02 January 2019

A bunch of 3 star science fiction books

These books which I read in 2018 (even though I downloaded some the previous year; yes, my backlog is not funny) are rated 3 stars, meaning I liked them well enough to write reviews and hope they get good sales. So here are short reviews and links to find the books.

This is part 1 of what is actually the same post, but broken up so that (a) it’s not too long and (b) I can label the post without losing any of the book or author names. So it might extend to one or two more posts. Bear with me.

Shadow of Empyriad | Josi Russell

This is a fairly tightly plotted novel with well delineated characters. Earth has had all borders erased, but people still cluster with nationalistic or tribal instincts, and prepare to meet their neighbours with force. Into this mix are dropped alien refugees, who are temporarily put up in Yellowstone National Park. The story revolves around two youngsters, one human, one noble-savage alien. Can they, as the blurb says, save the world? 

Other than the shamanistic connection of the refugees with 'all-beings', and the ability to do magic by drawing patterns, which parts made me roll my eyes, it's a decent story, well told, and well edited. In these anti-refugee days, well-timed.

My favourite character was Solomon Brooks aka Sol, the young human. His travails are rendered so well, I could feel them all.

[I downloaded it when it was on discount]

The Offices of M Coopersmith | James Hampton

A light read. Two teens find that their school assignment to pick up a cheque from the mysterious Mr M Coopersmith turns out to be a bit more than they bargained for. No new or mind-boggling sci fi/fantasy concepts (indeed, even trope-heavy), but a fast, smooth read that made me smile often. It has humour, some level of thinking, lots of entertaining action in which the mysterious Mr C shows a sense of humour and, dare one say it, humanity, which carries the story onwards. The teens start as standard YA characters, but by the end, they are pretty much three-dimensional.

Darkwalk | Cassy Campbell

Fast paced, well edited.

It's just that the heroes are way too over powered for the villains. You *know* they will win. Added to which, the romance is signalled very heavily right from the start. A story with many tropes.

Withal, a light read, and if you like it, two more books in the series.

[I downloaded it when it was on discount]

Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Darkwalk-Cassy-Campbell/dp/1481884212

My name is Mark Nine | DKW

You're in Tokyo, and you don't know why you're there. People crowd in front of you, but behind you, they vanish into shops. Someone is tailing you. Why? 

A short mystery with an amusing reveal. Some stories gain more stars towards the end; this is one.

Find it here (free): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/279534

Linehan's Ordeal | Bryan Murphy

A very well written story, but simply inserting one movie hologram in it doesn't make it science fiction.

Linehan goes to Hong Kong for his company and gets kidnapped. Why, and what role his new love plays in it is the rest of the story. He's friends with a top cop, but it made almost no difference to the search, which I found baffling.

The writing is top notch, but the plot itself left me unimpressed. Some stories start by looking like they will get more stars than they finally gather. This is one.

Find it here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/536973

... Continued in the next post...

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