book review

Cover by Amanda Kelsey from Razzle Dazzle Design

The time and place

Unknown time, presumably the future. The story takes place aboard various transport ships and on the planet Tau Ceti, a world colonized by the Humanoid Alliance. As per usual, the native people are second-class on their own land.

The suspension of disbelief

Humans have colonized space. They’ve also created cyborgs, biological constructs fused of human, machine frame, and nanomachines, as supersoldiers. They’re created as babies in vats, and then aged with acceleration so they grow to adulthood in only a few years.

Cover design by Streetlight Graphics, art by Louis McKnight

The time and place

We start on the research spaceship Amoebas in 1954, alternate history. Then we’re yanked to Victorian England. Several other times and places make an appearance in the story.

The suspension of disbelief

Somebody invents a time machine in 1862. Once that happens, things start getting pretty bonkers.

Pico's Crush Cover Image by Streetlight Graphics

The time and place:  

About a thousand years from now, on the planet Nila Marbela, a beautiful vacation spot. Most of the action takes place on the campus of Optimal Polytechnic University. 

The suspension of disbelief: 

Humans have colonized many planets and developed space travel. Some humans have psychic powers, referred to as “minder talents.” These talents include mind control, healing, telekinetics, detection of other powers, and plenty more. Those who have them are often pressed into the Minder Corps of Citizen Protection Services: essentially the galactic police.

Cover by Cora of Cora graphics

The time and place

Present day, present time. Mostly on the planet of Mitah, which is nominally ruled by the Salvator family as a client of Sandaria. Chancellor Mortog runs most things, though. Earth makes some brief appearances.

The suspension of disbelief

Faster-than-light space travel exists. Portals, space gates held open by the Portal Masters, facilitate aliens coming and going all over space. Humanoid aliens have discovered Earth and currently protect it from incursions without our knowledge.

Some alien races have psi, which seems to be a sort of sixth psychic sense or talent. The Portal Masters have a particular kind of psi that makes them coveted by their guild. Additionally, people with psi have a single psi-mate: someone whose psionics can complement and bond to theirs. It’s a romantic/sexual type of bond.

Cover by Sweet 'n Spicy Designs

The time and place

Our future, post 23rd century. There’s action on a space port, spaceship, and a wild planet with breathable atmosphere.

The suspension of disbelief

Space travel exists! Also, the government has a secret cyborg program where they outfit people with BCIs and nanomachines and such. The other civilizations have Near-Humans and Not-Very-Near-Humans.

Cover by Stephen Bryant at SRB Productions

The time and place

About one thousand years from today. We’re given GDAT 3238 for the beginning of the book. Place is mostly the planet Concordance Prime, in the cosmopolitan city of Spires.

The suspension of disbelief

Humans have found FTL and colonized other planets. Some have manifested ‘minder talents’, which are essentially psychic powers. Those who have particularly strong talents are recruited by Citizen Protection Service (the transplanetary military).

Cover by Croco Designs

The time and place

Earth in our far future, as intimated by the title- it’s got all kinds of irradiated beasties and killer plants! The opening takes place on a jungle planet, Mazona V. There’s also some time aboard spaceships.

The suspension of disbelief

Nuclear war rendered Earth pretty much uninhabitable. The survivors escaped into space to found new colonies. Artifacts from Earth are considered valuable archaeological treasures.

Cover by Yasmin Khudari

The time and place

Planet Hestia (as named by our protagonist), a world that could be colonized by humans. I assume it's our future because "Terran Standard Years" and Earth are mentioned.

The suspension of disbelief

Humanity has traveled into space and set up colonies/space stations. When stars fall, they hear voices and experience life for a moment before they die.

The quick summary

Jyothi Agarwal left her love behind to work on a research team out in space, feeling she could help out humanity. The team determined the proto-colony was habitable, but war broke out before further preparations could be made. The others on the team returned home for war, taking their ship with them, and they haven't reported back. She's been alone on the station for nine years, making daily logs and surveying the land. One day, during her terrain survey, she finds an injured man on the barren planet. Where did he come from and what shall she do with him?

Cover by Croco Designs

The time and place

See the title. Lots of action happens on planet Lucifa, the Assassin's Guild base, but there's also some on a cowboy western planet and in space. As for time, unspecified, but in our far future.

The suspension of disbelief

Space travel exists. Long ago, people fled Earth after nuclear war, scattering its treasures and museum pieces everywhere. Those are now valuable. There are several humanoid races around, perhaps all descended from us. People live on both low and high-tech worlds.

I reviewed all the books I set out to from the raffle, plus some bonus Anna Hackett. Phew. I had several relatively uneventful weeks until my birthday, and then I slowed down a bit. Will I continue writing reviews? Yes, but at a slower pace.  Since I’m a member of Anna Hackett’s Launch Team, expect to see some more of that here. There are more authors I want to discover, and some authors I want to try something different by.

My taste in entertainment is not perfectly correlated to what I think is ‘good,’ nor does it dictate what I would recommend to others. I understand the desire for a quantitative score when reviewing material, but I don’t like giving one. To add to my difficulties, Amazon and Goodreads have different meanings for the same star ratings. I know that writing is difficult and I feel like I’m critiquing someone else’s child on the child’s personality. How can I be fair to writers and readers?

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