The Man with One Name (The God Fragments 2.5) ★★★★☆

manwithonename (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 Man with One Name
Series: The God Fragments 2.5
Author: Tom Lloyd
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 68
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Lynx is wandering and comes into a small town. He accidentally kills an employee of the local warlord. He is then made Reeve by an enterprising old woman and has to survive the wrath of Therien, the man he has bucked.

After killing half of Therien’s crew, Lynx proposes a duel of mage pistols at dawn and Therien agrees, knowing that if he kills Lynx, he will then be the legitimate authority in the town. Lynx simply snipes him and heads out of town.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a story of Lynx before he joined up with the Cards. Honestly, I was expecting a prequel novella to book 3, much like Honour Under Moonlight leads up to Princess of Blood. Seeing what Lynx dealt with as an ex-Hanese soldier wandering around was enlightening and it definitely made him a slighter fuller figure (ha, yes, that is a pun on him being fat).

Knowing Lynx from the previous books and novella, I suspected that the ending would go the way it did. Lynx is pragmatic until it runs counter to his set of morals. Sniping a warlord who had used his underlings to try to kill him presented no moral qualms for Lynx.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

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Hammer of God (Alex Hunter #5.5) ★★★☆☆

hammer (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: Hammer of God
Series: Alex Hunter #5.5
Author: Greig Beck
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 115
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Someone has access to multi-kiloton nuclear bombs [of the size and type to be able to wipe out Jerusalem]. They also have access to beings of unhumanness that can carry these bombs to wherever they are needed to go, without stopping, without food, without water, without detection and without being susceptible to gun fire.

Israel will not stand for such a threat to exist without striking back. But even their special forces can’t deal with giants who apparently can’t die because they’re already dead. Enter the HAWC’s, led by Alex Hunter.

Now, the combined forces, that are both disavowable by their respective countries, must find the terrorists who are creating these nukes and the alchemist who is creating the undead carriers. It comes down to Alex Hunter, the Arcadian, to take down a thousands year old alchemist who wants to rule the world while inhabiting Hunter’s superior body.

Yeah, like the Arcadian is going to let THAT happen.

 

My Thoughts:

As I was reading this near the beginning, I thought this would make a great full length novel. At 115 pages, it is a pretty good novella. Near the end I changed my mind and was glad it was as short as it was. While these books are never studies in character development, this felt particularly card-boardy.

There is a difference between telling a good story and telling an engaging story. An engaging story utilizes all aspects of the authorial craft whereas a good story can follow a formula, cut a few corners and still keep your interest. This was a good story.

I have to admit, I have been hoping that after this many books and this much writing experience, that Beck would have learned a bit more about writing characters. In many ways, Beck reminds of the likes of Christopher Stasheff or even Robert Asprin. Both are solid B level writers but they never rose above that. I am beginning to think that Beck has found his level and will never get any better. I’m not going to stop reading these Alex Hunter books, mind you, but I’ll be adjusting my expectations accordingly.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

  1. Gorgon (Book 5)
  2. Black Mountain (Book 4)
  3. This Green Hell (Book 3)
  4. Dark Rising (Book 2)
  5. Beneath the Dark Ice (Book 1)
  6. Arcadian Genesis (Book 0)

Arcadian Genesis (Alex Hunter #0) ★★★☆ ½

arcadian (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:       Arcadian Genesis
Series:    Alex Hunter #0
Author:   Greig Beck
Rating:    3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre:     SF
Pages:     79
Format:  Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

An item is uncovered in Russia. It appears to be a source of unlimited power. The Russians are working on it and discover it is an incubator, not a power source. In the process, they bring on board a scientist, who used to be a Chechnian whose family was killed by the Russians. Said scientist steals the power source and contacts the United States, all to spit in the eye of the country that killed his family. What he doesn’t know is that by removing the power source, the creatures inside begin to awake and grow.

Alex Hunter is sent on a mission with a team of HAWC’s to recover the scientist. The HAWC’s run into a Russian team who are also intent on recovering the scientist. Hunter gets shot in the head, but the bullet first passes through the alien device. In a comatose state, Hunter is prepped for a super soldier project, codenamed Arcadian, that “might” save his life.

Thus begins the legend of Alex Hunter, the Arcadian.

 

My Thoughts:

I waited to read this prequel for a some time, just because I wasn’t sure when it was published, and was too lazy to look it up, and didn’t want anything revealed that might impact future books. In all honesty, this would be a good place to start with Alex Hunter, even before Beneath the Dark Ice. Nothing is spoiled and it does a good job of showing exactly how things worked out to make Alex a working Arcadian.

As a short story/novella, this has just the right amount of action, tension and drama. It is on par with the other Alex Hunter books. Not much else to say really.

★★★☆ ½

bookstooge

 

  1. Beneath the Black Ice
  2. Dark Rising
  3. This Green Hell
  4. Black Mountain
  5. Gorgon

The Parasite

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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  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Parasite

Series: —–

Author: Neal Asher

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 134

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Jack is a space miner and in the process of getting some space ice, gets infected with something. Something that heals him, makes him stronger, makes him smarter but also something that will control his reactions in dangerous situations. Problem is, the parasite thinks thatany fear from Jack is a dangerous situation.

Jack was supposed to go into quarantine, but the head honcho didn’t want the space ice to go into quarantine as well, so Jack walked free. Now the World Health is after him, as well as the Head Honcho trying to cover up his tracks. Because Jack is contagious, contagious beyond belief and people are dying by the bucketload.

 

My Thoughts:

This novella exemplifies everything I like and don’t like about Asher, all boiled down into one little story. On the hand, we have action and violence literally exploding everywhere. Asher does Ultra-Violence with a deft hand that while occasionally making me cringe never feels overboard to me, unlike say the Jack Reacher books. On the other hand, you get the interminable whining about Free Will from at least one, if not more, character.

For me, just because I am not choosing to make my heart beat but it does it on its own, doesn’t mean I don’t have free will. Non-Total Autonomy doesn’t negate Free Will for me. I suspect the differences we hold on Free Will boil down to our views and thoughts on God. Surprise 😀

On the story itself. If you’ve ever wondered about trying Asher but were intimidated by the 14’ish books divided up into sub series and so threw up your hands and never tried, THIS is the story to try to see if you’ll like him or not. It is self-contained but show cases his writing style and his ideas in one easy to digest sitting.

Glad I got around to reading this because I have to wait until March of ’17 for his next Polity book to come out.

star35full

Legion (Novella)

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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

A genius is hired to recover a camera that can take pictures of the past.

 

My Thoughts

The MC is a genius, but he can’t handle it. So instead of taking responsibility, he makes up imaginary people who CAN do the things he won’t.

Some character has created a camera that can take pictures of the past and is trying to prove that the resurrection of Jesus Christ happened. Sadly, Sanderson takes the tack of pitting Faith against Reason instead of the reality of a blending of the two.

I am really sick of people saying that Faith is baseless and is just about a feeling, blah, blah, blah. I wish Sanderson and others of such ilk would go read some C.S.Lewis. But then, they wouldn’t accept what he has to say anyway I suspect, as their minds are already made up in what they want to believe. The very charge they claim to bring against others.

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Legion

Legion #1

The Emperor’s Soul

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The Emperor’s Soul

Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Even though this was touted as a “novella”, at around 100 pages, this is just as long as some of the Elric novels by Moorcock.

And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve been on a roll recently with good books and for that I’m thankful. The afterwords by Sanderson places this in the Elantris universe, but it had been so long since I read it that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Even with all the runing going on 🙂

There is also a list of other short stories by Sanderson and this has whetted my appetite to track them down and read them as well.