Sundiver by David Brin

sundiverMy review for Sundiver is now up over at SFFWorld. I read this one a few years back and wanted to re-read it before moving on to the sequels (which, it turns out, aren’t my cup of tea). I enjoyed this one more the second time around.

Sundiver is, essentially, a mystery to find out what exactly is living in the Sun and whether or not it has any relation to humanity’s sentience. The strange creatures that are observed within the chromosphere lead to a further investigatory flight, one that hopes to discover more about the creatures that do not seem to appear in the galactic library. Bringing this story to life are the characters, and an interesting bunch they are. From Jacob Demwa, our main protagonist who is fighting an internal battle after the loss of loved ones, to the many alien representatives on the flight, there truly is a varied cast. While not all characters are as deep as they could be, they all contribute to the story, though the alien characters, while unique in their own right, often feel paint-by-numbers in their depiction. The same could be said of Peter LaRoque, an irritating journalist who does nothing to endear himself to the reader, and Helene deSilva, the station commander that feels relegated as the love interest of Jacob.

Dark Matters by Michael Dow

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00042]Netgalley is a great source of sci-fi novels that I wouldn’t normally come across, and it’s always a pleasure to find one that draws me in so quickly and keeps me hooked for the duration, despite some issues. Dark Matters by Michael Dow did just that, and explain a little of why  in my review over at SFFWorld.

Dark Matters (Dark Matters #1) is the debut novel by Michael Dow. Funded through Kick Starter and subsequently self-published, this is a novel that has an interesting premise and is not your typical action orientated sci-fi adventure, instead looking at events from a more corporate and scientific point of view.

The pacing and prose of Dark Matters is one of its strongest points. The chapters are relatively short and sharp, moving the story forward, even if only by small increments. However, this is a novel that uses the majority of its page count setting up events that come to fruition in the finale. Even then, it feels somewhat underwhelming, mainly due to the lack of any real explanations at its conclusion. It’s a shame that the hints that are dropped aren’t more thoroughly explored.

The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones

The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones starts as innocuously as possible in a coffee shop during morning trade. When a loud ticking sound starts up, followed by the chunk of building housing the café being transported 67 million years into the past, those unfortunate enough to be within face what few could even imagine: survival during the time of the dinosaurs. Continue reading “The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones”

Reading Stephen King Update #1

Since I posted the list in June of novels I’ve read by Stephen King I’ve managed to read another 4: Finders Keepers, Duma Key, Lisey’s Story, and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. Not as much as I’d hoped, and I fell short of my challenge to read 1 SK novel per month last year. Still, it means I’ve got plenty left to work though!

Any recommendations on which one to read next? Continue reading “Reading Stephen King Update #1”

SFFWorld, Best of the Year Parts 2 & 3

I meant to get a link for these posted well before now, but as it is with time off work over Christmas, I’ve been rather lazy! Better later than never though, so please head on over to SFFWorld to see our thoughts on the best SF of the year (Part 2), and also what Film & TV we all watched, and what we though of it (Part 3).

SFFWorld, Best of the Year Part 1

Over at SFFWorld Mark Yon, Rob Bedford, Luke Brown, Dag Rambraut, Nila White, and I have highlighted our favourite Fantasy reads from this years releases. There’s an interesting a varied collection there and it serves to remind me once again that I need to up my Fantasy reading. Anyway, check it out.

Joyland by Stephen King

joyland-illustrated-editionI read Joyland when it came out in 2013, and have since re-read it twice more, most recently for the new Illustrated Edition that has been released. Not one to miss an opportunity to shout about a book I love, I’ve reviewed the novel over at SFFWorld – check it out.

Joyland by Stephen King was released in 2013 by Hard Case Crime as a paperback exclusive, yet has gone on to spawn many different editions. A brief search will turn up the original publication plus an ebook, audiobook, limited hardback, and this latest illustrated hardback edition. I’ve read Joyland three times now, and while the audiobook is an excellent narration of this story, it’s this release that is the defining version of Joyland.

Joyland is an exceptional novel. Not only does King deliver an interesting murder-mystery that will keep you guessing, but does so without it obviously being one. It’s often heartfelt and emotional, with relationships playing a large part throughout, and never is it a chore to read. Perhaps one of King’s best novels in recent memory, Joyland is a slow-burner that will not let you down.