The Echo Wife by: Stuart TurtonSarah Gailey Publishedon: February 16, 2021
“All I wanted to do is sting, sting, sting until he fell down swollen and dead.”- Evelyn
If you have ever spent 8 1/2 hours locked in a car ride with a person you absolutely do not like and had to listen to them go on and on about their problems and how every single one of them is someone else’s fault, then you might understand how I felt listening to this audio book. The Echo Wife is told in first person and listening to Evelyn with her barely controlled rage complain about how the entire world has been absolutely awful to her made me almost quit at 15%, 20%, 30%….. I was determined to get through the book and so I agreed with myself to only listen to Evelyn for 30 minutes at a time. Surely that was doable. It wasn’t. 30 minutes slowly dwindled to 10-15 minutes at a time. Sigh.
Constance by: Matthew FitzSimmons Publishedon: September 1, 2021
In Constance, Matthew FitzSimmons not only delivers a wonderful sci-fi thriller that includes thought-provoking and complicated characters, but also sheds a light on all the complexities that cloning and memory downloading would bring to society.
We’re first introduced to Constance ‘Con’ around Christmas as we watch her go throughout her day. We learn of a tragic accident that killed her fellow band members, but also left her love brain-dead and in a coma. Later, we get some insight into the falling out that Con’s family has with her aunt Abigail.
Bob and Nikki Book #1 by Jerry Boyd Published On: June 20, 2019
I’m not sure I’ve seen a book like this before and I’m not sure sure what to make of it. There are no chapters and it is 90-95% straight dialogue. There are no descriptors. No internal conversations that provide you with insight into characters motivations. No background information on any character. For example, Bob mentions to Nikki he knows someone who can help out. A few sentences later he is calling John and a few more after that John is at the house. We are never told what John looks like, history, hobbies. He’s called and then he shows up.
Bob’s Saucer Repair begins when Bob pulls up to his house one day and sees an alien trying to fix her spaceship. The spaceship needs some coolant and few other broken parts fixed and Bob is more than happy to help Nikki (the alien) out. She has to leave sooner than expected and Bob feels her absence because he rather liked her company – a lot. But as it turns out Bob’s help is so invaluable that the aliens come back and offer him a business opportunity to provide saucer repair to other aliens. Almost immediately upon accepting the job the real adventure starts happening.
The main characters are Bob and Nikki, but the group grows and John becomes an integral part to the space repair shop too. Although there are several different characters, I found their personalities were a little too similar to each other. As a result, there weren’t many distinguishing characteristics between them other than a few examples here and there. I also found that the human characters all accepted the idea of aliens and spaceships a bit quicker than one might expect.
While the novel does have some flaws, there is also a sense of joy that comes across in the writing. The story offers humor, romance, and a sense of sci-fi fun.
Ride along as Bob’s life goes from ordinary to out of this world. Helping a stranger in need changes everything. Spend a little time on a fun romp with Bob and Nikki.
Fallen Empire #1 By: Lindsay Buroker Published On: May 26, 2016
Throw in a little Firefly and a snippet of Star Wars and you’ll get Star Nomad – a space opera adventure series. Star Nomad helped me remember all the reasons why so many loved the TV series Firefly and helped bring some of that fun and ‘misadventure’ back to life for me. One supposedly easy trip to Perun turns into an unexpected adventure when they have to make a detour stop.
iME Series Book 2 By: Jem Tugwell Published On: June 4, 2020 No. of Pages: 336 Published By: Serpentine Books Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook, & Audio
iMe knew where everyone was. It saved their signal so that it also knew where everyone had been. There was nowhere to hide.
The beauty of this story lies in how it is set in a future that feels so close that you can almost touch it. Even now there are events mentioned in the news about how governments from certain countries are using devices, such as a bracelet, to track an individual’s location and health stats due to the coronavirus. The iME series takes it all a step or two further, but there is enough truth in the core of story to make it all very plausible and far too realistic.
Clive is the main protagonist in the series. He’s by far my favorite character and is so incredibly relatable. Dragging his feet into this future that he does not want is very taxing as it affects his job opportunities, his love life, and his personal freedoms. Choosing to not exercise or not to eat properly is a luxury we all currently have, but in Clive’s world freedom is a dream of yesterday. The iME sees it all and is determined to help Clive choose a better lifestyle. And if he doesn’t, then there is always the vending machine to turn him in to the Freedom Unit Enforcement under the Ministry of Well-being and Health branch of government, where you can be disciplined for not following the expected guidelines. What hope is there for Clive when he can’t live the life he wants?
The vending machine said: ‘Clive, my friend. What can I get you?’
But No Signal also begins to explore how it affects other areas of governing too. Even tourists entering the country for a short period of time are required to wear a special bracelet called the iTourist. Honestly, I would think this might discourage tourism and have a monetary impact that goes along with that, but if so there is no mention of it.
In No Signal, Clive is still at his same job, but this time he has a new partner – Ava. Zoe is still around, but she has moved on to another position. Life is boring for Clive in the Proximity Crime Unit, but what they don’t know is that four individuals from outside the UK are about to enter the country. They are playing a game with the goal of getting to a destination before their opponents can get to their own destination. It is all a pretense though and the real goal is much deadlier and with a purpose. While that goes on, Clive begins to sense a much broader conspiracy in place concerning members of government and perhaps something new called The Church of the New Modelists. But, in the end perhaps Clive is not alone in his frustration with how much iME really controls.
I like this series. I like how fully-fleshed out the idea of iME is within the context of this world – how far-reaching the technology is and the stranglehold it has on all aspects of society. Given how prevalent technology like this is becoming, I really like how it begs you to begin asking questions about how far is too far in terms of technology, freedom, and privacy, while giving you a rather thrilling and entertaining story all at the same time.
Rating: 5 stars
In a breathtaking follow-up novel to ‘PROXIMITY’, Serge says it’s the ultimate Augmented Reality game. He’s chosen his Ten carefully – the reckless, driven and strong. He tests them. Ten become Four.
DI Clive Lussac wants to fight the system that controls everything, but he’s ill and losing the people closest to him. In the middle of eco-protests, he’s lost four tourists.As Clive’s world unravels, he and his partners DC Ava Miller and DS Zoe Jordan race to find the tourists and the true reason behind the game. It may already be too late.
A CONTROLLED POPULATION The UK has embedded technology – iMe. It knows where you are…all of the time. It controls what you eat. It has eradicated crime and made everyone healthy.
A DEVASTATED WORLD The world is on the brink. The Government talks but it doesn’t act. It thinks it’s safe.
TIME FOR CHANGE Who will ignite change? Who has the determination to see it through? What will be sacrificed for the cause?
No Signal is Available at the Following Locations:
Serpentine Books is running a Copter competition to give a way 2 signed copies of Proximity (open to UK addresses only): Rafflecopter Giveaway
Jem Tugwell Author Profile:
Jem Tugwell is a crime fiction author with a Crime Writing MA from City University.
NO SIGNAL is the second book in the iMe series and follows his thrilling debut novel PROXIMITY.
Jem is inspired by the fascinating possibilities of technology, AI and the law of unintended consequences. In a past life, Jem had a successful career in technology and investment management, and he lives in Surrey with his wife and dog. He has two great children. Outside of his family and writing, Jem’s loves are snowboarding, old cars and bikes.
Smith & W’Sin Adventures Book 2 By: Matthew McCray Published On: March 30, 2020
Here we go – Another fun science fiction adventure with Smith and W’Sin. Just like the first book in the adventure series, The Apoidean Affair, our two main characters are starting out in the midst of a lot of trouble. But unlike the first time the trouble they are starting out with is not of their own making. Small steps of progress is important with these two.
It all starts at the Nexus, the space station they call home. They are attempting to enjoy a hot meal when the Nexus becomes invaded with what I can only describe as zombie-ish formicidae. I usually call ants “ants” so in case you’re like me and needed to double check on that term – that is what a formicidae is. Except these might be just a tad larger…
While fighting, Regi, – a formic engineer drone who is also a friend of Smith and W’Sin’s from a different group/family of formicidae – helps them fight against the invaders until she realizes something she is watching over may be at risk. She, of course, is right – the object that had been her personal responsibility has been taken. After the invasion at the Nexus is all over Regi begs Smith and W’Sin to help her find it and get it back. Who could ever say no to an ant with “bulging compound eyes” and sad-looking antennae?
There is a lot to like with this series. First – there is a lot of fun banter and action/adventure. If you are looking for a slow-paced science fiction read then this isn’t it. Also, my knowledge in the “science” part of science fiction is a bit lacking, so I can’t guarantee any scientific accuracy on anything that occurs during the action scenes. Second – the universe created is one full of aliens that have more animal-like features and Smith is the only human (that I can tell). For example, W’Sin has avian features: feathers and a beak. Regi is ant-like individual who is about a meter in height with antennae.
Like the previous story, this novella is a stand-alone although it does carry over parts of the previous story. I do like how both in the series are stand-alones, but wouldn’t mind an over-arching story too binding all the short stories/novellas together even if it isn’t the main focal point of each book in the series.
All in all a fun read.
Rating: 4 stars
Privateers Smith and W’sin return home from a job gone wrong in dire need of a hot meal and some downtime. Instead, they’re pressed into action defending the space station from invaders and clearing an old friend from grievous charges.
The Embers of War Book 1by: Christopher G. Nuttall Published on: May 19, 2020
Debt of Honor is the first book in the Embers of War series by Christopher G. Nuttall featuring Admiral Kat Falcone – the main character from the Angel in the Whirlwind series. This author and his space fleet/galactic empire books are new to me, but the real world is a little overwhelming at the moment so problems in a whole other universe that is completely unrelated to anything here on Earth was the perfect choice when needing to find a new book to relax with.
Odyssey One Book 3 By: Evan Currie Published on: September 13, 2013
I love this series. It’s been a while since I breezed through a whole series like I did with this one. As soon as one audio book finished, I immediately picked up the next one, staying up late to finish each one. Although this is the review for book 3, I have finished the series and I am fairly certain I will pick the series up again at a later time and re-read it all. It’s like a roller coaster at an amusement park – it way too exhilarating of a ride to just experience once.
In this book, the Block launches their first ship, the Weifang, into deep space where they have the unfortunate luck to encounter the Drasin first time out. With a damaged ship, they slowly and cautiously make their way back to Earth doing everything they can to not be followed and not to bring this species back to the Homeworld. Except we the reader know what is inevitable, especially since the title is called Homeworld. We can only hope Earth defense’s can withstand what is about to come and that Captain Weston can pull out one more trick as the Odyssey tries their best to warn the Weifang about what may be following them.
Evan Currie really knows how to create a military sci fi/space opera series. It’s not just that this book has a well-paced, fun plot or that you are kept on the edge of your seat during battles, which you definitely are. But it’s also how well draws out the tension or story during the quieter moments too. Keeping you engaged every second of the story.
Rating: 5 stars
The consequences of Earth’s exploration of the Galaxy come home to roost when the Drasin track a human ship back to Earth. Mounting a desperate defense, the crew of the NAC spacecraft Odyssey, their allies, and the people of Earth face an overwhelming force of invading alien ships wielding terrible power. Doomed from the start, but with nowhere to retreat, Captain Eric Weston commits his ship to the defense of the human race even as the human outposts in Sol system fall one by one before the unrelenting Drasin onslaught.
A first-rate military science fiction epic that combines old-school space opera and modern storytelling, Homeworld: Odyssey One, the third installment of the Odyssey One series, brings the riveting, exhilarating, hard-pressed action to Earth, with devastating consequences.
Europa Academy Book 1 by Myles Christensen Published on: January 25, 2020
Although this gives every appearance of being a book that introduces middle grade children to the science fiction genre, make no mistake this is most definitely an introduction to the thriller genre as well.