Kneel or Die (Kurtherian Gambit #7) ★★☆☆½

kneelordie (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Kneel or Die
Series: Kurtherian Gambit #7
Author: Michael Anderle
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 336
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

There is one son of Michael left, one final Forsaken, who is defying Bethany Anne. He begins the process of a multi-prong attack based on what he learned from the last attack in the previous book. However, BA and Michael teleport in and Michael simply kills him. Bam, Forsaken are no longer a problem.

BA has been pushing for space worthy vehicles and her crew is really pushing themselves to get this project off the ground. BA needs a moon base to get out of the control of Terrestrial Powers. The team uses the new and improved vehicles on several missions and being able to get from one point on the Earth to another in a matter of minutes makes them even more deadly.

ADAM continues to grow and confronts a group of chinese government hackers. Now some part of the world knows it exists.

At the same time, the Team begins going after some terrorists that had struck in France. They begin hooking one member after another and working their way up the food chain. BA simply disappears each victim into the Etheric. No body, no mess, no evidence. This does lead to a lowly analyst at a small government agency discovering the disappearances and she begins tracking them. She realizes that “somebody” is making raids into foreign countries and killing people. So she sets out to track down this mysterious group of blacker than black operatives.

The clock is now ticking. BA must get her defenses in order: militarily, politically and technologically, as she is about to be discovered by the world at large.

 

My Thoughts:

The profanity has reached stupid levels now. It’s not all the time. It’s almost like Anderle has a checklist and there is one scene or two exclusively written so BA or one of her teams can simply swear in the ridiculous manner that Anderle has plotted. It simply is annoying and trying to figure out how I can just skip over it in future books.

I felt like the whole Forsaken problem was wrapped up way too easily. It was like the Forsaken were setup as bowling pins and then between BA and Michael, the author knocks them all down with a spare. It was rather anti-climactic. Hard to believe the Forsaken were such a problem if they were taken care of so easily.

Unfortunately, at the end of the book the author felt the need to include pages and pages and PAGES of reviews of previous books. Even more tactless and stupid was the fact that he RESPONDED to those reviews in the book. I believe most of them came from Amazon, so I’m not sure how he legally did that(Anderle being an indie I suspect he just did whatever he felt like without giving 2 figs for anyone else). Who the feth does he think he is doing something like that? If I found out he’d done something like that with one of my reviews without permission I’d buy a plane ticket to the nearest metro area, gear up and hunt him down for being the sick son of a bitch he is. This was completely inappropriate to be included in a book, without even going into the legal side of things. I knocked off a whole star for this section. Things like this are why I detest indies in general.

Other than those 2 major items, this was fun, just like all the previous books. There are some real kick butt action scenes and the little bit we get to read about TOM and ADAM and their interactions are fun. Anderle also pulls no punches about terrorists and what religious group they mainly come from. Of course, he soft peddles it with some pretty Politically Correct appeasement language but considering how blinded the West is to Islam, that really isn’t surprising, even if just a bit disappointing.

I really liked the whole Analyst figuring stuff out. It wasn’t that she was a super character but the implications are pretty important. Of course, Anderle will probably deal with that in the same way he dealt with the Forsaken. He seems to be much better at setting up cool scenarios than in writing them out with the right balance of tension and “the good guys win”ness.

There are 15 or 18 books in this particular series. I was sure I was going to be able to work my way through them all when I started but after this one, I don’t know. Him including and responding to reviews really undermined the enjoyment I had experienced. It tainted everything.

★★☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Advertisements

Rath’s Deception (Janus Group #1) ★★★☆☆

rathsdeception (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Rath’s Deception
Series: Janus Group #1
Author: Piers Platt
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 350
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Rath grows up with very options. His older brother is in a gang but wants Rath to graduate so he can join the cops and move up to middle society. Unfortunately, said brother is caught working for the cops and his gang kills him. Rath’s parents are druggies and end up killing themselves and burning their dwelling down. Rath moves out on his own and finishes school.

He is approached by a recruiter and goes through some trials and becomes part of the Janus Group. Their motto is “50 for 50”. Make fifty successful kills and half the bounty is yours and live the high life for the rest of your life. With virtually no organized crime, the Janus Group is the only game in town if you need something impossible and illegal pulled off.

Rath becomes Operator 621. Considered a Tier 4, odds are he won’t make his 50. On one particular mission he is sent after a rogue Operator, Operator 339 and gets 2 kills from killing her. Rath goes on to slowly climb up the ladder one harrowing mission after another. He finally makes his 50th kill.

However, when he goes back to the base camp, he’s met by a welcoming committee of merc’s hired by the Janus Group who specialize in taking out Janus Operatives. See, the Janus Group makes a LOT more money if they never have to pay out. Thankfully, Rath’s encounter with Operative 339 prepared him for just this eventuality (she revealed the truth to him when he was hunting her down) and now he’s a free agent, ready to go after the Janus Group with help from Operative 339.

 

My Thoughts:

This was much better than the Falken Chronicles books by the same author. Much more action oriented.

But first, the bad and mediocre and downward trending stuff. Platt seems to be all in favor of legalized prostitution if one of the page long soliquy’s a side character goes on is anything to judge by. Prostitution is evil, period. You don’t make it better by making the conditions better or safer or anything. You make it better by stamping it out. You call it the evil it is and do your damnedest to destroy it. And you start with people calling for the legalization of it. They are the real danger.

Secondly, Platt does his “reformed” prisoner thing but goes a step further. Rath meets the boss gang member years later and he claims to be born again, “but not in a religious way”, oh no. He had his memory wiped and now he’s just a perfect Mother Teresa giving sanctuary to an old grandmother and her 2 little grand kids. I’m not sure where to even start with such stupidity. Humans are fundamentally broken, that is known as the Doctrine of Total Depravity. It states that human nature is thoroughly corrupt and sinful due to the Fall of Adam and Eve. So for a human to fundamentally change, the change must come from outside themselves because any change by themselves will be broken since it comes from a broken source. This idea by Platt also buys into the thought that you are no more than your memories. If you are a mean, selfish, murderous asshole one minute and suddenly wake up with no memories, your body remembers and you’re going to act that way. It has became your “Nature” and that is way more than just your memories.

On to the stuff I actually liked 🙂

This had some really good action scenes. Rath’s completing his training evaluation to see if he even qualified was good. I also liked when he went on missions. I do wish there had been a couple more of those instead of showing Rath being a lonely teenager. The author also did a good job of interjecting the view from the Controllers of the Operatives and this gave us our first clue that all wasn’t as it was purported to be. So when Rath and Operative 339 had their little clash, it was obvious that Rath had been turned.

I enjoyed this and I’m looking forward to the next book. However, if Platt keeps up his “all criminals are really misunderstood cuddle bears” or keeps on promoting evil as good, I’ll have to seriously evaluate if I want to keep on reading this series.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Twilight Herald (Twilight Reign #2) ★★★☆☆

twilightherald (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Twilight Herald
Series: Twilight Reign #2
Author: Tom Lloyd
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 564
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Some city is a convergence point. Fell powers are gathering, whether crystal skulls or beings of power. It is all being orchestrated by some non-god, non-demon entity who hates the gods and wants to show mankind how powerless the gods are. It does this by enspelling an entire city to go mad and to kill as many people as possible.

Lord Isaak is there to gather up a spare crystal skull, or two, if he can manage it. Various characters from the previous book are also there on different pretexts, but it all comes down to everyone being manipulated by this being.

Where Lord Isaak was supposed to be the Savior of Prophecy but isn’t due to him breaking the chains of Fate in the first book, a new white eye is claiming the title. The same white eye that killed Lord Baal, Isaak’s mentor.

All the main characters survive the city’s destruction but alliances aren’t as strong and it looks like the New Savior is a protege of this Entity, the Shadow.

 

My Thoughts:

Enjoyed this but still had some serious issues.

The style choice for paragraphs. In a chapter there might be several changes between characters or location and this change is only shown as a new paragraph. The problem is that it is exactly the same paragraph style as when you stay with one character and you have multiple paragraphs. It is very disconcerting to be reading along and then realize that you’ve changed character, time or place with NO warning. There are multiple ways to accomplish, most of them quite easy, so I’m guessing Lloyd didn’t read his own book after he wrote it.

My other main issue is how big, epic AND mysterious this is trying to be. A lot of things are thrown at the reader with no explanation and where this worked for me in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series (due to excellent writing and just enough hints to keep you from falling on your face) here it feels like the author has just left crucial information out of the readers grasp. I was really struggling to figure out just what was going on. It doesn’t help that half the time I’m re-reading a paragraph or two to readjust my thinking about WHO I’m reading about now.

What I did enjoy about this book? Let me tell you.

A whole city going mad due to a malevolent spelled carved into the walls of a theatre and in the flesh of the playwright. Near the end Isaak ends up calling 5 aspects of Death to protect him and his allies and ends up having to face down several of the Aspects. The whole idea of a shadow entity working against EVERYONE for goals only it knows. A white eye that can kill legendary vampires and not blink twice about it.

This time attention is scattered around more and I wish things had focused more on Isaak. He’s definitely growing on me as a character and I’d like to see some real character growth, as he’s at the age where that happens quickly and shows quickly as well.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Under My Heel (Kurtherian Gambit #6) ★★★☆½

undermyheel (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Under My Heel
Series: Kurtherian Gambit #6
Author: Michael Anderle
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 306
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

BA and Michael and the rest of the Queen Bitch’s Guard must take down the Forsaken so that they can begin dealing with the potential threat from space. At the same time the military has begun sniffing around the AI project. BA is going to have to accelerate her plans in acquiring a secure military base where she can move the AI and begin producing prototype starships.

The remaining son of Michael, the most powerful of the Forsaken, sets a trap for the Guard and eventually BA herself. BA and her crew get to test themselves against a whole host of nosferatu and have a test run of their new attack ships.

Of course BA and Co are successful, in just about all their endeavors. The ambush is unsuccessful, the military base is procured, the prototype ships a success and the AI is moved into the Ether and begins learning with TOM as a (rather unsuccessful) gatekeeper.

 

My Thoughts:

The profanity is just stupid. It’s not amusing, it’s not actually profane, it’s just an ignorant stringing together of as many curse words as possible. It felt like a teenager trying to show how tough he was by saying everything he knows he’s not supposed to.

I had fun reading this even while knowing the outcome. BA is just so powerful. But that is ok because I’m not reading these for dramatic tension but for butt kicking action, which is delivered in spades.

Sorry, I just don’t feel like writing and I really don’t have anything else to say. These are popcorn books. So if you like that, great. If you want epic fantasy or {L}iterature, then this won’t do it for you. It really is that simple.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Never Forsaken (Kurtherian Gambit #5) ★★★☆☆

neverforsaken (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Never Forsaken
Series: Kurtherian Gambit #5
Author: Michael Anderle
Rating: 3.of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 328
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:

Bethany Anne (henceforth BA), must deal with bringing the Were into her elite Guardian Group. Pete takes on that chore and he and another recruit slug it out at the end of the training for Alpha status. Pete takes it and BA finds out from TOM that the Were are actually another line of nano-tech from a competing Kurtherian clan. BA and Tom experiment with Pete to give him a man-beast form. They are successful

BA also deals with having a dog be in the medical pod and having TOM messing with it. It seems to be a battery for the Etheric and allow BA to travel 1000’s of km at once instead of just mere kilometers.

BA also tracks down two of the top Forsaken in South America and deals with them. She rescues Michael in the process and as penance for not dealing with the Forsaken centuries earlier puts him in charge of South America.

The 2 scientists awake their AI. Bobcat begins working with a rocket scientist to develop a strike craft for both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial purposes.

 

My Thoughts:

Once again, I had a blast reading this. It still does feel like Anderle is putting too much of various characters into the books, hence cutting down the time we get with them. The balance isn’t right.

Also, while I enjoyed this as much as the previous books, if not more due to BA taking out the 2 top Forsaken, the rushed nature of this volume really stood out. Several spelling errors, sentences that weren’t cleaned up or had had 2 ways to go and weren’t completed properly, little grammar things here and there. I’ll keep reading as long as I enjoy the story but these little things make me leery of recommending the books because it screams “unprofessional”.

Lots of fun and excitement as long as you don’t mind the indie lack of concern.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

The Outcast (The Empire’s Corps #5) ☆☆☆☆½

outcast (custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Outcast
Series: The Empire’s Corps #5
Author: Christopher Nuttall
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 443
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Due to some of the subject matter included by the author, I will not be continuing with this series nor with this author.

 

My Thoughts:

3 or 4 throw away sentences. That was it.

Gahhh, the hits just keep on coming in. February is turning into one sucky month for book reading.

☆☆☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Odysseus Awakening (Odyssey One #6) ★★★★☆

odysseusawakening (custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Odysseus Awakening
Series: Odyssey One #6
Author: Evan Currie
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 318
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

The Empire sends out another expeditionary force and they head out to a small Priminae system to gather information. A small Priminae fleet with the new hybrid human’priminae technology attempt to stall the fleet in hopes that more reinforcements will arrive.

Commodore Weston and the (very) small Earth fleet make a rescue run and eventually drive off the bigger Imperial fleet, but not before the Imperial Fleet gets a data core dump from a captured Priminae ship.

And at the very end of the book, Odysseus manifests.

 

My Thoughts:

My goodness, such pulpy spaceship and space marine fun! Obviously, from having read about the Priminae world consciousness and Weston learning about Earth’s world consciousness, I was not at all surprised when a ship consciousness happened. I just don’t know how it will impact the storyline in later books.

Earlier in the month I complained about Croma Venture and the whole Spiral Wars series by Joel Shepherd being a never ending series. As I was reading this book I had to stop and question myself as to why I didn’t feel the same about this Odyssey One series. One part is that each book in the Odyssey One series is at least 25-35% shorter than in the Spiral Wars. I don’t feel like I’m “investing” my time in these, I’m just having a short fun read. Secondly, each book here is an almost self-contained story. While we learn little bits about the Empire or the Priminae, etc, Currie is NOT trying to setup galaxy spanning Empires and boring me to death with politics between them all. Thirdly, the focus of each book is on itself instead of feeling like nothing but super long setup for the NEXT book, which then repeats. I feel satisfied with each of the Odyssey One books where I really didn’t with the later Spiral Wars books.

If you want romance, look elsewhere. If you want deep characterization where every thought and possible permutation is hashed out inside a character’s mind, look elsewhere. If you want a grand space opera with a good balance of ship to ship fighting and ground pounder action, then look here.

I don’t ever plan on re-reading this series and usually that means only a 3.5 rating. However, after realizing just how stingy I am with my ratings, (3.31 average in 2018 for goodness sake) I’ve decided that if I enjoyed the heck out of a book, then it deserves 4 stars. So 4 stars with the caveat that this is not great literature. It also isn’t a waste of time. So decide which is more important to you and choose.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)