The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Book Review

 


The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)Book Genre: Fantasy, Western, Post Apocalyptic, Adventure

Book Series: The Dark Tower #1

Released: 6/10/1982 by NAL

Pages: 231 Price: $20.00 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

Source: I borrowed this book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.
This new edition of The Gunslinger has been revised and expanded throughout by King, with new story material, in addition to a new introduction and foreword. It also includes four full-color illustrations in the hardcover and trade paperback formats.

My Review:

This my second reading of this book. The first time took place in January of 1991 when I was in high school.  How do I know this? Because I wrote the dates I finished each section in the table of contents of my book which is currently being read by my husband.  All through middle and high school I read everything I could get my hands on written by Stephen King.  Partially because it was a way to rebel, another because these were books my deceased mother had read, and because I enjoyed how pieces or clues to this epic series would be found hidden within other stories he wrote.  I have long since broken up with the author but still, I hang onto the main books in this series in case I ever wanted to revisit them.

My husband and I recently went to see the movie loosely based on the books and my husband enjoyed it so much he decided to read the first book.  Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to read the same book he was I decided to check this one out from the library and read it too.  I was also curious to see if I would feel the same about this epic fantasy that I once did.  I was obsessed with this series, after all, it was time to see if I still was.

I wasn’t.  I can see why my younger self was so enamored by the story but my 26 years older self found a lot lacking.  Younger Amy fell hard for the epic good vs evil the magic and the mysticism.  She wanted a story to get lost within something to sink her teeth into.  Older Amy knows how this story plays out and isn’t interested in taking this journey twice.  Ironic when you think about how the last book ended.  My older reading self comes to this story with more experience and was able to see the flaws of this story.  It wasn’t awful but I’ve read better where my 17-year-old self most likely hadn’t.

Basically, I’ve moved on much like the world Roland inhabits.  There were a time and place for this series in my life and it was 26 years ago.  This is one I am fully able and willing to let go because after reading this book for the second time I will not be rereading the rest. The book was a bit slow-paced for me and near the end, I kept thinking I should just put it down. But I finished it and now the husband and I can discuss it over lunch sometime.  I didn’t care for the characters much, Roland was alright and Jake was just annoying.  The man in black was probably the most interesting which surprised me.  If they ever make a second movie I’ll probably go see it but quite frankly I don’t think that is going to happen.

My Rating: 3 Stars

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Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

Book Review

 


Reincarnation BluesBook Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Humor

Book Series: N/A

Released: 8/22/17 by Del Rey Books

Pages: 384 Price: $27.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads,

Buy the Book: Amazon  Reincarnation Blues: A Novel

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A magically inspiring tale of a man who is reincarnated through many lifetimes so that he can be with his one true love: Death herself.

What if you could live forever—but without your one true love? Reincarnation Blues is the story of a man who has been reincarnated nearly 10,000 times, in search of the secret to immortality so that he can be with his beloved, the incarnation of Death. Neil Gaiman meets Kurt Vonnegut in this darkly whimsical, hilariously profound, and wildly imaginative comedy of the secrets of life and love. Transporting us from ancient India to outer space to Renaissance Italy to the present day, is a journey through time, space, and the human heart.

My Review:

I absolutely loved this book.  Completely.  I actually believe in reincarnation, much like what was described in this book.  My belief is that we come back to Earth time and time again in order to experience every part of humanity and evolve as a soul.  I also believe we plan each life, to some extent, in order to reach our goals so while this is a great story of human nature and love there was also the added bonus, for me, that so much of the plot fed into my belief system of life and death and reincarnation.  Score!

Okay putting that aside for those of you who don’t share my beliefs this is still an amazingly good book.  The story is entertaining, the characters not taking themselves too seriously, willing to poke fun at themselves.  They were also full of depth, complex and unique.  Some of their quirks had me laughing but the author also knew how to set the fun aside and get serious for a chapter or two.  There were such profound moments in this book that it made my heart wrench for the characters.  The author did an excellent job of showing the human race for what we are, blemishes and all.  He also showed us the potential for what we could become, though.  That in each of us we have the potential to do great things and some pretty crappy things too.  Of course, then there is karma which will get us in the end and rewards us for our actions be them good or bad.

The synopsis leads one to believe this is a story about love and it is but it is also so much more.  I would have to say that the love plot line almost took a back burner for me.  Oh sure I wanted to see those two crazy kids get together and have their H.E.A (e standing for eternity here) but it isn’t what kept me engaged in the story.  The observations on humanity are what kept me turning the page.  The jumping back and forth in time, done well by the way and not confusing at all, to observe how the human race evolved over time and how one small act can ripple through out time and change the course of humanity for years to come.

This is simply a great read done by a talented author who can weave a complex and fresh story that not only entertains but makes one stop and think for a moment.  It is one of those books that I’m better for having read it and you will be too.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Dragonmark by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Review

 


Dragonmark (Dark-Hunter, #26; Dragons Rising, #1; Lords of Avalon, #5)Book Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Dark-Hunter Universe #27

Released: 8/2/2016 by St. Marin’s Press

Pages: 344 Price: $14.99 e-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Dragonmark: A Dark-Hunter Novel (Dark-Hunter Novels)

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Centuries ago, Illarion was betrayed– a dragon made human against his will, then forced to serve humanity as a dragonmount in their army, and to fight for them in barbaric wars, even while he hated everything about them. Enslaved and separated from everyone he knew and from his own dragon brothers, he was forced into exile in a fey realm where he lost the only thing he ever really loved.

Now he has a chance to regain what’s been lost— to have the one thing he covets most. But only if he gives up his brothers and forsakes the oaths he holds most dear. Yet what terrifies him most isn’t the cost his happiness might incur, it’s the fact that there is just enough human in his dragon’s heart that he might actually be willing to pay it and betray everything and everyone– to see the entire world burn…

My Review:

I have put off reading this book for an entire year.  I purchased it the week, if not day, it released but needed to finish a review book or two before diving in.  Then I saw the reviews on Goodreads… A lot of one and two-star ratings.  Crap.  This is my favorite author and my favorite series and it looked like and a lot of people were not happy with the book.  I don’t actually read reviews ahead of time but I do take a poll of star ratings.  I didn’t know exactly what people were complaining about but I knew they were not happy. So I decided to put the book off. I almost picked it up several times over the year but the ratings always held me back, I didn’t want to be disappointed.

A year passed and the next book in the series hit the shelves and I once again picked it up release week and decided I had put off this title long enough.  I dove in not knowing what I would find.

I get it now.  I get why all the low ratings. I also agree with the reason behind them and while I’m not going to go as far as leaving one or two stars I am going to deduct two stars because quite frankly I’m disappointed too.  Ms. Kenyon, I love you.  You are my favorite author but you are so much better than this.

The problem with the book, in case you don’t know is that only about one-third of it is a new plot.  Two-thirds of it is pulled directly from the previous books.  I would have to go back and double-check but it didn’t feel like it was even updated and parts of this story were not told from Illarion’s point of view and Edilyn disappears completely for much of the book.  Now I understand that these three book’s action takes place at the same time but there had to be a better way to handle this. How about some interesting new perspective? Or we get a glimpse of what is happening elsewhere in the universe in those moments?  I know you can’t rewrite a scene that has already taken place but instead of plotting with past characters how about a peek at what is going on with Edilyn?  I’ve noticed that this rehashing of storyline is becoming pretty common in Kenyon’s other series The League. It almost makes me wonder if it is time for the author to take a break and pursue other projects for a couple of years and then come back.

For the one-third of fresh storyline, it was amazing and everything I love about Ms. Kenyon.  lllarion and Edilyn were great characters that got jipped from having their story be the focus of their book.  I loved how they came together and when they were separated it broke my heart.  When the book brought us back to their plot I cheered to see how they ended up together.  I sincerely wish we had more time with these two they had such integrity and honor that they deserved better.  Most likely we will get more of their tale.  I think that Edilyn’s brother who plays a “bad” guy in this book might end up redeemed in his own book it is something this author loves to do.

While disappointed this doesn’t turn me off of the series I’m in it for the long haul.  I just hope the next book is better or at least more focused on the main characters.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Book Review

 


Ready Player OneBook Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Audiobook

Book Series: N/A

Released: 8/16/11 by Crown Publishers

Pages: 374 Price: $26.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Ready Player One: A Novel

Source: I borrowed a copy of this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

My Review:

Wow, I really enjoyed this book!  Totally surprised me because I ended up DNFing this author’s second book Armada.  That one I found just annoying and a bit boring with all the insider info geared towards gamers.  This book, on the other hand, was a delight and a fun nostalgic trip to all things pop culture from the 80’s, the decade I spent most of my pre-teen and teens in.

I totally agree with another reviewer in that Wil Wheaton made this book for me!  Listening to him narrate this story was such a trip, especially when the story referenced him and anything Trek.  Being that this story is about a group of players searching for the ultimate Easter Egg inside a game to have so much of the story is essentially one giant Easter Egg was amazing. At almost every turn there was some pop reference that made me smile.

But that isn’t all that Ready Player One is about, oh no, there is much more to be had in this tale.  There is also a great social commentary on where our society might be headed if we don’t change our ways.  We get a glimpse at what might await us if we don’t start taking climate change seriously or stop rampant corporate greed.  I also enjoyed the ideas about where technology might be headed that the author proposed.

The last leg of this story focused on a small band of misfits struggling to fit in, in this world.  Outcasts that live their lives mainly online and struggle with social interactions.  Not to mention a budding romance that was beyond sweet.  The characters, like in any epic tale, are true heroes out to fight for the greater good.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book.  I’m not sure I would have felt the same way if I had read it myself though.  Wil Wheaton’s inflection and talent as an actor added that something extra that bumped this story up an entire star for me.  So if you have the option I would definitely listen to this one.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Book Review

 


Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel, #1)Book Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Humor, Fantasy, Audiobook

Book Series: Lizzy & Diesel #1

Released: 9/14/10 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 313  Price: $27.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  Wicked Appetite (Lizzy and Diesel)

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers. He’s an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.

That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She’s freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston’s North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle’s bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it’s suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.

Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She’s not sure about Diesel. He’s offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.

The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that’s fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.

My Review:

Full disclosure, I only checked this book out so that there would be an E author on my reviewed index page on my blog.  I only need a U and an X author now.  For some reason, I’m not a big fan of Ms. Evanovich.  I know people love her and we have library patrons that loyally check out and devour each new release in her Stephanie Pulm series.

This wasn’t bad, I enjoyed listening to it more than the other series, probably because of the supernatural element to the story.  There are moments of humor but on the whole, I found the female lead kind of annoying. Diesel was an alright male lead but he just lacked chemistry in my opinion.  The monkey was over the top but I loved the one-eyed cat.

Basically, this story is the beginning of a supernatural series full of immature humor and low-level sexual tension.  If I am ever desperate for another audiobook I might listen to the next book but probably not.  There are far better, far funnier paranormal mystery series out there and I would suggest trying the Charley Davidson series instead.

My Rating: 2 Stars

Yesterday’s Son by A.C. Crispin

Book Review

 


Yesterday's Son (Star Trek: The Yesterday Saga, #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Star Trek, Fantasy, TV Tie-in

Book Series: Star Trek: The Original Series #11

Released: 8/1/1983 by Pocket Books

Pages: 192  Price: $4.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Yesterday’s Son (A Star Trek Novel)

Source: I own a copy of this book. 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

With the help of the Vulcan leader T’Pau, Spock gets permission to use the Guardian of Forever, a portal through time constructed by a long-vanished race, to venture into the past. On another trip into history, on the planet Sarpeidon, Spock had loved a woman who could not return with him to the future, and now Spock wishes to see the son she bore him, 5,000 years earlier. But a Romulan attack on the Guardian’s planet could interfere, unless the Enterprise can keep the Guardian out of their hands.

My Review:

This is the first Star Trek book I ever read.  It must have been my early teen years, maybe 30 years ago, when I picked this one up at the bookstore.  Much of the plot was forgotten, only a few parts stuck in my memory.  I’m not sure what ever happen to that copy but when I picked up the sequel through a book exchange site I decided to read it again.  I also recently watched the tv episode that the events this book are based upon.  So the timing was perfect to revisit a piece of my childhood and my love of all things Trek.

This was such a good book.  I am probably bias here but I loved this book it is by far my favorite Trek book that I’ve read.  Ms. Crispin does an excellent job of capturing the chemistry and personalities of the characters it was exactly like reading an episode from the original series, only better!  Better because you get to be in the head of Spock, Kirk, and Bones,  you get to read the internal dialog of the characters.

As to the plot of this book I was totally engrossed I have never wanted to sit two characters down for a talking to as I did while reading this book.  Maybe even smack them upside the head…  I’m glad there is a second book because while I am satisfied with the ending it was so bitter-sweet, I wanted more for these two. Like I said the book read much like the tv series so if you enjoyed the show you should like this book.  If you were a fan of Spock then you are really going to love this one!  Looking forward to the next.

My Rating:5 Stars

The Long War by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

Book Review

 


The Long War (The Long Earth, #2)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Book Series: The Long Earth #2

Released: 6/18/13 by HarperCollins

Pages:426  Price: $9.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon The Long War (Long Earth)

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A generation after the events of The Long Earth, mankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping. Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. Mankind is shaping the Long Earth – but in turn the Long Earth is shaping mankind… A new ‘America’, called Valhalla, is emerging more than a million steps from Datum Earth, with core American values restated in the plentiful environment of the Long Earth – and Valhalla is growing restless under the control of the Datum government…

Meanwhile the Long Earth is suffused by the song of the trolls, graceful hive-mind humanoids. But the trolls are beginning to react to humanity’s thoughtless exploitation… Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a gathering multiple crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any mankind has waged before.

My Review:

While I am enjoying this series I have to agree with other criticism that has been made about this book.  That this is an interesting story that is fairly lacking in plot.  The authors have a point (I hope) and seem to feel that it is going to take hundreds of pages and several volumes to get to the heart of the action.  Also, much of this second book feels as if it is simply setting up future books.  Not the first time, and probably not the last, that a second book simply feels like filler.

I had trouble getting into this second book mainly because I had to wait so long for my turn at the library’s copy.  If I had been able to dive right into this one after the first I might have had an easier time remembering who carried over from the first book and who was new.  Around half-way through I was invested enough in this storyline that it didn’t matter that much and I could follow what was going on.

Still, I did enjoy listening to this book as the authors continue to bring up interesting questions of what makes a society, or makes us human, and what would happen if the people were truly free.  The technology continues to fascinate me as well as the idea of exploring parallel Earths with slightly changing variables in its environment, history, and development.  The characters continue to be well-developed and I spend much of the time thinking who they might represent in our own society.  Even though this book was written in 2013 I have to say who the authors wrote as the President reminds me an awful lot of who is our current President-elect…  Not a pleasant indicator of what our country might be in for in the next four-year.

Even though this story felt as if it was all over the place, though still interesting, I am going to continue for one more book at least (last one offered in audio format at my library).  I did get my act together and requested it before finishing this book and able to start right away.  I’m going to see if that makes a difference or not.

My Rating:3 Stars

Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi

Book Review

 


Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Fantasy

Book Series: Old Man’s War

Released: 8/19/08 by Tor

Pages: 355 Price: $8.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Zoe’s Tale: An Old Man’s War Novel

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

How do you tell your part in the biggest tale in history?

I ask because it’s what I have to do. I’m Zoe Boutin Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world. Holy icon to a race of aliens. A player (and a pawn) in a interstellar chess match to save humanity, or to see it fall. Witness to history. Friend. Daughter. Human. Seventeen years old.

Everyone on Earth knows the tale I am part of. But you don’t know my tale: How I did what I did — how I did what I had to do — not just to stay alive but to keep you alive, too. All of you. I’m going to tell it to you now, the only way I know how: not straight but true, the whole thing, to try make you feel what I felt: the joy and terror and uncertainty, panic and wonder, despair and hope. Everything that happened, bringing us to Earth, and Earth out of its captivity. All through my eyes.

It’s a story you know. But you don’t know it all.

My Review:

I have mixed feelings about his addition to the Old Man’s War series.  I did like it but just a little less than the others I’ve read so far.  I have a couple of theories as to why that I will go into in a bit.  I’m glad I read it, however, and would suggest if this is your first time through the series that you do as well.  If I ever decide to reread this series I will probably skip this one, though.

So what held me back from loving this book.  The big issue for me was that this is the same story as the previous book but from a different POV.  While it did shed some light on the action that wasn’t shared in the other book what I just feel like I wouldn’t have missed much by not reading this one.  The other drawback for me was that is a YA book, it reads like YA, I found it annoying like YA… I’m over YA at this point in my life.

That being said, I did find it fascinating that Scalzi did an amazing job of channeling a 17-year-old girl.  Kudos to him.  The drama and angst that he showed through his writing is spot on.   A couple of new scenes dealing with Zoe’s boyfriend were simply heartbreaking and seeing what happen when she left the plant near the end were worth the read.  I don’t know if it needed to read a whole second book to get to those parts, however.

The book did make me want to take a break from the series.  The format is changing for the remaining two books, they were written as serial releases, and I think taking a break and then coming back to this world might make it easier to accept any new changes in formatting coming my way.  I still plan to finish up the series but just not right now.

My Rating: 3 Stars

The Last Colony by John Scalzi

Book Review

 


The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Fantasy

Book Series: Old Man’s War #3

Released: 4/17/2007 by Tor Books

Pages: 320  Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon The Last Colony (Old Man’s War)

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up.

That is, until his and Jane’s past reaches out to bring them back into the game–as leaders of a new human colony, to be peopled by settlers from all the major human worlds, for a deep political purpose that will put Perry and Sagan back in the thick of interstellar politics, betrayal, and war.

My Review:

I continue to work my way through this amazing series and simply marvel at the genius and talent of John Scalzi.  Wow. This author’s work is blowing me away.  To think I met him and did not yet know the magnitude of the work I had yet to enjoy.  Facepalm time.  I am both delighted and horrified that I have the last three books in this series lined up and waiting to be read, I don’t think I will want it to end.

This book brought us back to John and Jane as they have carved out a nice little life for themselves among the colonies. They quickly find themselves drafted back into the war as they become pawns of the colonial defense force.  Again Scalzi does a bang up job of showing us just how crappy humans can be, especially humans that want to keep their corrupt war industry going.

This book gives us everything I love about Scalzi; humor, action with consequences, corruption, honor, and hope.  He takes us on a journey and shows us all sides of the human condition while entertaining us along the way. My main complaint about the book is one plot thread that seemed to go nowhere (indigenous creatures).  Otherwise, this book was pretty awesome.  It did have the feeling of finality to it, almost like he meant this one to be the last and if you are tired of long series you could totally leave this world here and be satisfied.  I, on the other hand, am enjoying the ride so I’m going to stick it out for the next three books (I ordered them already anyway…).

This isn’t a light and fluffy read, there is depth to this series.  But still, if you are simply looking for something entertaining don’t let that stop you.  Hands down this is simply an excellent read no matter how you approach it.  This author is has become one of my favorites.

My Rating: 5 Stars

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

Book Review

 


The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Space Opera

Book Series: Old Man’s War #2

Released: 5/1/2007 by Tor 

Pages: 347  Price:$7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, http://whatever.scalzi.com/Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon The Ghost Brigades (Old Man’s War)

Source: I own a copy of this book.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF’s toughest operations. They’re young, they’re fast and strong, and they’re totally without normal human qualms.

The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it’s about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF’s biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did.

Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers — a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin’s DNA, Jared’s brain should be able to access Boutin’s electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given to the Ghost Brigades.

At first, Jared is a perfect soldier, but as Boutin’s memories slowly surface, Jared begins to intuit the reason’s for Boutin’s betrayal. As Jared desperately hunts for his “father,” he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity’s mere military defeat…

My Review:

There is quite a bit going on plot-wise in this story that I’m glad I’m reading these back to back.  I think in the end it will lead to a richer understanding of not just the story but the greater message that Scalzi is trying to convey through this world.  Because there is most definitely a message or lesson to be found in this world and I wish more people, especially in the current political environment, would read this author’s work.

This story takes place a few years after the first book and is told from the perspective of one of the special forces soldiers.  We also get inside the heads of a couple other characters as well, which is a deviation from the first book which is told from John’s perspective exclusively (I think).  Jane who has a brief, but important, role in the last book is more center stage in book two and by the end you can see pretty plainly how Scalzi is setting up the next story.

Lots of background and politics regarding the Ghost Brigade soldiers in this plot that brings up all kinds of interesting questions about humanity, discrimination, and the bounds of government control, all things I like to ponder being a political junky that I am, of course being a work of fiction we are also entertained.  I have to say, though,  at times Scalzi makes it awfully hard to root for humanity in this world.  He still does an excellent job of shining a big old spotlight at some of our darker aspects of humanity.  There was one scene where I just had to put the book down and collect myself for a moment.  A sure sign of a talented author if you ask me.  I get so wrapped up in the personalities and relationships that I forget the main setting of this book is a universe at war and most of the time that isn’t pretty or safe.

I am looking forward to the next two books and will most likely be ordering the last two next time I go to work so I don’t have to wait.  This is such a rich world, sometimes a bit slow, and definitely not fluff.  I hope you all give this one a chance it is so worth the read.

My Rating:4 Stars