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review 2017-06-09 20:01
The Diabolic
The Diabolic - S.J. Kincaid

A lot of good ideas in this book, and I really liked the first part... but it started to go downhill when the Mandatory YA Het Romance plot waltzed in. I felt there were so many other ways the whole 'Diabolic without emotions may actually discover her humanity' could have unfolded, instead of romance (especially the boy/girl kind) being touted as the one means to everything and the main dilemma all at once. Also, NOT bonus points for the one LGBT aspect, considering how it turns out.

Too bad because the Empire in space/religious faith vs. technology revival side of the story, coupled with GoT-like politics, could've been really interesting otherwise.

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review 2017-06-09 04:32
A fun kick-off to a SF adventure series
Project Mothership: space marines, robots, and Captain Crunch (The Prince of Qorlec Book 1) - Ash Gray

Rose is on her honeymoon when she's abducted by aliens -- who have abducted her for the express purpose of having her carry one of the many eggs of a Queen struggling to keep her subjects safe and fighting to prevent an invasion force from completely conquering her planet. And, yeah, if everything goes bad, it'll be good to have some descendants of the Queen running around.

 

A few years later, a woman comes knocking on the door of Rose and her daughter, Quinn, with the news that the enemy is close -- and has been working with the FBI -- to take her daughter from her -- Rose and Zita fight for their escape through human robotic and alien forces, just trying to get off the planet so that Quinn can claim her rightful place helping her people.

 

There's a sense of fun, despite the dangers, and a great pace with plenty of tense moments throughout this. It was an enjoyable read with some good writing, and I'm pretty curious where it goes from here. It's not perfect, I have a couple of complaints that I'm afraid will overshadow things -- I want to stress: I liked this book, I want to read more -- don't think this post is anything but a recommendation.

 

But to start with, other than the weaponry, I'm not so sure I see the difference between Gray's 2160 and 2016 -- it's a shame that Gray didn't work harder on that part of the world he built. I'm not saying it needs to be an unrecognizable reality (although it'd be nice), but we should have moved further than just better guns.

 

One of my biggest beefs in fiction -- TV or books -- are central characters telling their closest family and friends lies to protect them. Yes, I'm looking at you particularly CW DC shows. That's Rose's impulse move, which is understandable, but why not trust those closest to her with the truth? Particularly her husband, clearly head over heels with her. Why make up a ludicrous story to explain what happened to her rather than risk the truth?

 

My last beef was the sex scene -- there's some romantic tension early on that I'm fine with, I thought it worked in the moment. But running for your life, with various enemies on your heels is not the time to take a quick break for a little whoopie. It didn't need to be as graphic as it was (thankfully brief), but really ill-timed.

 

Setting that aside, this was a fun, quick read (I couldn't believe I was done when I got to the end) that really made me want to go grab the sequel. Ash didn't create a masterpiece here, but he told an engaging, entertaining story. Which is good enough for me.

 

<i><b>Disclaimer:</b> I received this book from the author in exchange for this post, I appreciate it.</i>

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/06/08/project-mothership-by-ash-gray
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review 2017-06-05 01:04
Loved the story, meh on the art
Star Trek Archives Vol. 4: Best of Deep Space Nine - Lurene Haines,Mike W. Barr,Gordon Purcell,Rob Davis

The art wasn't bad, but recent printing choices in comics make them so slick I think I've just gotten used to that quality and a bit snobby about it all.   Even without the benefit of glossy paper, or the coloring systems used now, the pencils weren't the most fantastic I've seen, not even in Star Trek comics. 

 

But my fears that the stories wouldn't be good based on some poor photograph choices and the early art choices were unfounded.   The art quality stayed the same - better than mediocre, not the best I've seen - but the stories were phenomenal, getting at some of the best conflicts in Deep Space Nine: how to resolve the conflict between Bajorans and Cardassians given the recent, and traumatic, history between the two people, and who has rights, and the way the characters interact.   

 

This all seems to be before Odo finds his people, so the earlier DS9 years, but that's okay: I enjoyed those when I finally got into this show, so I appreciated all these stories. 

 

I'm ready for more Trek.  I figure in a day or two, I'll revert back to Turner's bundle, but for now?  These volumes are so excellent they just make me want to read more Trek. 

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text 2017-06-04 23:26
Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 145 pages.
Star Trek Archives Vol. 4: Best of Deep Space Nine - Lurene Haines,Mike W. Barr,Gordon Purcell,Rob Davis

 

This is, for serious, the first page.   Why do they look like poorly lit, plastic action figurines of these characters?   Who are poorly photoshopped onto a standard swirling vortex?   What's going on here?  

 

This does not bode well for something that proudly proclaims 'the best of' on the cover.   If this is your best first page, I fear for what's further inside...

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review 2017-06-02 22:36
Book Review
The Space Between the Stars - Anne Corle... The Space Between the Stars - Anne Corlett

I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley and the publisher in return for an honest review.
This novel follows Jamie, who awakens to find that she has survived a deadly plague that has ripped through Earth, and the other planets that humans have colonised. She discovers other survivors, and together they try to make their way to Earth, which they have chosen as some sort of 'safe haven' to begin again.
 This novel really wasn't what I was expecting, the blurb suggested a dystopian style novel with end of the world style action, with rebuilding and re-inhabiting of the decimated Earth, and other planets. Instead, there is very little action in this novel, the characters travel through space a lot, but other than this interstellar travel the action is minimal. The majority of the narrative is filled with Jamie's philosophical wonderings on the purpose and meaning of life and the existence of God among other 'big topics'. I'm not sure how I feel about this, some elements of the narrative were quite interesting, and did encourage me to think about how it would be to be one of the last human survivors on a planet. But at the same time it sometimes felt too much. It felt too preachy and it got exhausting to read her constant meandering thoughts.
The above mentioned lack of action made the novel a little slow going, but it did mean that when periods of action took place, I appreciated the change of pace more. In actual fact, the action scenes that Corlett wrote were well done, especially when considered that the novel is written from a first persons P.O.V.
The novel is written completely from Jamie's point of view, and I must admit that I tend to find the 1st person narrative difficult to read if the character isn't intriguing enough. This was the problem I had in this novel, Jamie is not an interesting enough character to warrant my enthusiasm to continue the novel, and I really had to drag myself through it at times. She's a particularly negative person, and she whines for approximately 80% of her narration, which is exhausting to read constantly!! She is also constantly suspicious and thinks the worst of everyone she meets, making the novel quite a dark and moody read, with very little happiness or positivity to lighten it. I can understand that experiencing most of humanity being wiped out by a plague would be a pretty negative experience, but the narrator didn't seem able to think positively about anything, and for me personally this made the novel slow and difficult to get through, and certainly reduced my enjoyment of it.
This novel is set in a fascinating world, with humans inhabiting other planets, and space travel is a totally normal thing. I would've liked more background information about the world; things like how the Government ruled and number of planets inhabited would have been interesting to read about, but obviously I realise that that was not the purpose of the novel. 
One element of this novel that I really enjoyed was the romantic element that ran through it. This was well created by Corlett, it had enough back story to make it believable, and the foundations for their relationship were built gradually but felt stable and realistic throughout. I was really glad these two characters got together, and the whole atmosphere of the book was definitely lightened by the romance.
Overall I gave this novel 3.5/5 stars. I thought it was an interesting take on science fiction and the end of the world narratives, and placing the focus on the human side of it, and how a human would psychologically cope was an interesting take. However, I felt that the whiny narrator paired with a fairly slow meandering narration did not hook me the way I was hoping it would.

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