The Troy Rising series - Tyler Vernon to the rescue!

Posted by Lore on Fri, 05/26/2023 - 22:06
Live Free or Die Book Cover

The Troy Rising series is a humorous take on the standard Sci-Fi scenario of humanity's first contact with an alien race. As is often the case, things don't go well for Earth as we are outclassed both technologically and militarily when the Horvath come to claim our resources. Earth's governments have no recourse but to comply to the alien demands, and Earth becomes a subservient planet. The Horvath control the space orbitals and there is nothing that humans can do from the planet to fight their way free. Enter Tyler Vernon, entrepreneur and maple syrup king, into the story and things start to change. Tyler Vernon not only steps up to save Earth, but he also saves this entire series of books. He is an interesting, opinionated character that isn't willing to allow Earth to remain slaves to the Horvath. Any time the  series focuses on Tyler Vernon and his plans to use maple syrup to save the Earth then it flies by and is a joy to read or listen to.

Howling Dark - the stakes get bigger in The Sun Eater series

Posted by Lore on Fri, 05/19/2023 - 23:36
Howling Dark Book Cover

Hadrian Marlowe has managed to free himself from his gilded cage and is now in a position to pursue his dream of seeking peace with the Cielcin. For 400 years the Sollan Empire has been at war with the alien Cielcin and it has now become a war that both sides have inherited rather than started. Because of this, Hadrian thinks that if humanity could just find the Cielcin leadership it might be possible to discuss peace with them and end the bloodshed. Rumors indicate that the path to finding the Cielcin lies with first finding the lost planet of Vorgossos, and that is something Hadrian has been pursuing for decades without much success. He has been chasing down one rumor after another and has nothing to show for it except yet another "promising" lead. With the limited support he has from the Empire eroding quickly, Hadrian finds he is at a crossroads. He must either commit treason against the Empire in order for it find peace or give up on his dream and return to his former captivity. For Hadrian Marlowe, that is no choice at all.

Empire of Silence - the start of an epic sci-fi series

Posted by Lore on Fri, 05/05/2023 - 15:26
Empire of Silence Book Cover

The Sun Eater is a series that chronicles the life of Hadrian Marlowe. The official blurb says "The galaxy remembers him as a hero: the man who burned every last alien Cielcin from the sky. They remember him as a monster: the devil who destroyed a sun, casually annihilating four billion human lives - even the emperor himself - against Imperial orders." So this is one of those series where the reader knows that the protagonist is not going to die because he is the one telling the story of his life, something I am not a fan of, but it does come highly recommended so I decided to give it a try. This is a far distant future where Earth has been destroyed and since become the basis of the dominant religion, and humanity has spread among the stars using ships capable of interstellar travel. So it is epic in scope and the quoted blurb sets the stage for big things to happen, but it all starts with Hadrian as a young noble who resents his parents and wants no part of the gilded future that is available to him.

Firefly: Carnival - not so easy money

Posted by Lore on Fri, 04/21/2023 - 22:50
Firefly: Carnival Book Cover

Firefly: Carnival is the 6th book in the series, but chronologically it would be first because the events in it occur during the time of the original TV series. That makes it a pretty standalone novel with a unique setting for telling a fun story because the planet Bethel has a definite Las Vegas vibe going for it. On Bethel, Carnival is approaching and that means three days of non-stop partying, but that's not the reason why the crew of Serenity have arrived there. Mal and crew have taken on a security job that requires them to guard an important shipment of minerals, which should be a piece of cake. Of course, even when Mal is trying to be on the right side of the law, things don't go according to plan. The shipment is stolen and the crew of Serenity finds themselves split up, with two of them taken hostage by the owner of the lost shipment. If Mal doesn't come up with the 500 platinum required to pay for the shipment, then those two will be executed, and local law enforcement won't do anything about it. This puts the rest of the crew at odds and it results in a lot of arguing over what the plan should be. When that fails to produce a viable option, multiple schemes are taken on by various crew members, each trying to earn some quick money before it is too late.

Memory's Legion - more stories from the Expanse universe

Posted by Lore on Sat, 04/08/2023 - 02:16
Memory's Legion Book Cover

I rarely read or listen to novellas, even when I like the series they are a part of, because they are usually too short to be satisfying. I am also of the mindset that if the stories were any good then they would have found their way into the full length books of the series. However, when I really like the series and the author puts out a collection of the short stories/novellas as a full sized book, then I will sometimes bite. I did that for The First Law series and it turned out just ok. So with no other options available for more stories in The Expanse universe I decided to give Memory's Legion a try. It contains 8 short stories that are spread across almost the entire story arc of The Expanse, and for the most part they are all worth your time. Some start a bit slow but once you get your bearings then each one is interesting enough and they are actually long enough to feel relatively complete. So if you want to spend some more time with Amos Burton, Bobbie Draper, or Fred Johnson then here's your chance.

Hell Divers X: Fallout - screw saving humanity, it's time for revenge

Posted by Lore on Sat, 03/25/2023 - 03:33
Hell Divers X: Fallout Book Cover

I've felt for a while now that this series has gone on for too long, but after the shocking events of the last book I must admit that I have been eagerly waiting for this one. Fallout is also an excellent title because fans of the series know that Rolo's shocking betrayal is going to result in King Xavier becoming an unstoppable force bent of revenge. X is old, and he is losing the support of many of those around him, but he is called The Immortal for a reason. Rolo thinks X is dead so he has no clue what his actions have initiated. Of course Rolo's betrayal was the most devastating event of the last book but it wasn't the only thing that went sideways. Michael has also been deposed as leader of the Vanguard Islands by Charmer and Roger is MIA after the fall of Outpost Gateway. It all adds up to humanity being on the brink of extinction but I don't really care about any of that, Rolo needs to die.

Starseers - more popcorn sci-fi in the Fallen Empire series

Posted by Lore on Fri, 02/17/2023 - 00:49
Starseers Book Cover

In the last book, Captain Alisa Marchenko learned that the mysterious Starseers had kidnapped her daughter and Alisa vowed to get her back. The problem with that vow is nobody actually knows where the Starseers are since they are masters of mind manipulation and keep themselves hidden away. Of course this is a popcorn sci-fi book, so one of Alisa's passengers, Yumi, just happens to be the daughter of a Starseer and she knows of a planet where they have a temple. And another of her passengers, Alejandro, is also interested in paying the Starseers a visit to learn more about his mysterious orb, so off they all go to the planet Arkadius. Contrivances aside, just knowing where the Starseers are is a far cry from Alisa actually being able to get her daughter back, and the Starseers aren't exactly inclined to help Alejandro with his orb quest either, since they feel that the orb belongs to them. All of this means that when the Star Nomad does arrive at the planet Arkadius, and the crew manages to find the Starseers, it should make for an interesting confrontation.

Nemesis of Mars - Damien and Roslyn are back in their 13th adventure

Posted by Sevhina on Fri, 02/10/2023 - 19:08
Nemesis of Mars Book Cover

Damien is no longer Regent but he is still immersed in running the Protectorate as Prince-Chancellor now that Kiera, Mage Queen of Mars, has reached her majority. After an attempted kidnapping of the Mage Queen ends with thousands dead, Damien leaps at the chance to lead the investigation himself. Meanwhile, an old acquaintance turns to Roslyn Chambers for help when he realizes that his criminal organization most likely supplied the nukes used to destroy the Mage Queen's ship. In return for amnesty he's willing to give up the leader of the arms smuggling ring, who just happens to be Roslyn's ex-boyfriend and the reason she ended up in Juvenile Detention. Damien and Roslyn have never been closer to capturing the head of Nemesis, the organization who's scheming has created wars, as well as assassinating Kiera's father and brother among other atrocities. Damien may be getting a late start in this race, but he's determined to end Nemesis once and for all.

Honor's Flight - betrayal and conflicts of interest

Posted by Lore on Fri, 02/03/2023 - 06:20
Honor's Flight Book Cover

In the first book of the series, Star Nomad, Captain Alisa Marchenko and her crew never even made it to their destination, but they finally do in this book. The Empire may have lost the war, but the planet of Perun is still a stronghold for Empire supporters, so the Star Nomad isn't exactly welcome. Luckily for Marchenko, one of her passengers, Alejandro, is able to use his influence to clear the way for an authorized landing. Alisa is here to be reunited with her daughter, who she hasn't seen in years, and Alejandro is here to do some research on his mysterious artifact to further his unknown quest. Marchenko isn't sure exactly what happens after she is reunited with her daughter, but she is still dreaming of a life as a freighter pilot and plans to take her daughter with her. However, it doesn't take long for her to learn that something dreadful has happened and all her plans are for naught. While she was off fighting in the war, the Starseers came and took her daughter away, so it's time for a new plan. Track down the all powerful Starseers and get her daughter back, no matter what the cost....

Sweep of the Heart - the Innkeeper Chronicles go all out in this 6th installment

Posted by Sevhina on Fri, 01/27/2023 - 21:17
Sweep of the Heart Book Cover

Book 6 of the Innkeeper Chronicles pushes its mix of fantasy and sci-fi humor to the edge of the ridiculous with this galactic version of "The Bachelor". The Spouse candidates are a fantastically diverse group of aliens and according to rumor at least one of them wants to assassinate the Sovereign of the Dominion instead of marrying him. But behind the "show" there is a surprising amount of substance. The metaphorical spotlights are on several minor characters from previous books and at long last we learn Caldenia's backstory.