Book Review: The Shadow of What Was Lost (Licanus #1) by James Islington
“Everyone has a darker nature. Good men fear it, and evil men embrace it.”
Excellent epic medieval fantasy. Large and varied cast with credible motivations and conflicts. Everyone has secrets; some don’t know their own. Good story telling. Conflicting views of reality add depth to a coming-of-age, gathering-the-team tale.
“The only secrets a mind cannot give up are those it doesn’t know.”
Nice cover art. Useless, unreadable Continue reading
Book Review: We Are Legion (We Are Bob) (Bobiverse #1) by Dennis E. Taylor
“They wanted me dead. It seemed to me that the Golden Rule applied. Time to reciprocate.”
Ripping good space opera/apocalypse tale. Lots of fun action as well as reflections about what/who we are. Heavy handed on stereotyping, but “Stereotypes are good first order approximations.”
“The backup was a digital attempt to save an analog phenomena.” (of a digital attempt to replicate an analog phenomena)
Engaging storytelling. Multi-threads, excellent Continue reading
Book Review: Dauntless (Lost Fleet #1) by Jack Campbell
“For the first time, he wondered if missing the last century had actually been a blessing.”
Good space opera. Protagonist back from a hundred year sleep must save the day. Realistic naval idioms for ship movement, engagement and culture.
“You just didn’t ask whether or not marines would follow orders.”
The protagonist is the reader’s “everyman” in the advanced technology and changed culture of his future. Plenty of adversaries, both friendly and decidedly not, to give the story depth and provide fodder for this and half a dozen follow-on tales.
“If the AI isn’t smart enough to employ a weapon all by itself, you can’t trust it very much in battle. If that AI is smart enough … Continue reading
Book Review: Stealthy Steps (Nanostealth #1) by Vicki Kestell
“You think you’re scared I’m the invisible freak!”
I liked it. Well-developed tale with a strong, if emotionally immature protagonist. Self-depreciating humor fits the character and story. Everything breaks her way, even the bad breaks. Too easy. Italics overused. “Giggles” too much.
“He’s a hardcore Christian. I couldn’t keep seeing [him] anymore.”
Christian literature, but protagonist realistically resists the initial gospel hard sell. Christian characters well drawn. Some antagonists border on caricatures.
“I was where you are twenty years ago. Different town, same drugs. Different corner, same grave just waiting for me to fall into it.”
Quibble: masked from one angle is not masked from all angles. The problems with real-time, adaptive omni-directional masking are enormous.
“Invisible is not a word that belongs in real life.”
Not so much concluded as finished the opening.
“Was life even worth the never ending struggle?”
Book Review: Waking the Fire (The Draconis Memoria #1) by Anthony Ryan
“Overreliance on your ingrained gifts can be deadly.”
Steampunk with dragons! What fun. Excellent world and character building. Enough double-crossing (of the reader) to keep our attention. Literary, musical, costume and historical references gives depth to various cultures. Excellent storytelling.
“… like all choices it involves consequences.”
Quibbles: The principal river of the focus continent has two outlets and seems to flow uphill. Glorifying smoking? How quaint. (Odd that this culture had not developed blood-augments flying/floating machines.)
“The great commander is nothing more than a pig fat on the blood of wasted youth.”
Even though the climax was what the reader comes to expect, it seems contrived. Too obviously a setup for the next book, rather than the logical end to this one.
“Overconfidence is frequently fatal.”