Category Archives: Science Fiction

Book Review – Academy Bound

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – J. C. Mastro https://jcmastroauthor.com is the author of two novels. Academy Bound was published in 2022. It is the 58th book I’ve completed in 2022.

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 language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is 16-year-old Zachariah ‘Zack’ Aurelion.

Aurelion’s mother was an officer in the Earth Alliance. She went MIA eight years earlier at the end of the war. Now he wants to follow her into the Earth Alliance Fleet Academy. He wants to become a Command Officer. He wants to travel out into the stars. He has always been told that his mother is dead. He believes she is still alive, and he intends to find her.

Aurelion is in his first year at the Academy. His best friend, Russell ‘Russ’ White, is one of his fellow students. On the first day at the Academy, they meet Samantha ‘Sam’ Harriman. The three become close friends.

Together they suffer through the trials of first-year Academy students. Towards the end of the term, they are thrown into danger when the ICW suddenly attacks the EAS Dreadnought, where the three are on a training mission.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 356-page young adult science fiction novel. The novel reminds me a bit of Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. It is one of the typical coming-of-age novels for young adults, but I enjoyed it a lot. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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 – Machine

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Elizabeth Bear https://www.elizabethbear.com is the award-winning author of more than 30 novels. Machine: A White Space Novel was published in 2020 and is the second in her White Space series. This is the 57th book I have completed in 2022.

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 language, I categorize this novel as R.

The generation starship Big Rock Candy Mountain had left Terra about 600 years earlier. It had been lost to history until the Synarche ship had responded to its distress signal and called for assistance. Rescue Specialist Dr. Jens arrives in the Synarche Medical vessel I Race to Seek the Living.

Neither vessel is now responding. Once aboard the ancient ship, Jens discovers a mystery. A mystery she feels compelled to unravel. She has no idea of the conspiracy she is about to uncover.

I enjoyed the 17.5+ hours I spent reading this 495-page science fiction novel. I thought that this novel was a bit odd. I was not impressed with the chosen cover art. 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 – Debt of Honor

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Christopher G. Nuttall https://www.hbnuttallwriting.com is the author of more than 100 novels. Debt of Honor was published in 2020. This is the first book in his Embers of War series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to mature language and violence, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is Commonwealth Admiral Kat Falcone.

The Theocracy may have been defeated, but a fleet of ships under Admiral Zaskar is still at large. An unknown power wants to support them, though without revealing their identity. The remnants of the Theocratic Fleet appear, spread their brand of terror, and disappear.

The Commonwealth, even though it won the way is struggling with the resulting peace. The turmoil is fueled by an economic downturn and unemployment. The colonies now want more say in their own destinies. The threat of civil war troubles the Commonwealth.

Falcone must try to find the Theocratic fleet and stop it before it is too late.

I enjoyed the 13.5+ hours I spent reading this 420-page science fiction novel. This is a continuation of Nuttall’s Angel in the Whirlwind trilogy. I was able to read all three of those novels: The Oncoming StormFalcone Strike, and Cursed Command. I have also read the standalone novel The Hyperspace Trap. I enjoyed those as much as I did this book. I like the selected cover art. 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 – Echoes of Gravity

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – James Murdo https://www.jamesmurdo.com is the author of seven novels. Echoes of Gravity was published in 2021. This is the first book in Murdo’s Tapache’s Promise Trilogy.

I received an ARC of this book through a promotion on StoryOrigin with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as PG.

Tapache is a powerful machine intelligence. It has sent the Great Ship to investigate a powerful weapon. The ship is crewed by Roranians who Tapache has raised from the edge of extinction.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 263-page science fiction novel. I thought the story was a bit odd. It also ended abruptly. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 3 out of 5. You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review of Cyborg Assassin 1

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Rayner Ye https://www.rayneryeauthor.com is the author of around 15 novels. Cyborg Assassin 1 was published in 2021 and is the first book in her Military Space Opera series.

I received an ARC of this book from the author with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R. The primary characters are the young teens Oshun Musa and Frankie, but they are not the only characters.

After Oshun is orphaned, she must attend a military school. Other orphans are there too, learning to be soldiers. Oshun becomes a Space Marine. When the Interstellar Military agrees to join the Space Marines, the illegal child soldiers like Oshun are sent home.

Frankie had been living in a slum until he was taken in by a terrorist. Frankie knows what the terrorists are doing is wrong, but he feels obligated toward him.

Both Oshun and Frankie are faced with breaking their loyalties.

I enjoyed the 4.5 hours I spent reading this 229-page young adult science fiction novel. This novel has a lot of action but is a little rough around the edges. It feels more like a detailed outline than a fully fleshed-out novel. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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 – Three Miles Down

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Harry Turtledove https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Turtledove is the author of more than 100 novels. Three Miles Down was published in 2022.

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 novel as G.

The novel is set in the early 1970s. The primary character is Jerry Stieglitz, a marine biology graduate student at UCLA and part-time science fiction author. He is approached by the CIA to take part in a secret mission. A Soviet submarine had been lost and then discovered by the US. He is told that he will be part of a marine biology cover story for a ship attempting to recover the sub. He jumps at the chance for a well-paying summer stipend and the opportunity to gather research data.

He finds out that the real mission is the retrieval of what appears to be an alien spacecraft. A specially built ocean research ship travels to the North Pacific to find the spacecraft. The crew struggles to retrieve the vessel and find themselves faced with a first-contact situation.

Their ship is surveilled on and off by a Russian vessel, causing tensions to rise. Stieglitz is not always comfortable with the secrecy around the project or the longer-term goals of the CIA.

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 279-page alternate history novel. I have been a fan of books by Mr. Turtledove for many years. Among his recent novels that I have read are The House of DanielBombs AwayFallout, and Through Darkest Europe. This story is a bit slow but very engaging. I hope to see a sequel in the near future. The chosen covert is very eye-catching. I give this novel a rating of 4.5 (rounded to 5) out of 5.

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

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).