Review of Chemical Burn

Chemical Burn cover

Review of Chemical Burn by Quincy J. Allen

 

All my reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, are based on my own opinion and from my personal viewpoint. They are also spoiler free.

I purchased this book at a convention from the author.

A wonderful combination of science fiction, noir, mystery, thriller, and action, Chemical Burn was a joy to read.

As I have said before, I feel that crossovers are the hardest type of story to do well. You have to please readers of both (or in this case, several) genres, so the story has to be exceptionally well done to be considered good. This book is excellent.

The writing is crisp, the characters have both depth and style, and the plot twists keep coming until the end, which is satisfying on many counts. Even the cat has hidden depths and attitude.

I often read until I fall asleep. Not with this book. I did not want to miss a single word so if I got sleepy I put it down until the next day. Which is unheard of.

Happily, this is Book One of a trilogy so more thrilling tales will be forthcoming. I think I’ll read his steampunk books while I wait.

Take a chance. You’ll be glad you did.

 

I give it 5 stars.

https://smile.amazon.com/Chemical-Burn-Endgame-Trilogy-1/dp/1614753059

Chemical Burn
Quincy J. Allen

Review of Don’t Live for Your Obituary: Advice, Commentary and Personal Observations on Writing, 2008-2017

Dont live for your obituary cover

Review of Don’t Live for Your Obituary: Advice, Commentary and Personal Observations on Writing, 2008-2017 by John Scalzi

In the interests of full disclosure, I was sent an ARC of this book by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes. All my reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, are based on my own opinion and from my personal viewpoint. They are also spoiler free.

 

First things first. This is not a novel. It is a collection of curated posts from John Scalzi’s Whatever blog.

If you have followed his blog since 2008, much of the book will not be new material. There are introductions to many of the posts with additional information and insights, however.

If you, like me, have only read the occasional blog post over the years, or none at all, you will find it at various times informative, educational, opinionated, interesting, not interesting, and sometimes a rant.

It is organized by topic, rather than timeline, which can be entertaining when the technology being discussed changes without warning. Although many of the topics are specifically related to writing and are directed at writers, as long as you are interested in how books come to be it is still definitely worth the time.

John Scalzi’s precise use of language, in and of itself, made this a joy to read.

 

I give it 4 stars.

 

https://subterraneanpress.com/dont-live-for-your-obituary

Don't Live for Your Obituary
John Scalzi

Review of Points of Impact by Marko Kloos

Points of Impact cover

Review of Points of Impact by Marko Kloos

In the interests of full disclosure, I was sent an ARC of this book by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes. All my reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, are based on my own opinion and from my personal viewpoint. They are also spoiler free.

 

I highly recommend Marko Kloos’s novels to any military SF fan. They draw you in, make you care about the main character, and then proceed to shake up his world. The books provide excellent story-telling combined with good writing and interesting, twisty plot lines.

In Kloos’s author bio it states that “In the past, he has been a soldier, bookseller, freight dock worker, and corporate IT administrator…” and you can see all of those experiences in the authenticity of his writing.

Points of Impact is Book 6 of the series, currently available on pre-order, and scheduled to be out January 9, 2018.

The latest book continues the storyline a few years after the climactic events of Book 5, and yet again proves that the daily life of Andrew Grayson is never dull, especially when he would prefer it to be. At times wonderful, at times terrifying, at times routine, but never dull.

I originally picked up a copy of Book 1, Terms of Enlistment, from a publisher’s table at Worldcon where they were giving out free books. At the time I wondered if they got anything in return besides goodwill. (Although they did get a lot of goodwill. Free books to a crowd there for the Hugo Awards goes a long way.) Then I read the book and realized it was Book One of a series, and the light bulb went off.

If you have not already read them, Books 1-5 plus a short story and a novella are available now, while you wait for January.

 

I give it 5 stars.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Points-Impact-Frontlines-Marko-Kloos/dp/154204846X

Points of Impact
Marko Kloos

Review of Communication Failure

Communication Failure cover

Review of Communication Failure by Joe Zieja

 

I have been looking forward to this book since I finished Mechanical Failure. (If you have not read it yet, my review is here.)

It does not disappoint.

If you enjoy sarcasm, quick-witted writing, or getting odd looks from random strangers because you suddenly laugh out loud for no reason apparent to them, you will enjoy this book.

The first laugh out loud point for me was the subheading “Please restart your warship harder.”

The second laugh out loud point was the chapter titled Flag-Waving.

I’ll stop there. I could continue, of course. It’s that funny.

When I got to the last page I was already wishing for book three. But I must wait until it is written. (Which I will. Patiently and without any pressure towards the author.) Then I will definitely be buying it in paperback so it can live on my bookshelf for my future reading pleasure as I am even more certain this series will become one I revisit on a regular basis.

Do yourself a favor. Buy this book. Read it soon.

 

I give it 5 stars.

https://smile.amazon.com/Communication-Failure-Epic-Trilogy/dp/148148690X

Communication Failure
Joe Zieja