book review

Books reviews of the best science fiction stories, texts, educational texts, and journals.

  • HR Burton
    Published about a year ago
    'Dragonfly' Book Review

    'Dragonfly' Book Review

    "Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal. And he's not too pleased, either. She is used to a life of discipline, ritual, and splendor. He is used to hunting and carousing. They hate each other on sight. But both of their countries are under threat from a fearsome warlord, and the only chance of peace is to form an alliance.When Tashi and Ram are kidnapped, they fear there's no escape--from their kidnappers or from each other. Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing, and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their adventure—including a circus strongman, a daring rebel leader, a sinister master of spies, and the best female fighter they have ever seen--help them or betray them to the enemy?"
  • Paul Levinson
    Published about a year ago
    Review of Alec Nevala-Lee's 'Astounding'

    Review of Alec Nevala-Lee's 'Astounding'

    One of the joys of reading on a Kindle (or, in my case, a Kindle app) is the ease of bookmarking. As one indication of how important, I found Alec Nevala-Lee's Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and bookmarked it 10 times more than any other book I've read in the past few years. (The runner-ups are The Perversity of Things: Hugo Gernsback on Media, Tinkering, and Scientifiction by Grant Wythoff and Dreaming the Beatles by Rob Sheffield, though I read those two on paper.)
  • Michael Grube
    Published 2 years ago
    'The Expanse' (Novels) 1

    'The Expanse' (Novels) 1

    I want to begin by saying that I stumbled across this series at a local bookstore that I patron. A wonderful store that sells new/used material at half the cost of a mainstream bookstore. The humorous part about the way that this series fell into my lap is worth noting. As my mother and I were shopping in this bookstore, I was looking for something light, adventurous, and attention holding. My attention to detail skills were lacking at that moment and I mistakenly picked up the fourth book in the series (Cibola Burn), and I completely missed the big, number "4" printed on the spine. Now that I have embarrassed myself, let me get into the first book that I finished late last year, Leviathan Wakes. I will also finish with a small comparison to the television series that the SyFy network ran for three seasons. Finally, I would just like to note that this book burned the eyeballs out of my head for a hundred pages or more at a time. This series has grasped my imagination with it's logic, growth, and well-written empathy that you feel for the characters. After having read Book 4 by mistake, I went onto Amazon and purchased all of the books in the series. I hope that you enjoy this review, now let's get started...
  • Matthew Kresal
    Published 2 years ago
    Lifting Off to 'The Calculating Stars'

    Lifting Off to 'The Calculating Stars'

    All stories start with a simple question: "What if?" That is especially true of the alternate history genre where writers imagine versions of history where things might have been different. In it, writers have presented everything from Axis victories in the Second World War (such as The Man in the High Castle) to JFK avoiding an assassin's bullet (such as in Bryce Zabel's Surrounded by Enemies). Human spaceflight, which has seemed grounded for so long, has also been a topic popular with writers such as Stephen Baxter with his tale of a 1980s Mars mission in Voyage. Few, however, have been as compelling or convincing as The Calculating Stars, the opening salvo in Mary Robinette Kowal's Lady Astronaut series.
  • Eddie Wong
    Published 2 years ago
    11 Books About UFOs That Will Make You Think

    11 Books About UFOs That Will Make You Think

    When you see a UFO sighting story, do you pick up the book, or scoff and walk onward? If you're one of those who have decided to flip open the pages, you know that these books are great for enthusiasts, but also have some compelling stories that might just persuade skeptics as well. Books about UFOs typically present ideas and evidence that will get you thinking, whether you're binge rewatching Ancient Aliens or shaking your head whenever you hear an abduction story.
  • Leigh Fisher
    Published 2 years ago
    Book Review: 'Planetfall' by Emma Newman

    Book Review: 'Planetfall' by Emma Newman

    I recently finished Planetfall by Emma Newman and wanted to share a few thoughts on this intriguing high sci-fi novel. The story follows Ren, a scientist and engineer, who was a part of Earth’s first settlement on another planet, sailing off into space aboard the Atlas. Interestingly, the story takes place after the humans have already settled in on the new planet, which is outside a structure where some of the characters believe a god resides in.
  • Tom Baker
    Published 2 years ago
    A Benevolent Psychopathology

    A Benevolent Psychopathology

    I recently had the dubious "pleasure" of listening to an audio of the novel Crash by the late J.G. Ballard, the New Wave science fiction author who turned, in the latter half of his career, to a close, obsessive examination of the increasingly mutated and deformed "neural landscape" of modern, post-atomic, late Twentieth Century society. Ballard, interested chiefly in how media and technology push human experience into the terminal postures of a pre-apocalyptic evolutionary step—he intones, in the scientific, nearly fetishistic language of flat affect and psychological detachment, the "benevolent psychopathology" of the modern zeitgeist—the "spirit of the age," he suggests, is "Caliban" atop a "mirror streaked with vomit." Indeed, in writing Crash (and its heavily surrealistic sister novel The Atrocity Exhibition) Ballard redefines the ugly and banal, pressing glamour and sadism, brutality and beauty, the artificial and constructed, against the geometry of pelvis and thigh; the quantifying of wound patterns, medical profiles and, in the psychoanalytic web of associations woven by dreams and psychological imprinting—replicates the external landscape as a powerful, horrifying, and ultimately terminal inner experience.
  • Amanda Rose
    Published 2 years ago
    The 2019 Sci-Fi We've Been Waiting For

    The 2019 Sci-Fi We've Been Waiting For

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: we need more science fiction!
  • Amanda Rose
    Published 2 years ago
    5 Must Read Dystopian Novels!

    5 Must Read Dystopian Novels!

    Dystopian novels pique our interest and spark our imagination about the 'what if's' on society and survival. I love nothing more than a good dystopian novel to drift into.
  • Matthew Kresal
    Published 2 years ago
    'Doctor Who: The Eyeless' Review

    'Doctor Who: The Eyeless' Review

    The return of Doctor Who to our screens in 2005 meant an end to fifteen years of ongoing literary adventures for the Time Lord. Though the novels spawned during that period were always technically "TV tie-in," they seemed to push the boundaries of the program. When the New Series Adventures started up, it seemed to very much be an end to an era. And yet, from time to time, writers from that period have returned to the Who literary fold. One such example is Lance Parkin and his 2008 Tenth Doctor adventure The Eyeless.
  • K.E. Lanning
    Published 2 years ago
    Review of Mary Doria Russell’s 'The Sparrow' Series - the 20th Anniversary

    Review of Mary Doria Russell’s 'The Sparrow' Series - the 20th Anniversary

    Author Mary Doria Russell was born in Elmhurst, Illinois, into a military family, her father a drill instructor in the Marines and her mother a nurse in the Navy. Raised a Catholic, she left the church as a teenager, but the struggle to parse faith and the role of religion is etched into her works. Russell earned an undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Illinois [Urbana-Champaign], a masters in Social Anthropology at Northeastern University in Boston, and a Ph.D. in Biology Anthropology at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.
  • Richard Piland
    Published 2 years ago
    The 'Echo' Series, a Review

    The 'Echo' Series, a Review

    Kent Wayne's thrill ride of action and philosophy in the series he entitled “Echo" all culminate into this thought provoking finale. Even the title really encapsulates some of the ideas presented in the book. The Last Edge of Darkness is a book that started being formed after the release of volume three, The Dialectic of Agony, back in February of 2017.