Uprising: Ascension (Pacific Rim #2) ★★☆☆½

uprisingascension (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: Uprising: Ascension
Series: Pacific Rim #2
Author: Greg Keyes
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Movie Tie-In
Pages: 320
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Taking place 17’ish years after Pacific Rim, we follow several new recruits into the Ranger program, from which new Jaeger pilots are chosen. With the closing of the portal and threat from the Kaiju vanquished, the Jaegers were re-purposed into peace keeping forces. Nor did technology stand still and the Mark 6 is the latest model.

Jinhai and Viktoriya are both talented candidates with their own issues. Jinhai is the son of a famous pair of Jaiger pilots and has always felt left out of his own family. Vik was raised by her grandparents and told that her parents were the brave Russian Jaeger pilots who went down stopping the Kaiju threat. But from the get-go of everyone’s training, things go seriously wrong. A training jaeger is sabotaged and a technician killed. Suspicion rests on Jinhai or Vik and ties to Kaiju worshippers pop up incriminating both of them.

We also get flashbacks about Jinhai and Vik growing up that show the forces that have shaped them.

Eventually the Kaiju worshippers make their move. They kidnap Jinhai and Vik and plan to sacrifice them as they detonate a bomb drenched in kaiju blook (thus exponentially increasing its power) under an island, thus opening a new portal to the anteverse and the Kaiju. They are stopped in time but it is obvious that Jinhai and Vik weren’t random selections for the sacrifice.

The Kaiju will return and humanity must be ready.

 

My Thoughts:

Last time I read a movie prequel book was Terminator: Salvation: Cold War. I had already watched the movie and absolutely loved it. The book was enjoyable as a backstory filler and it led me on to Terminator: Salvation: From the Ashes. That was a direct prequel and I loved it. All of this leads up to say that I had decent expectations for this prequel movie tie-in.

This was the novel prequel to Pacific Rim: Uprising. I have not watched the movie yet but since I enjoyed the first movie so much at some point I know I’ll watch it. So I figured why not read the prequel to get me ready for the movie? Man, what a mistake. The thing with Terminator: Salvation is that I watched the movie first. I should have done the same thing with this book.

There was nothing wrong with this book but I was bored for most of it, as it was almost all setup for the movie. There was way too much “I’m a poor hurt teenager, feel bad for me while I sulk and act like a spoiled brat” and not any jaeger fights. Thankfully, we do get simulated jaeger fights in their training and it was fun to see them work through scenarios that previous pilots had battled through. The kaiju worshipers were the big threat and they were poorly done. Caricatures and barely there.

I had the movie novelization on my tbr, but after this and re-reading my review for the original Pacific Rim, I’m going to pass and just watch the movie “sometime”.

★★☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

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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)

 

 

Waypoint Kangaroo (Kangaroo #1) ★☆☆☆☆

waypointkangaroo (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: Waypoint Kangaroo
Series: Kangaroo #1
Author: Curtis Chen
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 321
Format: Digital Edition

 

My Thoughts:

Due to some of the subject matter, I will not be reading any more by this author.

★☆☆☆☆

 
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)

 

Escape from Olympus (Falken Chronicles #2) ★★★☆½

escapefromolympus (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: Escape from Olympus
Series: Falken Chronicles #2
Author: Piers Platt
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 278
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Syrio Falken is now working as a tourguide. But not just a humdrum, run of the mill tourguide. He’s a tourguide to the planet Olympus. Only 2 companies have the rights to such a thing, for you see, Olympus is home to dragons. These dragons hunt by sound and are apparently immortal. They have been studied for years by scientists and the only facilities on the planet are the science facilities. Olympus is classified as a “off limits” world and has an array of orbital weapons to keep interlopers out.

The tour companies use “proxies” to give their clients a thrill of a lifetime. The clients climb into incubation wombs on the spaceship and wake up in a proxy body in a shuttle that is on its way to the surface. Falken guides his clients and basically lets them see how long they can survive on the surface.

During the current trip, something goes disastrously wrong. A bomb goes off on the actual spaceship and it crashes to the surface. With only one set of proxies available, and the other tour company out of action, and oxygen running low, Falken has to get his charges from the crashed ship to the science station. In their real bodies! Whooooo!

At the same time, the ships that should be rescuing them are either sabotaged or taken over by “pirates”. It is all at the behest of one speculating investor who wants to get his hands on a pair of dragons and all the research on them, so as to market an immortality drug which he can sell for trillions.

Falken and Co make it back to the science station, and Falken’s boss sacrifices himself right at the end so they all can make it. Of course, once at the station, they come under the control of the badguys and they are forced to go capture some dragons. All the proxies have been eaten, so it is For Real now. Lots of the badguys get eaten and the goodguys fix their ship and make a surprise rescue.

Falken takes care of all the badguys on Olympus and rescues a girl. Said girl turns out to be the daughter of the man who was falsely sent to Oz in the previous book and she reveals that he has never been released.

 

My Thoughts:

Thankfully, there was no “Fake out! It was all a simulation” like in the first book. If there had been, you would have heard some serious words coming out of my mouth.

Basically, Jurassic Planet. I loved it. Loads of people get eaten and torn apart and there is mayhem to fulfill all your needs. Between the proxies and real people, there was more than enough carnage to satisfy my need for violence. Not quite on the Neal Asher level, but way better than the first book.

The Investor Guy was written a bit over the top in being “Evil” but anyone with Money is now the Nobility of our Culture and as such has a target painted on their back. Felt kind of cheap but since I’d qualify this series as Pulp-SF, not unexpected or truly detrimental, just annoying. Kind of like those evil sorcerers from the Conan stories who did despicable things “just because”.

I’m not sure how I feel about the end where it is revealed that Weaver is real and still in prison. Considering that the next book is titled Return to Oz it’s pretty obvious what it will be about.

Overall, I had fun reading this book and enjoyed it more than the first one. Won’t ever re-read this though, as it doesn’t have that level of staying power.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Count to Infinity (Count to the Eschaton Sequence #6) ★★☆☆½

counttoinfinity (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: Count to Infinity
Series: Count to the Eschaton Sequence #6
Author: John Wright
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 321
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Montrose survives for another 18+ billion years and he and Rania see the Universe become perfect through outside influence.

The End of the Series. THANK GOODNESS!!!!

 

My Thoughts:

This book went from a very few really cool sequences to me skimming 10+ pages at a time as the author whacks off to his own words. If philosophy wrapped in a hard sf container is your thing, this might be for you.

Wright is a Roman Catholic and that shows through so strongly here. In many ways, his theistic evolutionist outlook and how he reconciles that to Scripture takes over this book and I actually enjoyed reading his viewpoint (while being in total disagreement). But that wasn’t what this series started out as and it really shouldn’t have ended that way.

However, like I mentioned previously, the plot is burdened by stretches of description that bored me to death. Really, this could have been a short story and been more appealing for it. I would have dnf’d this at the 10% mark but I wanted to see how Montrose and Rania finally get together and since that didn’t happen until over the half way mark, I figured “in for a penny, in for a pound” and finished it.

However, I have NEVER skimmed so much of a book as I did here. I deliberately skipped huge swathes until I saw key words that were action words. Sadly, they were few and far between. While book 1 intrigued me greatly, each successive book got progressively more descriptive, less action’y and more boring. I’m going to have to think long and hard about if I want to try any of his other series.

★★☆☆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)