Semper Audacia is the story of a warrior; the last of her kind, defending her home world via an orbital outpost. The planet’s population too has dwindled and is just hanging on. Their ancient foe attacks and the last guardian springs into action accompanied by a battalion of ghosts; the memories of her fallen comrades.
The odds are almost hopeless. Almost. She must try; it’s what she does, it’s what she is and has been all her life. But then a wrinkle – the enemy battleship transmits a valid “friendly” code even as it’s powering up weapons. If the enemy are finally responding to their pleas for peace, attacking the ship would fling her people back into eternal war. If it’s a ruse, her people could be exterminated. She chooses a decidedly unconventional solution. Continue reading “Book Review: Semper Audacia”
The Burning Sky was my very first encounter with a truly Steampunk novel. I read it more out of curiosity about the genre than anything. I’m glad I did, and I’m glad I chose this one as a starting point. This is my review.
The Burning Sky, by Joseph Robert Lewis is the first book in the Halcyon Trilogy. I found it to be the embodiment of the old writing adage that says: to create suspense, place your protagonists in a very bad situation, then make it worse. The story starts out with a horrific act of terrorism sweeping up an uninvolved mechanic on an air ship and carrying her along throughout the story. For most of the story, her plight and those of the characters that get rolled into the mix, get steadily worse. Resolution is saved for the very end.
The story is a masterful weave of multiple story lines, all winding around the main plot, although we don’t learn what that is for quite some time. However Mr. Lewis does not allow us to founder in confusion; each character’s contribution is quite interesting all on its own and the intrigue builds as they begin to coalesce and we start to make the connections. Continue reading “Book Review: The Burning Sky”
This is a review of the eBook version of “In Her Name: Empire”; the first book of the In Her Name series written by Michael R. Hicks.
On a five-star scale, I’m giving this one four stars. It probably deserves five stars, but I’m snatching one back simply because there were parts of it that made me, personally, uncomfortable. If this were a literary review I would not do that, but this is me telling you how *I* felt about this book.
This is an exciting, well-crafted read. It embraces a number of genres as the story goes along, but I’d classify it primarily as Sci-Fi. The initial chapters are definitely Sci-fi as remnants of a defeated human population try desperately to fend off an alien invasion of their planet. Our protagonist is a boy caught in the devastation. The second scene is an orphanage planet established for youths like our protagonist who lost their families in the war. It is a harsh environment, an alien place run by petty bureaucrats who think nothing of exploiting the children in their care. Continue reading “Book Review: In Her Name – Empire”
The science fiction novel by author Tom Godwin was first published in 1958 under the title The Survivors. It was later published in 1960 under the title Space Prison. The novel is an expansion of Godwin’s story “Too Soon to Die” which first appeared in the magazine Venture.
A ship heading from Earth to Athena, a planet 500 light years away, is suddenly attacked by the Gerns, an alien empire in its expansion phase. People aboard are divided by the invaders into Acceptables and Rejects. The Acceptables would become slave labor for the Gerns on Athena, and the Rejects are forced ashore on the nearest ‘Earth-like’ planet, called Ragnarok. The Gerns say they will return for the Rejects, but the Rejects quickly realize that that isn’t going to happen. But rather than dying horrible deaths, the rejects find ways to survive on the very inhospitable planet… and turn the tables on their captors. Continue reading “Review: Space Prison”
The Second Ship (The Rho Agenda) by Richard Phillips was a slam-dunk 5 star book.
Technically excellent, characters that draw you in and cause you to care about them – even the bad guys are compelling. Dialogue is perfectly natural and flows effortlessly. The story includes a lot of advanced communications and physics concepts and Mr. Phillips does an excellent job of keeping them understandable and believable.
There were several nights I was kept up late because I did not want to put the book down yet. The entire concept of the story is a clever new twist on the “alien spacecraft recovered at Roswell” theme. The ongoing juxtaposition of good elements versus bad elements also keeps things interesting. This is not a farmers versus the government story. Some elements of the government are good, some bad, some you’re not real sure about. One ship is good, one bad; but which is which? Even among the story’s main characters, some are good, some bad, some change sides. It never got boring, it was never trite.
This is the first book in a trilogy, so the story ends in an open-ended manner, but THIS story does conclude with most of the major factors resolved. It does not end in such a cliff-hanger that you feel cheated.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys science fiction, and especially if you have a fascination with alien conspiracy theory. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series.
** My Simple Formula for Book Reviews was used to review this book. **