Tales of Sales: Sleeping Legion

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Hey, you beautiful Space Cadets! I wanted to take a break from writing my new series, The Cyborg Corps, to let you know about this fantastic steal of a deal! My series, The Sleeping Legion, is currently on sale. If you haven’t read them, now would be a good time to buy!

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Cadences & Chants Galore

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Hello Space Cadet, today I wanted to muse about some parts of my time in the Big Green Weenie.  It inspired this post, as I tackle the role that cadences and martial music in the development of military culture and Continue reading

More Indie SciFi Videos!

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Outer Space Header

Hey Space Cadets, today I wanted to bring you yet another awesome little science fiction film. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and I thought reviving it would be cool! They’re indie productions, and very much worth watching! I plan on posting another blog soon, but for today I need to work on my next book. So here’s a cool film!

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Book Review: A Long Time Until Now

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Hey Space Cadets, here is the next installment of my book reviews. I found this book from a thread in the Galaxy’s Edge Fan Club. It was a time travel novel with an awesome cover so I had to buy it. Since I bought A Long Time Until Now book at Trad Pub prices, I read it! So here we are, with me writing a review. I listened to this one as an audiobook, without reading the eBook. So, without further ado, let’s get on with this review. Let’s do it!

 

Title: A Long Time Until Now ( Temporal Displacement Series Book 1)

Author: Michael Z Williamson

Narrator: Dennis Holland

eBook Price: USD 5.38 USD

Audiobook Price: USD 29.99 or 1 Audible credit

Obtained: I bought the audiobook with one Audible credit

Pages: 960 pages

Hours: 22 hours, 10 minutes

Rating: 4/5 Grenades

Summary:

First, let me say that none of what I’ll say in this section couldn’t be found on the back copy of the novel. Heck, I cribbed this summary from the back, and then I added my own twist! And not even much of one, since most of the books I read have kick butt descriptions (aka blurbs). If the blurb doesn’t catch my eye, then I tend to skip the book unless a friend recommends it. Generally speaking, my goal is to provide a spoiler-free review, so here goes nothing!

 

A military unit is thrust back into Paleolithic times with only their guns and portable hardware. Ten soldiers on convoy in Afghanistan suddenly find themselves lost in time. Somehow, they arrived in Earth’s Paleolithic Asia. With no idea how they arrived or how to get back, the shock of the event is severe. They discover groups of the similarly displaced: Imperial Romans, Neolithic Europeans, and a small cadre of East Indian peasants. Despite their technological advantage, the soldiers only have ten people and know no way home. Then two more time-travelers arrive from a future far beyond the present. These time travelers may have the means to get back, but they aren’t giving it up. In fact, they may have a treacherous agenda of their own, one that may very well lead to the death of the displaced in a harsh and dangerous era.

 

If you love epic sagas involving time travel that mess with your mind, then you should read this novel. Plenty of adventure and intrigue to keep you glued to your seat in this page-turning novel! It’s the perfect blend of time travel and action-orientated and military science fiction. If this sounds like your flavor of badassery, then you’ve come to the right place!

 

 

Characters:

In this novel, there were ten main characters, way too many for me to connect with all of them. Heck, I struggle to name all of them. Many of these soldiers blended into the scenery, leaving you wondering who they were. However, a few of these people stood out; Lieutenant Elliot, Sergeant First Class Spencer, Sergeant Casswell, Sergeant Alexander, and Specialist Dalton. They were a motley collection of troops, thrown together in a convoy that was designed to drop personnel off at their new homes and continue moving. These convoys happen, I was on a few of them. However, the odds of finding people with just the right skill sets listed in this novel so these guys could survive would be astronomical. Seriously, I served with a lot of extremely intelligent soldiers with advanced degrees (Master’s Degree and/or PhDs). That wasn’t my issue, it was that these characters seemed to have just the right skills to let them survive. Anyway, I liked some of the characters but most left me scratching my head trying to figure out who the heck they were. Not bad, just meh. Maybe some of this was because it didn’t feel like the head-hopping between character point of use was done well? I sometimes couldn’t tell who the POV character was, leading to my confusion. Some of the reviewers said that this was a formatting issue from the book that carried over to the audiobook, but I can’t verify that. It does fit with what I heard, so I thought it was worth mentioning. On top of not connecting with the characters, I had one character I actively wanted to dropkick out the nearest airlock. This character, Sergeant Casswell, was a stereotype of what I hate and made me want to throw the book several times. Glad I didn’t succumb to my frustration; my iPhone just went past my warranty date! Overall, I give these characters 4 out of 5 grenades.

 

Plot:

Unlike most of the military science fiction, I love to read, this wasn’t an action-packed novel. It wasn’t my usual action-adventure story; it was a slow burn to an extremely satisfying conclusion. I wasn’t able to read this book from start to finish in one setting because of its length but I wanted too. I felt like I was sucked into the pages of this book, which is just how I like it! The action that was there was enjoyable, furthered the plot and left you having a lot of fun. I wanted more detail from the firefights since there were so few of them, but what was there was good. I also wanted more from the Roman legionnaires, they were th e cool factor from the cover that sucked me in. Seriously, the cover scene was what sold me on this story, but the Romans don’t show up for the first half of the book. One thing that might make this book hard to follow for non-veterans was the overuse of military jargon and acronyms. I understood them, but they even annoyed me. Otherwise, there was nothing about this plot that I couldn’t buy into so I’ll give this a solid 4 out of 5 Grenades.

 

Worldbuilding:

This is the first book I’ve read by Michael Z Williamson, but I’d heard good things and his reviews were solid. I wasn’t disappointed! This world was very flushed out and left you curious about the larger universe. The author superbly illustrated the world that was Neolithic Afghanistan. The world was a lot of fun and left me wanting more from this universe. The world was very well flush out, describing everything about the universe where this grand time-traveling adventure happened. There was never a point in that world where I couldn’t suspend my disbelief, I deftly bought into the concept of a temporal rift. Not only could I, but I did envision myself setting. Overall, the author gets 5 out of 5 Grenades for this category!

 

 

Description:

This is one area where Michael Z Williamson’s skill as an author shone through. This book was chalk full of visualization, and you could definitely imagine yourself in this world. There wasn’t a single spot in this novel where I couldn’t visualize what was going on. I loved the Neolithic setting; I could picture every hill and dale. Heck, the scenery was set so well that I could even smell the rhino dung, let me tell you those beasts need to eat more fiber! Seriously, the scenery was described in vivid detail. The equipment was written with such attention to detail that your friendly neighborhood doomsday prepper was taking alone time to soothe their frayed nerves. However, when it comes to the characters, we get much less detail and that was frustrating. We know everything about their sex lives and body shape but not so much on their general appearance. I did love reading about the other historic cultures that stumbled through the time anomaly, my inner history nerd was geeking out hardcore. If you love alt-history and/or time travel, this book is worth your money and time. Overall, I loved the descriptions in this book. A solid 5 out of 5 Grenades from me!

 

 

Narration:

I enjoyed this book exclusively in the audiobook format. It was well done; the accents were consistent, and I didn’t want to rip my ears off. There wasn’t a whole lot of range from the character accents, but the narrator did good! I’d listen to more books by Dennis Holland, though he clearly wasn’t a favorite of mine. His audiobook was of a professional quality, so I had nothing to complain about, but it didn’t sing to me either. He didn’t commit the Cardinal Sin, which is my only real requirement; he didn’t sound like a robot, he didn’t bore me, and he didn’t use accents that annoy the bajeesus out of me! Overall, I give him 4 out of 5 grenades for his performance.

 

Book Cover:

Wow, how much can I gush over this cover before you tell me to shut up? It had a futuristic warrior, a Roman Legionnaire and an American GI fighting a woolly rhino from the top of an MRAP military vehicle. The color scheme for the cover set the perfect tone of gritty survival novel set in the distant past. The author’s name and the book title were colored in such a way that they stood out, but at the same time blended in with the painting used for this cover. I loved it, would seriously put a print of this on my wall and give this cover artist 5 out of 5 Grenades!

 

 

Overall:

Okay, let’s get into the weeds on this one! I’m a huge Alt History fan, so obviously, the time travel aspect was a hit with me. It was my jam, and I had the bread ready and waiting. Because of that, the novel’s cover spoke to me. I really loved it; that image is why I bought the book. However, when I finish the story Michael Z Williamson told and realized that the scene from the cover wasn’t included, I was pissed. There was a missed opportunity with those Latin time travelers. The Roman Legions are where modern militaries trace their roots back too, so the side by side comparison could’ve strengthened this adventure saga. They could’ve done so much more with the Romans and taken this book to the next level.

 

Speaking of time travel novels, this one was one of the most plausible ones in this category that I’ve ever read. The way they entered the time anomaly and everything that happened as a result of this felt grounded in some reality, no matter how implausible. The author ingeniously created a theme of man versus nature survival. The way in which this was carried out kept my attention for all 22 hours of the audiobook. I loved seeing how various skills were used to allow the soldiers to survive and thrive in the Neolithic era.

 

However, this brings me to my major complaint. The soldiers that were on the two vehicles were almost too perfect for this mission. Soldiers are generally smart people, and I certainly served with some extremely well-educated individuals. Unfortunately, where the author lost me was in how useful everyone’s skills were. The odds of having just the right skill set for this novel to work always struck me as farcical. That said, I know that this was as much a plot device to allow the story to work as anything else. As such, I was able to bite my tongue and drive on to see what else was in store for these stranded soldiers.

 

Another area where I was less than satisfied with the characters, was how they were portrayed. Namely, I felt many felt flat. They lacked depth beyond their role as the possessor of whatever their skill set was. Oh, and Sergeant Casswell pissed me off. She was such a whiner, the antithesis of every female warrior I served with. Part of what I didn’t like about her I can’t mention on my family-friendly blog post, so we’ll move on.

 

My dislike of Casswell, however, tied into my other complaint about this book. I’m no prude, but there was too damn much talk about sex and sexuality. We get it, soldiers are generally young and virile, operating during their peak sexual years. I’m aware of what that entails, and so is your average reader. There was no need to dwell on it to the degree that it was, making me think that this aspect was more about the author and less about the story. I have to leave part of what I mean by this out of the review because I wanted to be family-friendly. What I can’t say is that reproduction and consent were harped on in a way that took away from what was otherwise an amazing story. Seriously, it really felt gratuitous at the end.

 

There was a lot about this story that I really loved. Part of what made me love this story was the world-building and descriptions. The author did a bang-up job here, which I detailed above but it’s worth repeating. I could imagine myself inside his story, fighting the Urushu primitives and fending off the woolly rhinos. This was the saving grace for this story and what I want more of from the sequel that the author is currently writing. This alone was worth the price of admission into the Afghanistan pre-history!

 

One part of the story that I initially didn’t like was how preachy the religious aspect felt. However, I grew to appreciate what the author was doing. It was very obviously pro-pagan and antagonistic to Christianity, but there were scenes at the end that brought it all together in a way that I appreciated. Further, as the story developed we begin to see this evolve into a more nuanced approach. If this type of angle bugs you, I promise it’s worth hanging in for the big reveal.

 

I know this review sounds a little negative, but I really did love the novel. I liked it enough that I’m trying to thoroughly and critically analyze it, partly so I can learn from what I didn’t enjoy. Just so my review doesn’t come off wrong, let’s focus on more about what I did enjoy. One place that the author got right, and it fit with what we know of human nature, was how all of the groups interacted. The plausibility and authenticity of these interactions shown are bright as the North Star. While there wasn’t nearly as much interacting as I would’ve liked, what was there was done superbly. I do not know if the author is a trained historian, or merely did his research, but he sold me on his knowledge base. I was convinced, and with a Bachelor of History, I’m practically an expert!

 

Before I put this review to bed, another aspect of the storytelling that I really appreciated was how the author resisted the urge to have the soldiers enter the past drastically oversupplied. The gear that they carried was exactly what you would expect from a mission they were on, which limited the soldier’s ability to cope. Further, the lack of supplies meant that the characters had to improvise, adapt and overcome. Their journey of survival was what made me love this novel. We took the basic soldier skills and then got to see them use the nonstandard manner. If it was my story, I might’ve been tempted give them more goodies to make it through their ordeal. Seriously, hats off to the author for resisting the temptation. The story was better because of it.

 

Overall, it’s an amazing adventure, a look into Michael Z Williamson’s twisted imagination, and leaves you wishing that his therapist has a therapist. This is a book I would happily recommend, and an author I will definitely read again.  Heck, I would even recommend that you buy the novel!  But hey, it’s easy to spend someone else’s money! This is definitely a novel worth buying, versus merely reading for free at the library. I give this novel a solid 4 out of 5 Grenades!

 

If this book sounds like it’s right up your alley, check it out! You won’t regret it! Well, unless it keeps you up all night and you’re late to work… and then your boss fires you because you became a book addict and a rabid Mad Mike fan.  And then you track him down and climb into his window in your skivvies and he shoots you with grapeshot. Okay, the fanboy/fangirl syndrome MIGHT kill you. Be warned but enjoy the high!

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

brown_bess

JR

 

–> As usual, all images came from Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are used on the Fair Use Doctrine.

 

Book Review: Paying the Price

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Terry Mixon

Hey Space Cadets, here is the next installment of my book reviews. I’ve read this book several times. I had decided to re-read the first book and write a review since I love this series. However, I just couldn’t resist re-reading the rest of the series. Thus, I am now doing a review of book 5, Paying the Price. I’ve listened to the audiobook as well as reading the eBook. I’ve enjoyed this story on all of the mediums I’ve found it! Now that I’m writing more reviews, I wanted to share a series that is near and dear to my heart with you! Also, because I’m writing so many lately, I’m rethinking how I write reviews for books. This is especially true for books deeper into a series. But enough about me, onto this review. Now let’s get to it!

 

Title: Paying the Price (Empire of Bones Saga, Bk5)

Author: Terry Mixon

Narrator: Veronica Giguere

eBook Price:  USD 4.99

Audiobook Price: USD 21.99 or 1 Audible Credit

Obtained:  I bought both formats from Amazon.

Pages:  286

 

 

Rating:  4/5 Grenades

 

Summary:

First, let me say that none of what I’ll say in this section couldn’t be found on the back copy of the novel. Heck, I cribbed this summary from the back, and then I added my own twist! And not even much of one, since most of the books I read have kick butt descriptions (aka blurbs). If the blurb doesn’t catch my eye, then I tend to skip the book unless a friend recommends it. Generally speaking, my goal is to provide a spoiler-free review, so here goes nothing!

 

Admiral Jared Mertz returns to the New Terran Empire a conquering hero. But not everyone cheers his success. In fact, his foe Crown Prince Ethan Bandar tried to kill Jared once. The prince’s paranoia and ambition demand he succeeds this time, creating a tense action-filled story. In this adventure, brimming to the rim with political intrigue, where only Jared’s sister and their battle-hardened allies stand between him and death.

If you love epic, galaxy-spanning, action-oriented space opera, then you should read this series.  Plenty of adventure and intrigue to keep you glued to your seat in this page-turning novel! It’s the perfect blend of space opera and military science fiction. If this sounds like your flavor of badassery, then you’ve come to the right place!  This novel is the brilliant continuation of the Empire of Bones Saga, where the author harkens back to the heyday of pulp science fiction!

 

 

Characters: 

In this novel, there are two main characters who we follow; Commander Jared Mertz and Princess Kelsey Bandar. Keeping the focus on two characters made you feel closer to them, which is how I like things. All of the secondary characters were a lot of fun as well!  They were all fully realized, none of them felt flat or fake.

 

Admiral Jared Mertz: He’s a senior naval officer of the largely peaceful New Terran Empire, but he felt real and not one of those stereotypical military pencil pushers from the Pax New Terra. He was recently promoted to Admiral by his sister, an heir to the Imperial throne. He was a consummate professional who genuinely cared for the sailors and Marines under his command. He was a good officer, who knew his craft and was tactically creative during combat training simulations. As his duties grew, so did his abilities as a leader of men. He’s the kind of guy you’d want on your side once the New Terran Empire realizes that they’re still at war. When he’s exposed to combat for the first time, against the elusive “pale ones,” he proves that he’s got what it takes to get things done under fire. As the combat intensified during their expedition, he continues to prove his mettle. He’s the illegitimate son of the emperor, whose royal pedigree was discovered on his entrance physical for the Imperial Navy. This knowledge came with dark undertones, as Fleet tried to hold him back to prove they weren’t giving him special treatment. During this novel, we see more growth from him, as he’s forced to accept the political nature that his relationship to the Emperor brings with it. He also has to face the continued burdens that come with his increasing responsibilities as a flag officer. This is especially evident as he is forced to risk everything in a desperate gamble to keep the Crown Prince from committing treason that couldn’t be undone. He was, by far, my favorite character in this novel. Overall, I enjoyed following him from the first word until the last! It felt like there was so much more to come from him!

 

Princess Kelsey Bandar: When we first meet her, she’s the spoiled daughter of the New Terran Empire, a petite bombshell of sassy entitlement. Picture a princess in your mind, and you can envision Kelsey. She’s the “spare apparent,” a term I first heard from Terry Mixon and summed her role as the second in line to the imperial throne. When she decided she wants to find a mission for her life, to become more than her status as an imperial princess, her father turns her life upside down. The emperor sends her on the voyage to explore the remains of the fallen empire, where she gets stuck on the other side of a one-sided flip point. During those adventures, she is implanted with super-soldier Terran Empire Marine Raider enhancements and is left to deal with the consequences of those changes. She becomes an unlikely warrior, turning a spoiled princess into the “every man” soldier. Except she has those enhancements. In this newest edition, the Empire of Bones Saga, we see even more growth from her, a woman and warrior struggling with what has happened to her. Further, she’s grappling with the things she’s done, making her an even more likable character. She’s coolly efficient under fire but well aware of her weaknesses in tactical doctrine. We again see her under the stress of galactic conflict, as she struggles to process everything that happened to her and her friends. Overall, I was thrilled at her growth in this novel, especially how she handled the action at the Imperial Mansion. I loved watching her process what happened in the last few books, while things only compound for her in this latest edition. Her character came alive on the page, giving Jared and Talbot fits as they tried corralling her.

 

Senior Sergeant Russel “Russ” Talbot: He’s what you’d call your Space Marine’s Space Marine.  He’s such a motto jarhead that even his mother calls him Talbot! This character is one of the senior Marine Detachment NCOs on the Athena, and then the Courageous. Once Princess Bandar is assigned to the exploration mission, he’s tasked with leading her protection detail until their relationship is discovered. She doesn’t make it easy for him, but we see his true value when he’s imprisoned by the “pale ones” with Kelsey Bandar. We see that worth again when they assault Boxer Station and later Harrison’s World. Under the crucible of battle, his mettle is proven… solidifying him as one of the most pivotal secondary characters in this series. I really liked him, he’s a grizzled veteran of the numerous policing actions. Despite his experience, he felt real and not one of those stereotypical military killers. He was badass, a consummate professional and genuinely good NCO for his troops. He’s the kind of guy you’d want on your side in a firefight, though he’s a bit of an ass to his own subordinates. Overall, I enjoyed following him from the first word until the last! It felt like there was so much more to come from him! I definitely want to see more of him as a warrior in future books and not just as Kelsey’s Plus One.

 

Crown Princess Elise Orison: She’s the heir to the throne of Pentagar and serves as the Pentagaran ambassador to the New Terran Empire. She is our eyes into one of the other polities that arose from the ashes of the Old Terran Empire. Elise is a bubbly woman, who is enchantingly feminine while retaining the aura of command competency. Overall, she didn’t get as much air time in this book, but I wanted to see more of her. I included her because I suspect we’ll be seeing more of her as we kick off deeper into this series. Since I’ve already read the next few follow-on novels, I’ll just say that she’s a character to watch, but no spoilers here!

 

Overall, I really loved the two main characters and the entire supporting class of this book. I give these characters 5 out of 5 Grenades and can’t wait to see where the author takes in the books to come!

 

 

Overall:

I really loved this book, though it wasn’t my favorite novel in this series. It was a lot of fun to read, which is what I love about this universe. It is worth mentioning again, I’ve read these novels multiple times and never once felt like it was a waste of time. They brought back the era of pulp science fiction that started the genre we know and love. This novel harkened back to what I loved about space opera and followed the first novel in this series. The vibe of this story was amazing, and I loved seeing where the adventurers would end up. I wanted to know what happened to the Terran Empire, and how they lost so quickly to the rebels that broke an intergalactic empire in several weeks. There were no deep messages, or political themes, just good clean fun.

 

Like the other novels in this universe, the first thing that caught my eye was the cover. Okay, covers are the first thing that grabs us about any universe, but I digress. The spaceship on the cover is growing on me, and they’re well branded as a part of the same universe. The ship engaged in some sort of firefight over a planet, with lasers shooting down incoming rounds, really sings for me. It isn’t as flashy as the newest trend in science fiction book covers, but it has a charm all its own that harkens back to the pulp era prose which Terry Mixon writes. While I still prefer the ship from book three, Command Decisions, this ship is growing on me. Overall, the covers on this series are a better fit for the space opera market, but this one also managed to hit the space fleet subgenre of military science fiction genre as well. This isn’t a flaw of the series since the books fit into both genres, just an observation. Keep in mind, I’m colorblind, so your mileage may vary. Check them out, share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Since we’re talking about the production side of things, let’s talk about the audiobook quality. I listened to the book this time around, and Veronica Giguere did a great job. She nailed it again, she’s an auditory phenom to watch because this lady is going places! The audiobook was well done, and the accents were consistent. She didn’t bore you, or make you zone out because of her monotone or vocal fry. Her performance didn’t feel robotic like a machine was reading the novel to me. You’ll often see that from me because it’ll drag me out of a book so fast that I can’t listen to it anymore. With Veronica Giguere, it felt like a friend was sitting with me reading an amazing story that she couldn’t put down. I’m not sure how else to say how awesome her performance was so we’ll move onto the book itself!

 

Okay, so let’s knock my biggest complaint about this novel out in the first salvo. This book felt like a bridge novel, like a book whose sole purpose was to get from book 4 (Ghosts of Empire) to book 6 (Reconnaissance in Force). Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed this book and love the series, but this one was definitely not my favorite in the series. It introduced some cool stuff that pays off in later books, but as its own entity, it felt like two novellas mushed together to cross the distance between to points on the map. However, despite this complaint, it’s telling that Terry Mixon can make a bridge novel entertaining.

 

Right, so on to the positive stuff… let me show you why I gave this book a solid four grenades. This novel created an awesome adventure inside a cool space station. I’d love to dive into the nitty-gritty with you but then I’d cross the line into spoiler territory. The setting was flushed out, and everything was explained in a way that made sense. The universe was consistent, even while the mystery was intentionally inconsistent enough to make the story entertaining. There was just enough of the mundane facets of life thrown in the world that it felt grounded in this reality Granted, a handwavium reality, but reality all the same. Everything made sense and sucked you into the story. Some of the details seemed inconsequential, but those hooks just make me think that the larger universe will continue to grow and expand. This is, and has been, one of Terry Mixon’s literary strengths.

 

Okay, on to the action side of this little shindig! There was combat of the close quarters variety in the second half of the book. It was a bit low on the descriptions, which made it hard to envision. The action was fluid, but I’m not sure how that would translate to someone without the training I received in the infantry. This combat scene was good, if you compare it broadly to science fiction but it’s not Terry’s best. If this was my first exposure to the author, I probably would’ve been impressed but I know he’s capable of doing better. This could’ve been improved by adding in more setting details here, spending the words to help me envision the action, but I preach that gospel often enough I’ll move on! My more general complaint from this book was how ungrounded in the setting the combat felt. It was well within the boundaries for the space opera subgenre but missed the mark from a military science fiction perspective. To summarize my thoughts on this one, I’ll say that it doesn’t rise to the standard Terry has set but it was a solid 4 out of 5 grenades.

 

One place where this book shines for me was where we get to see the space fleets in action. The ship’s onboard enlisted crew take charge when necessary, much like you expect if that situation happened in today’s modern military. The few enlisted sailors we see aren’t cardboard cutouts, living tropes or cartoonish in any way. They’re real men and women, despite being mostly secondary characters who only exist on the periphery. If I would make that suggestion for Terry, it would be to see more from his petty officers and junior sailors. Even when these people being largely faceless, you felt for them when they fought against impossible odds to protect the country they swore to protect. Maybe I’m projecting… being a combat veteran too, but Terry made you care about these sailors.

 

Just so we don’t dwell on the negative, let me point out one area where Terry Mixon excels. This was a fun adventure story, with lots of action but doesn’t weigh you down with chapters of boring meetings. You know that the logistics happen in the background, that the engines are powered with handwavium, and that’s okay because the story is fun. With each book, we’re left hanging and wanting more from this immersive universe. He draws you into the story so much, that I sometimes struggle to remember the details for these reviews. Without a bad thing, it’s exactly what you want when you’re reading to escape. These books are unashamedly literary popcorn that doesn’t weigh you down with modern-day politics. I love that about Terry’s books. I read to escape, and he doesn’t preach at you, sermonize, or do any of the stuff that keeps you grounded in the here and now.

 

Another place where Terry Mixon shines brighter than a nova is how he handles the logistical side of his adventure stories. One of the things that enjoyed about this novel was that logistics were considered.  We don’t dwell on them, but the characters did seem to run out of supplies and personnel. In fact, this was a central plot point for their journey back to New Terran Empire space. Terry doesn’t dwell on it, but several casual mentions that they’d packed for a journey of several years was enough. Further, he has the sailors worried when they’re low on consumable military tech; missiles and bullets, etc. One place where I feel like he could’ve done more was with regards to the staffing of his vessels. The New Terran Fleet ends up with a critical lack of personnel for the vessels captured in combat. This was briefly addressed with them borrowing sailors from Harrison’s World and Pentagar, but then these facts are never really mentioned again. I believe we should of had more face time with the lower enlisted from the various parties to address this. Otherwise, no logistical detail was forgotten or taken for granted. It cemented that little attention to detail, making me love this series even more.

 

Another place where this novel shined was with the pacing. The political maneuverings were intense and believable. The characters responded as you’d expect in those circumstances. Terry kept the story moving along, constantly introducing new complications just when they’d come to some sort of resolution to the old one. I scratched my head trying to figure out how to explain this better, but I couldn’t find a solution that didn’t go into spoiler territory. In this novel, Terry kept the story moving along, illustrating the political chaos with combat going on in the background. This worked for me, so hats off to the author.

 

Finally, I didn’t really find any grammatical or technical issues with this book. In fairness, I listened to this one on this round. But I’ve read the book and listened to the audiobook several times and never noticed any serious issues. This production values for this book were well done and the story was compelling. Terry’s one of the shining stars of science fiction authors everywhere, you should check it out. This book was leaps and bounds above most of what’s out there! I was hooked from the first page because he wove the action in such a compelling way that you wanted to jump into the page and join the party. Some of that was because I’m already invested in this world, but if you’ve been following me, you already know that. Basically, this novel had me hooked from the beginning and kept it going throughout the whole novel. This is a book I would happily recommend, and an author I will definitely read again. Buy the novel!  But hey, it’s easy to spend someone else’s money!  I give this novel a 4 out of 5 grenades!

 

If this book sounds like it’s right up your alley, check it out, you won’t regret it! Well, unless you decide to join Commander Jared Mertz as he jumps through the flip points into the unknown. And you after you enlist or take a commission, get kitted up, you realize that the god of your world is a dick. He’s an evil jerk that likes to send men with guns after you. In a rush to stand a fighting chance, you decide to try some old empire implants. But you clicked the wrong button and added a computer virus into your brainpan. What could possibly go wrong? Well yeah, I guess this could be bad for you. Or maybe you’ll be okay? I mean, you could be the first sailor to make it out of Terry’s insane world alive? On second thought, be warned, fanboy/fangirl syndrome just MIGHT kill you. Be wary, you were warned and if you have to go out like that at least enjoy the view from the end times!

 

 Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

brown_bess

JR

 

–> As usual, all images came from Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are used on the Fair Use Doctrine.

 

SciFy Shenanigans Interview:Christopher G. Nuttall

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Hey Space Cadets, how’s everyone doing today?  I’m doing fantastic…. writing, writing, writing. With that said, let’s get right to the point of this blog posting! As you can see, I still haven’t shaken off the interview bug! I’ve got my Warrior Weekend Series, and now the ‘SciFi Shenanigans’ series that inspired my podcast with Chris Winder. You can find the podcast here if you haven’t given it a listen yet! Continue reading

Character Names

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I know, I know… I haven’t been as active on this website as I would like. I won’t cheat and have a website full of nothing but re-blogs of YouTube clips, but this was too good not to share. We’re currently looking into upgrading this website into a more professional looking one. That requires money, as I lack the skills, so that involves writing more books. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a fun look into character naming. Continue reading