Saturday, May 21, 2016

Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard - Lawrence M. Schoen

Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard is science fiction like nothing else I've read. Future history indeed.
Jorl is a Fant historian. He's also a Speaker. Jorl is only the second Speaker in history to also have an Aleph. Jorl's problem right now is that he thinks he's detected The Silence, that obscure prediction from Margda's prophecy. Margda was the first Speaker, and the only other Speaker to earn an Aleph. The question is, what will Jorl do about The Silence?

This story has an amazing cast of characters. Most of which have fur. Imagine a future so far distant, that the remaining sapient beings in the galaxy all evolved from mammals that roamed Earth ages ago. Welcome to Barsk and the other worlds in the Alliance. And did I mention time travel, sort of? There are some books that you don't want to finish. This is one of them. Especially when there isn't a sequel...yet! Very very highly recommended.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

InterGalactic Medicine Show Issue 49

InterGalactic Medicine Show Issue 49 is a collection of stories and articles related to fantasy and science fiction. This is an online magazine I subscribe to. It's good stuff.
This issue has real winners. I enjoyed Souls are Like Livers. Going Green was good, and kind of scary if you know any greeniacs. The Soul Mate Requirement was great but sad. That's what happens when the government is in charge of things that are not their business. And Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard was just a taste of a full novel, but the taste was so good I bought the book. If you like science fiction and fantasy, this magazine comes very highly recommended.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Hunter's Prayer - Kevin Wignall

The Hunter's Prayer is a stand-alone novel about losing family and gaining family. And not the way you think. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
Ella Hatto is enjoying an evening in Tuscany with her boyfriend Chris, sitting at an outdoor cafe and sipping drinks. Then Ella spots someone sitting at another cafe. Someone she remembers seeing in Rome and Florence. Was he following them? It turns out Lucas was, and it's a good thing. Ella is about to have the adventure of her young life, and it won't be a good adventure. This is a twisty tale of life and death that has an intense and disturbing, but good ending. Highly recommended.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Extreme Prey - John Sandford

Extreme Prey is the 26th novel in the the Prey series, featuring Lucas Davenport. It just came out on April 26th.
In the last Prey novel Lucas quit law enforcement. He's been busy working on his cabin on the lake, but not busy enough. When the governor calls him about a potential assassination plot, Lucas is more than willing to give up carpentry for investigating. The twist is the target of the plot is the governor's political rival. Lucas first has to determine if the plot is for real. Then he has to find the conspirators and stop them.

This is a riveting book. I was up past 02:00 both nights it took me to finish. If I could read novels like this all the time I might never get anything done. Very highly recommended, as are all of Sandford's books.

The Queen's Poisoner - Jeff Wheeler

The Queen's Poisoner is the first novel in the Kingfountain series. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
King Severn Argentine is a ruthless ruler. He's been know to take his noble's children as hostages against their loyalty. The Duke of Kiskaddon thought King Severn was fighting a losing battle, and failed to ride to his aid fast enough. His oldest son was executed for his lapse. Now eight year old Owen, the youngest Kiskaddon heir, has become the new hostage. Owen has to find a way to survive in the king's castle, and his unlikely allies are the cook, an eight year old girl, and the queen's poisoner. This is a great tale with great characters, and a bittersweet but great ending. Very highly recommended.

The Legend of Devil's Creek - D. C. Alexander

The Legend of Devil's Creek is a stand-alone murder mystery. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
I only finished this book because I had to find out who done it. This novel almost put me off reading altogether. It had an exciting premise. A serial killer from the past could be back from the dead to repeat their brutal revenge murders. Unfortunately, the author chose a pack of college philosophy students as his main characters. They spent more time on their collective angst than the murder or the mystery. I actually dreaded to pick up the book at times. This is definitely not recommended, unless you're trying to kill your love for reading with a stake through the heart.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Last Librarian - Brandt Legg

The Last Librarian is the first novel in the Justar Journal series. This book is 99 cents for the kindle.
Runit Happerman is the last librarian. Runit works in the last library left in the world. Runit and the library are in the city of Portland in the Oregon Area. There are not states since there is no United States of America in the post-Banoff world. Now the Aylantik Government has decided to close Runit's library. Runit isn't going to let that happen.

This book wasn't that long, but it seemed like very long. I couldn't seem to take more than 30 minutes at a time. There was no compelling anything in this book. There was more angst and retrospection than any YA novel I've ever read though. I had to finish, because the post-apocalypse world Runit lived in was interesting, but I should have given up when I first started skimming to get past his whiny ruminations.

SPOILER ALERT. To make it even worse, most of the interesting characters were killed before this book was finished. I can't imagine what takes place in the next two in books in the series. I don't recommend this book, period.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chosen - Mark E. Cooper

Chosen is the second novel in the Rune Gate Cycle series. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
At the end of Rune Gate, Alex and and her group went through the rune gate to the planet of Othala. Othala was home to Douglas, but the first thought the others had was how to get back to Earth. Magic was accepted, and even took the place of technology on Othala. They would have to travel this new world and find another Rune Gate that was not destroyed. It would be an adventure, and not all would survive. The ending is about as close to perfect as an ending can get though. Very highly recommended.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Rune Gate - Mark E. Cooper

Rune Gate is the first novel in the Rune Gate Cycle series. This book was free for the kindle. This book is also available through kindleunlimited.
Alexandra Yorke is a witch. While Alex lived in L.A. she worked with police as a clairvoyant, but witch is what she is. Now Alex has moved back home to Lassen County. She lives on her farm, away from people. This provides Alex the peace she needs.

When Alex's friend Jenn calls with a murder case, Alex reluctantly agrees to see if she can help. This case is more than just a murder though. Alex and her friends are about to find magic is more than they ever dreamed, and spans worlds they didn't know existed. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Nine Lives - Tom Barber

Nine Lives is the first novel in the Sam Archer series. This book was free when I downloaded it. It's now $3.79 for the kindle.
At 26, Sam Archer is the youngest member of the newly formed British counter-terrorist squad known as the Armed Response Unit (ARU). It's New Years Eve. A group of nine terrorists, who were being tracked by another agency, have disappeared. The ARU is one of the groups currently hunting them. Can Sam and the ARU find them before the terrorists spread death and disaster in a celebrating London? If not it's going to be a bloody New Year. Plenty of suspense and action. This is a book that's hard to put down. Very highly recommended.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Lockdown - Sean Black

Lockdown is the first novel in the Ryan Lock series. This book was free when I downloaded it. It's now $3.82 for the kindle.
Ryan Lock is ex-military. He served in the close protection unit of the British Royal Military Police. Ryan's current job is head of Meditech corporation's close protection team. Specifically guarding Nicholas Van Straten, the company CEO, from animal rights protesters. Ryan's going to discover that protecting Van Straten is quite a job. It turns out that protesters are the least of Ryan's worries. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Hunter/Prey - Sam Sisavath

Hunter/Prey is the first novel in the Allie Krycek series. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
Allie Krycek lost her sister to a serial killer ten years ago. Allie is out for revenge. She's been working on revenge for ten long years. Allie needs to remember what Confucius said, "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." This is action and suspense from beginning to end. I already added the second book in the series to my queue. Very highly recommended.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Harmony Black - Craig Schaefer

Harmony Black is the first novel in the Harmony Black series. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
Harmony Black is an FBI agent. She's also a practicing witch. When Harmony gets recruited to join the Vigilant Lock team, she's not sure what that's going to mean. All the criminals Vigilant Lock investigates are classified as Hostile Entities. They don't go to prison, they disappear.

Five years later Harmony is pulled in by the Critical Incident Response Group. They're investigating Hostile Entity 17. The team is heading to Harmony's childhood home town of Talbot Cove. They're going to find the Bogeyman. Harmony has already met him.

This is a great story with an amazing cast of characters. The good guys and the bad guys. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fire Touched - Patricia Briggs

Fire Touched is the ninth novel in the Mercy Thompson series.
Mercy is fully recovered from her last adventure. Considering she was almost dead, she's doing good. Now the pack has to stop a fae monster that's eating cars on the cable bridge over the Columbia river. Mercy's life is always interesting. What's more interesting is who comes to help. Someone who can either start or stop a war between the humans and the fae. Someone who needs the pack for protection. Another great adventure. Very highly recommended.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Monster Hunter International - Larry Correia

Monster Hunter International is the first novel in the Monster Hunters International series. This book is free for the kindle.
Owen Zastava Pitt was an accountant until he killed his supervisor. He got fired for that and had to change professions. Now Owen is working on a romance, learning to kill monsters, and saving the world. Talk about a life style change. This book is quite long, but you don't really notice. That says a lot about the story. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Redemption Song - Craig Schaefer

Redemption Song is the second novel in the Daniel Faust series. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
Dealing with the devil, or one of his infernal princes, is a dangerous business. To keep his demon girlfriend, Daniel Faust has to kill an innocent priest. Daniel is not a saint, but this is going too far. Through many twists and turns, Daniel does his best to keep Caitlin, and save the priest. Adventures galore. Very highly recommended.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Long Way Down - Craig Schaefer

The Long Way Down is the first novel in the Daniel Faust series. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
Daniel Faust is a sorcerer for hire. When times are slow, Daniel does magic tricks for tourists. Daniel is not a real successful sorcerer. Then Daniel is hired to figure out what happened to an old man's dead granddaughter. What he discovers is a plot to jump-start the Apocalypse. Daniel has his work cut out for himself. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Ninth Step - Mark Dawson

The Ninth Step is the eighth novel in the John Milton series. This book was just published last month. I have that sinking feeling you get when you've finished the last published work in a series, and you know you're going to have a long wait before you can read another. Sigh.
John is back in England and working as a cook in a cabman's shelter. No matter what he does, trouble seems to find John. When a cabbie that John met at AA needs some help, John tried to give it. Before long John is juggling a rogue ex-military hit squad and a vicious family of criminals. Never a boring moment. Very highly recommended.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Headhunters - Mark Dawson

Headhunters is the seventh novel in the John Milton series.
A sheep station in the Australian outback is about as far from civilization as you can get. John figures he's pretty safe now. Unfortunately, Avi, the ex-Mossad agent, just can't seem to let the whole revenge thing go. Trouble is coming, and John isn't the only person who's going to be in it. Very highly recommended.

Tarantula - Mark Dawson

Tarantula is a novella from the John Milton Series. There's no real sequence to this story. It takes place when John is still Number Eight.
When Number Three fails to report, Control send John out to see what's going on. The effort to prune a particularly pernicious branch of the Italian mafia seems to have hit a snag. All in a day's work for John. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Salvation Row - Mark Dawson

Salvation Row is the sixth novel in the John Milton Series.
John Milton was on a "cleaning" job in New Orleans when Katrina came to town. Now some people who helped John then, and saved his partner's life, need his help. Someone with way too much money is about to find out that there are things money can't buy. John is one of them. Very highly recommended.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Sword of God - Mark Dawson

The Sword of God is the fifth novel in the John Milton Series.
John Milton has been hiking, hitching, and camping for days. He's deep into the upper peninsula, the weather is terrible, and John wants a hot meal and a warm place to sleep. The sheriff of Truth Michigan has other plans. He picks John up, and drops him off on the other side of town, with a warning to stay out of Truth. John walks back. He probably should have kept going. John's caught up in more trouble than he could imagine, and that's a lot. At one point John's got the local law, the state police, the FBI, and the National Guard hunting him. Not to mention the Sword of God. Very highly recommended.

Ghosts - Mark Dawson

Ghosts is the fourth novel in the John Milton Series.
John Milton wasn't always Number One. When John started out as Number Twelve, Beatrix Rose was Number One. Beatrix made the mistake of looking where she shouldn't have, and Beatrix disappeared. Now John has been dragged into finding her because someone needs what she shouldn't have looked at. This adventure takes John from Texas, to Russia, to Hong Kong, and back to England. This book ruined my naps for two days. You can't even get sleepy reading a book this good. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Driver - Mark Dawson

The Driver is the third novel in the John Milton Series.
John made it out of Mexico. Now he's driving a taxi and hauling ice in San Francisco. John is content with his work and his meetings. Then John drives a pretty young woman to a party. It turns out the woman is a prostitute and the party is a setup. When the woman disappears John has to try and make it right. Before he's done making it right, a lot of people are dead. It's hard for John to atone for his past sins, when he keeps repeating them. Very highly recommended.

Saint Death - Mark Dawson

Saint Death is the second novel in the John Milton Series.
John made it out of England and to South America. He's been working his way north for about six months. John just got a job as a cook in a restaurant in Juárez Mexico. Juárez is called Murder City. It's not long before John is caught up in the chaos. Can he survive and save the woman he's decided to take responsibility for? The question is how many people will John have to kill to do it. Another great thriller. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Cleaner - Mark Dawson

The Cleaner is the first novel in the John Milton Series. It's hard to retire from being an assassin.
John Milton is the best assassin in the top secret British organization Group Fifteen. John is known as Number One. John started his carrier as Number Twelve. That was ten years ago, and now John is having second thoughts. Second thoughts are not acceptable in Group Fifteen. John failed to kill a witness to his last assignment, even though that witness was a five year old boy. Now he's on his own. John's going to try and make up for some of the damage he's done. The trouble is Group Fifteen is now targeting John. This book gets bogged down a bit, but picks back up at the end. It's a great start to a new series. Highly recommended.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

1000 Yards - Mark Dawson

1000 Yards is a novella in the John Milton Series. This book is free for the kindle.
John Milton is an assassin. John is a government sanctioned assassin, but his job is still killing people. When North Korea gets too ambitious with their cyber warfare efforts, John is sent to convince them to back off. John's very persuasive with a sniper rifle. Short but very good. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Chronothon - Nathan Van Coops

The Chronothon is the second novel in the Time Travel Adventure series. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
Ben thought he'd had the most adventure he could stand as a time traveler. Wrong! Ben has been tricked into a running in a chronothon. This is the time travel equivalent of a marathon, but with guns and dying and other dangerous stuff. You didn't think it got more dangerous than dying, did you?

I really like this book, but it's one of those headache inducing brain twisters at times (pun intended). It took me a while, but it was worth it. It had some bad endings, but also a good one. You'll have to read it to understand that. After all, the true nature of time is a fractal. Very highly recommended.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

In Times Like These - Nathan Van Coops

In Times Like These is a the first novel in the Time Travel Adventure series. This book is free for the kindle.
Benjamin Travers works on boats at a marina in St. Petersburg Florida. Ben also plays in a Wednesday night softball league. When Ben and some friends on his softball team are hit by lightening, they wake up confused. The good news is Ben and his friends weren't seriously hurt. The bad news is they were zapped back in time to 1985. The lightening strike took place during an experiment by the St. Petersburg Temporal Studies Society. How Ben and his group survive, and some of them eventually get back to their homes in 2009, is a great story. Very highly recommended.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Last Airship - Christopher Cartwright

The Last Airship is a Sam Reilly book. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
Sam Reilly is rich. So rich he never worries about what anything will cost. Yet Sam is an ex-navy seal and works the salvage end of his father's shipping business. Very believable. Sam is being hunted because he came into some information that other rich people want to suppress. Sam uses this information to thwart the plans of the other rich people. Sam falls in love while he's doing it. Blah blah blah. I finished the book. I won't read any more in this series, if the author decides to write some. Barely recommended.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dear Departed - Enes Smith

Dear Departed is the second novel in the Serial Killer Chronicles. This book was free when I downloaded it. This book is still available through kindleunlimited.
The author's has an annoying tendency to leave little spoilers to future events at the end of chapters. This almost made me stop reading this book before I got a good start. I won't be reading more in the series. There are too many good books out there to waste time reading ones that annoy you.

That said, this is an engaging story. Homicide Sergeant Natalie Collins is the unknowing target of a serial killer. Unfortunately, her sister was staying with her and the killer got the wrong woman. Now Natalie has to find the killer, while she's the main suspect in her own sister's murder.

And then there's Daniel McClellan Harris. He saved Natalie's life, but he's on the run for murder too. Natalie trusts him, but should she? Together they will do their best to bring down the killer. It had a good ending anyway. Recommended.

Friday, January 1, 2016

A Death in Sweden - Kevin Wignall

A Death in Sweden is a spy thriller with a great ending. This book was free as a Kindle First selection for December. It's now $5.99.
Dan Hendricks is a free agent now. Dan is an expert at finding people who don't want to be found. Usually bad people. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. The CIA and other agencies around the world use people like Dan. Now someone in the CIA is trying to kill all the free agents that could be tracked back to them. Dan is on the list. Dan's going to have to find a way to stop them. Permanently. This is a great spy thriller. Plenty of mysteries to solve, bad guys to eliminate, and a little romance. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Zimmer Doctrine - C. G. Cooper

The Zimmer Doctrine is the eleventh novel in the Corps Justice series. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
It's been almost six months, and Cal still hasn't recovered from the loss of his cousin. When he does, it's time to get back to work, and as usual the president has some serious work to do. Once again Cal and the Jefferson Group are going to have to save the world. This time is a power hungry sadistic billionaire the world needs saving from. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Catalyst - Michael C. Grumley

Catalyst is the third novel in the Breakthrough series. First read Breakthrough and Leap. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
Alison, John, Caesare, and the standard cast of characters, are about to find more than they could imagine, and after the last two adventures that's hard to believe. John is busy trying to chase down the last bit of DNA that the Chinese took from Guyana. Alison is trying to discover where her dolphins healing powers originate. Caesare, along with a host of bad guys, is trying to find the Capuchin monkey named Dexter. All these threads come together with more adventures and more science. I can't wait to see what happens next. Unfortunately, it's not published yet! Very highly recommended.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Leap - Michael C. Grumley

Leap is the second novel in the Breakthrough series. Read Breakthrough first. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
After the events in Breakthrough, John continues to investigate for the Navy, but it's hard to get excited about electronic glitches after portals to another world. Then John is sent to investigate a Russian submarine that's been captured by Brazil.

Alison has relocated her research to Puerto Rico. Alison and her team are expanding their IMIS technology to include primates. They're facilitating communications between researcher DeeAnn Draper and her young gorilla. Then the opportunity arises for DeeAnn and her gorilla to help on a search for one of DeeAnn's old friends.

John's investigation in Brazil eventually converges with DeeAnn's search. Just in time from DeeAnn's perspective. What they find in the South American jungle makes the ring they found in the Caribbean seem trivial. Another great science adventure. Very highly recommended.

Breakthrough - Michael C. Grumley

Breakthrough is the first novel in the Breakthrough series. This book is available through kindleunlimited.
Commander John Clay is an Electronics and Signaling investigator for the Department of Naval Investigations. When a nuclear sub in the Caribbean seems to have jumped 15 miles off course, John is called in to figure out how it happened.

Alison Shaw is a marine biologist. Alison and her team are getting ready to initiate the first two-way communications between humans and dolphins.

Kathryn Lokke is the directory of the United States Geological Survey. Kathryn is currently concerned with the geological stability of Antarctica. A serious earthquake near the Ronne ice shelf may indicate it's going to collapse.

As this tale progresses the efforts of John, Alison, and Kathryn converge. They've discovered something new, exciting, and dangerous. This is a great story. It has all the science, suspense, and danger you could ask for. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The D'Karon Apprentice - Joseph Lallo

The D'Karon Apprentice is the fourth novel in the Book Of Deacon series. The first three books in the series, The Book of Deacon, The Great Convergence, and The Battle of Verril, must be read before this one. You could even read the prequel, The Rise of the Red Shadow, and the follow-on novelette Jade, before reading this story. They're all worth the time spent.
The Perpetual War is over and the D'Karon have been defeated. Six months of an unsteady peace have passed. Word has recently spread from the Tressor lands to the south that magic is being used. Before these rumors disturb the fragile peace, Deacon, Myranda, and Myn are dispatched south to investigate. Perhaps a D'Karon was missed. Or perhaps something just as bad or worse has awakened. Another great adventure with magic, dragons, and all manner of monsters. Very highly recommended indeed.