Tag Archives: Book Review

Review of “Invictus”

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Book Reviews – “Invictus” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Ryan Graudin (http://www.ryangraudin.com). Mr. Graudin has published seven 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 ‘G’, though there are minor scenes of Violence. The setting spans the centuries. The primary character is Farway Gaius McCarthy.

McCarthy is in his late teens and is a student at the Corps of Central Time Travelers Academy. This has been his objective since he was young, since his mother, a time traveler, disappeared. He is about to graduate as valedictorian, when everything goes wrong. His final exam has been sabotaged, but unable to prove it, he is kicked out of the Academy.

That is when he is approached to become a Time Machine Captain operating outside the law and collecting artifacts for private sale. He, and his crew, are performing well and succeeding. Then they find out that their memories and their entire timeline is at risk. They must risk their very existence and all be willing to sacrifice much in an attempt to save their timeline and themselves.

I really enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 465 page science fiction young adult novel. I really liked the characters and the plot. I thought that the plot was very different (in a good way) from so many other novels I have read. There is a little action, a lot of creative problem solving and even a bit of romance. I don’t like the cover art as it relates to nothing. I give this novel a 4.4 out of 5.

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

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Review of “An Alien Perspective”

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Book Reviews – “An Alien Perspective” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Roxanne Barbour (https://roxannebarbour.wordpress.com). Ms. Barbour 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 ‘G’. The story is set in contemporary times, though it takes place on another planet. The primary character is 17 year old Cyn-Tia Silverthorne. She wakes up to find herself with seven other Humans and 24 aliens split between three other races.

None know why they are there. Alien tech allows them to communicate easily with one another. They are given a number of challenges by their abductors that they must complete as a team. Silverthorne finds herself on the managing committee for the group. She encounters many issues and experiences a variety of emotions. She also finds herself drawn to one of the males from another species.

I spent 4+ hours reading this science fiction young adult novel with a touch of romance. I liked the characters. I also thought that the plot was interesting. It was a story dealing with how teens must adapt and learn to cope with their unwanted situation. I felt it was a little weak, but then again I guess that is part of being a young adult novel. The cover is OK, but one showing a scene from the story would have been better in my opinion. I give this novel a 3.8 out of 5.

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

Review of “Days Until Home”

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Book Reviews – “Days Until Home” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Mark Gardner (https://article94.com/), Greg Dragon (https://gregdragon.com/) and David Kristoph (http://www.davidkristoph.com). Mr. Gardner has published 10 novels, Mr. Dragon has published a dozen novels, and Mr. Kristoph has published 17 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 scenes of Violence. The story is set in the near future. Earth has expanded within the Solar System. This particular story is about a ship and crew who are mining in the asteroid belt.

They launch back towards Earth with a load of very valuable minerals. Soon after launch there is a massive explosion. The those that survive the blast must find a way to sustain themselves back to Earth. Miraculously they are soon rescued, but was this ship just coincidentally close by or was it there by prior arrangement? Was the blast sabotage rather than an accident?

I really enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 356 page science fiction novel. This was a different science fiction tale. I liked the struggle to survive that the crew experienced. Not only did they need to solve the technical problems arising from the disaster, but they had to deal with paranoia (not always imagined) and personnel conflicts. The cover art is OK, but I think that their damages ship would have been better. 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).

Review of “Mask of shadows”

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Book Reviews – “Mask of Shadows” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Linsey Miller (http://www.linseymiller.com). This is Ms. Miller’s first 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 and a little Mature Language. The story is set in another universe where magic is possible. The main character is young Sallot Leon.

Leon is a thief. S/he (Leon is a bit gender fluid) wants to get away from robbing the nobles. From one young woman victim, who Leon is quite taken with, she finds a notice of an upcoming audition to become a new member of the Queen’s Left Hand – the Queen’s personal assassins.

Leon sees the audition as a way out. This is not an easy competition. Leon is the last of 23 to be accepted. Not only must the competitors prove their abilities, but assassination of fellow competitors is not only allowed, but encouraged. Leon must use skills learned fighting on the streets to survive. As the audition progresses, a tutor is assigned to Leon to help with reading and language skills. The tutor turns out to be the young robbery victim and before long feelings develop between the two.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 352 young adult fantasy. I liked the characters that were developed in this novel and the plot. It is never clear what gender Leon is, so this should be considered a LBGT novel. This is a miner point and doesn’t really impact the story much. I liked that it was a world of magic, but the magic is now just part of their history. The cover art is OK, but something relating to a scene in the novel would be better in my opinion. I think that Ms. Miller did an excellent job on her first novel and I look forward to reading the second book planned for this duology. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

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

Review of “D-Day : Time Patrol”

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Book Reviews – “D-Day: Time Patrol” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Bob Mayer (http://bobmayer.com/). Mr. Mayer has published nearly 60 novels. This is the fourth in his “Time Patrol” series.

I received a copy of this novel from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is based in contemporary times, but as you would expect from the series title, agents travel back to various times in history.

The Time Patrol is a super secret unit that is sent back in time to protect our timeline from the Shadow. The Shadow is a mysterious group that for unknown reasons wants to destroy us. The Time Patrol analysts detect that a disruption in our timeline will be attempted on June 6 in various years in history.

The Time Patrol agents are sent back to 1998, 1944 (hence the name of this volume in the series), 1843, 452, 478 BC and 32,415 BC. Each of the six agents will travel back for 24 hours to battle the Shadow. Most are being sent to very dangerous time periods, and Shadow agents will do anything to beat the Time Patrol. It is far from certain that all six will return.

I enjoyed the nearly 6 hours spent reading this 234 page science fiction thriller. There are a few technical details of their time travel ability that get skimmed over, I assume they were covered in prior volumes of the series. This book reads pretty well on its own, but there is clearly relevant history in the prior volumes of the series. I would suggest starting with the first novel, “Time Patrol”. The cover is OK, but a more appropriate one would be of the airborne assault as that is where the Time Patrol agent is placed on D-Day. 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).

Review of “30th Century: Escape”

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Book Reviews – “30th Century: Escape” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Mark Kingston Levin. This is his first novel to be published. This is the first book of a planned “30th Century Trilogy”.

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 many scenes of Mature Situations. The story is mostly set in today’s time, with some in other times in the future. The primary character is Captain Jennifer Hero.

Hero leads a task force in the 30th century. Humans have created the Syndos, genetically enhanced humans, in order to explore space. Syndos have come to think themselves superior to humans and a war rages between them. Hero’s mission is to use a time machine and lead a group of her soldiers to the 27th century. There they will try to secretly introduce a genetic correction to the Syndos that they hope will make them more sympathetic to humans.

Hero, though, is suffering from burn out. Instead of following her men and women, she diverts herself to the 21st century. There she explores the Pacific islands, and makes many friends and lovers.

I had high hopes, but I felt let down after spending 10.5 hours reading this 332 page science fiction novel. There was little science fiction in the story. Yes there was a small, very small amount of time travel. The bulk of the story was about Hero and the friends she made. And she made some very, very intimate friends of both sexes.

I think that the book should have been classified as a romance with some aspects of science fiction. I also felt that the characters were very two dimensional. There was also a clear thread of saving the environment throughout the story. The cover art is OK, though I think something closer to the story could have been chosen. I give this :  a 3 out of 5.

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

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan – Book Review

Book Reviews – I had to reblog this as I think this is one of the best Fantasy series I have ever read. I recommend it highly.

DPNews

l9780312850098The Wheel of Time series is one of the biggest selling fantasy franchises, with over 80 million books in the series sold, and published in over 20 languages. Jordan (real name James Oliver Rigney) is considered one of the masters of epic fantasy, and along with R. R. Martin, ranked as one of the nearest rivals to Tolkien. But despite this acclaim, there is a very polarized community; The Eye of The World seems to be a book people either thoroughly loved or thoroughly disliked.

The prologue opens with a scene from the past, showing a mighty battle between two wizards. Despite the aesthetically exciting scene, it felt flat and lacked the emotion or context to grab my attention or to make me care about either side. The characters spoke a lot of hackneyed “Epic English” which I found was more distracting than engaging. Though it was a valiant attempt to hook…

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Review of “What We’re Made Of”

Book ReviewsShort Stories – The science fiction short story “What We’re Made Of” is available from the Baen Books website. This story was written by Frank Chadwick (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Chadwick). I would rate this as ‘R’ due to the scenes of Violence.

Earth is at war with the Varoki and the USMC is making one of the first combat drops onto K’tok from orbit. They have all done it many times in training, but this will be the first real drop for most, including Captain J. C. Merderet, commander of Delta Company, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Meteoric Insertion Capable (MEU-MIC).

She is ready for the jump, but scared like those she commands. She is perturbed that the higher command has inserted a reporter into her Company for the duration of the operation. She fears that this civilian will get in the way of her troops.

I really enjoyed the 40 minutes I spent reading this science fiction story. I thought it was very well written and felt like the story of a real combat jump. My only real complaint with the story is that it is too short. It felt like I jumped into the middle of the story and was pulled away too soon. But that is the complaint I have with most good short stories. I give this story a 4.4 out of 5.

Review of “Quantum”

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Book Reviews – “Quantum” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Dean De Servienti (http://www.deandeservienti.com). Mr. De Servienti has published three 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 contemporary world.

Doctors working for an NGO in Africa stumble across a mysterious object. It looks high-tech, but was found buried in ancient rock. They gather a few experts to study it further and head to London. They quickly realize that they have found something that will disrupt world religions as well as possibly governments.

They decide to disappear until they can find out more about the object. They head to the US for further secret testing. They soon discover that they are being ruthlessly pursued by various intelligence agencies. They quickly find that survival and not pursuit of knowledge is their biggest challenge.

This was an interesting 9 hour read of a 301 page science fiction novel. While I liked the overall plot, I thought the execution was a bit weak. Nor was I really drawn to any of the characters. I had a hard time with all of the intelligence agents being nothing but obnoxious and ruthless killers. The cover art is OK. I give this novel 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).

Review of “Block Party”

Book ReviewsShort Stories – The science fiction short story “Block Party” is available for free from the Baen Books website. The story was written by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller http://korval.com/. I would rate this story as ‘G’.

Earth seems to be surviving after some kind of disaster. Algaina is the local baker in a small community where newbies from off planet arrive from time to time. A new batch has arrived, this one made up mostly of children. Algaina offers one cookies and soon she finds herself working with one of the older refugees who was himself a baker before coming to Earth.

Most like the new items the cooperative efforts brings, but there are a few who voice their opinions against the new arrivals. Will the new arrivals be able to fit in, or will the voice raised against them prevail.

The only science fiction aspect of this story is that refugees have come to Earth from another human settled planet. I did enjoy the hour I spent reading this short story. I bake some from time to time, so I felt a relationship to the plot. It isn’t a deep plot, but it was an enjoyable story. I give it a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.