Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Review of “Blood’s a Rover”

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Book Reviews – “Blood’s a Rover” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Harlan Ellison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison). Mr. Ellison has published only nine novels or novellas but has published over 1,700 short stories since 1958. He has received numerous awards for his writing over the years.

I received an ARC of this novella 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 post-apocalypse world. The primary characters are the young man Vic and his enhanced dog Blood.

Vic and Blood struggle to survive in the desolate wasteland of the future. Blood, his dog, has been enhanced allowing them to communicate telepathically, and Blood is clearly the more strategic thinker of the two.

After being separated, they find themselves together again. Soon, Vic is confronted with adding a third member to their team, Spike. Spike is a survivor like Vic. Reluctantly Vic lets the young woman join them and the duo becomes a trio.

I thought the 2.5 hours spent reading this 232 page novella was interesting. I had not read any of the prior works in the series, but this novella read pretty well on its own. That is not too unexpected since the last work in the series was published in 1980. I think the cover art is good as it both depicts the flavor of the story as well as having a vintage look. It is adapted from a screenplay, so the format is a little hard to read. 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).

 

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Review of “Exile”

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Book Reviews – “Exile” eBook was published in 2018 (July) and was written by Glynn Stewart (https://www.glynnstewart.com). Mr. Stewart has published 27 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 far future. The primary character is Vice Admiral Isaac Gallant.

Gallant is the heir to the leadership of the Confederacy of Humanity. Heir because his mother, the First Admiral, has taken over the Confederacy and rules it with an iron fist. Fed up with what his mother represents, Gallant gets involved with a rebellious group intending to overthrow the First Admiral.

The plot is discovered before any real action can be taken. Normally those even thinking of rebellion would be executed. However, since her son is involved, the First Admiral decides that exile is a just punishment. But this is not a simple exile, but a one-way trip to the other end of the Galaxy. Not only are the rebels sent, but four million including criminals, and anyone thought to speak against the First Admiral, are rounded up and included.

Their destination is a planet that a quick survey has identified as habitable. Now they must build a new civilization. They have various troubles, mostly due to the mix of people included. The real challenge comes when the new colony is confronted with the aliens that terraformed the planet. Will they find a way to survive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 381 page science fiction thriller. I thought that the idea of people being exiled was an unusual basis for a plot. I also liked the characters that appear in the story. I look forward to future novels in this series. Given the storyline, I think that the cover art is well chosen. 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).

Trailer for “Occupation”

Trailers – I just saw this trailer today and it looks like the movie may be good. Hard to tell what the actual movie will be like from this short trailer though. The synopsis (from IMDB):

A small group of town residents have to band together after a devastating ground invasion. As they struggle to survive, they realize they must stay one step ahead of their attackers, and work together for a chance to strike back.

The movie is being released this July. I look forward to seeing it sometime.

Review of “One Way”

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Book Reviews – “One Way” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by S. J. Morden (http://bookofmorden.co.uk/). Mr. Morden has published 15 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 Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the near future mostly on the Mars. The primary character is Frank Kittridge. Kittridge ran a construction company at one time, but at the beginning of the story he is in prison on a life sentence for murder.

Kittridge is approached with an unusual offer. The company, Xenosystems Operations, that runs the private prison he is doing time in is also bidding on a contract to build a Mars base for NASA. Kittridge and a few other prisoners are being given the opportunity to travel to Mars and to build the base there. In return they get out of prison, but will be confined to the Mars base for the rest of their lives.

The volunteers are given training and then are sent to Mars on a one way trip. They arrive and begin to assemble the habitat that has been sent ahead of them. Then ‘accidents’ begin to happen and prisoners begin to die. Is it just the inhospitable Martian environment or is there a killer amongst them?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 368 page science fiction mystery. I thought that the concept of using prisoners to take a one way trip to Mars was interesting. The Kittridge character is very flawed and I think adds to the story, though perhaps he is a little too flawed. I like the cover art, though I am not sure why a space suited figure is shown in space. 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 “Hullmetal Girls”

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Book Reviews – “Hullmetal Girls” eBook was published in 2018 (July) and was written by Emily Skrutskie (http://skrutskie.com). Ms. Skrutskie has published three 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 Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. All that is left of the Human race is aboard a fleet of ships that have been looking for a new home for centuries. The primary characters are young Aisha Un-Haad and Key Tanaka.

Un-Haad is willing to do anything to save her family. Tanaka doesn’t remember how or why she is a Scela. Un-Haad, on the other hand, volunteered to become a Scela. The Scela are the fleet’s enhanced and mechanized soldiers, no longer merely human. Un-Haad sacrificed herself to try and save her little sister and brother. Being new Scela means that they must work hard to get a good assignment. That is the only way that Un-Haad will be able to help her family survive in the rigidly structured fleet society.

She and Tanaka soon find that there is much that has been hidden from them. Much that is hidden from the general population. Their loyalties to the Fleet government begin to waver. Will those in charge ever let a new homeworld be found?

I thought that this was an interesting read of 8.5 hours for this 320 page science fiction novel. All of the primary characters are young women in this story. I would say that it would be something appropriate for Young Adults. The author put together an unusual universe for the story to play out in. I liked the 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).

Review of “Odysseus Ascending”

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Book Reviews – “Odysseus Ascendant” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Evan Currie (http://evancurrie.ca). Mr. Currie has published more than 20 novels. This is the seventh in his “Odyssey One” 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 and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Commodore Eric Weston of the Priminae/Earth Alliance.

While Weston is the primary character, the story spends time with several other characters on both sides of the conflict. After two unexpected defeats, the Empire wants to destroy those who have dared to oppose them. As an Empire fleet bears down on Priminae space, Weston and the other allied commanders must find a way to stop them.

Complicating this is the being that was discovered living on the Odysseus in the last book “Odysseus Awakening“. The creature appears as a young boy, yet it has considerable power. Is it the spacecraft embodied, or is it more?

I thoroughly enjoyed this 303 page science fiction novel. I have read most of the series and have enjoyed them all. I like the way the author has spread the story over many characters instead of focussing on just a few. This book reads well enough on its own, but I would recommend starting with the first book in the series. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 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).

Review of “Before Mars”

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Book Reviews – “Before Mars” eBook was published in 2018 and wad written by Emma Newman (http://www.enewman.co.uk). Ms. Newman has published 10 novels or novellas. This is the third novel in her “Planetfall” universe.

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 Mature Language. The story is set in the near future on a human base on Mars. The primary character is geologist and artist Anna Kubrin.

Kubrin is surprised when she is offered the opportunity to fill the open fifth slot of the current Mars team. For her, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. That is until she arrives. Once she is on Mars she encounters animosity from some team members. She also begins to find evidence that something is very wrong.

Living on Mars with just four other humans on a base owned and operated by one of the wealthiest men on Earth leaves Kubrin with few options. She begins to quietly investigate, but she is sure her efforts will soon be discovered.

I thought that this was an interesting 8.4 hour read of this 352 page science fiction mystery. To me, the Kubrin character was not psychologically stable enough to have been cleared for this Mars mission. I thought that the character spent too much time dealing with her psychological issues. Aside from that, the story was interesting, though a little slow. While part of a series, this novel reads well on its own. The cover art is OK, but I think it could have been better. 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).

Happy Star Wars Day 2018

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Star Wars – Well, it is May 4th again and time to celebrate Star Wars Day (You know, “May the 4th be With You”). The day’s activities are in full swing as I have seen many posts on Twitter and Facebook already.

If you still want to do something to celebrate, you will find a few suggestions in “5 NEW WAYS TO CELEBRATE STAR WARS DAY“. Ideas from watching one or more of the films with friends to cooking up something special. There are even recipes (“5 BLUE MILK RECIPES FOR STAR WARS DAY“) for creating your own “blue bantha milk” to serve your guests. Also check out “10 best May the Fourth activities” for more ideas on how to celebrate. You can also check out “https://maythefourthbewithyoupartyblog.com” for even more ideas for celebrating Star Wars Day.

If you are in the Austin area you may want to take part in the 4th Annual “May the 4th” Celebration at the 4th Tap! They have a great Star Wars Day Celebration planned! Other Worlds Austin has curated a fantastic program of Star Wars fan films:

  • EXILE: A STAR WARS STORY
  • STAR WARS: HOSHINO
  • REY: A STAR WARS ORIGIN STORY
  • MOST INTERESTING BOUNTY HUNTER IN THE GALAXY
  • JAKKU: FIRST WAVE

They will also have contests and provide prizes for the Best Costume, Wookiee Mating Call, and Yoda Impression.

The doors open for the event at 6:30pm. The program begins at 7:15pm. Admission is FREE! Vendors, merchandise, and more! 4th Tap Brewing Co-op (10615 Metric Blvd., Austin, TX 78758)

There are various companies making special offers in celebration of Star Wars Day. Some of them include:

However you choose to celebrate today MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

Review of “The Crooked Staircase”

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Book Reviews – “The Crooked Staircase” eBook was published in 2018 (May) and was written by Dean Koontz (http://www.deankoontz.com). Mr. Koontz has published more than 140 novels and novellas. This is the third volume in his “Jane Hawk” 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, Mature Situations, and Mature Language. The story is set in near future western US. The primary character is former FBI agent Jane Hawk.

Hawk, who is now consider the most wanted person in America, is still on the run. After her husband supposedly committed suicide she had begun to look into the rising suicide rate in America. This led her to discover a plot by a high placed few to take over the country.

This group employs nanobots that, once injected into the victim, assemble in the brain. This allows those ‘converted’ to be controlled and programmed. Her husband had been one of those converted and programmed to commit suicide.

Hawk has hidden her son away with friends as she tries to track down those responsible for her husband’s death. As she slowly works her way up the ranks of those in the conspiracy, killers are on the hunt for her son. The conspirators know that once they have Hawk’s son, they will be able to bring her in.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this science fiction thriller. I have read all three books in this series and have enjoyed them all. But then I have been a long time fan of Dean Koontz and have read many of his works. I like the character he has created for Jane Hawk, as well as the others in this novel. The plot is science fiction, but only just. Who is to say what nano technology will bring to us in the next decade. The cover art is OK, but something with the crooked staircase would have been better in my opinion. 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).