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 […]

Into the Storm (Destroyermen I) – Taylor Anderson

In March of 1942, during the Second Battle of the Java Sea, the obsolete American destroyer U.S.S. Walker is taking a beating. While attempting to escape into a squall, she and her crew are transported to a parallel Earth. In this world, there are no humans. Sentient lemurs and raptors are locked in an age-old […]

Skyspark (Boundary III½) – Ryk E. Spoor

Blushspark is a young Bemmie who lives in a vast ocean. One day she sees a light overhead, and finds a mysterious object. This short story of first contact in the Boundary Universe is a pleasant addition. First contact is seen from the alien perspective, making it all the more interesting. The story is free […]

Podkayne of Mars – Robert A. Heinlein

Podkayne is a girl from Mars in her late teens. Mars is a bit of a frontier planet, and she has dreams of venturing further afield. Together with her younger brother Clark, she goes along with her uncle, a powerful Senator, on a journey towards Venus and Luna aboard the luxurious liner Tricorn. Intrigue awaits. Published […]

Dark Lightning (Thunder and Lightning IV) – John Varley

At the end of Rolling Thunder, the great asteroid starship Rolling Thunder leaves the solar system led by the extended Garcia-Strickland-Broussard clan. The ship is a classic hollow rotating cylinder, propelled to a high fraction of the speed of light by the mysterious squeezer-bubble technology invented by Jubal in Red Thunder. As with previous installments in the […]

Topgun Days: Dogfighting, Cheating Death, and Hollywood Glory as One of America’s Best Fighter Jocks – Dave “Bio” Baranek

Dave Baranek joined the US Navy in the early eighties, becoming a RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) on the mighty F-14 Tomcat air superiority fighter. This is his account of his days on deployment and as a Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun) instructor. He was involved in the making of the famous film as a technical consultant, providing […]

Insurgent (Divergent II) – Veronica Roth

Immediately following the events in Divergent, Tris and Four escape the city to the Amity compound. However they must soon return in order to deal with the Erudite threat. The faction system is broken beyond repair, but what will come after? After the promising start with Divergent, this book was a serious disappointment. The conceptual simplicity […]

Divergent (Divergent I) – Veronica Roth

In a post-apocalyptic Chicago, humans are divided into five factions. Amity grows crops and pursues simple happiness and friendship. Candor resolves disputes and pursues honesty. Abnegation helps people, rules without seeking power, and pursues selflessness. Erudite pursues knowledge. Dauntless defends the city, keeps order and pursues bravery. Many have no faction, and are second class […]

The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle II½) – Patrick Rothfuss

This novella set in the Kingkiller Chronicle world follows Auri, the girl who lives in the abandoned underground spaces of The University and whom Kvothe befriends. She went insane while a student, and ever since has apparently lurking underground, organizing silent things (inanimate objects) that she finds based on some strange inner logic based on […]