The Lost Starship Book 1
Written by Vaughn Heppner.
Narrated by David Stifel.
Earth apparently is the hub of the human colonization effort for this arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. This has resulted in a Military Service called the StarWatch which patrols and enforces the rules of human space. Now the NewMen have started arriving to advance the Darwinian selection in the direction they think it should go. Captain Maddox of the StarWatch must complete a perilous journey with a sketchy crew of misfits in order to retrieve a mythical Alien battleship from a long lost war. Lots of stuff hangs in the balance during this mission as the NewMen, splinter human colonies and an alien AI push against the effort of Maddox and his bunch.
I enjoyed the story, it was a lot of fun. The framework laid out for star travel in relevant times seem plausible with future discoveries and innovation. Science Fiction does its best work when it gives us something to strive for. I did find that the penal system was a bit over the top harsh, there is room I hope in future volumes to back story how society got to this point. I’m giving this a three out of five satisfaction unit rating. Enjoy!
Ley Lines Volume One
Art and Story by Robin Dempsey.
This is an awesome creation. The world building seems to be an alternate steam-punk dimension on Earth’s Far East. It starts out with the Priest Ruler of the Kingdom, Koruval, interrogating a possessed monk in training named Zhiro to find out more surrounding his Queen’s so called suicide. It continues to get more intriguing all the way to the end of volume one. The royal family in this book consists of the Father and his son and daughter. The son, Tama, has always been some kind of Gadfly time character doing as he wishes. The daughter, Mizha, has been dutiful to her house and attempting to please her parents. They both grew up with Zhiro, and orphaned ward to the Royal House.
Their Father has ruled that Tama will go to the Monastery for some discipline training while Mizha is being sent to Pwama for her safety. There is action, intrigue, mysticism and otherworldly intervention.
A common complaint that I hear regarding comics and graphic novels is that the content doesn’t measure up to the per unit cost. Not so here where the art work is top grade, the printing is made to last with the latest in durable neutral pH materials and the volume is packed with story. There is plenty of background material in the back to reinforce your Ley Lines vision. This book has gotten a five out of five from me and I hope to collect the others in the series.
Authors Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Narrator: Eileen Stevens
Apparently this is Theo Waitley book 1 but it is Liaden Universe book 11. Fascinating. It is the first work in this series I have consumed. Hmmmm.
Upon the fanatically safe world of Del Gado where a very prestigious university stamps out its graduates a young woman named Theo Waitley is coming of age. The daughter of Camille and Genzar, she has made it to fourteen years of age amassing a volume of warnings in her file regarding clumsiness and reckless decisions. On Del Gado some view that as evidence enough to drug the…offender into a safer state of being.
Her mother and Father, or Honor Grad, are high level academics in the University of Del Gado. They have the clout and sense to push back against such notions but for how long. A published peer of theirs has been outed as a fraud and they’ve uncovered a conspiracy that would bring down the University, the only major source of economic succor on Del Gado.
They must act to save their daughter and the well being of the planet.
I really enjoyed this work. Though there was little science involved there was bio-science, space opera and social engineering displayed in abundance. While not a novel I would usually seek out I do recommend this one for the younger crowd, perhaps twelve and up as any touchy subjects are dealt with rather tastefully here.
Four out of five entertainment points are thus awarded.
Written by Neal Stephenson.
Narrated by Malcom Hillgartner
The Forthrasts are a diverse family hubbed in the heartland of America in the state of Iowa. They created war heroes, a draft dodger, an uber conservative recluse who moved to Idaho and a computer-geologist adoptee from the Horn of Africa. Their reunions are not the scene of friendly softball games so much as the group firing of the family armory of rifles, pistols, shotguns…redneck paradise.
The skills from this hobby will come in handy as they become embroiled in dealings with: Russian Organized criminals, Chinese Hackers using the Reamde virus to get rich in the Multi-person online game called T’rain, and Islamic extremists who want nothing better than a martyrdom opportunity on US soil.
As seems to be the genre for this author this is not so much a science fiction as it is a fiction with some science. The uses of the web, hackers, complex code used to make global impact are just some of the realms that are common to Stephenson’s works yet there is very little in this that is a …stretch. Where this book really sings is in the paths of action as Zula, Kongor(?), Solokov, Olivia and an impressive supporting cast engage the Russians then the extremists in rapidly changing environments. I was really impressed.
I’m giving the audio version of this work five out of five. That’s because I liked the storyline, liked the delivery, saw no hand waving on technical things and the whole product kept my interest. Time will tell if it is a masterpiece but I think it is well worth listening to. Enjoy.