by Christopher Salas
Abigail Belcescu is a Romany girl who would have grown up to be a gypsy traditional woman had not her grandfather Papo, a Kulath, passed the torch of trapping Demons to her. Now she is stuck as a teenager in size and appearance for hundreds of years, sometimes in her own mind.
The story construction is excellent with Abigail continuing her quest across significant eras in American history as she wields the enchanted sword Kr’sis to soften up the demons before binding them. I enjoyed this very much. There are some editing issues that all writers struggle with but in this case they do not interfere much with the delivery of the story. If you enjoyed Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the spin off Angel then you will like this work. I’m giving this one a three out of five.
We have a new Episode out.
Koban, Book 1
by Stephen W. Bennett
narrated by Patrick Freeman
I had my doubts when I first saw this title on reduction sale and I was hesitant to try it as audio books are so much more expensive. I’m glad that I took the risk
The Flight of Fancy, of the ‘I forget the name’ star liner company, was ferrying a roster of Biological Scientists to a newly established world to set up a research station beyond the rim. They didn’t even make it to the orbital habitat. Being swarmed by unknown ships that robbed them of their jump capability they submit to the boarding by…aliens. The Krull, being a warrior species that constantly competes for status within their society-clans which equates to the privilege of breeding, are stocking their training planet Koban with potential adversaries to test prey species. They want to see who is worthy to attack and who just needs extermination on their path to Galactic rule.
The crew of the Flight of Fancy and previous captives need to find a way to work together to defeat the Krull in their testing days. They need to prove that humans are worthy of battle, not just extermination.
I really enjoyed the book so much that when it was over I went and bought the next three installments. A detractor from the work itself was the use of English units rather than metric but the overall science portion was not hand wavy. Well done. My expectations are high now…just saying. The narration of this work was well done; I especially liked the mimicry of the Koban wildlife sounds and the ranges between characters. That being said I think the conversational related chuckles could have been used more conservatively but it did not detract from the overall performance. Four out of five satisfaction units go to this.
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Angus Day goes on an ECO-kick with Truly Organic.
Serenity: Those Left Behind
by Joss Whedon and others
Published by Dark Horse Comics
The front matter is an essay written by Nathan Fillion of how his family had a thing for comics or anything to be read when he was growing up. It was very well written and an excellent intro for Volume 1 of this series.
The 4-5 stories or episodes of this volume track well with the series as I believe they were meant to, although Shepherd Book plays a bit of a more active role in the start here. The last ten or so pages are commentary by Joss Whedon on creating the ‘verse and Serenity concept artwork.
This is a very well done comic and in line with my tastes as a space opera fan.
Sisterhood of the Sun: Daughters of Eve
by Martin Schiller
This is the third and final installment in the Sisterhood of the Sun trilogy by Martin. As is fitting he weaves all of his or her story lines together into a singularity that is not really given away by anything I remember from the first two books.
Some folks have multiple personalities by design and others just come by it naturally. That covers the human side. The alien side is much more complex and is built to a culmination using the human characters in the story as carefully aligned mirrors. One message we can take away from this tale is that the Galaxy and beyond, the Universe, is a big place and any bragging that one of us understands either of them fully at this stage is…”Boolkekk”.
The quality of the work is nested in the author’s world building and how societies can appear benevolent when in fact they have only your enslavement high on the list. Though there are some editing misses, none of them detracted from my enjoyment of the story. Four out of five gratitude points from me.
by Frank Herbert
This is the sixth book in the Dune series written by Frank Herbert and I have to say I was getting a little bored during and after God Emperor of Dune. There is something very different in this volume that brought it back to life for me. Chapterhouse is the name of the planet where much of the story takes place.
The Honored Martres are waging a war against the Bene Gesserit and trying to conquer the old Empire broken by the Tyrant, famine and the scattering. Genetic manipulations, Golas, simu-flow thinking all rage through this book and the child-mentat-gola Miles Teg is instrumental in seeming to turn the tide in the war.
The twists came for me in the very end. Up until then I felt the Tleilaxu face dancers were just a tool used by the Bene Tleilax factions who had the Ixilatal tanks which at some level are explained to be actual wombs. They had produced all the hundreds of iterations of Duncan Idaho for the Tyrant and then were all but exterminated by the Honored Martres.
This was the final book in the original series by Frank Herbert, he died soon after. This audio version was narrated by a team of four and produced by Random House audio so the quality is quite high. I am giving this one a five out of five, well done.
The Sandman: Volume 1 Preludes and Nocturnes
by Neil Gaiman
I blame my friend CJ McKee for this. At the accelerating age of fifty I have now formed a new addiction to comic books. Not into capes so much so here this goes.
Preludes and Nocturnes begin with a turn of the (20th) century warlock who summons death to trap it but nets its sibling, Sandman. As time marches on the warlock and his company are out waited by the immortal Sandman. Once released he exacts revenge and recovers what he has lost by drifting in and out of Gotham City, Arkham, the Justice League of America and other things from the world of comics.
The stories are well written, the artwork is excellent and I’m now a fan. I’m not going to rate this just recommend it to any who like the darker side of comics. It is published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC. This is a valid reason for going dead-tree and not digital.