PG's Books

Computer engineer/software developer, movie (especially Sci-Fi) fantast, audio/video equipment and gadget geek, book reader and photo amateur.

Resurrection

Resurrection - Ryk Brown It took three books but finally all the setting up work seems to be done for the new story arc of The Frontiers Saga. The main event in this book should not really be much of a surprise for anyone given the title. What perhaps could be a bit of a surprise is that the rest of the story also advances quite a lot. There is a lot of things going on and the action is plentiful.

The Jung (or are they Jung?) are trying to solidify their hold over the Pentarus Cluster and in doing so they run into the Ghatazhak who, as they discover, is a slightly, tougher nut to crack than they expected. Having written that, being thrown enough gun fodder at them even the Ghatazhak have to resort to a strategic retreat.

On Earth drastic and perhaps somewhat rash measures are taken against the perceived Jung threat. Measures that will have far reaching repercussions for the future.

Captain Tuplo, acting as “Nah tan” and General Telles manages to get word to Earth which, to put it mildly, complicates life even further for the dear Captain of the Aurora. Difficult decisions has to be made. To mutiny or not to mutiny…

There are plenty of good battles both on the ground and in space. It is very enjoyable to read about how old friends reunites again throughout the book. In the end the old team is back again, well, mostly at least and hopefully we can dig into the real story and attack (literally) the real problem in the next book. Looking forward to read about that.

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners - Larry Correia, John Ringo I liked this book better than the previous book in the series. I felt it read more like a single book than a series of short stories even though the book is very much a series of different monster hunting stories tied together. It was much fun to read this one.

I can just as well get the political incorrectness part over with right away. This book is not going to please social justice warriors, gender fanatics or any other person with strong so called politically correct views, especially if they reside on the more extreme ends of the political scale. John Ringo writes fun to read adventures and does not give a fuck about the use of rude languages or any of the other pet peeves that the easily offended gets so riled up about nowadays. It is guns galore and his characters uses the language and has the behavior you would expect from a Monster Hunter International hunter or a marine or quite a lot of normal people actually. I have no problem with that and it certainly does not take away my pleasure of reading these books. After all, it is total fiction. If you are easily offended go read a politically correct bed time story instead.

Now, for the book itself. It is fun to read. There are of course lots and lots of good monster related action. Lots of guns and other various implements that slice or go boom. The dialogue between the various colorful characters is also very entertaining as usual.

John Ringo has used the setting in New Orleans and Chad’s somewhat involuntary change of scenery due to screwing around with an underage elf (she was 40) wonderfully. Apart from a huge monster infestation people in New Orleans apparently do things a little differently. Actually make that a lot differently. What about the local MHI team being on friendly terms with the MCB one for instance? Actually the MCB guys are far from the dickheads they usually are in the other books in this universe. Also, most of the population in New Orleans believe in monsters and actually cheer along when the MHI guys charge towards whatever slimy creature they intend to shoot, decapitate or blow up next.

There are a lot of colorful people around. Not just in the MHI team but in New Orleans as well. Chad gets a butler (or gentleman as he prefers to be called) which nicely add to the story. The female HMI hunter who want to try and cook and eat (having a fais do do) any monster they kill is also great fun. The book is really quite a good read whether Chad is clobbering monsters or just having a conversation with his friends, butler or the latest girls he hooked up with.

There is a thread, a mystery, going through the book. Why the sudden increase in monster activity? Why does a simple houdoun summoning create an avalanche of monsters the size of elephants? Sadly, although there are hints thrown around about something big coming and Chad being the savior, the book ends without shedding much light on this. Oh well, I guess I have to wait for the next book in the series, which I seriously hope will be coming.

The books ends in a huge monster bash when yet another houdoun summoning goes haywire. It is New Orleans after all so what could be more suitable than a crayfish infestation. Heck, I would find thousands of crayfish running my way with their claws snapping a wee bit scary. They would be a lot scarier if I knew they wanted to suck out my brain for snacks. At the realization that they were about a meter long and with a claw that either snapped off your head or cracked it I would start to run as hell. At this little crayfish party we even get a visit from Franks. Yes it is that bad!

When the smoke disappears and the ectoplasm dries it is a bit of Last Man Standing over the scene. It is actually a rather sad ending. The casualties are enormous to say the least. Looks like Chad will have to do quite a bit of that paperwork that he hated so much.

Regardless of this it was, as I may have mentioned a few times, a quite entertaining book to read. I am now eagerly waiting for the next one in the series.

Cursed Command

Cursed Command - Christopher G. Nuttall This book, the third installment in the Angel in the Whirlwind series, maintains the same very high levels of being a good read as the two first books. I really like Kat and I really like Mr. Nuttall’s writing.

As the book blurb states Kat is sent on a new mission to the Jorlem Sector to try and forge alliances and fight pirates at the same time. Naturally she encounters a number of nasty customers including the sleazebag ruler of Jorlem itself. She also discovers a Theocracy warship. It is perhaps not the “juggernaut” that the blurb states but it is, apparently, a crossbreed between a battleship and a battlecruiser. Definitely big enough to complicate things for Kat & Co.

This book is not all about Kat though. She has to share the glory, or the disgrace, with her former XO who has been promoted to Captain and his new ship is going to follow Kat’s Lightning into the Jorlem Sector. The book flips between Kat and McElny as well as, to a lesser extent, the Theocracy tugs.

Speaking of the Theocracy thugs. The Theocracy are a real nasty bunch. ISIS in space! They are religious fanatics of the highest order and as such they of course have tunnel vision in their relations with other nations as well as a total disrespect for anyone not of their twisted beliefs. Their younger acolytes are thoroughly brainwashed into believing in the Theocracy and their supposed superiority society wise as well as military wise.

Surprisingly enough the Theocracy cleric and his dumbass aide are not the most despicable characters in the book. Just to make life even harder for Kat and McElny Mr. Nuttall throws in a malcontent officer in McElny’s crew. This guy is not only despicable but really the lowest of the lowest type of scum in that he does not hesitate to sell out the entire Commonwealth to the enemy to achieve his short sighted goals. He is a total asshole of the worst kind and I am never too happy about these characters in the books I read. He even manages to throw more crap into the fan than the Theocracy, at least within the scope of this book. Needless to say Kat and McElny prove to be a tougher nut to crack than previously mentioned various low lifes expect but the cost is high. Very high.

Then we have the annoying, somewhat lazy, and very bigoted new XO that was pushed onto Kat. I was about to write that he is the typical example of a narrow minded aristocrat child with an overinflated ego which has done nothing but lick the jam of the silver spoon he was born with. That would be a little unfair though. He is actually rather good at his job. He is bigoted and annoying like hell but unlike the Theocracy tugs and the above mentioned malcontent Kat’s XO could probably be turned around given some time.

In the end Kat has yet again improved her reputation as being someone you do not mess with. There are of course plenty of well done action in the book and, as usual, the characters and their interactions are equally well done.

I am looking forward to the next installment in the series. This book did not really end in what you would call a major cliffhanger but it nevertheless pointed, not so subtly, in the direction of a major showdown between the Theocracy and the Commonwealth. I have already preordered it and the book blurb certainly appears to support the “It’s clobbertime” theory.

Black Howl

Black Howl  - Christina Henry Black Howl is another good read in the Black Wings series. Madeline’s adventures continues in a enjoyable mix of humor, vendettas and demon bashing. Madeline is quite good at the latter, not so much on the vendettas and intrigue.

The discovery of erratically behaving souls drags Madeline into an investigation that leads back to some old enemies, a lot of demons and the discovery of a despicable black market scheme leaving a trail of humans and werewolves as empty shells when what defines them are ripped out of their bodies.

Just to make sure life do not become too easy for Madeline the author throws in yet another plot to usurp Satan’s leadership of the fallen. Naturally both schemes are intertwined and Madeline are in for a few surprises when she discovers where the loyalties of some characters are.

Madeline is the usual kick ass, sword wielding descendant of the morning star as in the previous books. You really do not want to piss her off. Her annoying, feeding frenzy prone but faithful Gargoyle provides the usual comical relief. Nathaniel is the usual dick as in previous books and JB walks a tight line between being an ass and being among the likable characters. For the most part he manages to stay on the right side.

A lot of people seems to be somewhat upset about the tragic events near the end of the book. I have to say that I was not too surprised and I cannot say that it bothered me too much either. I just hope that this turn of events does not result in Madeline going into sulking mode in the next book(s) in the series since I am quite looking forward to read the next installment.

Duel in the Dark: Blood on the Stars I

Duel in the Dark: Blood on the Stars I - Jay Allan Duel in the Dark is a good start of a new series, Blood on the Stars, from Jay Allan. It is an action filled story which essentially is a prelude to an all out war. It has good world building, enjoyable characters and plenty of action.

The underlying premise of the story is the all too common one, in fiction as well as in real life. The Confederation has beaten the enemy once, actually three times, and once the threat seemed to be gone dumbass politicians have let their defense forces slip. Why spend money on defending the nation when you can be shortsighted and use the money to buy votes for the next election. Of course the threat was not gone, at least not forever, and now the bad guys are knocking on the door once again. Invasion is imminent.

In this first book we focus on Captain Tyler Barron and his battleship the Dauntless. After 10 months on the front lines Dauntless is sent on a mission intended to be somewhat of a vacation for the crew. Well, there would not be a story worth reading if that was true would there? Political machinations and backstabbing abound and Barron finds himself face to face with a unexpected and ruthless enemy in the flagship of the enemies fleet. It’s clobbertime!

For the large part of the book we get to follow the Dauntless and her crew as they go head to head with the enemy. Battleship against battleship. We get to know Captain Barron and the enemy captain in pretty much equal parts. There is plenty of action, both on the surface of the planet that resides in the playing field of the duel and, of course, in space. It is a ruthless battle and both ships have more holes in them than a Swiss cheese towards the end.

Barron and his crew are quite likable and, surprisingly enough, the enemy captain becomes almost likable towards the end. There is a second book out already so it is really not much of a spoiler when I say that Dauntless survives if only just barely.

It is a well written military science fiction story. It is quite tense, moving forward at a brisk pace and the action as well as the parts of the story that glues the action together is definitely well done.

I have no hesitation about jumping on the next book in the series.

Magical Probi

Magical Probi - T.S. Paul This is the second book in The Federal Witch series following Conjuring Quantico. Agatha has finished her first set of studies at FBI and is now a Probationary Agent. As such she must have a handler. The two set out to deal with the various magic related calamities that faith throws in their way. It is a fairly light but definitely fun read.

One thing I like with the books in The Federal Witch series is that Agatha is a powerful witch and she knows it. She is also not whimpering and moaning like a lot of “heroines” in various books. Those who believes that they can push her around or belittle her will learn their mistakes. Nobody touches the witch!

The book is a rather light read. There’s a lot of occasions for Agatha to user her magic as well some investigative work to be done. Agatha is good at both. My favorite moments are when she rebuffs some dumbass bureaucrat or the equally dumb local police officers or FBI agents from some competing branch of FBI. As I wrote, nobody touches the witch!

The non-cooperative and backstabbing behavior between the various law enforcement characters is really a bit over the top. It is certainly providing some humor to the story but it is also being quite a bit of a balancing act between funny and ridiculous.

The book feels a little bit as a collection of shorter novels put together to form a normal sized one. Agatha and her supervisor is not solving one but several cases after each other. It is not much of a problem for me since the shorter stories flows seamlessly together into the larger one but it might come as a bit of a surprise.

Agatha’s supervisor is a pleasant character. Although he is running the Magical Chrimes Division he is a mundane. This assignment is actually his first experience of a real witch. He has a lot of know-how making investigations and working within FBI though so it turns out to be a learning experience for both of them.

Overall I enjoyed the book. It is a light read, sometimes with a bit too much silliness but quite fun to read nonetheless. Personally I’m going straight for the next book.

Perilous Waif

Perilous Waif - E. William Brown This book is rather different from a lot of books that I have read. The story is not that uncommon: A lone child with special powers adventures into space. However, her powers and how they develop is rather unique and so is the setting. I really liked it.

The book starts one some backwater planet, run by fanatical women, where technology is scoffed on and everyone are supposed to live “in harmony” with nature. Those who do not comply will be brainwashed. Naturally everyone is supposed to eat only vegetarian food etc. etc. In short the wet dream of the green and gender fanatics.

Naturally our heroin do not really fit in very well. Especially since she has implants that go against the anti-technology dimwits on the planet and she craves meat (oh horror) as well. What can a girl do when in such a horrible situation. Oh, escape on a private freighter with a jolly crew not always adhering to the letter of the law, also called smugglers, of course.

Her escape is aided by a beautiful and quite likable android who also happens to be part of the crew of the above mentioned freighter. Once aboard she meets the captain. A rather intimidating character that also turns out to be quite likable in the end. I wrote freighter but the ship in question is just as much as warship as a freighter. She is packed to the gills with all kind of interesting hardware that, if applied properly, makes things go boom.

The universe she (and we) enters is filled with androids, cyborgs, humans altered on a genetic level, war bots and all kinds of different inhabitants. The book uses nanites quite a lot as well. One thing that is a bit different in this book, compared to my usual reads, is the fact that a lot of the universe is about Japanese crime clans. The Yakzua etc.

Another thing that is different is the way Alice’s power works, especially how they develop. A lot of books use implants as a plot element but Alice’s implants hold a quantum computer of rather significant power. Also, Alice’s implants actually develops, grows and matures as Alice’s biological body develops. She is not just developing her existing enhancements but her body is actually building new cybernetic “organs”, like power supplies, shield projectors etc. Once she is freed of the confines of the green nuts and properly feed this process goes into overdrive and her powers develop from cool to awesome.

Naturally the story is not just about having awesome powers but Alice, who is quite young, also develops a lot as a character. She makes plenty of new friends and pretty much everyone she befriends are interesting, different and very likable characters.

Slowly the book moves towards the main plot of the story and Alice eventually learns that she is not just any kid left on a orphanage. She is much more special and important than that. The main plot also brings us some nice fights for Alice and it all culminates in a rather spectacular big fight at the end as well as some huge revelations. Most of the second half of the book involves Japanese crime clans which introduces a necessity of observing a certain decorum instead of just blasting everything in sight.

At the end I would say that the stage is set for a few more nice books in the series and I for one is looking forward to read them. It is a quite cool universe that the author has built.

Rescue

Rescue - Ryk Brown This installment of The Frontiers Saga did not really work for me. I know this is rather personal and subjective but I just do not like back-flashes and the majority of this book is a back-flash.

It starts well enough taking off from where the previous book left off after the surprise bomb that were dropped on us at the end of that book. Captain Tuplo is confronted with his real origins and, not surprisingly, has quite some difficulty believing it.

Then the book moves back in time and tells the story of how Jessica & Co managed to break into the Jung prison, store the brain patterns and DNA of Nathan Scott and get away with it. It is a good and well written story. That is not my problem. The problem is that I do…not…like back flashes. The story looses my interest when I know where it is going and how it will end. No matter how good the story is.

As I wrote, the story and the writing is really good. If you do not have my bias when it comes to back-flashes you are probably going to like this book, assuming you liked the rest of the books in the series of course.

Galaxy in Peril

Galaxy in Peril - Raymond L. Weil This book was my kind of story. It is well written with lots of likable characters. It has plenty of action and the bad guys gets quite a few surprises, in particular from the “primitive” humans.

The book switches regularly between the humans, the Enlightened races, especially the Lakiams and Fleet Commodore Dreen, and the Vorns. I quite liked this since it meant that we got a first hand view of the bad guy’s surprise when both the Lakiams and, in particular, the humans demonstrate that their bite is actually worse than their bark.

Reading about the adventure of Admiral Vickers is as enjoyable as it was in the previous book. Actually even more since the privateers do not play the main bad guy role in this book. However, the other characters are also quite enjoyable. Fleet Commodore Dreen is the Enlightened worlds’ version of Admiral Vickers. Mara is also a nice addition to the cast.

As I wrote there is plenty of action and it is well done. The losses for “our” side is staggering and time runs short for Admiral Vickers. I do not think it is too much of a spoiler to say that the Admiral and his new found friend(s) does indeed save the day, at least for the time being, at the end. After all, the books from this author usually ends on a somewhat positive note.

The Vorn might take a surprise beating in the end but they are far from defeated and Prince Brollen is now not just fighting for the Vorn’s “food source” but he vants revenge, big time.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series. This one kind of finished the current story arc but the author certainly left the path open for a new one to start.

The Dark Invaders

The Dark Invaders - Raymond L. Weil Although this book series is perhaps the one from Raymond L. Weil that I like the least it is still good and entertaining book. I have a bit of a problem with this Profiteer concept and the parody of a free market it depicts. The privateers are a bit like the Ferengi (which I never liked) but more violent and nasty.

Still, it is a good book in the usual Raymond L. Weil style of writing. The universe expands quite a bit in this book and we are introduced to the universe beyond the Gothan Empire. Naturally some new nasties are introduced and these make the privateers look like naughty children in a playground.

The privateers still pose a problem though and High Profiteer Creed and his machinations continue to complicate life for Admiral Vickers and the humans. As if a overwhelming powerful invader, that sees any other race as food, and the privateers are not enough humanity also faces internal threats. As usual these comes from dumbass politicians that are utterly incapable of grasping the reality of things and naturally also strive to obtain as much personal gain as possible. In the process they work towards gutting the Earth defense forces in order to spend money on buying votes. Sounds familiar? As always I am not too keen of these kind of complications. Reminds me too much of the real world.

Nevertheless, Admiral Vickers and his friends do manage to hold the fort. There is plenty of action in the book and, in general, it is well paced. The book expands the Star Cross universe quite a lot and the humans are thrown right smack in the middle of it. The action itself is well written and mostly in space which is my favorite kind of sci-fi action.

Overall it is an entertaining book and the next, the third one, is already on my reading list.

Conjuring Quantico

Conjuring Quantico - T.S. Paul This book was quite fun to read. At times it is perhaps a bit nonsensical, even childish, but on the whole I liked both the story and the main character.

Agatha is a witch with some problems controlling her magic which in turn creates a few minor issues like buildings blowing up, people turning into pink rabbits etc. Unfortunately, for FBI, the agency needs a fully sanctioned witch on their payroll in order to combat the less mundane threats in the books alternate world where magic, werewolves and other supernatural entities roam around.

I like the way the book starts. As usual the FBI Director is a dick. However, to my great joy, said dick is pretty much immediately replaced by a very sympathetic new director who quickly takes a liking to Agatha and is not alien to circumventing the upper echelons when they try to interfere.
I also like the fact that, although Agatha has some magic control issues, she is indeed a powerful witch and she knows it.

Agatha has some friends as well which I also found quite likable. The fact that they are both werewolves, or in the case of her female friend a werecat, makes it even more fun to read. Especially when said werecat opens safes by ripping the doors off their hinges. Who needs a key anyway, they just get lost.

After the obligatory introduction Agatha and the werecat gets thrown straight into a kidnapping case even though they are still students. Both of our good guys prove to be quite adept at acting as agents, well at least within the confines of the story’s rather simplistic depiction of an FBI agent, and all in all I quite enjoyed reading this book.

I am fairly sure that I will pick up the next one.

The Lost Patrol

The Lost Patrol - Vaughn Heppner I have to say that I felt this book to be the weakest in the series so far. Captain Maddox and his friends are back and the good Captain is mostly as enjoyable as usual. Unfortunately it takes some time for the story to get going and the internal monologues of the sex starved pilot Keith was downright embarrassing.

The book starts off with a bang. During a rather wild roller coaster ride Captain Maddox is submitted to one assassination attempt after another and ends up on a Spacer airship where the starting point of the story in this book is more or less established. After that the book slows down a wee bit and there is a lot of posturing etc. The professor is brought back in and I rather dislike that character. The Spacer that accompanies Maddox after his involuntary visit on the Spacer airship is also less than trustworthy to say the least.

In this first half of the book we are also forced to endure the infantile monologues of the previously mentioned pilot. I’m not sure if he was meant to be funny or not but he was certainly not funny to me. Penible as they say in French.

It also seems that there are androids everywhere. For crying out load, do they not check up on personnel that they let board the most important starship in Earth’s navy? A simply ancient airport scanner should have revealed the androids.

In the second half of the book the story starts to pick itself up and the real action, discoveries etc. starts. Maddox starts to take a grip of the situation again in his usual “I’m in command” kind of way. We learn some sad truths about the builders and there is of course ample opportunities to use Galyan’s weaponry.

The second half or at least the last third of the book is quite enjoyable but it does not really make up for the first half. Thus I feel obliged to give this installment in the series a mere average rating.

Black Night

Black Night - Christina Henry I quite liked the first book in the series. It was a promising start. After now having read the second book in the series I see now reason to change my mind. I will most likely continue with this series.

Madeline is now pretty well aware that she is a rather powerful entity and very much part of the world that goes bump in the night. Or perhaps I should say bang rather than bump when Madeline is involved. She is not yet aware of how powerful she actually is though but she is a quick learner. Sadly, some of the powers she demonstrated in the previous book are gone since they were part of Evangeline and her possession of Madeline. She recovers a few other though, which will hopefully stay with her. That together with the fact that most of the various despicable villains in the book always underestimate Madeline makes for a few really enjoyable surprise scenes. The scene where Madeline walks back into the court of the, less than honest, fae queen after having…(well you have to read the book to know what she did won’t you) was really good.

The other characters develop as well and J.B. is almost likable in this book. Nathaniel is still a bit of a sleazebag but he is also a bit more than that. The junk food loving grumpy Gargoyle is ever present of course. Then there are of course a few monsters, werewolves faes and the usual bunch of fallen angels around to fill out the scenes.

The story is quite okay. The faes and the fallen plots and schemes as usual and, surprise surprise, Madeline ends up in the middle. It is decently paced with quite a bit of action as well as verbal sparring. It also advances the main story arc in a good enough way.

All in all this is a good urban fantasy book will lots of magic and supernatural stuff in it.

Black Wings

Black Wings  - Christina Henry I found this book to be a promising start of a new book series for me to read. After my disappointment with Thunderbird Falls I think that series has fallen off my to-read list and I was looking for another Urban Fantasy series to read instead. This might be it.

I quite enjoyed the book. Christina already knows that there are things that go bump in the night. She already has magical powers. What she does not know is that she has only seen the surface of the iceberg, both in terms of things that go bump in the night and in terms of her own powers.

The world building is not at all bad. Madeline is an enjoyable character and so is her grumpy Gargoyle as well as a lot of the other characters in the book. Madeline is not the wining and dumb brat as the “heroine” in some books is. She is both reasonably clever, sharp tonged and serious. She is hampered by her inexperience in the world she is about to be thrown into though. A fact that is pointed out to her several times throughout the book. Both verbally and by other, more physical, means.

The book is fairly fast paced with a fair amount of action. Madeline posses “true” magic, you know the throw fireballs and stuff around kind of magic. Unfortunately for her so does most of the not so nice characters in this book. The author makes her own take on fallen angels, hell and heaven etc. I liked her take on it.

As we progress through the book Madeline is thrown as few twists her way and by consequence the reader is thrown a few twist his way. Not all bad guys are bad guys and some good guys are actually a bit naughty etc… To cope with everything Madeline is forced to learn quickly. I definitely liked the discover and surprise parts of the story.

This is the first book in a book series and despite being a bit of an initial world builder kind of book it never felt dull. Yet it managed to do a fairly good job of the world building and, at the same time, it avoided going way to fast and gloss over important events for Madeline.

I will certainly read at least the second book in the series to see if it can keep my interest up.

Thunderbird Falls

Thunderbird Falls   - C.E. Murphy I thought the first book in the Walker Papers series was okay enough for me to give the second book in the series a go. Unfortunately I was not impressed by Thunderbird Falls. One might even go so far as to say that I was disappointed.

The book follows a pattern common pattern to many urban fantasy books. Main character discovers that he/she has some form of magic/supernatural powers and gets dragged into a world where there are things that go bump in the night. After the initial introduction the books in the series pits the character against a series of bad guys one after another while the character develops as we go along.

However Joanne does not really seem to develop. If anything she almost regresses not wanting to use or learn about her shamanic powers. Worse, she walks around like a sleepwalker moaning about how tired she is or how unfair the world is and so on. She is duped more or less from the first page and continues to be played up until the ending where she somehow manages to avoid disaster despite the total mess.

When Joanne actually delves into her powers it is in surrealistic dream sequences which are more confusing than being a good read. I could perhaps have lived with that if Joanne would have developed along the way but she behaves like a less than intelligent wimp most of the time. In the first book she was a bit hot mouthed and showed some spunk but I did not get any feeling of such traits in this book.

Bottom line is that I was rather disappointed and I am in doubt whether I will read the next book in the series.

Paying the Price (Book 5 of The Empire of Bones Saga)

Paying the Price (Book 5 of The Empire of Bones Saga) - Terry Mixon In this, the fifth, installment of The Empire of Bones saga Jared, Kelsey & Co finally finds their way back home. It is a mixed homecoming though. Although this book sees a bit of a lull in the fight against the AIs Jared and Kelsey are forced to fight against internal enemies instead.

One could say that this book is more about political power plays, vendettas and subterfuge than the other books. Normally I am not too keen on those kind of stories. In this book however, there are enough “good stuff” to make me enjoy it despite the internal strife.

One thing that I like are the surprise moments starting right at the moment when Jared and Kelsey arrives in their supercharged new (or should I say old since it is Old Terran ships) fleet which dwarfs, outruns and outguns everything anyone at home has seen until now. Kelsey of course creates a few dropped jaws but the rest of the crew gets their 15 minutes of fame as well. I quite liked Carl’s show down with professor Bedford (who turned out to be quite likable) for instance.

The snake in the garden is of course Crown Prince Ethan Bandar. Unfortunately the characterization of Ethan is almost over the top just as with Captain Breckenridge (who makes a brief return in this book by the way). Ethan is not as stupid as Breckenridge but his fanatical paranoia which makes him convinced that everyone is conspiring to grab the throne from him and his continuous monologues where he convinces him of this very “fact” and that his actions are justified are a wee bit tiring.

Naturally Nathan manages to screw up more than a few things and the book mostly revolves around our friends trying to unravel his betrayals and scheming to grab the throne even if it tears the Empire apart. However, even though it probably counts as a bit of a spoiler (be warned), I have to say that one of the things that I like in these books is that the bad guys generally gets what they deserve and this goes for this book as well.

Again Terry Mixon has woven together and fun to read, fairly fast paced adventure story. I quite enjoyed it.

Currently reading

Alien Games by Elizabeth Mackey, T. Lee Harris