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review 2018-05-25 16:07
Exploring an untapped part of the Star Trek universe
The Rift - Peter David

Returning to Vega after their adventure on Talos IV, the U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a rift in space. After taking his ship through the rift, Captain Christopher Pike and his crew meet the Calligar, an advanced civilization in the far-off Gamma Quadrant; while initial interactions are promising, the Enterprise is forced to return to Federation space before the rift closes. Thirty three years later the rift opens again, giving the Federation the opportunity to renew the contact, this time with a team led by Captain James Kirk in the Enterprise-A, though this time the Calligar leader precipitates a crisis that jeopardizes both amicable relations and the Federation representatives sent to establish them,

 

On one level it's surprising that, even after a profitable half-century of developing the Star Trek franchise, so little has been done with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise that preceded Kirk's merry band; indeed, there are even more works about author-created characters than there are ones featuring Pike's time in command. Peter David uses the limited material from the original pilot to provide a depiction of a very different Enterprise crew, giving his work a freshness that is often lacking in a Star Trek novel. His concept of a periodically-opening rift to a distant part of the galaxy is also an interesting one, serving as a nice way to tie events to the Enterprise crew with whom fans are more familiar. Yet the second half of the novel is more disappointing, as the plot follows tired characters into well-worn grooves with a predictable course of events. Though David enlivens this part with some knowing jokes and a nice little twist, it still doesn't live up to the originality and promise of the first half of the book.

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text 2018-05-25 12:07
Reading progress update: I've read 152 out of 274 pages.
The Rift - Peter David

After finishing Joe Haldeman's World Without End, I thought I might be reaching a burnout point on my Star Trek novel reading. I tried a couple of the others in the older "Star Trek Experience" series, but they didn't really grab me (it didn't help that one of them, David Gerrold's The Galactic Whirlpool, was about yet another world-ship), and neither did a couple of the other early Pocket Books that I tried. But then I decided to jump ahead to one of the later novels, and it proved the right decision. Peter David's novel started out strong with the Enterprise crew from the original pilot — Captain Christopher Pike, Number One, Dr. Philip Boyce, and the rest — encountering a tear in space. This gives the author surprisingly fresh ground in which to develop a Star Trek tale, and David really does well with it. By contrast the second half of the novel, which is set on the Enterprise-A three decades later, seems much more tired, perhaps in part because the idea of the same aging crew (I mean, come on, a captain as first officer?) still occupying the same posts after all that time has long strained my credulity. It helps, though, that David writes with a knowing wink and the premise is interesting enough to keep me turning the pages.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-04 07:16
The Rift by R.J. Clark
The Rift (Detectives and Demons #1) - R.J. Clark

The Rift by R.J. Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Matt Faustus, whose very soul is connected to a high ranking fiend, finds himself neck-deep in a new case - one he accepted despite being warned about the possible ramifications. A little girl is missing, abducted by the family's house-cleaning demon, and it's his job to find her. Eager to earn that paycheck, Matt's enthusiasm soon lands him in trouble within the Hellspawn society, though that sure doesn't stop him.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to R.J. Clark for giving me the opportunity!

This came as an unexpected surprise, especially considering I added this one to my Goodreads shelf way back in 2011; the year I made the decision to start reviewing everything I read. Being able to jump into something that piqued my interest that long ago, well, it was more than nice. What initially drew me in was the compelling aspect of the Rift itself, and how it expelled demons of all shapes and sizes right out into the city of New Orleans. Can you imagine if that happened? It's a terrifying thought; an apocalyptic occurrence right out from Revelations. However, whilst the book includes adult themes of gore and some sensitive subject matters, I wouldn't classify it as horror. For me, it was urban fantasy through and through - perhaps on the darker side of the spectrum, yes, but urban fantasy all the same - a genre that still appeals to me despite my tastes evolving toward more darker material.

Matt was certainly an entertaining and likeable protagonist, even if he displayed selfish and immature behaviour, but those faults didn't affect my impression of him. His soul-bound connection to Baalberith was yet another high point, offering a more intimate and unique peek into the relationship between man and monster. A large part of what intrigued me was Matt's entire history - there's so much backstory, so much unexplored territory to his character. Mentioned throughout were snippets of his difficult childhood, a large portion including Father Donovan and his ceaseless exorcism attempts. Clark has a great amount of freedom if he wishes to return to the world in which Matthew resides, either as a recollection of earlier events, or following the conclusion of this debut. Maybe even involving a new hero entirely!

My favourite character had to be Persephone, however. I found him a great addition to the team as he added much needed spice to what would've been a couple's day out. There was nothing wrong with Alura per se; she had a temper I found to be enticing, and I loved the Succubi as a species, but overall I didn't quite feel connected to her partnership with Matt. This could be because their attachment had already been established, and instead of accompanying them along with their courtship, I was thrown into the middle. I felt somewhat lost at times, and when particular information was held back, of which concerned the reason why they had fallen out in the first place, it even further distanced me.

The plot itself was the definition of action packed. It just didn't stop; trouble followed Matt everywhere, biting at his heels. I appreciated the fact that injuries were in abundance - pain, bloody and brutal, was dished out over and over. There's nothing more tedious than an overpowered hero that comes out on top of every bad situation. For me to get properly invested and absorbed, there has to be that feeling of danger and struggle, even if it's nothing but a convincing illusion. Clark was able to pull this off superbly, successfully giving considerable weight to every threat. The ending also held a twist I adored, because of the sheer horribleness of it. Suffice it to say, I felt sorry for Matt.

As for the Bestiary and wide selection of demons - I enjoyed the large amount of creativity put into their creation. They had their own culture and each offered their own strengths and weaknesses. It might not have been pretty, but I was completely on board with that.

As you can tell, I've a lot to say about this once forgotten novel as I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I do believe it's in need of further editing. There's a large amount of mistakes; incorrect words placed within sentences, although it didn't bother me all too much.

In conclusion: I would consider this a great beginning to a series. I enjoyed the demonic elements, and Matt as protagonist. This book deserves more recognition in the urban fantasy genre, for sure, however I believe it needs a bit of tidying up in regards to sentence structure.

Notable Quote:

Most humans saw these creatures as second class citizens, and treated them decidedly so. Like their slaves for the most part. Regardless of the concept of inalienable rights, man is a creature attracted to subjugation, and since it wasn't legal in this country to enslave each other anymore, many figured they'd just substitute the Hellspawn. Demons were the food that fed that primal urge without attracting social ire or reproach.

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/05/04/the-rift-by-r-j-clark
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review 2017-11-04 00:00
The Rift (Rift Saga Book 1)
The Rift (Rift Saga Book 1) - Ella Avery... The Rift (Rift Saga Book 1) - Ella Avery,S.L. Morgan,Amanda Baker Does anyone really have the perfect life? Cara is about to find out the answer, and she may be surprised as to what it might truly be.

I must say, the first chapter was a bit slow for me, but I have learned that one should never judge a book by it's first chapter (I learned this the hard way). By chapter three I was completely involved in this and found it fascinating, I couldn't put it down at times. The two authors, Avery and Morgan, did a great job blending their storytelling abilities. The settings and storytelling was absolutely wonderful.

Going from a life Cara once knew to another only to find out that there are mystical forces behind it, it was easy for Cara to be quite confused and unsure what to do. Of course, once she is pushed to her limits, not only does she surprise herself, but those who seek her out. She's far stronger than those who want her. Not only does she learn what is the "perfect life", but also who, or what, to trust, which is a lot more difficult than one might think. There is romance, but it does not detract from the story, which I always appreciate. There is more to Cara than meets the eye and I'm sure we'll learn more as the series progresses. I'm quite interested to see how she fares in the sequel as I don't want to give out spoilers.

I received this ARC for an honest review.
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review 2017-09-05 00:00
Black Rift
Black Rift - Joshua Reynolds Black Rift - Joshua Reynolds Even though it reads like an extended battle report, with people getting all their toys on the table, this is a good fantasy novel set in Games Workshop's new Age of Sigmar setting.

The forces of chaos are over running the world of Klaxus, and the Stormbound forces of Orius are all that stand in their way.

Individual battle scenes are well written, and both forces are a bit more fleshed out than in other novels.
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