The Hermetic Millennia (Count to the Eschaton Sequence #2)

63716d82a70f4aa37481d2157185a01cTitle: The Hermetic Millennia

Series: Count to the Eschaton Sequence #2

Author: John Wright

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 400

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

This 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.com & librarything.com/catalog/BookstoogeLT by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

Synopsis:

The smartest man in the world goes to sleep so he can survive until his wife comes back. However, his enemies, the Hermeticists, wake him up every couple of hundred years by running amok.

In the main story, Montrose is taken captive and used as a translator as his captors search for the Judge of the Ages, ie, Montrose. Montrose learns everything he can so he can wreak his awful and terrible vengeance upon these interlopers, only to realize in the very end that as smart as he is, he can still be outsmarted.

Ends on a cliffhanger.

 

My Thoughts: Spoilers

I did not enjoy this as much as Count to a Trillion. Part of that was the dreamlike aspect of the sequence of time. It reminded me a lot of Wolfe’s The Wizard Knight with it’s asperger syndrome main character.  It was disconcerting to have chunks of time and events passed over and simply ignored, for no apparent reason.

The overview of humanity over 7000’ish years was really interesting. Each Hermeticist got their chance to create a humanity they thought were best. Each time Montrose was awakened and set forth events to combat their ideas, which led to the downfall of said race and the arising of a new. Finding out that he was being tricked each time to reveal a strand of super-duper-puper math was something else. While Montrose is the main character and you are kind of rooting for him, he’s still an arrogant jerk so the schadenfreude was strong in me.

Make no mistake about this though, this was humanistic to its core. As such it reflects the base values of such a system. There were also times where it just felt like the author was indulging himself a little too much in his own fancy.

The cliffhanger ending was not appreciated. That was the main reason I bumped this down 1/2 star. Anyone who had read both the books so far is definitely going to continue the series. To end it like that smacked of one book being artificially broken up.

star35full

The Parasite

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This 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.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Parasite

Series: —–

Author: Neal Asher

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 134

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Jack is a space miner and in the process of getting some space ice, gets infected with something. Something that heals him, makes him stronger, makes him smarter but also something that will control his reactions in dangerous situations. Problem is, the parasite thinks thatany fear from Jack is a dangerous situation.

Jack was supposed to go into quarantine, but the head honcho didn’t want the space ice to go into quarantine as well, so Jack walked free. Now the World Health is after him, as well as the Head Honcho trying to cover up his tracks. Because Jack is contagious, contagious beyond belief and people are dying by the bucketload.

 

My Thoughts:

This novella exemplifies everything I like and don’t like about Asher, all boiled down into one little story. On the hand, we have action and violence literally exploding everywhere. Asher does Ultra-Violence with a deft hand that while occasionally making me cringe never feels overboard to me, unlike say the Jack Reacher books. On the other hand, you get the interminable whining about Free Will from at least one, if not more, character.

For me, just because I am not choosing to make my heart beat but it does it on its own, doesn’t mean I don’t have free will. Non-Total Autonomy doesn’t negate Free Will for me. I suspect the differences we hold on Free Will boil down to our views and thoughts on God. Surprise 😀

On the story itself. If you’ve ever wondered about trying Asher but were intimidated by the 14’ish books divided up into sub series and so threw up your hands and never tried, THIS is the story to try to see if you’ll like him or not. It is self-contained but show cases his writing style and his ideas in one easy to digest sitting.

Glad I got around to reading this because I have to wait until March of ’17 for his next Polity book to come out.

star35full

Alien Morning DNF@20%

70e7c0aea078168077f6ed19721f12fc This 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.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Alien Morning
Series: —–
Author: Rick Wilber
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: DNF
Format: Hardcover edition

 

My Thoughts:

Due to some of the subject matter, I did not finish this book nor will I be reading any more by this author.

 

star10full

The Pirates of Pacta Servanda (Pillars of Reality #4)

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This 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.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Pirates of Pacta Servanda

Series: The Pillars of Reality

Author: Jack Campbell

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 322

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Mari and Alain must gather a group of mages, mechanics and skilled commons so they can begin fixing the world, by fixing the place where it truly began to break: The Kingdom of Tiae.

But Mari must not only convince other mages and mechanics to work together but she must convince those still in Tiae that she is not just some rogue, upstart mechanic trying to be a warlord. All the while the Mechanics Guild and the Mages Guild are both still hunting her and Alain, using any means possible to stop them, including pirates and dragons.

 

My Thoughts:

Thoroughly enjoyed this. I continue to be impressed. Mari and Alain make a very dynamic duo but they aren’t perfect nor does their love “conquer all”.  The romance between them isn’t sappy and it really strengthens the tension in the story.

The action continues strong. Fighting pirates on the sea, yet another magical dragon, assaulting a Mechanic’s Armoury and finally a warlord’s host. It just never lets up.

I think that Campbell can write a duo more convincingly than he can a single character. The Lost Fleet series and the Lost Stars series are a very compelling first case and this series backs that up. It is like he can allow his characters greater leeway by bouncing off of another character, all the time, instead of being a pillar of Heroism all on their own. Even if I’m completely out to lunch on this, I still like the series where Campbell uses dual main characters.

I also just found out that the rest of the series [2 more books] is out. So I’ll be getting those pronto and putting them into my High Priority list on my kindle. Which means that maybe I’ll be done with those 2 books by February? What a tough life, eh?

 

Soldiers of Fortune (Omega Force #2)

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This 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.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Soldiers of Fortune

Series: Omega Force

Author: Joshua Dalzelle

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 350

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Cap’n Jason and his mighty crew of rogue Do Gooders have pretty much spent all their money from their first mission on stuff for the ship and other missions. So now they need a job and they get one, from Da’ Man, the Gubbamint, Big Brother.

A system is standing separate from the ConFed space government and suddenly their shipping lanes are being attacked by pirates, good stolen, commerce being ground to a halt. But they can’t find the pirates hidden base so they hire Omega Force to get dirty, be dirtbag, scum loving, mercs and find the pirate base. Along the way, Jason and the Crew find out that it is the ConFed’s, working in conjunction with a small group of power hungry individuals, that is working to bring the system to it’s knees so it will be forced to join the ConFed.

And a beautiful woman is brought into the picture. Da Da Dum!

 

My Thoughts:

Ok, first off, I thought this was a slightly better book than the first one but I rated it 1/2star less. That is because this was 50% longer, which showed some of the Dalzelle’s weakness in writing, and I was expecting more. Funny how expectations can really change things.

This was an enjoyable story of the crew getting into fights, doing some sleuthing, have a space battle or two and hooking up with a source of income that will allow them to continue The Good Fight. I didn’t bother trying to figure out who or what was manipulating who or what, I was just along for the ride. Everything gets explained nice and neat by the end and the story ends.

In the first book, Jason thinks about “her” several times, but with no name or anything specific. Which bugged me, because if “she” was the love of his life, he’d be thinking of her by name. It felt like Dalzelle was trying to establish a character without actually doing any of the work. And in this book, “she” is referred to again, pretty much like that. The introduction of the  beautiful space captain and how she and Jason pretty much don’t hit it off telegraphs that she’ll be the romance interest in the series. At least the space captain has a name, position and is a real character. I foresee a lot of drama being milked out of this potential relationship.

If you like SF that is about the action, this series will suit you. It certainly suits me just fine even while I wish that it was being handled with more skill. Hopefully that is something that time will solve.

 

Icerigger (Icerigger #1) (Project Reread #9)

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: Icerigger
Series: Icerigger
Author: Alan Foster
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 313
Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

Project Reread:

I am attempting to reread 10+ books in 2016 that I have rated highly in the past. I am not attempting to second guess or denigrate my younger self in any way but am wanting to compare how my tastes have changed and possibly matured. I am certainly much more widely read now [both in the good and bad quality sadly] than then.
I will hopefully be going into the reasons for any differences of opinions between then and now. If there is no difference of opinion, then it was a hellfire’d fine book!
Links may link to either Booklikes or Blogspot, depending on when the original review was.

 

Synopsis:

Ethan Fortune, traveling space salesman, interrupts a kidnapping and is taken along for the ride. The little kidnapping craft crashes and the kidnappee’s suddenly out number, out bulk and out gun their lone kidnapper. Sadly, they’ve crashed on Tran-Ky-Ky, the Hoth of the HumanX commonwealth, where metal is rare, the natives furry and the group is 1000 of kilometers from the only humanx outpost on the world.

After being rescued by a group of friendly natives, you’d think the groups’ problems were over. Nope. It appears that they have arrived just as the locals are rising up against the Horde, a nasty group that sails around taking tribute and causing mayhem.
Lots of adventures happen and the book ends with the Slanderskee, an ice rigger [hence the name of the book and trilogy], skating into Brass Monkey, the humanx outpost.

 

My Thoughts:

If was I reading this for the first time, I’d be hesitating between 3.5 and 4 Stars. There are several things that you could nitpick about. My main one was where was the security detail for the Du Kanes? Heads of businesses that are multi-bajillionaires don’t wander around by themselves.

However, since this is my 5th or 6th time reading this, I’ve obviously gotten past that. This is another book that I read multiple times in highschool, at least once or twice in bibleschool and then again since 2000. And now.  When I read this back in ’06, I started looking for a hardcover edition. I managed to buy one recently [ie, in the last couple of years] for under $100, but before that, the price had ranged from $150 to $450. OUCH.

This was fun. Ethan is a good face for the group. Being a salesman he’s used to dealing with disparate groups of beings and is mentally flexible enough that a little thing like being stranded on an ice planet doesn’t make him panic and freeze [ha, wordplay totally intended there]. Skua September is the mature, wise, warrior elder. Ok, maybe not quite so wise or mature but he definitely provides that “experience” vibe that Ethan certainly doesn’t have. Then the “scientist’y” teacher who fills in all those science’y parts necessary in an SF book. Finally, there are the Du Kanes. The sometimes senile, sometimes not, father and then Collette, the smart as a whip, really running the business but a dutiful and loving daughter. Who can only be described as fat.

Foster pulls no punches whatsoever in regards to Collette. In some ways it is rather shocking to see how she is treated so bluntly, but I never felt like it was used as a comedic “hey lets make fun of the fat girl” kind of thing. She is not a princess but is expected to fill a princess’s role and that conflict brings a bit of gravity to this otherwise pretty light novel.

The fighting was great. There were several battles and each one was great to read about. Made me want to go outside, skate around and cut people’s heads off 🙂
Once again, this was a smashing success for my Project Reread.

The Dragons of Dorcastle (Pillars of Reality #1)

1a5d5fd0ecf4a05e246ce2f46d5bb14fThis 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: The Dragons of Dorcastle

Series: Pillars of Reality

Author: Jack Campbell

Rating: 4 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Pages: 336

Format: Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Mechanics Guild and the Mages Guild have run of the known world. And they hate each other and teach their acolytes to act as if the other guild is nothing but a fraud.

So what happens when a young Mage and a young Mechanic have to rely on each other to survive? Why, this excellent story is what happens.

 

My Thoughts:

I really like Jack Campbell’s SF. So I wasn’t sure what to expect when I realized he’d started another series that was SF, Fantasy, Steampunk’ish and YA.  I went into this with almost zero expectations of enjoying it and not a little trepidation.

Thankfully, I enjoyed myself immensely.

A lot of adventure, a lot of action, lots of hints about big bad things in the Future and a nice little bit of teens falling in love for the first time. That can be real nice if handled with a deft hand and not with buckets of emotional slop.

I’d really like to write more because I had such a fun time reading this. But honestly, I don’t feel the need to express WHY I enjoyed something. I simply note that I did enjoy it. Now, the opposite isn’t true. If I don’t enjoy something, there is a much better chance of me detailing the WHY of that.  I know part of it is that I don’t need to remember why I liked a book, just that I did. I do like to know why I didn’t like a book however, as in most cases in 10 or 15 years I forget what the book was about and if the premise sounds interesting, I need to know why not to try it again. Sometimes my mind is a funny place.

Looking forward to the already written sequel already.

 

The White Dragon

The White Dragon
Dragonriders of Pern #3
Anne McCaffrey
SFF
3 stars
295 pages

a young holder lord impresses a runt dragon. The southern continent is shown to be HUGE and the northerners want it opened up for their landless children. F’lar wants the best of the continent for dragonmen so they won’t be beholden to the holds once threadfall passes. Everything works out and it is discovered that man is not indigenous to Pern.

This was a good wrap up to the original trilogy, BUT, McCaffrey rushes forward so quickly that you can see the world going from Dragons and Fantasy to Science Fiction. and I think that is why her later books are weaker.

The Anubis Gates

The Anubis Gates

Tim Powers

4 Stars

Fantasy

 

An old, rich eccentric discovers certain portals in which it is possible to time jump.

Takes a group back, one gets left behind, his story. Ends up fighting a bunch of crazy egyptians who want to change history so that Egypt rises again, while doing this he becomes a little known[in the future] poet.

I had read this in highschool, so had a vague rememberance of what was going to happen, but it was still a nice surprise overall. Very enjoyable.

Triplet

Triplet
Timothy Zahn
SFF
83 / 3 stars

I enjoyed this much more since this was my second time. But Zahn really needs to stay away from fantasy. His fantastical side of things are just too much like his aliens. He is good with aliens and should stick to them.