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Friday, 30 May 2014

Updated 2016-04-13


This post has been redacted because of personal conviction. I would appreciate if you say a prayer for me. 

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn - Greg Leitich Smith and Andrew Arnold

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn
Greg Leitich Smith (Author)
Andrew Arnold (Illustrator)
Roaring Brook Press
A division of Holtzbrinck Publishing
ISBN 9781596438354
ASIN B00H6EOJ78


With each new book published by Greg Leitich Smith I am more impressed with his writing. This book was a great fun story. It was humorous, entertaining and a little silly, but that being said it is a book kids will love. Greg is the author of the Chronal Engine and also the two books set at the Preshtigo School in Chicago: Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo and Tofu and T. Rex. This book set in Cocoa Beach in South Florida is a mash up of Beach culture, UFO enthusiast, and Space Flight fanatics around the Cape.

Aiden lives and works at his parent’s hotel on the Space Coast, the Mercury Inn. His best friend Louis also works at the hotel and is definitely a UFO enthusiast, who swears he saw a UFO two years ago during the accident in which he lost his leg. The Mercury Inn is known for throwing huge parties during any space launches. And Aiden and Louis have seen a lot of weird stuff working at the hotel but things have just got a whole lot weirder. An actual UFO appears during a scheduled space launch and caused life for all at the inn to get even crazier.

What young reader would not enjoy a story with aliens, UFO’s, government cover-up’s, weird scientists, exuberant media personalities, and a couple of guys just trying to figure out the lengths that friendships can go, especially if one of the new friends ends up being a little less than human. This book is a great entertaining read, humorous, quirky and full of surprises. So give it a try and see where Greg will take your imagination!

Books by Greg Leitich Smith:
Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo (2003)
Tofu and T. Rex (2005)

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (2014)

Chronal Engine Series:

Chronal Engine (2012)
Borrowed Time (2015)

With Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Santa Knows (2006)



Author Profile and Interview with Greg Leitich Smith


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Danger Guys - Tony Abbott - Danger Guys Book 1


Danger Guys
Danger Guys Book 1
Tony Abbott (Author)
Joanne L. Scribner (Illustrator)
Open Road Media
ISBN 9781480486317


I got a review copy of this book from NetGalley. And I enjoyed this book and think it will be a good series, but having read many of Tony Aboott's newer books I was surprised by the writing. I was looking for something a little more, I cannot really describe it better than that. I was looking for writing more consistent with his more recent works. The story here just seems a little soft. I did not realize it was a reprint of earlier works until I started to review it. It is a good story and will definitely entertain young readers. I can recommend it and know it will be enjoyed.

The book is the first adventure of Zeek Pilinsky and Noodle -  aka Henry Newton. They are excited because a new store is opening in the local mall "Danger Guy" with all the gear a guy could want for adventures or exploring. But before they even make it to the store opening then have a rough encounter with two big brutes, nicked named 'Mustache' and the other guy. Soon the friends realize they have ended up in a back of a truck not a back room at the supply store and their adventure really begins. They encounter famous explorers Mr. and Mrs. Emmerson and together they must save the day or be trapped in a lost temple forever.

The book comes in at 70 pages with a number of wonderful illustrations by Joanne L. Scribner. It is a fun story with a fast pace. It is a good early chapter book. So pick it up and join Zeek and Noodles on their first adventure and you will be sure to return for more.
 

Books By Tony Abbott:
Goofballs
1. The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder (2012)
2. The Startling Story of the Stolen Statue (2012)
3. Superhero Silliness (2012)
4. The Mysterious Talent Show Mystery (2013)

5. The Scary Story of the Ha-Ha-Haunted House (2013) 

Underworlds:
1. The Battle Begins (2012)
2. When Monsters Escape (2012)
3. Revenge of the Scorpion King (2013)
4. The Ice Dragon (2013)


Danger Guys
1. Danger Guys (1994)
2. Danger Guys Blast Off (1994)
3. Hollywood Halloween (1994)
4. Danger Guys Hit the Beach (1995)
5. Danger Guys on Ice (1995)
6. Danger Guys and the Golden Lizard (1996)

Time Surfers
1. Space Bingo (1996)
2. Orbit Wipeout! (1995)
3. Mondo Meltdown (1996)
4. Into the Zonk Zone! (1996)
5. Splash Crash (1997)
6. Zero Hour (1997)
7. Shock Wave (1997)
8. Doom Star (1997)

Weird Zone
1. Zombie Surf Commandos from Mars (1996)
2. The Incredible Shrinking Kid (1996)
3. The Beast from Beneath the Cafeteria! (1996)
4. Attack of the Alien Mole Invaders! (1996)
5. The Brain That Wouldn't Obey! (1996)
6. Gigantopus from Planet X! (1997)
7. Cosmic Boy Versus Mezmo Head! (1997)
8. Revenge of the Tiki Men! (1997)

Secrets of Droon
1. The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (1999)
2. Journey to the Volcano Palace (1999)
3. The Mysterious Island (1999)
4. City in the Clouds (1999)
5. The Great Ice Battle (1999)
6. The Sleeping Giant of Goll (2000)
7. Into the Land of the Lost (2000)
8. The Golden Wasp (2000)
9. Tower of the Elf King (2000)
10. Quest for the Queen (2000)
11. The Hawk Bandits of Tarkoom (2000)
12. Under the Serpent Sea (2001)
13. The Mask of Maliban (2001)
14. Voyage of the Jaffa Wind (2002)
15. The Moon Scroll (2002)
16. The Knights of Silversnow (2002)
Special Edition 1. The Magic Escapes (2002)
17. Dream Thief (2003)
18. Search for the Dragon Ship (2003)
19. The Coiled Viper (2003)
20. In The Ice Caves of Krog (2003)
21. Flight of the Genie (2003)
Special Edition 2. Wizard or Witch? (2004)
22. The Isle of Mists (2004)
23. The Fortress of the Treasure Queen (2004)
24. Race To Doobesh (2005)
25. The Riddle Of Zorfendorf Castle (2005)
Special Edition 3. Voyagers of the Silver Sand (2005)
26. The Moon Dragon (2006)
27. The Chariot of Queen Zara (2006)
28. In the Shadow of Goll (2006)
Special Edition 4. Sorcerer (2006)
29. Pirates of the Purple Dawn (2007)
30. Escape from Jabar-Loo (2007)
31. Queen of Shadowthorn (2007)
Special Edition 5. Moon Magic (2008)
32. Treasure of the Orkins (2008)
33. Flight of the Blue Serpent (2008)
34. In the City of Dreams (2009)
Special Edition 6. Crown of Wizards (2009)
35. The Lost Empire Of Koomba (2009)
36. Knights of the Ruby Wand (2010)
Special Edition 7. The Genie King (2010)
Special Edition 8. The Final Quest (2010)

Don't Touch That Remote
1. Sitcom School (1999)
2. The Fake Teacher (1999)
3. Stinky Business (announced, not published)
4. Freak Week (announced, not published)

Cracked Classics
1. Trapped in Transylvania: Dracula (2002)
2. Mississippi River Blues: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (2002)
3. What a Trip!: Around the World in Eighty Days (2002)
4. Humbug Holiday: A Christmas Carol (2002)


5. X Marks the Spot: Treasure Island (2003)
6. Crushing on a Capulet: Romeo and Juliet (2003)

Haunting of Derek Stone
1. City of the Dead (2009)
2. Bayou Dogs (2009)
3. The Red House (2009)
4. The Ghost Road (2009)



The Copernicus Legacy

The Forbidden Stone (2013)

The Serpent's Curse (2014


Novels
Kringle (2005)
Firegirl (2006)
The Postcard (2008)
Lunch-Box Dream (2011)

Author profile interview with Tony Abbott.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Updated 2016-04-13

This post has been redacted because of personal conviction. I would appreciate if you say a prayer for me. 

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. 
Amen.



Thursday, 15 May 2014

Peacemaker - Marianne de Pierres - Peacemaker Book 1

Peacemaker
Peacemaker #1
Marianne de Pierres
Angry Robot
ISBN 9780857664198


With the number of books I read it is seldom that a book or new author takes me completely by surprise. This was one of those books. The cover grabbed my attention, it looked like a mix of old school western, and classic science fiction. The story was even better than that. It reads like a cross between Robert A Heinlein and a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. From the first few pages I struggled to put the book down. It was an addictive read. This book contains great characters, awesome storyline and stunning attention to details.

The two main characters Virgin Jackson a local park ranger, and Nate Sixkiller a US Marshall that has been brought in and Virgin is not happy. With a murder in the park and an attempted kidnapping of Virgin the book starts at a quick pace and does not let down. The story set in Australia, Virgin's father lobbied for a preserve. But he also died in a way that Virgin does not believe the circumstances. With a cop trying to pin the first murder on her, Virgin must trust some friends for help and consult with criminal elements to get to the truth.

This was a great read. It was my first book by Marianne de Pierres and I can only say it will definitely not be the last.  

Books by Marianne de Pierres:
Peacemaker series:

Peacemaker
Mythmaker

Parrish Plessis series:
Nylon Angel
Code Noir
Crash Deluxe

Sentients of Orion series:
Dark Space
Chaos Space
Mirror Space
Transformation Space

Burn Bright YA series:
Burn Bright
Angel Arias
Shine Light

Other books:
Glitter Rose
Serious Sas and Messy Megda

Books as Marianne Delacourt:
Sharp Shooter
Sharp Turn
Stage Fright


 















Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Desecrator - Steven Brust - A Draegaran Empire Short Story

The Desecrator
A Draegaran Empire Short Story
Steven Brust (Author)
John Stanko (Illustrator)
TOR.com Original
ISBN 9781429994569
ASIN B004OA64IE


This is another TOR.com Original short story by Steven Brust. This one is part of the Draegaran series of stories. This story is set prior to the Vlad Taltos novels. There are three characters of focus in this story. First the story is told from the perspective of Telnan who is also known as Zungaron and is a Dzurlord, or more specifically as Zungaron Lavode but that is another story. We also encounter the Hawklord Daymar, fans of the Vlad series will appreciate the younger Daymar and his interactions with both Telnan and with our third player. And finally Nightslayer, a great sword and one of the seventeen Great weapons, Daymar wakes up Nighslayer. Telnal tries to negotiate with the weapon.

Readers of Brusts other works will recall Telnan an assassin we first met in Dzur. Daymar we have encountered a number of times and it always proves interesting. Telnar is here at the bidding of Sethra Lavode and the story is his recounting events to her. Daymar is here as a desecrator, he is performing an archeological dig of sorts on an abandoned Serioli dwelling.

It is a rather humerous story some some great dialogue. However if you are unfamiliar with the Dragaran empire, and other works of Brust it could turn you off. But I believe it has a strength and typical Brust appear that will be enjoyed by all who like a good yarn.


Books by Steven Brust:
Vlad Taltos Publishing Order:

Jhereg (1983)
Yendi (1984)
Teckla (1987)
Taltos (1988)
Phoenix (1990)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Dragon (1998)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Jhegaala (2008)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa (2011)

Hawk (2014)
Vallista (TBD)

Vlad Taltos: Chronological Order:
Taltos (1988)
Dragon, main chapters (1998)
Yendi (1984)
Dragon, interludes (1998)
Tiassa, section 1 (2011)
Jhereg (1983)
Teckla (1987)
Phoenix (1990)
Jhegaala (2008)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Tiassa, section 2 (2011)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa, section 3 (2011)
Hawk (2014)

The Khaavren Romances:
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Five Hundred Years After (1994)
The Viscount of Adrilankha, published in three volumes:
The Paths of the Dead (2002)
The Lord of Castle Black (2003)
Sethra Lavode (2004)

Other Books:
Brokedown Palace (1986)
To Reign in Hell (1984)
The Sun, the Moon & the Stars (1987)
Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille (1990)
Agyar (1993)
My Own Kind of Freedom (2008)

Co Written:
The Gypsy (1992) with Megan Lindholm
Freedom & Necessity (1997) with Emma Bull


Incrementalist (with Skyler White):
The Incrementalists
The Skill of our Hands

Incrementalist Short Stories
Fireworks in the Rain - Steven Brust


Strongest Conjuration - Skyler White

Short Stories:
An Act of Contrition - Liavek (1985)
An Act of Trust - Liavek: The Players of Luck (1986)
A Dream of Passion - in the convention chapbook for Ad Astra (1986)
An Act of Mercy - Liavek: Wizard's Row (1987, with Megan Lindholm)
An Act of Love - Liavek: Spells of Binding (1988, with Gregory Frost and Megan Lindholm)
Csucskári - Excerpt from The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: First Annual Collection (1988)
A Hot Night at Cheeky's - Liavek: Festival Week (1990)
Looking Forward: Excerpt from Athyra in Amazing Stories, March (1993)
Attention Shoppers - Xanadu (1993)
Abduction from the Harem - in Timewalker Issue 14 (October 1996)
Drift - Space Opera (1996)
Valóság and Élet - in Sandman: Book of Dreams (1996)
Calling Pittsburgh - in Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny (1998)
When the Bow Breaks - The Essential Bordertown (1998)
The Man From Shemhaza - in Thieves' World: Enemies of Fortune (2004), reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 5 (2005)
Klava with Honey - Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #4 (2005)
Chapter One - in Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #6 (2007)
The Desecrator - on tor.com (2011)
Fireworks in the Rain - on tor.com (2013)

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Fireworks in the Rain - Steven Brust - An Incrementalists Short Story

Fireworks in the Rain
An Incrementalists Short Story
Steven Brust (Author)
Wesley Allsbrook (Illustrator)
TOR.com Original
ISBN 9781466854642
ASIN B00ERQ73AI


I often read short stories associated with novels either after the novels or as they come out between. This particular story I purchased before realizing what it was. It is a short story set in the world of The Incrementalists. I must say I am very glad I picked it up. The story was so good that as soon as I finished it I purchased The Incrementalists and started reading it. Ren and Phil alternately tell their parts of the story in the novel. This is a separate story with Phil.

Ren is out of town and Phil must decide between playing poker or changing the world. As an incrementalist he has the ability to influence things, people, events. It is a hard decision when he wakes up alone, either continue making good money in side games at The World Series of Poker or do some good. Fuelled with coffee and take out he decides to try and do some good. To help some people and maybe make their lives a little easier, but like all meddle work it takes research, opportunity and very good execution.

If you have read The Incrementalists and liked it you will love this story, if you have not read it after reading this you will want to. If you are a fan of Brusts it is just one more example of his skill in the craft of weaving words, and maybe meddling with us a bit through the works of his pen. For the price of this short story is more than worth it!


Books by Steven Brust:
Vlad Taltos Publishing Order:

Jhereg (1983)
Yendi (1984)
Teckla (1987)
Taltos (1988)
Phoenix (1990)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Dragon (1998)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Jhegaala (2008)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa (2011)

Hawk (2014)
Vallista (TBD)

Vlad Taltos: Chronological Order:
Taltos (1988)
Dragon, main chapters (1998)
Yendi (1984)
Dragon, interludes (1998)
Tiassa, section 1 (2011)
Jhereg (1983)
Teckla (1987)
Phoenix (1990)
Jhegaala (2008)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Tiassa, section 2 (2011)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa, section 3 (2011)
Hawk (2014)

The Khaavren Romances:
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Five Hundred Years After (1994)
The Viscount of Adrilankha, published in three volumes:
The Paths of the Dead (2002)
The Lord of Castle Black (2003)
Sethra Lavode (2004)

Other Books:
Brokedown Palace (1986)
To Reign in Hell (1984)
The Sun, the Moon & the Stars (1987)
Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille (1990)
Agyar (1993)
My Own Kind of Freedom (2008)

Co Written:
The Gypsy (1992) with Megan Lindholm
Freedom & Necessity (1997) with Emma Bull


Incrementalist (with Skyler White):
The Incrementalists
The Skill of our Hands

Incrementalist Short Stories
Fireworks in the Rain - Steven Brust


Strongest Conjuration - Skyler White

Short Stories:
An Act of Contrition - Liavek (1985)
An Act of Trust - Liavek: The Players of Luck (1986)
A Dream of Passion - in the convention chapbook for Ad Astra (1986)
An Act of Mercy - Liavek: Wizard's Row (1987, with Megan Lindholm)
An Act of Love - Liavek: Spells of Binding (1988, with Gregory Frost and Megan Lindholm)
Csucskári - Excerpt from The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: First Annual Collection (1988)
A Hot Night at Cheeky's - Liavek: Festival Week (1990)
Looking Forward: Excerpt from Athyra in Amazing Stories, March (1993)
Attention Shoppers - Xanadu (1993)
Abduction from the Harem - in Timewalker Issue 14 (October 1996)
Drift - Space Opera (1996)
Valóság and Élet - in Sandman: Book of Dreams (1996)
Calling Pittsburgh - in Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny (1998)
When the Bow Breaks - The Essential Bordertown (1998)
The Man From Shemhaza - in Thieves' World: Enemies of Fortune (2004), reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 5 (2005)
Klava with Honey - Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #4 (2005)
Chapter One - in Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #6 (2007)
The Desecrator - on tor.com (2011)
Fireworks in the Rain - on tor.com (2013)


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Tiassa - Steven Brust - Vlad Taltos Book 13

Tiassa
Vlad Taltos Book 13
Steven Brust
TOR
ISBN 9780765312099
eISBN 9781429991742


This is the 13th novel directly in the Vlad Taltos series and when you include the Khaavren Romances and the short stories set in Dragaera there are over 20 works to date. I have been reading them since Jhereg came out in 1983 and still find them amazing stories to read. In fact Jhereg is the first book that I can recall purchasing for myself, and attribute it and Brust's writings for much of my love and enjoyment of reading. If you are not familiar with Vlad Taltos and his familiar Loiosh you are missing out on some great fun, a little bit of magic, weapons, weapons and more weapons, and an assassin with a wicked sense of humor and often a big heart. This book is written in three sections that spread across the most of the other novels and links it to characters from The Khaavren Romances. Every now and then a Vlad novel comes out that is so good, I end up going back and rereading the whole series, either in the order they were published or the Chronological order. This is one such book.

The stories in this volume focuses around a an ornate silver Tissa, "It is described as a tiny sculpture of a tiassa, all of silver, with sapphires for eyes." And also "-about the size of my palm, all of silver, except for the eyes, which appeared to be very tiny sapphires. The wings were thin, and filled with a multitude of tiny holes so the light shone through, and there were whiskers around the mouth." Yes it is a beautiful piece of artwork, it was crafted by the goddess Mafenyi and stolen by Devera, and from time to time Devera passes it on to someone who needs it for a specific purpose. It features in this story and in its history Vlad appears to be the only person who has possessed it twice. Other than Devera but she currently dances in and out of time, playing with this and that as the mood takes her.


The Second section takes place many years later. Vlad is on the run from the Jhereg. This story follows many characters but Vad is not directly involved. The Countess of Whitecress, wife to Khaavren and mother to the Viscount, and Cawti - Vlad's ex-wife and a certain hair to the throne. Again many things are not as they appear but the resolution and it's after effects are very surprising.

The third section is written by Paarfi within the story and told as a popular fiction. It follows Khaavren as both the Captain of the Phoenix Guard and leader of the Special Tasks Group. This story begins with Vlad being found nearly dead floating in the river and Khaavren must find out why, and why Vlad lied about how and where he sustained his injuries.

All in all it was a great story that filled in some pieces, tied together some different stories and characters and as always left us wanting more. Thankfully Hawk is due out soon.

Books by Steven Brust:
Vlad Taltos Publishing Order:

Jhereg (1983)
Yendi (1984)
Teckla (1987)
Taltos (1988)
Phoenix (1990)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Dragon (1998)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Jhegaala (2008)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa (2011)

Hawk (2014)
Vallista (TBD)

Vlad Taltos: Chronological Order:
Taltos (1988)
Dragon, main chapters (1998)
Yendi (1984)
Dragon, interludes (1998)
Tiassa, section 1 (2011)
Jhereg (1983)
Teckla (1987)
Phoenix (1990)
Jhegaala (2008)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Tiassa, section 2 (2011)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa, section 3 (2011)
Hawk (2014)

The Khaavren Romances:
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Five Hundred Years After (1994)
The Viscount of Adrilankha, published in three volumes:
The Paths of the Dead (2002)
The Lord of Castle Black (2003)
Sethra Lavode (2004)

Other Books:
Brokedown Palace (1986)
To Reign in Hell (1984)
The Sun, the Moon & the Stars (1987)
Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille (1990)
Agyar (1993)
My Own Kind of Freedom (2008)

Co Written:
The Gypsy (1992) with Megan Lindholm
Freedom & Necessity (1997) with Emma Bull


Incrementalist (with Skyler White):
The Incrementalists
The Skill of our Hands

Incrementalist Short Stories
Fireworks in the Rain - Steven Brust


Strongest Conjuration - Skyler White

Short Stories:
An Act of Contrition - Liavek (1985)
An Act of Trust - Liavek: The Players of Luck (1986)
A Dream of Passion - in the convention chapbook for Ad Astra (1986)
An Act of Mercy - Liavek: Wizard's Row (1987, with Megan Lindholm)
An Act of Love - Liavek: Spells of Binding (1988, with Gregory Frost and Megan Lindholm)
Csucskári - Excerpt from The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: First Annual Collection (1988)
A Hot Night at Cheeky's - Liavek: Festival Week (1990)
Looking Forward: Excerpt from Athyra in Amazing Stories, March (1993)
Attention Shoppers - Xanadu (1993)
Abduction from the Harem - in Timewalker Issue 14 (October 1996)
Drift - Space Opera (1996)
Valóság and Élet - in Sandman: Book of Dreams (1996)
Calling Pittsburgh - in Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny (1998)
When the Bow Breaks - The Essential Bordertown (1998)
The Man From Shemhaza - in Thieves' World: Enemies of Fortune (2004), reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 5 (2005)
Klava with Honey - Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #4 (2005)
Chapter One - in Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #6 (2007)
The Desecrator - on tor.com (2011)
Fireworks in the Rain - on tor.com (2013)