Binary by Eric Brown

binaryEric Brown is one of my favourite authors, so when a proof copy of his latest hit my inbox I didn’t waste any time in getting to it. My full review is over at SFFWorld, so please head on over to check it out.

Binary is the latest work from Eric Brown, though I’m not entirely sure how to classify it. Releasing in ebook-only format it’s novella length with a page count just under 150 pages. But Binary is just the first part of this story and the second, System, will release early next year, also in ebook form. However, once they’re both out the publisher, Solaris, will issue them together in novel form under the title of Binary System. I’ve not come across this release style before, though the longer release window certainly gives more visibility to the novel, and that’s no bad thing given the high regard I hold Brown’s work to.

In short, Binary is a great read that brings a sense of excitement and discovery, and delivered at a pace that keeps the e-pages turning and has left me eager for the conclusion in System. It’s also typical of Brown’s work, so if you’ve read him before you know what you’re getting into. If you haven’t then this could be the perfect place to start!

The Complete Aliens Omnibus Volume 2 by David Bischoff & Robert Sheckley

the-complete-aliens-omnibus-volume-2I’m a big Aliens fan so these new re-releases from Titan Books are an awesome way for me to catch stories that I’ve never got around to. The first omnibus was a great trilogy of novels (let down slightly by The Female War), yet this second omnibus is much more divisive in my enjoyment. My full review is up over at SFFWorld, so head on over to check it out.

Following on from the first omnibus of Aliens novels re-released early in 2016 is The Complete Aliens Omnibus Volume 2, and as you can imagine it does exactly what it says on the cover. While the first omnibus was a trilogy that carried an overall story throughout the three books, this second collection contains two relatively stand-alone novels, Genocide and Alien Harvest. However, both are set in the same timeline as that first omnibus and as such some knowledge of it may be of use, though not entirely required.

So, The Complete Aliens Omnibus Volume 2 is a very mixed bag. With one great novel (Genocide) that perfectly fits into this setting, and one poor novel (Alien Harvest) that insults fans of the series, it’s hard to say whether this is for you. Personally I lean towards picking it up regardless, for Genocide is worth it on its own. Here’s looking to more consistency in the release of the next omnibus.

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.