Review: Valhalla (Stargate SG-1 #14) by Tim Waggoner

ValhallaI enjoyed this book more than I otherwise might have, reading it so soon on the heels of watching Thor: Ragnarok in theaters. Any Stargate reading for me is a visit to a world I love, and this was a solid, though not necessarily memorable, entry into the media tie-in offerings for this world.

One of my biggest criteria for media tie-in stories is whether the story would have worked in the constraints of visual storytelling, and unfortunately, I could have easily seen this, special effects totally doable, on screen as a two-part episode. The planet Langara and its all-powerful naquadia resources and rogue Asgard scientists are also already done to death in the realm of Stargate stories.  Continue reading

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Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

ArtemisWhen the credits rolled on Ant-Man, I turned to my husband and exclaimed, “Marvel made me a heist movie!” When I read the first blurb about Artemis ages ago, I turned to my husband and exclaimed, “Andy Weir is writing me a heist novel!”

Considering I read the book in the space of a solid 4 hours on Wednesday night, the day after the book’s publication, I think it’s safe to say that Weir did not disappoint. (Since this review is coming out so close to publication, it has no spoilers).  Continue reading

Review: While the Black Stars Burn by Lucy A. Snyder

While the Black Stars BurnIn the spirit of Halloween month, I was asked by a fellow blogger to participate in her round-up of monster discussions. In looking for a way to talk about Cthulu, when I have very limited experience in the horror genre in general and H.P. Lovecraft in particular, I remembered a book that’s been sitting on my “to be read” shelf for an embarrassingly long time.

I steeled myself with bright lights and espresso and dove out of my comfort zone! You can find my in-depth look at Lucy A. Snyder’s While the Black Stars Burn at MNBernard Books!  Continue reading

Review: Patterns of Interference (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #5) by Christopher L. Bennett

Patterns of InterferenceObvious benefits of a media tie-in novel are the lack of production value constraints. This means authors are free to make use of a vast array of characters and create new planets beyond the typical constrictions of special effects. Bennett has capitalized on these abilities to great extent, especially writing a familiar cast of characters no longer centered on a single starship. He brings the crew of the original Enterprise to life as they continue their lives beyond the course of the television series, both separately and yet still inextricably linked. He also expands beyond the names on the title cards to create reader bonds to both new and unique characters and those with some familiar names, such as Kirk and Paris.  Continue reading

Review: The Bronze Skies by Catherine Asaro

bronze skiesAfter I finished this novel, staying up until past midnight on a work night, I posted a complaint on Facebook. Not about this novel, but about how I had over 100 more books on my “to be read” shelf, but all I really wanted to do is go back and re-read everything else in Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series.

Despite the fact that I write in a different genre, it’s safe to say that the space opera universe created in this book series is my favorite of all time. That this is my favorite author. That reading new stories set in this world is like wrapping myself in a cozy blanket and feeling very much at home. As a new addition, The Bronze Skies did not disappoint (see again staying up late to finish).  Continue reading

Review: The Resurrection Pact (Winston Casey Chronicles #1) by Jay Smith

resurrection pactDisclaimer: I purchased an ebook version of this novel at release, then acquired a hardcopy version in a book trade with the author, whom I consider a friend.


Once upon a time, I was one of THOSE World of Warcraft (WoW) players. Had a full-time job, but still spent 30 to 40 hours a week playing the game. Questing quietly was my favorite part, but as these things happen, I also ended up raiding four to five nights a week. These were my friends, my social circle, and my motivation. It wasn’t just a game, it was a lifestyle.

I’m pretty sure that The Resurrection Pact gave me flashbacks.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Brenda Cooper

silver ship and the seaTo celebrate the re-release of her first novel, The Silver Ship and the Sea, and promote the Kickstarter project for her connected short story collection, Stories of Fremont’s Children, author Brenda Cooper was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the world of these stories.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Prisoners of a war they barely remember, Fremont’s Children must find a way to survive in a world that abhors their very nature. Or they must discover a way to leave it…

Brenda Cooper’s Fremont’s Children series launches with her award-winning novel The Silver Ship and the Sea. Cooper explores what it means to be so different that others feel they must oppress you.

Six genetically enhanced children are stranded on the colony planet Fremont in a war between genetic purists and those that would tinker with the code. Orphaned, the children have few remnants of their heritage other than an old woman who was left for abandoned at the end of the war, and a mysterious silver ship that appears to have no doors.

To keep themselves alive, the children must leave the safety of the insular community and brave the beautiful but dangerous wilds of Fremont. Is it an echo of their own natures, or a proving ground of their genetic worth?

In this battle of wills and principles, what does the future hold for Fremont’s Children?

Amazon


What inspirations from Earth’s landscape did you use for the alien world of Fremont?

Fremont is more dangerous to humans than Earth. It’s a water world, with less landmass than we have, but with air that its inhabitants can breathe and land for them to walk on. So in some fundamental ways it is similar — frankly, more similar than any real alien worlds are likely to be. It’s younger than Earth, and less impacted by humans. For example, we’ve hunted the Earth down to smaller predators, but once there were sabre-toothed cats. On Fremont, there are pawcats, who are larger than our lions and more aggressive. There are demon dogs who hunt in packs and are larger than wolves and more dangerous to humans than wolves. The grass is sharp enough to draw blood. There are active volcanoes, many earthquakes, and periodic meteor strikes.  Continue reading