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World War Z meets giant robots.


Sleeping Giants

Del Rey, 2016, pages320



An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a literary thriller fueled by a quest for truth - and a fight for control of earthshaking power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved - its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand's code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What's clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history's most perplexing discovery - and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?


How to make a serious sci-fi novel out of Voltron.Collapse )




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Book Review: Dead Certain, by Adam Mitzner

A lawyer with a secret life finds out her little sister has one too.


Dead Certain

Thomas & Mercer, 2017, 348 pages



Ella Broden is living a double life.

By day, Ella works as a buttoned-up attorney on some of the city's most grueling cases. By night, she pursues her passion for singing in the darkest clubs of Manhattan.

No one knows her secret, not even Charlotte, the younger sister she practically raised. But it seems she's not the only one in the family with something to hide. When Charlotte announces she's sold her first novel, Ella couldn't be more thrilled...until she gets a call that her sister's gone missing.

Ella starts investigating with the help of Detective Gabriel Velasquez, an old flame in the NYPD, and what she finds is shocking. If art imitates life, then her sister's novel may contain details of her real-life affairs. And any one of her lovers could be involved in her disappearance.

Desperate to bring Charlotte home, Ella works through her list of suspects, matching fictitious characters with flesh-and-blood men. But will it be too late to save the sister she only thought she knew?


Life imitates fiction, a little too closely.Collapse )

Also by Adam Mitzner: My review of A Conflict of Interest.




My complete list of book reviews.
A Star Trek novel for Klingon fans that mashes Picard and Kirk into the same story.


Hell's Heart

Pocket Books, 2016, 400 pages



Continuing the milestone 50th anniversary celebration of Star Trek - an epic new trilogy that stretches from the events of the Original Series movie The Search for Spock to The Next Generation!

When Klingon commander Kruge died in combat against James T. Kirk on the Genesis planet back in 2285, he left behind a powerful house in disarray - and a series of ticking time bombs: the Phantom Wing, a secret squadron of advanced Birds-of-Prey; a cabal of loyal officers intent on securing his heritage; and young Korgh, his thwarted would-be heir, willing to wait a Klingon lifetime to enact his vengeance.

Now, 100 years later, while on a diplomatic mission for the United Federation of Planets, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise are snared in the aged Korgh's trap - and thrust directly in the middle of an ancient conflict. But as Commander Worf soon learns, Korgh may be after far bigger game than anyone imagines, confronting the Federation-Klingon alliance with a crisis unlike any it has ever seen!


Are media tie-in novels ever any good? What's the difference between this and fan fiction besides a license?Collapse )




My complete list of book reviews.
The Coast Guard cones to the rescue of the Pendleton and the Mercer.


The Finest Hours

Scribner, 2007, 197 pages



In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal nor'easter in years. As the weather wreaked havoc on land, the freezing Atlantic became a wind-whipped zone of peril, setting the stage for one of the most heroic rescue stories ever lived.

On February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, were in the same horrifying predicament. Built with "dirty steel," and not prepared to withstand such ferocious seas, both tankers split in two, leaving the dozens of men on board utterly at the Atlantic's mercy. The Finest Hours is the gripping, true story of the valiant attempt to rescue the souls huddling inside the broken halves of the two ships.

The spellbinding tale is overflowing with breathtaking scenes, as boats capsize, bows and sterns crash into one another, and men hurl themselves into the raging sea in a terrifying battle for survival.

Not all of the 84 men caught at sea in the midst of that brutal storm survived, but considering the odds, it's a miracle - and a testament to their bravery - that any at all came home to tell their tales.


A story of survival and heroism at sea.Collapse )




My complete list of book reviews.

Book Review: The Verdict, by Nick Stone

A Grisham-style British legal thriller.




Pegasus Books, 2014, 512 pages



When Terry Flynt gets the chance to defend a millionaire accused of murder, he knows the case could make his career - but the accused man is Flynt's greatest enemy. Can he defend a man who ruined his life?

Terry Flynt is a struggling legal clerk desperately trying to get promoted when he is given the biggest opportunity of his career: to help defend a millionaire accused of murdering a woman in his hotel suite. The only problem is that the accused man, Vernon James, is not only someone he knows but someone he loathes. This case could potentially make Terry's career, but how can he defend a former friend who betrayed him?

With the trial date looming, Terry delves deeper into Vernon's life and is forced to confront secrets from their shared past that could have devastating consequences for them both. For years, he has wanted to witness Vernon's downfall, but with so much at stake, how can Terry be sure he is guilty? And what choices must he make to ensure that justice is done?


Defending your douchebag ex-friend while hoping he goes down.Collapse )




My complete list of book reviews.

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A B-17 crew goes sideways in space/time, winds up elsewhere.


Fata Morgana

Blackstone Publishing, 2017, 328 pages



At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling, and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world.

Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder - and finds a love seemingly decreed by fate - as his bomber becomes a pawn in a centuries-old conflict between remnants of advanced but decaying civilizations. Caught among these bitter enemies, a vast power that has brought them here for its own purposes, and a terrifying living weapon bent on their destruction, the crew must use every bit of their formidable inventiveness and courage to survive.

Fata Morgana - the epic novel of love and duty at war across the reach of time.


A love letter to the B-17 Flying Fortress, and those who served on them.Collapse )




My complete list of book reviews.
Pre-review: AQ update - I have been writing. I got about two more chapters finished in the last three months. Yes, it's still slow going, but progress is happening (slowly).

Now I'm gonna talk about Star Wars, because everyone else is.

Ramblings about Star Wars, X-Men, and pop culture. Do I need to warn you? Spoilers, duh.Collapse )
Two sisters go off to a city ruled by gods and start a rebellion.


Warbreaker

Tor, 2009, 592 pages



Warbreaker is the story of two sisters who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn't like his job, and the immortal who's still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago. Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren's capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can be collected only one unit at a time from individual people. By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron, the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery; and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.


Magic by colors, doughty adventurers, virgin princesses and oddly chaste lust goddesses in another RPG-suitable fantasy world.Collapse )

Also by Brandon Sanderson: My reviews of Elantris, The Mistborn trilogy, The Alloy of Law, Steelheart, and The Way of Kings.




My complete list of book reviews.
An anthology of dystopian short stories.


2084

Unsung Stories, 2017, 344 pages



Fifteen predictions, seventy years in the future. By 2084 the world we know is gone. These are stories from our world seven decades later.

In 1948 George Orwell looked at the world around him and his response was 1984, now a classic dystopian novel. Here eleven writers asked themselves the same question as Orwell did - where are we going, and what is our future?

Visit the dark corners of the future metropolis, trek the wastelands of all that remains. See the world through the eyes of drones. Put humanity on trial as the oceans rise. Say goodbye to your body as humanity merges with technology.

Warnings or prophesies? Paradise or destruction? Will we be proud of what we have achieved, in 2084?

Our future unfolds before us.


More Hunger Games than Orwell.Collapse )




My complete list of book reviews.
Demons rise every night to kill everything that's not warded, until a Chosen One arrives.


The Warded Man

Random House, 2008, 453 pages



The Warded Man features a world where demons stalk the night, hunting humans who have long forgotten the magic of their ancestors. But all is not lost, as some hold out hope that a savior will release humanity from the demons' terrifying reign.


Standard epic fantasy, but enough to please even jaded fans of the genre.Collapse )




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