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review 2017-11-08 00:02
The Trials - Linda Nagata

This is a genre that I seldom read, near-future, sort of post-apocalyptic, military fiction; but DAMN, I like this series. It's almost like ... well, I want to say good Tom Clancy with twists.

This is the continuation of the events in First Light, book one of the series.  Again, we follow the 1st person narrative of Lieutenant James Shelley as he navigates this screwed up world.  Shelley is the beneficiary of some high tech body modifications, even thought they sometimes seem like a curse and Nagata writes it so well that even a know-nothing like me understands what's going on.  Even the trial/court scenes were eminently readable and that's not always the case.

The world is dark and cynical and full of conspiracies and plots and counter-plots and the author does them all justice.  I never predicted what was happening until it was either happening or just about to go down.  And even then, there was always some twist I didn't see.

This is a techno-thriller in the true sense of the word, I think.  I was on the virtual edge of my seat almost the whole time I was reading.  We meet up with lots of old friends, make some new ones and come across some not so nice folks too, familiar and otherwise.  And I should have seen that twist coming at the end, but I didn't, and damn, it's a good one!

So yeah, I really enjoyed my read and I'm glad that I have the final book in the trilogy nestled nicely in my Kobo.

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review 2017-03-21 22:12
United States of Japan ★★☆☆☆
United States of Japan - Peter Tieryas

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, Booklikes & Librarything and linked at Goodreads & Mobileread by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: United States of Japan
Series: ---------
Author: Peter Tieryas
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Alt-History
Pages: 400
Format: Digital Edition





 

Synopsis:


Japan and Germany win War World II. Japan takes over the West Coast of America and completely destroy all American culture and replace it with their own. Having the upper hand in technology, the Japanese establish the United States of Japan.

 

Now in 1988, one man...

Is Fighting Back. With Giant Robots, Nukes and Robo-swords. He is the technological Wizard and is going to restore the American Ideal of Freedom!

 

Ha. Fooled you. This is some piece of crap about a coward and a disgraced Secret Police woman fighting a little bit before being killed or seriously wounded. Not going to lie.

 

 



My Thoughts:


The best thing about this book was the cover. That is one awesome cover. Beyond that, this was Alternate History from the view of the little people [ie, the people without a lot of power to actually affect things]. If you like that sort of crap, then this book is definitely tailor made for you.

 

For those of us who are not enamoured of fake history, who went in thinking that there would be giant robots fighting all over and cool and awesome rebel battles, this was beyond a disappointment. Replace the cover with some grimy war victims in a bombed out city and you'll have a better representation.

 

I am not a fan of reading REAL history. So why should I WASTE my time with FAKE history? I just figured that the description was trying to rope in the literati and that the author would actually give me a kick butt action story. No such luck. At least I now know not to try any more by Tieryas.

 

From a purely technical standpoint, my only gripe was the word choices and phrasing employed by the author. It kept throwing me out of the story. Only use a little known or little used word if it fits better than the common word usually employed. And by fits better, I'm talking “ochre” versus “orange” versus “cinnamon” kind of difference. Not “orbulianicus” instead of “round”.

 

What a bloody waste of my time. I hate Alt-History. So take my venting with a gigantic grain of salt.

 

★★☆☆☆

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-02-12 20:42
Gridlinked (Polity: Agent Cormac #1)
Gridlinked (Agent Cormac) - Neal Asher

https://bookstooge.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/gridlinked-polity-agent-cormac-1/

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review 2017-01-29 04:04
Weird Science
The Breach - Patrick Lee

After several false starts, I got into this book. I read most of it on the way to Illinois for Thanksgiving. This is one of those books that takes a while to get started, but once you're in, you're in. The concept is so crazy, it takes a while to figure out what's going on. I think the closest comparison I could make is the TV show "Fringe". It's that kind of crazy. Also it's the kind of thing that people who have tons of conspiracy theories and deep distrust for the establishment, corporations and the government will read and say, "I told you so." The ending is a bit of a mindblower. I am still trying to decide how I felt about it.

I am no physics genius, but I love the concept of time travel. I like the ethics and philosophical aspects. You know, the whole grandfather complex thing and the "if you could go forward or back, would you?" kind of thing. Also, there's the whole what happens when we open doors to places we don't know anything about. Should some doors stay closed?

As a scientist, I have asked myself that many times. I tend to be a big fan of scientific ethics and I think that you can't throw that out just in the search of knowledge. Seek it, but seek it carefully and cautiously. Some of the inventions in this book, I can't even. I mean, they should be buried in a very deep hole somewhere. I pray some of this will never exist in real life.

So anyway, my opinions of science and time travel aside, this trippy book really grabbed me and didn't let me go. There is a high body count and I asked myself what the hell is wrong with some people. They abandon right and wrong for power and ugly stuff happens. That's a big part of this book. Also, on the good side, there are people who will put their lives on the line to do the right thing. That takes a lot of moral courage and I feel that even from fiction, we can draw courage to face those tough ethical decisions in our own lives.

This one has some blood and guts, but nothing gratuitous. I would advise readers to plan to pick up the next book. I have it, and I will try to get to it in the nearish future.

This is my second book by Patrick Lee. I read Runner first, and I like his style. He's not afraid to go there and put the reader through their paces. He doesn't give them a cut and dried book. He makes them think about what they are reading. I like that in an author.

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review 2016-09-21 00:19
Going Dark (The Red #3)
Going Dark - Linda Nagata

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: Going Dark

Series: The Red

Author: Linda Nagata

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 465

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Shelley is the team lead of a group of individuals who are working directly for The Red. They seek to end Existential Threats [ie, world ending, world changing] before they can occur.

But Shelley isn't prepared for The Red to be a fallible program and when it appears to fail him, Shelley must decide if he'll continue to let The Red run his life or if he'll start controlling himself.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This was the most overtly philosophical of the books and hence we spend a good bit of time in Shelley's head. You know what? Shelley is an idiot. He has tossed aside his own brains and expects The Red to be his god and to be the kind of god that gives him everything on a platter. He forgets that The Red is a program and nothing more. In many ways, this was the story of Shelley growing up and beginning to rely on himself and other people instead of an ephemeral bit of code.

 

There is just as much action as in the previous books. Pulse pounding, boot thumping, bullet shattering action. Shelley is always one step from dying, either from the enemy or from his relying on The Red and considering how the author has treated him in the previous books, you just never know if he'll make it or not.

 

There isn't much resolution really. Shelley just decides to stop relying on The Red and be a fracking man. Hoo Ra!

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