Author Archives: redstarreviews

About redstarreviews

A reader (primarily of SciFi & Fantasy) who desires to share his thoughts on the books that he reads. Also on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr with the same username.

Hyperion Summer!

Starting on June First my friend Sadie and I hosted a Group Read of Hyperion by Dan Simmons who I knew of from his SciFi and Sadie knew of from his Horror. When we both realized we enjoyed his work we knew we wanted to do a Buddy Read and when we told folks we were going to read his famous book Hyperion we discovered a lot of folks wanted to join in! So we announced a group read and had over twenty other readers join in! #HyperionSummer was a go! 


As a SciFi reader I had seen Hyperion around for ages! So I was already in love with this distinctive cover. I had a difficult time finding it so I turned to the wonderful Collectible Science Fiction and they were able to locate exactly the book I wanted! And what an awesome looking book it is! 

So now I had the book, I had reading buddies, and I had a start date. There was no turning back from my journey to Hyperion! Time to find out what all the hubbub was about! 

I won’t keep you in suspense. I enjoyed the book. BUT I didn’t enjoy the author’s tendency to show off his own intelligence. Dan Simmons is obviously a smart man. It just feels like he has to waste a lot of time in his books proving that. It’s been the same way in every book I’ve read of his. Kind of off putting for me. Also he realllllllllllllly likes dragging things out. To read his work I find that I need to be ok skimming the pointless distractions he fills his stories with. I hate skimming books. All that said it was a good book! Ok now we have the high points out of the way; now to delve more deeply into the book. This will be mostly non spoilerly as I hate spoiling books but there’s a chance something might be too revealing so read on at your own peril!


Hyperion is broken into several back stories featuring the tales that brought the main characters together on a pilgrimage to the planet Hyperion. In the background is an interstellar war, but although you think you know the sides in the war you realize quickly that there is more to the story than you realize at first.

The Priest’s tale was told in a journal style. I have to be in the mood for a story like that. Honestly it wasn’t bad, but this story was the weakest link in the book and should have been edited down 75% as it dragged on way too much. 

The Warrior’s Tale was…. unexpected! It THRUSTED you into the action…. ok silly joke but if you’ve read it you’re hopefully laughing now! 

The Poet’s Tale was intriguing! You get a picture of how the future developed and what happened to Earth and where Hyperion came from. 

The Scholar’s Tale was quietly horrifying. Putting yourself into his shoes is terrifying. Very well done. 

The Detective’s Tale was boring and drawn out. Glimpses into who the real enemy is, but honestly this is one of the worst Detectives ever. The author has had her asking the most pointless questions this whole book. If he didn’t tell you she was a Detective you wouldn’t know. 

The Consul’s Tale. Best. Tale. Period. 

Then right when everything has built up to a huge climax…. you run out of pages. The end. Disappointingly so. Which leads to you buying and downloading the second book while away on vacation because you just have to KNOW, you know? Or is that just me? Anyone? Bueller? 

So how did I like The Fall Of Hyperion? Well that’s another story so I’ll tell you in a future post! 🙂

A Word From The Father: Andre Norton’s The Sioux Spaceman 

Today’s Circle Of Bookish Friends challenge on Bookstagram is about the father figures in our lives and I am fortunate to have an incredible dad who invested his life and love into his family and will always be my inspiration and standard. I grew up in a reading family and my parents to this day are discovering new to them authors! My dad just read his first Andre Norton book and gave me the following review to share on The Sioux Spaceman. Enjoy this word from my father:


First off, “The Sioux Spaceman” by Andre Norton was written in 1960 when I was 12. Skip forward to a great many years and this paperback edition caught my attention on the $0.50 sale rack at The Book Nook, a local treasure house of primarily used books that I like to frequent. Knowing nothing about the author, I looked her up (yes, her) on the Internet only to find out that she was a science fiction and fantasy (along with a couple of other genres), but that she the first woman inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, among other awards (twice nominated for Hugo awards). She wrote for over 70 years having over 300 titles published. I also found it interesting that like another woman author S. E. Hinton, she was advised to publish under a male’s name to increase her marketability to young boys, the main consumer of fantasy.

Since “The Sioux Spaceman” was primarily written for the young adult market in 1960 it would not have caught my eye back then since I was more interested in comics at 12 years of age. Today, 57 years later it caught my eye on that 50-cent sale rack. After all, what’s 50-cents really worth now-days? I found that it was well written, with excellent main character development and well worth my investment of time for an enjoyable read of older works of science fiction. The protagonist, Kade Whitehawk, a Trader for the Space Service, finds himself being reassigned to a Team on the planet Klor in disgrace. Once on Klor, he is slowly being drawn into a battle to help the indigenous population free themselves from the alien Styors who have enslaved mercilessly enslaved them. Again, Whitehawk goes against Space Service policy and sets a plan in motion to help the Ikkinni get free from the hated Styor’s star empire. The plot is, well, just a bit juvenile (after all it was written with that reader in mind), but is sufficient to keep the reader engaged. Since Whitehawk is of Sioux warrior descent he succeeds in getting horses delivered to the planet and helps to get the natives to trust in using them to begin the their liberation. After the battle begins, he is abandoned on Klor in the not so gentle grasp of those he was trying to help. The Space Service sent a rescue ship to his summons and what is revealed to him after the ship lands astounds him. With the Space Service there is the Policy (think Prime Directive of Star Trek) and the Plan. He is one of the few whom the Space Service consider a black sheep who serve in a rebellious state they call the warrior breed. He is then given the opportunity to remain and continue assisting in the Ikkinni’s freedom struggles or go. After all, he is told, “a push here, a push there topples a star empire.”

Our kinda sorta one day will be weekly again Dark Horse Presents Volume 28

We’ve all been missing the weekly Dark Horse Presents reviews so here we are! Back again reviewing the greatest comic book anthology ever. Time to look at the awesomely huge 28th volume! This one was released to celebrate four years of Dark Horse Comics existing! No mean feat in the 80’s when Marvel and DC ruled comicdom with iron fists!


This comic book contained four AWESOME stories….. and two comedic monster throwaways in my opinion. Maybe cheesy monster comic short stories are your thing! If so you’d probably enjoy Roachmill or Mr Monster. It isn’t my thing so less said about those the better. 


Homicide by John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke really causes you to be afraid with this intense episode. The use of Pat Brosseau’s lettering for the shotgun blasts and cocking really hits hard. Well done!


Concrete by Paul Chadwick AGAIN proves to be way ahead of its time! This conversation on what we are doing to our planet and the realization that we’re connected to it needs to happen today! Thankful he was bringing it up in 1987, saddened that we still neglect this topic in 2017. 


ZONE! I’ve been waiting for Michael Kraiger’s intelligently done comic book to make an appearance! Love his use of grey tones in his art and how he uses the lettering to draw you into his work. We’ll see more of this as DHP continues!


You might be bad ass. But you’ll never be Black Cross clutching barbwire after killing a small army bad ass. Chris Warner again delivers on this emotional action as Black Cross wages his solo war against an immoral enemy. 

Almost reached a few of my favorite stories! Eager to read and review on!

Rock Star Mercenaries Getting The Band Together Again!

Do you remember that rock band you loved as a kid? The one that everyone knew was the BEST?! The one you’d always measure every other band against? And then they all went their separate ways… disbanded… settled down… got old…. Well, what if you could get them back together for one amazingly glorious tour? Do you think they’d rock it?? Could they still slay?


Kings Of The Wyld by Nicholas Eames doesn’t feature an aged rock band getting back together. Instead it features an aged band of mercenaries in a world that reveres mercenary bands as ours does rock stars, and this particular band was the greatest ever! That is they were the greatest ever before they quit, broke up the band, went their separate ways, and got old. But now years later their front man needs the band back together again for one last quest and this quest is the most dangerous one they’ve ever taken on, but it’s also the most important. If they fail, the front man’s daughter dies, and civilization might follow into destruction soon after. 


This book kicks ass! It’s downright funny, adventurous, exciting, touching, heart wrenching, and engaging! The world building is fun, the action is intense, the characters well done, and it’s an all around good read. I downloaded a sample and after the first chapter I purchased the whole book because it’s amazing! It’s difficult to believe this is the author’s first book but it is so the future is bright! Give Kings Of The Wyld a try, just be prepared to set aside all your other books for it! This reader can’t wait for more from the author. 

Feature Friday: Brian Ruckley

Feature Friday consists of short feature pieces on authors who deserve attention. These Feature Fridays will hopefully draw your eyes to some amazing books you might have otherwise missed! 

Today’s Feature Friday features: Brian Ruckley!


My first introduction to Brian Ruckley was to read his amazing book The Free which tells the tale of the greatest band of mercenaries ever taking one final contract that could spell their doom while possibly saving the world. It’s also the tale of a young lad snatched up from his family home and thrust into his lord’s army who ends up surviving his first taste of war and falling in with The Free. It’s a beautifully tragic tale that is full of magic and warfare. Truly an incredible book!


Brian Ruckley also wrote The Godless World Trilogy which is amazing. I’m on the final book of the trilogy now. It is a brutal world that was abandoned by the gods who created it. The beings left on the planet are warring amongst themselves and are unleashing furious magic upon the world. I honestly don’t know how this trilogy will close and have no idea if the primary characters will live to that end. That makes me love this trilogy all the more. 

Brian Ruckley’s work is incredibly good! Very well written characters, excellent world building, tragic realities, brutal warfare, and captivating stories! I hope you give his work a read! Download a sample of The Free here and be ready to enjoy an incredibly moving story. 

Feature Friday: Karissa Laurel

One thing we need to do is post more and one thing that helps us do so is having themes to keep up with. Introducing: Feature Friday! Feature Friday will be short feature pieces on authors who deserve attention. These Feature Fridays will hopefully be fun and hopefully draw your eyes to some amazing books you might have otherwise missed! 

To kick off our very first Feature Friday we present: Karissa Laurel!


Karissa’s Norse Chronicles is one of my favorite series. It’s a modern day tale of Ancient Norse Dieties in our world, and of the people who are drawn into their battles! It’s good stuff! The series starts off with Midnight Burning and you can find RedStarReviews’ review of it Here.


Karissa’s stories are engaging, the characters are living, their interactions draw you in, and the story is intensely good! Y’all should download a sample of her work to your ereaders and give the story a try this weekend. 🙂 

This is the first of (hopefully) many Feature Fridays and our hope is that we get to introduce readers and writers to each other! Happy Friday.

This Story Has Heart!

As y’all know I feature independent or small press authors that I really think shine like a bright star in the sky. I’ve just read one that burns so brightly it’s like a nova! It is in contention to be one of my favorite books this year!

What book is this? It is The Heart Of Stone by Ben Galley! A standalone fantasy that is full of old magic, new characters, and a fresh story! 

The Heart Of Stone is the story of Task, a 400+ year old golem who has been created by and enslaved to treacherous warlords who have forced him to unleash devastation on wartorn lands. All the while ignoring or actively trying to destroy the conscience that burns within Task. 


But Task isn’t the only amazing POV character! You have a villainous warlord, a treacherous spy, a brave girl, and a cowardly hero! All bring powerful perspectives to an engaging story. Each character compels you to turn the pages so that you can see what happens next. 

I tore through this book. I could barely stop reading it to sleep! It kept me up well past bedtime and had me waking up early to sneak in more reading. I love getting to see humanity through the eyes of an ancient being and Ben Galley delivers on that concept.

The Heart Of Stone is a book I think you’ll love and I’m encouraging you to check out this bright star in the reading galaxy. It’s a rewarding read that’ll leave you fulfilled while still wanting more. You can find it for sale here. Let me know what you think about it once you read it! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this awesome story.