Worlds Collide-Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer
This is the sequel to the classic
When Worlds Collide. In this
novel the story takes place right where the last one left off. The
remnants of the human species has landed on the new planet and they are
now trying to survive. There is the conflict with other survivors who have
landed and seem bent on controlling the new planet. Seeing that this
sequel was written in 1934, you can guess who the bad guys are. The
survivors have it easy and except for the conflict mentioned above, the
story doesn't have the pull of the first novel. But the story is a easy
read and as a continuation of the first it's not bad. I give this 3.75
stars. Not as good as the first novel but still a good read.
This is the unification of two
novels. Star Guard and
Star Rangers both
written in the early 1950's. The first half of this novel is
Star Guard and it is about a group of
soldiers from Earth fighting on a distant planet who have been betrayed by
their galactic overlords and must now fight their way across the planet to
freedom and a chance to let Earth know what is going on. But every thing
is not as it seems, because Earth has a secret of its own. The second half
of this novel is Star Rangers and it
takes place three to four thousand years after the events in the first
half. This time a group of star rangers is sent on a mission to the out
skirts of the Galactic empire. The Galactic empire is falling apart and
this is a one way mission. They crash on a planet that is off all star
charts and seems to have been abandoned. But this planet has a secret that
will stun all of them. The novel are well written and the stories are
interesting but not compelling or memorable. I give this novel 3.2 stars.
In this novel everything said about
Mars turns out to be true. The face on Mars is real, the city and pyramids
are also real. The story takes place in 2029 after humans have got to Mars
and found out that all the things that some has been saying for so long
turned out to be true. Now the race is on between the governments to find
out what technologies were left on Mars by the aliens. The story was made
more believable by the way the author mixed fact and fiction, even if some
of those facts are suspect today. The main problem I had with this novel
is the political situation on Earth. Also the fact that one of the main
characters, August Nash to works for a private company that seems to have
way too much pull. But over all it was a solid story that held my interest
all the way through. I give it 4.0 stars.
This is a alien invasion novel that
takes place in the year 2020. Over a period of three days, aliens
destroyed most of Earth civilization and made the survivors slaves. It is
the first book of a series, the next is set for a 2002 release. The novel
follows several groups of humans as they try to survive as slaves or try
to fight back against what seems as overwhelming odds. It also follows the
different factions within the alien fleet as some of them come to realize
the real reason they are attacking Earth and what it will mean for them.
With some humans trying to take advantage of the chaos to gain power, does
the humans have a chance to against the aliens. This is a fast pace novel
with a little bit of everything mixed in. If you like alien invasion
novels or movies then you will like this one. I give this 4.3 stars.
Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century-Edited By
Martin H Greenberg
This book has fourteen alternate
history stories written by such authors as Harry Turtledove, Poul
Anderson, Larry Niven, Susan Schwartz among others. Stories from Germany
winning WW2 to a different take on dropping the bomb on Japan. All of the
stories are good and for the most part hold your attention. If you like
alternate history stories then you will like this book of short stories by
some of the best science fiction authors around. I give this book 4.0
This is a
novel that attempts to explain how the universe works. It follows the
adventures of a two dimensional creature Victoria Line and her guide from
her two dimensional world, FlatLand through the three dimensional
universe, ours. Her trip takes her through black holes and down to the
smallest particle known to exist. If you know nothing about the scientific
theories about our understanding of how the universe works, then this is a
good way to find out. My one problem with it is that some parts of it gets
bogged down on the big theories and does pull itself out of the range of
who know nothing of science. But for most people this novel is a good
introduction. I give it 3.50 stars.
The good thing about this novel is
that Jack Williamson has taken a popular theme in science fiction and put
a new look on it. It is also a very well written novel. His take on the
common theme of a asteroid hitting Earth has Earth getting destroyed and
reborn many times over the long centuries. A small group of clones on the
moon are reborn after every destruction to reseed life to the Earth. The
problem with this novel is that you never feel for any of the characters.
You never cheer for or against them, you don't care so the entire story
becomes "so what." Good writing and a innovative look at a subject is not
enough to make a good novel. I give this 2.70 stars.
The Dark Wing-Walter
When humans finally begin exploring
space, they meet the Zor. The Zor is an alien species that is going after
an attempt to destroy them. They would always sue for peace when they
lose, but the peace would never last as they would always attack again.
Then along comes Marais, who has a plan to stop the Zor once and for all.
His plan may involve exterminating the Zor even if that means he has to
disobey his own government. This is Walter Hunt's first novel and he does
a very good job. The story holds together very well, it does tend to drag
at times. Also it would have helped if he had explained a bit more on how
the Solar Empire came to be. For a first novel it was not bad. I give it
The Excalibur Alternative-David
When an alien
spaceship kidnapped Sir George Wincaster and his small force from the
middle of a storm on Earth, they only wanted to use them a slaves that
will fight for them. But the English have other things in mind and the
Galactic Federation may regret ever meeting humans. This is a fast pace
novel that holds your attention all the way to the end. The author mixes
just the right amount of humor with the almost none stop action. This is a
easy read and a good addition to the author's collection of novels. I give
this novel 4.00 stars.
The discovery and beginning of the
wide spread use of Angels in The Empyrean has caused The Pax to intervene
and keep the human species from falling under the influence of aliens. To
that end they sent Jereko Kostas as a spy into The Empyrean to find out
more about the Angels and the angelmass, the place that they come from.
But does The Pax really have the well being of The Empyrean at heart or do
they have something else in mind. Plus what Jereko finds out about Angels
and the angelmass could have implications for humans. By the way the
angels refer to the effect they have on humans. This is not a bad book, it
is too long it should have been a bit shorter. But on the good side
it is a fast read. I give this novel 3.70 stars.
This is a novel of the Earth
getting hit by a comet, a little larger than the one that killed off the
dinosaurs. The main difference between this novel and the loads of others
out there is that this is what would probably happen if one was to
actually hit Earth. Naturally the out come in this book is widely
optimistic. First of all, he had to make sure that the comet hit Earth in
the one place that would leave a zone of safety that had everything that
would make this outcome possible. Then he had to make sure that the people
that survive were able to make use of the resources in that zone. Now
there is only one place on Earth that can make this outcome possible and
that is where most of the story takes place. Now all that a side, this
novel is pretty good. My other problem with the novel is the lack of
adversity the survivors go through. The author did a lot of research to
come up with the one place that has all the natural elements needed to
rebuild technology. Over all I give this novel 4.30 stars.
Cities in Flight is really four
books in one and most of those were written as short stories in their
original form. The cities in Flight books are considered among the
classics of science fiction. The novels begin with the discovery of
anti-gravity and life extension drugs. These inventions enable cities to
leave Earth and travel the galaxy. The stories lead you to the ultimate
end of the universe or may be the beginning, depending on how you want to
look at it. The book is well written and holds your attention through out.
Considering that they were written in the fifties, they hold up very well.
I give this book 4.70 stars.
Peshawar Lancers-S. M. Stirling
This is an alternate history novel
by the author of the Islander series. This time he takes us to a world in
which a comet hit in the year 1878. The hit changed destroyed most of
civilization and what survived remained stuck in the technology of the
late 1800's. In this world, The British Empire is one of the two super
powers along with Japan. The British Empire is now based out of India.
This is a story of spies and of adventure as the main characters try to
stop a plot designed to bring down their nation. This novel was not bad,
but it was not up to Stirling's usual fine work. it took a while to get
going and it ended a little suddenly. But the characters and situations
they were in were believable. Over all i give this novel 4.0 stars.
Back in the
Byrne & Kim Newman
This is a alternate history novel
in which everything that we know has been turned upside down. The 1917
communist revolution happened in the U.S. In this world Al Capone is
president and dictator. This novel is filled with many familiar names all
in very unfamiliar situations. The novel begins interesting enough, but it
slowly goes down hill. The novel also has a very uneven feel to reading
it. Some parts are very good even humorous while other parts drag and you
labor to get through. This novel reads more like a bunch of short
stories thrown together than a cohesive novel. I give this novel 2.0
of Chaos-Charles Ingrid
In this novel The Cho have a monopoly
on FTL travel and naturally the rest to the galaxy wants their secret.
This is not a bad novel, it just is not very original. You have read this
plot lots of times and this time nothing stands out about this novel. The
characters are not memorable and the novel does not hold your attention.
On the good side it is a very easy read and it hangs together pretty well.
I give this novel 3.0 stars.
takes place on a world where gravity has shifted. West is now up and east
is now down, so the inhabitants perceive themselves as living on a endless
wall. They call it the worldwall. The novel follows the adventures of
Tighe or more appropriately the misadventures of Tighe, because for the
most part he is a passive participant in this novel. Things keep happening
to him, he falls into one situation after another. While it is interesting
to see what the shift in gravity has done the the world, you need a
character that has a reason to exist to make a good story. The good thing
about this novel is that the author has created a unique world, but he
also created a forgettable story. I give this novel 2.50 stars.
This is the sequel to In Death
Ground and it was a very good addition to the series. The war that began
in the last novel has now turned into a war of extinction. Either the
Grand Alliance with its members of Humans, Orions, Ophiuchi and Gorms will
die or their enemies the bugs will. This is a very good novel it is pack
with action from beginning to end. The characters are pretty well
developed. The plot is simple but the action is first rate. If you like
space opera with lots of war ships and big sweeping action then this is
for you. I give this novel 4.8 stars.
Diuturnity's Dawn-Alan Dean
This is the third novel in the
series that tell the story of how the Humanx Commonwealth was created.
This novel follows three separate groups that are involved in events that
could derail the growing closeness of Humans and Thranx. On the Thranx
home world Fanielle Anjou and her friends are trying to get the Thranx to
accept proposals that will bring about the closer union of both their
species. On Dawn at a fair opponents are about to do something that could
push the species apart. This is a very good novel that adds background to
the series and is a very good story in its own right. While the author
does leave a few things hanging, over all this is a very good novel and I
give it 4.50 stars.
Rulers of the Darkness-Harry
Harry Turtledove continues his epic
fantasy series about a world at war. But this is a world where magic
rules. Where instead of jets fighting in the air, you have dragons. This
war has dragged on far longer than the original antagonists believed it
would. With both of the major combatants using hideous methods to power
their magic, some allies are looking to find a better way to power their
magic. As with most of the different series he writes, it takes more than
one book for his characters to develop and in this novel you have
characters that have been developed over the pass few novels of this
series. for those of you that have been following this series you will
like this novel and for those that haven't, well it is better to begin
with the first novel. Changing events in the story make this novel a good addition to the series and I give it 4.75
Hal Cousins is a scientist working
on extending life and in pursuit of that he will go anywhere. On the eve
of a trip to the bottom of the ocean he gets a call from his twin brother
and from that moment his life changes. Attempts are made on his life, his
brother is killed and he is forced to go into hiding. Before he was killed
Hal's brother had uncovered a world wide conspiracy and now they were
after Hal. The problem with this novel is that the conspirators are never
very believable. On the plus side the novel does go into how some bacteria
work and their relationship with humans. Another problem was that the main
character never evoked any emotion in me. You should feel something for
the main character, either you like the character or dislike the
character. Overall a well written book, but not one of his best. I give
this novel 3.2 stars.
the Devil Dances-John Ringo
This is the third novel in this
series in which Earth has been invaded by the Posleen. The three novels
cover a period five years and in this novel, the only nation still holding
out in any way is the U.S. The war, which has reached a stalemate, is
about to change some what because of a change of tactics by the Posleen.
While the novel is well written and is a easy read, it does not bring
anything new to the series. It is almost like reading the second novel all
over again. This novel added very little to the series. One of the few
bright spots was showing a little about what life is like in the
underground cities. Another bright spot is the character of Captain Anne
Elgars which has added something new to the series. Overall this novel was
something of a disappointment and I give it 3.5 stars.
Anne McCaffrey picks up the story
years after the computer Aivas got the dragons and their riders to change
the orbit of the Red Planet. The story takes you to the search for some
new job for the dragons and their riders to do now that the Thread will
soon stop falling on Pern. Also mixed in is the fight against the people
who are bent of destroying all technology and returning Pern to a more
pure state, as they see it. This is a very easy read and the story line
added a new dimension to the world of Pern. While this may be one of the
weaker books of the series, it is still a good addition to the series. I
give this novel 4.60 stars.
The Saga of Seven Suns:
Hidden Empire-Kevin J. Anderson
In this new series, Humans have
only come across one alien race, the Ildirans. The only other alien race
they know about, the Klikiss is long dead, leaving behind some ruins and
robots. Humans are spreading themselves out among the stars as fast as
possible, that is until they make a tragic mistake. Now they are in a
fight for their civilization and have no friends to turn to, not even the
Ildirans, who gave them the keys to the stars. This is a good beginning to
the series. Kevin Anderson has created three unique societies of humans
that don't always get along. My two problems with this book is that some
of the characters still need to be fleshed out and the fact that this is
one of those books where you are left hanging at the end. I give this book
McDevitt's latest the human species is slowly spreading through out the
galaxy. They are now slowly coming to the realization that they are alone.
When a signal is heard around a neutron star, people from the group that
still hope to find aliens, put up the money for a ship to go find the
source. Along the way Captain Priscilla Hutchins must keep a passengers
from getting themselves killed while trying to find out about the newly
discovered alien network. This was a average story with average
characters. While it was a easy read and it hung together quite well,
nothing about it was memorable. I give this novel 3.50 stars.
After writing 1632, Eric Flint
decided to turn it into a series and together with David Weber they came
up with this book. It begins just about where 1632 left off. This time it
is Cardinal Richelieu of France who is their biggest foe. Now the
Americans must fight to save their new nation from Richelieu and his
League of Ostend. With the action moving between England, France, Germany
and Holland this novel is fast pace and very engaging. One other thing is
that this novel and 1632 can read on their own. I am looking forward to
the next one. I give this 4.70 stars.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress-Robert
This is one of the classic books
written by the man many consider the dean of science fiction. First
published in 1966, this is a novel of revolution and the quest to
determine one's own fate. The moon which was settled as a penal colony
and has now evolved into a vital resource for the nations of Earth, has
now decided that it is time they become an independent nation. This novel
was awarded one of the four Hugo Awards Robert Heinlein won during his
life. A lot of people consider this novel to be his best work. While I
don't consider this his best, it is one of the best books he has written.
My one nit pick is that I thought it was a little too long. I give this
novel 4.40 stars.
This is the third in a series of
novels that uses the same main characters, but in different universes.
This time Earth's moon has disappeared and a new larger red moon has taken
its place. The new moon has caused destruction on a global scale. When his
wife, Emma is pulled onto the new moon, Malenfant organizes a trip to that
new moon to find her. While there Malenfant will discover the origin of
the universe and of life is wrapped up in the mystery of the red moon.
This was not the best manifold novel, but it was good enough to hold my
interest. All the same elements of the other two novels are here. Time
travel, travel between universes. This novel was a good read, a bit slow
in places and the character of Malenfant was more two dimensional than the
other two novels. I give this 4.0 stars.
The Years of Rice and Salt-Kim
This novel is really a history of a
alternate world. It begins with the idea that there were very few
survivors of the black death. So all of the progress in the world was
centered in India and China, instead of Europe and the United States. The
story goes from the the slow reclamation of Europe to the beginning of the
scientific age in India. It then goes on from the discovery of the
Americas to the world war and beyond. The problem with this novel is that
it reads more like a generalized history of that alternate world. There
are no really strong characters that pull you into the story. It almost
seems like the author was setting up a world in which he would base future
stories. I give this 3.20 stars.
Krondor Tear of the Gods-Raymond
This is the third book of his
Riftwar legacy, but done let that bother you, because each of these books
can be read separately. In this novel a ship has been sunk that contains a
very valuable jewel. Now the race is on between Squire James and his
allies and the man called the Bear to reach the jewel. Once again as
always this is a novel filled with magic and demons. While it does not add
anything new to the overall story, it is a very entertaining adventure and
will be enjoyed by Feist fans. I give it 4.20 stars.
This the first in a trilogy that
chronicles the war between the Human Commonwealth and the species they
call the conquerors. In this first novel you are introduced to the
Cavanagh family, who are putting their lives on the line in an attempt to
rescue a family member from the Conquerors. You are also introduced to the
Zhirrzh, as the conquerors are called. The novel mainly follows members of
the Cavanaghs as they try to find out where their family member is held
and try to find a way to rescue him. As the first book of a trilogy, this
novel failed to grab me. The story is just o.k. as are the characters.
Also at the end of this novel you still do not know very much about the
Human Commonwealth. I give this 3.75 stars.
Conquerors Heritage-Timothy Zahn
In this the second novel of the
trilogy, the entire novel is about the Zhirrzh and is written from their
point of view. You also find out how they think the war started and why
they are fighting the Conquerors as they call the Human Commonwealth. You
follow a young Zhirrzh, Thrr-gilag as he tries to recover from the shame
of having his captive escape and also find out why the Human are bent of
conquering them. By the time this novel is over you will know more about
the Zhirrzh than about the Human Commonwealth. While the story is
interesting, it slows down quite a bit. I give this novel 3.0 stars.
In this the last of the trilogy,
Thrr-gilag and members of the Cavanagh family unite to try to put an end
to a war that began by a mistake. Both sides will have to find a way to
stop members of their species who are bent of seeing the war continue. The
overall story of the trilogy is a average one and never grabs you. Also
this the last novel is a bit of a disappointment because it was
predicable. The characters never really got filled out. So I give this
novel 3.40 stars
This is a sequel to the novel
DeathDay in which the Saurons attacked Earth and over three days killed
three billion humans and destroyed civilization. In the process turned the
remaining humans into slaves. In this novel the slaves, both human and
alien are facing a dead line. They have to come up with a way to
defeat the Saurons before the Saurons complete their task. This is a fast
pace action novel that picks up where the last one left off, following
much of the same characters as the first novel. I give this novel 4.10
Bova & Gordon R.
This is one of those books in which
the title has almost nothing to do with the stories inside. There are
three novels in this book.
Gremlins Go Home by Ben Bova &
Gordon R. Dickson is the first novel and it is a tale about a boy named
Rolf Gunnarson who finds out that elves and gremlins are real. They enlist
his help in stealing the next mission to Mars so that they can get to
their home planet after thousands of years on Earth. The problem I had
with this was that the plot was predictable and the characters were not
interesting. The story never really gets going. I give this 2.75 stars.
Hour of the Horde by Gordon R.
Dickson is the second novel in this book. In this tale Miles Vander is a
painter who has been left injured by Polio. When aliens contact the
governments of Earth for help in fighting off a alien invasion of this
galaxy, they chose him as the sole representative of Earth. This is a much
better story with a strong character that grows through out the story as
he tries to find a way to get along with his companions and prove they
have something to contribute. I give this one 3.60 stars.
Wolfing by Gordon R. Dickson is the third
novel and it is by far the best of the lot. James Keil is on a mission
from Earth to see if the newly discovered and much more advanced human
galactic empire is in any way related to the humans on Earth. When he gets
to the capital world he gets involved in galactic intrigue that could
threaten Earth. This story has action, a very good mystery and strong
characters. It is a very fast read and holds your interest all the way to
the end. I give this one 4.20 stars.
Overall I give this book a combined
Stars & Stripes Triumphant-Harry
The epic alternate history civil
war trilogy concludes with this novel. With Great Britain angry at having
been forced out of Canada and Ireland by the U.S. They have once again
began harassing U.S. shipping. President Lincoln hopes for peace is slowly
fading. General Sherman has the task of finding a way of defeating Britain
once again. Filled with famous figures in new settings, this is a good end
to the series. It is a short novel and very fast paced. I thing it is a
bit to short and that he could have explored the British side of things a
little bit more. It is a good novel and I give it 4.0 stars.
Battlefield Earth-L. Ron Hubbard
This is an epic
Science Fiction adventure that takes place in the year 3000. The planet
Earth is owned by the Psychlo Mining Company and there are few
humans left on Earth. This is the time that Jonnie Goodboy Tyler leaves
his dying village to find a better place for them to live. He is captured
by Terl, the Psychlo head of security. With that the
adventure begins, Jonnie must lead a
handful of humans against the Psychlo's in an attempt to free Earth before
humans become extinct. This is a novel that is a full speed ahead run away
Sci-Fi action novel that is a fun read. Don't let the fact that it is over
a thousand pages long keep you from reading it. There are very few
novels out there that is as fun to read
as this one. It is a classic that did what it set out to do, tell a fun
science fiction story. I give it 5.0 stars.
The latest by Michael Crichton is a
novel of nanotechnology gone amok. Scientists working for Xymos have
developed a new technology that has escaped and is now hunting humans.
Jack Forman is hired to find a way to stop it and he must do so before it
evolves beyond all control. The problem with this novel is that it
is difficult to have a villain that does not have a personality. By the
time story gets interesting the novel is over, just when the nanotechs
were beginning to develop into something. I can only give this 4.0 stars.
Red Thunder-John Varley
The U. S. and China is in a race to Mars and
it looks like the Chinese are going to win. That doesn't sit well with
Manny and his friends, so they go about building a space ship that will
get them to Mars in four days and in the process they changed the world.
This was a fun book to read despite its flaws and there were a few. Some
of the characters were one dimensional and the story by no means breaks
any new ground. But it is a entertaining story and I give it 4.40 stars.
The Dark Path-Walter
This is the follow
up to Hunt's first novel, The Dark Wing and it is a big improvement over
that first novel. The action takes place some eighty years later and this
time ships are disappearing into some parts of space outside the empire's
borders. The Zor, who are now allies of the Humans suspect what is going
on. Somewhere out there is a alien species that is attacking the empire.
This novel is much better than the last one, the action is smoother and
the characters are more developed. Mr. Hunt's second effort is worth a
recommend. I give it 4.75 stars.
of Flint-Thomas Harlan
a story that takes place in a future that is ruled by the Mexica Empire.
The Mexica or Aztec Empire never died on this world, it instead became a
world dominating force that is now spreading out from Earth. In this novel
Dr. Gretchen Anderssen and her team has been forced into a mission of
rescue for the Mexica government. This is not a bad novel, it has a good
enough mystery such as why the Mexca government is really there. But for a
alternate history novel it leaves to much out. In this novel we never
really find out what makes the Mexca universe that much different from our
own. Nothing in this novel makes it stand out from the crowded field that
alternate history has become. The characters are not very memorable, maybe
over the next several books they will grow. Now this book isn't totally
bad, it's well written and the story is smooth. But today's novel needs to
be a touch above the rest and this isn't. I give it 3.00 stars.
This first time author has created a world that is unique. This is a
world in which your thoughts are monitored and thinking the wrong thoughts
can get you sent to jail or worst. Most of the action takes place in and
around Seattle. The main characters are FBI agents McCready and Ignacio
they work for a branch that monitors thoughts. The other main characters
are the owners of Ordosoft. Now the story does tend to drag just a little
toward the middle and the background needs to filled in a little more so
the reader can understand how the world got to be where it is. But over
all for a first time author this is a very good novel. I give it 4.30
figured out a way to spy on alien worlds, unfortunately they don't know
just how it works and they had a hell of a time duplicating it. Just when
they have got it working here at Blind Lake, the government has sealed the
place leaving the scientists inside to fend for themselves. While some
scientists are still working to understand the aliens they are watching,
others are trying to find out why the government has trapped them in the
blind lake facility. While this is a well written story and the characters
are well formed, the story does not get interesting until close to the
end. If more time was spent on the entities or intelligences that were
revealed towards the end then maybe the story would have been
better. I give this 3.85 stars.
- John Ringo
This is the fourth
and final book in this series about Earth at war. In the story thus far,
the leading governments of Earth were contacted by a galactic federation
asking for help in fighting off an invasion by a species known as the
Posleen. The reason they should help is that Earth is next in line on the
Posleen hit parade. The other books in the series deal with the
attack and the defeat of most of Earth forces by the Posleen. By the time
of the events in this book the only fighting force left is the U.S.
military and now the end game is in site. Now most of the characters in
this series are not fully developed, the only characters with any depth
are main characters. But that's all that is needed, this is a series in
the style of Independence Day. Fighting against all odds and maybe pulling
it out even when it seems hopeless. My one major complaint is that the
series concentrated on actio0n almost to the exclusion of all else. Maybe
showing a bit more of the Federation's politics would have made it better.
By the way, you don't have to buy all the books to read the entire series,
there is a free cd included with this book that has all the books of this
series on it. I give this novel 4.0 stars.
This is a story that
takes place during the Man-Kzin wars. The Man-Kzin wars, for those who
don't know, take place in a universe created by Larry Niven. It is a
series of wars between humans and the Kzin. The Kzin are a species that
resembles tigers. In this story Carroll Locklear has been captured by the
Kzin and dumped on a planet that at first glance seems empty but actually
has creatures in stasis. In this part of the planet those creatures are
Kzin that were taken from before they got space travel. If he is to escape
he will need to find allies from among the Kzin. This story while
not bad does not add anything to overall Man-Kzin universe. Also it
is a premise that has been done better in other novels. The main character
also does nothing to excite the reader. I give this 3.50 stars.
This can be considered
a sequel to Cathouse. The main character Carroll Locklear is back on the
same planet but in a different section. The planet is divided into
sections by Force fields and this time he is in a section that represents
Earth. Once again there are creatures in stasis, only this time they are
Neanderthals. This novel adds very little to the Man-Kzin universe
and turns out to be just another story. There is no new depth added to the
characters. I give this novel 3.2 stars.
Jane Jensen has written a novel that is
part science fiction, part religious mysticism and part detective novel.
In Israel Rabbi Aharon Handalman a Torah code expert comes across the name
of Yosef Kobinski, a polish rabbi who died during world war two. Kobinski
who was also a physicist discovered something during the end of the war
that could change Earth forever. In Seattle Jill Talcott, also a
physicist, is about to discover that same energy. Now both of them, along
with a nosey reporter are hunting for the lost papers of Kobinski, which
could hold the key to controlling this energy. They are doing all this
while being chased by agents of both the U.S. and Israeli governments. The
story is interesting but the problem I have with this novel is that the
characters are all similar in that they are all obsess with their work to
the exclusion of all else. That made the novel a little predictable. But
overall it was a good novel and worth the read. I give it 4.50 stars.
The epic fantasy series continues. This
is the story of a world at war. Algarve which started the war in a attempt
to take control of the main continent is finally seeing all their gains
getting reversed. Unkerlant, which has taken the brunt of the fighting is
now using its advantage in men and materials to push Algarve back. Now
with Lagoas and Kuusamo finally about to launch their invasion, things are
beginning to look bleak for Algarve. This novel begins to put most of the
characters in a different position than they were at the beginning of the
series. The characters are beginning to worry about other things besides
the war. This novel is one of the better ones in this series. I give it
The Bromeliad Trilogy -
The Bromeliad Trilogy
is made up of the novels
It is the story of a group of nomes that have lived all their lives in a
department store. They have been in the store for so long that they no
longer remember the outside. Then into their world comes a group of
outside nomes bringing with them news that the store is about to be closed
and they will all have to leave. The story follows them as they go and try
to find a place of their own where humans won't be able to bother them.
The strongest of the novels is the first one where we meet the nomes and
they prepare to leave the store. The weakest of the novels in the second
one in which they have a conflict with humans. The overall story would not
have been weakened if that second novel was not included. It is a
story that has its moments and while not gripping will help you pass the
time. I give this 4.0 stars.
Flinx's Folly -
Alan Dean Foster
This is the latest Pip
and Flinx adventure and this time Flinx is beset by more enemies that are
even more determined to kill him. His the severity of his headaches
increase so does him powers. For those who do not know, this story takes
place in the humanx universe. This latest novel adds to the growing and
continuing story of Flinx and coming role in the darkness that is coming.
In this novel he comes to understand that he needs to speak to someone, so
he goes to find the one person he feels he can confide in. In doing so he
opens himself up to enemies and friends. For those of you that have read
about Flinx and his adventures this one will please you. For those of you
who have not, this is a good novel in which to start. If you like it then
you may want to go back and read some of the other Flinx novels, but it is
not necessary for you to enjoy this one. I give this 4.60 stars.
The Orion Protocol -
In this novel, Gary
Tigerman takes several facts and unexplained inconsistencies in the U.S.
space program and weaves a very good story. It begins when Angela Browning
gets a disc with a picture of Mars that should not exist. The story then
continues with government cover-up in the space program that has been
going on for a long time. It also explains why satellites always go
missing around Mars. There are a few problem, it is a little hard to
believe that the U.S. government would get away some of the things in this
book with out lawsuits flying all around. But overall this is a fast pace
and fun novel to read. I give this novel 4.35 stars.
For us the Living -
Robert A. Heinlein
All great writers began
somewhere and this is Robert Heinlein beginning. This is his first novel
and in it you can see the style that was to make him famous. It is the
story of a man who gets into a accident and wakes up one hundred fifty
years later. Now he has to cope and adjust to life that is very different
than the one he knew. Now since this is a first novel there are problems
with it, as you would expect. The characters are one dimensional and not
fully developed. Also Heinlein uses this as a vehicle to put out his ideas
on how capitalism should work, so you get long passages in which the
characters do nothing but explain why their system works so well. All that
aside, the story when it does move is interesting. You also see themes
that will appear in many of his later novels. As a novel I give this 3
stars, but as the first work of a grand master it stands alone.
The Crystal City -
Orson Scott Card
This is the latest in Card's Alvin Maker
series. Alvin goes to New Orleans on his wife's urging. There he meets
his brother Calvin and a few other historical figures. Along with his
companion, Arthur Stuart who is also his apprentice, he will free a few
slaves and build a new city. None of that will be as easy as it sounds.
As fantasy series go this is one of the best and this novel was well
worth the wait. This series takes place in an alternate world where
magic of a type works and Alvin who is the seventh son of a seventh son
is one of the most powerful magicians around. I give this novel 4.65
In the Presence of Mine
this latest novel Nazi Germany won the war and now rules most of North
America and Europe. The story follows a family, Heinrich Gimpel his wife
and three daughters and a few of their friends as they go about their
lives in Berlin the capital of the German Empire. What makes their lives
very dangerous is the secret they are keeping. They are Jews and if
their secret every gets out they would be killed. The novel also takes
you through some of the changes going on in that Germany. The story is
compelling and the characters are well rounded. This is very good
novel and I give it 4.70 stars.
Ring of Fire -
This is a book of short stories, all of
the stories take place in the world of the novels 1632 and 1633. Most of
the stories take place between 1632 and 1633 and you get to see why some
of the events in the novel 1633 happened as they did. A few of them take
place after 1633 and you get a taste of what will be coming in the next
novel in the series. Some of the authors that wrote the stories include
David Weber and Mercedes Lackey. Most of the stories are quite good, the
ones I liked the best were Skeletons by Greg Donahue, To Dye For by
Mercedes Lackey, A Witch to Live by Walt Boyes and The Wallenstein
Gambit by Eric Flint. This book I give 4.50 stars.
In The Ocean of Night -
Nigel Walmsley is an astronaut working
for NASA, who is sent to destroy a asteroid that is going to hit Earth.
When he gets there he finds out that it is an old space probe. As he
reluctantly is forced to destroy it, it sends out a signal. Fifteen
years later something responded and Nigel is there to answer. I had a
few problems with this novel despite the fact that it is well written.
I didn't like the main character, now that does not necessarily kill a
novel as long as the plot is engaging. This plot wasn't. I have read
novels of a similar premise that were better. Whole areas of the novel
just seems to drag. I give this novel 3.30 stars.
Out of the Darkness -
In this the
final novel of the Darkness series, the world war is over and the
winners are turning their attention to each other. There are six books
in this series and while it could have been done is less, it was still a
good series overall. The parallels to WW2 is very clear. Sometimes
reading this series was like reading a history of a world war 2 that
might have been if we had dragons and magic instead of planes and
technology. The problem with this series is that you need to read the
novels in the order they were written fully enjoy them. This novel I
give a 4.40, it was a good ending to the series. As for the series as a
whole I give it 4.0 stars.
1634: The Galileo Affair -
Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis
This is the third novel is alternate
universe in which the town of Grantville was ripped from West Virginia
in the here and now and sent to the 1630's. There has also been one book
of short stories called The Ring of Fire, from which a few future novels
will be based. In this novel the new United States of Europe is trying
to get a trading relationship going with Venice. But with the French and
the Spanish against them, plus a few of their own going off intent on
freeing Galileo, it seems that their effort will die before it gets
started. This is a very interesting series in which minor characters in
one novel become major ones in others. So far the series has been very
good and this novel continues that trend. With fun characters and good
story I look forward to the next in the series. I give this novel 4.50
Lost and Found -
Alan Dean Foster
This is the first novel of a trilogy
and in this one Marcus Walker has been taken aboard at space ship where
he joins hundreds of other creatures. All of whom have been taken from
their planets. They are trapped in environments that simulate their
homes. They are in route to be sold to the highest bidder by a group of
aliens that operate on the fringe of Galactic law. Marcus, his new
friend George, the enhanced talking dog and a few others must find a way
to get off this ship and back to their homes. This is an average novel
that helps you pass the time. It is not as good and the other Alan Dean
Foster novels, but if you have nothing else to do it will help you pass
the time. i give it 3.60 stars.
The Victorious Opposition -
the continuing saga of a world in which the south won the civil war.
Jake Featherston, the President of the Confederate States has turned
that nation into that world's version of Nazi Germany, complete with
concentration camps. While doing that, he is also secretly preparing for
war with United States. The United States on the other hand has elected
a socialist government that is doing all it can to avoid the war that
everyone but them realize is inevitable. This is a good novel and I must
say that I enjoyed it. Turtledove has the ability to put his characters
into situations that the reader can easily understand. I give this novel
Sliding Scales -
at last Pip and Flinx get to go on vacation. That's the premise of the
new Pip & Flinx novel from Alan Dean Foster. Unfortunately since this is
Pip and Flinx the vacation turned out to be a life and death struggle
just like everything else they get involve with. While this novel does
not advance the overall plot of the series, it does give an insight into
the AAnn. In this novel Flinx lands on a world that the AAnn is slowly
taking over and becomes a catalyst for the local resistance. Now with
the local AAnn authority trying to kill him, he must turn to his enemies
for help. This novel is not very memorable and it is a bit of a
disappointment coming for Alan Dean Foster. I give this 3.00 stars.