Monday, March 30, 2015
AMP Messenger is the first novel in the AMP series. This book is free for the kindle. This is space opera at it's best. Don Grange and his engineer Frig are the crew of the Swift, an old Blevin-class Defender. They're part of the Grid Messenger Service. They become more than simple messengers when the impending war with the Milgari starts to heat up. Thing get quite hot for Don and Frig, but they can take the heat. They can dish some out too. This is a great science fiction tale. Very highly recommended.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Heretic is the first novel in the Singularity Series. This book is free for the kindle. Ceasar Wells is as successful as anyone is allowed to be under the Singularity, but Ceasar isn't happy. Ceasar is too smart to be satisfied with life under the Singularity, and that will prove to be fatal. That will turn Ceasar into a heretic. This book is amazing. It's reminiscent of several science fiction themes. The Matrix, Soylent Green, and The Terminator come to mind. The recent wave of red flags about artificial intelligence sets the stage for this book. This story makes me think of Herbert's Dune in its scope and style. Very highly recommended.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Curse of the Bane is the second novel in the Last Apprentice series. This is a great series. Even if the books aren't free. Spook and Thomas have their work cut out for them this time. The Bane is an ancient evil that is bound in the catacombs below the Priestown cathedral. Spook tried to kill it once and failed. The Bane is getting stronger and Spook and Thomas have to stop it's influence from spreading. When Alice becomes bound to the Bane, the situation becomes worse and better. According to the prophecy, one of the three "sort of" heroes is going to die. Which one? Very highly recommended.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Revenge of the Witch is the first novel in the Last Apprentice series. Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son. Thomas is almost thirteen years old, and he can't inherit his family's farm, so Thomas is going to take a chance as the apprentice to the Spook. The Spook is the one person who protect farms and villages of the county from things that go bump in the night. The Spook handles witches, ghasts, boggarts, and all manner of wicked creatures. Thomas has a lot to learn. He'd better learn quick. Thomas is the 30th apprentice to the Spook, and 10 of the previous apprentices are dead. This is a great scary story for kids of all ages, but not too scary. Highly recommended.
Waking Up is the third and last novel in the Devil's Dream Series. At least I hope so. I'd like to think that Matthew Brand could be killed. The FBI is still trying to find Brand, and still failing miserably. There is some hope, but it is a desperate plan, and not even the FBI's plan at that. Brand is still riding Arthur's body, but Arthur is starting to wake up. It's a race to see if Brand can destroy the sun before Arthur destroys him, or the FBI finally catches him. Of course it's down to the wire. This is a great story. Very highly recommended.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
A Nightmare is the second novel in the Devil's Dream Series. I couldn't leave this series alone. I have to know that Matthew Brand is dead, even if he's fictional. At the end of the first book in this series, The Devil's Dream, Matthew Brand is killed most thoroughly, or not. Brand somehow managed to store his essence in the computers at The Wall. Now Brand has transferred himself into the first prisoner who was ever stored at The Wall. Arthur Morgant was a serial rapist, but Arthur was immune to the AIDS virus. So they stored Arthur for posterity. Posterity turned out to be Matthew Brand. Brand took Arthur over and broke him out of The Wall. Now Brand is riding the body of a rapist and hell bent on destroying the human race. Brand's dream has switch from resurrection to revenge. There is a wicked cliff hanger, but I'm reading the third and last book next. Very highly recommended.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Habit is a detective novel with some interesting crimes and unexpected criminals. This book was free for the kindle when I downloaded it. It's now $2.99. Brendan Healy has only been a detective for a few months when Rebecca Heilshorn is murdered. Brendan is working Rebecca's murder and involved in a shooting all on the same day. Before this story is over Brendan will take more damage than Detective John McClane his worst day, but this is not Die Hard. There's plenty of action, but this is a murder mystery with lots of twists and turns. Brendan has to defeat his own demons and the killer too. Very highly recommended.
Friday, March 6, 2015
A Quest of Heroes is the first novel in the Sorcerer's Ring series. This book is free for the kindle. Be warned there is a wicked cliff hanger and 16 books in this series. Thorgrin of the clan McCleod is the youngest of four sons at the age of 14. Thor tends to his father's sheep and dreams of joining the King's Legion. When he's not picked on conscription day, Thor takes the advice of a wise man, and heads off to the city of King's Court on his own. Thus begins the tale. Magic, knights, court intrigue, and fair maidens too. This is a great story if it wasn't for that cliff hanger. I may have to read the next in the series. Highly recommended.
Left Alive is the first novel in the Left Alive series. This book is free for the kindle. It may be overpriced. Charles Duwain is still hanging on to what's left of a dying world. Charles is trying to survive in Michigan, living along the polluted shores of Lake Huron. As things continue to get worse, Charles decides to try and find his two adult daughters living in Florida. Of course the world is dying because a scientist made a mistake trying to increase plant growth, and killed all plants. If you're going to write post-apocalypse, this is as good a reason for the death of the planet as any. Why do they never blame politicians? As I started I told myself if there were zombies I was going to stop reading. There were rumors from the beginning, but they didn't show up until a third of the way through the book so I stopped. The review of the first third is a bleak story with more angst than an adult with two grown daughters should ever have had. I was almost looking forward to the zombies so I could quit. Not recommended.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Child of the Ghosts is the first novel in the Ghosts series. This book is free for the kindle. Caina Amalas was a studious child of eleven years. Caina loved her father's library. She could already read in eight languages and was working on more. Then Caina's mother betrayed her and her father, and Caina's life changed forever. Caina became a child of the ghosts. This is a great story about a young girl overcoming evil. Caina grows up to fight against evil for the empire, but the evil facing the empire is formidable. Very highly recommended.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
The Devil's Dream is the first novel in the Devil's Dream Series. This book is free for the kindle. I have the second novel already, even though it's not free. Matthew Brand was probably the most brilliant human to ever live. Matthew was already working on his fourth PhD at 18. By 25 Matthew had changed the world as we know it. Then they killed Matthew's son, and Matthew focused his brilliance on bringing him back. Of course Matthew also intended to destroy anyone connected with his son's death. Matthew had turned into the most brilliant serial killer to ever live. And he's alive again. Fear is appropriate. This is an amazing book. The second one is already on my kindle. Very highly recommended.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Goliath is the first novel in the Ryan Mitchell Thriller series. This book is free for the kindle. Jennifer March is a history professor. Her obsession is the airship Goliath that crashed somewhere over Africa back in 1931. Jennifer is working on a dig to uncover a WWII military air crash in the Philippines when she's kidnapped. Ryan Mitchell is part of an elite team of ex-military operators working for the Polaris Operations. Their team was in the Philippines training locals when the kidnapping took place, and Ryan and his team were able to rescue Jennifer. At least that time. Ryan and Jennifer are draw together, but someone keeps trying to steal Jennifer. Finally they succeed. Ryan initiates a Polaris mission to rescue Jennifer. What Ryan doesn't realize is he's going to have to save the world at the same time. This is a wide ranging thriller. It reminds me of Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt adventures. The only problem is the miracles Ryan's Polaris team pull off are even more unbelievable. I almost gave up reading when Ryan told a USMC full bird colonel, "this isn't the time for us to get into a pissing contest." Yeah, like that would happen. Still highly recommended.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Alien Night on Union Station is the second novel in the EarthCent Ambassador series. This book is 99 cents for the kindle. I recommend you read the first novel, Date Night on Union Station, first. It's free again. Kelly Frank McAllister is now the full EarthCent ambassador to Union Station. It's been five years since Kelly and Joe got married and things have changed. They now have a daughter named Dorothy to go along with their foster son Paul. The family is happy, but something strange is happening on Union Station again. Stranger than normal anyway. Every alien species on the station is inviting Kelly to dinner and she's determined to figure out why. Another hilarious science fiction romp. Very highly recommended.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Aster Wood and the Lost Maps of Almara is the first novel in the Aster Wood series. This book was free when I downloaded it. It's now $3.99 for the kindle. Aster Wood is dreading the summer before he starts seventh grade. Aster's Earth is broken. First the world suffered a terrible drought. Now that the drought is over, you can't go out in the rain because it's poison. Aster himself is broken. He has a hole in his heart that surgery couldn't fix. Aster's Mom is dumping him way out in the country at his grandma's for the summer. What Aster doesn't realize is that Earth is not the only planet with humans, and the other planets aren't all broken. The attic is the key, if Aster can just find the map. This book is definitely targeted at young teens, but it's still a good story and interesting to follow. It would be a good bedtime read for kids who like adventure. Just don't finish for the night with some of the more exciting parts. Highly recommended.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Transgression is the first novel in the City of God series. This book is free for the kindle. This story is a time-travel murder mystery, but the murder hasn't happened yet, even though it may happen thousands of years ago. This is a fascinating book. Rivka Meyers is an archeologist working a dig in Israel for the summer. Rivka has been in graduate school at Berkeley the last three years, but this summer she's taking a break from everything. Especially her battles about religion. Rivka is a Messianic Jew. She has to defend her religion from Christians and Jews alike. When Rivka unearths part of a mosaic, it could turn out to be the biggest find on the dig site. Ari Kazan is a physicist. His cousin Dov works on the dig with Rivka. Dov and Rivka are trying to fix Ari up with another woman working on the dig. Ari is working on a time machine, or as he would put it a closed timelike loop. Ari is the theorist and Damien West is the experimentalist on their team. The two of them almost have it working. It turns out, more than almost. Damien considers Christianity to be a plague. His plan is to use the time machine to go back and murder the apostle Paul to keep Christianity from ever starting. Rivka and Ari get caught up in his plot. The adventure of traveling to a time before Christians and modern Jews even existed is fascinating. The suspense as Rivka tries to stop Damien's plot is heart stopping. Even though Ari claims it's impossible to change the past, Rivka and he may have to make sure it comes out the way it should. The biblical and archeological references are just icing on the cake. Very highly recommended.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Obsidian is the first novel in the Lux series. This book is free for the kindle. This story is a whole new take on strange next door neighbors. Katy and her Mom just moved from Gainesville Florida to Ketterman West Virginia. Ketterman is so small they don't even have mail delivery. Katy is just starting her senior year in high school and this move is a major change, but Katy understands her Mom's need to start over. Katy's next door neighbors have a girl and a boy her age. Twins actually. The girl Dee is nice. The boy Daemon is just mean. The trouble is he looks so good. As Katy spends the summer getting comfortable in her new home, with her new friends, Daemon becomes even more annoying. What's up with these neighbors? It turns out Dee and Daemon are not your normal people next door. They bring a whole new meaning to illegal alien. By the time Katy figures out what's going on, she's not just amazed, her life is in more danger than she ever imagined. This is a great book. The author is self-aware enough to joke about the angst in young adult supernatural novels. Very highly recommended.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
The Box is the first novel in the Temple of the Blind series. This book is free for the kindle. This story is creepy in the best possible way. Albert is a computer science major in his first semester at Briar Hills University. When Albert came back to his locked car after class, there was a 10 inch wooden box on his front seat. There are cryptic carvings on five sides of the cube and a keyhole on the sixth. The box is an enigma that Albert is determined to solve. When Albert realizes the carving on one side of the cube is Brandy R, the name of his lab partner in chemistry, he decides to approach her about the box. Their adventures, while trying to solve the cube, defy logic. This is an amazing book that I couldn't put down. Harmon never disappoints. Very highly recommended.
Date Night on Union Station is the first novel in the EarthCent Ambassador series. This book was free when I downloaded it. It's now 99 cents for the kindle. Very few science fiction novels can make me laugh out loud. This one does it with exuberance. Union Station is a moon-sized alien space station run by a Stryx AI named Gryph. It's the most important space station in the sector. Even though humans are a drop in the bucket population wise, there are still over four hundred thousand of them to take care of. Kelly Frank is EarthCent's top diplomat on Union Station. She's the one tasked with taking care of her fellow humans. With that many humans to choose from, why is getting a decent date so hard! This is a hilarious science fiction tale of life and a lack of romance among the stars. Kelly deals with counterfeiters, kidnappers, cheaters, and con-men. It's all in a days work. Very highly recommended.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Making David into Goliath is about Israel's struggle with public opinion. This book is 296 pages. It seems like 600. I like a good non-fiction book from time to time. This is not a good non-fiction book. This is a long boring academic work, chock full of quotes and footnotes, by an author with logorrhea. In a book that's less than 300 pages, the footnotes are over 30 pages. It's ironic that at one point the author accuses Edward Said of "creating a miasma of prose." I read the first four chapters diligently and then skimmed the rest. I appreciate and agree with the author's message. It could have been delivered in a much more readable manner. I recommend reading an in-depth review of this novel, from some legitimate news source, and using the book as a door stop. Not recommended.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Grade A Stupid is the first novel in the Darcy Walker Series. This book is free for the kindle. You're in for a wild ride. Darcy Walker is 15. Darcy is your normal teenage girl, except when she's not. Darcy has her share of angst about boys, clothes, and school. Darcy also dabbles in finding dead bodies and trying to solve crimes. This can lead to bending rules, telling lies, and danger in general. Times like these are when Darcy is not your normal teenage girl. This is a great book. No supernatural creatures or special powers to prop up the story. Just not-so-normal adventures with a precocious teenage girl, and all in the suburbs of Cincinnati. Darcy even likes Skyline Chili! Very highly recommended.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Witch's Brew is the first novel in the Spellspinners of Melas County series. This book is free for the kindle. If you hate cliff hangers you can stop reading now. Lily is 16 and just coming into her own as a witch. Lily doesn't realize that she's going to be pivotal in rejoining the witches and warlocks, or the 100 year curse will steal all powers from the spellspinners forever. This is an interactive story. There are points where you get to choose the plot line that's followed. If I'd wanted to read a video game I wouldn't have selected a book. I did finish the story, although if I'd know about the cliff hanger I probably wouldn't have. You decide. Between the atrocious cliff hanger, the author not being able to make up her mind, and the teenage angst, I'm done with this series. Barely recommended.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Out Of Darkness is the first novel in the Starborn Uprising series. This book is free for the kindle. Mora lives in a world where greyskins have been what defines life and death for over 60 years. Now Mora's village is desperate, so Mora heads for the town of Screven to try and get help. Mora is about to discover things about herself she never knew. Thing that will change the whole world. Another zombie story, but one with an interesting twist. Highly recommended.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
A Rug To Die For is a novel about Muslim prayer kilims, theft of antiquities, and murder. This book was free for the kindle when I downloaded it, but it's now $2.99. Paul and Brin Trask are just minding their own business, in their house in Turkey, when an old friend drops by. Their friend simply shows them two antique kilims, but it starts a series of events that will be the death of many people, and threaten Paul and Brin's lives as well. This is like a travel novel with antique rugs and danger thrown in. It was a good story, but I lose interest fast in people who live in the third world, but still mostly have first world problems. Besides, unless you're really interested in collectible prayer rugs, most of this will be dry as dust. Still recommended for the suspense and action.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Tuesday's Child is the first novel in the Psychic Visions series. This book is free for the kindle. It would be a bargain at full price. Samantha Blair is an unwilling psychic. Every time he kills, Sam suffers and dies right along with his victim. When Sam goes to the police, to try and help them find the killer, she becomes a suspect. This terrific thriller has suspense, action, and some steamy romance too. Very highly recommended.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
If Nothing Changes is a Letty Whittaker 12 Step Mystery series short story. It was free for the kindle, but now it's not even clear how you can get it. Letty Whittaker is an alcoholic. Letty is also a psychotherapist, and something of an amateur sleuth. When Letty finds a dead body at her AA group's Halloween party she can't resist snooping. Since this is a short story that's enough to get you interested. It is a very good short story. Try The Enemy We Know, the first novel in the series too. It's still free for the kindle. Both are highly recommended.
Devoured is the first novel in the Hunger series. This book is free for the kindle. At first I figured this was just another zombie book. I was wrong. Lance York is an out-of-work network engineer. He just blew another job interview and now has to go home and explain it to his soon to be ex-wife. On the way home Lance saves a sick woman from being hit by a car and ends up in the hospital himself. It turns out there are a lot of sick people in the hospital. Sick people who will eventually become monsters hell bent on eating anyone who's not sick. Lance is fighting for his life and it's a desperate fight. Eventually Lance partners with Cassandra. Cassandra is an axe wielding hottie who seems to enjoy chopping off vladdies' heads. Vladdies is Cassandra's name for the evil nightmare creatures who are trying to wipe out humanity. This book starts out slow, but by the end I was on the edge of my seat. I stayed up way too late to finish it. Very highly recommended.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Wanted is the first novel in the Leopold Blake Thriller series. This book is free for the kindle. Leopold Blake is rich, very rich. Leopold is in Paris when someone decides to frame him for murder. Leopold enlists old friends and new friends, but they may not be enough to keep him out of jail and breathing. Why does someone want Leopold out of the way? If he can solve that he might be able to figure out how to stay free and alive. This story has lots of action and suspense. It's definitely a thriller. Highly recommended.
Friday, January 23, 2015
Titans is a science fiction novel that spans the ages. This story proves that while everything is changing, some things always stay the same. This book is free for the kindle. Rob Dunbar is a history professor. Rob's had other jobs. He's been a slave, a mercenary, a soldier, a merchant, and even a space pioneer. You can be lots of things when you've been alive over 3,000 years. Now Rob's experience is needed by some people who aren't even human, and even if they have to kidnap him, Rob is going to help them. This is an amazing tale. It covers history from Greece battling the Persians, to a war to keep the frontier of space free from corporate tyranny. I almost wish it had a sequel, but with the span of this book, we'll have to wait a few thousand more years. Very highly recommended.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Spurn is the second novel in the Walker Saga series. This book is not free, but the series is compelling. Abby has transported to the planet Spurn to find the half-walker girl living on that planet. Unfortunately, Spurn is 95% water and Abby can't swim. Finding the new half-Walker is easy. Getting Talina back to First World is not nearly as simple. Some Walkers are just plain evil. Aside from the extremely annoying cliff hanger, highly recommended.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
First World is the first novel in the Walker Saga series. This book is free for the kindle. It's 2035 and Abigail Swish is just another seventeen year old girl who grew up in compound 23 in New York city. The world is falling apart. There's no law and gangs run the city. Abby and her best friend Lucy are going to be on their own soon. Girls are kicked out of the compound when they turn eighteen. Except Abby is not a normal girl. Abby isn't human and she's not from Earth. In fact, it looks like it's going to be Abby's job to save Earth and the rest of the seven worlds, including First World. This story starts out like a typical post-apocalypse teen adventure and then it morphs into something much more interesting. Very highly recommended
Friday, January 16, 2015
Dark Realms is a series of novels or novellas by the author Kristen Middleton. This 600+ page collection is free for the kindle. These six stories all have three things in common. They're about the supernatural, they have a big dose of teen angst, and there are no sex scenes. There is some pretty strong language though. Wicked is about being kidnapped by vampires. Blur is about moving to a town with vampires. Enchanted Secrets is about finding out you're a witch, and so is your mother and your twin sister. Zombie Games is...well you don't need any more to figure that one out. The Coin Collector is about leprechauns. Venom is back to vampires and shape shifters. Be warned that most of these stories are the first part of a series, and there are some wicked cliff hangers. Still, this is a good introduction to an author who does a pretty good job of keeping the reader interested. Recommended.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Mindspeak is the first novel in the Mindspeak series. This book is free for the kindle. Cliffhanger warning. Lexi Matthews is seventeen. She's going to the elite boarding school Wellington, near Lexington Kentucky. Lexi goes to Wellington for the security. At least that's what she thinks, but there's much more going on at Wellington than Lexi is aware of. Lexi is about to discover things about herself she never imagined. This book is a teenage angst feast. The plot is intriguing. The execution is more like a soap opera. I'm especially annoyed at the cliffhanger that begs you to read the second book. Not happening. I like the concept, but not so much the implementation. Still recommended since it is free.
Friday, January 9, 2015
Anywhere But Here is the first novel in the Starborn Ascension series. This book is free for the kindle. More zombies, but with an interesting twist. Waverly was home with Hattie, her parent's housekeeper, when it started. Waverly and Hattie were the only ones to make it out alive. Waverly has survived three years of running. Three years of fighting the greyskins and the raiders, in search of someplace safe, someplace to call home. Waverly thought Crestwood would be that place. Remi was at college at Elkhorn when it started. Elkhorn is now known as the epicenter. Remi made it out of town and survived on her own for three years. She also thought Crestwood would be a safe place. Waverly and Remi were both wrong. There's something even more sinister than greyskins and raiders. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat. It does get a little confusing keeping the threads separate though. Still highly recommended.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Fresh Doubt is the first novel in the Ingrid Skyberg FBI Thriller series. This book is free for the kindle. FBI special agent Ingrid Skyberg is on temporary duty in the American embassy in London. When an American student dies under suspicious circumstances, Ingrid is called in to investigate. What Ingrid finds is even more suspicious. This isn't the first student to die, and she may not be the last. It's up to Ingrid to find out if the student was murdered, and if so who the killer is. This is a murder mystery with some interesting twists. Very highly recommended.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Knifepoint is the third novel in the Breakers series. This book is $2.99 for the kindle. This is a great series. You should read the books in order: Breakers, Meltdown, and then Knifepoint. Raina was the only person in her family to survive the plague. She was just 10 years old. Raina went feral for two years, until a couple found and adopted her. They wanted nothing but to live in peace, but the world is no longer a peaceful place. Now Raina will stop at nothing to avenge her father and rescue her mother. Walt has been taking it easy in the jungles of Mexico for the last few years. Bringing down an alien mother-ship takes a lot out of a person. Now Walt's fame has pulled him back into the fight, but it's not clear which side he's been recruited for. It's not just humans versus aliens any longer. Another great tale of human perseverance and perversity. Post-apocalypse doesn't provide a lot of easy choices. Action, suspense, and more great characters. Very highly recommended.