Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gears of a Mad God - Brent Nichols

Gears of a Mad God is a Steampunk Lovecraft Adventure. This book is free for the kindle. This is the first in a series of books based in the early 1920s. Steam was still king. The Lovecraft connection is tenuous.

Colleen Garman is not a proper young lady. She like to dig into the gears and the grease, and get her hands dirty. When Colleen's uncle Roderick dies she makes the three day trip to Vancouver. Roderick was her last living relative, and she feels compelled to put his affairs in order. What Colleen finds in Vancouver will change her life forever. Colleen is about to be embroiled in kidnapping, cults, and murder. A fairly short book, but long on adventure. Highly recommended.

Angel's Ink - Jocelynn Drake

Angel's Ink is the first book in the Asylum Tales. This book is $8.89 for the kindle, but was free when I downloaded it. Tattoos are more than just decoration in this world. Sometimes too much more.

Gage runs a tattoo parlor called Asylum. His two employees are Trixie and Bronx. Trixie is an elf and Bronx is a troll. Of course Gage is a warlock who gave up the life. Right off you know this isn't a normal tattoo parlor. Gage takes on a tattoo job that takes a turn for the worse. Gage is going to have to die to fix this problem, or die if he doesn't. His life is full of tough choices. This is an excellent story. It gets a bit racy at times, so it's not for kids. It is a great romp through a world where magic is normal and staying out of trouble is just not an option for Gage. Too bad the sequel isn't free or I'd be reading it already. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Storybound - Marissa Burt

Storybound is $6.83 for the kindle. It was free when I downloaded it. For all those readers who imagine themselves as part of the story, this book might change your mind about that being a good thing.

Una Fairchild has been shuffled from one foster home to another since she was too little to remember. When she finds a book titled "The Tale of Una Fairchild," she has to read it. That's when she finds herself pulled into the story. The question is how does she get out? Especially when she's confronted with an angry dragon. This is an excellent young adult or younger book. Be aware it has a steep cliff hanger at the end as there is a sequel to this book. Highly recommended.

Black Hole Sun - David Macinnis Gill

Black Hole Sun is $6.64 for the kindle. It was free when I downloaded it. This is a science fiction shoot 'em up in the classic tradition.

Durango is a chief regulator. Mars is a tough place to survive, much less live, and the regulators are supposed to be the good guys. Durango shares his body with an AI named Mimi. This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "talking to yourself." Durango's second in command is Vienne, and if anything she's tougher than Durango. Their mission is to keep a mining colony from being overrun by the cannibalistic Draeu. This mission is going to be a challenge that could eat them alive. This is a great book. Plenty of action and some great characters. Very highly recommended.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Discovery of Socket Greeny - Tony Bertauski

The Discovery of Socket Greeny is free for the kindle. This is definitely a book for young adults, but I enjoyed reading it. If you're a gamer it should be right up your alley.

Socket Greeny is just a high school kid. Socket and his friends like hanging out in virtualmode. One day Socket begins to see things in virtualmode that his friends can't. This is when Socket finds out he's special in a way he never imagined. Socket is special in a way that may help him save the world. Interesting twists and turns, but like lots of teenage stories there is way too much angst. Still highly recommended.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Penal Colony - Richard Herley

The Penal Colony is $3.99 for the kindle. It was free when I downloaded it. Think Lord of the Flies, but with adults. This is a book I didn't want to put down.

Anthony John Routledge was convicted of a rape and murder he didn't commit. He's resigned to prison, but he wakes up one summer day to find he's been declared a Category Z and transported to the island penal colony of Sert. Sert is the worst of Britain's illegal penal colonies. Routledge realizes his life is over. There is no return from Sert. The question is can he adjust to life on the island? First he has to survive his initiation, which is literally kill or be killed. This is an excellent book. Very highly recommended.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dire Means - Geoffrey Neil

Dire Means is $2.99 for the kindle, but free for Amazon prime members. This book explores just how far you can stretch the end justifying the means.

Mark Denny is a computer technician. He works for himself and has clients all over the Santa Monica area. Mark is also a good guy. He's a vegetarian because he's against killing. He helps people that need help, including the homeless. Mark is about to become a hero, and that's not a good thing.

People are disappearing in Santa Monica. Vanishing into thin air it seems. These people all have one thing in common. They're rude, bordering on cruel, to homeless people. Mark gets caught up in this wave of kidnappings and murders, and the question is, can he stop the people responsible before he becomes another casualty in their grand scheme. The degree to which Mark is a whiny liberal do-gooder detracts from the story, but the suspense kept me reading. The ending was worth the effort. Highly recommended.

Dark Matter - Brett Adams

Dark Matter is $2.99 for the kindle. It was free when I downloaded the book. You have to keep your eyes open. Super powers come in many different forms.

Rasputin Lowdermilk is ready to commit suicide. He's on the way to kill himself when he's hit by a car. When Rasputin, or Monk as his friends call him, comes out of his coma he discovers his mind has changed in ways he can't explain. Monk can remember everything he's ever seen or heard, and his mind keeps changing.

Gottfried Schürmann was a Nazi in WWII. When he wakes up in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, in the present day, Gottfried, or Cain as he calls himself, finds he's managed to survive decades of hibernation, and gained new powers that few humans have ever mastered. Cain intends to master them.

What these two men have in common is hard to follow at first, but the answers are woven into this tale. This book starts out slow, but builds to a very satisfying ending. Highly recommended.

Superhero - Victor Methos

Superhero is a thriller with a twist. This book is $3.99 for the kindle, but free for Amazon prime members. Imagine a super villain shows up in town. How do you get a super hero to thwart the villain? Read this book and find out.

Jack Kane retired from the DEA. Jack decided his family and sanity were more important than keeping a trickle of drugs from people who were clamoring for it. Just as Jack is starting to adjust to civilian life again, Agamemnon shows up, the eight foot tall bullet proof leader of the Myrs gang. Jack is caught in the middle of a gang battle and decides someone has to stop the Myrs and Agamemnon. Jack has no idea what kind of effort on his part that's going to take. The story has lots of action and thrills, but the end is totally hokey and will remind you of Star Wars at it's worst. Read it and you'll see what I mean. Highly recommended.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Read For Free

Reading is my favorite pastime. At least when the weather doesn't permit fishing. I like to read for free and I'm going to tell you how. If you live close to a library you can read for free simply by getting a library card. If no libraries are close, the internet gives you lots of choices. I'll demonstrate two.

The kindle is Amazon's version of an ereader. It's the one I prefer. The Amazon website lists free kindle apps for just about any device you can imagine. Phones, tablets, laptops, and PCs are all covered, in all the major systems from Apple to Windows. You can download an app for your favorite device and you have a free ereader for kindle books.

The nook is Barnes & Nobles version of an ereader. The Barnes & Noble website has a list of free nook apps that let you read nook books for lots of devices. Not as many as the kindle, but they probably have you covered. Download one and you have a free ereader for nook books. But how much are the books you say? Well, there are tons of free books too. It's easy to find them if you know a simple trick. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble allow you to search their ebooks by genre. For Amazon, you select kindle store for the search, type science fiction in the search box, and click on Go (click on the pictures to open them up and see the whole screen capture):

You can see from this screen shot that there are over 77K results. The sort was by "new and popular" so this search finds books that cost money. You can change that easily. Just change the sort by to "price: low to high." Now you see free books. For this search on Amazon the first 15 pages of results (240 books) were free. I stopped clicking next at that point.

The Barnes & Noble website works the same way. Select NOOK Books as your area to search, type science fiction in the search box, and click on Search.

The default sort criteria is "top matches" so these books cost money too. Just change the sort by to "price - low to high" and you see the free books. Barnes & Noble shows over 96K results for this search and the first 240 results are free here as well. Again, I stopped hitting next at that point:

So if you like to read, but you don't like to spend money, this is one way to go. Granted, some free books are stinkers, but they're free. Check the reviews and see how many stars a book has before you download it. You can always stop reading after the first chapter and you're not wasting any money.

I've been reading ebooks for years. I buy a paper book once in a while, but most of the time they just sit and collect dust. My kindle, nook, tablet, and computers are the way I read these days.

If you have any questions just leave me comments and I'll try to answer them.

Good reading.