Tag Archives: FirstContact

Blood And Poetry

A short while back I noticed that several authors whose works I enjoy were talking about a new book that was coming soon, and everything I read about this book sounded fascinating! Y’all know I enjoy a quality GrimDark Fantasy read, and so when authors who excel at GrimDark say you need to pay attention to a book you should pay attention to that book!

The Court Of Broken Knives written by Anna Smith Spark is poetry written in blood. That’s the best description I think I can use for this beautiful tragedy.

Hidden truths behind histories, ancient empires seeking their former glory, dark gods, powerful magic, love, hate, betrayal, twists, turns, death, ruin, blood, war, and dragons. This Fantasy delivers.

One of the aspects of this story I enjoy so much is the style of writing the author uses. So rich and descriptive! You feel each page! Each paragraph comes to life and draws you in deeper to the story. This is a powerful tale told well. This is poetry written in blood. This is a story you will want to read!

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From Beauty To Ashes: A Tale Of Two Halves

Y’all know I try to not post negative reviews. It’s just how I tend to prefer running my page. I try to avoid reading books I won’t like so that I’m not stuck feeling like I have to explain why I don’t like a book. One of the reasons is that I know if there’s a book I dislike one of you probably would love it so I don’t want to color your experience. That said this will possibly be as negative a review as I give. As this book is already widely loved and revered I’m confident I won’t scare any of you away from it by sharing my personal opinion. Mild spoilers ahead. Ok. Let’s talk about The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

This book started out heartbreakingly beautiful! The whole first half of this story is a gorgeously tragic look into the heart of humanity and it is such a rewarding read! The first half is incredible! The second half is almost as if it was another book that the author was told they have to make fit into the pages of the story. It’s boring and uninspired. The beauty in this book was never going to be in the alien civilization, it was in the human interaction. The author lost that in the second half.

If the second half had only been the interrogation/debriefing then the story would have been true to itself. However that isn’t the story written, and the story written doesn’t measure the promise of the start. As a result I forced myself to finish this book, but I wish I had walked away halfway through it so that I didn’t have to read the second half and be this disappointed.

Please keep in mind I’m in the vast minority in my opinion on this book. Also I should note that it isn’t the fates the characters encountered that turns me off for the second half. It’s the story itself. The time spent on the planet was so boring, clunky, and dull. This author did such an amazing job looking into humanity, then lost the plot and thought the aliens were the story. They weren’t and a beautiful book was wasted. As it stands I finished it, and I won’t be reading the sequel.

It’d Be A Sin To Miss This

Every now and again a friend will recommend a book by their friend and you wonder if it’s as good as they say it is. It’s a reasonable doubt to have because we all want to paint our friends in a positive light. So needless to say when several of my Bookstagram friends started insisting I need to read Michael Reid Jr’s books I had some hesitations because I was worried they might just be being nice to their friend, but so many voices I trust kept echoing this so I said ok! I am so happy I did!

Sins Of The Father is the first book I’ve read by Michael Reid Jr but it won’t be the last! This was the best thriller I’ve read since Tom Clancy. That’s not hyperbole that’s just truth. Part political thriller, part adventure, part anti terrorism, part special forces, all intensely woven together into one fast paced drama that quickly delivers on stories!

Sins Of The Father is actually a sequel to Debt Of Fear which I haven’t read yet but I’ll be reading soon! I always suggest reading books in order but from personal experience I can say you can read these in any order you want to. I just suggest you read them. A lot of stories try to build tension by hiding the story from you. This book doesn’t have to use tricks like that: it’s tense from the start and the story immediately unfolds before your eyes! It draws you in and keeps you turning page after page.

Seriously check this author out! Click on the links I provided to see his books on Amazon or his website. Once you read one book by him you’ll join me in eagerly reading everything by him.

A Bright Star With A Unique Voice!

As y’all know one of my goals is to feature independently published (or small publisher) books that I feel shine brightly in the night sky! I want to bring quality stories to your attention that you might otherwise miss, and I have an excellent one to bring to your attention!

Abigail Rhodes: Seeds by Michelle Allen is one of the more uniquely twisty turny stories that I’ve read! The author’s unique voice shines through as the story draws you in deeper and deeper with each new revelation. The description from Amazon sets the stage well:

The Lamp Light Society believes they own the world. The Organization believes they can control it. In a world where humans, monsters, and even gods are attempting to maintain a fragile balance, an unknown entity has arrived whose agenda may only be chaos. Her name is Abigail Rhodes.

Right from the start you are thrown into this world, but you don’t feel lost! You feel intrigued and curious. Before you know it you’ve read more, and the style has drawn you in while the substance grabs ahold of you! I was very impressed by the story and found that I couldn’t set it down. I had to keep on reading to see where it went, and now I can’t wait to see where the next story the author tells will take us!

This is a bright star that is worth your attention, and a story that will intrigue you! I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it so please give this book a read and let me know what you think!

Escape Into Adventure

I was recently invited by my friend LittleRedReviewer to join in my first ever #BlogTour so I excitedly said yes! That’s how I found myself being introduced to the work of Danica Davidson via her AWESOME book Escape From The Overworld


This was a book that I would have loved reading as a youngster and still truly enjoyed as an adult! It is an adventure in the realms of MineCraft which is a video game I’ve not yet played, but that didn’t keep me from getting into and enjoying the story. You find yourself immediately drawn to the primary characters, and cheering them along as they encounter adventure after adventure in fast paced chapters that pull you along from start to finish!


I really enjoyed this adventure story! Definitely one that will appeal to young readers while also entertaining seasoned readers! 

Thank you, LittleRedReviewer, for allowing me to be a part of this fun BlogTour! 

Myke Cole Writes A Damn Good Story

Years ago when I first joined Twitter I encountered an author who was witty and wise, and also had a history of serving his country. After reading Myke Cole’s tweets for ages I knew I had to give his books a try! I just wasn’t sure where exactly to start so I asked him. He suggested I start with Gemini Cell which is a prequel to his Shadow Ops Series. When the author gives you a suggestion on where to enter their work, it’s normally a good idea to follow their advice!


The story is about Jim Schweitzer who is a Navy Seal. Jim has dedicated his life to taking down the many threats to his nation and loved ones. Unfortunately that means he sees things he shouldn’t and as a result he’s gunned down in front of his wife and child. 


But death isn’t the end for Jim! He’s brought back by a combination of science and magic, infused with superhuman powers, and an inner demon he must battle with for control of his new life. Surrounded by enemies and deceitful allies he strives to discover the fate of his family, and to see if he can remain human. 


Gemini Cell is a hell of a tale that starts off with action, continues with action, and ends with action! Fast paced, brutal, thoughtful, engaging, and well thought out. This is an incredible story that worth reading! Now that I’ve finished it I plan on continuing on in the series, and I hope you give it a chance too! 

First Contacts Can Be Difficult

In April I came up with the idea of reading my first CJ Cherryh book, and as it was my first contact with her work I thought it would be clever to call it First Author Contact and to read her book about First Contact: Foreigner. I had seen and heard of Cherryh’s books for decades but I had never made time for them and decided it was finally time to change that!


The book started out fast and interestingly! A colony ship flung far off course into uncharted space, a crew sacrificing to save future generations of humanity, a battle of visions for the future, and ultimately an embarkation to a planet already populated by a relatively advanced civilization of aliens and first contact with them. All within the first forty pages. I was hooked. I was amazed. I was eager to dive into the rest of the story and then…. I was frustrated and bored. 


You see I had a very difficult time connected with the POV character chosen for the rest of the story. Bren is an intelligent and thoughtful human who is selected as the primary contact for the alien species on the planet. They call themselves Atevi and at first glance you might get an idea of Japanese culture combined with cats who think that assassination is perfectly acceptable as a political practice, but in truth that’s just the first impression. As you dig deeper you truly see something very rare: an alien culture in a SciFi book that is truly alien and difficult to comprehend. More on that later. Back to Bren. Bren is smart and capable yet very alone amongst the Atevi and is at their mercy. He is the target of assassination and an important piece in the Atevi political wars. He is forced to walk a difficult path trying to help create understanding between Human and Atevi while not being killed or creating a war based on misunderstanding. But his mind is frazzled and jumbled which makes the book difficult to comprehend. That confusion caused me to lose my enthusiasm for the book and set it behind me as I read other books. 


However this book stayed alive in the back of my mind. Other friends joined me in reading it and they had loved it. The concept was great. The aliens so alien. The desire to return and finish the book grew and grew and so I did. And I’m thankful I did. 


I found I could forgive Bren his jumbled frazzled mind since aliens were trying to assassinate him. I found his attempts to bridge the gulf between the species interesting and I found the second half of the book to be the best part of the story overall! I admit that I almost quit this book, but I’m glad I returned and I’m impressed enough that I’ll carry on in the series! CJ Cherryh did something so many try to do and few succeed: She created an alien species that has its own emotions, reactions, concepts, and methods. She didn’t just humanize them, she made the humans in the story (and the ones reading the book) have to struggle to communicate with and strive to comprehend them. She made them aliens, and she made words matter. I found this to be an excellent story and very well worth the time. 


And a special thanks to the cute puppy Lil Ms Piper for helping me to write this review!