Every Sky A Grave (The Ascendance #1) ★★★☆☆

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: Every Sky A Grave
Series: The Ascendance #1
Author: Jay Posey
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 302
Words: 115K



Synopsis:

From Skybound.com & Me

Far in the future, human beings have seeded themselves amongst the stars. Since decoding the language of the universe 8,000 years ago, they have reached the very edges of their known galaxy and built a near-utopia across thousands of worlds, united and ruled by a powerful organization known as the Ascendance. The peaceful stability of their society relies solely on their use of this Deep Language of the cosmos.

But this knowledge is a valuable secret, and a holy order of monastics known as the First House are tasked with monitoring its use and “correcting” humanity’s further development. Elyth is one such mendicant, trained as a planetary assassin, capable of infiltrating and ultimately destroying worlds that have been corrupted, using nothing more than her words.

To this end, Elyth is sent to the world Qel in response to the appearance of a forbidden strain of the Deep Language that was supposed to have died out with its founder over seven hundred years prior. What she finds on the backwater planetoid will put her abilities to the test and challenge what she knows of the Deep Language, the First House, and the very nature of the universe.

Elyth can’t kill Qel due to the work of a man known simply as eth ammuin. So her first task is to find and kill him. She fails. Then she finds out that the Great House given the responsibility of dealing with technology is using eth ammuin to gain the knowledge of the Deep Language. So now she has to rescue him. Then she finds out that the planet is under interdict and is going to be destroyed so she and eth ammuin team up. They save the planet, Elyth realizes how shallow the First House’s knowledge really is and decides to go her own way.

My Thoughts:

I went into this book with some huge reservations. Posey had abandoned writing his Outriders series in favor of starting this. I also didn’t realize this was a start of a new series and thought it was a standalone. It works well as a standalone but it isn’t. I have to ask myself, why should I trust him to finish this series when he’s already shown he’s more than willing to stop writing a series just because he feels like it?

On the other hand, this is the same author who wrote the Legends of the Duskwalker trilogy that absolutely blew me away.

Unfortunately, my reservations held more true than my cautious optimism. There was nothing “wrong” with this book but it was slow and I felt like I was reading about a space ninja experiencing satori for the first time. I’ll get into that in the next paragraph. While I was reading this I kept having flashbacks to Way-Farer and not in a good way. Way-Farer was good rousing fun that has kept me entertained several times and every time I simply tear through it. This? This was not rousing fun. It was plodding and I didn’t tear through anything. In fact, the 300 pages felt at least double that, if not a bit more. The philosophizing that was interesting but shallow in Way-Farer here is explored in depth and in all seriousness, like Posey felt he had some message to convey. It was ludicrous.

That exploring of transcendentalism’ish and satori and eastern thought wouldn’t necessarily been a bad thing but the first thing after the book is done, in the author’s afterward, is him thanking Jesus. Eastern thought and Christianity are utterly opposed at the basic level. While people continue to try to meld them in various ways, the only way it works is if you butcher what the Bible teaches about the very nature of God Himself and Jesus. It’s not that I’m opposed to Christians writing about things they don’t believe in, but the studied seriousness that Posey gave in this book, while proclaiming Christ, was disturbing.

I realize I’ve been pretty harsh and yet still given this 3 stars. I did enjoy reading the story, with all the issues mentioned continually impinging on me and I didn’t think it was bad writing at all. It just wasn’t up to the level of story telling that I fell in love with in Legends of the Duskwalker.

I think I’ll be passing on any more of these Ascendance books and wait and hope that Posey eventually goes back and finishes up the Outriders. I can wait, I’ve got plenty of books in my tbr.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sungrazer (Outriders #2) ★★★★☆

sungrazer (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: Sungrazer
Series: Outriders #2
Author: Jay Posey
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 448
Format: Digital Edition

 

 

Synopsis:

A secret asset of the UAF (United American Federation) has gone missing. This asset has stealth capability, can capture, render and output enemy data AND it can perform kinetic strikes, which are almost untraceable.

It is up to the Outriders to find this missing asset, recover it and prevent a war from breaking out between Mars and Earth. Unfortunately for them, someone within the Mars Federation WANTS war. So not only do the Outriders have to prevent war, they have to do so secretly because the very existance of the asset is enough to start the war.

During this time Mike Pence, the sniper who died and underwent The Process in the last book reveals to Lincoln that he’s having memory problems and that The Process might not be quite all that the brass say it is. Which of course means that Lincoln dies near the end of the book and goes through The Process himself. Which in turn leads to the revelation that the big bad enemy lady from the first book not only has access to a form of The Process herself and uses it, but she uses it to replicate herself and put herself in multiple positions of power in various Martian city states.

 

My Thoughts:

Now that I knew I was not going to be reading a Duskwalker style story, which is what I was expecting with the first Outriders book, I was able to read and accept this for what it was. Military SF. It makes a big difference if you know what you are getting into, even vaguely, when starting a book. This was on my “High Priority” collection on my kindle and so I read it as soon as it came out.

This was just as good as the first and nothing stood out either better or worse. Only a couple of issues which I’ll touch on quickly and even those didn’t really let me down. More of quibbles.

Lincoln is able to tell what Amira Wright is feeling by invisible muscle twitches in her eyes or mouth. Once, I can live with. But it happened at least 3 times and was annoying. There were stretches of unnecessary description that really felt like padding. Finally, the revelation that the evil lady replicates herself wasn’t bad, but considering how information greedy Mars is [they make googles seem like your blind, deaf, dumb and DEAD uncle], it seemed improbable to me that no one else had noticed this on Mars and made an issue of it.Unless there is a secret Cabal on Mars who run everything, kind of like in X-Files Season 10 where there is a secret Cabal who run Earth and aliens are just a fake distraction.

Now to the good stuff. Several riveting instances of infiltration, fighting and exfiltration. Not huge gun battles, but tense enough that I felt pumped up after reading them. I like that feeling. The revelation about possible problems in The Process of replicating the Outriders when they die opens up whole vistas of possible paranoia and government conspiracy. I can just see one of the team going haywire in a future book and having to be hunted down by his own team mates. Now THAT would be awesome.

The revelation of clone lady, with its attendant problems, also opens up possible plot lines. Who is funding her replication? Is it the same process, do the replicants think alike, can they think in unison, etc? Is she the mastermind or is there a Martian conspiracy? Or…ALIENS?!? I am so hoping for aliens at some point myself. United States Secret Forces versus the godless, murdering, horribly bestial aliens.

* sings the national anthem *

Man, sometimes I write better plot ideas in my head than actual reviews. Of course, it would take great skill to write that without me lambasting the author for being a talentless hack who couldn’t write an original plotline if their life depended on it. Authors just can’t win with me 🙂

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Outriders (Book 1)

Outriders (Outriders #1)

e8c19f363955b922cb6f2b693b016299This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Outriders

Series: Outriders

Author: Jay Posey

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 448

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:  Spoilers

Lincoln Suh [I had so much fun in my head saying Sir! Suh, Sir!] is a man who IS the definition of Special Forces. But when he joins the Outriders, things get kicked up a notch. First off, they kill him. Just to make sure they can electronically store his brain.

The Outriders take on missions that the Government not only denies, but actively opposes, but needs done.

Someone is trying to fan the flames of war between Earth and Mars and it is up to the Outriders to find out who and prevent it.

 

My Thoughts:

I didn’t enjoy this as much as Posey’s Duskwalker trilogy, but it was still very good. My only gripe was the eye-rolling obviousness of the solution to the villain that nobody in the story still gets. If you have death proofed soldiers who can come back to replicated bodies [much like the Cylons in the new Battlestar Galactica] don’t you think that others might have that same solution? Other than that particular bit of denseness, I have NO complaints.

I liked that Lincoln was not a raw recruit with “potential” and we get to see his rise. Instead, he’s already a fully mature [and the older I get, the more I appreciate that kind of character in the books I read] soldier who is willing and able to take on whatever is needed. I still want heroes in my stories.

It didn’t “feel” very science fiction’y to me, even while taking place on Mars, Space Stations and space ships. Which means that I’m either getting very jaded or that Posey did an excellent job of not making the surroundings the main point of the story.

Dawnbreaker (Legends of the Duskwalker #3)

1b72d146d0135f2410ea33bb135484eeThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Dawnbreaker

Series: Legends of the Duskwalker #3

Author: Jay Posey

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Pages: 512

Synopsis:

Wren separates from all the others and begins training under a mysterious Master, the Master of House 8, the House that Three came from.

At the same time, Wren’s mother Cass begins to explore her own power and must decide whether she’ll keep running or stand and fight Asher.

Finally, Asher. He is seeking out both Wren and Cass, to stamp them out and to begin to consolidate his powers, in real life and in the wired world.

My Thoughts:

A fantastic ending to this trilogy. Things wrap up rather quickly. It does leave a LOT of space for future books but at the same time it is a complete ending.

A good bit of time is spent on Wren’s training. Some might find it somewhat tedious, but I’ve always enjoyed seeing a character grow, both in skill and mental agility. The battle for Greenstone was pretty good but not as fleshed out as I was hoping for. Cass’s journey of discovery was just as enjoyable as the other plotlines.

I enjoyed this book as much as Three mainly because we get to see Wren starting to become the Man who will be the Duskwalker.  I was mislead by the series name, Legends of the Duskwalker, especially in the first book, as I was expecting Three to said Legend. But when you deal with such things as Legends, they always have to have a beginning and this trilogy is the beginning of Wren’s Legend.

As satisfied as I am with how things ended, I really hope we get to see more of this world. So many little clues about how different, how Post-Apocalyptic it is, but it never is the focus. I want more.

In ending, a huge thanks to Krazykiwi for putting Jay Posey on my radar with her review of Three. It is for just this type of thing that I love a social booksite like Booklikes. I never would have found Jay Posey on my own.

Morningside Fall (Legends of the Duskwalker #2) (ARC)

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I received this copy from the publisher through Netgalley.com and that in no way has influenced my opinion in regards to this review.

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com by express permission of this reviewer

 

Synopsis

Wren is now titular governor of Morningside. But there are undercurrents and political intrigue. Eventually Wren, his mother, his military group of bodyguards and a friend or two are forced out of the city, have lots of Weir battles and return to Morningside where a horrifying discovery is made.

 

My Thoughts

Wren was the main character for this book. It made for a completely different kind of book even though it was exactly the same type as Three. Does that make sense?

Instead of a kick ass alpha male who was actually a hero, we get a young kid who is desperately trying to fill shoes that he knows are too big for him.

The action is just as intense as the first book, with a mysterious old blind man who can use a sword like a japanese legend, a hardcore military group who just kill everything and Weir acting extremely un-Weir like.

Wren was the hero here. He’s 8 years old and I alternately felt joy, happiness, sadness and at a couple of times I just thought “thank goodness I’ve never known THAT kind of responsibility and despair!”  While the focus was different because it was about Wren and not Three, this was just as well written, engaging, full of character and pure awesomeness.

And then the ending. Asher is a fantastic villain. He’s horrible, evil and smart. He’s not cartoony, he’s not laughable and what he has accomplished, in becoming digital and somehow controlling the Weir, is just awesome.

I’ve used the word awesome a lot in this review but you know what? It totally deserves it. After this book, Posey has moved from my short list to my Authors I Will Be Reading Sight Unseen list.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Author: Jay Posey

Morningside Fall

Legends of the Duskwalker #2

 

Three (Legends of the Duskwalker #1)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com by express permission of this reviewer

Synopsis

Three, a mysterious bounty hunter, ends up protecting a drugged out amped up mother and her potentially special son.

 

My Thoughts

This obviously takes place in a dystopian, post-apocolyptic world, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this.

The further I read, the more I liked. This had it all. A damsel in distress. A talented cute kid. A reluctant yet willing Hero. An evil villain who is practically insane. A host of monsters that are futuristic and yet also atavistic. And even better, the Damsel and the Child are saved in the end by the heroic sacrifice of the Reluctant Hero.

This just pushed all the right buttons for me. Fast paced action, mystery, techno-thriller, romance. All these describe this book to a T. However, I can see it not being everyone’s cup of coffee. Drug abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, plain old general violence, none of it in graphic detail thankfully, but they aren’t danced around and euphemistically referred to either.

Jay Posey is now on my radar and I’m going to keep him on my short list.

Rating: Strong 4 of 5 Stars (4.5 Stars)

Author: Jay Posey

Three

Legends of the Duskwalker #1