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Showing Tag: "sci-fi" (Show all posts)

"Gobbledy" by Lis Anna-Langston

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, October 25, 2020, In : Book Reviews 

This is an enjoyable, nicely written kids’ book for, I guess, the middle school, pre-teen age group – it also has some wonderful illustrations.  Lis writes well in the first-person viewpoint of a young boy who finds and befriends a cute little alien.  It is easy to see why this lovely author has received the plaudits she has for her children’s writing – she certainly deserves them.

With more than a touch of E.T. about the story, it is good, naïve and harmless fun, with a little susp...


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"Sinai Unhinged" by Joanna Evans

Posted by Margaret Walker on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


Something horrifying is happening at the Particle Physics Research and Development Complex in North Carolina. Three physicists working on a sub-atomic particle accelerator known as the Destabilizer, have become psychotic and two of them have died. Alex, the daughter of physicist Jonas Kraig, cannot forget her father’s words, “Events will unfold that will rock the heart of man.”

Part psychological thriller, part sci-fi, part action novel, Sinai Unhinged by Joanna P. Evans has been ver...


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"Justice Without Mercy" by R.L. Burgess

Posted by Margaret Walker on Friday, August 14, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


Questions of love and morality feature prominently in this dystopian thriller, in a city where the National Eugenics Centre receives praise for engineering a human with perfect emotional restraint, couples face Reconditioning Therapy for falling in love, and a mysterious terrorist named Zac Zevalon seems hell bent on the destruction of state property. The Liberalists have won power over the Purists, and their agent Mercy is an Enforcer, a genetically modified female working with the State Sec...


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"Lucifer's Star" by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, In : Book Reviews 

This interesting and exciting thriller is pure sci-fi, and certainly seems to be Phipps’s forte.  It is gripping, has a good storyline, infused with just the right amount of darkness and a large stroke of light-hearted character interaction.  A simple tale, about a noble-blood galactic pilot turned freedom fighter when his world surrenders to the galaxy’s ultimate power, who finds himself fighting alongside his enemies years later.  Whilst not an unfamiliar story, of course, this book is ...


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"The Perfection of Fish" by J.S. Morrison

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


I must confess to struggling with this book somewhat.  With an ensemble cast of characters, and different strands of a connected storyline, I admit that I spent much of the read lost and trying to play catch-up.  I saw it through, of course, because I was keen to see where this otherwise intriguing, dark, absurd and occasionally disturbing tale was leading.  It is, in fact, a very clever, if simple overall story, in which two misogynistic zealots set out to genetically create a subservient gl...


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"Lying Beneath" by Kevin Moran

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Friday, May 15, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


This sci-fi mystery thriller from Kevin Moran has all the feel of a Young Adult book about it, though I suspect the main characters are slightly older than that, primarily because of the nature of their relationship, and the fact that one of them has a military background.  It is pretty interesting and entertaining book, and though not particularly outstanding in any way, I do like this author’s articulate and engaging writing style; he had me hooked, and I read the whole thing over the spa...


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"Think. Laugh. Cry in 100 Pages" by William Baga

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, In : Book Reviews 

William says in the preface to this little gem that he adheres to no particular format or type when he writes, and that is absolutely true of what follows.  Quirky, punchy and interesting, the three very short tales in this book are simply the author’s imagination poured onto the page.  That’s not to say that he isn’t a particularly professional author – he is, and a very good one, to boot – he just chooses not to form his work into the moulds of the usual expectations and conventio...


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"Raven" by Sue Loh

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, April 26, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


Easy reading and inoffensive in any respect, this YA tale is no more or less than a modern-day, tech-arena Famous Five-style mystery, about an elite, teenage group of cyber-security gurus who investigate when their employer’s biggest client is targeted by an ominous, highly sophisticated hacker.  Whilst this may not sound like the most dramatic or action-packed storyline, it actually gets pretty exciting, and gripping, too.  Sue Loh clearly knows her subject, and is obviously something of a...


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"Monsters Inside" by Ric Rae

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, March 15, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


How to describe this book?  Absurd, depraved, dark, gritty, bonkers and at times utterly delicious.  For the most part, though, it is crude, grotesque and unpleasant.  Not that those qualities are enough to put me off or mar my enjoyment of a book in any way (and I do enjoy my horror); though, I do think it is fair to say that sci-fi-horror hybrid Monsters Inside was not really my cup of tea.

This graphic and bizarre novella, told from a multi-person viewpoint, is definitely a book which wil...


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"Red Hail" by Jamie Killen

Posted by Margaret Walker on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


Galina, Arizona 1960. A town of economic hardship and racial tension experiences a mysterious storm of red hail, and out upon the mesa three children are spoken to by beings they can’t describe. Then follow four stages of an illness so inexplicable that even the local wildlife is affected.  But is the problem physical, spiritual, or something else entirely? Researchers in both 1960 and 2020 try to explain it as magic, curses, fungus, infections, illness, psychology, and finally aliens.But b...


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"World Football Domination - Volume 1: The Virtual Talent Scout" by Anthony Ranieri

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Saturday, September 7, 2019, In : Book Reviews 


Anthony Ranieri is a lovely author, incredibly eloquent, eager and inoffensive.  Furthermore, it is so refreshing to read a book set in the future, which focuses more on the sci-fi than on burdening its reader with doom and dystopia, its characters happy and ambitious.  The final product is a short novella about the use of technology in the business of football, set in the year 2050.

Ranieri is undoubtedly a passionate and well-experienced football fan and professional, and this shows in the...


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"Voice Of The Sword" by John Paul Catton

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, August 19, 2019, In : Book Reviews 



Not sure quite what to make of this book by John Paul Catton.  Whilst on the one hand it is an extremely knowledgeable and well-researched work into ancient Japanese history and mythology, on the other, the huge YA aspect of this book overpowers it in many ways.  Targeted very firmly at a teenage audience, I feel that the characters are too adolescent to appeal to anybody much older.  Yet, at the same time, Catton is clearly a mature author with an in-depth understanding of Japan, presumably ...


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"We Have Met The Enemy" by Felicia Watson

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, July 15, 2019, In : Book Reviews 




Although set in the 31st century, I think it is fair to say that the science fiction element of “We Have Met The Enemy” seems somewhat incidental, as this book relies so heavily on its soapy backstory, there could really have been anything going on in real time, and the outcome would have probably been the same. 

Indeed, whilst Felicia actually has a really good sci-fi imagination, the genre does not appear to be the primary objective of her writing.  Rather, family melodrama is the most...


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"Dart" by Dale Renton

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, In : Book Reviews 


At first sight this sci-fi action fantasy hybrid seems to be similar to many others, but in reality it is quite a distance better than the average.  Set on a  terraformed planet, 600 years from now, “Dart” has not only the very current cautionary messages about the environment and the fears of mass migration, it also handles, rather intelligently, the growing concerns about potential dangers of A.I. in future, taking a more “HAL” approach to it, than “Terminator”.  That doesn’t ...


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"THE TRANSLUCENT BOY AND THE CAT WHO RAN OUT OF TIME" by Tom Hoffman

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, In : Book Reviews 

I was sent this book as a free review copy, and as I read – because I tend not to read blurb before my review reads – it became immediately clear that this was the second in a series.  Because I had also not read the first instalment, this fact did give me a few problems, in terms of context, setting and character backstory; I had to piece much of this together myself.  There were even aspects – such as the era in which it is set – which I didn’t realize until right near the end; fo...


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"GNOSIS" BY RICK HALL

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, April 29, 2019, In : Book Reviews 


“Gnosis” is generally entertaining and well-written by Rick Hall, even if, for my tastes, there aren’t things about it which particularly stand out.  It falls very firmly in the young-adult / sci-fi / fantasy camp and features all the usual formulaic elements of this contemporary cross-genre: the resourceful but unwitting teen heroine, with psychic abilities bordering on superpowers and shady government figures in pursuit, to either kill her or harness her ability.  The author himself, ...


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"BUY OR DIE" by Theodor Ventskevitch

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, In : Book Reviews 

In this obscure, yet wonderfully poetic metaphor, Theodor’s writing is artistic, warm and endearing, despite “Buy or Die”s darkly comic, somewhat disturbing subject.  Although the author’s English is perfectly crafted, I suspect much of the true prose has been lost a little in translation.  Yet, even in the resulting form it has an attractive, creative voice all of its own, and once I was able to level with his dry wit and surreal depiction, I started to enjoy reading it.

Set in a fr...


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"DIE BACK" by Richard Hacker

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Thursday, February 7, 2019, In : Book Reviews 


Nicely written by a good quality, professional author, this fantasy is more a time-travelling actioner, which is exciting and engaging.  Richard Hacker has a good knowledge of history, and has done his research very well, but, gladly, doesn’t overplay it – the focus of this book is the formula, with its 3 acts, its heroes, love interest and a ruthless super-villain, who craves no less than total domination of the space-time continuum. 

The story is a good, interesting one; the ability o...


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"ENDOHUMAN: LOVE vs. DUTY" BY NICK DREAM

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, In : Book Reviews 



“Endohuman Part One...” is a very strange book to review, in that it unexpectedly crosses genres in several respects. While this is ordinarily something I very much like to see, and the author deserves huge respect for constructing this imaginative story, I finished it with mixed feelings.

The writing was very good, and I was enjoying the book a great deal, in spite of the fact that up to a point, pretty much half way, in fact, it seems your average YA fantasy, with all the usual elements:...


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The Empress and the Arctic Tern by Angie Chasser
***
Fantasy

Pelham on Parole by Carl Plummer
***
Comedy

My Life For Her by Robert J. Saniscalchi
****
Action Thriller

Sinai Unhinged by Joanna Evans
****
Science Fiction

Ralley Point by Daniel Bishop
****
Family Drama

Twelve Spies of Moses by Bruce Hampson
*****
Historical Fiction

Burn Me Out by Brandon Barrows
****½
Crime Thriller

Control: The Foundation of Life by Lance Packer
****
Reference

Misery of a Halfling by Serge Sanin
***
Comedy

The Iron Lady by Daniel Fellows
****
Thriller

Death Unexpected by Galen Barbour
****
Medical Thriller

All the Bay's Clams and All the Bay's Men by John Bauer
****
Drama

The Interesting Detective by David Alexander Brown
***
Mystery

Woods by J. Rodin
***
Mystery

Money Bags by Michael G. Browne
***
Comedy-Thriller

Strange Karma by Willow Healy
***½
Thriller

Hinterland by Lorna Brown
****
Drama

Justice Without Mercy by R.L. Burgess
***½
Sci-fi

Restless by Jedidiah Appiah
*****
Faith / Motivation

Ultra Betrayal by Glenn Dyer
****
Espionage

IHVJ: The Love Code by Foster Grant
*****
Thriller

Revenge is Coming by Glyn Haynie
*****
Action Thriller

Why is Everything Closed? by Lauren Patterson
****
Children's

The Lightning Horse by N.L. Holmes
****
Historical Fiction

Nobody Would Listen by R.A. Merrill
*****
Autobiography

The Liminal Lands by Robyn Sheldon
****
Spiritual Memoir

Thryke by Simon Gary
*****
Comedy

Reborn by T.M. Parris
****
Spy Thriller

Lucifer's Star by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus
***½
Sci-fi

A Prince Who Destroyed My Life by Asia Jamil
*****
Non-Fiction

Straight Outta Fangton by C.T. Phipps
***
Action/Comedy

Killer Instincts by Anna Lee Rose
***
Romance/Thriller

The Surgeon's Obol by Arthur Williams
****
Comedy/Medical

The Perfection of Fish by J.S. Morrison
***
Comedy/Offbeat

Bird in a Snare by N.L. Holmes
****
Historical Fiction

as Maryam's Tree Stood Witness by Ali Kasem
*****
Family Drama

A Sparrow Alone by Mim Eichmann
****
Historical Fiction

Suicide Squeeze by Steve Hagood
****
Action

Dr. Insomniac by Samatha Polisetti
****
Memoir

The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy
****½
Mystery

Lying Beneath by Kevin Moran
***
Mystery Thriller

A Nation Interrupted by Kevin McDonald
*****
Thriller

The Best Week that Never Happened by Dallas Woodburn
****
Romance

The Dead Don't Sleep by Steven Max Russo
***½
Action

Think Laugh Cry by William Baga
****
Short Stories

The Shepherd God by Matt Taylor
*****
Historical Fiction

On the Wrong Side of God by Harry Boyd
****½
Non-fiction

Servant Leader's Manifesto by Omar L. Harris
*****
Business

Photography for Well-Being 1 by Lee Aspland
****
Photography

The Corral Ring by Thomas Richards
*****
Historical Fantasy

Call Numbers by Syntell Smith
***
Drama

No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners by Joe Palermo
***
Memoir

Raven by Sue Loh
****
Mystery

Not Pregnant by Karina Savaryna
*****
Memoir

How to Get the Best From Life by Luis Pisoni and Aurora Mazzoldi
***
Self-Help

Hotel Inspire by Douglas Warren
***
Drama

Return to the Madness by Glyn Haynie
*****
War / Action

The Final Weekend by Neal Cassidy
***
Comedy

Ivy is a Weed by Robert M. Roseth
****
Crime Thriller

Resilience During the Pandemic by Nick Arnett
*****
Motivational

Will and Mysteria by Christa Reynolds
****
Self-Help/Spiritual

The Power of Music and the ADHD Brain by Luz Galindo
****
Psychology

The Latecomers by Rich Marcello
***
Drama

Monsters Inside by Ric Rae
***
Sci-fi / Horror

Butterfly Lake by Robert J. Saniscalchi
****
Action

Our Teenage Years by T.J. Wray
****
Memoir

The Soloist by Donald Gates
****
Espionage

Lady Father by Rev. Susan Bowman
****
Memoir

Catamaran Crossing by Douglas Carl Fricke
*****
Memoir

Black Shade of White Justice by Cattleya
****
Fantasy/Romance

The Strawberry Road by Ritch Gaiti
****
Spiritual

Red Hail by Jamie Killen
****
Sci-fi/Mystery

Bullets and Bandages by Robert J. Saniscalchi
*****
War Fiction

Who's There? by Dimas Rio
*****
Short Stories

Beautiful Things by Eloise Kelly
****
Drama

Golgotha by Guy Portman
****
Dark Comedy

I Learned it From You by Kevin Douglas Wright
*****
Documentary

Boulder County by Marc Krulewitch
*****
Crime Drama

Stronger than Blood by Allan Mason
***½
Sci-fi

Bottomless Cups by Joel Bresler
***
Comedy

Non Obvious Megatrends by Rohit Bhargava
****
Non-Fiction

From Doctor to Guinea Pig by Angelique D.
*****
Biography

Freedom's Light by Robert J. Saniscalchi
****
Action Thriller

Bucket Showers and Baby Goats by Christine Brown
****
Travel Memoir

Four Calling Burds by Vincent Meis
****
LGBTQ / Drama

Promises to the Fallen by Glyn Haynie
*****
War Fiction

An Unwanted and Unwilling Hero by E. Gourm
****
Historical Fantasy

The Girl in the Scarlet Chair by Janice TRemayne
****
Paranormal / YA

Freedom Sex and a Meat Cleaver by Sherman Miles
*****
Travel Memoir

Freedom Sex and a Meat Cleaver by Sherman Miles
****
Historical Fiction

The Intelligence Factor by Mike Logsdon
***
Sci Fi / Action

The Apple by Devashish Sardana
****
Action / Adventure

Destiny's War by Pyram King
****
Historical Fiction

Black Volta by PEte K.J.
****
Drama

Payback by Steve Bassett
***
Noir Fiction

Were We Awake by L.M. Brown
****
Short Stories

Almost Persuaded by Nigel C. Ferguson
****
Crime Thriller

Do We Have A Center by Walter Frank
*****
Politics

World Football Domination
****
Sci-Fi

Sour Blood
***
Crime Thriller

Beware of the Thought Bubbles
*****
Children's

Beyond The Prison Of Beliefs
****
Science/Religion

Rocky Mountain Noir
***
Comedy

Rocky Mountain Noir
***
Science Fiction

Foster Care To Millionaire
****
Memoir

Flow Like A River
*****
Thriller

Secrets To Being Amazing
****
Self-Help

13 Dark Tales: Collection Two
****
Short Stories

The Wooden Man
*****
Children's

Count It All Joy
*****
Drama

Myth Agent
****
Fantasy

Voice of the Sword
***
Fantasy

No Quarter: Dominium
***
Adventure

A Trinity of Wicked Tales
****
Horror


****
Short Stories

The Day I Made Good
****
Crime Drama

Complete Poetry of Norman AJ Berisford
*****
Poetry

Chuck the Rooster Loses His Voice
*****
Children's

Living Blind Without the Internet
****
Documentary

Devil in the Countryside
****
Historical Thriller

Monoland: Into the Gray Horizon
****
Fantasy

Corrosive
****
Horror

Woodiss is Willing
***
Comedy

The Fear
***
Horror

Superi: Reborn
*****
Fantasy

Murder in the Medical Center
***
Drama

The Eye of Nefertiti
****
Children's

Not Exactly Shakespeare
****
Comedy

Finding the Narrow Path
****
Biography

The Wyndham Werewolf
****
Short Stories

Only Human
***
Supernatural

What is Justice
**
Documentary

The Rat Tunnels of Isfahan
****
Historical Fantasy

I Once Was Lost But Now I'm Found
*****
Documentary

Never Too Late To Die
***½
Thriller

Understanding the Patterns of Your Life
***
Non-Fiction

Happiness is Just a Pill Away
*****
Comedy-Drama

The Lucky Winner
***
Crime Thriller

Endohuman
***
Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Tummy Rumble Quake
****
Children's

Monoland: The Shimmering Mist
****
Fantasy

Goodbye Butterfiles
*****
Psychology

Treading the Uneven Road
****
Short Stories

The Cuckoo Colloquium
****
Comedy

When I Turned Nineteen
*****
War Memoir

Fortuna and the Scapegrace
****
Comedy

Gnosis
***
Young Adult

Buy or Die
***
Satire

Faithful Servants
****
Drama

Ghost Dog
***
Crime Adventure

Looper
****
Drama

The Sinister Urge
**
Drama

Read to Succeed
*****
Self Improvement

Gone to the Dogs
*****
Comedy-Drama

Die Back
****
Fantasy

Finding My Platoon Brothers
*****
War Memoir

Delivering Virtue
****
Comedy

The Room Above
***
Fantasy

Written By Blood: Conviction
****
Action

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder
****
Poetry

I Have Demons
****
Short Stories

Victoria's Voice
****
Real Life

The Revolutionary Youth
*****
Drama

The Dog Thief
*****
Short Stories

Appointment With Fear
*****
Children's

Mermaids Are Real
***
Fantasy

Legends of Persia
***
Historical Fiction

My Groans Pour Out Like Water
*****
Poetry

47 Hours
*****
Political Thriller

The Road to Alexander
***
Historical Fiction

Father Divine's Bikes
****
Drama

Winning With Data
*****
Business

Aquila
****
Historical Fiction

Lions, Leopards and Storms, oh my!
***
Children's

Sparrowhawk on the Horizon
***
Historical Fiction

The Warehouse Tour
***
Short Stories

Feast of Sapphires
****
Poetry

The Night Alphabet
*****
Short Stories

Just Another Girl's Story
***
Autobiography

No-one Listens
***
Poetry

The Irregular Inquests of Professor Peppercorn by Brennan McMahon
****
Poetry

Malthus Revisited
***
Suspense/Thriller

My Weight Loss Journey
****
Self-Help

Change of Chaos
****
YA / Fantasy

Fish Farm
****
Thriller

Songs to New York
****
Short Stories

I Claudia
*****
Historical Fiction

God: Challenges From Philosphy and Science
****
Philosophy

The Friar's Lantern
*****
Role Play

Crazy About Kurt
****
Comedy

Dark Cure
****
Action

Translucent Boy
***
Sci-Fi Fantasy

Dart by Dale Renton
****
Sci-fi Fantasy

Monoland: Beyond the Monochrome
*****
Fantasy

Choose a Reality by Emmanuel Morfoboss
***
Self-Help

Wacky on the Junk by Kathy Varner
****
Memoir

The Eden Complex by Elise Leise
***½
Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Tomthunkit's Theory of the Universe
***
Political / Non-fiction

Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive by Joe Montaperto
****
Comedy/Memoir

Turning on the Christmas Lights by Nellie Woods
****
Short Stories

The Body in the Hole by Jonathan B. Zeitlin
****
Crime / Mystery

A Heart on the River by John Bauer
****
Comedy Drama

Let Yourself Be by CJ Lacsican
****
Memoir / Self-Help

Island Boy by Mark Bulahao
****
Drama

The Resurrection of Boraichee by William Natale
***
Comedy-Drama

Vanish by Dawn by J.D. Wells
****
Comedy-Drama

Gobbledy by Lis Anna-Langston
****
Children's

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GUEST REVIEWER:
Profession: 
Casual teacher; Special Education. 
Qualifications:  
Science degree, Diplomas in Education and Professional Communication. Edited Masters Athletics magazine for three years. 
MARGARET WALKER
Publications:  
One novel, His Most Italian City, published by Penmore Press and half a dozen published short stories.
Author Matt McAvoy
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