Review of Dandelion Iron

Dandelion Iron cover

Review of Dandelion Iron by Aaron Michael Ritchey

 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. The pitch that made me pick it up was “a steampunk post-apocalyptic cattle drive.”

It is that, and so much more. It is an adventure novel, a customs treatise, a family drama, and a survival story. The writing is excellent, the characters are interesting, and the story moves at a fast clip.

The social and moral shifts which occurred after the incident which created The Juniper are well thought out, and spur much of the story. The technological and other workarounds developed to work in The Juniper are intriguing, and steam-based, so it classifies as steampunk as well.

 

Bottom line: an excellent story, well worth your time.

 

5 stars

Amazon link

Dandelion Iron
Aaron Michael Ritchey

Review of Ella, The Slayer

Ella the slayer cover

Review of Ella, The Slayer by A. W. Exley

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

 

What a treat!

Twist the standard Cinderella story, set it in Edwardian England, and add a zombie epidemic. In the talented hands of A. W. Exley you end up with a delightful tale full of interesting people, challenging situations, a wicked stepmother, and, of course, zombies. Or vermin in Edwardian terms.

The storytelling is stellar. I’d like to be friends with many of the characters. Minus the zombie epidemic, of course.

Highly recommended.

5 stars.

Amazon link

Ella, The Slayer
A. W. Exley

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 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 Penric’s Mission

Penric's Mission cover

Review of Penric’s Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold

 

In the interests of full disclosure, I was sent an ARC of this novella 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.

Lois McMaster Bujold is one of my all-time favorite authors and I will read anything she writes. That being said, she rarely disappoints.

The adventure starts early and continues at a breakneck pace through the end.

Along the way, new characters and a new area are introduced to the World of the Five Gods. Once Madame Nikys Khatai strides boldly onto the stage, she grabs the reins, and never lets loose. Nikys is one of the best characters I have been introduced to in quite some time. She introduces us to sides of Penric and Desdemona we have not yet seen, and has emotional depths yet to be plumbed, I am certain.

A wonderful addition to the Penric tales which explores new territory both geographical and emotional. While it would read reasonably well as a stand-alone story, I recommend you start at the first tale Penric’s Demon and catch up. It will be worth your time.

I give it 5 stars.

https://smile.amazon.com/Penrics-Mission-Lois-McMaster-Bujold/dp/1596068442

Penric’s Mission
Lois McMaster Bujold