Chains of Blood (The Chaos Cycle #1) by M.L. Spencer Book Review
18, Nov


"History is written by the winners, unless it is written by the survivors."

I've always been fond of fantasy that picks up years, decades, or even centuries after the events of a previous book's story. It's why I'm fond of the old Star Wars Legends universe and the current sequel trilogy (even if both had flaws). My favorite "popcorn fantasy" in the Dragonlance novels did an excellent series based around the Heroes of the Lance and their successors up until the events of Dragons of a Summer Flame. Indeed, my love of "what happens next" inspired me to write Wraith Knight and Lucifer's Star (books that are sequels to universes similar to the ones I grew up reading about).

Ex-Heroes (Ex-Heroes #1) by Peter Clines Book Review
16, Nov


EX-HEROES is about superheroes versus zombies. I'm a big fan of both, so I was quite excited to pick up a copy. I admit I was initially leery of the combination, however. Marvel's Zombies was a story that I felt never reached its full potential (in fact: I actually preferred the Army of Darkness/Marvel comics crossover for zombies + superheroes). Overall, if you need any more thoughts about what I think of this story, it boils down to this: it's  much better than Marvel's Zombies and is well worth the cover price. It did, however, have some areas that I think could be improved.

Dauntless (Lost Fleet #1) by Jack Campbell Book Review
09, Nov


DAUNTLESS is the first novel in the Lost Fleet series which has the premise of Captain John "Black Jack" Geary being a officer who has been stuck in stasis for a century. Much to his dismay, he finds out his heroic last stand has been elevated to Davey Crocket at the Alamo/King Arthur levels of proportion. So much so that he is treated as the Second Coming when he is finally rescued, as well as the man who is to deliver them from the same enemy he "died" fighting so many years ago.

Kris Longknife: Mutineer (Kris Mutineer #1) by Mike Shepherd Book Review
08, Nov


KRIS LONGKNIFE: MUTINEER by Mike Shepherd is the first book of a seventeen volume series and part of a much larger universe. It is the story of the titular character, daughter of the richest family of the planet Wardhaven, who has decided to leave the luxurious world of her corporate/political princess life to become a Space Marine. Kris soon finds herself fighting battles on the ground, in the stars, and the political arena against an ever-expanding roster of enemies.

The Beautiful Ones (The Beautiful Ones #1) by Kody Boye Book Review
14, Oct


THE BEAUTIFUL ONES by Koby Boye is a Young Adult dystopian novel with a twist. Rather than being about a young action heroine who is struggling against the tyranny of the week, it is the story of a woman who wins a peculiar "beauty pageant" that results in her becoming one of the Beautiful Ones. They are people who have been selected for their strong genetics to be the pampered and beloved wives to a eugenicist experiment in the Glittering City. If this sounds like there's a shoe waiting to drop, you'd be half-right.

Thief of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves #2) by Andy Peloquin Book Review
01, Oct


THIEF OF THE NIGHT GUILD is the sequel to CHILD OF THE NIGHT GUILD and probably one of my all-time favorite indie fantasy series. Andy Peloquin did something I was very annoyed by as for years I had the idea for doing a story about a young woman in a classic Dungeons and Dragons fantasy Thieves' Guild. Unfortunately, I can't write that book now as Andy did a much better job than I ever could.

Harbinger (Star Trek: Vanguard #1) by David Mack Book Review
29, Sep


Well, I've decided to pick up David Mack's VANGUARD series after reading watching the latest season of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. I really liked his fusion of both the Original Series era with the 2017 CBS series, having only a few seams showing in the resulting stitching up of the two franchise sections. So, I was intrigued by the possibilities of a series seemingly based on combining the premise of DS9 (a long-range space station on the frontier of Federation Space) with the time period of the Original Series. So, how did it work? Remarkably well, actually, and Discovery could take a number of lessons from David Mack on how to write "dark" Trek.

Star Trek: New Frontier (New Frontier #1) by Peter David Book Review
17, Sep


For anyone who knows me, I am a fan of Expanded Universes. There's only so much you can fit into even long-running series like Star Wars and Star Trek. Indeed, these are my two favorite franchises and I have devoured hundreds of books set in them. Some people have dismissive attitudes to these books but they're missing some real quality works. The Thrawn Trilogy, Rogue Squadron, Star Trek: Vanguard, Star Trek: DestinyThe Department of Temporal Investigations, and more. If I had to praise my favorite Star Trek series, though, it would be New Frontier. Essentially, a novel-only series combining original series wackiness with TNG stuffiness to great action-adventure and humorous effect.

Shattered Fears (Light in the Dark #3) by Ulff Lehmann Book Review
11, Sep


SHATTERED FEARS is the third novel in the Light in the Dark series. Ulff Lehmann has created a fascinating Warhammer Fantasy-esque world of magic, elves, demonic possession, and other staples while not detracting from the gritty dark atmosphere. It is a world where steel, blood, and sweat are the primary tools of the heroes (as well as villains). It's also a series that I strongly recommend for its excellent use of Medieval warfare tactics as well as brutal unsympathetic portrayal of life during feudal times.

Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron by Alexander Freed Book Review
02, Sep


ALPHABET SQUADRON by Alexander Freed is a book that I was very eager to get into because it struck me as just up my alley. I've always been a huge fan of the Star Wars starfighter stories with Rogue Squadron, Wraith Squadron, the old TIE Fighter video game, and the recent Star Wars: Resistance. I also enjoyed the previously written Twilight Company by the author. Freed has a somewhat unromantic view of war as well as the Rebel Alliance's fight against the Empire. It's unsurprising he also wrote the adaptation of Rogue One where the cause is just but the people are flawed.