Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Stolen Legacy by @GoblinWriter


Stolen Legacy is the third book in fast-paced, smart and funny space opera, The Sky Full of Stars, by Lindsay Buroker. Stolen Legacy is just as smart and engaging as its predecessors, The Rogue Prince, (reviewed here) and Angle of Truth.

This time, trouble comes knocking on Jelena Marchenko's figurative door in the form of an unlikely treasure hunt with dubious characters, so naturally, she says yes. It can't be that bad when the contact is passed on by her experienced mercenary parents, can it? Not only will Jelena get paid as a transport/smuggler, but she will get to meet Starseers outside of her small family circle. Marchenko has always suspected that the Starseer community shuns her family, though she's not sure why. Surely it is all a big misunderstanding and she can make valuable contacts on this mission, all while aiding her fellow Starseers.

Unfortunately, the treasure hunt involves Starseer powers--a temptation that seems to affect everyone except Jelena. Space pirates are only the first of their troubles as opposition tears at the crew from inside and out. A classic SF mystery provides the bones for this adventure as well as a twist near the end, and one not quite as happy-go-lucky as rescuing lab animals. Stolen Legacy adds depth to The Sky Full of Stars universe as Jelena and her crew hop from space battle to space battle.

The Sky Full of Stars is perfect for voracious readers who enjoy smart and funny characters and plot with soul. Buroker has a great way with dialogue and a good balance of character development and long-reaching plot.

Join Lindsay Buroker's email list to keep up-to-date on her releases, and get free content. Buroker is a prolific writer with a variety of series to whet your appetite. Pick up The Rogue Prince, Angle of Truth, and Stolen Legacy now on Amazon.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: Angle of Truth by @GoblinWriter



Angle of Truth is the second book in fast-paced, smart and funny space opera, The Sky Full of Stars, by Lindsay Buroker. Angle of Truth is just as witty and engaging as its predecessor, The Rogue Prince, which I reviewed here.

Young Captain Jelena Marchenko would never regret saving mistreated animals from a giant corporation, but she does feel bad about the debt incurred by her family’s business from her adventures. Apparently, space bases are costly to repair--who knew?

After seeing the bill and her new monthly payments, Jelena turns to her crew for creative solutions, and soon settles on mercenary work. Childhood friend and practiced assassin Prince Thorian warns Jelena that she doesn’t have the cold, killer’s heart needed to be a mercenary, so the team settles for the most heroic-sounding mission: rescuing war prisoners.

Jelena Marchenko still has a knack for getting into trouble as she acts on her bright moral principles in a post-war universe. Angle of Truth piles space battles, magic-like Starseer powers, and witty banter onto the platter of a classic SF moral quandary: outsiders interfering in a civil war.

The Sky Full of Stars is perfect for voracious readers who enjoy smart and funny characters and plot with soul. Buroker has a great way with dialogue and a good balance of character development and long-reaching plot.

Join Lindsay Buroker's email list to keep up-to-date on her releases, and get free content. Buroker is a prolific writer with a variety of series to whet your appetite. Pick up The Rogue Prince and Angle of Truth now on Amazon.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: Unleash by @LaurenScribe

I was so excited for Unleash, which already had good reviews from awesome people, like:

“A visceral, heart-pounding ride of a book that will keep you guessing until the final bloody breath.” – Award-winning fantasy author Pip Ballantine (The Books of the Order, The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences)

And Gail Carriger intereviewed Lauren Harris. How cool is that? So of course, I read the book, and after devouring it in two days, I can give you my own glowing review:


In contemporary urban fantasy Unleash (Spellhounds, Book One) by Lauren Harris, Helena Martin fights to break the spell binding her to her sadistic abuser, a powerful mage intent on destroying her family lineage. When well-meaning mundanes offer her a couch to crash on while she waits to contact her cousin on the run, Helena gets a taste of the normal life her abuser has stolen from her. Too bad the Guild is after her and strange happenings keep endangering her and her mundane rescuers.

Lauren Harris writes heart-stopping action scenes while delving into the emotional backlash of abuse--which for Helena includes panic attacks and a painful disconnect from your average social scripts. Readers get a good feel for how dangerous and damaging Helena's situation is, and as a result, Helena comes out on top as an even stronger character. The gritty realism of Unleash was a welcome break from the lighter urban fantasy I usually see. Flowing banter, plot twists, and pointed descriptions round out the action to make Unleash a compelling read.

The wonderfully nail-bitting world of Unleash involves ancient magic drawn through mandalas, blood magic, shapeshifting, and a powerful sorcerer's intent on hiding it all from mundanes. And then there's the heart-warming volunteer dog rescue and the rescuers who only want to give Helena a safe place to stay, away from whatever horrible thing she ran away from. Mandalas and dangerous puppies. Doesn't that make you want to dive in?

Pick up Unleash by Lauren Harris on Amazon.

Add it to your Goodreads list and give it some love there and on Amazon. Every review counts!

Join Lauren's mailing list for an exclusive prequel!  You can also find her on Patreon where followers get exclusive content.

Unjust is the cool prequel you get for signing up!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: The Rogue Prince by Lindsay Buroker

The Rogue Prince is a fast-paced space adventure by Lindsay Buroker. Young Starseer Jelena Marchenko captains her first mission running cargo, to prove to her parents that she's mature enough to handle the family business. Or, you know, to divert on an impulsive rescue mission to rescue abused animals from Stellacor. Whoops. Stellacor ends up being bigger than she imagined, sporting a high-security facility complete with mounted guns and secret super soldiers. And it's not just herself that Jelena drags into this--she couldn't do it without the help of her Erick Ostberg, her friend whose like a brother, and whose Starseer powers balance her own talents.

As Jelena and Erick race back in response to a family emergency, their little diversion continues to pester them with this little thing called consequences. Meanwhile, news of a friend gone rogue further complicates their return home: Jelena wants to talk to prince Thorian to find out if he's really the one behind the assassinations on the news. If they can even find him.

Jelena Marchenko has a knack for getting into trouble--much like her mom, Alisa. Witty banter,  believable family dynamics, Starseer powers and plenty of life-and-death encounters make The Rogue Prince an entertaining read, while the larger story line add depth and complexity.

The Rogue Prince is part of The Fallen Empire universe, in a timeline which begins with Star Nomad (see my review below) in The Fallen Empire Collection. It's not necessary to read The Fallen Empire Collection first, but reading one series will make you want to read the rest. Star Nomad begins it all with Alisa's quest to reunite with her daughter in the wake of chaos following the collapse of the Empire. The Rogue Prince stars her daughter, Jelena Marchenko, and the books share many characters. And let's not forget Cyborg Legacy: A Fallen Empire Novel, which goes into Leonida's backstory, a cyborg character integral to the series.

Guys, this series is FUN and Buroker is prolific, so if you like to devour your SF at a fast pace, you'll have a lot of material and you won't have to wait long for the next installment or spin-off. Buroker has a great way with dialogue and a good balance of character development and long-reaching plot.

Keep an eye out for book two, Angle of Truth--join Lindsay Buroker's email list to keep up-to-date on her releases, and get free content.



PS:
My review of Star Nomad:

Lindsay Buroker was a new author for me and I am 100% sold. I couldn't join her newsletter fast enough after reading this. Star Nomad jumps right into the action and is fast-paced throughout. Great banter, smooth character development, and a complex universe and backstory give the story surprising depth. A great mix of humor, suspense, and a splash of grim. Fans of Firefly will indeed enjoy this because it has a similar tone and tackles similar political nuances--but Buroker's work stands completely on its own. I love Alisa and Mica (the lead female characters), and I also can't wait to read more of Leonidas' story in Cyborg Legacy: A Fallen Empire Novel.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: Little Green Men--Attack! by @BryanThomasS @BaileyRobinW




Little Green Men--Attack! edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Robin Wayne Bailey is an entertaining collection I recently had the privilege to review for Tangent Online. However, I only reviewed the first half of the collection for Tangent. Do you think I stopped reading half-way through? Of course not! So, here's another look at the collection as a whole:


Little Green Men--Attack! from Baen, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Robin Wayne Bailey, is a collection of 18 new stories and 1 classic reprint. Each author takes the idea of little green men and runs with it in their own direction, sometimes playing with SF and conspiracy theory tropes, and sometimes shooting off into the unexpected--unless you were expecting Japanese mythological demons (“A Cuppa, Cuppa Burnin' Love” by Esther M. Friesner), or Victorian roller-skate-offs (“A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning” by Beth L. Cato) complete with satirically stiff Victorian style. And speaking of sportswomen who take their sport seriously, “School Colors” by Seanan McGuire is another particularly funny story featuring a paranormal-fighting cheer leading team that may remind readers of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Turn the ridiculousness up another notch for “Big White Men—Attack!” by Steven H Silver, in which aliens the size of dust motes (Mars dust, to be precise) face off against unwitting astronauts Buzz and Neil.

Elizabeth Moon delivers plenty of creepy factor in “A Greener Future,” where an entertaining troop of little green men are more trouble than they appear. Then in “Rule the World” by Jody Lynn Nye, we get suspiciously charismatic aliens who just want to sign a peace treaty with us, but psychic cats object.

“Stuck in Buenos Aires With Bob Dylan On My Mind” by Ken Scholes is an escapist piece with a beatnik feel (beatnik because... Bob Dylan) in which the narrator is stranded on Earth with the ability to play Bob Dylan songs and speak Spanish, which isn't quite as helpful as one would think in France.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch gives us a wonderfully cynical essay from student to teacher in “Little (Green) Women," because in a universe where little green men might exist, maybe they're bizarre enough to like Little Women.

Martin L. Shoemaker's  “Meet the Landlord” is a tale of one-upmanship that zips along with clever dialogue and running jokes after invisible aliens demand back-payment for humanity's use of the moon.

Little green men can be quite belligerent in “The Little Green Men Take Their Hideous Vengeance, Sort Of” by Mike Resnick. In “Good Neighbor Policy” by Dantzel Cherry, bad attitudes are met with good ole Texas hospitality, which includes pie--the fire ants aren't nearly so accommodating. “Little Green Guys” by K. C. Ball brings us another goofy tall tale in which aliens with attitude demand help in recovering their ship.

Closing the anthology out is “The Fine Art of Politics” by Robin Wayne Bailey, an appropriately over-the-top riff on enthusiastic military who like to shoot every thing out of the sky. “Day of the Bookworm” by Allen M. Steele earlier in the line-up offers the opposite approach, where librarians handle the aliens before the military even knows about them. “First Million Contacts” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman take the idea of appeasing aliens in another direction--what if your first alien tried to french kiss you...in Walmart?

Also included is “Hannibal's Elephants” by Robert Silverberg, a classic 1988 reprint from Omni.

From psychic cats to french-kissing aliens, Baen's Little Green Men--Attack! offers up a variety of laughs from seasoned story tellers and editors. Get it now!

Full Table of Contents:
“The Little Green Men Take Their Hideous Vengeance, Sort Of” by Mike Resnick
“Little (Green) Women” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Good Neighbor Policy” by Dantzel Cherry
“Stuck in Buenos Aires With Bob Dylan On My Mind” by Ken Scholes
“Rule the World” by Jody Lynn Nye
“School Colors” by Seanan McGuire
“Meet the Landlord” by Martin L. Shoemaker
“Big White Men—Attack!” by Steven H Silver
“The Green, Green Men of Home” by Selina Rosen
“A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning” by Beth L. Cato
“The Game-a-holic's Guide to Life, Love, and Ruling the World” by Peter J. Wacks & Josh Vogt
“Day of the Bookworm” by Allen M. Steele
“A Greener Future” by Elizabeth Moon
“A Cuppa, Cuppa Burnin' Love” by Esther M. Friesner
“Little Green Guys” by K. C. Ball
“The March of the Little Green Men” by James E. Gunn
“First Million Contacts” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman
“Hannibal's Elephants” by Robert Silverberg (1988 reprint from Omni)
“The Fine Art of Politics” by Robin Wayne Bailey