Saturday, 25 May 2019

Forerunner by Isaac Hooke

Forerunner (AI Fleet Book 1)Forerunner by Isaac Hooke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Humanity's journey into the galaxy is handled by advanced starships built for specific goals and controlled by an onboard AI modelled on what once was a living breathing human being. The logistics and expense of building human crewed ships for exploration and defence forced the leap in technologies required to successfully copy a human consciousness and incorporate it into a computing device of incredible complexity and power but what if something goes wrong...
A mind awakes and learns that it is the heart and soul of a warship recently brought back online after a catastrophic event which debilitated many others like him. With glaring gaps in memory the ship minds have decisions to make, is there an unknown alien force in the star system, was there malfunctions or natural yet unknown stellar events that could have left them so alone. Questions about who and what they are now, their duty to Earth and their position in the military all weigh down the young minds of these incredible ships and then sensors detect an anomaly near a gas giant, perhaps answers will be forthcoming...
Now I enjoyed this novel a lot, wasn't sure what I was going to get based on the blurb but I had read other work by Isaac so I was sure I wouldn't be disappointed. I liked the AI (if you can all it that) of the starships and the conflicts they have to deal with well outside of the usual chain of command and boundaries. The action was compelling and the mix of technologies/weapons was something you don't normally get in military scifi, truth be told it echoed Star Trek Online where all the races have unique weapon systems and technologies beyond basic projectile/energy based delivery systems.
Already purchased the second novel in the series, says it all really.

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Saturday, 11 May 2019

World Killer by Barry J. Hutchison

World Killer: An explosive Young Adult sci-fi adventureWorld Killer: An explosive Young Adult sci-fi adventure by Barry J. Hutchison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Daryl was a normal sort of boy, not overly popular or special in any way that would make him stand out except for a brief time ten years ago when he was national news. As a youngster Daryl had gone missing, his father accused of his murder until Daryl casually walked back home from the park and perplexed that weeks had gone by but to him just a few hours.
Now along with two others he finds himself pursued by a mysterious paramilitary organisation embedded it seems deep with various governments, things would look bad except for one or two things, a spaceship, an alien and a mission. Granted the mission is to prevent the total destruction of humanity as the "world killer" along with his homeworld Skalgorth is on its way and the odds are not good but there is an adventure to be had and wonders to behold for these three young humans.
World Killer by Barry Hutchison is a novel aimed at the young adult market but entertained this much older reader who is familiar with the humour of Barry as seen in his Space Team novels and I would certainly recommend it to a younger reader who was looking for a scifi themed novel with a good dose of humour, action and characters that at their core are easily identified with.

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The Colossus by Jay Allan

The ColossusThe Colossus by Jay Allan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Their failure to secure Megara the capital world of the Confederation has shook the Hegemony to the core, the cost of the war at the Rim has been extreme and they are no closer to securing victory. Faced with abandoning the war they double down bringing to the front lines the mysterious Project Zed and Red Storm despite the ever underlying concern with "The Others" the cause of the huge military build up that has driven the Hegemony from over a century ago.
The Grand Alliance forces under the total command of Admiral Tyler Barron despite a rapid ship building program and resupply are going to be drawn into a confrontation with the resurgent invading forces they are not ready for and they no nothing about Project Zed and Red Storm.
The Colossus as you would come to expect continues to deliver the action, drama and characterisation that has driven the Blood on the Stars series from the first novel. A highly satisfying read which provides a realism to an almost impossible situation as the humans on the Rim fight for their survival against the genetically obsessed Hegemony and continues to weave in one and one confrontations amongst the huge battles between starships.

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Sunday, 5 May 2019

Hal Spacejock Omnibus Three by Simon Haynes

Hal Spacejock Omnibus Three: Hal Spacejock books 7-9, plus AlbionHal Spacejock Omnibus Three: Hal Spacejock books 7-9, plus Albion by Simon Haynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The third omnibus/collection of Hal Spacejock novels by Simon Haynes delivered everything I expected with three wonderfully and painfully funny adventures where Hal more often than not is the architect of his own pain. Clunk and pretty everyone who comes into Hal's vicinity often have to pay the price in ever more outlandish situations and yet you can't help but love Hal as a character who is at heart a decent guy. This collection comprises three full length stories and the short "Albion".

Hal Spacejock 7: Big Bang
Hal and Clunk take on a job clearing out a house that is due to be submerged as water levels rise after the construction of a dam. A simple job, fly in fill the cargo bay with stuff and fly away so when I tell you that soon after Hal gets lost and gets involved in an Intergalactic war and Clunk kinda falls in love, just another day for the crew of the Volante.

Hal Spacejock 8: Double Trouble
Somewhere in vast galaxy there is someone who looks just like you, naturally Hal comes across his double who is being hunted by a ruthless gangster, has dealings with various intelligence operatives and yep you guessed it Hal has to deal with it all while and making sacrifices that well are just not his normal modus operandi.

Hal Spacejock 9: Max Damage
A daring rescue mission puts Hal and Clunk in the middle of a military conflict as the aggressive Mayestran military (already at war with the Henerian forces) encroach on peaceful Yardene territory and Hal just happens to have an Henerian pilot on board. A small contract to collect space rocks seems to be an easy and profitable job but come on you know it's not going to be as easy as that, it never is.

I enjoyed all the stories in this collection and have to admit I got quite emotional during Double Trouble, I wasn't really expecting the rollercoaster of feelings in what on the surface is a humorous scifi adventure but Simon added layers to the characters which pay off big time yet sacrifice none of the aspects which have me returning to these books time and time again.



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