Quarantine ★★☆☆☆

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: Quarantine
Series: ———-
Author: Greg Egan
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 224
Words: 80K



Synopsis:

Mr Detective-san gets hired to find out why someone kidnapped a woman from an insane asylum. She’s practically a vegetable with no rich relatives, so the police have let it slide.

This all takes place X number of years after a barrier went up in space cutting humanity off from ever reaching the stars. No one knows how or why the barrier exists but it is enough that it does.

In the process of finding Vegetable Girl, Detective-san falls in with a bunch of scyenzetists who believe that aliens put up the barrier to keep the Human Gaze from making the universe into one universe instead of a multiverse where anything is possible.

Detective-san has to do something or other, as to the infinite multitude of Detective-san’s and he gets it done. Only he’s not sure if he got it done or not. But it doesn’t matter because if there really are infinite hims, then at least one of them did it and so the Universe is saved the from the evil Human Gaze (no kidding).

My Thoughts:

First off, despite my snarky “Synopis”, this was not badly written or even thought out. The problem I had with it was just how juvenile it was. By that I mean this is the kind of story that I and my friends would have batted around as teenagers. Nothing wrong with that at all, except that I’m not a teenager now and Egan wasn’t a teenager when he wrote this.

The story ends up ultimately being pointless and whole basic premise rests on there being no God. The whole IDEA that humanity locks reality into one path as they view it but that other beings might not view things the same way, at its core denies that there is a God who views everything and that reality springs from God Himself.

The other issue was how “serious” Egan treats the idea of the multi-verse. I think the multi-verse is a great idea and should be played around with. What I don’t think is that it should be given serious consideration.

Overall, I just didn’t want to like this book and Egan didn’t do one thing to change my mind about it. This is the first Egan book I’ve read and it will definitely be the last. If you’ve read him before and like him, have at him. If you’re into trying out some older but not classic SF, this might fit the bill. Written in the 90’s, it would fit right in with such tv shows as the X-Files and Sliders. At least I enjoyed those.

I chose this cover from Librarything because all of the other ones were piss-poor pathetic stinkos. Even free Gutenberg books have better covers than most of the ones I saw in English.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Red Noise ★★✬☆☆

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: Red Noise
Series: ———-
Author: John Murphy
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 365
Words: 112.5K



Synopsis:

From Rosie Writes

‘Jane’ or ‘the Miner’ desperately needs food and fuel, so she puts in to an asteroid-based space station, Station 35. Here she is ripped off by the ore company, finds three rival gangs in control and at each others’ throats, while the ‘decent’ population, lead by ‘Mr Shine’ hunker down in the lower depths of the station, except bar-owner/chef Takata and Station Master Herrera, who both refuse to be forced out of the galleria. Jane decides she’s going to clean up the Station and hand it back to ‘decent folks’.

Plans don’t exactly go as expected.

Basically, have you seen any of those old westerns, the ones based on Japanese films, like Seven Samurai, reworked as westerns, or Clint Eastwood’s work, like Fistful of Dollars? Think that aesthetic, but in space.

My Thoughts:

Former Special Space Forces “Jane” is a ronin, a lone cowboy, all by her lonesome and wanting to keep it that way. This is a samurai cowboy in space story with all of the attendent cliches. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, just something to keep in mind.

Unfortunately, this didnt grab me at all. I wasn’t exactly bored or wondering when things would wrap up, but my first reaction upon finishing the book was “that’s it, that’s all I get?” I felt let down. A generally vague dissatisfaction accompanied me throughout my entire read of this book but there is nothing concrete I can point to.

It might be a matter of tastes not aligning. I wouldn’t argue against that interpretation and I won’t say that this is a bad book, but my goodness, it just felt so pedestrian! The tiredness of the main character permeated every aspect of this book and just made it a chore to read.

If you like Samurai Space Cowboys, In Space, this might work for you. Try it. If you’re on the fence, then go read some other reviews and approach cautiously. If you’re an adrenaline junky, then this definitely isn’t for you.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Lockdown Tales (Polity #20) ★★★✬☆

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Title: Lockdown Tales
Series: Polity #20
Author: Neal Asher
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 329
Words: 151K



Synopsis:

A collection of short stories about the Polity as it becomes the Post-Polity. This consists of:

The Relict
Monitor Logan
Bad Boy
Plenty
Dr Whip
Raising Moloch

My Thoughts:

From what I could gather, the Polity didn’t collapse so much as it simply ceased to exist as the AI’s bootstrapped most of humanity up to their level and they all decided to stop playing government. The little clues make it seem like this all took less than 100,000 years. There’s no mention, that I can remember, of the newly raised Atheter or any mention of what happened to the Prador. While it all might have made sense in Asher’s head, to me it felt very “I’m bored with this particular literary construct, thus I’ll wave my authorial hand and …..”

Don’t get me wrong. Besides the first story where Asher lets his vitriol against religion take front and center, I enjoyed these stories. They all had his ultra-violence that I’ve come to expect from him as well as the techno-babble that I just skim over now.

What threw me for a loop was that these were not ALL post-Polity. Monitor Logan takes place squarely during the height of the Polity/Prador standoff and Bad Boy takes place on Spatterjay and involves a situation where the AI lets things run their course hoping the inhabitants will apply for Polity membership. It just made me feel like the secondary title on the cover What Comes After the Polity was misleading.

I think this might be a very good jumping on place for anyone new to the Polity. There are 19 previous Polity books and I can imagine it is daunting to a new person to figure out where they want to start.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Menace of the Monster (British Library Science Fiction Classics) ★★★✬☆

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Title: Menace of the Monster
Series: British Library Science Fiction Classics
Editor: Mike Ashley
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 266
Words: 98.5K



Synopsis:

From Isfdb.org

The War of the Worlds (abridgement) • (1920) • short story by H. G. Wells

The Cloud Men • (1911) • short fiction by Owen Oliver

The Dragon of St. Pauls • (1899) • short fiction by Reginald Bacchus and C. Ranger Gull

De Profundis • (1914) • short fiction by Coutts Brisbane

Dagon • (1919) • short story by H. P. Lovecraft

In Amundsen’s Tent • (1928) • novelette by John Martin Leahy

King Kong • (1933) • short story by Draycot M. Dell and Edgar Wallace

The Monster from Nowhere • (1939) • short story by Nelson S. Bond

Discord in Scarlet • [Space Beagle] • (1939) • novelette by A. E. van Vogt

Monster • (1950) • short story by John Christopher

Resident Physician • [Sector General] • (1961) • novelette by James White

Personal Monster • (1955) • short story by Idris Seabright

Alien Invasion • (1954) • short story by Marcia Kamien

The Witness • (1951) • novelette by Eric Frank Russell

My Thoughts:

I went into this knowing that Ashley was going to blab before each story. Thankfully, there was a LOT less sociocultural BS than in the previous book. He actually talked about the stories and authors as stories and authors instead of as representative of this or that modern idea. I didn’t want to stuff a sock down his throat and choke him to death so that was quite the improvement from last time 🙂

With that being said, the stories here weren’t quite as engaging, hence the 3.5star rating. The War of the Worlds abridgement was just too short. It did make me want to seek out the full version though, so that’s something. King Kong was a short story based on the screen play and man, did it feel like it. I’ll take Jackson’s Director’s Cut of the movie any day. I’d read several others of these throughout the years so that familiarity helped ease me along.

Overall, this series is exposing me to authors that have disappeared or fallen out of the knowledge of even the SF community and it is very interesting to read such things. I like the short story format, as I’m not getting bogged down because an author can’t shut the feth up. I didn’t even realize how much I am starting to hate modern authors because of their bleeding wordiness until I started reading more short stories and the distillation of an idea instead of an expansion of the idea. As much as I loved Sanderson when he started, I’m not sure I can read much more by him. And don’t get me started on jackasses like Gwynne who think they’re somebody and have the right to pen tomes as newbie authors.

To end, this one went MUCH better even while some of the stories weren’t as good. I hope things can stay at this level.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Chasing the Dragon (Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #2) ★★★★☆

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Title: Chasing the Dragon
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #2
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 243
Words: 75.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com & Me

They all want the Dragon dead.

The Dragon was trained from his youth to operate as a lethal killing machine. He has tangled with crime lords, dangerous insurgents, even Nether Ops… and none of these forces has been able to bring the elusive warrior to heel.

Enter the notorious bounty hunter Tyrus Rechs.

Rechs takes on the job as a favor to an old Savage Wars buddy. Only Rechs isn’t out to kill the Dragon—his mission is to save the kid’s life. Unless the Dragon kills Rechs first.

The Dragon is the last of an experiment from the Savage Wars, an experiment meant to duplicate Tyrus Rechs. With speed, endurance, healing and other capabilities, the Dragon is a one man army meant to train an army. As a Sinasian, he’s now using his skills to train the Sinasian worlds to break free from the Republic.

That war, justified or not, will cost billions of lives and Rechs can’t let it happen. In league with a Nether Ops agent who wants the Dragon to live out a life of peace, Rechs must find the Dragon, convince him to stop and then get him to safety. When the Nether Ops agent shows her true colors and double crosses Rechs, a Republic Destroyer is on hand to use a crustbuster on the world the Dragon is on. Rechs rescues the Dragon and delivers him to a couple of Dark Ops agents who want what the Nether Ops agent claimed to want.

The books ends with the Dragon dying of old age surrounded by his family and him holding on until Rechs shows up.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit, this book made me feel really bad for the man known as Tyrus Rechs. He carries such a weight on his shoulders and his memories of his past are simply fading away. He remembers Earth, now mythical in status. He knows he’s been around for thousands of years and knows there was a purpose he was meant to fulfill, but details escape him. The unstoppable killing machine he’s become seems to be the only way for him to keep going. That is just very pathos filled.

As an action story, this was great. Rechs is facing off against someone who appears to be just as powerful as him. He’s also going against Sinasians gangs, Sinasian ninjas, Sinasian special forces, Nether Ops, Legionnaires from the Republic as well as other bounty hunters.

It also excels at providing glimpses of backstory for the universe we’re currently reading about. I never felt infodumped on or that “So Bob, let me explain….” feeling that sometimes happens. It really felt organic and like it was directly from Tyrus.

Another fantastic entry in the Galaxy’s Edge universe. In terms of pure enjoyment, this is beating out even Asher’s Polity series. I don’t know how it will stand up to re-reads though. I guess I’ll find out in a decade or so 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Salvation’s Reach (WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #13) ★★★☆☆

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Title: Salvation’s Reach
Series: WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #13
Author: Dan Abnett
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 311
Words: 108K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

Following the events of Blood Pact, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his Ghosts are returned to active duty, and are given one of their most formidable assignments yet; a mysterious space hulk known as Salvation’s Reach. According to the turncoat Mabbon Etogaur, the Sons of Sek, a breakaway faction within the Blood Pact commanded by the warlord Anakwanar Sek, have secretly been using Salvation’s Reach as an R&D installation; concealing their activities there from all factions, even their overlord, Archon Gaur.

If Sek’s covert operations are brought to light, it will shatter the uneasy alliance between Sek and Gaur, sparking an internal feud that will tip the balance of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade in the favour of the Imperium. The Tanith First – reinforced with additional troops drawn from Verghast and Belladon – and a trio of veteran Space Marines are sent to neutralise the facility at Salvation’s Reach and gather as much intelligence as possible before they destroy it. However, Gaunt must also see to the protection of the incarcerated Mabbon, deal with the malcontents within the Tanith First, and cope with personal issues that he never anticipated.

A sub-plot in Salvation’s Reach follows Doc Dorden’s battle against terminal cancer, and his determination to serve the Tanith First until the very end. Another sub-plot explores the relationship between Captain Ban Daur and his new partner, Elodie. Through the latter, readers are granted an insight into the lives of the wives and other civilians that follow Imperial Guard regiments around the galaxy. The novel also features the appearance of Brother Kater Holofurnace of the Iron Snakes, a Chapter of Space Marines that previously appeared in Abnett’s novel, Brotherhood of the Snake.

My Thoughts:

I knocked this down half a star because there were some space battle’y scenes and I just don’t care for spaceships slugging it. It wasn’t bad or anything, I just like groundpounder action.

There’s a lot of “hinted at” threats that I sometimes wonder if anyone is going to survive. The rot within the Ghosts, which is typical for most of the armies of man, is really revealed here. It makes you realize WHY the Commissariat exists in the first place and that the Ghost’s have been a pretty exemplary unit. The bad apples are starting to bob to the top though. With this being Warhmmer40k, I half suspect that the entire unit will die by betrayal and fail in a critical mission. That just seems like WH:40K flavor :-/

Dorden dying was no surprise given his cancer. However, it seemed like it was supposed to be poignant or something, like previous characters dying. The problem is, you know people are going to die because this is war and what’s more, this is an ongoing, intergenerational war.The emotional punch has been removed because it is the ordinary, not the extraordinary.

The inclusion of 3 Space Marines (super beings from another age) didn’t do it for me either. They talk a lot about past glory, blah, blah and then toss in how technology has been lost or something for making more of them? I’m not up on my lore, so I don’t see why the Empire can’t churn them out like candy. Even if “something” has been lost, fething find it or rediscover it again! There are hundreds or more of worlds not being assaulted by Chaos, use them for research and development. I am sure the people directing this franchise have taken care of that issue but it wasn’t adequately explained to me at all in this book and just pissed me off with their defeatist attitude.

The fight scenes were what really saved this book for me. The infiltration of the base, finding and disarming boobytraps, then the retreat, it was all in the great groundpounder format that I like.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Every Sky A Grave (The Ascendance #1) ★★★☆☆

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: Every Sky A Grave
Series: The Ascendance #1
Author: Jay Posey
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 302
Words: 115K



Synopsis:

From Skybound.com & Me

Far in the future, human beings have seeded themselves amongst the stars. Since decoding the language of the universe 8,000 years ago, they have reached the very edges of their known galaxy and built a near-utopia across thousands of worlds, united and ruled by a powerful organization known as the Ascendance. The peaceful stability of their society relies solely on their use of this Deep Language of the cosmos.

But this knowledge is a valuable secret, and a holy order of monastics known as the First House are tasked with monitoring its use and “correcting” humanity’s further development. Elyth is one such mendicant, trained as a planetary assassin, capable of infiltrating and ultimately destroying worlds that have been corrupted, using nothing more than her words.

To this end, Elyth is sent to the world Qel in response to the appearance of a forbidden strain of the Deep Language that was supposed to have died out with its founder over seven hundred years prior. What she finds on the backwater planetoid will put her abilities to the test and challenge what she knows of the Deep Language, the First House, and the very nature of the universe.

Elyth can’t kill Qel due to the work of a man known simply as eth ammuin. So her first task is to find and kill him. She fails. Then she finds out that the Great House given the responsibility of dealing with technology is using eth ammuin to gain the knowledge of the Deep Language. So now she has to rescue him. Then she finds out that the planet is under interdict and is going to be destroyed so she and eth ammuin team up. They save the planet, Elyth realizes how shallow the First House’s knowledge really is and decides to go her own way.

My Thoughts:

I went into this book with some huge reservations. Posey had abandoned writing his Outriders series in favor of starting this. I also didn’t realize this was a start of a new series and thought it was a standalone. It works well as a standalone but it isn’t. I have to ask myself, why should I trust him to finish this series when he’s already shown he’s more than willing to stop writing a series just because he feels like it?

On the other hand, this is the same author who wrote the Legends of the Duskwalker trilogy that absolutely blew me away.

Unfortunately, my reservations held more true than my cautious optimism. There was nothing “wrong” with this book but it was slow and I felt like I was reading about a space ninja experiencing satori for the first time. I’ll get into that in the next paragraph. While I was reading this I kept having flashbacks to Way-Farer and not in a good way. Way-Farer was good rousing fun that has kept me entertained several times and every time I simply tear through it. This? This was not rousing fun. It was plodding and I didn’t tear through anything. In fact, the 300 pages felt at least double that, if not a bit more. The philosophizing that was interesting but shallow in Way-Farer here is explored in depth and in all seriousness, like Posey felt he had some message to convey. It was ludicrous.

That exploring of transcendentalism’ish and satori and eastern thought wouldn’t necessarily been a bad thing but the first thing after the book is done, in the author’s afterward, is him thanking Jesus. Eastern thought and Christianity are utterly opposed at the basic level. While people continue to try to meld them in various ways, the only way it works is if you butcher what the Bible teaches about the very nature of God Himself and Jesus. It’s not that I’m opposed to Christians writing about things they don’t believe in, but the studied seriousness that Posey gave in this book, while proclaiming Christ, was disturbing.

I realize I’ve been pretty harsh and yet still given this 3 stars. I did enjoy reading the story, with all the issues mentioned continually impinging on me and I didn’t think it was bad writing at all. It just wasn’t up to the level of story telling that I fell in love with in Legends of the Duskwalker.

I think I’ll be passing on any more of these Ascendance books and wait and hope that Posey eventually goes back and finishes up the Outriders. I can wait, I’ve got plenty of books in my tbr.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Blood Pact (WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #12) ★★★✬☆


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 & Bookype by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Blood Pact
Series: WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #12
Author: Dan Abnett
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 243
Words: 99K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia & Me

After the gruelling events on Jago, the Tanith First is removed from active service for the first time since its founding and sent to Balhaut to perform garrison duties. Two years on, however, the Ghosts are becoming restless from the lack of combat and purpose. A number of them go as far as turning to petty crime and other bad habits to amuse themselves. Ibram Gaunt himself becomes increasingly idle and distracted, but remains confident that the Tanith First will return to the front again soon.

Events turn as Gaunt is summoned to Balhaut’s Commissariat headquarters. A senior officer of the arch-enemy has been captured, and refuses to speak to anyone but Gaunt. The Inquisition is attempting to secure custody of the prisoner so that they may handle him their own way. The prisoner insists that he wishes to help the Imperium, but this claim is met with speculation by Gaunt. However, he is forced to protect the prisoner and go to ground in the city when a Blood Pact insertion team storms the facility in an attempt to silence the prisoner. With heretical witchcraft influencing the populace and a determined hunter pursuing them, who can Gaunt turn to for aid? And what information does the traitor general know that prompts the enemy to openly assault an Imperial stronghold?

The Inquisition gets involved and is as much after Gaunt’s blood as the Blood Pact members. There is a running battle for a day before the Ghosts come to Gaunt’s aid, destroy the Blood Pact, reveal the Inquisitor to be an agent of Chaos and generally kick butt and help destroy the city. Gaunt gets rewarded and everybody prepares to go back to the front lines instead of going stir-crazy on leave.

My Thoughts:

2 years is a long time. Since it happens between books it is really hard to accept and fathom. It doesn’t “feel” like 2 years so you’re just kind of left dangling and have to accept it as authorial fiat.

When I started this book I was pretty meh and wondered if my reading rotation had let me down. I really considered dropping this for a rotation and move on to the next book. Thankfully, I stuck to it and I was not let down. Once I got past the “Oh, it’s been 2 years and we’re going stir-crazy being on leave and leading a peaceful life” and things started happening, wham, it was game on. I loved the mirror image this was to Traitor General and seeing the Ghosts in a slightly more relaxed environment was fun.

I ALSO liked seeing how the Blood Pact insertion team worked and how their magic was conducted. When the Inquisition got involved I wasn’t sure what to expect, maybe a battle of Techno-Magics but whatever I was expecting, I did NOT see the ending coming, not by a long shot. It was great though!

Abnett continues to impress with his writing here. While not an indepth character study, he’s able to reveal new little tidbits that help flesh Gaunt out (hahahaa, get it? Flesh out, Gaunt? Never mind). The revelation that Gaunt could possibly have been Warleader of the Crusade was a real stunner for sure.

Overall, another thoroughly enjoyable entry in the Gaunt’s Ghosts series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Menace of the Machine (British Library Science Fiction Classics) ★★★☆☆

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: Menace of the Machine
Series: British Library Science Fiction Classics
Editor: Mike Ashley
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 257
Words: 95.5K



Synopsis:

Table of Contents

Moxon’s Master
Ambrose Bierce

The Discontented Machine
Adeline Knapp

Ely’s Automatic Housemaid
Elizabeth Bellamy

The Mind Machine
Michael Williams

Automata
S. Fowler Wright

The Machine Stops
E. M. Forster

Efficiency
Perley Poore Sheehan & Robert H. Davis

Rex
Harl Vincent

Danger in the Dark Cave
J. J. Connington

The Evitable Conflict
Isaac Asimov

Two-Handed Engine
C. L. Moore & Henry Kuttner

But Who Can Replace a Man?
Brian W. Aldiss

A Logic Named Joe
Will F. Jenkins

Dial F For Frankenstein
Arthur C. Clarke

My Thoughts:

I had not read, or even heard of, 3/4’s of these stories, so this was a good collection to expand my knowledge of classic SF. Considering that some them date back to the 1890’s, that’s as classic as you can get! Of course, there was also a reason I had not heard of most of these.

While not universally depressing, the tone is definitely set by the title. I had to remind myself several times that this was not a collection about the indomitableness of the human spirit but what humanity could let itself in for. It was interesting to see how almost every single author believed that man’s creation was somehow greater than mankind and they blithely threw out statements about how complicated and wonderful the machines were and how simple and primitive the human body was. It really showed a complete lack of understanding about biology and an acceptance of the roar of evolution that was just coming into being then.

The biggest reason this got 3 stars from me and no higher was because of the fething editor sticking in his nose. Just like in the collection Worst Contact, this editor (Mike Ashley) has a little chat with the reader about the author of the upcoming story. Maybe that works for a lot of people but when I saw that on the first story I gritted my teeth and groaned. Then when I saw it for the second story I knew this was going to be the format. Unfortunately, I am not disciplined enough to skip them and besides, why should “I” have to skip them, why didn’t the editor skip them? I believe I used a lot of words in my head like sycophant, lickspittle, buttkisser and useless sod. Instead of allowing me to read the stories and judge on their own merit, Ashley has to include a bunch of data that ruined the whole experience for me. Besides ruining the flow the collection! I’ve got 4 or 5 more of these British Library series edited by Ashley and I’m going to do my hardest to skip his idiotic blathering and useless drivel and generally disgusting toejam munching.

To summarize, the stories were enjoyable on a variety of levels but the editorializing ruined the whole thing for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Requiem for Medusa (Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #1) ★★★★☆

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: Requiem for Medusa
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #1
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 357
Words: 88K



Synopsis:

Medusa was a world class bounty hunter, with a disease, a disease that was slowly turning her into a machine. She was a doctor and used her bounties to search for a cure for herself and everyone else exiled by the disease. One job got her killed. The Bounty Hunters Guild isn’t going to let that happen to one of their operators without severe repercussions. So they hire Tyrus Rechs.

For Rechs, this isn’t just a job. He was a lover of Medusa and he doesn’t want just Justice, but Vengeance. Wanted by the House of Reason, with Nether Ops continually on his tail, with other Bounty Hunters also gunning for him and his own past haunting him, Tyrus Rechs, a man over 2000 years old, is on the edge.

Rechs tracks down the client who hired Medusa, only to find out other bounty hunters, hired by other clients, had a hand in things. The trail takes Rechs to a rich gambling space station where 2 Crime Lords run a Death Game where hundreds of competitors vie to be the one lone survivor who will live in the lap of luxury for one year. The rogue bounty hunter who killed Medusa has entered the games and Rechs finds out that the Crime Lords are the one’s who hired him. Said Crime Lords have also contacted Nether Ops so Rechs can’t wait around to get the rogue bounty hunter. Rechs enters the game, kills the bounty hunter, escapes by the skin of his teeth and immediately faces off against a Nether Ops kill team. During this fight he also kills the 2 Crime Lords and finds out that in insane robot bounty hunter is the one behind it all. The robot dies, the space station is totally wasted and Rechs goes to a hidden asteroid to sleep for months to recover and to give his trail time to cool down.

My Thoughts:

After how much I was enjoying the main Galaxy’s Edge series, I wasn’t sure how a prequel trilogy was going to work for me. Thankfully, this was everything I could have wanted. I’ll write about that in a second.

I am consistently giving these books 4 and 4.5 stars and raving about them and I had to think for a minute about what kept them from going into pure 5 star territory. I enjoy them enough, that is for sure. I think it is because these are pulpy enough that it is going to take a second read to see if the enjoyment stands the test of time. So it’s not so much a bad thing holding it back, as my own hesitation in giving out a coveted 5star. Anyway, just needed to cement that in my own mind.

As I wrote above, this had everything I wanted. A quest, the chosen one, a hero of superb ability, evil villains, justice, vengeance, lots and lots and lots of action. It all was blended together and folded into a great story. I will almost always take a Lone Hero story over a Group, as I just enjoy seeing the Individual and how one person can make a difference.

In regards to Rechs himself, since we know his fate in the main series, this was all about finding out the tidbits of his past. We know he encountered something that gave him longevity and from this story it seems to have been some sort of Savage ship? It is not explicitly spelled out nor is it the main thrust. Anspach and Cole (the authors) aren’t making the mistake that Star Wars made of making the Jedi be the center of attention nor are they filling the galaxy with Jedi barbers and Jedi mechanics and Jedi beauticians. The balance in these books just feels right.

This book has put to rest my niggling fear that GE was a fluke by the authors and that they couldn’t keep up that level of great story telling. This was a fantastic story and I loved it and I am looking forward to the next two just as much now.

Rating: 4 out of 5.