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review 2017-06-26 05:00
Horizon by Tabitha Lord
Horizon - Tabitha Lord

Caeli is one member that has a few unique skills. There is a commander in trouble with his spaceship. Will he survive? Caeli is part of the few survivors of her world. She is taken from her home and put with someone that being dictator.

 

Tabitha is a good author and she brings it all to life. What will happen on Horizon. Will the commander and Caeli get together and help save the crew, and find love in each other? She happy to work on the ship in where she loves working.

 

We go on adventures through inner space and what life is like on Horizon. Will they all survive or not? I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last page. I cannot wait to start the second book that I do have in this series. The author has done wonderfully with it. There are surprises throughout the book and some romance as well.


I believe this book is good for though science fiction but also I would suggest teens read it from the age of 14 and up. The parent has the right to decide. It being rated PG 13 so it would be okay for 13 years old if you the parent this your child or children are mature enough for the book. That is up to you.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2017/06/book-tour-horizon-by-tabitha-lord.html
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review 2017-06-26 03:17
CatStronauts: Race to Mars (graphic novel) by Drew Brockington
CatStronauts: Race to Mars - Drew Brockington

The CatStronauts are back and...they're kind of bored. And not really doing much besides accepting awards and going to free lunches and dinners held in their honor. But then the CatStronauts are called back into action. It turns out that several other space programs around the world are planning Mars missions, and the CatStronauts are the last ones to get involved. Will they lose to the CosmoCats or one of the other two groups, or will they triumph and be the first cats to land on Mars?

In some ways, this volume felt a little more solid than CatStronauts: Mission Moon. For example, the internal logic was much better. However, it also had less of the first volume’s silly fun, and the competition between the various space programs made things a little more tense overall. Sometimes the cats had to prioritize between their “race to Mars” timeline and the scientific experiments they wanted to do once they got to Mars, because there wasn’t enough time to get everything done. Brockington included some nice visual jokes and random references in the background (I noticed Star Wars, Star Trek, and maybe Teletubbies), but overall this volume didn’t seem quite as light as the first one, even though there was less at stake.

Each space program seemed to be analogous to a real-life space program, although I wasn’t 100% certain about one of them. The CosmoCats were definitely Russian, and the COOKIE mission (quick and inexpensive) appeared to be Indian. I wasn’t sure about the MEOW mission. Maybe German? I came across another reviewer who seemed to think it was a stand-in for Luxembourg.

Much of the volume was devoted to showing the various space programs preparing to go to Mars. Anytime someone decided to remove something from their Mars mission “To Do” list in the interest of saving time, or pushed their employees too hard, I wondered if and when it would come back to bite them. The CosmoCats were presented as villains,

at least at first

(spoiler show)

. One of the top CosmoCats was especially willing to do whatever he had to in order to be the first to get to Mars, setting a grueling pace for their workers and creating terrible working conditions.

In the end, though, this turned out to be a story about learning to work together.

The supposed villains really weren’t.

(spoiler show)

I loved seeing Pom Pom and Gemelli bonding over their shared love of science, and it was kind of nice to see that even the oh-so-serious Major Meowser wasn’t infallible. I was also glad that Cat-Stro-Bot got to have a role in this story too, although its part in the story became a little chaotic and confusing near the end.

All in all, the first volume was a little more fun than this one, but this one seemed to be a bit more solid and well-thought-out.

A side note: this volume made me realize that I’d made some character design assumptions that weren’t necessarily true. For example, cats whose eyes were drawn so that they had eyelashes were female, while cats whose eyes were just dots were male, meaning that all the CatStronauts were male. Or so I thought. I don’t know if pronouns were used in the first volume and I just missed them, but the second volume definitely referred to Pom Pom using she/her pronouns.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-06-25 15:54
Book Review: Slipspace: Harbinger
Slipspace: Harbinger - P.C. Haring Slipspace: Harbinger - P.C. Haring

*I read this book for my own enjoyment and in exchange for an honest review.

Oh! Starting this book, it caught my attention from the first sentence. Nice! There are creatures and outer space in one book. And more! I liked it!

We start with meeting the commanders who have a hefty past and as they all come together on Mjollnir with Captain Cody Amado. As they arrive and the new large vessel is running trials, there is a computer glitch. Something that appears to be fixed, but Captain Cody Amado and Melor fear sabotage. On a low, Melor is investigating to see if it was sabotage of not. This seems to quickly get put to the back burner as the ship soon finds itself in the middle of a mission which then leads to much more, and more time consuming projects... like fixing the ship... and winning battles.

Captain Amado and his crew are sent on their first mission in the large heavy battleship Mjollnir. They are to investigate what happened at Artez and why the colony is not responding. This is interesting. As we investigate Artez, and move to places where we meet other beings, we get a view of the brutal past that's been lived. Humans have fought a costly war with a deadly race. And there are uneasy peace with other beings in space. But, humans can always use more allies especially after the toll on Artez and the possible battles to come.

A great sign of crafted characters is when I have strong feelings about characters. This is hats off to the author for creating each character as their own individual.

A few of the characters to mention as examples:
-Admiral Marr... oh I liked him when we first met him. But when he sent Cody and our crew on a mission that could very well be their death! Oh I didn't like him at all. He seemed to enjoy this moment to much for me, in just the smile he had. But it is his job. He's got his own personal troubles as well, with his daughter.
-Cody's wife, the doctor on ship as well, seems a bit to needy for me (in her personality that's well written). She knows her stuff and has a very good idea what she's getting into, but when she arrives on the ship she's very demanding and upset, over a few things but one was not having a window. Nira grew on me as she grew as a character. She seemed to start to adapt to being on ship more and more.
-Melor is probably one of my favorites of the the crew. She's also the engine mechanic aboard, in simple terms. She's brilliant and knows the process that needs to be done, so takes no crap from anyone. She's a pivotal character here as she's not human, but she's saved the ship in one spot to maybe doom it in another for being who she is. She has her past that haunts her as well.
-Cody seems like a rather level headed man. He's actually perfect for Captain of the ship. Really, I think so. He thinks everything out and goes for the good.
-Cassandra sometimes doesn't see the good to be done, but to defend her, she's lived the battle with the terrible creatures that threatened her and her soldiers lives. She knows what they can do and what to watch for. She just doesn't want to see it happen again.

All of these characters have a past that drives them in their way of thinking and decisions. All their connections and pasts are presented to us and we understand why they take the paths they do. All this comes out as the ship moves forward in it's mission, and brings us to where they need to be.

I found it easy to slip into the world with the characters because they seemed personable. We live in their day. The characters live and think as normal people we feel all their emotions. This story is more than just a space War Story it's a story of family and friends and their lives they lead. That's part of what makes it a Space Opera. I could see people who enjoyed Star Trek enjoying this read. It's not overly science fiction strong with terms and usage of Technology. It's a story of people trying to live their lives and find peace for all in space.

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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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