I discovered a very nice review for Bactine on the Apple Ibook store:
Wow, I just finished Bactine today, and was thoroughly engrossed throughout the entire book. I have never read a book where the environment of the main character was transformed so much while still successfully pulling off a solid and believable storyline.
There is nothing more drab than figuring out a storyline before actually reading it. Within Bactine, Paul Kater, introduces a few side plots that make it nearly impossible to accurately guess his storyline. In all, this leads to a much more entertaining story ending.
I know I like a book when immediately after finishing it I want to know what is the next book. I have read both Paul’s steam-punk and fantasy books and he has the flexibility for multiple genre. He has won me over as a lifetime reader.
I just had to post this here. Nothing wrong, I think, with being proud of this.
Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
This was not my first read of this book. Also not the second. Still I had to read it again and only now I’m reviewing it.
This is a masterfully written book about the future and how people in the future will be ‘trained’ to use their mind. Or perhaps not. The story tells about the adventures of fireman Guy Montag who, at a certain moment in his life, starts thinking about his life, the life of the people around him, and about what he does for a living. Once he gets a grasp on that, everything around him changes.
It’s an old book (published in 1953), and it is shocking to see how many things in this book are happening now, be it not to the extent that Mr. Bradbury described in his novel. If you are interested in the ways of how censorship is applied and also like a good book, I can recommend this book.
Title: Sherdan’s Prophecy
Author: Jess Mountifield
Genre: Science Fiction
Sherdan’s Prophecy is one of those books that make me say “End? What?!”
A strong book about the battle between science and religion without exaggerating either side. A scientist who has a dream he wants to fulfil at seemingly any cost, even when he needs to ‘break’ people for that, meets his match in someone whose resilience is beyond what he can imagine.
The end of this book, which is the first part of the Sherdan series, left me in need of the sequel.
Note of warning to parents: this book is not suited for readers younger than 16, perhaps even 18, as there quite some violence and abuse in the story.
Title: Beneath gray skies
Author: Hugh Ashton
Beneath Gray Skies. I tried to read it. The book doesn’t click with me so I gave up on it, but still I thought I’d mention it as there are definitely people who will like it.
Beneath Gray Skies starts in an alternate world where the South and the North of the USA are divided by a border. They have established their own states, some southern states seceded and joined with Mexico. The world is in a strange state, and the president of the southern state engages in talks with a German envoy who tries to get some commerce going between Germany and the southern state, and there is talk about military cooperation as well.
The chapters I read were well written and the characters were well defined even then. I shan’t rate the book as I did not get far enough to form an opinion about it.
Title: The Bone Key
Author: Sarah Monette
Genre: Steampunk Mystery
The Bone Key is a surprising book.
Meet Kyle Murchison Booth, who works in a museum where he catalogues items. In the number of short stories in this book, that follow up on each other and show more and more of Mr. Booth’s life, thoughts and past, we encounter all kinds of amazing people, things and… other things. Mr. Booth is perceptive to many things, and he is not the average person. Just leave him in his quarters with his books. But life itself of course won’t allow that.
If you enjoy macabre things found behind double walls, ghosts and oddities, you’ll appreciate The Bone Key.
Title: Death of a Kingdom
Author: M. Edward McNally
Death of a Kingdom is the second book in the Norothian Cycle (preceded by The Sable City).
Again we meet Matilda Lanai, Zeb, Phinn and many others as they proceed on their journey through the Lands under the Code and those who want to be. As new friends appear and new emotions develop and deepen, also new dangers and problems arise. The problems in Chengdea and Daul increase and boil down to war, a kingdom dies and is left without a ruler. Phinn plays with a forbidden toy and an acquaintance from the Sable City reappears for a moment, and the remarkably strange and dangerous, yet intriguing lady Nesha-tari has a revelation from a side she had not expected.
Death of a Kingdom is a wonderful sequel to the first book. The characters come more to life, and the lands they travel through are depicted in a very image-rich way. The way Mr. McNally has used cultural elements from our world and added them into this series of books, using a nice twist to them, is very appealing and makes the story all the more wonderful.
Title: The Source of Lightning
Author: Donna K. Fitch
The Source of Lightning is written by an independent writer. I tend to drift towards indie writers more and more, probably because I am one myself. But that aside.
The start of this book is surprising. It’s a steampunk book but starts out feeling like a western. This changes quickly, and before you know it you are immersed in aether, airships, father-son difficulties and all kinds of relational problems. The main characters are thrown in deep and sometimes boiling water by Donna K. Fitch, and it is up to them to find their way out of it. Their attempts are of course hindered by people who are out for power. These people don’t use the nicest of methods to get to their goal, and the place where the final confrontation is played out is an amazing space where the beginning of the book never pointed to. If you like complex characters and a good steampunk read, the Source of Lightning is definitely for you.
Title: A Princess of Mars
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
After seeing the film John Carter, which is based on this book, I decided to read the book again. It’s been quite a long time and many books ago so I was curious. After the first number of chapters already I was aware that ‘based on’ in this case should be taken very lightly. Yes, there is a John Carter and yes, he goes to Mars or Barsoom. Most of the characters are there, like Dejah Thoris, Sola and Tars Tarkas. Most of the adventures and locations however were changed or entirely discarded. This is quite a lot for a 140 page book.
Again I found the book to be better than the film. So far this has never been different (only with Lord of the Rings I can say that the films equal the books in many places but still there the books are the best).
Edgar Rice Burroughs did an outstanding job in creating the people and conditions on Mars, considering he wrote the book in 1917. With the knowledge of the red planet from those days he had a lot of things quite right, which is why I give it that 5th star. Of course now we have the Curiosity Rover, but that does not take anything away from the brilliance of this book. I can highly recommend it.
Title: Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Genre: Science Fiction
Captain Vorpartil’s Alliance is an extremely entertaining book for me. There is a lot of humour and witty dialogue in it and many situations just invite to laugh.
Meet captain Ivan Xav Vorpatril who, thanks to helping an old friend to watch over someone, gets into a very strange situation, one that is supposed to be only temporary: he gets married. His wife, who comes from a high family on another planet in an entirely different area of the universe, brings with her a heritage that she herself was not even aware of, but when Ivan Xav’s family in law arrives, things really take a turn for the worse!