Monday, June 25, 2018

Review_BLACK STAR RENEGADES by Michael Moreci

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Black Star Renegades" src="" /></a><a href="">Black Star Renegades</a> by <a href="">Michael Moreci</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Review: BLACK STAR RENEGADES by Michael Moreci<br /><br />I love Feckless Heroes. I always have. (Perhaps I sense something of myself in them, though I'm probably yet to be a Hero.) Let me specify, Feckless Heroes are not Hapless Protagonists. Hapless folks are more like the Keystone Kops or Abbott and Costello, clumsily stumbling through life, luckless, sometimes Ill-fated, "born under a bad star." Fecklessness, on the other hand, indicates an attitude of irresponsibility, failure to adhere to society's rules and mores, an individual much like The Fool card in Tarot. Sometimes the feckless seem anachronistic or anomalous, born at the wrong time (or outliers). They're not ever in "the norm," but by golly, they are unforgettable. <br /><br />Quite often, the Feckless are successful (though again, not by Society's terms). Take our Feckless Hero, young Cade Sura. He's sure not anybody's idea of sturdy responsibility. But, he's going to save the Universe. Sheer fecklessness rocks.<br /><br />BLACK STAR RENEGADES is a roller-coaster-paced science fiction thrill ride, a novel I didn't want to see end and wanted to start reading again immediately. Cade's story is so much fun--even though I read heart-in-throat throughout. Never a dull moment!
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<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Revolt of Blood and Stone" src="" /></a><a href="">Revolt of Blood and Stone</a> by <a href="">A.J. Norfield</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Review: REVOLT OF BLOOD AND STONE by A. J. Norfield<br /><br />This Grimdark fantasy novella put me in mind of the science fiction thriller (and subsequent series) RED RISING by Pierce Brown (which itself reminded me of both Antebellum Era America, and South African diamond mines). Life under the Stone King's reign would be sufficiently harsh if it were only confinement to mines slavery, with the occasional whipping, short rations, and oh yeah, dangerous cave-ins. But this kingdom contains rulers who are monsters in human form...and when oppressed by monsters, the choice is slim, between escape--or death.
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<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Space Cowboys: The Star Gate (Omega Force and Alpha Unit 2)" src="" /></a><a href="">Space Cowboys: The Star Gate</a> by <a href="">Dean C. Moore</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Review: SPACE COWBOYS: THE STAR GATE by Dean C. Moore<br />(Omega Force and Alpha Unit 2)<br /><br />What can you expect from a Dean C. Moore novel? Guaranteed will be wild adventure, over-the-top action, characters whose personalities are larger-than-life (think superheroes if they were four-dimensional), not-too-futuristic advanced high technology, dialogue and narrative that, like the characters, are LARGER than life, almost over-the-top also! In SPACE COWBOYS: THE STAR GATE, you find even more: humour (often laugh-out-loud), secondary characters who are so out of the loop they function magnificently as foils for Our Heroes, spaceships, and ALIENS!! ALIEN ARTIFACTS!! GLOBAL DANGER!! I ask you: What's not to love? I can readily visualize this long novel as a long movie--but I can't think of anyone suitable to play these folks. So I guess I'll just imagine my movie version, in my head. Meanwhile, go carve out a block of time, turn off the phone and TV, disconnect the doorbell, and settle in for the wildest ride of your life. (Hope the premise never comes true!)<br />
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Friday, June 22, 2018

Review: DISCARDED by Michael J. Allen

Discarded (Dumpstermancer Book 1)Discarded by Michael J. Allen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DISCARDED by Michael J. Allen

A charmingly witty and delightfully engaging alternative-near future urban fantasy, this first in a
new series by a prolific author of both science fiction and fantasy is set in the Pacific Northwest, in a time of commonplace magic. Not common due to talent, but common because corporations subsume technology welded to magic, at a cost designed to make it accessible, while wielding ridiculously inflated profits. From the corporate standpoint, sales is the goal, not service, and consequences are no concern. The few with hearts who acknowledge the dangers either are wrongly accused, with long imprisonment, like mage Eli; or cower down to maintain employment, like Darrin. But stubborn Eli, determined to make his own non-magical way upon his eventual release, might just become a force to contend with after all. Thoth Corporation, beware!

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Thursday, June 21, 2018


Ghosts of the Sea MoonGhosts of the Sea Moon by A.F. Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: GHOSTS OF THE SEA MOON by A. F. Stewart
(Saga of the Outer Islands #1)

Reading GHOSTS OF THE SEA MOON is, truly, a magical experience, not just because the story line contains magic, goddesses, and gods. The story is wonderfully written and wondrous; the author has such a flair for imagery that is poetic and awe-inspiring. Many times I stopped to marvel and to highlight a particularly awesome phrase. I'm eager to continue the series. Generally, Fantasy is not my forte, but if I could be guaranteed novels this good, I'd be reading Fantasy night and day.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018


Shadow of the DayShadow of the Day by Nick Younker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: SHADOW OF THE DAY by Nick Younker

A fast-paced and very complex futuristic novella with a hard-driving reader's hook and immensely powerful conclusion, SHADOW OF THE DAY is set some centuries into the future, in a horribly Dystopian society. (What good is amazing fast free data connection if the poor are non-citizens, deprived of all rights and health care?) I hope I never live to see such a Society. The cynicism is leavened by a strong, highly intelligent kick-butt heroine who carries the day through her intellect and integrity.

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Elthea's Realm (The Story of Elthea's Realm Book 1)Elthea's Realm by John Murzycki


A really exciting and engaging contemporary science fiction/Sci fantasy thriller, this novel had me quickly turning pages and I was immediately engrossed in the scary apocalyptic plot. Additionally, character evolution gratified and kept me glued to the page, wondering, "Now what? What's next?" right in company with the several protagonists. I look forward to the sequel.

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SPACE OUT WITH SCI FI personal Readathon
for the entire month of June!

Follow my progress on Space Out With Sci Fi June

This post reports reading completed June 14-30. Reading June 1-14 is at SCI FI READATHON

Books Read:

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST WALES by David Owain Hughes June 15

CRIBBINS June 15-16

THE SILENT CORNER by Dean Koontz. Reread. June 15-16

THE WHISPERING ROOM by Dean Koontz. June 17-18.

MURDER MADE TO ORDER by Lena Gregory. June 19-20

THE CROOKED STAIRCASE by Dean Koontz June 18-

CHILDREN OF THE CORN by Stephen King (reread) June 20

GHOSTS OF THE SEA MOON by A. F. Stewart June 21

BAD TIME TO BE IN IT by David Burnsworth June 21

DISCARDED (DUMPSTERMANCY BOOK 1) by Michael J. Allen. June 22.

THE BLOOD SINGER by Patrick McNulty. June 23.

SCARECROWS (3 Horror Short Stories) by Mav Skye. June 23.

THE BEAST OF BRENTON WOOD by Jackson Thomas. June 23.

CHILLS by Mary SanGiovanni. June 23.


DEADMARSH: FEY. June 24. Epic Fantasy.

"Feeding Frenzy" by Stephen Michael Huff. June 25.

REVOLT OF BLOOD AND STONE by A. J. Norfield. June 24.Epic Fantasy.


BLACK STAR RENEGADE by Michael Moreci. June 24.SCI FI.

BAMBOOZLED by Barbara Barrett. Cozy Mystery. June 27.

THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD. (June 26 release) by Paul Tremblay. Apocalyptic. LGBT. June 26-27.

OOPS-A-NAVY by Gregg Bell. Humour/Thriller.

12 GAUGE by Dustin LaValley. Gore Noir/Splatterpumk. June 28-29.

FEEDING FRENZY by Maaja . June 28-28. Contemporary Urban Fantasy.

Reading: STRANGE WEATHER by Joe Hill.


#MURDERTRENDING by Gretchen McNeil.

DESCENT by Tim Johnston.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review_BLACK GOD'S DRUMS by P.Djeli Clark

The Black God's DrumsThe Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I adore this novella! Author P. Djeli Clark brings us right inside the skin of her characters, stripping away the masks (in some cases literally) and plunging us into an incredibly defined Alternate History, one that awakens the ugly history of the 19th century, in the US and in Haiti, that we know as fact. Here is a culture set in New Orleans that resembles Dickens' Victorian London (but humming with a "Naw Orlins" flair), and a thirteen-year-old protagonist who is a carrier of an avatar of Yoruba goddess Oya. There are airships and steam engines, steampunk everywhere, and yes, there are fools willing to sell the most dangerous invention ever, for greed, and for warmongering (cause the South wants to Rise again, and not "someday.") Author Clark has a gift for Magical Realism that rivals Tim Powers', and that is high praise indeed.

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Review_BEHIND THE DOOR by Mary SanGiovanni

Behind the Door (A Kathy Ryan Novel)Behind the Door by Mary SanGiovanni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: BEHIND THE DOOR by Mary SanGiovanni
(Kathy Ryan Series)

Mary SanGiovanni is an estimable talent indeed. BEHIND THE DOOR takes my beloved Lovecraft Mythos and squeezes it till it squeaks--or in this case, hums. She does so while interweaving some of the worst instances humanity can fall prey to, both as prey and as predator. Portions of this novel made me want to weep, close my eyes, and rage--all simultaneously. I also screamed to see justice wrought. There is extreme horror here, frequently, and I don't recommend to read at night, alone (as did I). There is implacability, maximally. But guard your sensitivity, fire up your empathy, and jump in. Ms. SanGiovanni is about to carry you on an out-of-this-world ride.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Digging into Cydonia (Cydonia's Upheaval, #1)Digging into Cydonia by P.K. Rock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


An interesting premise, which encouraged me to read: a post-apocalyptic scenario in which humanity has been forced underground due to an asteroid collision. Lacking fresh air and scenery, the populace has developed 3-D printing, Virtual Reality escape, and serious mental collapse. One young man, Hap, commences to explore various virtual realities.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Review: MIND OF A CHILD by Dean C. Moore

Mind of a Child: Mind of a Child: "Sentient Serpents" by Dean C. Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: MIND OF A CHILD by Dean C. Moore

Adrenaline junkies will be pumped up reading this slightly futuristic novel. I think so will gamers who love first-person shooters. The story line is packed to bursting with war, violence, war games, testosterone, and elite mercenaries. I found myself constantly anxious that, given the current sociopolitical climate, this is the future looming just out of sight, rolling like an implacable Juggernaut right toward us, a future of privatization and corporate rule via the military-industrial complex {sing it, Steve Miller Band--you were right all along}.

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Review_THE PHARAOH KEY by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

The Pharaoh Key (Gideon Crew #5)The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE PHARAOH KEY by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
(Gideon Crew #5)

Although I have been for decades a devoted fan of Preston and Child 's Agent Pendergast series, THE PHARAOH KEY is the first I have read in their Gideon Crew series. Unsurprisingly, I totally enjoyed it. Avant-garde technology, computer savvy, adventure, cryptography, a treasure quest combining contemporary technology with an artifact of indecipherable ancient lineage in a "No Man's Land," a disputed location where civilized moderns fear to go? What's not to love? Very fast-paced, the story line and the multiple mysteries kept me engrossed.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tour_BOY IN THE MIRROR by Robert J. Duperre

Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Horror
Date Published: December 31, 2016
Publisher: TRO Publishing

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Fifteen-year-old Jacqueline Talbot’s boyfriend Mal lives in the mirror of her makeup case. There’s never been anything normal about Jacqueline; not during her time in foster care, and certainly not in her new hometown of Mercy Hills.

With rumors of actual monsters in the woods, the popular kids taking an unhealthy interest in her, and the revealing of her own dark past, all Jacqueline wants to do is run away forever with Mal. Too bad he’s trapped in the mirror.

But when she learns the ancient forces of the town want to destroy everything she loves, the race is on to free the boy in the mirror, because he just might be the only one who knows how to stop them.

About the Author

Robert J. Duperre is an author from Connecticut, the land of insurance, tobacco, and unfulfilled dreams. Over his mildly interesting life, Robert has released seven novels that skirt the line between horror, science fiction, and fantasy, as well as edited and contributed to a pair of short story collections. His novel “Soultaker” was released in 2017 by Ragnarok Publications. He also co-wrote "The Breaking World" series with David Dalglish, which was picked up and published by 47North, a subsidiary of Amazon Publishing. And all this was accomplished while living happily ever after with his wife, the artist Jessica Torrant.

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My Review:

Boy in the Mirror (The Infinity Trials Book 1)Boy in the Mirror by Robert J. Duperre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: BOY IN THE MIRROR by Robert J. Duperre
(The Infinity Trials #1)

WOW! Sometimes my first response is speechlessness! I loved BOY IN THE MIRROR! Totally engrossing from the very commencement, this wonderful novel offers a balance of contemporary issues (child abuse, parental demise, rape culture, socioeconomic class discrepancy) as over against occult fantasy, religious cult devotion, monsters. Throughout the author offers characters realistic and comprehensible, some entirely adorable, others that made me grit my teeth; an empowered and utterly empathetic fifteen-year-old heroine who, all unknowing, is on a Quest; and not one but three guys in Hero roles. I can't wait to continue this series!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

SAVING PALUDIS by Clayton Graham_Review

Saving PaludisSaving Paludis by Clayton Graham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: SAVING PALUDIS by Clayton Graham

Immediately I was engrossed in this thoughtful and thought-provoking futuristic science fiction novel. My lifelong stance has always been to favor the underdog and cheer on the oppressed. So also.Immediately, my attitude was total empathy with the "aliens," who rather than invading Earth, had instead been invaded by Earthlings--and not just invaded, but shuffled off to a single corner of the continent, confined and oppressed and despised. I found SAVING PALUDIS an exceptional novel with powerful and lasting impact. I happily noticed resonances of the late, lamented Arthur C. Clarke.

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Monday, June 4, 2018


Science Fiction (Cyberpunk) / Thriller
Date Published: September 1, 2016
Publisher: See Sharp Press

Awards: 2017 Compton Crook Finalist for best first science fiction novel!

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In Sleep State Interrupt, a giant media corporation has taken over the Internet, created an addictive virtual reality called BetterWorld, and controls nearly all information. Politicians do their bidding and a brainwashed humanity serves a privileged few.

Waylee Freid, an unemployed Baltimore journalist with ever-worsening bipolar disorder, is the only hope for a brighter future. She and her countercultural friends bust a notorious teenage hacker out of jail and sneak into a closed presidential fundraiser at the Smithsonian castle, where they hope to record incriminating admissions that will wake up the world. Hunted by Homeland Security, Waylee and her friends must reach a sufficient audience by broadcasting their video during the Super Bowl. But to do so, they'll have to break into one of the most secure facilities ever built.

Read the First Four chapters of Sleep State Interrupt, plus a lot more extras, free at

About the Author

Ted Weber has pursued writing and music since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with a little bit of physics. Trapped at home during the "Snowmageddon" of 2010, he transformed those interests into novel writing, and has completed four novels and a number of short stories since then. By day, Mr. Weber works as an ecologist for a non-profit organization and has had over twenty scientific papers and book chapters published. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Karen. He enjoys traveling and has visited all seven continents.

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Sleep State InterruptSleep State Interrupt by T.C. Weber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Whenever a government is oppressive, a society derails, or "the military-industrial complex hex" rules, a counterculture of like-minded individuals will arise to battle for justice. Such was true in 1789 France, in 1861 America, in 1917 Russia, in 1960's America. Such is the case in slightly futuristic Baltimore, when the porkbelly policies and business-gladhanding of a useless President have allowed a massive megacorporation to control what used to be known as the Internet. Journalist Waylee Freid loses her employment, receives a fractured skull, can't find employment because Baltimore no longer has any independent news sources. She still believes in an intelligent, ethical populace, though, so she and some cohorts spring a talented young hacker from juvenile detention. They're going to turn the tables and get the message of Truth to the People--no matter the risks.