author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Alon Lavie – The Rise of Europa Prince (@VENOMSECTOR42AL )

The timeline is off, events have been accelerated for one simple reason. Black Widow. A reviewcold, callus, creature with her sights set of Earth. Her intelligence is well established, and the glass web, know everything. Well, almost everything, they are not at full capacity but that will change. Countries are dropping like flies to her control. Her arrival acted as a catalyst forcing the other insect species to bring forward their plans for hostile invasion. The Europa Prince is on its way housing the great invasion fleet. Ayana, an agent for the US Department of Defence, is determined to stop her at every turn. Armies are building, alliances being formed and lost, and the very fate of Earth rests on the shoulders of but a few.

I often don’t like reading books written in the present tense, but the author made it so effortless that I didn’t really notice. The Rise of Europa Prince is the first instalment in Alon Lavie’s The Venom Sectors and whilst part of what I imagine will be a much larger series is easy to follow as a complete story in its own right. It is full of strong female characters with diverse and interesting personalities, not to mention packed with action, suspense, and a touch of mayhem. Things in this book go from bad to worse, an invasion fleet is on the way and the people of Earth have less time than expected to form a plan. Timescales are altered and the threat is upon them before they are prepared. A character driven plot like this allows ample time to develop characters, relationships and motivations, and the sci-fi aspects are easy, perfect for a newbie sci-fi fan who finds too much tech info overwhelming, while still holding appeal to regular sci-fi readers.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

 

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Dr Shawn Phillips’ Darkened Demigod

Imprisoned, observed, goaded. This was the life the Demigod had endured for over a decade. reviewThe people who held him sent a new observer, the others had met their end, more often by his hand, or more precisely, his thumb. This one he named Bookworm, and to him he finally begins to divulge his secrets. He whispers of how a demigod is created, of sacrifice and of worship. This demigod had failed his people, failed to uphold the values they had expected of him, and he brought about the end. It had started so innocently, a desire to better the country, create a sustainable life, but allies became enemies, robbing him of his family, his motivations, but this had been his beginning, the time his power awoke. They need to understand him, to understand their kind. This demigod was the cause of the apocalypse, and now it seems he is the sole hope of the survivors.

There is a hint of American Gods within the pages of Dr Shawn Phillips’ Darkened Demigod: Weapon of War, specifically how worship creates power, although the mechanics take on a slightly different twist making their own miracle interventions via a petition for prayer. The characters are well-developed and their little mysteries and histories are slowly revealed as the characters gain depth and grow throughout the involved plot. Despite a steady paced start you’ll soon see a rise of momentum to create a super powered, dystopian, science fiction. There are some fascinating ideas, and many the scientific aspects are well explained, especially for those who know their stuff; clearly a lot of time, thought, and research was spent perfecting this aspect. This book has a bit of everything from comedy to involved science and philosophy, not forgetting the occasional twist or surprise to keep the reader on their toes. If you enjoy a science fiction space drama, then this will certainly appeal,  and as a bonus it also gives the reader a little something to think about themselves.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

 

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: E.L. Strife’s Stellar Fusion

Shepherds always had partners. Then again there was an exception to the rule, Nakio reviewAtana. Her partners either died, or found her incompatible, and so Command allowed her to work alone, she was one of their best anyway. That was why they called upon her to face the latest problem. In the sky above a threat, familiar to her distant memories, loomed, and she is selected to head up the team that will oppose them. This enemy are taking any they can find from the surface of the planet, and she is their last, their only hope. But so little is known of these invaders. Atana thrives in being in control, something the unpredictability of not only her enemy, but of her newly assigned allies is making impossible. Can she surrender the control that keeps her sane and focused, and if she does, what buried secrets will emerge?

I found Stellar Fusion (Infinite Spark Book 1) to be a fascinating and enjoyable read. The author, E.L. Strife, pulls you into their futuristic world, introduces you to the ideas and structure of their domain, and wastes no time in driving the plot forward with compelling characters and imminent danger. Comradery, loyalty, survival, threat, and danger are expertly woven into an engaging plot. You develop an excellent feel for the characters and the personal obstacles they face, as well as those embraced within the plot. This futuristic world has some technologies that are both beautifully and terrifyingly imagined, those that will aid our heroes, and those that will stand in their way, and some times the line between which is which can be blurred. Really enjoyable, interesting, and most importantly fun to read. I look forward to seeing where book two takes us next.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

 

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review : C. A. Pack’s Fourth Chronicles of Illumination

The Library of Illumination is in danger. Knowledge is power, and with each one having reviewtheir own diversity there is a danger of one becoming supreme. Why should they not all be the same when uniformity would answer questions with one decisive stroke, and how can this uniformity be brought about? The answer is simple, to destroy them all but one . And someone plans to do just that. War is coming, a war that will decide the fate and wisdom allowed to be retained in all the realms, and it falls to Johanna to intervene, but she has her own problems, whisked away and imprisoned by the Terrorians she must first find a way to free herself and her unexpected allies. Will the realms lose all they fought to protect, or can those on the side of wisdom and freedom of information prevail against astounding odds? Find out in C. A. Pack’s Fourth Chronicles of Illumination, The Third Book of the Knowledge is Power Trilogy (Library of Illumination 9) .

Within the pages of Fourth Chronicles of Illumination you will find an enormous universe filled with different species, cultures, understandings, technology, advancements, and beliefs. Certainly an impressive undertaking which C.A. Pack does not shy away from. The complex design of the work is a testament to the sheer amount of time and consideration that would have gone in to its production. Wars and battles, alliances and prejudices, this book has everything you would find in the real world, but on a monumental scale. Good and bad, it is there for you to discover. As the third book in the Knowledge is Power Trilogy, during the first part I felt I would have benefitted from have read the preceding books, the plot does come into its own to a level you can almost forget others came before it. Some of the characters have a very distinctive style of dialogue, some of which would draw similarities to popular movies in the science fiction genre, but whilst dialect is similar, the individual characters are in themselves unique. This is a massive adventure, with lots to be take in, possibly the kind of book you’d want to read more than once to get a full appreciation for everything that happens. Characters develop nicely and relationships change, as would be expected. This book was a good read, and I am curious to know all the details that led to the current predicament. If you like science fiction which has some great depth then you’ll find Fourth Chronicles of Illumination has a lot to offer.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

 

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: The Last City (THE COLONY Book 2) by Roslyn M Gilmour (@RMGilmour )

Lydia knew there was something important she should remember. Her mind kept reviewreturning to it over and over again, yet each time it slipped her recollection. Her world was nothing more than a painted dream, but she couldn’t help but wonder what their home had been before they had altered it, what lay beneath the layers, or beyond the sky shield. The more she wonders the more questions she has about these lands and its people. She finds herself immersed in history, thinking she would learn to better understand her surroundings, but instead she learns of a threat, one which could mean the end of all. War was coming, and it threatens to destroy everything.  What will it take to survive, and can Lydia do what would be needed? Find out in Roslyn M Gilmour’s  The Last City (The Colony book 2)

Loyalties are questioned and doubts force a wedge between even the strongest of allies. Schemes, deception, and betrayal make up but a fraction of an intricate plot. The first person narrative style of Roslyn M Gilmour really lets you get a feel for Lydia, and through her interactions you witness the bonds of friendship and the sting of betrayal. There’s a good balance between description and allowing the reader’s mind to fill in the gaps, as well as an array of ‘technologies’ that would satisfy many lovers of science fiction. The Last City is the second book in The Colony series, and while I feel I would have benefitted from reading the first book initially, the author does touch upon the important events that had been missed if you’d not read the first.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: The Selection by Jason Nugent (@LailokenRi )

Centuries ago the Anastasians had implemented The Selection, all boys of eighteen were reviewexpected to participate. Eron’s time was approaching but with the memories of his brother’s ear-piercing screams he was filled with fear and foreboding. But there was something about this ritual, something that seemed out of place. Males outnumbered females ten to one, and the more he looked into it the more wrong it seemed. Adult males were sent to the Defence Force, so very few were seen around the community, but stranger still, was he thought they were alone upon the world, a nameless community the only one to exist, and yet there were others. Things he should have known appear to have been kept from him, can he discover why he alone knows so little, while others know their home’s name and of the existence of others. Something doesn’t add up, and perhaps having the answers could mean survival against unlikely odds, but who can he trust when there are no rules, and the aim of the game is to live?

I really enjoyed reading Jason Nugent’s The Selection, and as the first book in the Forgotten Chronicles I am certainly interested to see where this promising author takes us next. Filled with action, kinship, questions, and mystery you are forced to turn page after page in hope of piecing together the truth of The Selection, and given the ending, I will be picking up the next book to see what plans are in store for the future of this world. Events have been set into motion, and whether the inhabitants know it or not, nothing can remain the same, not now. A gripping read.

Book link:

 

author, book review, reading, writing

Book Review: Bounty by J.D. Cunegan (@JD_Cunegan )

Jill Anderson had already spent three years serving the people of Baltimore, it had reviewallowed her to build up a tolerance to crime scenes, but it took every ounce of her restraint not to react to this one. If her peers knew she had known the victim she would be off the case. But she knew her special insight would help to find the people responsible. The victim of the brutal murder was Trent Roberts. He was a recognised scientist, best known for his work in prosthetics and cybernetics.  There was, however, another thing, something spoken of only as hushed rumours, and that was Project Fusion. Jill had first-hand knowledge of this secret undertaking, in fact, unbeknown to anyone, Trent had made her into the woman she was, and his dabbling could very well be the reason he lay there now. She wanted nothing more than to solve this case, but to do so must risk exposing a secret she has fought endlessly to conceal.

With a great strong female lead bursting with personality you’ll find it easy to be swept up in a kick ass cybernetic mystery. J.D. Cunegan‘s Bounty is filled with suspense, action, and development. Police by day, vigilante superhero by night. A diverse plot with subplots carefully ingrained builds a brilliant setting and gives the world a fleshed out feel. A definite must read for Marvel/DC fans. It’s an enjoyable and engrossing read, with enough twists and intrigue for mystery fans, and enough sci-fi for lovers of the genre. A perfect combination in a dazzling read. 

Book link:

 

 

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: SEEDS The Journey Begins by Cary Allen Stone (@CaryAllenStone1 )

Humanity was about to embark on a new frontier. Returning to the role of Explorer they reviewwere destined to be. Only this time they were going further than any have been before. Their destination, Titan. Mother Earth was angry with her children, exhausted of resources and her anger rained down on those committing matricide. There would be no hospitable climate, no redemption, and so they turned their sight to the sky’s and the space race began.

This is not the first book I’ve read by Cary Allen Stone but it is the first science fiction by this particular author. Reading, SEEDS The Journey Begins just goes to show his diversity and a writer as he brings you a dystopian Earth and a race to be ready to leave before either man or nature pull the final plug. Within the pages you’ll find a wealth of technology and written in a plausible and understandable manner.  Cary Allen Stone has some amazing ideas and meshes know theories with their own ideas and challenges. As a character driven plot you’ll find yourself drawn into their world, and watch them form new relationships and mature as people. This was good read, and I imagine one that will be readily embraced by sci-fi fans.

Book link

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Flight of the Black Stork by Bill Broocke

When first they spotted the crescent shaped craft they had thought it was some new reviewaircraft made by the Germans. They had never imagined what these Foo Fighters actually were, nor what their sudden and unexplained appearance actually meant for the people of Earth. Over fifty years this same alien species performed reconnaissance, experiments, abductions, and discovered that mankind was exactly what they had been searching for, and they had been searching for five centuries. Their god had promised them a new home, but Earth’s residents had complicated matters, after learning of Mankind’s destructive capabilities there seemed only one viable path, to destroy the threat, or at least those that couldn’t be of use. Bill Broocke’s Flight of the Black Stork will take you on a thrilling and suspenseful journey in an alternative history version of some of our worlds most well-known events

Brilliantly written Flight of the Black Stork will hold you captivated from the opening sentence to the final word. Beautiful descriptions add a wonderful flourish to events and easily conjure surroundings and atmosphere into the reader’s mind. Something about Bill Broocke’s style is mesmerising, even the simplest of activities have life and realism breathed into them. There’s a lot of genuine history within, along with the author’s own spin to open up the world to the events that unfold. With a great cast of characters, all unique with their own baggage, flaws, and passions, not to mention well-developed with a rich history and personal story, you’ll find it easy to fully emerge yourself in this world, and there are some parts that will even feed the imagination of conspiracy theorists. Government secrets, red herrings, schemes, and plans all come together in a mix of unexpected and enjoyable plots and sub-plots in an excellent example of alternate history fiction.

rf_official_reviewer

Book link

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: The Gift Stone by Bianca Rowena

Bianca Rowena brings you a story which could be straight from Star Wars in The Gift Stone. The Gift Stone is the first book in Bianca Rowena’s The Gifted series. Rita was reviewraised by the temple as a temple girl, but following an encounter with Takano Rynn, leader of the dark army she fed to the obscurity of Central City, where she could be lost to the crowds. Takano had been on a rampage, murdering anyone within the temples, and any who would dare oppose him, all in search of the Gift Stone. It was rumoured it could bring his evil reign to an end, he knew he had to find it before someone else can use it against him. When his path crosses with Rita’s he sees something familiar in her, something he can use to make himself stronger. Fleeing to Central City Rita makes new friends and allies, but the threat is far from over. Both Takano and Dukath are now aware of her, and will stop at nothing to seize her. Women are rarely born with the Gift, and Rita herself does not believe she possesses it. But there are things occurring that even she cannot ignore.

Bianca Rowena has written an entertaining and fantastic fantasy/ science fiction book. I really liked Rita’s character. For such a young woman she carries a lot of weight on her shoulders. From loneliness and knowing she is different, to being fearful of her actions and weaknesses. The Gift Stone will make an excellent addition to any fantasy lovers library. It starts with promise and builds up momentum the deeper you journey through the tale. From surprising allies and hidden secrets, to unlikely friends, betrayal, and danger. Rita makes some difficult decision which shape her character and growth, but also drive the readers attachment to the characters deeper. The Gift Stone has twists and surprises, and an element that will satisfy even the pickiest science fiction and fantasy fans.

rf_official_reviewer

Book link: