Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Sci-fi

Review: Forge by T.K. Anthony

Forge

Summary From Goodreads

Warned by a Seeing…
The high king of the Scotian Realm expects the arrival of an enemy, a race of psychic predators bent on galactic conquest. The Realm’s one hope is alliance with the neighboring star domains in defense of a shared colony, Forge.

Caught in Fate’s grim weaving…
Mindblind, amnesic, Tazhret lives out his drug-induced visions of servitude on Forge. He wants to believe the beautiful woman with the nut-brown hair who whispers reassurances to his harrowed heart: “You have a name.” But is she even real? Or just one bright thread in his dark dreams?

An unexpected hope…
Tazhret’s destiny leads him to freedom and the woman he yearns for —and to a desperate struggle against the enemy.

Tazhret can save Forge, and the clan of his beloved. But only at the cost of all he has hoped for: his name, his freedom, and his love
for the woman with the nut-brown hair…

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I received a copy of Forge from the author T.K. Anthony in exchange for an honest review.

Forge is old-school science fiction in a time when it seems that everyone is trying to reinvent the sci-fi wheel. In that sense it is refreshing and definitely will take you back to whatever sci-fi you read as a kid or teenager (if you are one now this doesn’t quite apply to you but you get the point).

Anthony immerses the reader into this universe from the beginning. While this approach can be a bit jarring at first, especially as you try and keep up with the dialogue and learn the language (which is how it felt for me anyhow), Forge is a fascinating world that is worth the effort.

However, the one major point of contention I have with this style choice, and something that is present throughout the piece, is the overwhelming descriptions. Oh sure, creating a realistic universe is never easy and when there are so many things different from our own world it can be necessary to use a tad more explanations than say in a contemporary. The problem here is multifold, when you bombard the reader with that much information, especially with very few pauses between, it can cause them to have a disconnect from the story and where it is going since their mind is so busy trying to accurately portray the immense descriptions in their head. Furthermore, this style tends to lead to less action, and while in Forge there is a good amount it does make even the best scenes seem laden with extra words, that perhaps if they were simplified, not all the time but just on occasion, they would in fact be more intense. Finally on this point is the matter of allowing the reader to make some things up for themselves, allow them to infer here or create there, with nothing left up to the imagination it can become slightly monotonous.

While those issues are present in Forge I think the characters make up for a lot of it. Anthony jumps between a few main characters and gives us insight into their points of view which gives them more depth, and where in other books this causes confusion or frustration because it can take time to get used to a character’s “voice” here it works very well. I particularly enjoyed Nica and her father, Col, which had excellent senses of humor and an instant likability about them though I can’t explain why exactly… (aren’t I just awesome at this reviewing thing? >.<)

There is romance in this book which shouldn’t come as any surprise based on what is said in the summary. No love triangle, huzzah! The kinda weird connection between them that doesn’t make any sense until quite a bit into the book is a little cop-outish but it did (mostly) keep insta-love out of the equation which is a tradeoff I’ll take. They have a very heartwarming bond and though the outcome is pretty obvious right away there was enough potential conflict with their relationship to make it interesting.

The positives for Forge, the characters, the action scenes and the romance definitely outweigh the sometimes overwhelming descriptions and overall I did enjoy it. Forge is book 1 in the Thrall Web series and I do look forward to reading the next book! I would recommend it to fans of old-school sci-fi who are used to this style of book. Thanks as always for reading!

Mount TBR Challenge #58/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #58/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #92/200

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Day 4: The Lost Girls by Jason Halstead

Day 4

Summary From Goodreads:  The Lost Girls by Jason Halstead

The only thing hotter than the summers in Phoenix is the temper of a police detective who can’t figure out why young girls keep disappearing. Katalina Wimple is that detective. Her obsession with the missing girls makes her the best person for the job, but it also serves as a refuge from the problems in her own life.

Battling her own demons offers coincidences impossible to ignore. Rescuing the missing girls will require Kat figuring out how much coincidence is too much, as well as fighting her desire for what she can’t have.

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 A shorter piece like this leads me to my own version of a mini-review, Frodo’s Hobbit-sized Reviews! This kind of review was inspired by the amazing Kimberly from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer who does short reviews called Coffee Pot Reviews where she does the review in the time it takes her coffee pot to finish brewing.

The Lost Girls, the first in a series (currently at 4 novels), was my first sci-fi read in quite some time and was a refreshing change of pace. Following Kat through her action-packed, and slightly insane, journey to find criminals responsible for kidnapping young girls while simultaneously figuring out more about herself was thrilling throughout. There is also some steamy scenes mixed in, though not nearly as graphic as what Halstead does with the action ones that seem almost constant. The combination keeps The Lost Girls fast-paced and the reader on edge.

I loved Kat, she’s a fireball with attitude but with a softer side underneath. That sounds somewhat cliche, and at times it does feel a bit that way, but her sarcasm and don’t-give-a-crap attitude more than make up for it and make her a very endearing character. She has legitimate horrors in her past and overcomes them (to varied degrees of success) with humor, something Halstead does excellently.

The mystery element of The Lost Girls is what brought the piece home. There is a few twists at the end to constantly throw you off the trail and unless you are very shrewd the ending will definitely catch you off-guard. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes a good mixture of mystery/sci-fi/and a bit of romance, or just a good fast-paced read in general. Excellent.

Genre Reading Challenge #3/30 – Category – Mystery; Mount TBR Challenge #4/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #4/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #4/365

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Review: Stitch by Samantha Durante

Review: Stitch

I won an eBook copy of Stitch by Samantha Durante in a giveaway over at Passionate Book Divas. I am also thrilled to have been included in the Stitch Blog Tour, thank you Samantha!

Alessa has seen a ghost. What she can’t understand is why her instinct is not to turn and run, but rather to go toward it, she is powerless. Alessa is a college freshman who among dealing with the normal college issues of exams and sorority life is combating nightmares where she is trapped in some sort of cage in the future. However, when she decides to get to the bottom of this apparition the truth she discovers is much worse, and dangerous. The truth is Alessa is not a student, this is not really a college campus and that handsome ghost-like man she keeps seeing is quite real indeed. Will Alessa be able to put all the pieces together? Can she escape the danger she until recently didn’t even know existed?

Before I jump into my review of Stitch I need to qualify what I’ll be saying. I completely forgot about the premise of the book before I read it. Normally that would be a bad thing but in this case it helped make the story fresh and when the characters were surprised you can bet I was too.

I thoroughly enjoyed Stitch. The writing was excellent and the twists that were thrown in completely caught me off guard. I’ve been a sci-fi fan for years and also a hopeless romantic so Stitch appealed to just about every part of the reader in me. The characters were very well done. Alessa’s loss at the beginning of the book and her corresponding apathy toward doing anything productive is something I’ve seen and been a part of in real life so I was easily able to identify with her. If there was anything I could say about the character development that bothered me, though I understand why it was done this way, is that it took so long to get the ghost’s point of view. I would have liked to have more depth with that character and his connection to Alessa rather than the singular point of view that was presented for so long. Oh, and I love Alessa’s best friend Janie, her character was done exquisitely but I can’t go into too much detail without giving it all away. As River Song always says, spoilers!

The plot was very fluid and moved at a good pace, at least for me, though I tend to like a bit more detail than most so it may be just a bit slow for those who prefer a quick breeze-through type of read. Though the college life tends to be mundane, when you combine the appearance of a ghost and the twist that Alessa is actually drawn TO him it certainly was not a dull start to the book. Then when she discovers who the ghost is and that her life as she knows it is a lie the book takes off and flies by until the end. I am happy to say that though this is the first in the series, and there are plenty of questions to be answered it is not a cliffhanger ending. Some cliffhangers can be done well but overall I prefer to have each book in the series be capable of being a stand alone and Stitch definitely is.

I wouldn’t call myself paranoid necessarily, but I often think things might not be as they seem so when Alessa starts to notice that the college campus is really anything but I could envision how she would notice different oddities in her environment. I could easily picture the campus in my mind as I was reading as the imagery was done very well. Oh and the scenes near the end, wonderful! I wish I could say more but again, spoilers.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! I would definitely recommend this for anyone, but especially those who love a sci-fi/romance feel but with a more modern/realistic setting. Thank you as always for reading and I hope you enjoy Stitch as much as I did! If you would like to leave a comment I would appreciate it, I love reading them. ^.^

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