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Many of the books I review were FREE in exchange for an honest review. I do not get paid to review them. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as ADs. They are promoting books but I do NOT get any money or goods for posting Spotlights. 
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Guild Conspiracy by Brooke Johnson


Steampunk is always a curious genre.   The Brass Giant was the beginning of a series called the Chroniker City.   It was a romantic steampunk story and I liked it anyway.   The Pygmalion quality of the story was not overdone although the well to do boy meets down trodden girl is somewhat overworked, in general.    This volume, Petra is alone, Emmerich has been sent to France and Petra is fighting for recognition as an engineer and to prevent a war.

Petra Wade is fighting for a place in a male dominated world.   Even with equal rights, statistically, even today the number of female engineers is far less than male engineers.   In Chroniker City, Petra is fighting a severe uphill battle to become a mechanical engineer.  Braith is a soldier set to guard Petra and keep her from "sabotaging"  Julian's plans for war.    Braith becomes Petra's confident instead of guard and the two work together to stop a war.

The steampunk part is aptly included by the quadruped war machine and the sailing ships that fly.

There is action, romance and a modicum of violence.   There is also an underpinning theme of true equal rights.

I highly recommend the book.

Web Site: http://www.brooke-johnson.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.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Medallion (The Bernovem Chronicles) (Volume 3) by Victoria Simcox

I read the first volume of The Bernovem Chronicles, The Warble back in 2009.   My review link is to the reissue of the book in 2013.   This is just shy of being an epic fantasy.   The characters are colorful and due to magical manipulation their allegiances can be confusing.  

I had to brush up a bit on the story to jump into The Medallion.  The characters undergo quite a few changes in the course of the story.   Werrien is transformed in an unpleasant way into something he abhors.   James is a different person as well.  I frankly enjoyed Ivy and her dissimilar from Tinkerbell characteristics.

This is a rich and colorful fantasy that needs to be carefully read to keep track of the way the characters grow and change.

www. http://victoriasimcox.blogspot.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.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Librarians and the Lost Lamp by Greg Cox


Apparently the Librarians is a TV series.  This book is based on that TV series.  The book isn't labeled as YA but I would classify it as a young adult read.  It is pretty simplistic in it's characterizations and superficial in a lot of ways.   The gist of the plot is that the Librarians are tasked with safeguarding mystical and magical books and relic.   The particular relic in this book is Aladdin's lamp.   The Librarians and the Forty Thieves of legend are competing in the quest to find the powerful relic.

The plot is ok in the book and it does have plenty of action.  You need to suspend all disbelief to get into the story.   It has it's moments but it does read like a TV script. 

Overall it was a fun read but not in the least captivating however the author is make far more money on his work than I am on mine so draw your own conclusions.

web: http://www.gregcox-author.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.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White


It is a delight to write back to back positive reviews.   Ms. White did a great job.   This has a bit more romance than most fantasies but not in a negative way.  The setting has clearly defined evil characters who are counterpointed by the Riders who are the defenders of good.   In the middle of the conflict are the ordinary folks trying to get along and make a living.

The Riders are not restricted to dragons which was an interesting facet of the story.  As opposed to nobility, it appears the Riders hold sway over the minds of the people.  The plot is light against dark and in spite of it's simplicity it reads well.   The characters are the linchpin of the story. 

I highly recommend.

Web Site: http://ellekatharinewhite.tumblr.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, December 8, 2016

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst


Kudos!  It is so satisfying to find a new author(to me) who writes so well.   This was a satisfying story set in a forest community surrounded by implacable enemies and defended by questionable heroes.

The author did a masterful job creating a unique environment for he story setting.  The rhyme depicting the books foes sounds so simple and yet embodies complexity.   Everything is not what it seems.  The Queen is beauty personified and seems to be omnipotent.  A disgraced champion is left to mentor an unlikely heir and both end up as defenders of the community.

This was an excellent book that held my interest, forced me to read later in the evening than I wanted to and satisfactorily wrapped up the plot.

I highly recommend.

Web Site: http://www.sarahbethdurst.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, December 4, 2016

The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey


When I read The Everything Box  I ranked it as one of the stranger books I have read and I have read a lot of books.  It was a bizarre mix of Dresden files and Hitchhiker Guide with a leavening of Stainless Steel Rat humor.   A magically immune crook who is ratted out by a colleague ends up saving the world is the premise of that book.   The same cast of characters led by Coop, the magically immune crook, is trying to capture a world threatening mummy in this book.

Kadrey also writes the very successful Sandman Slim books.   So far the only one of those I have read was The Perdition Score.  I was thoroughly lambasted for suggesting the need for some back story by a couple of Sandman Slim fan boys.  Their conjecture was read them all and you don't need a back story.   Obviously but when you don't have that opportunity you deal with each book as to  how well it stands alone. This book provided minimal back story but still stood alone quite well.  

The preposterous plot and over the top sarcastic humor will be highly appealing to a group of readers.  For me, it was just over the top and I had to force myself to finish it.  The Stainless Steel Rat series was humorous without pandering, it was more thoughtful humor than slapstick.  Kadrey has enormous talent but again, to me, it appears he works to hard to be funny.  

Web site: http://richardkadrey.com/books-2/


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, November 30, 2016

The Fell Hound of Adversity by Parker T. Geissel





A dark knight kind of Gotham City is the setting for this book.  It is populated by a wide variety of losers.  All the characters seem to be caricatures.  The kind of protagonist is a failed chef.   Rudi and Buck were friends and then weren't and were again, maybe.

I found the book very difficult to get into.  It is colorful and the characters are interesting.  Injal Skube and Killer Hrapp provide some comic relief with their heavy handed thuggery and personal asides.  Fat Jack Bloom was a real thug who was more sadly comical than the government thugs.   The book seems to revels in sarcastic humor. 

This book seemed like a graphic novel translated into a no graphic novel.  It never really grabbed me.


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, November 26, 2016

LAST BEST DAY by Jeff Somers Spotlight




















Pocket Star EBooks
Publication Date: October 3, 2016
9781501141430
$.99 Bargain Book

Learn the Words. Get the blood. Rule the world. Last Best Day is a stand-alone short story in the Ustari Cycle—the gritty supernatural series that includes We Are Not Good Peoplefrom the “exhilarating, powerful, and entertaining” (Guardian) storyteller of the Avery Cates series.

In an underworld teeming with blood mages, Tricksters, and vile individuals, Lem was the one person who never hurt the Mags—would never hurt Mags. And so when a powerful archmage kidnaps him Lem off the streets for unknown reasons, the gentle giant embarks on a dangerous path to save his pal...one that might ruin their friendship forever.

For blood mages, the twenty-first century means hiding in the shadows, keeping society unaware of their incredible powers. The power-hungry sort plot quietly to manufacture tragedies bloody enough to give them the gas they need to cast something monumental. Lem and Mags, down-and-out bosom buddies to the end, have always been good—bleeding nobody but themselves—skating by on small Cantrips, cons, and charms.

But battling an archmage means enlisting an archmage to your cause. And convincing one of those to be on your side often means giving a piece of yourself away in the process.

This ebook also contains an excerpt of We Are Not Good People.

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, November 23, 2016

Black Friday Week Reader Gifts



Get the reader in your life a reading shirt!



Black Friday WEEK Discount is BLACKFRILOVE


ARCANUM UNBOUNDED: THE COSMERE COLLECTION by Brandon Sanderson



This is a collection of stories, some not so short, set in Sanderson's Shard Worlds.
Once again I will lament over the fact that here is another excellent author whose work has escaped my radar.  In all fairness to my self, I try not to be obsessive in my reading and I try to have something in my life besides books.  Grand kids, wives, family all intrude upon reading 24/7.   So maybe not knowing Sanderson's work isn't a major faux pax.   I am not normally fond of collections, I like meaty, full throttle books.  This book however surprised me and I really enjoyed it.   Describing the work is difficult, particularly when there is reference to the full books with which the short stories are connected.

The Emperor's Soul was sufficiently long to really get into it.   Sanderson provided the necessary character complexity to be able to relate to the Forger.  She became alive and thus well worth following.  The story stood alone quite well.  

The Hope of Elantris was good but not as satisfying.   It stood alone OK but did not provide enough depth.

Reviewing a book of short stories does not mean reviewing each story in the book.   Some of them stood alone quite well and others really could use more length to make them appealing.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and will seek out Sanderson's full works.

I liked the interludes between stories that provided a look into the author's psychic.

Web: http://brandonsanderson.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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lost Gods by Brom


Gerald Brom is an artist and an author.   I read several books a week and read my share of strange books.  This book ranked up with the strangest.  A young couple run away thinking they are escaping her overbearing father and end up with his Tales from the Crypt grandmother.

The bulk of the story takes place in purgatory.   The characters are old ancient gods, lost souls, new "gods" and weird creatures and environments.

The story is well written, the characters are clearly defined and the plot eventually is one of redemption.

I can't say that I liked the book but it will not doubt garner a passionate following.

web: http://www.bromart.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.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Shadow of Victory by David Weber


I just reread my reviews of Rising Thunder and Storm From the Shadows  and the more recent Torch of Freedom which will be on Azure Dwarf on October 21, 2016.  Sadly I am going to cut and paste and the same words here.   I loved the initial Honor Harrington books.   This another book from another perspective and  not much different, perspective on the Mesa Manticore conflict.

This book repeats the characterization of the entrenched bureaucratic morass of the Solarian League.  This book also has the Manticore leaders finally realizing or at least suspecting that they are being manipulated by Mesa

This book is a disappointment in that it is extremely repetitive.   The same events are repeated with a minor perspective change and it brings new meaning to Weber's wordiness.  We are given more insights into the megalomaniacs whose genetic engineering far surpasses Manpower's abuses.

There are passages that evoke the same emotions of loyalty, honor and courage that use to symbolize Weber's work.  Sadly they are few and far between.   It became a tedious read.  

I have found Weber brilliant at times and consequently I keep hoping to find that brilliance in each Weber book I read.  It wasn't here.

I do not recommend the book. 


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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

glialplay. com and Melekpdf .online are Stealing.


Piracy isn't just grabbing hostages off the coast of Africa or the plot for a Disney movie.  Piracy is also literary theft.

This morning I got another Google alert that informed me that once again another site is ripping off my books.   They are offering free downloads of  my books and many, many others without getting author permission.   Several of my books are on the site and I have not given them permission to give them away.   Somehow related is Melekpdf . online which is also coming up as giving away my books.   It is one thing for me to offer my books to my readers for free and it is an entirely different thing to find some website charging a fee for unlimited book, game and movie downloads and "giving" away my books.  This is theft, plain and simple.   Every dime I earn goes into producing more books.   My hope is my books help someone in some way.   These thieves are depriving me of income that could produce another book.   

Please DO NOT patronize these or any other pirate sites. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

L. E. Modessit, Jr Guest Post


I am a major Modessit fan so I was thrilled to get a guest post.  See my review here on November 6th 2016 or at Amazon or Goodreads.

Philosophy and Power in the Imager Portfolio


Is there a philosophical underpinning to all of my books? That question has come up time and time again over the years, but while the simplistic answer is “yes,” that response is more than a little misleading. All my books wrestle with ethical and philosophical questions, but not always with the same questions, or in the same fashion.

Certainly, the books of the Imager Portfolio explore, from differing viewpoints, the relationship of various forms of power to both responsibility and fame, yet that statement is overly simplistic as well, because power exists in different forms, as does responsibility, and there’s always the question of “responsible to whom and for what?” In Imager, and the two succeeding books, Rhenn moves from a point where his life is dictated by his position in society and where others determine what he can do, when he can do it, and in what fashion to where he has great power. There are occasions when he acts outside the law of the land because, as he sees it, greater harm will come to others if he does not act. In one sense, he’s being honest, because he gains nothing personally, nor do those close to him, if he succeeds, and he stands to lose everything if he’s discovered. There is also a case where he acts in retaliation for great harm done to his family, and he rationalizes that act on the grounds that the individual he destroys has already harmed others and will continue to do so, which is, in fact, true. But despite the considerable prices Rhenn and those close to him pay, Rhenn’s acts and success raise a troubling question. Given the limitations of any society, is it possible to protect the innocent against the unscrupulous and those who will stop at nothing to achieve their ends without engaging in behavior unsanctioned or even overtly condemned by society. In Rhenn’s various situations, that would appear to be the case, giving rise to another set of questions. Can it be ethical to use illegal or unsanctioned means to stop a greater evil? And, if so, where does one draw the line? If not, is it ethical to allow evil to go unchecked because one doesn’t want to break the law or do something immoral?

In the five Imager books featuring Quaeryt and Vaelora, beginning with Scholar, the philosophical questions center on the use of power by a ruler and a conqueror. Quaeryt’s abilities and skills allow him to build a cadre of imagers who enable Lord Bhayar to unite an entire continent – far, far from bloodlessly. Quaeryt sees what he does as the only way to keep imagers from being persecuted and killed, as they have been throughout history and over all the world of Terahnar. In this, he is largely successful, and he does not do it for personal glory. He is convinced that he can only be successful if he is NOT remembered in history. Nor does he seek wealth. But in the process of uniting the continent, he and Bhayar slaughter more enemy troopers than have ever been killed in a war. Then, too, there is also the “small” problem that Bhayar himself comes from an ethnic community that has been marginalized and denigrated in the past.

In terms of a body count, how does one balance saving a few hundred, perhaps a few thousand imagers, against the deaths of close to 100,000 soldiers? Yet… on the other hand, can one justify allowing a fragmented continent of five nations to fight among themselves and continue to kill and/or enslave a minority in perpetuity if this is the only opportunity to make a difference? But does showing that a once-despised Pharsi people can unify and rule Solidar justify a massive war – even if it prevents the continuation of generations of warfare?

In Madness in Solidar and the forthcoming Treachery’s Tools, the philosophical questions again center on power, but on the relative power of class, and the growing conflict between the aristocratic High Holders and the rising and industrializing factors. As soon as Alastar becomes Maitre of the Collegium Imago, he finds that the imagers are caught in the middle of a three-way power struggle between the High Holders, the factors, and Rex Ryen. The High Holders want their ancient privileges restored and the factors “kept in their place.” The factors want a say in how the country is run, while Rex Ryen, disliked by both, wants to rule like a total autocrat and expects the imagers to support his despotism.

The High Holders are using both legal and semi-legal stratagems to weaken the Rex and to marginalize the Collegium, while blatantly ignoring other legal limitations on their powers. Unlike Quaeryt, his distant and almost forgotten predecessor, Alastar does not have a strong cadre of powerful imagers. The Collegium is weak and fragmented, and, especially at first Alastar must resort to politicking and the skilled and hidden use of his imaging talents, and those of his colleague and later, his wife Alyna, to resolve the multi-faceted social and economic conflict. Some of what they do is illegal, and unethical, at least in modern terms, as well, but they are, like Quaeryt, trying to protect all imagers, to keep the Rex from oppressing everyone, as well as prevent the dissolution of Solidar into High Holder fiefdoms. And despite their efforts to minimize the carnage, they aren’t successful. In fact, their efforts likely result in more carnage, but less subsequent oppression and repression. To what degree, if any, does the end justify the means? And if it doesn’t, how can Alastar and Alyna watch everything fall apart?

In these books, I try to show the conflicts, the costs of action and inaction, as well as how “legal” actions can be unethical in their results, and what ramifications result from the interplay of ethics, “practical politics,” ambition, and law. And I hope what I’ve done not only entertains, but makes my readers think a bit more about how nothing, including ethics, even in fiction, is as simple as it appears.



L. E. Modesitt, Jr.


Description: G:\Tor\Publicity2\Logos\TorForgeNews_2015.jpg
The new novel in the New York Times bestselling Imager Portfolio
TREACHERY’S TOOLS
L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
“Modesitt again presents a strong, engaging story. The depth of description involved is Modesitt’s strong suit, and he does not fail to deliver in this continuation of his popular Imager series. Attention to the specifics of military tactics and the interesting ways Imagers could use their skills to engage in warfare are the best bits of this novel; the engaging characters, old and new, are the close second to that. Precise language is key to the telling        of this story — well worth the hours spent here!”
RT Book Reviews

“Readers who revel in action sequences won't be disappointed … a solid, involving entry in a worthwhile, occasionally outstanding series.”
Kirkus Reviews
L. E. Modesitt, Jr. has delighted and entertained fantasy and science fiction fans for decades with his many novels and series, including the renowned Corean Chronicles, Saga of Recluce, Spellsong Cycle, Ecolitan Matter, and most recently the Imager Portfolio. Launched in 2009 with Imager, this New York Times bestselling series imagines a world where magic is the literal realization of the imagination. The latest novel, TREACHERY’S TOOLS (A Tor Hardcover; $27.99; On-Sale: Oct. 11, 2016), picks up thirteen years after the events of 2014’s Madness in Solidar.
Alastar has settled into his role as the Maitre of the Collegium. However, the rise in fortune of the merchant classes in Solidar over the years does not sit well with the High Holders, who see the erosion of their long-enjoyed privileges. Bad harvests and worse weather spark acts of violence and murder. In the midst of the crisis, some High Holders call for repeals of the Codis Legis, taking authority away from the Rex.
Once again, Alastar must maintain a careful political balance, but he cannot avoid the involvement of the Collegium when someone begins killing students. Trying to protect his imagers and hold Solidar together for the good of all, Alastar stumbles on to a plot by the High Holders involving illegal weapons, insurrection, and conspiracy.
Modesitt’s success may be measured not only by the number of novels he has produced, but also by the number of fans dedicated to his stories. Known for his complex and intriguing magical systems, Modesitt also excels at exploring the growth and transformation of nuanced characters. New and old readers will enjoy the thoughtful, complex adventure of TREACHERY’S TOOLS, the latest novel in the popular Imager Portfolio.
“Madness in Solidar is proof that the author is still at the height of his creative
powers. Highly recommended for anyone who loves to read fantasy
novels, Madness in Solidar is a must-read for fans of the Imager Portfolio series.”
Guardian Liberty Voice
"This is a book that is an enjoyable read and provides political intrigue,
betrayal, relationship problems, and friendship to reflect on and immerse in.”
Deseret News on Madness in Solidar

With meticulously wrought characters and complex, logically developed
plotting that towers above the fantasy norm … Modesitt once again
delivers an engrossing power struggle negotiated by a virtuous and talented
 man committed to achieving the greater good by way of the least harm.”
—Kirkus on Madness in Solidar

L. E. MODESITT, JR., is the bestselling author of more than sixty novels encompassing two science fiction series and three fantasy series, including the Saga of Recluce. He lives in Cedar City, Utah. You can visit him online at www.lemodesittjr.com.


TREACHERY’S TOOLS                                                                                For more information, please contact:
L.E. Modesitt, Jr.                                                                                 Desirae Friesen, Associate Publicist
Tor Trade Hardcover                                                                                       T: 646-307-5411                                                  
ISBN: 9780765385406 / 0765385406                                                          F: 212-982-2862
$27.99 | 512 pages                                                                                           E: desirae.friesen@tor.com
eBook 9780765385420                                                                                     W: www.tor-forge.com   
On Sale: October 11, 2016                                                                                          


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Of the Abyss by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes


Mancers communicate with either beings of the light or dark.  Kavet is the capital of Quinacridone.   A special forces group called the 126 are charged with keeping the city free of Mancers.   A mixed bag of citizens are entangled in a plot between Numen "royalty" and Abyss "royalty". 

The mixed bag is just that.  People from multiple ways of life are thrust into the underworld of the Abyss to fulfill what they think are their goals.  SPOILER ALERT, they may not be their goals and Mancers may be sorcerers.

The story is a bit convoluted.  There seems to be an intent to provide adult themes with mixed sexual encounters.  The encounters are alluded to and certainly not detailed.  I'm not sure why they were even deemed necessary.

The mixed bag becomes a team of sorts and accomplishes what they think they were meant to do.


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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Spotlight on Remnants of Trust by Elizabeth Bonesteel


 

REMNANTS OF TRUST by Elizabeth Bonesteel
On Sale: 11/8/2016 | ISBN: 9780062413673

About the Book:
Five months ago, Commander Elena Shaw and Captain Greg Foster were court-martialed for their role in an event Central Gov will never admit happened. For some reason, though, they are only given a slap on the wrist, and are back together on the Galileo, albeit on a far less exciting mission: patrolling the relatively lackluster Third Sector.

Of course, trouble seems to follow Elena, and soon a distress call goes out: a sister ship, the Exeter is under attack from raiders.

But the Galileo isn’t the only ship in the sector, and they are joined in the desperate battle with a PSI generation ship…the same one that had broken off negotiations with Foster just days ago.

Unfortunately, while their arrival is enough to fight off the raiders and take aboard the surviving crew, ninety-seven members of the Exeter are now dead, and the ship is beyond repair. And as the investigation goes deeper, it’s apparent sabotage was at play…something Galileo and the PSI ship both find out when they experience their own “accidents.”

Read my review of the
Cold Between.
Someone is trying to start a war in the Third Sector, and all signs seem to point to Central Gov being at the core of the conspiracy.

With each new twist and turn, BLINDING FAITH reveals a web of intrigue that goes all the way to the top…and deep into Elena’s past.

The follow-up to Winter 2016’s THE COLD BETWEEN, this mix of military sci-fi, thriller, and—yes—a touch of romance is a refreshing take on a male-dominated genre by a brilliant new voice in the genre.

About the Author:
Elizabeth Bonesteel began making up stories at the age of five, in an attempt to battle insomnia. Thanks to a family connection to the space program, she has been reading science fiction since she was a child. She lives in central Massachusetts with her husband, her daughter, and various cats. Massachusetts has been her home her whole life, and while she’s sure there are other lovely places to live, she’s quite happy there.

PRAISE:
·         “Character-driven space opera successfully mixes interstellar and psychological conflict…Surprising, convincing character development makes this series worth following” —Publishers Weekly*STARRED* review of REMNANTS OF TRUST

·         “This second entry in the Central Corps series is wall-to-wall action...Bonesteel’s characters are what really stand out amid all the action…Fans of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series will find much to enjoy here.” Booklist on REMNANTS OF TRUST

·         “Fans of sf romance will cheer to have a new author entering the genre. While this is setting the stage for a longer arc, Bonesteel’s novel more than satisfies with Elena and Trey’s story. Suggest to readers of Ann Aguirre’s ‘Sarantha Jax’ books and Linnea Sinclair.” —Library Journal *STARRED* review of THE COLD BETWEEN

·         “The Cold Between is a must-read. The story is a gripping and intense page-turner with deeply complex characters, non-stop action, and top-notch world building. My highest compliments to Ms. Bonesteel for a stunning debut. This is a no-easy-answers kind of plot perfectly paired with characters who have depth, passion, and uncompromising ideals. In one word: awesome.” —Linnea Sinclair, award-winning author of The Dock Five Universe series 



Sunday, November 6, 2016

Treachery's Tools by L.E. Modesitt, jr

This is the newest book in the excellent Imager series.  I had lamented recently at the infrequency of Modesitt books and then just weeks after getting Recluce Tales, this book appeared at my door inciting a WhooHoo on my part.   The previous sentences should leave no doubt in your mind that I really enjoy Modesitt's work.  This book takes up 13 years after the Madness in Solidar. The Collegium, home of the imagers.  Times are a changing and High Holders and Factors are butting heads with the weak Rex, Lorien doing nothing to alleviate the growing friction.

Modesitt seems to have a philosophic leaning that is uniquely his own.   He imbues his lead characters with soul searching, depreciating humor and pragmatic consciences.   Sometimes good people need to do bad things and bad things do happen to good people.   Modesitt doesn't hesitate to knock off characters that you like and that provides a realism that fuels the plot. 

I've tried to read everything L. E. Modesitt, Jr. has written. His books are entertaining and thought provoking.

I highly recommend.  




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, November 2, 2016

Recluce Tales by L.E. Modesitt, jr


My only complaint about Modesitt is that he only seems to put out one book a year.  I have reviews roughly 30 of his books and have yet to find one that I didn't enjoy.  I have frequently noted that I am not a fan of short stories. (Which is ironic as I am working on a collection of short stories of my own.)  I made an exception and as always with Modesitt, I am  glad I did.  The stories were like dropping in for a visit with an old friend. 

Reviewing a book of short stories is always cumbersome.   You  can't review each story or you will bore your own readers to death.   Modesitt had a paragraph prior to each story that gave an idea of why  he wrote that particular story.  It added a nice touch to good stories.

I highly recommend.  


 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, October 29, 2016

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by Larry Correia and John Ringo



I'm pretty much a sucker for any John Ringo books or collaborations.   I wasn't disappointed here.   This is apparently an entire series that I was unaware of before reading Urban Allies.   That book was my introduction to Monster Hunters International.
Iron Hand or Chad or formal name of Oliver Chadwick Gardenier is the main focus, besides monsters, of this novel.

The premise is that everything we have ever seen in B rated monster movies, comic book horror and the SciFi channel is real.   The governments of the world all maintain secret organizations to keep the monsters under control.   As a cost cutting measure many of those governments sub-contract the work out to specialized monster hunting companies.   Chad was a key member of one of those companies.

The book deals with many monster hunts, provides lots of weapons details and some pro-tips from Chad for hunting monsters.   There is some Seattle oriented not very subtle but nevertheless humor in the book.

I recommend.

Web Site: http://monsterhunternation.com/
http://www.johnringo.net/


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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Elixar by Ruth Vincent


This is a Changling P.I. novel.  Mabily Jones is out of place in New York.  Of course she is out of place anywhere in our world.   Mab is an Elf.  She has been stranded in the mundane world and must find some way to support herself.  She applies for and is accepted as a private investigator intern. 



That is how the story starts.  Of course there is a tall, dark stranger who may be considerably stranger than your normal romantic tall, dark stranger.  Obadiah Savage hates elves.  His encounter with Mab provides the tension of the story line.

Elves are often portrayed as laudable characters in touch with nature.  Ms.Vincent sees elves in a different, novel way.   The story has action and romance. 

I recommend it.

web site:  http://ruthvincent.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.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Torch of Freedom by David Weber


I just reread my reviews of Rising Thunder and Storm From the Shadows sadly I am going to cut and paste and use some of the same words here.   I loved the initial Honor Harrington books.   This another book from another perspective and  not much different, perspective on the Mesa Manticore conflict.

This book repeats the characterization of the entrenched bureaucratic morass of the Solarian League.  This book also has the Manticore leaders finally realizing or at least suspecting that they are being manipulated by Mesa

This book is a disappointment in that it is extremely repetitive.   The same events are repeated with a minor perspective change and it brings new meaning to Weber's wordiness.

There are passages that evoke the same emotions of loyalty, honor and courage that use to symbolize Weber's work.  Sadly they are few and far between.   It became a tedious read.  

I have found Weber brilliant at times and consequently I keep hoping to find that brilliance in each Weber book I read.  It wasn't here.

I do not recommend the book.  



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, October 17, 2016

THE STRINGER by Jeff Somers Spotlight




Pocket Star EBooks
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
9781501141409
$.99 A Bargain Book

The Stringer features the buddy duo from We Are Not Good People, blood magicians who are struggling to get by with their cheap magics and wit (such as it is). Action-packed, inventive, and darkly comic.

For blood mages, the twenty-first century means hiding in the shadows, keeping society unaware of their incredible powers. In The Stringer, the power-hungry sort plot quietly to manufacture tragedies bloody enough to give them the gas they need to cast something monumental. Lem and Mags, down-and-out bosom buddies to the end, try to be good, bleeding nobody but themselves, skating by on small Cantrips, cons, and charms.

So when the siren song of easy money comes their way in the form of helping out a friend, clearly no good will come of it. Blood mages are not good people. And neither are Stringers—alien intelligences that can take over a body and run it ragged. Stringers: they aren’t subtle, aren’t content to skulk in the shadows, and aren’t a houseguest anyone wants. Lem is about to learn what a possession hangover feels like—if Mags and his more tentative allies can figure out how to stop the demon without killing him.

This ebook also contains an excerpt of We Are Not Good People.  


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, October 13, 2016

Syndicate's Pawns by Davila LeBlanc

This book picks up where Syndicates Pawn left off.   Jinxed Thirteenth, the Covenant starship, is repairing damages from the rogue AI in the previous book.   They can not get to slipdrive which is their faster than light travel until they make repairs.   They are lacking a part and send out a distress call.   The distress call is intercepted and put out as an invitation on their version of the dark web.   An offer of help soon proves to be no help at all. 

The book shows discrimination due to differing races and intelligences.  The author shows how prejudices can be overcome by unexpected actions and behaviors.   I like the way it was done.   The diverse crew of the Jinxed brings new meaning to diversity and the villains add too that mix.

The plot was good and they characters were interesting.  I found the second volume better than the first and I hope to see more from this author.

I recommend.

web: http://www.davilathewhite.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.