Category Archives: Science Fiction

Free-Wrench by Joseph Lallo (@jrlallo)- Review

Title – Free-Wrench
Author – Joseph Lallo
Genre – Science Fiction, Steampunk
Length – 153 Pages
Publication – July 2014
My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The islands of Caldara are a shining jewel in a rather bleak world. A terrible calamity in the past had blanketed much of the world with a toxic “fug.” Those who survived were forced to take to the mountains and the skies in wondrous airships. Life has since been a struggle, with only the most ruthless and crafty able to survive. To spare themselves the same fate, the Calderans erected a battery of guns to fend off the airships of the mainland. They isolated themselves from the madness of the world, choosing instead to focus on the pursuits of art and creativity. Few believe the technologically advanced but socially barbarous outsiders have anything to offer. Amanita Graus, though, is hoping that they do.

Nita’s mother has lost her livelihood and perhaps soon her life to a terrible disease. Already the black sheep of the family for embracing engineering rather than art, Nita resolves to leave the safety of her home and do whatever it takes to find a cure. For a price, the bizarre crew of an airship called The Wind Breaker are willing to grant her a meeting with their mysterious benefactors, and thus a chance to procure the one thing with a chance to save her mother.

Free-Wrench follows Nita’s adventures in a steampunk world of airships and lunatics. Helping her in her journey are an eccentric crew of smugglers; the gruff Cap’n Mack, the simple but enthusiastic Lil and Coop, the arrogant marksman Gunner, the surly surgeon Butch, and the irritable mascot Wink. To survive and find what she seeks she’ll need to earn their trust, follow their rules, and meet face to face with the people who pull the strings of their society.

Review

I’ve had this book on my TBR list for a while and I thought it was about time I gave the author my attention. I’m very glad I did.

Free-Wrench follows Nita, she’s good with machines..I think she could probably fix anything given the time.

The book starts off giving a little background to Nita’s life..  she works in the steamworks which is a very demanding job and we quickly learn how good she is.

A couple of events happen that conspire to change her life forever. Her mother has an illness which can’t be cured and by chance see gets to meet some smugglers.. these smugglers know a lot about the world and know a cure is out there..but it will be a high price if they can get it for her at all.

Nita is happy to pay the price but doesn’t trust the smugglers so adds her services to the bargain in order to keep an eye on things.. this is when things quickly escalate.

Loyalties are tested, relationships forged in the heat of battle and secrets are revealed..It appears those who pull strings hold all the cards..but for how long?

This was a very enjoyable tale with airships and gun battles and one very interesting/fun and nosy lead character.

What made the tale even better was the crew of the airship, the Wind Breaker. Each have their own reason for being on board and we learn a little about each throughout the tale. The interactions between the characters is really what made me enjoy the book, fun at times then at others deathly serious.

This is a great introduction to a series which I fully intend to keep reading. I can only say I’m sorry it took me so long 🙂

It’s a fast paced, well written, easy flowing, wild ride of a tale suitable for young adults up and at 153 pages it won’t take you long to be hooked in.

Best of all you can pick the book up on Amazon for free!

Have a look and tell me what you make of it. Please do let me know if you’ve read the other books in the series, I’d love to know what you think of them.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

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As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko – Review

Title – As Wings Unfurl
Author – Arthur M. Doweyko
Genre – Science Fiction
Publication – July 2016
Pages – 234
My Rating – 3/5 Stars

Synopsis

Applegate Bogdanski returns from Vietnam with a missing leg, a Purple Heart, and an addiction to morphine. He stumbles through each day, looking forward to nothing and hoping it will arrive soon. When he attempts to thwart a crime, he is knocked unconscious and wakes up to discover that people are once again calling him a hero, though he feels undeserving of the praise. 

Apple returns to work and meets Angela, a mysterious woman who claims to be his guardian. Immediately, he feels a connection to her, which morphs into an attraction. But he soon discovers that Angela is much more than she seems. 

Apple and Angela are swept up in a conspiracy that stretches through time and space. Together, they must fight to save everything they hold dear from an alien race bent on destroying humanity.

Review

This book follows Apple.. he’s not had the best of times but he’s always managed to keep going.. and in this book we find out why. Angela has been with him.. watching..protecting as best she can.

After a murder and a robbery Angela is forced to reveal some truths to Apple. Angels exist and not all are intent on doing good.

It’s a good versus bad tale. We get introduced to some interesting good guys, one such is a Yeti! I loved the Meh-Teh and Shilog, They have a side story which converges with Apples and this is one part of the book that I really enjoyed.

I don’t want to give too much away but there’s a plot out there to remove humanity and start over..There’s a biblical feeling to events whereby one of the higher beings watching over us and our every movement has decided we have failed to live up to expectations and it’s time for a do over. 

I really liked the bad guy in this tale. I can’t spoil it but clearly they have some obvious issues, you never really know what you’re going to get with the character, like they could do anything and I loved the unpredictability of it.

The battle between the forces of good and bad was done pretty well, not graphic in details but the end fight had me hooked as to how things could end.

So you’ll want to know why it’s only a 3* star for me. Well it’s the relationships between the characters, mainly Apple and Angela. I know we are told Angela has been with Apple for years but as this is a fast paced tale I don’t think we had enough time to see or feel the relationship grow itself without it being pointed out to us. 

The major plus for this book is the plot itself along with the writing. It’s very easy to read and enjoyable and the plot keeps you hooked with multiple perspectives.

This book is perfect if you like the idea of a good versus bad Fantasy/Science Fiction vibe tale with fast paced writing.  An enjoyable quick and interesting read.  Enjoy the ride.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read and review their work.

The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by @EXO_Books – Review

Title – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln
Author – EXO Books
Genre – Science Fiction
Publication –Nov 2015
Pages – 133 Pages
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.

Review

Where do I start with this one.. wow.

This is a tough read..not in a bad way.. It’s tough read as I couldn’t help but feel sad reading the moving tale of of Captain Lincoln and his last day alive. I can honestly say I didn’t want to finish this one.. I didn’t want to him to go.

In the future a spaceship sets out to save humanity from society itself. Everyone aboard this ship has a role and plays their part. Everyone has some worth and respect.

It was decided some time ago that the ship just isn’t able to support ever increasing amounts of people.. so in the ultimate sacrifice when the oldest people on the ship turn eighty they make way for a new batch of children.

Everything is advanced compared to today but you can see the links. These people have access to the ships database just like we have access to the internet but they use it much more efficiently than we do.

It’s an emotional tale as we follow Lincoln as he goes through the motions of his last day. Sharing his thoughts with loved ones and also trying to explain death to the younger generation.

What really got me thinking with this book is simply how much we take for granted our lives. We just live day to day never knowing when it will end. How would you act if you knew exactly when you would die? It certainly makes you reflect on life.

The most moving bit has to be the fact he has a partner on board who is younger than him so he goes into his final sleep knowing she will be left behind and there’s an emotional scene between them towards the end of the book which really does bring a lump to the throat.

As we near the end of the tale my heart was heavy. I couldn’t help but wonder how I would say goodbye if I knew the end was coming and it really helped me connect with Lincoln.

I must say I loved the book but also the illustrations by Kimberley Hazen.

Definitely one to read but be warned you’ll want to give your nearest and dearest a hug afterwards.

A wonderful, thought provoking read that leaves you with a heavy heart. Beautiful.

I highly recommend you take a look at fellow reviewer’s opinion which I feel perfectly sums up the tale – click here to read the review from Liz @ Cover to Cover.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

The Dead God’s Shadow by @LeeCarlon – Review

Title – The Dead God’s Shadow
Author – Lee Carlon
Genre – Science Fiction
Publication – July 2013
Pages – 160 Pages Approx.
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Avril Ethanson has left Frake’s Peak and Lord Obdurin’s schemes behind. He hopes to find a member of his cadre at mysterious Lancity which was unaffected by the Cleansing. Unknown to Avril, there are forces waiting for him–Valan the Wolf and the Dead God’s priesthood–intent on using him and his connection to Lord Obdurin and Rhysin.

The Dead God’s Shadow is the third story in the Bastard Cadre series and continues where The Godslayers’ Legacy ended.

Review

This is book 3 in The Bastard Cadre series and for me it’s the best yet.

Yes I’m late to the party with this being released 3 years ago but these tales are absolute gems that need to be read.

We are back with Avril as he set outs from Frake’s Peak to get away from Lord Obdurin. I’m not sure Avril really knows what the plan is but he ends up heading towards Lancity where I can feel the connection of one of his cadre mates.

Lord Obdurin split Avril’s cadre up many years ago, the hope was to make them stronger when they eventually came together but with so many players in the game Avril really doesn’t know who to trust.. or what he really wants out of this whole mess of a situation.

I think the complex plot and motivations is really want makes this book as good as it is. You never know who to trust and with crazy Death Priests lurking in Lancity things aren’t looking good for Avril.

I really enjoyed the basic idea behind the series. Gods exist but pick a chosen one to manifest their will through. This chosen, like Lord Obdurin seem to know that the gods will does affect them but it’s not clear if they truly know how much. These chosen then have their cadre’s to serve and protect them and the loyalty they show just enforces the bonds created.

So far this is the best in the series. It develops Avril so much as the main focus is on him and it’s exactly what i was after.

This tale isn’t perfect and that’s what I love about it.. let me explain. A lot of books I read have a clear/perfect path set out, you may not know the ending when you start reading but by the end you find you’re not that surprised with the outcome.. with this series it’s so different.. it’s a true pleasure to read as you really don’t have any idea where the author will take things.. a refreshing dark, post-apocalyptic tale that has me hooked.

If I remember correctly the author billed this series as Science Fiction without the word count and I couldn’t agree more. The author packs so much into the tale, everything seems well covered and you are given such a good plot that quite frankly I couldn’t believe was under 200 pages.

I said it after I read the first book and I’ll say it again. For me this is a very highly underrated series that ticks all the boxes.

The only thing that could be improved on is the cover. While i like the simplicity of it, it doesn’t convey anything to the reader at first glance and without that hook you might just pass this beauty by.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Smashwords.

The Ares Weapon by D.M. Pruden (@prudenauthor) – Review

Title – The Ares Weapon
Author – D.M. Pruden
Genre – Science Fiction
Publication – 1st Oct 2016
Pages – 270
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

Armageddon is Up for Auction…

Dr. Melanie Destin’s life is a mess. In a desperate attempt to start over, she accepts an interplanetary salvage job that will pay her enough to rebuild a new life on Mars. When she learns the real purpose of the mission is to recover an apocalyptic virus, everything begins to unravel…

Planetary governments compete to control the pathogen which the expedition leader plans to steal. Meanwhile the corporation that hired her wants to eliminate anyone involved…

With her life in danger and not knowing who to trust, Mel must find a way to keep the virus out of the wrong hands. If she fails, billions will die…

The Ares Weapon, the first book in the Mars Ascendant Series, is a sci fi thriller about the consequences of humanity’s Mars colonization and effort to terraform the planet. If you like science fiction with a strong female lead character, ruthless villains and a page turning plot, you’ll love The Ares Weapon.

Review

This tale follows Melanie Destin, a Dr down on her luck.. who lands a job just when she needs it! Is this job too good to be true? And why all the bad luck??

A couple of the major plus points for this book are firstly, the twists. You’re never quite sure who is a good guy and who is bad. You only get the full picture when the author decides its time to reveal all. This had me guessing characters motivations so kept me really interested in the tale. Secondly the plot itself, the idea of a weaponised pathogen out there was great, I liked the idea there were multiple parties interested in retrieving the weapon and each had their reasons for doing so. I also loved the Nano tech employed in the tale.

This was a rather interesting read that improved the further on I got with it. I can’t put my finger on why but I never fully warmed to the main character Melanie.

I must admit I loved some of the other characters Agent 324 for a start.. devious, never quite knowing what he has planned.

Another idea the author explored was the mortality police which I found fascinating. In my opinion too many people lack morals in this world so the idea of a place where these people can be punished hooked me in.

The book has a decent word-count with a good amount of descriptiveness which in turn leads to a faster paced tale once the action gets going. This is non hard core science fiction.. the author has tackled the areas he wanted to and hasn’t got bogged down explaining every minute detail.

Overall it was a good read with just the right amount of descriptiveness vs plot to keep your brain engaged. I’d certainly like to see where this one goes that’s for sure. The author has left plenty strands of the tale available for the next book so it should be a good one!

This book would be good for anyone who hasn’t really tried Science Fiction before.. it’s not too in-depth which means it’s a nice easy and fun read

Have a look!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work.

Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton – ARC Review

Title – Rarity from the Hollow
Author – Robert Eggleton
Genre – Science Fiction
Length –   284 Pages
Publication – Nov 2015
My Rating – 2.5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn’t great. But Lacy has one advantage — she’s been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It’s up to her to save the Universe.

To prepare Lacy for her coming task, she is being schooled daily via direct downloads into her brain. Some of these courses tell her how to apply magic to resolve everyday problems much more pressing to her than a universe in big trouble, like those at home and at school. She doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her own family and friends come first.

Will Lacy Dawn’s predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family?

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. It is a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.

Robert Eggleton’s humorous science fantasy follows in the steps of Douglas Adams, Tom Holt and Terry Pratchett.

Review

What have I just read? This must be the craziest book I’ve ever seen touching multiple topics and genres.

This definitely isn’t a quick and easy read, it’s very much a in-depth tale that needs your undivided attention.

I’m going to be honest straightaway.. some of the talk in the book just made me uncomfortable, Lacy Dawn talking like girl much older than she is..it was a little hard to read. I have to admit even though this wasn’t for me I do understand why the author chose to go down the track he has.. I felt like he wanted me to be disturbed by events in the book.. the things that happen aren’t supposed to make you laugh … this book makes you open your eyes a little to some tough subjects

One of the things I really did enjoy about this book was the author’s style of writing with the inner thoughts of the characters being shown..it made for an interesting read since I believe we all think things we don’t actually ever plan to say out loud

Another thing this book really has going for it is the utter surprise factor.. I guarantee you that you’ve read nothing like this before and chapter to chapter you’ll have no idea what will happen next. A refreshing change I must admit.

The main thing to remember with this book is that it’s not about enjoying the tale.. it’s about raising important issues and leaving an impression on the reader.. I’ll not forget this one that’s for sure

If you’re looking for something thought-provoking and different then this is the book for you

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Omnilogos: Extended Edition by Michele Amitrani – Review

Title – Omnilogos: Extended Edition
Author – Michele Amitrani
Genre – Science Fiction
Length –   246 Pages
Publication – October 2015
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

“I am a collector of hopes and peregrine truths, a shepherd of thoughts, ideas, projects and dreams too important not to be realized. I’m an abstract concept that has no body, no smell, no boundaries, no shape and no color. I am the Omnilogos.” So it is forged, a Science Fiction saga that gave birth to a legend, a tale about the life of a man with one project that will change mankind’s future forever. Ten stories about his life, his sorrow, and his quest to gather the resources and the people needed to claim our place among the stars. This is Wei’s story. This is the world of the Omnilogos. New Extended Edition! With extra material including an additional chapter plus an exclusive sneak preview of the upcoming sequel Pelargonium, book two of the Omnilogos Series!     

Review

This book was a complete mystery to me when I started it, the synopsis doesn’t give away much..

What I read turned out to be a well-crafted story revolving around Wei. He’s the Omnilogos. He’s special.. he knows a lot.. and knows how to get answers he needs. He’s also very adept at changing the course of the future using his skills.

After the first few chapters I was still a little lost as to what the plot of the story was but I stuck to it… and I’m glad I did. What I initially rated at 3/5 stars at around 50% through turned into a 4 star by the end of the book.. how everything fit together towards the end and a very explosive scene involving Wei pushed this book up the ratings in my opinion

The plot is a slow burner.. Wei is influencing events around him in order to reach his intended outcome over a period of years, the book jumps further in time as you go. To start with it was a little hard to get my bearings but once I started to understand Wei a little more I settled down and really enjoyed this

There are quite a few characters in this book and due to time passing quickly you don’t get a lot of development with any of them except Wei but all of these characters have a role which plays out nicely at the end. This is Wei’s story.. no one else’s.

Wei was a fascinating character, it’s hard to explain why but his abilities and superior intellect with childish naivety were brilliant.. he acted like those around him just didn’t see the big picture forgetting he was the only one who truly knows what he is trying to achieve. He likes to only give away the essential information required to get the results.. no more no less.

Overall this was a unique tale for me, interesting but slow to evolve. If it sounds interesting to you give it a go but make sure you give it the time it deserves.. it’s not a quick/easy read..you need to digest this one to fully enjoy it

Here’s hoping you agree with me 🙂

Final thought – Would I read the next book in the series..Yes! I feel like this is the first book when I really had no idea what would happen next.. as for the next book i have no idea what could happen at all..and for that reason I need to read it!

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com