This week I will be presenting various best selling stories on the Smashwords site. They usually offer a 14-20 % download, so you can read the stories yourself and decide if you like them or not. Smashwords is a site for self published authors, and no publishing agencies are involved. After this series, every week I will add a new review on this page. Today I am reviewing:
SPINWARD FRINGE BROADCAST 8: RENEGADES
By Randolph Lalone
This story seemed a little like a cross between Star Trek and Star Wars. I felt the author was well versed in his knowledge of space technologies and systems. He spoke of rail guns that projected laser beams, fusion warheads, and faster than light travel. He did not explain how this was possible, but he did speak of hyperspace, which led me to believe that the ships worked on some type of warp
drive. He also spoke of an antimatter sled, which reminded me of the star wars sleds.
I liked the fact that some of the central characters were female, and that one of them was a commander of a starship. I thought the names of the ships, planets, and characters were interesting, but didn’t feel connected to any one particular person. Some of the characters were described extremely well, while others were only mentioned by name. I liked the description of the history of the three wars, but felt it had came a little late in the story. Most of all I liked the fact that the planet Tamber was very similar to my own created world of Ventros. Literally, I found only a couple of misspellings, and the grammar was very good.
I believe that one of the reasons I felt disconnected to this story is because it is part of a series and I have not read the previous installments of it. All in all, I found it a fairly interesting story and somewhat believable. The suspense dragged a little in the first 2 or 3 chapters, but got better as it progressed. If I read the previous books, I might be enticed to read further. Join me tomorrow, for my next review.
The Celaran Ruins
By Michael McCloskey
I thought this was a well crafted and riveting story about androids, humans, and aliens working towards the better good of the galaxy. I liked that it took place within our own galaxy, and mentioned the Sol system, which is our own. I didn’t know if this was a stand alone story or part of a series, but it didn’t matter because the story was interesting and easy to follow.
There was spontaneous conversation among the characters, and it seemed real and convincing. I liked the main characters, especially Telissa, (again women as central characters) who was either an android or human cyborg connected through computer banks, I couldn’t decide which.
The technical aspects of the story were well contrived and right on target with current and future technology. I especially like their Training Scenario Generator, which simulated battle with neurolinks that made everything seem as real as if you were there, shades of AVATAR, or Star Trek’s holladeck. Even though he used a lot of abbreviations, he explained every one of them. I will probably read the rest of this one-it was very good!
CHILDREN OF A DOOMED SUN
By David Jones
Although the cover looks cartoonish and amateur, I liked this men in black, government cover up story, lending to the phrase that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I found it interesting and clever, and a well crafted extraterrestrial meets mankind tale.
I loved the way his descriptions of characters were interwoven within the story, and the flow of suspense was entertaining. I felt that I knew them well, especially Quinn and his father. I did feel, however, that the football sequence at the beginning was a bit dragged out, and the only purpose for it was to establish Qinn’s love for the sport.
When Quinn and his father meet the military men involved, I felt that he gave in too easily to them, considering the fact they wanted his whole family to go with them. If that were my family, I would have told them, “I’ll go, but they’re not going anywhere!” But they did want his son, Quinn. It also surprised me that his father allowed him to talk to son without asking why he wanted to talk to him specifically.
All in all, I thought it is an interesting piece of science fiction. I didn’t read the whole story, and didn’t get to the point of why the alien race wanted to start an exchange program with the earthling kids, but the plot is established early in the book, and that’s a plus in my book! I will definitely read this one further.
STRONG ARMED TACTICS
By Jody Lynn Nye
I picked this one for several reasons. One it has an interesting fifties science fiction type cover, it is a battle story, and it is a stand alone book and not part of a series.
I found the characters varied and interesting, from insect like beings to cat like beings, and humans besides. I was especially attracted to the insect type creature in the story, because the similarity in my story and this one as well. It also had a character named David Wolfe, who bares an interesting resemblance
to one of my characters(purely coincidental). The genre is full of military type stories, and it takes a lot to come up with characters that are truly unique, especially aliens.
The technical aspects of the story I again found dead-on. This women knows her science, and did her research, which is essential in good science fiction. But it really comes down to the plot of the story-was it good?
I thought it was a good plot, but it took a while to actually progress in the action. The description was very detailed, and the first chapter was merely a prologue after the prologue, but it is essential to the plot. This Guardians of the Galaxy type story is definitely worth reading further.
Chronicles of Atlantis(Omnibus Version)
By Michael McClain
This story is a good one to end this series. It’s about an underwater alien base that has been there for 2000 years, that’s suddenly reactivated by an explosion on the surface. I liked the fact that this base is associated with the ancient alien idea, and Atlantis.
I thought the plot was suspenseful right from start, and although it is a long one(900 plus pages), it seems like a very interesting book. There were several features that made this one unique-the idea of an underwater base, an android referred to as an AI(Artificial Intelligence), a creature with three arms, and a creature similar to an ewok, named Oojoung. I loved the description of his people and his history. The characters were well defined, believable, and non confusing.
The technical aspects of the story were also very impressive, especially his description of the operation of the reactors. I thought this tale was very well crafted, maybe even better than the previous stories I have reviewed. I will definitely have to read this one further. It was definitely the best one out of the pick thus far.
Please join me Monday for a brand new series: Genetic research and Cloning, where I will discuss how doctors and scientists have taken this basic field into a whole new direction. See you then!