Sunday, 25 February 2018

Into the Void by Joshua A. Johnston

Into the Void (Chronicles of Sarco, #2)Into the Void by Joshua A. Johnston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Into The Void is the second installment of the Chronicles of Sarco written by Joshua A. Johnston and takes up the story soon after the fall of the powerful entity known as Malum. The major and minor races of the Confederacy are still in turmoil, vast fleets of warships have been lost but crew casualties have been light due to the unusual nature of Malum. The political climate is volatile and as with the Invasion of 1124 many would want to consolidate and lick their wounds however Admiral Garvak sees no recourse but to venture beyond the void and gain intelligence on Malum and the beings that created it and sent it to destroy the worlds of the Confederacy. Commander Jared Carter is promoted and given command of the Hattan and secret orders to cross the void on a reconnaissance mission, what he finds pushes the ship and crew to their limits and could tip the balance of power both sides of the void.
Into The Void is a more action packed and fast paced novel and for me that resulted in a much more enjoyable read, the expansion of the universe with the revelations of what exists on the other side of the void added immensely to the excellent world created in the first novel. Existing characters have evolved and new characters added to the mix seamlessly and the "big bad" written with depth and continues the conflict between the physical and metaphysical both on the grand scale and the personal, I'm looking forward to the continuation of this story in a third novel.

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Sunday, 18 February 2018

The Time Titan of Tomorrow by Barry J. Hutchison

The Time Titan of Tomorrow (Space Team, #8)The Time Titan of Tomorrow by Barry J. Hutchison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Space Team return with a non-stop all action adventure dealing with time and space mainly it has to be said thanks to the lack of Mush (food replicator resource). As we know when Cal gets it in to his head to solve a problem anything can happen and after a mission to capture an evil fiend leaves them with a huge bill the lure of a rich folk filled space passenger liner in distress is too good to pass up. Of course things go poorly but never fear it gets worse and with the fate of freedom in the universe at peril and Space Team are the only ones on scene well we are all space mush!
Barry once again delivers a fast faced and fun filled comedic space adventure and I'll admit this novel delivered emotional high and lows and a couple of times I had to just put the book down and take a breath, unexpected emotional knife in the guts both in a good and bad way:)
For me this novel is back to form after the previous one didn't really hit the high bar set by the series and it sets up what I expect to be a tremendous next novel, no space pressure.



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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Toothless

Toothless


Last year Sideshow Collectibles the purveyor of all things beyond my price range announced a figure of Toothless the dragon as depicted on the two theatrical features based on How To Train Your Dragon. Now I love the first movie, the second not so much and the tv series I can just take or leave but this figure immediately demanded attention. I placed a deposit and even though a UK based supplier had offered them in the meantime I stayed with the US import which worked out ok, import duties were not so bad (DHL not the PO).





Saturday, 10 February 2018

From The Depths by Amy Griswold

STARGATE ATLANTIS: From the Depths (SGX-08)STARGATE ATLANTIS: From the Depths by Amy Griswold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"From The Depths" by Amy Griswold is the latest novella from within the Stargate Franchise and focuses on Atlantis post television series and after the 8th novel in the Legacy series. While the continued growth of the Atlantis storyline is most welcome it is not critical to make this novella work although an alive and well Elizabeth Weir may give pause depending upon how much of the tv show you've seen:) As with most scifi in fact all narratives some things you may just need to accept to really enjoy the story but if you have kept pace with the books published by Stargate Novels/Fandemonium then you'll be right at home.
In this story Atlantis still exploring its new home investigates the behaviour of some large squid like creatures, their ability to alter their skin colours hints at communication and well the Ancients have done some weird stuff as they tried to make Pegasus as they seemed fit.
I'm not going to go into any more detail as the novella packs in a lot of story and while there may be nothing really new here the concept sits nicely into the world view of Pegasus and the Ancients any fan of the tv show would recognise. Elizabeth and John interacting was and remains entertaining and the ancillary characters worked well and who couldn't picture the expression on Jack as his fishing pole went bye bye, a good read for fans of the franchise and Atlantis in particular.

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Bridge Across the Stars: A Sci-Fi Bridge Original Anthology

Bridge Across the Stars: A Sci-Fi Bridge Original AnthologyBridge Across the Stars: A Sci-Fi Bridge Original Anthology by Rhett C. Bruno
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been very partial to scifi anthologies in recent years as a gateway to new authors or established authors teasing new or existing works. In this case Bridge Across the Stars: A Sci-Fi Bridge Original Anthology hits the mark perfectly offering up a bunch of new authors for me to sample at a minimal cost and a few recognisable names whose work I've read before.
In this novel there are seventeen stories covering much of what we consider to be science fiction and as you would expect not everyone hit the mark but each reader takes something different from each story which is where an eclectic mix of styles/stories pays off.
"As the Sparks Fly Upward" by David VanDyke is an excellent opening to the anthology with its mix of military scifi and a deeper look into humanity (in any form) while Guardians of Earth by Felix R. Savage was highly entertaining with the look at a purely fantastically future of mankind driven from Earth as our sun got eaten by "void dragons" and a young boys secret kept until a chain of unexpected events. The Trenches of Centauri Prime by Craig Martelle had me laughing as it tied together human history of war in a far flung setting but the attitudes of the footsoldier (any species) not having changed one iota. Further stories cover the birth of AI, Space Pirates, Humanities spread across the galaxy and the end of life on Earth.
Overall every story gave me some pleasure and selecting a few to mention seems unfair but that's the way it was meant to be, a great anthology and well worth picking up.





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Sunday, 4 February 2018

Slayers and Vampires

Slayers and Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized, Oral History of Buffy the Vampire Slayer & AngelSlayers and Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized, Oral History of Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel by Edward Gross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I watched both Buffy and Angel when they were broadcast and own both series on DVD having watched them at least once more. I haven't really been then interested in the behind the scenes events both small and large which occured and led to what the audience got to watch on TV but this book just turned up at the right time when I was at a loose end reading wise.
The interviews were both current and taken from previous articles/interviews from the full range of cast and crew, Joss Whedon himself did not provide any new input so all his comments are as stated from earlier interviews. That said I learnt a lot about the highs and lows of bringing first Buffy and then Angel to the screen and it certainly ignited a desire to rewatch Buffy once again which I am doing and currently in the third season. The show was always excellent but armed with some of this information I am getting so much more from the viewing experience.

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Edge of Oblivion by Joshua A. Johnston

Edge of Oblivion (The Chronicles of Sarco, #1)Edge of Oblivion by Joshua A. Johnston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Confederacy consists of a number of advanced space faring races each bringing their own particular traits for the benefit of all but few would claim it is an easy alliance of worlds. The galaxy is shaken when a threat from beyond explored space "folds" into the Ritican frontier and close to a manned listening post, soon there is nothing left of the listening post and the entity/ship moves on slowly wiping out all things in its path. Combined fleets engage the invader but as desperation mounts a single ship is sent out to track down remnants of an old parchment with similarities to the invader. As technology and courage continue to fail the fate of the known galaxy could rely on myths and prophecy and a belief in what many would consider things long grown out of.
Edge of Oblivion written by Joshua A. Johnston was a recommendation and overall an easy read, I liked the juxtaposition of science and mythology as they vied to solve the problem of the invader and the complex world he wrote with the five main species and ancillary peoples worked very well. The sequel to the novel is out soon and I have preordered it for my kindle.

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