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Monday, August 22, 2016

Of Treason Born by J.L. Doty




A coming of age story in the vein of Horatio Hornblower.  This story takes place in space rather than on a wooden ship.  The story is as much of a relationship building story as a space opera.

Doty does a good job setting the stage and then proceeding with the growth of the main character, York Ballin.  A traditional story of a lonely kid falling in with bad company, Doty puts his own spin on it to make it fresh and exciting.  Loyalty goes both ways and this is something that York had learned at an early age.  He never saw where it would lead him.

This book is a prequel to A Choice of Treason, for a change I am actually reading the prequel first.  I look forward to reading A Choice of Treason.

I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more from J. L. Doty.

Web: http://www.jldoty.com/
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Merciless Reason by Oisin McGann



Nathaniel Wildenstern is the primary protagonist again in this book.   The previous book he took his leave from the family.   This book is the next in the series.  It, too, is an alternative reality steampunk novel set in Victorian England.  

The Wildenstern's are a powerful factor in the British Empire, perhaps the most powerful faction.  They run the North American Trading Company that generates enormous incomes and power for the family.     Nate became discouraged with his family and fled their influence.   In this story he comes back surreptitiously in hopes of curbing the excesses of one of his cousins. 

Keep in mind that this is a family that encourages the assassination of anyone above you in the chain of command to increase your position in the family.   This behavior is actually codified so that all family members know what to expect. 

The engimals, animal machine hybrids play a larger part (some particularly large) in this volume.   The behaviors and mores of the Victorian age play a poignant part in these books.   The world as we know it would not be the same if not for the Robber Barons of old and yet those same tactics or mores today are criminalized and distained. (Wolf of Wallstreet)   That observation is not to suggest that pillaging society for personal gain is a laudable characteristic.   

There seems to be a bit more moral judging in this volume of the Saga.

I recommend the book.

Web: http://www.oisinmcgann.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

This Is Not A Werewolf Story by Sandra Evans



Raul states on the cover of the book that this is not a werewolf story, it is my story!  The story takes place at a boarding school and Raul has a secret.   The book is done in the first person with Raul talking about himself and the other kids at the One of Our Kind boarding school.

The cast of characters have boyhood names like Sparrow and Mean Jack.  Raul is the strong silent type who doesn't do a lot of self expression but when he does, the other kids listen.   The school is staffed by people who are vaguely disinterested or hostile to the kids.

This is a well crafted tale of kids and how they deal with being shuffled off to boarding school and the relationships therein some of which are beyond remarkable. 

The settings are at the school, the woods, the fort, the zoo and the lighthouse. 

Web: http://www.sandra-evans.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Wisdom of Dead Men by Oisin McGann



I make an effort not to read other reviews on a book before I write one.   Personally I like to keep my comments brief as I do not want to inadvertently dump a spoiler.   This book is the second in the series and I did not read the first book.   It is an alternative reality steampunk novel set in Victorian England.  

The Wildenstern's are a powerful factor in the British Empire, perhaps the most powerful faction.  They run the North American Trading Company that generates enormous incomes and power for the family.    The old expression of "What is good for General Motors is good for America"  could be applied to the way the Wildenstern's saw their place in the Empire.   Also power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" could be applicable and that is the last semi quote I will use.  

Nathaniel Wildenstern is the primary protagonist and his goal is to support his brother in changing the behavior of his family.   Berto, his wife Daisy and Nathaniel are set on cleaning up a family that is not known for civil behavior particularly when it comes to the ascension of power within the family.

The engimals, animal machine hybrids add a nice touch to the story.   The  not so spontaneous combustion of women around Dublin provide the mystery. 

I would have preferred to read the first book prior to this but it stands alone fairly well.
I think I have provided enough information without going into the details that lead to spoilers. 

I will be reading the next book.


Web: http://www.oisinmcgann.com/
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Guile by Constance Cooper


Manna is the closest I can come to identifying what guile may be.   A young orphan, Yonnie Watereye makes her living by conning people into believing she can sense and identify guile while it is really LaRue.   I guess my best description of the book is that it is a coming of age story with supernatural overtones.

I always have a fondness for cats, let alone ones that talk.  That provides an interesting turn to the story.   The book is a bit strange but so is the protagonist.

I enjoyed it.

Web: http://www.constancecooper.com/p/welcome.html

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Deep Roots by Beth Cato





This is a Cato collection and if you have not read these separately it is now time to read them together.   Cato is kicking butt on the steampunk urban fantasy trail.  This book contains The Deepest Poison , Wings of Sorrow and Bone and Final Flight.  Final Flight is due up on August 30th here.  

Click on the other two to read the reviews.

Cato is on a roll and this is a good read. 

Site:  http://www.bethcato.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Martian: A Movie Review



The Martian

I came, I saw, I cried, if you see one movie this year....yadda, yadda and yadda.   However in this case this was a kick butt movie.  I am cynical about the tomatoes, popcorn etc rating things as I have seen critically acclaimed movies that made me blechh!   This movie is far, far better than what I expected. Matt Damon was great, the plot was very believable and frankly we need something that will unite humanity and keep  us from killing each other.  The final frontier is not a joke.  Frontiers bleed off frustration and tension.  Look at international tensions and racial relations at home and it is obvious we need something to unite us besides tragedy.  The idea of ideology and race intermingled and cooperative is intoxicating and possible.   That is what space travel and science fiction does, it provides HOPE.  It provides test beds for ideas and thoughts.   It gives us a reason to look each other in the eye and say, WE WILL OVERCOME.  I know it is reading a lot  into a movie but watching the movie lit the fire that moved the butt to the computer and forced the fingers to race across the keyboard to deliver this to perhaps a reader or two.  One can only HOPE!

When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, membe… More
Release date: October 2, 2015 (USA)
Director: Ridley Scott
Initial DVD release: January 12, 2016 (USA)
Awards: People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Movie, More

Nominations: Academy Award for Best Picture