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Banished of Muirwood Book Review

by jenn 0 Comments

When I first started reading this book I was pleased to see that it wasn’t just another cookie cutter high fantasy novel. The characters are interesting and the world is different enough from our world or other fantasy worlds to be engaging, but not so much that I was confused. It starts out like a coming of age story, with the main character, Maia, traveling with a hired killer called a kishion. She is either on the run or in hiding—it’s not clear which and has to make her way across some inhospitable lands to save herself and her kingdom.

But then confusingly, the timing would change and suddenly we’d be back seeing what her life was like as a young child and then growing up. After two or three abrupt shifts like that it becomes clear that she is reliving her past when she falls asleep. Those transitions are very rough, and I almost didn’t make it through the book because I didn’t understand what was going on. That type of writing device can be interesting, but it tends to jerk the reader out of the story. And I didn’t really like that.

World War 97 Part 1

by jenn 0 Comments

Update: Book Discontinued Prior to February 25, 2017

I just discovered that this book is no longer available for sale on Amazon, and I cannot find it anywhere. But I have left the review intact in case Mr. Normoyle reconsiders.

###Review of World War 97 Part 1

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I was not disappointed. In fact, if there was any disappointment at all, it was that it’s a serial and I had to wait to read Part 2. The story starts out quickly with a character who is immediately engaging and interesting. It’s a fun surprise to learn that his brother is the president of the United States. So often books star the obvious people, and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a sibling of someone famous. Not that this book really answers that question…

The Book Needs Work, But Hopefully the Author will Consider Resurrecting It

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Resurrection by Zed Amadeo

I received a free copy of this book and it looked interesting. But this book is really more of a first draft than a final manuscript, no matter that it’s published and sold on Amazon. I have been in several writing groups for years and that experience combined with my own writing efforts makes me think that this story needs more work before it’s ready to be read.

Some of the problems I had with it include:

It’s written in first-person with mostly I-subject sentences. In other words, most of the sentences read: “I did this. Then I did that. I did something else. I felt this way, then I felt that way. And finally I did another thing.”

There is nothing wrong with first-person POV. But that’s only if the author doesn’t spend all of his or her time expounding on what “I” did. In fact, I can’t remember the name of the character, because most of the time she referred to herself as “I.” (Her name is Dina Durst.)

Mystery, SciFi, Alternate History—It’s All Here

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Different World: A Gina Stone MysteryThis story is hard to describe. It’s an alternate history story, but it’s set in modern day Seattle. It’s a modern crime investigation, but the deaths are being discovered in the 1800s. It’s science fiction, but it’s also a murder mystery.

I started reading this book and immediately got hooked. The main character, Gina Stone, is engaging and interesting. She presents a believable portrait of a beleaguered police officer who has decided to take a less stressful job in a small town. It’s just that her small town is New Essex and it’s across a portal in a world where the American revolution never happened.

Friends Change—More Great Space Opera

by jenn 0 Comments

A few years ago I got to read and review the book Gift of Change by D. T. Sanders (Buy on Amazon). So when the sequel came out, I was intrigued.

From the very first page, Friends Change did not disappoint. It is just as fast-paced and fun as the first book, but with a lot more characterization.

Jason and Fallon Change A Lot

The change in the title of this story is not a misnomer. Jason and Fallon go through momentous changes in this book and come out at the end almost inhumanly different. Their lives are very scary and I would not want to live them, but reading about them sure is a lot of fun!

Finished my Christmas Present—Peacemaker

by jenn 0 Comments

is the fifteenth book in the Foreigner series. And the protagonists for this book are Bren Cameron and Cajeiri the heir. It starts almost immediately where Protector leaves off, with a bit extra at the beginning and end.

I read this book as a Kindle ebook, so I realize that a lot of the issues I had were because of poor formatting in that version, but it still made it hard to finish completely.

But let me start at the beginning. The first 12% of the book (according to my Kindle) was exposition explaining how the characters got to the point we were at in the book. I realize that after 14 novels in a series, this type of thing is needed for people who haven’t been reading it since book one, like I have. But let me tell you, exposition gets very boring after a while. I struggled with completing that first section, and considered skimming until there was some action several times. But I did wade through it. If you’re going to skip, I recommend moving to when the train they are on gets to the Bujavid. It’s pretty boring up until that point.

The next portion of the book was the actual story. It jumped between Bren and Cajieri and was basically a build up to Cajieiri’s fortunate ninth birthday. There were three human children from the space station visiting Cajieiri and Jase-aiji was there from the station as well. Meanwhile Bren and his bodyguards are enlisted to clean up the assassins Guild.

If you’re wondering why the description is so sparse, it’s because the book was pretty sparse. There was very little from Jago, and even Bren didn’t have much action. Banichi had been injured in Protector and he was still injured in this book, and so that was repeated many times. Even the hijinks of the kids were pretty tame, as they were all on good behavior. The worst thing to happen was Cajieiri forgetting his birthday speech, and so making one up on the spot. Bren was hit in the head in the Guild operation, but other than being light headed, he was okay too.

The only other excitement was Cajieiri’s mother. But I won’t say what in case you want to read the book.

At the end of the book is another 8% of exposition in the form of a report from Geiji-ji and commented on by Bren. This report is basically a summary of the events leading up to book one in the series and then covering the actions that happened during the series. I honestly don’t know everything it covered, as I got bored again and stopped reading.

However, if you’re not already interested in Bren and Cajieiri, I would give this book a pass. I would have liked it more if there were either more action or less exposition, or best, both!


by jenn 0 Comments

Do you have ideas for SciFi stories that keep popping into your head? I do, and I’ve decided to write them down here. Just so I can remember them and stop waking up in the middle of the night thinking about them.

  • Vision – Our vision is largely made up by our brains. We only really “see” what’s right in front of us, and only when we want to. What if there were a being that could use this feature of our vision to hide in plain sight? Like it only moves in the millisecond of time when our eyes aren’t moving and thus can’t see it. Or it relies on our brains to fill in what we “know” should be there and so can stand right in front of you without you knowing it.
  • Senses – Have you ever had the sense that someone was looking at you, staring at you? What if this were a real thing – and that empaths or telepaths really are walking among us and can sense that type of thing. What if someone honed that skill to an art form?
  • Computers / Ghost in the machine – teh interwebz are getting pretty big now, and it might be large enough for sentience to evolve. But what if it evolved in the internet and then decided that it didn’t want to reveal itself to us? If it were smart, hiding would almost certainly be a safer strategy. But would an artificial sentience be willing to sacrifice people to protect itself? Would an AI have morality? Or would it do whatever it took to stay alive and hidden, and protect the secret of its existence at all costs?

I’m sure I’ll come up with more as time goes by.

Almost Human Gone – Fox Sucks – #bringbackAlmostHuman

by jenn 4 Comments

Almost HumanI don’t know why I’m so surprised. But I was holding out hope that Fox would have learned its lesson from “Firefly” and actually let a good SciFi show carry on. But no.

Instead, they handled “Almost Human” in almost exactly the same way they handled “Firefly.” It’s like they have a playbook for how to kill a good show:

  • Air the episodes out of order, so that any over arching theme is confusing at best and most likely destroyed at worst.
  • Make sure that the episodes that introduce the characters most effectively are buried somewhere in the middle of the season, since you’re already airing them out of order. That way any casual viewer will see no reason to give a rats ass about what’s going on.
  • Skip weeks with no information on when (or if) the show will be back on the air.
  • Then return with a show that clearly should have been aired earlier in the season because, well, because you can.
  • Don’t bother with PR. If the fans cared, they would watch.
  • And when they do watch, ignore them.
  • Make sure that whatever ads or PR you do do for the show focuses solely on violent car chases or robots getting blown up. Because the only demographic for SciFi is 18-year-old male. And those same males only like car chases and blown up robots. Oh and maybe a sexbot or two.

Maybe they’ll add to their playbook:

  • Cancel the show and act surprised that fans give a shit.
  • Rescind the cancellation!

I can hope!