Book reviews.

Dear reader,

it seems I’m not doing much more lately than post book reviews. Rest assured, there is work being done in the background. For now that is Hilda 19, Hilda 20, the second Lily Marin novel, the translation into English of my Dutch time-travel fantasy, and the translation into Dutch of my children’s book ‘The young witch‘. Next to that I have a few side projects on the stove and I’m preparing for this year’s Nanowrimo.

Since I was on vacation for a while I did manage to read a few more books, and they were, in no particular order:

Caliban’s war, by James A. Corey.
Science fiction.

A fabulous sequel to ‘Leviathan Awakes’, Caliban’s War dumps us more adventures with captain Jim Holden and his crew of the Rocinante. Things in the atmosphere of Venus aren’t quieting down, strange monsters pop up in the further regions of the solar system, and the hunt for a disappeared girl makes everything come together. I can hardly wait to read part three of this stunningly well written series.

Mortal Engines: Predator’s Gold, by Philip Reeve
Steampunk.

We meet up again with Tom Natsworthy and his girlfriend Hester Shaw as they fly their airship, the *Jenny Hanniver*, into new adventures. There are more moving cities, lots ice and plenty of surprises once they join the people on the city of Anchorage. Oh, there is also Professor Pennyroyal, one of the explorers Tomadmired in his days as an apprentice historian back in London.

This book had me say ‘No! No!’ a few times out loud… things looked to go very bad… but the end of the book made it worth that! This series is a must for steampunk lovers. I’m ready for book three now!

Nexus, by Ramez Naam
Science fistion.

An intriguing and thought provoking book that plays in the near future (around 2040). Nexus is a drug that enhances human brains in amazing ways. Is something like that safe to go out into the world? Who will use it for the good, and who will abuse it for the bad?

Book review. Aglow.

aglow cover

Book title: Aglow
Author: Will Forest
Genre: Social Fiction
Stars: 5 of 5

5 booksThis is a fascinating book. It takes place in Mexico and South America where the search is on for the mystery surrounding a codex found in an ancient part of a library.

What makes this book so fascinating? The concept of the story, where people find each other to unravel a mystery is one. The revelations that come about is another one. The texts read out from the ancient codex and other old writings are also well crafted. They gave me a lot of food for thought.

If the cover of the book, showing nude people, shocks you, this is a book you should read. If it doesn’t shock you, you should read it too. If you’re interested in the connection of people to nature, guess what… it’s a book for you.

Yes, there is talk of nudity in this book. Yes, people take their clothes off in this book. But it’s not what for you may think. I’m adding this because too many people connect nudity with sex. Sex involves nudity but certainly not all nudity automatically means sex. If you want to know more… read the book.

Book review. Fated.

Title: Fated
Author: Benedict Jacka
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

5 booksFated. That’s Alex Verus. His fate should be in his own hands but mages dark and light are trying to pull his fate in their hands. And it gets quite crowded with those mage types. Alex runs a shop in London and tries to keep a low profile but events (and indeed mages) decide differently for him. He’s ‘recruited’ to locate a special artefact hidden inside a special place which can only be opened and accessed through special means.

This is the start of an exciting and at times hilarious journey that took me through ‘Fated’ at high speed, simply because the book was so good I didn’t want to put it down.

Book review: Leviathan Wakes

Leviathan Wakes

Title: Leviathan Wakes
Series: The Expanse, book 1
Author: James S.A. Corey
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating 5 stars

5 booksLeviathan Wakes is the first book in a science fiction series. It’s on television as a series called ‘The Expanse’. As usual if there is a book I don’t watch it on television.

So what’s this book about?

We are in an age where Mars is colonised and also many rocks in space, known as The Belt, sustain life in some form or other. A detective, a space ship commander and a man who is involved in a rebel organisation called OPA meet in circumstances that are able to plunge all inhabited places in a war. The discovery of a strange matter makes everything even more complicated as there are parties who want it and who will go to extremes to have and keep it.

The book was a fascinating read, nicely detailed and all the people in the story really came to life for me. That’s the best kind of reading. It’s as if I watched on television, only better.

Book review. The Martian, by Andy Weir.

Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Genre: Science Fiction.

Stars: 5 out of 5.

5 booksThis book deserves all its praise. I had heard a lot about it, all good, from people I trust in their taste of books. So I bought it and read it.

What an amazing trip to and on Mars. What a lot of cleverness. As a friend said, this is MacGyver external_link on an interplanetary scale. A fabulous read, for certain. I loved the log entries and the fuss on Earth. I can recommend this book to anyone who loves SciFi and hasn’t read it yet.

The only thing I wonder about are all those potatoes.

Book review. Captain Nemo – The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius

Title: Captain Nemo –  The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius
Author: K.J Anderson
Genre: historic, steampunk


5 books

 

 

 stars

 

I discovered this book by accident as I was browsing for Jules Verne stories. This book is a wonderful ‘biography’ of Jules Verne and his friend, André Nemo. The two spend a lot of time together but at one point in their lives they get separated.

It’s difficult to write more about this book without spoiling its contents so I’ll leave it at this.

Book review – The hidden goddess

Title: The hidden goddess
Author: M.K. Hobson
Genre: steampunk
Stars: 4books

This book was a gift which I enjoyed. A bit of a bummer was to find that it is book 2 in a set so I missed some background from book 1. The Hidden Goddess has a lot of interesting twists. The author added some nice effects to the mental imagery and brought in some remarkable people (and non-people).

There were a few odd jumps in the flow of the story that I couldn’t explain. Perhaps it felt like that because I didn’t read book 1 first.

Despite that, the Hidden Goddess is an interesting and fascinating read and I’m definitely going to read book 1.

Book review – Maze. By Katya Mills

Title: Maze
Author: Katya Mills
Genre: Urban fantasy
Rating: 4books(Note that 4 stars is good.)

Maze is the sequel to Daughter of Darkness. Maze is written in the same fast, powerful style. Ame, the main person from Daughter of Darkness, gives the reader her look on life, humans (because she is different) and what they do to each other. Her life hasn’t been easy and in book two things have changed for Ame, but not always for the better.

Join Ame in the next stage in her life. Learn about the way she looks at everything and the ways in which she tries to help others.

Book review – Jihadi, by Yusuf Toropov

Title: Jihadi – A love story
Author: Yusuf Toropov
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 5 books out of 5 stars

jihadi

Jihadi. What can I say about it? It’s complicated. Really, it is. A deep book on many levels. Many layers. Complicated to read in the first chapters as well, because of the form the book has been created.

I must first say that I travelled part of the journey to completion of the book together with the author after meeting him online. He shared bits of it, asked the opinion of friends, even from me a few times. And he worked hard and long on it.

Jihadi tells about governments, political play and the way how people can get influenced. The story is not easy to read, as I said. It’s demanding. It keeps you on your toes. A US intelligence man is accused of terrorism and held in a prison that no one knows about. There he writes his memoirs, and through those slowly the story comes to life. A story that kicks, bites and screams, and makes you feel sorry for people who get mixed up in so much crap. If you feel up to it, follow Thelonius Lidell. See how he ended up where he is now.

Again, this is a hard read, but very worth the time.

Well done, Yusuf.

Note to the reader of this review: after reading Jihadi you’ll get this.

Book review – The Unfinished Song #1

Title: The unfinished song, book one. Initiate.
Author: Tara Maya
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 books out of 5 books.

Honesty makes me tell that I acquired this book when it was free. No arms were twisted for a favourable review though.

The book surprised me. It is well written and keeps a great pace. The characters in the book become well developed and the change from point of view to point of view is easy enough as the name of the character ‘in charge’ is announced clearly.

We meet Dindi, who wants to become a famous dancer. Good dancers in this world cast magic, and there is a good deal of dancing which proves that in this story. We meet lots of other people as well, all with their good and bad traits. The end of this book is very open, leaving the readers to guess what will happen – unless they get book #2. Which is what I plan to do. (And I shan’t wait for it to be free.)