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Book Blog

December 3, 2023

Never Surrender (Review)

icked this up – as usual – at the local used bookstore and it was quite the find. Never Surrender tells the history of the relationship between the British, German and French governments between World War One to World War Two, and specifically Winston Churchill’s efforts to keep England in the fight and not surrender to the fascists. Specifically, it zooms in on 1940, with the fall of France and the beginning of the Battle of Britain (when England literally stood alone). It’s quite a breathtaking time when you think about it, and how the world could have been forever […]
November 26, 2023

Destroyermen 6: Firestorm (Review)

o the war in our strange new world that a WW2 destroyer finds itself in continues to heat up. In the west, a blockade in Southern India goes horrible wrong when the Grik blow up their transports, disabling two of the good guys’ ships and driving them ashore. In the east, in Hawaii (or rather, the New Britain Isles) finds Captain Reddy and his command fighting the traitorous “Company” and it’s twisted Dominion priests in New Ireland. Add to the fact that you’ve got a massive fleet of transport moving towards San Fransisco (a New Britain colony), well, all the […]
November 19, 2023

The Hero of Ages (Review)

crossed the finish line! Done. If there’s one thing you can say about Brandon Sanderson’s The Hero of Ages (the third book of the Mistborn) series, is that it’s big. 556 pages big. I’ve been hauling that brick around for a week. But in books, size doesn’t really matter if the book is good. For example, I only wish that Cloud Cuckoo Land had been bigger. But I’m not sure (speaking frankly) that Sanderson used his pages wisely. The story pacing across this thing felt… off. First off, characters tended to moan and complain about their personal problems through this […]
November 12, 2023

The Gates of Heaven (Review)

n interesting book off the local used shelf, a scifi from 1980 (Jeeze, forty-three years ago). So the L5 colony is trying to break away from Earth domination and they figure if they can capture an asteroid and mine it themselves, they can be independent.  Using a combination of clever misdirection and sling-shotting, they manage to get their rock and head home, but in the final turn around Jupiter, they go slinging into space, flying right into an uncharted black hole and that’s that. Or so we think. A number of years later, an astronomical listening post happens to be […]
November 5, 2023

Gordon Sinclair’s Khyber Caravan (Review)

nother find in a local curbside, a book republished in 1975 (from it’s original back in ’35) about a popular Canadian travel & adventure writer who traveled to and around India. Specifically, he made his way (by car) (with a lot of spare tires) up to Northern India and the Khyber Pass. Look, I’ve done Central/North India too, but that was with a travel guide and a lot of shepherding. This guy just took off in his car with a driver and guide, not knowing where he’d end each day. To me, India was a strange and wonderful place, but […]
October 29, 2023

Artificial Condition (Review)

‘m going to have to go with different tastes here. My sister really liked Martha Wells The Murderbot Diaries. She even reviewed it HERE. So when I was in the used book store I saw one of the series, Artificial Condition, there on the shelf. So yes, I felt duty-bound to pick a copy up and peruse it. It was okay, but it didn’t rock my world. The rough idea is that is a security bot who was involved in a crime where the crew for an entire mine-site was murdered. Having seen some of it and having deactivated his own […]
October 22, 2023

The Unknown Shore (Review)

his is the second of a two-book set, which began in The Golden Ocean. As you remember, this all settles around the mission (in reality) of Commodore Anston who attempted to sail a small ill-equipped, manned and supplied squadron around the tip of South America, facing a month of storms, scurvy, and death. Even when they did get into the Pacific ocean, there was very little of the planned raiding of Spanish possessions (read that as “none”). No, they wandered west, looking for the Manila Galleon (which they desperately defeated). All the English sailors went home immensely rich. All except […]
October 8, 2023

Destroyermen 5 : Rising Tides (Review)

o now I’m into the fifth of the Destroyermen series – only about ten more to go. And it’s been a long haul. As I mentioned elsewhere, Taylor Anderson’s unique series involves a four-stacker destroyer, plucked from early World War Two and placed in a world where humans occasionally fall into (where maybe the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs didn’t). Everyone thinks Final Countdown when they hear me speak of it. Anyway, the book continues to expand. It’s funny, but looking back to the first book, we only had a puny little map of the sea around Java. As Captain […]
October 1, 2023

Bull, the Pulp Issue (Review)

his unlikely softcover was sitting in the “Buy one get one free” stack. Since I’d bought one and everything else in that stack was YA or woman-heartthrob stuff, I picked up this one. Inside the cover, the publisher (Bull) notes: “Bull is dedicated to examining & discussing modern masculinity: what works, what doesn’t, what needs to stay and what needs to go.” I’m not sure what that all means; I’m just in it for a good story. And The Pulp Issue is packed with those. It’s a crazy mix of Noir and Pulp tales, most of them placed in our […]
September 24, 2023

The MurderBot Diaries (Guest Review)

new series for me— the MurderBot Diaries by Martha Wells. In the first installment of the series “All Systems Red”, a half organic half robot security bot (who goes by his title ‘SecBot’) wishes to put in a minimal effort ‘half -assed job’ (by his own admission) at security, and be left alone by his human survey team protection charges so he can view his trove of downloaded soap operas. SecBot finds himself saving his humans and figuring out the complex plot to exterminate them all.  Great interstellar adventure ensues as the bot gains both human attachments and grows in […]