Archive for 2010

STARSHIP: FLAGSHIP is the fifth, and concluding, book in the STARSHIP series, which is an entry in the Birthright Universe. If you are not familiar with Mike Resnick, and his Birthright Universe, we’ll give you a quick lesson. Resnick is as decorated as an author can be with almost 60 published novels, a couple hundred short stories, 30 or so Hugo nominations, and 5 of those which he has won. The guy knows his writing.

The Birthright Universe is a 20,000 year long story that encompasses Man’s rise to Galactic adventures, and his subsequent fall. Ambitious doesn’t even begin to describe the project Mr. Resnick is working on. (more…)

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First off, Kris, we want to thank you for taking the time to chat with us a bit. As per tradition here at Elitist Book Reviews, we want to give you a chance to brag a bit. Tell us (and our readers, of course) what makes you an awesome author. Don’t hold back, modesty isn’t allowed.

Wow. This isn’t in my nature. Tried answering this question twice and found that my Midwestern upbringing and my natural reticence make it impossible to do. So gee, I guess, um…all I can say is read my stuff and find out. (more…)

Hidden Empire

Posted: January 12, 2010 by Alan in Books We Like
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I read and loved, with certain reservations, Orson Scott Card’s EMPIRE. So when I found out there was a sequel pending for imminent release I was excited to see how the franchise was handled.

If you haven’t read EMPIRE, here’s a quick rundown. The possibility of a civil war, in America today, becomes very real when the President and all his staff are assassinated. Reuben and Cole become pawns in a conspiracy to an American revolution. The ending leaves us with a Princeton professor leading both the Democratic and Republican parties, and taking the office of the President with more than just a few suspicious events to those with a keen eye (Read: The main characters) in his resume. (more…)

Lightbreaker

Posted: January 18, 2010 by Alan in Books We Like
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While at World Fantasy I had the pleasure to meet, and speak to, Mark Teppo. One of our friends, Kat Richardson, kept telling Steve and I that we had to meet him. She couldn’t say enough good things about him and his writing. So the search for the man began. After finally finding him, Steve and I both agreed that he was one of the coolest people at the convention, and we couldn’t wait to read LIGHTBREAKER his book. Conveniently, it was given to us for free while at the convention.

OK, confession time. (Admit it, you got nervous for a moment when I said that, didn’t you?) LIGHTBREAKER was published by Night Shade Books in 2008, and the sequel HEARTLAND was published in 2009, so I’m a little bit behind the times on this. Other than the obvious fact that I got the book for free, I am reviewing LIGHTBREAKER, instead of it’s sequel, because it is the beginning of a fairly new series and I thought it would be a better place to start. Hey, I don’t need to explain myself to you. I do what I want.

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Neuropath

Posted: January 26, 2010 by Alan in Books that are Mediocre
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Sometimes, no matter how much you like an author, their latest book ends up being a disappointment. NEUROPATH, by R. Scott Bakker, fit that description for us. As you all well know, we love his Prince of Nothing series. NEUROPATH is Bakker’s attempt to put his spin on the thriller genre.

It is evident within the first 20 pages (probably less to most people) that Neuropath is written with a very strong bias and moral (if there is such a thing…dun dun DUN) bent. This book, while a mystery/thriller, is not the typical fare in the genre. There are lengthy discourses about free will vs. determinism, what free-will is exactly, identity issues, and the possibilities of contemporary neuroscience. (more…)

Breathless

Posted: January 29, 2010 by Alan in Books We Hate
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When talking to authors I know, I hear frequently of that moment when several seemingly unrelated ideas come together. They become a “perfect storm” of sorts, and often lead to an amazing novel.

Unfortunately, BREATHLESS, by Dean Koontz, doesn’t meld separate ideas into a perfect storm. The result is more like…a perfect train wreck.

Let me state, for the record, that I actually enjoy some the stories that Koontz writes. I can appreciate the transition he made into straight-forward thrillers that he has published recently (VELOCITY, THE GOOD GUY, THE HUSBAND). Personally, I enjoyed ODD THOMAS. Are they the best novels? No. Do they serve a purpose in my reading schedule? Definitely. Every now-and-again I need light reading. Dean Koontz usually can usually fill that role.

But BREATHLESS? Man. It was just bad. (more…)

The Silver Skull

Posted: February 2, 2010 by Alan in Books We Love
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The following review, once you know that it is a Pyr book, will not come as a shock. We have to exercise the utmost of restraint in order to avoid reading through and reviewing all the Pyr books we can, as soon as we can.

THE SILVER SKULL, by Mark Chadbourn, is one of the funnest books we have read. Period. Imagine a James Bond story, but way more awesome, set in an alternate Elizabethan England. This is what you get in this book. (more…)