Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paper or Plastic - Prologue

Photo by Ryan
My wife and I love to read and certainly love books but what I’ve learned from her is that the word book means something different to each of us.  To the lovely Rinni a book is something generally made of paper, a tangible object you can hold in your hand.  A book to me is less an object than what it represents, a story.  That is really only the first divergence in our mutual love of reading and books, but points to Rinni for using the English language to properly classify the word book.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Journey to the edge of the disc - a tale of magic, friendship and buffoonery

The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1)The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Terry Pratchett stakes his claim to being the funnyman of science fiction in the Color of Magic, book one in the Disc-world series. He grabs you from the first page with his uncanny wit and his character’s humorous banter and keeps you chuckling to the very end of the story. You’ve likely seen similar characters from other books, television and movies but Pratchett takes the classic comedy duo and firmly plants them in a fantasy world that is over the top hilarious.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Sci-Fi Rumble in the Jungle

Gabriel's Return (Evan Gabriel Trilogy)

Gabriel's Return by Steve Umstead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Power up your Oso-11 heavy assault rifle and join Evan Gabriel’s team as they face a new threat on an old battlefield in Steve Umstead’s second novel in the Evan Gabriel Trilogy, ‘Gabriel’s Return’.

Picking up the story six months after the conclusion of the first book, Umstead instills a false sense of security and normalcy so that he can leverage his plot and jerk the rug out from under you and his characters. This book is loaded with more than enough hi-tech action but Umstead finds balance and depth by presenting a more complex plot and delves much deeper into his characters and the forces working against them.

Against all odds

Evan Gabriel and his team of special operations forces have been cleaning up the streets of Mars. Gone are the criminals and the chaos, replaced by the pleasant smiles of pedestrians and laughter of children playing. Things are winding down for Gabriel and his crack unit but political forces are manipulating events around the galaxies that will put it all in jeopardy.

Learning that one of his men from the ill-fated Eden mission is alive but imprisoned, Gabriel takes his team back to where his nightmare began. As they prepare for this latest Eden mission, one team member falls to a traitor’s plot and they quickly realize the only people they can trust are each other. Ill-equipped and undermanned, Gabriel and his crew must fight their way through enemy territory and defeat an army of terrorists in order to eliminate the mysterious ‘Prophet’ and rescue their hostages.

Meanwhile, political machinations begin to play out as an anonymous mastermind, backed by the La Republica de Sudamerica, begins his coup on Mars while Gabriel and his team are light years away battling the terrorists and their own personal demons.

Final Thoughts

While there were no major surprises in the story, there was more than enough action and intrigue to keep me turning page after suspenseful page. In fact I enjoyed this book as much, if not more than the first novel for a couple of reasons. 

First, we get a much better picture about the kind of man Evan Gabriel really is because he’s no longer a one-man show on the run. 

Second, the mix between action and intrigue was much more balanced and definitely sews enough threads to make me excited about reading Gabriel’s Revenge (Book 3). Add it all together and you have a five-star read in Gabriel’s Return.

Tom Clementson (Kindle Book Review)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A gift for the hard days

We all run into hard times, sometimes for a day and sometimes much longer.  Every so often I have them and seem to always find inspiration, generally from those around me.  Sometimes however, it's just not enough but there were some words I discovered during a deployment to Iraq that seem to pull me out of the most severe cases of the doldrums.  This gift of words is a succinct reminder that tells us that we can and must take charge of our lives at the worst of times.  Tuck this away when that rainy day feels like a storm pouring down on you and find the inspiration to get up and fight.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Reviewing Gabriel's Redemption

Gabriel's Redemption (Evan Gabriel)Gabriel's Redemption by Steve Umstead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s suspense from the outset of Steve Umstead’s debut novel, and book 1 of the ‘Evan Gabriel Trilogy’, named for his main character. This is one of the better science fiction, action novels you’ll find out there whether indie or big market. Umstead is meticulous in establishing the back story for not only his characters but this futuristic universe while being mindful to maintain the pace and flow of his plot.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reviewing Sue's Fingerprint

Sue's FingerprintSue's Fingerprint by Andrew D. Carlson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When mysterious goo begins turning up all across America the Department of Homeland Security sends veteran Ted Stevens to look into the matter. Ted and a small team of scientists uncover the government's worst fear, an alien life form with the ability to clone itself into any living mammal it comes in contact with. Now, it's a race against the clock as Ted and his team must contain the situation and keep the truth from the public to prevent global panic.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review of Infinity Blade - Awakening

Infinity Blade: AwakeningInfinity Blade: Awakening by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Siris has spent his entire lifetime honing his body and spirit to be the ultimate warrior, foregoing all of the pleasures of a normal childhood, for the sole purpose of one epic duel. Also known as the 'sacrafice', Siris is the most recent heir to a line of challengers who have confronted and been slain by the immortal 'God King' over the centuries. The only problem is that Siris failed by facing and miraculously killing his nemesis and taking the fabled 'Infinity Sword'.