Month: September 2015

I was lucky enough to get an early copy of C.A. Higgins Lightness.

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“[A] riveting sci-fi debut” —Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Books Preview

LIGHTLESS is contained, disciplined, tense and occasionally lyrical…The writing, particularly when Ms. Higgins describes the workings of the computer, is often beautiful. LIGHTLESS is the first of a planned series, and you can’t help looking forward to learning what’s next for Althea and Ananke.”

The New York Times

“The stakes in this story are high—life and death, rebellion and betrayal—and debut novelist Higgins continually ratchets up the tension…A suspenseful, emotional story that asks plenty of big questions about identity and freedom, this is a debut not to be missed.”

Kirkus Reviews, STARRED 

“Written by an author with a degree in physics and featuring a computer reminiscent of 2001’s HAL, LIGHTLESS is an intellectual but no less exciting story set in the infinite vastness of space…expansive and exhilarating”

Romantic Times, 4 Stars! 

The first book in a trilogy from debut author C.A. HIGGINS. With bold speculation informed by a degree in physics, 24-year-old C.A. Higgins spins an unforgettable “locked spaceship” tale guaranteed to catapult readers beyond their expectations. LIGHTLESS (Del Rey Hardcover; On Sale 9/29) encompasses science fiction, mystery and suspense to become genre defying, with all the elements to become a sensation.

Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental spacecraft, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must do everything in her power to defend her beloved ship.

While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner—the enigmatic Ivan—may prove to be more dangerous. A handsome, perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon, he has long evaded the authorities’ most relentless surveillance—and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.

As the ship’s systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, things begin to fall apart. The final pages of LIGHTLESS will speed by in a rush to reach its explosive conclusion.

LIGHTLESS is a hair-raising, new space opera that will keep you up late into the night and have you thinking over the story long after you’ve finished.

CAHiggins © Lisa Verge-Higgins

C.A. Higgins or Caitlin Higgins, is a debut author who writes novels and short stories. She was a runner up in the 2013 Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing and has a B. A. in physics from Cornell University. Lightless is her first novel, written during her time as an undergrad at Cornell.

 

 

Author Mark Lawrence hit a writer milestone last week, he’s received over 100,000 reviews in Goodreads. I know, some of my friends are thinking, “Goodreads what?” While my book loving friends are shaking their heads in approval thinking, “Wow, that is an achievement.” Mark joked on Facebook how there was very little fan fare from Goodreads on the achievement. Twitter and coupon applications will send you congrats for number of followers or number of dollars saved, but no kudos on what could arguably be one of the hardest things to amass, people reading and reviewing your work.  I suggested Mark hold another one of his fun blog challenges, and offer a prize for best book hat. He said, “Then you should start it off.”  Very well, here it is, my book hat. Congratulations Mark, I’m really happy for you.

Hat form: Michaels; Black satin, stripped knit, and tulle fabric; black flower: JoAnn’s, Feather: Hancock Fabric; Minature books: Miniatures discount dollhouse & more.com; Metal embellishments: Tim Holz by Ranger; braided elastic band; black trim; and hot glue.

You can check out the work of Mark Lawrence on his website HERE.

 

Book Review: Time’s Divide (The Chronos Files, # 3), By: Rysa Walker

What a terrific end to Kate’s fantastic adventure through time. I give this book five out of five star for its breakneck pace, jumping me back to interesting moments in American history and forward to a fascinating future. My mind bent with ideas of alternate timelines, and things capable of remaining constant when a change rocks the course of events in the past. Really this book earns every star just for tying up what felt like a million loose ends.

What I liked:

1) The stakes are high in this final book and it’s a nail biter. The lives of most of the world’s population are on the line as Cyrist’s seek world domination via a bio terrorist event. This event jeopardizes Kate’s life, and the lives of everyone she cares for. The danger only increases as people are murdered, lost in parallel timelines, and kidnapped. Will Kate gain true love in the end? Which Kate is she, Kiernan’s or Trey’s? I was happy to see the final book answers these question, as well as the biggest one of all, will Kate get her original life back?

2) The historical events covered in the book, each was picked well and added nicely to the underlying social ideas explored. One of my favorite moments in the book was young Pru’s rant to Kate about Victoria Woodhull, and why she was never taught in grade school. I enjoyed the mission to discover if Houdini possessed a Chronos key. Kate’s parallel moments of gender disparity from the Cyrist future, and the Beecher-Tilton trial past were well done.

3) The character’s, each demonstrated motives of their own, which I considered well developed, and unique. The suspense was terrific, with break neck action from line one. Those trusted in previous books are now suspect, and some considered adversaries become unexpected allies.

I recommend the other book in Kate’s series be read before reading this book. While I do think its possible to enjoy this book as a stand alone, some of the interesting details connecting the stories in this series will be lost. I purchased all of these prior books and loved them, which made the ARC of this book a real blessing.  I received the ARC through Netgallery, in exchange for an honest review.

To learn more about the author Rysa Walker you can find her webpage HERE, and her titles on Amazon HERE.

Book Review: The Immortality Chronicles by: Samuel Peralta , Will Swardstrom, Thomas Robins, D. Robert Pease, Paul B. Kohler, D.K. Cassidy, John Gregory Hancock, Harlow C. Fallon , Patricia Gilliam, E.E. Giorgi, Drew Avera, David Bruns, Gareth Foy

Edited by: Carol Davis

I give this book five out of five stars. This is a wonderful collection of shorts, with each one posing a few new and some old questions on immortality. Is living eternal a goal or a debasement of the meaning of life? Will the change make human life better or render its beauty a perversion. I especially liked The Control, by: Will Swardstrom, The Backup, by: Patricia Gilliam, and A Severance of Souls, by: Drew Avera.

In The Control, I liked the action through historical events, and how the ancient alien concept was incorporated into the story. It was a great character arch to see the young mind of the protagonist fooled in the beginning, but growing over time to develop and find his free will. It was well paced and I was satisfied with the ending.

Patricia Gilliam’s The Backup, was a page turner. There were many interesting twists within just a few short pages, and I was quickly drawn into the story. I felt emotionally tied to unexpected deaths, and even the injury of the family pet. I want to know more about the assassins, pre programed weapons, and the motivation behind it all.

Drew Avera’s A Severance of Souls, I think hit on one of the key aspects of immortality: Is it worth having if we are alone? Is it better to face an end with people you love, than run after the laurels and achievements of work pursuits?

Rememorations, by: Paul B. Kohler, was another story that stood out. Memory and the human brain is still something scientists are working to understand. How would massive memory loss affect our present life? I liked this exploration of what would happen if part of our history were taken away? Would reoccurring memory loss be a worthy cost to becoming immortal? I’m not a fan of multiple flashbacks as a narrative, but I enjoyed how they were used in this story. It was appropriate for the decision making process presented to the protagonist.

Overall they were all well done, with a variety of voices and styles providing lots of ideas and questions to ponder.

Book Review: Sojourners (Farpointe Initiative Book Two) by: Aaron Hubble

I give this book four out of five stars for its characters, world building, and vivid battle scenes. This is the first full novel in Aaron Hubbles Farpointe Initiative series, following a group of Aereas native’s as they navigate the wilderness to seek refuge from an unknown attacking force. Questions from the first book are answered only to pull you in deeper into the story as a series of new mysteries are presented.

What I liked about this book:

1) Characters, protagonists, supporting, and antagonists, I liked them all. I found myself engaged in the story even more by the mysteries surrounding the female cyborg pilot, wondering if the native who walked out of the ruined city with a crossbow was a spy, and curious to learn what happened to Berit’s family.

2) The speculative ideas. I liked learning about the antagonist and seeing human nature’s dark side. What happens when population embraces peace and rejects the need for self-defense? What happens when a population has a choice between hardship or joining a militant force with guarantees of life’s essentials and more? I was as intrigued with what happened on earth as I was with the story unfolding on Aereas.

3) The Narrative Style. The struggles the group of survivors encounter on a long cross-country trek were legitimate and well thought out. Finding out if the group would reach their destination held my interest, and the answers were rewarding and blew my expectations apart. Each of the battle scenes, with native animals, and then the attacking force were well paced and well done.

Overall a very enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more in this series. The book is free to subscribers to Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.

 

Book Review: Ash (Farpointe Initiative Book One) by: Aaron Hubble

I give this book five out of five stars for its breakneck pacing while binding me to the characters, providing details of a foreign planet, and vivid scenes of an attacking force. This is a short read that offers an amazing first look at the world of Aereas. A once war torn planet has lived in peace for five hundred years. Hubble pulls no punches when he tells the story of wars return to Aereas.

What I loved about this book:

1) Characters, I was rooting and morning for each one encountered. I went back and counted the number of paragraphs it took to bind me to Berit. Three, I was attached to her character in three paragraphs. Well done Hubble, very well done.

2) The Pacing, it was spot on. We are given enough calm before the storm, to meet the protagonists, enjoy the new world, and then freak out when the first bombs arrive.

3) Strong Narrative Style. The visual descriptions were lovely. The beautiful moments and the heart wrenching ones were captured. The cultural and world building details were scattered throughout the read, and not dumped in long paragraphs.

Overall it was a great start to a series and I look forward to reading more about the unfolding conflict. This book is currently free on Amazon. You can find out more about author Aaron Hubble on his website HERE.