Wednesday, December 16, 2015

C. A. Higgins / Lightless / Brilliant Debut / Hard Sci-Fi / Social Sci-Fi

I love Hard Sci-Fi full of real science
I love Social Sci-Fi full of serious social issues
Do all of the above in one story
And Illuminate the Human Condition
What more could I ask for

Lightless by C. A. Higgins
Does it all

The Ship (the Ananke) is magnificent
Think big, as in Death Star big
We do not know it's purpose

On the ship a crew of 3
You heard me right, only 3 crew members
And an awakening computer

Althea, the engineer, designed much
Coded the computer
Ananke is hers and hers alone
Ananke is her child
Althea will protect her child

This book is on many Best of 2015 lists
With good reason


Music from 1988
Steve Earle / Copperhead Road

Scott Hawkins / The Library at Mount Char / Bizarre Twist Twisty Twisted Pleasure To Read

There is a Library
There are Librarians
Like nothing you have imagined

Scott Hawkins debut
The Library at Mount Char
Inventive merely hints at the brilliance here

You can't become complacent
The rules are always changing
The ante, your life
The stakes, always being raised

Carolyn and her peers
Spirited away as children
Raised by "father"
Each with their own library skill set
Some much more deadly than others

Father, perhaps God, or something else
Missing now
Turbulent times to be sure

I'm just not giving any spoilers here
Sometimes touching
Sometimes uber-violent
Sometimes both, often with a Bam! of Bazaar
This is a very unique read
You will be engaged


Music
Ryan Adam / 1989
Covering Taylor Swift's CD 1989

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Adam Mansbach / The Dead Run / Page Burning Thriller

Adam Mansbach can make you turn pages
The Dead Run defies genera placement
The pages turn none the less
The Jess Galvan Series will hook you

In The Dead Run 
Jess is just trying to do the right thing
Save his daughter, from the cult mom joined
Save a Mexican hooker from some very bad people
Save the World from an Aztec God
Pretty much average day after average day

The plotting makes complete sense
Convoluted it may be
It makes perfect sense to the reader

Fans of Richard Kadrey's Sand Man Slim series
This may be a good choice for you, it was for me


Music revisited
Not for the faint
Trout Mask Replica
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Alex Marshall / A Crown For Cold Silver / A Delightful Abundance Of Diversity

A Crown for Cold Silver
A terrific debut by Alex Marshall

My kind of characters
Flawed, Broken, Irreverent
Indomitable at their core

My kind of Epic Fantasy
Sprawling, Conniving, Bloody
Interesting magic, not over used

I'm a big fan of first novels
This on stands tall
I want more


Music
Ryan Bingham
Junky Star  ocn644730229
Not on the CDs in the library
My Very Favorite Song
Until I'm One With You (listen up on YouTube)
(Theme song to The Bridge TV series)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

James S. A. Corey / Nemesis Games / Brilliant, Engrossing, Captivating Back Stories / Best Of The Best / Space Opera

I hope you are already reading the Expanse series
This is The Space Opera of this moment in time
The SyFy Channel will be airing the new series soon
They say December

The first book owned me from the opening
The next four did not skip a beat

The character development is complete
Or so I thought
Book five, Nemesis Games, woke me up

The Rocinante goes in for repairs, lots of repairs
The four main characters scatter
All have their secrets
Secrets we did not know

Jim, Oh Captain my Captain
You didn't notice this stuff?
Okay, Okay, neither did I
We're a little dense
A little stubborn
Okay, a lot stubborn, very dense

Naomi
What Were You Thinking?
How Could You?
Oh, How do you live with that?
What in Hell are you going to do?
What will they do?
Messy, Messy Messy
I'm with you, I understand, Keep Walking

Alex and Amos
My kind of "A" Team
And I thought I knew you

How could I love these characters any more?
Book 5, Nemesis Games, that's how
Back stories on the crew
Wow!!

James S. A. Corey, a pseudonym
Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck


Music
Lindi Ortega
Faded Gloryville
Alt-Country, Americana, Canadiana

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Paolo Bacigalupi / The Water Knife / Riveting Near Future Thriller

Paolo Bacigalupi owns our near future
It started with The Windup Girl
Along came his YA hit Ship Breaker
He has my undivided attention
Again in YA I devoured The Drowned Cities
Now another Adult SF The Water Knife, WoW

Bacigalupi is really hitting his stride
As the title suggests
It's all about the water
Who has the rights
What people are willing to do

The landscape and lives being lived
Lush or Bleak
There is no middle ground to speak of

With the current drought in South West
He placed the action right where it is
Action there is, lots of it
The pages fly

The characters
People to invest in
People to cheer for
Don't miss the new one
Don't miss any of the above


Music
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Kathleen Baldwin / A School For Unusual Girls / YA Historical Fiction Romance

Thank goodness for simple stories
Told blisteringly fast
No heavy thinking required
Just Escape
Just what I needed

New to the YA collection
A School For Unusual Girls
The first Stranje House Novel
By Kathleen Baldwin

Young ladies don't do science
Young ladies don't burn barns down experimenting
Young ladies must not be "unusual"

Georgiana Fitzwilliam does science
Georgiana Fitzwilliam is "unusual"
Georgiana Fitzwilliam burned the barn down

Georgiana is taken to Miss Stranje's school
A school where "unusual" girls
Are tortured and beaten into submission
So they say

The girls Georgie meets at school
They all have their proclivities
They are all "unusual"

The Napoleonic Europe is at war with itself
Countries are teetering on the brink of destruction
The abundance of spies and counter spies, staggering

The Empire will do anything to avert invasion
Even putting young women in harms way


Music
The Decemberists
What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A. G. Stewart / Loose Changeling / Terrific Indie Series Opener

It's always interesting buying from small publishers
Loose Changeling was a pleasant surprise
A. G. Stewart has given us a good story
A protagonist to get behind and root for
And some delightful humor.

The characters are not mono-dimensional
Even the husband being divorced has some very good character traits
Nicole Philbin, the protagonist, is in no way perfect
But very likable, very engaging

Nicole Philbin is not what she appears to be
Nicole is not entirely human
Nicole does not have a clue

This is so fresh
I've never read a story like this before
Hey, Hey, Hey
I kept turning the pages
I was fully engaged and enjoying the story
Keep in mind
I don't post books I don't finish
I Never finish books I don't like

There may or may not be a romance here
Everybody and I do mean everybody
Is busy dealing with the detritus of a Fae power struggle
And the pending divorce
Nicole turned the errant mistress into a mouse
It was an accident, really, she had no idea
This was fun
I look forward to the next Changeling Wars novel


New music at the library
Marcia Ball
The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Judd Trichter / Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction / Whew!

After reading The Mad Scientist's Daughter
How could another android human relationship interest me
Cassandra Rose Clarke won all my accolades
I had no more to dish

Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
The title obviously caught me out
And the author, a guy, what's this about
How will a guy handle it

What became more important
What kind of guy falls for an android
Eliot Lazar is not a creepy guy
He is not a guy without problems
Why should he do today what can be put off again and again

What drew Eliot to Iris Matsuo
The flaw in her Iris
Her ability to create Art, real Art
Iris is obviously sentient
True Creativity does not come from programming

Trouble comes when Trackers grab Iris
Trackers trap freebots, dismantle them and sell the parts
Eliot finds focus
Eliot must find all the parts
Eliot is now a driven man

Judd Trichter has delivered the goods
A story that wraps you up and does not let go


New music to me and on my play list
This guy is channeling Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart
What more can you as for?
Jack White
Lazaretto

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Robin LaFevers / Grave Mercy / His Fair Assassin Series / Compelling!

I was fortunate to be given ARC's of books 1 & 2
Once I started Grave Mercy it was over
No other reading material existed
No free time existed

I finished Grave Mercy and began Dark Triumph
I did not take a breath between books
Finishing Dark Triumph I found Mortal Heart
It was on the shelf in the YA library
It had no business being on a shelf

Finally done, finished, end of series
Three book, Three surprising young women
Three layered stories
Filled with characters you want to get to know
Filled with characters you want to figure out

The compelling element for me
All three books deal with the God of death
The young ladies are, after all, assassins
What they/we learn is Death is a loving God
Death is a natural part of the cycle of life

"Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil"
Comes to mind
Compelling stories with strong young women
His Fair Assassin Series by Robin LaFevers
Don't Miss It!


Music
Not my usual cup of genre tea
But I like this woman's religious music
As Sure As The Sun by Ellie Holcomb

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Devon Monk / House Immortal / Most Enjoyable

Devon Monk always tells a good story
House Immortal is no exception

Matilda Case is not your average young woman
Matilda Case is "stitched"
Pieces sewn together with "thread"

There are 11 other "stitched"
Known as the Galvanized
Immortal one and all and in their hundreds
Pawns of the powerful houses

Readers will want to get to know Tilly Case
Immortal she may be, She is very young
A pawn to none, A piece to be played by all
Tilly is a righteous young woman

Everyone is out to get Tilly Case
Everyone wants immortality
Tilly has the key

The social and political machinations
Eleven houses out to best the other
Greedy scuts one and all

Book 2, Infinity Bell will arrive soon
I'm in for the long haul with Matilda Case
Don't miss the House Immortal series
Pages will be turned


Music
Ellie Holcomb
As Sure As The Sun

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

W. C. Bauers / Unbreakable / Good Military SF

Promise Paen is a warrior
By the end of the story there is no doubt

Raised on a remote rim world
Losing everything and everyone
Promise signs up with the Republic

Low and behold her first deployment
Return to her home world, Montana
Not what she wanted to do

Promise is a good soldier
Promise will do what needs to be done
Out gunned and out manned
Just a problem to be solved

A real page burner
I'm ready for more


Music on the play list

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rod Duncan / The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter / All The Right Ingredients

All The Right Ingredients
A story well told

Young Elizabeth
Surviving alone

Posing as her brother
A necessity to survive

The Victorian like steam culture
Fully realized
You could live there

The characters well developed
Diverse and complex
Good, Grey and Evil

Elizabeth in the guise of her brother
Working as a private detective

On the run from a very bad man
Her father's murderer

Trying to avoid prying eyes
The Patent Office has eyes everywhere

There is a missing device

The story takes a moment to fully develop
Fully fleshed characters and problems take time

An utterly irresistible title
I'll not spoil a story well told

The Bullet Catchers Daughter
Rod Duncan has done this right
The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, Book 1


Music on the play list
Sailing to Philadelphia by Mark Knopfler

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

R. S. Belcher / The Shotgun Arcana / The Story Gets Better / The Weird Gets Weirder

I raved about The Six-Gun Tarot    (post)
R. S. Belcher keeps improving the story
The Shotgun Arcana will hold your attention
Golgotha is one Strange mash-up of a series

Sheriff Highfather and his deputies are hard at work
Keeping things that go bump in the night at bay in Golgotha
The characters are getting more complex
Bad guys are showing some shine
Good guys are showing some tarnish
The truly evil are not so conflicted

A stand must be made
All are in harms way

Embrace the Weird


Music
Dark Eyes by Half Moon Run