The Hunt for Vulcan: . . . And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe – Thomas Levenson

In the centuries following Sir Isaac Newton’s publication of the Law of Gravity, scientists equipped with increasingly advanced telescopes tried worked to explain anomalies in the orbital paths of planets. “Wobbles” in the orbit of Uranus led to the discovery of Neptune. Mercury also wobbles, and it was long thought that it was under the […]

Black Powder War (Temeraire #3) – by Naomi Novik

After their adventures in China in Throne of Jade, Temeraire, Laurence and the rest of the crew receive orders to travel to Istambul in the Ottoman Empire. Here, they must retrieve three Turkish dragon eggs for further transport to England. Pressed for time, Laurence opts for the overland route through Asia, a long and arduous […]

His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) – Naomi Novik

The year is 1804. Captain Will Laurence of the Royal Navy and his crew capture a French warship. On board they find a dragon egg; a prize worth a princely sum to the British war effort. The egg hatches and the dragon, whom Laurence names Temeraire, imprints on him as his handler. Laurence must leave the […]

A Long Time Until Now (Temporal Dispacement #1) – Michael Z. Williamson

While in a convoy in Afghanistan, ten soldiers are suddenly transported back in time around 15000 years to the Paleolithic Era. All they have is two vehicles, their weapons and gear. They must survive, ensure their own security and plan for the future. Meanwhile, other groups have been transported back in time, including a tribe […]

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield is a man’s man. Test pilot, astronaut, commander of the International Space Station, guitarist, and most importantly endowed with the perfect Canadian Pilot mustache. This book is part memoir, part advice text, part space exploration tome. I have long admired Colonel Hadfield. His videos from the International Space Station were inspirational and he is […]

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers I) – Becky Chambers

Rosemary is on the run. From what is not initially known. She joins the crew of the Wayfarer, a vessel that builds stable wormholes in space. The crew is a motley mix of characters, both humans and of other species. As the Wayfarer travels on a long mission, Rosemary and the rest of the crew face various […]

The Vital Abyss (The Expanse III½) – James S.A. Corey

This short story set in the The Expanse universe features one of the protomolecule research team scientists as the protagonist. It details how the protomolecule was initially investigated, then unleashed on Eros, and the aftermath. The protagonist shows a bleakly callous worldview. He is certainly not a sympathetic person. However, while reading his view is […]

Nemesis Games (The Expanse V) – James S.A. Corey

The new worlds discovered in Abaddon’s Gate and opened in Cibola Burn are the new frontier of human expansion. By consequence, there is no longer a need to settle minor bodies like asteroids and live “on the float” like the Belters. This group was already emarginated and seen as exploited by the powerful planetary hegemonies […]

Straits of Hell (Destroyermen X) – Taylor Anderson

Battle is joined on both of the Alliance’s fronts. In South America, Shinya must hold against the full force of the Dominion counterattack. In Madagascar, Reddy is subject to an avalanche of Grik forces in the newly taken “Grik City”. After the leadership issues in Deadly Shores having now been sorted out, what remains is the daunting […]

Deadly Shores (Destroyermen IX) – Taylor Anderson

After the successful relief of the Pete Alden’s Allied Expeditionary Force in India and the start of offensive operations against the Dominion detailed in Storm Surge, the Alliance uses its current strategic momentum to mount a daring raid against the Grik capital on Madagascar. However, muddled leadership and unclear priorities quickly turn what should have […]

Storm Surge (Destroyermen VIII) – Taylor Anderson

Following almost two books of plot fragmentation and scope expansion, Storm Surge brings things to a head. The Alliance industrial machine has hit its stride, supporting a gargantuan war effort across three continents. Following the near disastrous invasion of India in Iron Gray Sea, the Allies are ready to strike back in force. Abel Cook […]

Trial Run (Fault Lines I) – Thomas Locke

A research team based based in Switzerland has discovered a way to disconnect the mind from the body and project it to other places and times, even into the future. They call it an “ascent”, and it allows access to secret information hidden away in vaults, as well as knowledge of future events. Clandestine elements of the US […]

Iron Gray Sea (Destroyermen VII) – Taylor Anderson

The Allied First Fleet attacks Grik-held India, while Captain Reddy and Walker go after a powerful Japanese warship. Certainly the action in India is riveting stuff, but most of the novel felt more like a setup for future installments. Still a fun read but no grand events. The addition of a new player at the […]

Firestorm (Destroyermen VI) – Taylor Anderson

The main story threads continue to multiply. Silva, Princess Becky and Sandra Tucker are shipwrecked and presumed lost. The invasion of Ceylon begins. The invasion of the British Empire held Hawaiian isles by the Dominion is in full swing. On the home front in Baalkpaan, the industrial buildup is really hitting its stride. The pacing […]

Rising Tides (Destroyermen V) – Taylor Anderson

The slower pace of Distant Thunders continues in the first half of Rising Tides. The story itself is divided between the Allied mission to the Empire of New Britain, salvage efforts on the S-19 submarine and a cargo ship full of fighter planes, the Allied offensive against Rangoon, and finally the adventures of the castaway […]

Distant Thunders (Destroyermen IV) – Taylor Anderson

After the epic events of Maelstrom, the series slows down and goes on a slight sidetrack due to the actions of a certain faction of New Britannic Empire. While I was initially hesitant about the story decision, I found it ultimately to be a good thing. Adding the wrinkle of both the New Britannic Empire […]

Crusade (Destroyermen II) – Taylor Anderson

After the events of Into the Storm, the humans of Walker and their Lemurian allies prepare their defenses for the inevitable Grik onslaught. Initial optimism is tempered by the realization that the threat is much greater than they initially thought. While Into the Storm was somewhat tentative, the series hits its stride in this book. A […]

Castaway Planet (Boundary IV) – Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor

The Kimei family is on a colony transport when an accident during a lifeboat drill leaves them stranded on an uninhabited planet. Through happenstance, the Bemmie “Whips” Harrater, best friend of second daughter Sakura, is with them. Deprived by an accident of most of their supplies, they have to survive on a hostile world. While […]

Strands of Sorrow (Black Tide Rising IV) – John Ringo

The fourth and last book in Black Tide Rising sees the beginning of major zombie clearance on the US mainland, with the retaking of some large coastal bases, and planning for the re-establishment of proper civilization beyond survival. Given the clearance of the bases, more and more surviving higher officers start to appear, some of whom are […]