Reviews :: Book Rating :: Books We Don't Like

Review

Rise of the Automated Aristocrats

Rise of the Automated Aristocrats

It was with a high level of excitement and healthy dose of trepidation that I dove into this book. Another Burton and Swinburne novel for me! But alas, it was the last of its kind. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first read that this would be the end of this amazing series. I’ve had so much fun reading this one, with each story building upon the previous one, and taking me further into the brilliantly detailed chaos of Hodder’s genius. The back of the book promised an explosive conclusion to the Spring-Heeled Jack series, and although I only wanted more! more! more! I still found myself curious how the tale I began a scant five years ago would resolve itself in the end.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Leopard

Posted: October 16, 2015 by mtbikemom in Books We Don't Like Meta: K.V. Johansen, Fantasy
The Leopard

I wanted to like this book, was ready to love it after reading the intriguing prologue, but the rest of THE LEOPARD (Amazon) did not hold up to its early, fleeting promise. What a mess.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Corsair

Posted: September 11, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: James L. Cambias, Science Fiction
Corsair

Recently, the dynamic duo of James S. A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) did a Q&A over at reddit. One of the questions that came up along the way was one that I thought was pretty astute and went something along the lines of this: In your books, why are there so many manned spacecraft and a surprising dearth of unmanned, likely more cost-effective, drones doing work in space? Their response was simple: bots are boring, humans are interesting. The story told in this book tries to take a somewhat opposite tack to that and tells a “science fiction” story where all of the space stuff is handled by bots, with the humans acting in the background. And how does it all turn out? Let’s just say that our boys from the Expanse series know what they’re talking about.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Silver Ships

Posted: August 21, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Don't Like Meta: S.H. Jucha, Science Fiction
The Silver Ships

Seven hundred years ago humans took to the stars after Earth’s resources could no longer support the population. The colonist ships headed to different systems and lost communication with each other. Until one fateful day when tug captain Alex Racine discovers a derelict ship of unknown origin. He quickly learns that the ship is run by an AI, that some of the crew are in stasis… and that it came from a completely different system from his own. The superior technology fascinates him and he assumes it must be alien, until the crew are awakened by the AI computer and he discovers that they are descendants from another Earth colony ship.

And that the reason their ship was damaged and many of their crew dead is because aliens had attacked them.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

All Those Vanished Engines

Posted: July 24, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Paul Park, Science Fiction
All Those Vanished Engines

There is a tale written by a chap you might have heard of before (Hans Christian Andersen) about an Emperor that is duped by a couple of swindlers into paying for clothes made out of cloth that is not there. It’s called “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (just in case 😉 ), and it’s a wonderful tale that at its face can be viewed as being about not allowing yourself to be lied to and taken advantage of because you want something so badly, but has deeper meaning about not believing what everyone else does just because everyone else believes it. Once I’d written this review, I realized that a triggered remembrance of this old tale is exactly what I’d need in order to finish up. So let’s get to it.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Rise of Ransom City

Posted: April 21, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Felix Gilman, Fantasy
The Rise of Ransom City

I like surprises. At least, I like some kinds of surprises. Those like finding twenty bucks in an old pair of pants, or running into a long-lost high school friend while on vacation. There are some surprises though that I don’t particularly care for. Say, the sharp end of a tack poking up through my chair *after* hearing my pants rip open. Or that I’ve run out of gas ten minutes after passing the last gas station for fifty miles. So, I suppose it’s surprises I like that… er… I like. 🙂 Go figure. And after having read the first book in this series, I was considerably less than happy at what I found in this second and final book of the series. An unpleasant surprise to be sure.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Doctor and the Dinosaurs

The Doctor and the Dinosaurs

Mike Resnick has had a pretty good deal going here with these Weird West tales. Short books released once a year and bought like clockwork by Pyr. From what I understand, he’s moved on from this series to another Science Fiction-based one now, but still has the team from Pyr standing at the front of the queue for the next story he pumps out. In a way, I’m glad to see Resnick move on from this series; it hasn’t been my favorite, to say the least. And yet there’s a part of me that wishes that since this was possibly the last tale torn from the might-have-been lifebook of the man Doc Holliday, that it had gone out with more of a bang.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Conquest

Conquest

Syl was the first of the alien Illyri to be born on Earth sixteen years ago after their (mostly) peaceful conquest of the planet. Her father is a diplomat living in Edinburgh, where earthlings persist in fighting off their conquerors, despite bringing peace and advanced medicine to Earth. On her sixteenth birthday Syl sneaks out of the castle to explore the streets, an activity fraught with danger as she soon learns when a café explodes before her eyes.

Paul may only be a teenager, but he’s been a part of the Resistance for years, gathering intel, learning to fight, and helping others on missions. He’s old enough now to start leading his own missions, as well as mentoring his younger brother, Steven. After the café explosion, he sees a young woman on the street and takes her to safety, never learning she’s Illyri. He may be part of the Resistance, but the bombing killed civilians, so he knows it wasn’t his people. Unfortunately, his proximity to the bombing causes suspicion.

The chain of events continues from there as a result of that chance meeting. Their lives will never be the same.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Slow Apocalypse

Posted: March 28, 2014 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: John Varley, Science Fiction
Slow Apocalypse

Sometimes it’s way too easy to make a call on a book. There are some indicators that, when they come up, scream, “Run away!” One of the classics is when you get to the end of the first chapter and the last sentence is something with a flavor similar to: It all started less than 24 hours ago… Oh, yeah. Those? They’re doooozies.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Wasteland

Wasteland

So two award-winning journalists decide to try their hand at the current craze of YA dystopian/post-apocalypse novels. But WASTELAND by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan (Amazon), is what happens when non-fiction writers think that writing a coherent, engaging, and imaginative YA novel is not so hard. Throw in a controversial situation, maybe some race-themed antagonism, a couple of clever adjectives for spice, and voila. Easy peasy, right?
Read the rest of this review »