So, going left to right and down. Common Nighthawk, a broad tailed hummingbird juvenile, a hairy woodpecker (or just hairy pecker LOL), another kind of woodpecker and finally a Stellar Jay. Had a squadron of these (30+) harassing a Swainson’s Hawk in my back yard yesterday after it had killed a rabbit.
Interesting month so far. Enjoy!!!!
Koban: Conflict and Empire
Written by Stephen W. Bennett, narrated by Eric Michael Summerer.
The Galactic Federation is confronted by the vast and implacable Thandol Empire, which has coveted the former Krall region of space for eons, a region of space now occupied and claimed by the upstart Kobani. Outnumbered, they face an opponent who possesses new and deadly weapons. An enemy that had thousands of years to develop the means to take on the Krall Empire, and now present the supermen with a weapon that turns their greatest genetic asset into their greatest weakness. The new Federation must find a way to survive the most powerful threat yet to their existence. Once again, the Kobani are between a rock and a hard place, poised on the brink of death and destruction.
The Krall got their asses beat by the gene-modified humans of Koban while the Thandol Empire kept their heads down. Now the Thandol Empire wants to take on the “Galactic Federation” which is composed of all the old Krall subjugated species. Apparently they hadn’t paid close enough attention. Frankly I found this one installment in the series to be a bit rushed and short changed but I still enjoyed it. Four out of Five Space Opera geek points are thus awarded.
Expeditionary Force Books 1-3, Columbus Day, Spec. Ops and Paradise
Written by Craig Alanson and narrated by R. C. Bray.
We were fighting on the wrong side of a war we couldn’t win. And that was the good news.
The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits.
When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved. The UN Expeditionary Force hitched a ride on Kristang ships to fight the Ruhar wherever our new allies thought we could be useful. So, I went from fighting with the US Army in Nigeria to fighting in space. It was lies, all of it. We shouldn’t even be fighting the Ruhar; they aren’t our enemy. Our allies are.
I’d better start at the beginning.
I enjoyed the hell out of Joe Bishops antics and Skippy the inconceivably ancient and powerful…beer can. Also converting a “Barney” themed ice cream truck into an improvised tactical vehicle is sheer genius. The excellent story crafting and R. C. Brays delivery had me laughing out loud at stop lights and driving to and from work. Five out of five enjoyment factor points are hereby awarded!!
Colonel Joe Bishop made a promise, and he’s going to keep it: taking the captured alien starship Flying Dutchman back out. He doesn’t agree when the UN decides to send almost 70 elite Special Operations troops, hotshot pilots, and scientists with him; the mission is a fool’s errand he doesn’t expect to ever return from. At least this time, the Earth is safe, right?
Not so much.
It’s hilarious how the picture of future Earth, post contact, still has us at each other’s throats and ripe for domination. Joe is going to go back out on the Dutchman to fulfill his promise to Skippy but Earth thinks it is sending a team to figure out how to get the ship for Earth. Skippy isn’t having any of that and I think this was the volume where I heard something immensely profound “Hold my beer, watch this!”
Excellent sequel to Columbus Day, five out of five again!
While the crew of the starship Flying Dutchman have been trying to assure people that hostile aliens do not have access to Earth, the UN Expeditionary Force has been stranded on the planet they nicknamed “Paradise”. The Flying Dutchman is headed back out on another mission, and the UN wants the ship to find out the status of the humans on Paradise. But Colonel Joe Bishop warns that they might not like what they find, and they can’t do anything about it without endangering Earth.
This third time Bishop, Skippy and the Dutchman go out with an Austrian Overseer appointed by the UN to try and keep Impulsive actions under control. Oh he so doesn’t know what he’s in for in dealing with the Magnificent Skippy. Also in this one is the flawless deployment of a joke related to suspense… Three times enjoyed this series at a five out of five level, excellent work Mr.s Alanson and Bray.
New Frontiers: The Expansion Wars Trilogy Book 1
Written by Joshua Dalzelle.
Narrated by Mark Boyett.
The Phage War had been a devastating conflict for the Terran Confederacy. Even with the destruction of their terrifying, implacable foe, humanity is still reeling. Political alliances are crumbling, and their mighty fleet is in tatters. There is nothing to celebrate, even after such a complete victory.
They soon learn that there are other stellar neighbors – and they’ve been watching the conflict with great interest. One species comes with an offer of friendship and alliance, but humanity is weary and distrustful, their only interactions with aliens having resulted in the near eradication of their kind.
Before the ashes of war have been fully swept away, Captain Celesta Wright is dispatched to the Frontier with a small taskforce to investigate a mysterious signal while the Confederacy struggles to hold itself together. A partnership with this new species could help accelerate the recovery effort, but is the offer too good to be true? Can humanity risk another fight with an advanced alien species right on the heels of the bloodiest war that had ever been waged?
New Frontiers is the first book of the Expansion Wars Trilogy, an all-new adventure in the Black Fleet universe.
This series follow on the heels of the Blackfleet Series which I will review later on. Captain Wright had been tasked with trying to track down an elusive new enemy to humans that not only have a technological edge but also a vehement hatred of humans.
I found the writing of the characters extremely well done and the action did not lag in building detail. Excellent book and a wonderful start to a new series. Five out of five geek score points!
Morning Star: Book III of the Red Rising Trilogy
Written by Pierce Brown and narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds.
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.
Finally, the time has come.
But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied – and too glorious to surrender.
This is definitely the culmination of the story. Darrow is sort of lost here and his friends have rescued him to assist in setting society to rights but there is a persistent problem. The jackal and the Queen are insane. That steerage coupled with the Moon-burning lords forces is going to lead to a lot of collateral damage but it can be done.
Absolutely enjoyed the series and I hope someday it comes to the screen. Five out of five for writing and narration.