Wraith (Debt Collector #10) 

by Susan Kaye Quinn

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Wraith (Debt Collector #10)
Wraith by Susan Kaye Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story, as short as it is, remains exciting. This book is very much about establishing Wraith, who she is. I give it three stars for some “internal-editor” reason I may remember to mention, but I do recommend the season and all the books in it as I’ve grown to respect Susan Kay Quinn as a person trying to do some remarkable things with her writing. I do pray I will write something about this at length at some future time.

This second season likely will be about Wraith’s “growth”, if my editor-critique-gut is working. This “Season” will be about Wraith going from being a mainly naive debt collector to accepting the reality of actual “good guy” debt collectors (as far as such a thing can be imagined). While Wraith will have some exceptional qualities, the events will shape her from one barely surviving situation until the next until she finally “gets it”- and my great hope is that Susan Kaye Quinn allows her to survive the entire season. I do know for a fact that Mr. Quinn does have the writer’s courage to make remarkable literary decisions, even as monumental as killing off primary characters.

I would like to mention differences from Debt Collector Season One and Season Two. Season one was about Lirium, a “government” worker “life debt collector” doing legitimate “government” — work that must have been a foresight written into Obama-care or the UK health system. BTW, he makes a cameo appearance in this story.

Wraith, is the “new” debt collector who is the focus in this season. Wraith is a wealthy individual who has debt collecting abilities but is more like a Bruce Wayne doing Batman’s work in the “debt collecting” realm, with an Alfred Pennyworth type character called Mirial who has the private invention-creating life of Q, James Bond 007’s “gadget creator”. I think Ms. Quinn is going with a “Robin Hood” theme from the flavor of this first story in Debt Collector, Season Two.

I look forward to the exciting adventures of this new season. Sadly, the reviews will come slowly as I’ve decided I need to read some classics I’ve neglected for decades and which no person should die without having read them. So I believe I’ll give those books a higher priority these first few months of the year.

Read 1/1/19, Reviewed 1/6/19

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Back to War

by C. G. Cooper

The young man was five feet away and had a look on his face that Shorty wasn’t expecting. Shorty thought the young man would be scared shitless. Instead, his pursuer looked stone cold determined without the smallest trace of fear. What the…? Shorty thought.

Back to War (Corps Justice, #1)Back to War by C.G. Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Explicit LanguageBack to War is the title of a book about Cal Stokes, a recent honorably discharged Staff Sergeant in the Marines who had been awarded the Navy Cross. Engaged to his beloved Jessica they were attacked while on a date by a local gang.It was an initiation for a new member of the gang and was otherwise meaningless.

The gang intended to do some harm, but not kill the couple. Beating the guy was definitely in the plan, what they would do to the girl wasn’t clear. The gang initiate, “Shorty” was armed with a knife and a mallet. The attack was well planned. Cal and Jessica were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

When the gang member grabbed Jessica and dragged her into the alley, Cal was instantly “Back at War”. The other gang members moved in and blocked the alley so “Shorty” could do some damage to the pursing Cal. Dante West, the gang leader was already in the alley to evaluate the new recruit in action. Continue reading “Back to War”

Mind of My Mind

by Octavia Butler

Mind of My Mind (Patternmaster, #2)Mind of My Mind by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is number 2 in the Patternmaster series by Octavia Butler, one of the best all time of Speculative Fiction writers. So what do you say about book 2 in a series that would not be a spoiler?

I gave it 4 stars, probably deserves 5. I recommend it.

The first two books has “Doro” as a primary character and a variety of people are co-primary as you progress through these 2 books (Wild Seed & Mind of My Mind). It is relative to who is the focus of Doro at any given time. Oddly, the person who is the focus of Doro is usually the viewpoint character and the events of the plot are in relation to Doro. While I call Doro “the primary character”, he is definitely the antagonist.

Anyanwu was largely the main character in Wild Seed, and without spoilers I can say, she was very interesting to me. I was able to relate to her and feel like I understood how she felt or why she did the things she did.

Anyanwu is in Mind of My Mind as a very minor character, the focus is now on Mary. The book opens as Doro arrives to find one of his favorite projects, “Mary” bruised and beaten, in bed naked at age 3. Her mother Rina, is drunk and with a bum of guy. Doro arranges to move Rina and Mary next door to Emma (One of Doro’s favored from Wild Seed).

Octavia doesn’t spend a lot of time on the miserable life of Mary growing up, but it is easily imagined. Next scene with Mary, she is 17, nearly kills one of Rina’s John’s and leaves, takes a bus to Los Angeles. There she goes on a stealing spree (which Doro has forbidden).

Looking at my notes of the beginning of the book, then at the end, I see a massive transition of “Mary”, but reading it, the changes happen so gradually and naturally I barely noticed. So often protagonist type characters have an epiphany then a sudden change. I didn’t notice this until I started writing the review.

If you’ve not read the Patternmaster series, start with Wild Seed. You start thinking Anyanwu is the main character, and she is, but Doro shows up and from there forward near everything about Anyanwu is relative to Doro. In Mind of My Mind, even when Doro is not “on stage” you can feel his influence with what ever is going on.

I think it is safe to say that Doro is the antagonist and the primary characters, Anyanwu in Wild Seed, and Mary in Mind of My Mind are the protagonist. With great writers like Octavia Butler, her characters are real, and complex enough that saying “good vs bad” is possible but you’d have to add that phrase that is popular today, “It’s complicated”.

To those who have read the whole series. I have a question. Octavia hated Survivor, forbid it being reissued, and obtaining a copy isn’t the easiest thing… but I have it. It is supposed to be the 3rd book in the Patternmaster series, but in newer Omnibus editions of the series, Survivor is “gone”. My question to those who know… should I read Survivor?

These days, a large portion of my reading any book is in audiobook form. Survivor, I do not have an audiobook so it isn’t one I can “listen to” while doing other mindless tasks. Your comment or recommendation is appreciated.

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Suck My Cosmos

by Steven Campbell

I did not consider myself a great lover. In fact, epic poems had been composed about how bad at intercourse I was.

I knew my strengths and I knew myweaknesses. I prided myself on that.

When I spent the night with Malla, it was clear something was wrong based on my prowess in the bedroom. Throwing around cars, sprinting across the city screaming, that was nothing compared to my acrobatics and stamina in bed that night. I started to believe that Malla had been sorely regretful about seducing me.

Stephen_Campbel_Suck_comboIts_the_best_Skm_CosSuck My Cosmos by Steven Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars. Recommend to Sci Fi Humor fans. I believe everyone would enjoy Steven Campbell’s wonderful creation “Hank” and the wonderful sense of humor that comes from Hank’s point of view.

Suck_My_Cosmos_Rate_ChartFolks who make honest attempts to review a “later” book in a series of books and do not want to include spoilers are stuck with saying little more than, “Wow, this is another good Hank book.” There’s little to say that won’t spoil it for other Hank fans. It’s pretty much “more of the same” but different, like Steven Campbell has proven he can do expertly.
Continue reading “Suck My Cosmos”

Behemoth

by Scott Westerfeld

Alek clenched his fists. “I can’t do this without you! Not any of it!”

“I’m afraid you must.” Volger saluted with his saber. “Good-bye, Alek. Make your father proud.”

But my father is dead … and you’re not.

BehemothI_get_it_BehemothScott_WesterfeldBehemoth, by Scott Westerfeld
Book 2 of the Leviathan Trilogy
Rating 3 of 5 Stars

I like it. It’s a young adult fantasy of an alternate world war one history.

It is evident Mr. Westerfeld did a great deal of research into the “story” or “trilogy” if you like. I would be critical of “historical” parallels in this story but it would be like debating if Superman is from Krypton. It’s an imaginary alternate history. Mr. Westerfeld has based some of his story on some of the popular beliefs about world war one. In that way I recommend this to young people more than I might otherwise. Perhaps it may spur some youngster to investigate the real facts of history.Behemoth_Rating_Chart

I dread the fact our current actual “history” is too often transformed into fictional stories presented as true as the fictional histories of Dune, The World of Tiers, or Ringworld. So it is at this point I pray all young people ache to attend Hillsdale College. One of the last lights upon a hill that refuses to teach nonsense when it comes to history.

I digress… I liked Mr. Westerfeld’s story. Let’s get started… Continue reading “Behemoth”

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows

By Diana Gabaldon

Not only was the plane gone, it didn’t seem ever to have been there. There was no trace, no furrow in the thick meadow grass, let alone the kind of gouge in the earth that such a crash would have made.

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows (Outlander, #8.5)A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon3 of 5, that's cool
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.

Read and listened to in 2017 on 4/18 to the end. I liked it and if you’re an Outlander fan this short story of trivial fill towards the end of the Outlander series will be a fun read. A Leaf in the Wind..  If you’re still not an Outlander fan,  you’ve strayed into the wrong review.  Thanks for coming, keep coming back.

Diana Gabaldon knows her characters. I presume she has a master sheet somewhere, or an Outlander “Bible” if you like, and over the years has added to it like a collage and resume workbook. It was probably intended to remind her to keep the character’s eye color consistent, so in one novel they aren’t purple and the next novel bright orange. But if she’s like most series authors, she has ventured down the “backstory” side-roads at various times, spending far too long writing a very interesting “history” of some seemingly minor character. Who was his mother? His father? What’s the story? Why is he like he is? What if he’s actually… hey it is a time travel series, this could go anywhere… Continue reading “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows”

Warheart

by Terry Goodkind

It was a sight of hope, of love, and at the same time it was horrifying to know it meant death for her.
“This is her choice,” Nicci said as if reading Kahlan’s mind. “She is doing what she must, and doing it of her own free will.”

Warheart Book Cover SMgeek-sundryapprvTerry Goodkind by Sandy Aquila, Photographer.jpgThe last book in the Wizard’s First Rule series, in the “Richard and Kahlan” adventures. Whatever you’re going to call it, Richard and Kahlan’s adventures are forever fading in the memory of Terry Goodkind. May they rest in peace.

Read and or listened to audiobook in 2017 on 2/19 to page 86, on 3/4 to page 123, on 3/6 to the end. I loved it
Warheart

Severed Souls Spoilers

One reason I rated Severed Souls as highly as I did

is that Terry Goodkind had the guts to kill of Zedd, Richard’s grandfather and a steady fatherly counselor since book one having also been the First Wizard and having named Richard The Seeker.

There have been many times over the series I’ve wondered… since Zedd had done “this thing” why couldn’t he fix “that thing”. There will always be inconsistencies in a series with over ten books.

Mr. Goodkind also killed Kahlan, leaving Richard desperately alone with his soulmate ripped from him. He seemed breathless with terror of the loss and dread of living without her.

But that is was “Severed Souls“. We begin “Warheart” at a funeral pyre as well. Continue reading “Warheart”