Noir Fatale ★★★★☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Noir Fatale
Editors: Larry Correia & Kacey Ezell
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 296
Words: 120.5K



Synopsis:

A collection of short stories that are all femme fatale themed in some or other. Here is the table of contents, ie, the list of stories with their authors:

AIN’T NO SUNSHINE: Christopher L. Smith and Michael J. Ferguson

RECRUITING EXERCISE: David Weber

SPOILS OF WAR: Kacey Ezell

THE PRIVILEGES OF VIOLENCE: Steve Diamond

A GODDESS IN RED: Griffin Barber

KURO: Hinkley Correia

SWEET SEDUCTION: Laurell K. Hamilton

A STRING OF PEARLS: Alistair Kimble

HONEY FALL: Sarah A. Hoyt

THREE KATES: Mike Massa

WORTH THE SCARS OF DYING: Patrick M. Tracy

THE FROST QUEEN: Robert Buettner

BOMBSHELL: Larry Correia

My Thoughts:

At 4stars, I obviously enjoyed this. Unfortunately, much like in Correia’s Monster Hunter Files, there was ONE story that just annoyed the viss and pinegar out of me. So let me get that out of the way then I’ll go into all the good stuff.

Exactly like MHF, there was one urban fantasy story from a long running series. Unlike Jane Yellowrock, Anita Blake managed to annoy me in a new way. Where Jane was an asshole with an attitude, Blake was a completely competent, beautiful and “everything else” woman, with such huge inadequacy issues that THEY were as big as Yellowrock’s attitude. You want to write that in your novels, to your target audience of women, go for it. But packing in a whole novels worth of feelings of inadequacy into a short story? While I was never going to read anything by Hamilton anyway, that story cemented that determination. It was well written, I actually liked the premise, but my goodness, the “feelinz” just about made me gag.

The other stories on the other hand, I pretty much enjoyed across the board. My favorite though, was the one by Correia. It is a Grimnoir story set in the 1950’s and my guess is it is being used like Detroit Christmas was, ie, to introduce the main character of the new Grimnoir trilogy that Correia has promised is on its way. Grimnoir Chronicles is my favorite by Correia and once the new trilogy is completed, I’ll re-read the original and dive into the new. I am very excited about that prospect, even if it is years down the road. I’ve waited this long, I can wait some more.

Each story has a femme in some sort of pivotal role. Not always front and center, but without them, the story would simply fall apart. I’d never heard of Ezell before, but after this I’ll probably go check out what else she has written to see if it aligns with my tastes. She was the driving force behind this anthology and since I enjoyed it so much I’m hoping I like her full length novels.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Target Rich Environment, Vol. 2 (TRE #2) ★★★★½

tre2 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Target Rich Environment, Vol. 2
Series: TRE #2
Author: Larry Correia
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 450
Words: 122K

 

Synopsis:

From Amazon

“Tokyo Raider” pits giant robots against very big monsters in the Grimnoir Universe. “The Testimony of the Traitor Ratul,” set in the Saga of the Forgotten Warrior series, lets a man who has been called a fanatical rebel, despicable murderer, and heretical traitor tell his side of the story. And “Reckoning Day” gives an insider view into the day-to-day life of some of the most popular characters from the Monster Hunter International series.

Plus, stories set in the world of both Aliens and Predator; an Agent Franks /Joe Ledger mash- up cowritten by best-selling author Jonathan Maberry; a V-Wars story; a story set in Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold series—and more.

Finally, Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent, is back in “A Murder of Manatees,” appearing in print for the first time!

Me

Tokyo Raider

Testimony of the Traitor Ratul

Shooter Ready

Three Sparks

Reckoning Day

Weaponized Hell

Son of Fire, Son of Thunder

Episode 22

Absence of Light

Psych Eval

Musings of a Hermit

Instruments of War

Murder of Manatees

My Thoughts:

Just like the previous volume, this was loads of fun! Definitely a contender for Best Book of the Year.

My two complaints first, hence the docking of a ½star. One of the novellas, Instruments of War, is set in some other franchise fiction universe and went on just a bit too long for my taste. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t to my taste. Secondly, the Tom Stranger novella wasn’t quite as funny as the first one. So those are really my only “complaints”.

I was really glad to FINALLY read Tokyo Raider. It has been audio only for years and I am not going to pay $10 for a novella on audio, or join Audible and use one of my promo credits for a novella. No one had even bothered to transcribe it and release it into the wild either. So I was pleased as punch to get to it. It wasn’t the greatest story, but I’ll take anything Grimnoir at the moment.

Three Sparks was a Predator versus Samurai story. After the abomination of a movie that was AVP, it was great to get a Predator story that was good.

Reckoning Day was a fun little MHI story about the orcs and how Shelly the female gunslinger is introduced. I’d never heard of her so I’m wondering if she is in some of the non-book stuff or in the new book, Guardian which is a collab between Correia and Sarah Hoyt.

Finally, I also enjoyed Weaponized Hell, a story about Agent Franks from MHI and some guy named Joe Ledger from another author. It was good enough that I’m adding the first couple of Joe Ledger books to my tbr to see if I like them (in a year or 3 of course). A short story that can lead me into another author’s series? I count that as good story telling!

★★★★½

bookstooge (Custom)

Target Rich Environment (TRE #1) ★★★★★

targetrichenvironment (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Target Rich Environment
Series: TRE #1
Author: Larry Correia
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Short Story Collection
Pages: 359
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A collection of many of Correia’s short stories that have only been published in magazines throughout the years. 2 Audible Exclusives were also turned into text, one taking place in the Grimnoir Universe and one about an Interdimensional Insurance Agent.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a rollicking good time. I was reading along, having a blast, figuring I’d give it 4 stars and then I read the final piece about Tom Stranger the Interdimensional Insurance Agent and this rocketed up to a 5 Star lickety-split! The humor in Tom Stranger might not appeal to everyone but it was certainly right up my alley.

I’d read a couple of these before, namely Tanya, Princess of the Elves that takes place in the MHI universe and is about how Tanya and Edward the Urk meet. Just as good the second time around. There were 2 Grimnoir Chronicles stories, one a prequel, Christmas in Detroit and a sequel, Murder on the Orient Elite. Jake Sullivan is a fantastic protagonist as he’s smart, capable and not just a Gary Stu.

The rest of the new stuff was a lot of fun to read too. Several of the stories took place in pre-existing franchise universes (mainly games) and while good, didn’t stand out to me. The one that really did stand out was a Cthulhu horror’esque story about a planet where humanity accidentally awakens an old one of that world which ripples out and the story ends with the Old One on Earth beginning to stir, so you know Humanity is DOOMED! If you’ve ever read much Lovecraft, this story would have fit in perfectly.

I don’t know what else to say. I never review each story in a collection, as that would make a review of a short story collection about 10,000 words and that would kill any joy for me. I am giving this the “Best Book of the Year” tag not for any richness or deep insights but because it kicked ass in every single story and I had so much fun reading it. After the debacle of Valor, this was needed to restore my faith in authors as a whole. If you ever do read this, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Highly Recommended

★★★★★

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Murder on the Orient Elite (Grimnoir Chronicles #3.5)

coverThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Murder on the Orient Elite

Series: Grimnoir Chronicles

Author: Larry Correia

Rating: 4 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Minutes: 74

Format: Audio

 

 

Synopsis:

A short story after the end of the truly awesome Grimnoir Chronicles trilogy.

Jake Sullivan must save a luxury air yacht from unknown forces. Sadly for him, that includes the Imperium, the newly strengthened Russians, a German psycho and even possibly his own employer.

 

 

My Thoughts:

I loved the Grimnoir books dearly. I think they are the best that Correia has written and so I was happy to jump into this, especially after Buyer of Gadgets glowing Review.

Thankfully, Jake Sullivan was still the same heavy with the same humor as in the trilogy.  He’s strong and capable and wicked smart. I really enjoy intelligent characters and ones that have a dry, wry sense of humor are even better. Everything that intrigued me about the original trilogy is here in this short story as well.

The narrator does a good job of switching voices so it was very easy to tell who was talking and conversations weren’t awkward because of trying to figure out which character was speaking.

I got this for free back when it was released, but it took me a long time to get around to it. There is another Grimnoir Chronicles that takes place much later in time and I’ll eventually track that down as well. I just can’t quite stomach paying $4 for 60 minutes of audio.

Warbound (Grimnoir Chronicle #3)

 

cover

Warbound

Grimnoir Chronicles #3

Author: Larry Correia

4 of 5 Stars

 

A good wrap up to the Grimnoir Chronicle series.  I was satisfied with the ending and yet at the same time I felt like Correia rushed it to fit it into one book.

Faye especially. I liked Faye and yet her growth just didn’t quite work for me.

Now Jake Sullivan, he was fully what I had come to expect and he lived up to my expectations. A smart thug. His battle scenes with Toru and others were pretty good.

I am finding it rather tough to write about this book. I enjoyed it and I guess that will have to suffice for this evening.

Spellbound

coverSpellbound

Grimnoir Chronicles #2

Larry Correia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

For the record, and I think I keep saying it for each of Correia’s book, I don’t like Urban Fantasy. Nor do I like the WWI and WWII era for the most part.

And yet, I love this author and his books.

This was a great sequel to Hard Magic. I have to admit, when I started the book, and the OCI agent Crowe showed up, I had to put the book down for a few days as I had one of the most intense reactions to a character that I’ve ever had.

I hated him. You know how those fangirls will discuss for hours, ad nauseum, the different merits of various book hotties that they wish were their boyfriends? All that “squeeing” and “OMG” and “HAWT” and other such various phrases that teengirls use? I had the polar opposite reaction. A manly hatred for such a disgusting piece of filth that it went soul deep and burned with a vengeance that was Hell worthy. Kind of like an anime character actually 😉

But then I came back. And my goodness, this was one grand slugfest. A good bit is revealed about the Chairman, the Cthulhu’ic hunter and Faye.

A good frenemy for Jake is introduced. And speaking of anime characters, Toru is awesome. Of course, I think any superpowered being with a sword is awesome.

And then the ending? A god of demons?!?! Seriously, how freaking cool is that? I’m not sure even MHI has moved into territory that big. But that is a different story. One thing that makes me like this series even more is the fact that I know that the story wraps up in Warbound. So unless that tanks, this series is getting bought by me in hardcover.

Detroit Christmas

coverDetroit Christmas

The Grimnoir Chronicles #0.5

Larry Correia

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

A little short story about a Christmas Mystery. As other reviewers have noted, it helps tremendously to have read Hard Magic, as that book explains the world you find yourself in in Detroit Christmas.

It was a fun little read with some action and magic all jumbled around, with some gangsta’s. I love gangsta’s. I also like saying “gangsta’s”. Makes the Mrs laugh…