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)

 

 

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

Taboogasm

6d5b8a57cdf799e84438928dd289b65eThis 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 & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Taboogasm

Series: ——

Author: Gregor Xane

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: SF

Pages: 157

Format: Hardcover

 

Synopsis: SPOILERS

This picture is so spot on for a synopsis that you have no idea.

 

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My Thoughts:

I knew going into this that Xane writes stuff that isn’t up my alley. So with that in mind, I plunged right into this signed and numbered hard cover edition. I didn’t get #1 and but I did end up with my favorite number, so it all works out great.

Bizarre.

That totally describes this book. Can’t really say much else. Like a roller coaster, you have to experience it for yourself.

I was wondering where the title Taboogasm came from and what it had to do with the book. Nothing in fact. It is a movie within the book and all we know about it is what is depicted on the cover of the book, ie, a couple having sex on a motorcycle that get eaten by Shamu. Bizarre. Again.

I had fun reading this, so thanks Gregor. I hope others have fun as well.

Measures of Absolution (Frontlines #1.2) (Novella)

 781dec12535e5ea089b30b70f38be71aThis 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: Measures of Absolution
Series: Frontlines
Author: Marko Kloos
Rating:  3 of 5 Battle Axes
Genre: SFF
Pages: 63
Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

A novella about one of Andrew Grayson’s squadmates that survived the Detroit debacle. Only to be sucked back into  the “policing action” against another welfare riot.

And we find out that maybe those rioting are being led by those who have been washed out of the military, “unfit” for duty because they refuse to fire on NAC civilians.

 

My Thoughts:

This turned everything onto its head for me. We find out just how underhanded the political and military leaders of the NAC [North American Confederacy] are being. How the TA are being used as civilian police. How bad things REALLY are on earth.

And that former soldiers might just be the patriots that a confederation needs.

I liked this.

Streaming Dawn (Fated Blades #3.5)

e350c3a5a42914649d8660356f46c1b8This 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: Streaming Dawn

Series: Fated Blades

Author: Steve Bein

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Pages: 89

Format: Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Wind has decided who shall be in power next. It is up to Kaida from the second book to make it happen. Considering she’s the Wind’s top assassin, how can she fail?

But when an incorruptible man carrying an Inazuma blade, Glory Victory Unsought, comes onto the scene, things get a little complicated.

 

My Thoughts:

I’ve really been enjoying these Fated Blade books. I have also found that these novella’s really add a lot to the overall story. I like the fact that they occur ONLY in the past and are all about the Inazuma blades.

While this labeled as #3.5, mainly because of the Wind, which isn’t introduced until Disciple of the Wind (book #3), it took me awhile to make the connection between the main character Kaida the Assassin [a very old lady] and Kaida the Fisher Girl [from Year of the Demon (book #2)].  But once I did, my enjoyment went up a notch. Next time I read through this series I’ll definitely be reading this between books 2 and 3 instead of after 3.

I am buying the books in paperback as they come out and wish these novellas could be published that way as well. Ebook is good for reading, but not for collecting.

 

Skin Deep (Legion #2)

b48c509575fcc2d2ecf6c2a49e535944This 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: Skin Deep

Series: Legion

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 3 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: Paranormal

Pages: 208

Format: Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Stephen Leeds is back, this time to find a body that might be infected with dna tech that could give cancer or the plague, to every single person on the planet.

As are his splintered mind psyche fragments. Old and New. With Old and New Problems.

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this more than the first book and had more issues with some of the philosophy spouted out, which is why the rating is the same as the previous book, Legion.

I liked how Sanderson showed the problems that Leeds has and how they are growing. Being a super-genius isn’t all that it cracked up to be. ha. Leeds has issues with the number of psyche fragments and even greater issues with a random one showing up. My first thought was “What would it do to Leeds if he simply had one fragment take out a bunch of others to give himself room”? He’d lose skills, but would he take a step back from the edge of completely losing it?  The fact that Sanderson can make me even think these questions is great.

The story itself was pretty good. Potential world plague, intrigue, corporate espionage. All good thriller stuff.

The main issue that brought this down for was the philosophy and the idea of Time being Infinite. Sanderson is at least nominally a mormon and hence I know we share a large amount of philosophy in common. However, I do use the word nominal and the idea of Time being Infinite is not something that is Biblical [not sure if that issue is addressed in the Book of Mormon or not].  In fact, while it might seem like a small issue, the reason it is so big to me is that so far in existence, only God Himself is infinite. Saying that anything else is is tantamount to saying that that is God as well. Wrong theology is one thing, but claiming Divinity [in a real world situation, not in a fantasy story] is Blasphemy.

To finish up, I sure do hope that Sanderson keeps up writing these Legion novellas. They are just plain interesting and engaging.

 

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell (Cosmere Novella)

a11d081aa03ee71d187ad3402755c6a5This 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: Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell

Series: Cosmere

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 4 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Pages: 65

 

 

 

Synopsis:

An innkeeper, who doubles as a secret bounty hunter, must make one last big score to save her inn, her daughter and her adopted granddaughter. Problem is, she’s got a gang to catch, a slimy traitor who is threatening to expose her and take her inn AND she has to deal with spirits who consume you if you run, draw blood or light a fire.

 

My Thoughts:

Enjoyed this little read. The main story takes place in one night, with desperation and determination coming from the main character in every word Sanderson writes. And it has a happy ending.

I love it when an author can write a concise, fully fleshed story, get me invested, leave me feeling like I had a good time and does it all under 75pages. It takes skill and I for one appreciate such skill, probably just as much as I appreciate the story itself.

 

Sixth of the Dusk (Cosmere Novella)

5b28acb1e75e82c52fbe522d9bad8771This 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: Sixth of the Dusk

Series: Cosmere

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 4 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SF

Pages: 65

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A low tech world has been contacted by a space faring race. But what can one anti-social trapper do, especially when his own people are against him?

 

My Thoughts:

A  thoroughly enjoyable story [it is listed as novella, but to be honest, it doesn’t seem that long to me, more like a long “short story”. [Ha]

I could sympathize with the main character,  in his attitude and his outlook on the passing of what he knew. I also think Sanderson did an excellent job of giving us a full story without falling into the trap of trying to tell us everything. This was an exercise in precision and he performed perfectly.

I think that the whole Cosmere thing [Sanderson has his own multi-uni-verse and every story takes place in it, even if they aren’t connected] is just a marketing ploy but since it doesn’t adversely affect anything, I don’t have any problems with it.

And getting a short dose of Sanderson is always a good thing. Sometimes one doesn’t want 500-900 pages, just a taste.