Posts that have been categorized as: "Books We Like…and Hate"


Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl

Posted: July 15, 2014 by Vanessa in Books We Like...and Hate Tags: David Barnett, Steampunk

Gideon Smith’s father is a fisherman, and one day the ship returns to port in Sandsend, England, without his father or the crew. Determined to find out how a ship could lose its crew on a calm sea, Gideon begins to hear reports about monsters appearing in the local caves. He happens across a Mr. Bram Stoker, who is searching for inspiration for a new story. But Gideon’s obsession with World Marvels & Wonders, a penny dreadful that recounts the heroic exploits of Captain Lucian Trigger, at first makes Bram wonder about the believability of Gideon’s story.

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The Fictional Man

Posted: December 3, 2013 by Vanessa in Books We Like...and Hate Tags: Al Ewing, Science Fiction

THE FICTIONAL MAN by Al Ewing was not an easy book to read. The main character Niles Golan is a jerk. He’s spent his entire life in denial of his own faults (of which there are many) and now that he’s alone and miserable he’s finally beginning to understand why.Read the rest of this review »


The 5th Wave

Posted: August 30, 2013 by Vanessa in Books We Like...and Hate Tags: Dystopian SF, Rick Yancey, Young Adult

The aliens have arrived.

Now mankind is on the verge of extinction, and Cassie is alone, having lost her family and escaped to the forests outside Dayton, Ohio. She can’t trust anyone, even other humans, because she’s convinced that some of them work for the aliens.Read the rest of this review »


Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier

Posted: March 14, 2013 by Alan in Books We Like...and Hate Tags: Mike Cole, Military Science Fiction

When Steve read SHADOW OPS: CONTROL POINT last year he was able to find both the good and the bad in Myke Cole’s debut novel. His review (read it here) was fair and accurate, and I would have expected no less. When I read it a week ago I couldn’t find as many good things to say of it. I recognized the potential within but I couldn’t get past my intense hate of the protagonist, Oscar Britton. Ordinarily I would have skipped the sequel altogether but there seemed to be general agreement that SHADOW OPS: FORTRESS FRONTIER was an improvement over the debut. I wanted to see Myke succeed so I gave it a shot. For the most part I’m glad I did.Read the rest of this review »



Did you read VARIANT by Robison Wells? If you answer, “Yes” then by all means read on. If you answer, “No” then STOP. Just stop. Go on Amazon and buy a copy, read it, and then you can come back to browse this review. VARIANT is one of the best YA books of 2011, far superior to the YA fiction behemoth that is THE HUNGER GAMES in my not-so-humble opinion. Now here is the highly anticipated sequel, FEEDBACK. I’m going to try and give away as few spoilers as possible but if you haven’t read the first book please check out our review of VARIANT here instead of continuing on.Read the rest of this review »



Posted: September 10, 2012 by Writer Dan in Books We Like...and Hate Tags: Fantasy, Jay Lake

I like being proven wrong. Well, let my qualify that statement, because I hate being told that I’m wrong.  I do, however, enjoy being surprised by finding out for myself that something is not the way that I thought it was. After reading several short stories and a novel by Mr. Lake, I’d pretty much written him off as someone that I wouldn’t enjoy reading any more of.  So having this book land in my pile was an interesting experience to say the least.  As with my most recent foray into Science Fiction, I of course felt obligated to read the first book in the series before I read this one.

ENDURANCE is the second book in the “Green Universe” authored by the prolific Jay Lake.  I had previously read the first book in his “Mainspring Universe”, MAINSPRING, and was less than enthused by what I found.  In essence, great writing, interesting characters, a decent–if slightly wandering–plot, with a horrible lack of an ending.  It is a tribute to Mr. Lake’s prose and storytelling ability that he made me forget about that final point when I dove into GREEN and subsequently with ENDURANCE.Read the rest of this review »


The Drowned Cities

Posted: July 13, 2012 by Nickolas in Books We Like...and Hate Tags: Paolo Bacigalupi, Young Adult

Young Adult fiction has really evolved from what it used to be. There are a lot more options than there were when I was a kid. It’s not just the scope of books that has increased but the depth as well. Authors are examining mature themes that really didn’t seem so present years ago. Then again it could just be me, but I really don’t remember any YA books that examined the plight of war refugees in dystopian societies. I have to applaud authors like Paolo Bacigalupi for writing books like THE DROWNED CITIES. Teenagers do not like being condescended to in the least and THE DROWNED CITIES offers some very dark, adult themes.Read the rest of this review »


Black Hills

Posted: October 20, 2010 by Writer Dan in Books We Like...and Hate Tags: Dan Simmons, Historical Fiction

Right from the moment you pick up a Dan Simmons novel and first set eyes upon the page, you know you’re in for a whole new kind of reading experience. It took me an entire paragraph (yes, the first one, because it’s just that obvious) to realize this would be the case. There is detail, flow and a sense of perfection in the way Simmons has crafted the first scene in BLACK HILLS, and I have to admit that I readily gobbled down every delicious bite of it. What’s more, I found that I continued to devour the pages by great sheaves despite the growing concerns niggling at the back of my neck.

Dude can write.Read the rest of this review »



Posted: September 22, 2010 by Vanessa in Books We Like...and Hate Tags: Dystopian SF, Suzanne Collins, Young Adult

Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games series has created a buzz in the Young Adult world. Her version of a future American dystopia is grim and disturbing. And compelling. The final novel, MOCKINGJAY, was released in August with great anticipation…but was it worth getting all worked up about?

The series begins with THE HUNGER GAMES, an exciting, brutal, and clever story. The setting is well done and artfully displays a society that’s rotting from both ends. HUNGER GAMES explores the themes of an influential propaganda machine and an extravagant Capital at the expense of the people, then takes it the next frightening step.Read the rest of this review »


A Taint in the Blood

Posted: August 20, 2010 by Vanessa in Books We Like...and Hate Tags: S.M. Stirling, Urban Fantasy

Shadowspawn used to rule the Earth as gods. But you can get kind of lazy when you’re immortal and nearly indestructible. After thousands of years of cross-breeding with humans, today’s Shadowspawn posterity isn’t as pureblooded, making for all kinds of problems. Even worse, humans have over-populated the Earth and kind of taken over things. By the time you get around to dealing with the issue, you have to do something drastic, say, another plague to wipe out all the extra humans so you can reestablish yourself as the one in charge.Read the rest of this review »