Monthly Archives: June 2015

A Wolf Star For June’s Star In The Sky

Y’all didn’t think I’d forget to share my monthly independent author focus did you? 🙂
This month’s Star In The Sky independent author focus is on an outstanding book by L.T. Bradley entitled Wolf Song that I not only read, I could barely put it down! 

The story follows Zoë who is gifted (or cursed) with a second sight that not only allows her to see beings from the spiritual round that surrounds us, it also allows those beings to see her! For most of her life she has fled this and hidden from these spirits but now as she is growing older she is opening up to this gift (curse) and trying to use it for good. Her good and the good of others. But that isn’t always easy or very safe at all….

Zoë is an amazing character who springs off the pages and into your heart! From her fashion sense, to her school issues, her job, friendships, and even her struggles with relationships she is a fully realized character and she is truly engaging right from the start. She’ll leave you chuckling at one point, shaking your head at the next, and wishing you could help her in her struggles while always respecting the strong person she is. 

The author did an excellent job combining mystery, romance, adventure, humor, supernatural, and real life all together into one pageturner of a story. Often you’re turning the page trying to figure out who is the hero and who is the monster! 

This is definitely a bright shining star of a story and I highly recommend it! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it as you read it! 

  

Our Weekly Dark Horse Presents (Vol 7)

Dark Horse Presents Volume 7

Sometimes comic book anthologies hit home runs! Other times they’re ok, and sometimes they’re forgettable. Volume 7 of DHP is forgettable. That said some might pick this issue up and love it while hating the issues I love! That is the glory of comic book anthologies. 

  

Monq by Tony Salmons 

Monq is the highlight of this volume. It’s a bit heavy handed in trying to get its point across but you can tell the message is very important to the author. Monq is a scientist who may have super powers or may just have gadgets. In this story he encounters Earth in a very unique fashion. My two favorite parts of this story were the ominous ending and the cute boots Monq wore. 

  

Gene Shock The Vitruvian Man by Steve Mattsson, Mark Badger, and Art Nichols

I’m not sure how to describe this other than it is an explosion of comic book tropes. You feel like Stan Lee could have been in on the plotting. It shows promise. 

  
Doc Abtruse by Steve Mattsson and Jim Bradrick

I just read this story for the giant floating eyeball with the graduation cap on it. 

  

Our Weekly Dark Horse Presents (Vol 6)

Dark Horse Presents Volume 6

DHP has been holding steady as a quality anthology comic book. So far there’s been good and bad stories but that’s to be expected. Not every story is for you so you keep on moving to the ones that are! 

Roma by John Workman

Well… It’s still turned sideways and I still don’t like that. It’s difficult for me to move past that gimmick and get into the story. The artwork isn’t bad and the story is intriguing enough but right now I feel like the author is giving you an outline of a story rather than a story. It’s a risk you run with comic book anthologies. Roma might not be for me. 

  
Trekker by Ron Randall

Trekker delivers again! Good launching point for its own comic book series. Interesting lead character, good villain, corrupt government, fun SciFi! I’m enjoying Trekker. 

  
Doc Abtruse by Steve Mattsson and Tony Salmons

I think they thought this was Heavy Metal. And it wasn’t good enough for Heavy Metal either. 

  
Concrete by Paul Chadwick

If the opening page was all there was to this comic book then this comic book would have been worth reading. Chadwick wins at life again! 

  

New Military SciFi To Add Next To Your Copy Of Starship Troopers

Terms Of Enlistment by Marko Kloos  
Let me start by saying I liked this book so much I immediately got books two and three and the accompanying short stories. Yes I liked it that much. 

Y’all this is a great book! What a wonderful addition to SciFi and to my personal library! This author’s work came very highly recommended and it didn’t disappoint at all. 

Terms Of Enlistment follows the life of Andrew Grayson in the not to distant future. Andrew is coming of age in squalor and poverty and decides that with nothing left to lose he will try to enlist in the military. By doing this he gains the chance at a future IF he can make it through Basic Training and IF he can live through his five year service time. The future is not a peaceful time….

Andrew Grayson is a perfect POV character to see this future through. He’s smart, witty, tough, and he knows there is more to life than what he has experienced so far. The author does a good job of introducing us to the world of the book through his eyes, and we see our understanding of the world grow with his. 

Without spoiling the story I feel the author does a good job of showing in the background of the story the dire straits of a society overwhelmed with poverty, the difficulties facing the Service People trying to follow orders and operate in such a society, and the lengths that a government will go to cover up unpleasant situations. 

I have heard favorable comparisons to other works of Military SciFi such as Starship Troopers or Forever War and I can see why the comparisons are made. However I think that this is a work that stands on its own while sharing similar elements or concepts with these classics of the genre. With the quality of his opening book Marko Kloos has interjected his name into conversations of such great works. 

The action sequences are fast paced and intense. The overall book is a pageturner. The experience of reading it is fun. This is a book you should pick up and I am really looking forward to reading the sequels! 

Guest Review: Introducing A Reader To SciFi (Old Man’s War)

I love SciFi. Science Fiction has been a part of my reading life since the early days. That’s why I was very excited when a friend of mine who also happens to be a lifelong reader told me that she wanted to start reading SciFi! Y’all know her as FrenchFryWife a recent contributor to RedStarReviews with her Guest Review of The Likeness. After racking my brain for what book would be a good “Welcome To SciFi” book I handed her my copy of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi with only one request: Let me know what you think of your first SciFi book. 

Without further ado here are FrenchFryWife’s thoughts on her first SciFi book!

  
FrenchFryWife’s Review Of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi 

It only took three decades, but I finally read a Science Fiction novel. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi is a military SciFi adventure that takes elderly citizens of Earth and puts their consciousness into genetically modified bodies. In exchange for the fountain of youth (the bodies are basically immortal in terms of natural events), the seniors must serve at least two years with the Colonial Defense Forces. The CDF is a mysterious entity that protects and preserves the human species in all areas of space. 

The story follows John Perry, a witty retired writer, as he says goodbye to his home planet and heads into battle with several races of aliens. The new universe is brutal and often cold-blooded. John grapples with his own humanity and really makes you think about how we interact with any group that is different from our own.

I’ve been hesitant to read SciFi because it seems intimidating from the outside. I’m not inclined towards astrophysics and was afraid the material would go over my head. However, Scalzi has found a great way of explaining the science to the average person without coming off as condescending. I was really fascinated by the CDF’s genetically modified bodies and amused by the trademarked features like BrainPal and SmartBlood.

Scalzi falters a bit with character development. Upon arriving at the new space station, John Perry makes a group of friends who call themselves the Old Farts. Reading their dialogue was a bit painful because they all have the same dry sense of humor. At times, it read like a page of snippy one-liners and a pat on the back. He eventually fleshes out a few characters, but I can’t even tell you the names of all the Old Farts because they blended together too easily.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first SciFi novel. I’ve already picked up the sequel (The Ghost Brigades) to see where the story goes. Old Man’s War is a fun, easy read that will get you thinking about what it really means to be human.

Our Weekly Dark Horse Presents (Vol 5)

Dark Horse Presents Volume Five  
This review is a little late but I managed to still make it within the week! At first I was excited because Boris The Bear wasn’t advertised but unfortunately it was snuck in at the end under a different name. 

Pookey by James Dean Smith

This was an adventure featuring Boris The Bear’s stuffed bunny rabbit named Pookey. Because of course a living stuffed teddy bear has a stuffed rabbit. 

  
Roma by John Workman

This story was told sideways. No lie! I had to turn the comic book sideways to read it. Not a bad special effect but I’m not sure it added to the experience. I’m not sure what Roma is going to turn into as a story. It seems like it could be a SciFi or a superhero or a spy story. We’ll have to see. 

  

Trekker by Ron Randall

This story is improving with every page! Mercy is tough and won’t let a building filled with people trying to kill her ruin her day. Well written and illustrated. Looking forward to more. 

  
Concrete by Paul Chadwick 

Yet another beautiful and strange addition to this wonderful comic book. The author offers a self introspective look into the heart and mind of an artist.