Book Review: The Wrong Stars

The Wrong Stars (Axiom #1) Book Cover The Wrong Stars (Axiom #1)
Tim Pratt
Angry Robot

The shady crew of the White Raven run freight and salvage at the fringes of our solar system. They discover the wreck of a centuries-old exploration vessel floating light years away from its intended destination and revive its sole occupant, who wakes with news of First Alien Contact. When the crew break it to her that humanity has alien allies already, she reveals that these are very different extra-terrestrials...and the gifts they bestowed on her could kill all humanity, or take it out to the most distant stars.

My Reivew

For anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi action book in space, this is the book for you. It was full of action, character development, and the plots is full of twists and turns that will just keep you guessing throughout. I had a hard time putting the book down, as each chapter left me wanting more. Aliens, cyborgs, pirates, new systems and planets, new space technology and weapons? What more could you ask for?

Although some of the characters were very well developed, (I particularly enjoyed the characters of Captain Callie Machedo of the White Raven, and Lantern the alien of the Liars species.) I hope to see more development of the other characters in future books. This does not detract from my 5* rating of the book, though.

I’m very much looking forward to the next book in the series, and what it will bring for the crew of the White Raven, and what their encounters with the Axiom aliens will be like.

Book Review: Time of Useful Consciousness

Time of Useful Consciousness Book Cover Time of Useful Consciousness
Jennifer Ott
Historial Fiction, Thriller
June 28, 2015

Louisa Unger, a young German woman in Post-War World II Germany kills a man in cold blood. Despite her crime, her fate is up to her - give up her countrymen for her freedom. She decides to play the loyalty card and remain in prison.

During the interrogations, Louisa weaves her tale of the events by evading any real information. She relives reuniting with her estranged brother Freddy, falling in love with Kris, a former reconnaissance pilot and learning to fly to a plane. She recounts in fairy tale fashion of monsters cloaked in shadows and lessons learned by incorrigible children.

Seduced into the bliss of romance and flying, Louisa fails to recognize any threat. She grows immersed in the life of a smuggler, a pilot and a lover. It is hard to come back down to earth, when soaring so high.

My Review

“Such beautiful scenery for such evil men. Why were the evildoers blessed with such beauty and the good masses succumbed to the gray darkness of the city?”

This book takes place in post WWII Germnay, and follows the story of a German woman, Louisa, and the part she plays as a pilot in a smuggling operation. After murdering someone in cold-blood, she is taken into custody by the U.S Military. The book takes place from the prison, and also acts as a retelling of the events in the years previous to her capture. This story is interesting in that it is told from the perspective of a German woman, and explores the post-war conditions they were facing.

There is strong character development and relationship building in this book, whether it was with Louisa’s brother Freddy, or her mother’s lover, a Colonel in the U.S. Army. Louisa starts out as a young immature woman, and in the end, is bold, adventurous, and confident. She will stop at nothing to protect those she loves.

The story was quick-moving and captivated me all the way through. It was well-written and easy to follow, even though it jumped between different time periods frequently. The only negative point I would make is that the book ended quite quickly with a twist. The author didn’t waste any time wrapping up the story.

I would highly recommend this book for all of those interested in WWII historical fiction, or anyone who loves a great thriller.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Murdered Banker

The Murdered Banker Book Cover The Murdered Banker
Augusto De Angelis
Pushkin Vertigo
February 23, 2016

A body is discovered in a Milan apartment, and Inspector De Vincenzi investigates. The apartment happens to belong to and old university friend of his, Aurigi. When the body turns out to be that of Aurigi's banker, and a phial of prussic acid is discovered in the bathroom, suspicion falls on the apartment's owner, and De Vincenzi is agonisingly torn between his sense of duty and his loyalty to an old comrade... This intensely dramatic mystery from the father of the Italian crime novel, Augusto de Angelis, is the first to feature his most famous creation--Inspector De Vincenzi. From the Trade Paperback edition.

My Thoughts

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This was a tough book to get through for me. I found the writing style fairly dry, and over-descriptive. I know that these detective-style novels need a lot of descriptions, but it was just a bit too much.

There were a few points in the book where I was drawn in and wanted to know more, but then I was quickly lost again. I just really couldn’t get into the narrative style. I think it would have been more compelling if it was told from the perspective of De Vincenzi.

The ending was overwhelming, the writing style was exhausting, so I can’t recommend this novel.

Book Review: Alien Hothouse

Alien Hothouse Book Cover Alien Hothouse
JMJ Williamson
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
November 12, 2015

An unmarried mother, running a spa hotel in a sleepy North Yorkshire village, helps a group of marooned aliens, living there secretly, to send a distress signal to their home-world, only to find that the signal has unintended consequences.

My Thoughts

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I went into this book thinking it would just be a book about a group of aliens living on earth, and how they were integrating, as the synopsis of the book was fairly vague. I have to say, this book was action-packed, and not what I expected. The plot twisted so many times, I almost lost track of it, but at the same time, I really enjoyed this.

It was well written, and easy to read. There were parts of the book that could have used a good edit, but this didn’t put me off. My only gripe with the books is that there didn’t really seem to be any real conflict in the plot. There were times when the characters ran into certain conflict, and it was so easily resolved, that I as the reader almost completely forgot it happened in the first place. At parts, it felt like I was in some “lovey-dovey” universe where everyone I ran into was a nice person. I would have liked to be a bit more on the edge of my seat.

Overall, I’d recommend it. It was enjoyable, and a different type of style and story than I’m used to. It was an easy, enjoyable read.