War Factory by Neal Asher

war-factoryMy latest review is for War Factory by Neal Asher, one of my favourite SF authors who very rarely disappoints. This wasn’t one of those times! Check it out in full over at SFFWorld.

War Factory is the second novel in Neal Asher’s Transformations series, preceded by Dark Intelligence. Based in his ever-popular Polity universe, War Factory takes the events from the first novel and expands on them further, and all done in typical Asher fashion. Not the place to jump in to Asher’s work, but if you liked Dark Intelligence, you’ll love War Factory

In short, War Factory contains everything that is good about Asher’s writing. It’s thoughtful, yet action-packed, and adds layer upon layer to an already deep setting that is the Polity. With AI, Prador, and human elements to the story this truly takes the series title of Transformations and gives it a spin that is massively enjoyable. Add to this some truly unique and weird aliens that you’re unlikely to see from any other authors and you’ve got a winner. Nobody does science fiction like Neal Asher, and War Factory is yet more proof of that.

A Window Into Time by Peter F Hamilton

a-window-into-timeA little snippet below, but head on over to SFFWorld.com to read the rest of the review, and I highly recommend picking up the novella!

A Window Into Time is one of those rare things from British Science Fiction author Peter F Hamilton – a novella. Known for his galaxy spanning far-future Space Opera novels and series, A Window Into Time is almost the exact opposite – a present day look at the life of a teenager. Of course, that’s not to say there isn’t his trademark SF twist in the mix – there is – but rather that this is a story unlike anything else Hamilton has written.

2016 Half-Year Reading Update

These past six months have sure flown by, yet looking at my books read list I’ve managed to get plenty of good novels consumed in that time. My target this year is to read 120 books (which I managed last year), and I’m already 19 books ahead of where I was last July. Still plenty of reading ahead! Continue reading “2016 Half-Year Reading Update”

The Rogue Retrieval by Dan Koboldt

the-rogue-retrievalMy latest review is for a portal fantasy/sci-fi novel called The Rogue Retrieval, and a novel I enjoyed way more than I thought I would. Head on over to SFFWorld to check it out!

The Rogue Retrieval is Dan Koboldt’s debut novel, a combination sci-fi/fantasy adventure set in a world connected to ours via a portal. Billed as a book that will appeal to fans of Pratchett and Brooks is an apt analogy, though as a reader that isn’t overly familiar with the aforementioned authors I’d make comparisons to Stover’s Acts of Caine series (though much lighter in tone), and even the Stargate TV franchise. It’s a novel that surprised me when I cracked open the digital pages, and one that kept me coming back in ever more frequent visits until the journey was over.

The characters, pacing, and action really work well, and Koboldt has delivered a thrilling novel that has that all too important factor: it’s a page-turner. However, despite how much I enjoyed The Rogue Retrieval, it isn’t without its issues. The world-building for Alissia is far too vague for the most part, and details on the portal are practically non-existent. I would have loved to see more of the history of this place, and while we do learn quite a bit through various discussions, it’s not enough to fully flesh out the setting. With another two books on the way over the next two years (The Island Deception and The World Awakening) I sincerely hope that this aspect is addressed and expanded – the potential is staggering.

United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

What if Pearl Harbour never happened? That’s the question that Peter Tieryas answers in United States of Japan, an alternate history that postulates that Japan and Germany won the Second World War. A fan of The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, Tieryas brings his Asian heritage to the table in a novel that is equal parts thriller and science fiction. Continue reading “United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas”

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

ready-player-oneI re-read Ready Player One recently and had to update and rewrite my review for it. It’s now live over at SFFWorld, so be sure to check it out to see just how much I love this book.

James Halliday is the creator of the OASIS, initially an MMORPG that has since turned into a bedrock of civilisation: a virtual reality world that everyone uses from an early age. From work to play, the OASIS has anything and everything that anyone could possibly want. When James Halliday dies and his will is announced to the world the OASIS takes on a new fervour to many – the search for Halliday’s Easter eggs with the promise of the ultimate prize at the quest’s end.

With Halliday being an 80’s kinda guy the novel is firmly rooted in that decade as far as the nostalgia, geekiness, and nerdisms go, and with his legacy up for grabs it makes perfect sense that so many people would embrace that era and study it to death. There are things here that go over my head for sure, but I’m geeked up enough to know a great deal of the references and enjoy them fully. The prose oozes charm and nostalgia, and once you start reading you’ll find it nigh on impossible to put it down.

The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross

the-nightmare-stacksMy latest review is up over at SFFWorld now, and is for the next Laundry Files novel, The Nightmare Stacks. I had great fun reading this one, and I think I got that across in the review!

The Nightmare Stacks is Charles Stross’ latest – and seventh – instalment in his ever-popularLaundry Files, following on from The Annihilation Score. I’m a big fan of the novels and have read them all over the past couple of years, so the next release is always an event on my calendar. I love Bob Howard and find his point of view (no matter how unreliable, as Stross has said on many occasions) makes for refreshing and enjoyable reading. However, The Annihilation Score moved the narrative voice from Bob to his wife, Dominique “Mo” O’Brien, and it was a switch that didn’t entirely work for me. After reading that I was eager for the next release’s return to Bob, but discovered that The Nightmare Stacks wouldn’t be doing that, instead giving us a brand new point-of-view in Alex Schwartz, a character fans of the series will recall debuted in The Rhesus Chart

Ultimately, The Nightmare Stacks is a return to form, bringing everything I’ve come to love about the Laundry Files in bucket loads. Not only is it an easy and quick read, it’s funny, action-packed, and answers some questions while raising plenty more. Personally I’m very much looking forward to seeing how Stross moves the world forward after the revealing conclusion here.