels. I liked it, but I think that this one was more enjoyable. There is a touch of LGBTQ in the story, but it is not the main part of the plot. I give this novel a rating of 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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

Book Review: Mickey7

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Edward Ashton http://www.edwardashton.com is the author of three novels. His novel Mickey7 was published in February of this year.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to some violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as PG. As you might expect from the title, the main character is Mickey Barnes.

The novel is set in a distant future. Humanity has begun to spread out to the stars. Barnes is unique among his group of colonists. He is their designated expendable. That is because his body and brain have been scanned. A new body can be grown and his consciousness downloaded. Why? So that Barnes can perform any dangerous task that the colonists need to have done. So far, he has died and had to be regenerated six times. That is why he is called Mickey7.

The colonists have traveled to the planet Niflheim. It was thought to be Earth-like. Once they arrived, they found it to be an ice-covered world. The colonists can survive, but just barely. The story begins with Barnes called upon again for a dangerous mission on the planet’s surface. Native life has become a threat to the colony, and Barnes is sent on a scouting mission.

Barnes becomes lost. By the time he makes it back to the colony enclosure, there is a Mickey8 waiting for him. The idea of regeneration is loathed by many of the colonists. Strict rules govern regeneration, limiting one living copy. Now one or perhaps both Barnes could be terminated. Not only must Mickey7 deal with this threat, but he finds himself the only one in a position to handle the local inhabitants.

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 288-page science fiction novel. This is a different take on human colonization. Being the one and only colonist to be able to regenerate gives the Barnes character some unique plot opportunities. The chosen cover art is eye-catching but does not have much to do with the main plot thread of the story. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review: Fall of Zona Nox

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Nicholas Woode-Smith https://nicholaswoodesmith.com is the author of more than 25 novels. This book Fall of Zona Nox was first published in 2013, though a new and revised version will be released later this year. This is the first novel in his Warpmancer series. I was able to complete an interview with Mr. Woode-Smith in May.

I received this book from the author during a promotion of the novel. I categorize this book as ‘R’ due to scenes of violence.

The planet Zona Nox is located on the frontier of human space. Life there was tough, particularly in the capital Galis City. There are several characters included in the novel. The three main characters are James Terrin, Danny Marzio, and Leri.

Terrin is a petty thief getting by in Galis City. That was before the Xank invaded Zona Nox. After that, his struggle was to stay alive and join the other humans resisting the invasion. Marzio was also from Galis City, but he was a mobster. He had run one of the many gangs that controlled Galis City. That didn’t mean much once the Xank invaded. After that, he was just one more human on the run from the invaders. Leri was a Zangorian serving in the Xank invasion forces. He wanted to lead his people from under the Xank control. He just needed to find the way.

I enjoyed the 14.5 hours I spent reading this 734-page science fiction novel. The novel started slow, but it did pick up as I read beyond the first few chapters. In some ways, the story reminded me of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

Trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi Released

(See my other Star Wars related posts) – If you are a Star Wars fan and subscribe to Disney+ you will be looking forward to 25 May. The latest Disney live action Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi premiers on that day.

We really enjoyed their second live action series, The Book of Boba Fett. And of course watched their first series The Mandalorian. I only hope that this series is as good as those were. The trailer for it looks intriguing. If you are a Star Wars fan you will want to watch it.

Book Review: The Lazarus Men

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Christian Warren Freed https://christianwfreed.com has authored more than 25 fantasy and science fiction novels. His novel The Lazarus Men was just released in January. This is the first book of his The Lazarus Men Agenda 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 scenes of violence. The primary character is middle-aged Gerald LaPlant.

The novel is set far in the future, in the 23rd century. LaPlant is a low-level worker in the powerful McMasters business empire. He is thrust into a conspiracy when he accidentally witnesses a murder. That is compounded when he finds an alien artifact in his pocket. His only explanation for its origin is the man he saw murdered.

After surviving an attack by the murderers, he sees no course but to flee Earth and hide. He arranges a visit with an old friend on Mars. On the flight to Mars, he meets archeologist Charlotte Bailey. He is a bit attracted to the lovely Ms. Bailey. Before long, he has told her his story. After seeing the artifact, she concludes that it has something to do with the mythical treasure of Karakzaheim. Once they have arrived on Mars, they meet with Creeps, a childhood friend of LaPlant.

The Earth Alliance rules Earth, but they are weak. The Lazarus Men are a ruthless, secret organization controlled by Mr. Shine. He has developed an interest in LaPlant and the artifact. Likewise, Rolan McMasters wants to add the Karakzaheim treasure to his fortune. AsLaPlant, Bailey, and Creeps begin their search for the treasure they are pursued by a mixture of agents. The Earth Alliance, the Lazarus Men, and McMasters all have agents in play. They repeatedly find themselves in one dire situation after another. LaPlant can trust no-one.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 276-page science fiction novel. I enjoyed the story, but the plot seemed a little rough around the edges. There seemed to be little in the way of relationships between the characters. I like the cover art used. I give this novel a rating of 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: “Exceptional Point”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Gillian Andrews published the novel Exceptional Point in 2020. This is the third book in her ‘Interstellar Enforcement Agency’ series. She has published nearly a dozen 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 it contains scenes of violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Starship Captain Ryler Mallivan Bell.

Bell and the crew of the starship Nivala are once again pursuing their previous crew mate Bull Cunningham. He and Ramesh Chandrayanan are up to no good again, still trying to create wormholes. Both Cunningham and Chandrayanan are expecting the Interstellar Enforcement Agency to attempt to intercede. They have a less than warm welcome awaiting them.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 358-page science fiction novel. This is the third novel of the Interstellar Enforcement Agency series I have read The others were Termination Shock and Interdicted Space). I have enjoyed all three. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as a 4 out of 5.

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