Book Review: Killing Gravity by Corey J. White

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By Jacob P. Torres

Find my spoiler-free review of Killing Gravity by Corey J. White, the first novella in his Voidwitch saga and his debut work. The sequel Void Black Shadow is already out and the third novella, Static Ruin, will be coming out later this year.

Cover Description: “Mars Xi can kill you with her mind, but she’ll need more than psychic powers to save her in Killing Gravity, the thrilling science fiction space adventure debut by Corey J. White.

Before she escaped in a bloody coup, MEPHISTO transformed Mariam Xi into a deadly voidwitch. Their training left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust, and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers.

Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumors to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she’ll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential.

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Five Series to Start While You’re Waiting for Star Trek Discovery to come back.

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By Jacob P. Torres

The summer is general a wasteland for TV which could make it a good time to advocate for some books to read. If you’re missing Star Trek: Discovery or SyFy’s (now Amazon’s) The Expanse as much as I am, you might like these books.

71kOSKVyobL All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
Martha takes the trope of the murderous A.I. and turns it on its head. An A.I. that occupies the body of a highly advanced robotic soldier armed to the gills suddenly finds itself with sentience and a freedom to disobey any order its given. First order of business? Watch some trashy soap operas. Oh, did I mention its name is Murderbot? Yeah, that’s what you get named when you accidentally kill your last owners because of a programming bug, but Murderbot isn’t going to let that happen again, it just wants to be left alone. 5 out of 5 Cups of Tea.

 

Dauntless by Jack Campbell  91H330c+PSL
If you need a series that will keep you occupied for a while Jack Campbell isn’t gonna let you down. The Lost Fleet series is 11 books long but it’s complete. Dauntless is the first book, it’s a little rougher than the ones that come after. Captain “Black Jack” Geary is a legend that everyone thought was dead. Everyone was very shocked then to find him alive in escape pod in the middle of enemy territory. No one more than Jack Geary, who finds himself suddenly in charge of a fleet and in horror at the hero worship everyone is giving him. Now he has to find a way to bring this fleet home when he’s hundreds of years removed from any of his family, and light-years from anything friendly. 3.5 out of 5 Cups of Tea.

 

 the-long-way-to-a-small-angry-planet-3 The Long Way to a Small , Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
In this series Chambers has created something that evokes the feel of Firefly, the space opera setting, and characters that you’ll fall in love with. This book follows the perspective of Rosemary Harper, the least like protagonist you’d imagine, the ship’s new clerk. The crew of the wayfarer will redefine your meaning of ragtag, but the book is full of heart, inventive characters and worlds, and a whole lot of fun. 4 out of 5 Cups of Tea.

 

Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig Aftermath
After Disney acquired the Lucasfilm empire, Disney gave Chuck Wendig an impossible job, write the first book (and first trilogy) in the new canon for the Star Wars universe. Wendig gets a kind of unforgivable amount of shit from sad puppies on the internet about these books, because how dare he create new characters, have females or LGBTQA+ characters as protagonists, set the stage for Episode VII, and write a fun book. It’s not the best Star Wars book ever written but it’s really solid and should be fairly accessible to people who have only seen the movies. And its real obvious Wendig loves the franchise and had a blast writing it. 4.0 out of 5 Cups of Tea.

 

 SEEKERS_1_PREVIEW Star Trek: Seekers 1 – Second Nature
I couldn’t leave a Star Trek book off this list, so here we go. The Seekers series follows two crews over four books solving a typically Star Trek kind of adventure. This is a good starting on point for people that don’t read Star Trek books regularly and features a completely original cast of characters that you’ve likely not seen before. The crews of the Sagittarius and the Endeavor (which is captained by the first in series female Muslim captain) adventures are written by David Mack who has written a kind of ludicrous number of Star Trek books, including one with the Discovery crew which I can’t recommend because I haven’t read it. yet. 3.5 out of 5 Cups of Tea.

 

Book Review: Adrift by Rob Boffard

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By Jacob P. Torres

Find my spoiler-free review of Adrift by Rob Boffard.

Cover Description: “Overview

Adrift by Rob Boffard

“An edge-of-the-seat epic of survival and adventure in deep space.” – Gareth L. Powell, BSFA Award-Winning author

Sigma Station. The ultimate luxury hotel, in the far reaches of space.

For one small group, a tour of the Horsehead Nebula is meant to be a short but stunning highlight in the trip of a lifetime.

But when a mysterious ship destroys Sigma Station and everyone on it, suddenly their tourist shuttle is stranded.

They have no weapons. No food. No water. No one back home knows they’re alive.

And the mysterious ship is hunting them.

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Book Review: Starless by Jacqueline Carey

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By Jacob P. Torres

Find my spoiler-free review of Starless by Jacqueline Carey below.

Cover Description: “Jacqueline Carey is back with an amazing adventure not seen since her New York Times bestselling Kushiel’s Legacy series. Lush and sensual, Starless introduces us to an epic world where exiled gods live among us, and a hero whose journey will resonate long after the last page is turned.

I was nine years old the first time I tried to kill a man…

Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him.

In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction.

If Khai is to keep his soul’s twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine.

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Book Review: Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns

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By Jacob P. Torres

Find my spoiler-free review of Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns, her premiere book and the first in a series featuring this cast of characters. Her second book, Mutiny at Vesta is due later this year.

Cover Description: “Two engineers hijack a spaceship to join some space pirates—only to discover the pirates are hiding from a malevolent AI. Now they have to outwit the AI if they want to join the pirate crew—and survive long enough to enjoy it.

Adda and Iridian are newly minted engineers, but aren’t able to find any work in a solar system ruined by economic collapse after an interplanetary war. Desperate for employment, they hijack a colony ship and plan to join a famed pirate crew living in luxury at Barbary Station, an abandoned shipbreaking station in deep space.

But when they arrive there, nothing is as expected. The pirates aren’t living in luxury—they’re hiding in a makeshift base welded onto the station’s exterior hull. The artificial intelligence controlling the station’s security system has gone mad, trying to kill all station residents and shooting down any ship that attempts to leave—so there’s no way out.

Adda and Iridian have one chance to earn a place on the pirate crew: destroy the artificial intelligence. The last engineer who went up against the AI met an untimely end, and the pirates are taking bets on how the newcomers will die. But Adda and Iridian plan to beat the odds.

There’s a glorious future in piracy…if only they can survive long enough.”

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Book Review: The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso

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By Jacob P. Torres

Find my spoiler-free review of The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso, book two in her Swords and Fire series.

Cover Description: Across the border, the Witch Lords of Vaskandar are preparing for war. 

But before an invasion can begin, the seventeen Witch Lords must convene at a rare gathering to decide a course of action. Lady Amalia Cornaro knows that this Conclave might be her only chance to smother the growing flames of war, and she is prepared to make any sacrifice if it means saving Raverra from destruction.

Amalia and her bound fire warlock, Zaira, must go behind enemy lines, using every ounce of wit and cunning they have, to sway Vaskandar from war.

If they fail, it will all come down to swords and fire.”

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Book Review: Scourged by Kevin Hearne

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By Jacob P. Torres

Scourged

Find my review of Scourged by Kevin Hearne. Fair warning there are some spoilers, I’ve done my best to flag them and give you warning if you want to skip them, but they are there so if you want to avoid them entirely, you should maybe skip this review. Though it’s been a few weeks since this book’s release, what have you been doing that you’re just getting to this now?

Cover Description: Kevin Hearne creates the ultimate Atticus O’Sullivan adventure in the grand finale of the New York Times bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles: an epic battle royale against the Norse gods of Asgard.

 Unchained from fate, the Norse gods Loki and Hel are ready to unleash Ragnarok, a.k.a. the Apocalypse, upon the earth. They’ve made allies on the darker side of many pantheons, and there’s a globe-spanning battle brewing that ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan will be hard-pressed to survive, much less win.   

Granuaile MacTiernan must join immortals Sun Wukong and Erlang Shen in a fight against the Yama Kings in Taiwan, but she discovers that the stakes are much higher than she thought.

Meanwhile, Archdruid Owen Kennedy must put out both literal and metaphorical fires from Bavaria to Peru to keep the world safe for his apprentices and the future of Druidry.

And Atticus recruits the aid of a tyromancer, an Indian witch, and a trickster god in hopes that they’ll give him just enough leverage to both save Gaia and see another sunrise. There is a hound named Oberon who deserves a snack, after all.”

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Book Review: Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

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By Jacob P. Torres

Revenant Gun

I received an ARC of Yoon Ha Lee’s third novel, Revenant Gun in exchange for an honest review. This spoiler-free review will cover the conclusion of the Machineries of Empire trilogy. There are spoilers to the first two novels, so if you haven’t read those be sure to read them first. And be sure to check out my review of the previous books, Ninefox Gambit and Raven Stratagem.

Cover Description: “When Shuos Jedao wakes up for the first time, several things go wrong. His few memories tell him that he’s a seventeen-year-old cadet—but his body belongs to a man decades older. Hexarch Nirai Kujen orders Jedao to reconquer the fractured hexarchate on his behalf even though Jedao has no memory of ever being a soldier, let alone a general. Surely a knack for video games doesn’t qualify you to take charge of an army?

Soon Jedao learns the situation is even worse. The Kel soldiers under his command may be compelled to obey him, but they hate him thanks to a massacre he can’t remember committing. Kujen’s friendliness can’t hide the fact that he’s a tyrant. And what’s worse, Jedao and Kujen are being hunted by an enemy who knows more about Jedao and his crimes than he does himself…”

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Book Review: The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

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By Jacob P. Torres

The Poppy War

Find my spoiler-free review of The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang.

Cover Description: “When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.”

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The Best Books for World Book Day!

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23 April is World Book Day, so Bree and I thought we would take a moment to share some of our favorite books from different genres than we normally share! Read the rest of this entry »