Beemo's Books

I'm a single mom who reads too much.

SPOILER ALERT!

Different Twist

Population - Elizabeth  Stephens

I was given a copy of this free for my honest review on Goodreads, my Shut Up & Read group. I must say I was surprised. The blurb describes the story very aptly but the author gives you enough to enjoy the adventure. It's your typical Post Apocalyptic story format with a love twist. Much of the story was expected. We know what happens if you read this genre of story. Bad guys come, do damage, rest of the world tries to survive. What makes reading these fun is who the bad guys are, how the damage is done and how the world adapts to survive. The author has to give you a reason to read the story and Elizabeth Stephens does that very well. 

 

Our main character, Able, tells her story and throughout the trials gives us her rules for survival. I admit I'm not a fan of first person narrative. It's difficult for me to see myself doing the action and such, but there is enough detail within the fight scenes and running for your  life scenes that even my 50 year old body could picture doing something like that, especially after 12 years of this world. 

 

I do like the rules for survival and how Stephens shows true adaption as they change throughout the story. Probably a bit too quickly on the changes. That would be the only flaw for me on how quickly Able goes from trying to kill our evil monster, Kane, to falling in love with him. I think I would have liked to have seen more of the Population side of the world before we go to Kane's side and safety or not total safety as the story ends well setting up the second book. 

 

I'm looking forward to the second story and do hope it doesn't disappoint and comes with as much action as the first. It did only take me two nights to read this. It was that smooth of a read. 

Something a bit Weird for a change

Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations - Simon R. Green, Dana Cameron, Jonathan Maberry, Carrie Vaughn, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Richard Parks, Joe R. Lansdale, Charlaine Harris, William Meikle, Simon Clark, Sarah Monette, Lillian Stewart Carl, P.N. Elrod, Elizabeth Bear, Bradley Denton, Richard Bowes, Paula Guran, J

This is not my normal genre, at least for reading, but after the introduction by Guran I' m excited to give it a try. It will be like Supernatural only with different characters and more police types investigating. Weird Detectives hopefully fulfills my need of Sam and Dean with a twist of Sherlock. If anything it should be fun to see the various authors mix it up.

 

First story, wish me luck

Quick and Easy

Hollow Space: Venture - T.F. Grant, C.F. Barnes

This is the first story in a bundle I got from Kindle, To the Stars and Back. It was good. Enough science to keep you interested and not feel too far fetched. The action was good and the characters, meh I didn't mind them. They were your usual assortment but with enough development to keep you engaged and be able to pick a favorite.

 

The story starts out with our ship the Venture running from your typical bad guys and the human race trying to survive. It was a quick easy story that plopped you in a new world, hollow space and how everyone from humans to plant types survive. I liked it enough to of course continue the rest of the set and keep an eye out on new stories. 

 

This wasn't a perfect story, the science was lacking and the plot never really explains why our main characters from the Venture ended up on the ship running from whatever alien was attacking, but there was enough that you weren't dragged down. 

 

It was a quick easy story that left you wanting a bit more so you have to go find the rest of the books or at least keep an eye out for more.

Interesting only

Running with the Demon - Terry Brooks

I decided to reread all the Terry Brooks books beginning with the list chosen according to Goodreads by Terry himself .Revisiting LInk  I had read all these books before so the idea of starting over in the order the author picked was intriguing. This story I found to be slow and lacking the same thrill as the original Shannara series. The premise was good and your typical magic story. Small time girl with history of magic saves the world. Good vs Evil, blah blah blah. And I found I either out grew the story or just wasn't in the mood for small town hokum and how it played out. That hasn't deterred me from reading the rest of the books in the order presented. And hopefully the thrill I got reading the first time will happen again. 

My Christmas Present to me

Clarkesworld Issue 111 - Cassandra Khaw, Tamsyn Muir, Seth Dickinson, Cixin Liu, Neil Clarke, Sean McMullen, Walter Jon Williams

I enjoy short stories so I got myself a subscription to Clarkesworld Magazine. I started off with the December issue. I had read a few stories on their site previously but decided for $2.99/month I can treat myself to the whole thing. 

 

A short story has to grab the reader and involved them in very few words, like a comic only without the added help of art work. These issues do have a few renderings that make the feel of Science Fiction and Fantasy more pronounced. 

 

Issue #111 was decent as with most magazines you have exceptional stories and those that just fly through just so you felt you got your money's worth of reading the whole issue. 

 

Yuanyan's Bubbles by Liu Cixin was the first story and I must say I was debating on whether I wasted my $2.99, at first. The story is about bubbles, blowing them or at least the first few paragraphs and being a short story one tends to get a bit worried since the first few paragraphs are what are supposed to keep you interested before moving on. But I was not disappointed in the end. 

 

The most confusing story Morrigan in Shadow, by Seth Dickinson. Confusing but good and again I was worried I probably should have just went with buying single issues that interested me instead of committing to a monthly subscription. 

 

The best story in my opinion, which is what this is all about anyway, was Union by Tamsyn Muir. So much information into a few pages was profound. I really wish I had this talent. The use of dialog is very important in any story but short stories much more so since this is how the reader understand the characters in such a short time. Muir did an excellent job of portraying the different characters and giving us each a sense of who they are and why they are that way.

 

All in all it was a decent issue and I look forward to the next one. What better way to learn about past writers and find new ones to follow than in a format such as Clarkesworld Magazine 

I miss this world

Babylon 5 Omnibus: 1 - Voices; 2 - Accusations; 3 - Blood Oath - John Vornholt, Lois Tilton

I was/am a huge B5 fan so much so my prize possession is my #1 comic signed by as many of the cast as I could get including JMS himself. I recently watched all 5 seasons and decided to read the books again as well. 

 

The first 3 stories are good but you do need to know who the characters are or you become a bit lost. The authors try to allow those readers who haven't watched any of the show to jump in but it's not enough and seems to lose some of the flow of the story. Since I know the show it was no problem for me to jump right in and I found myself actually reading in the voice of the characters who played them. 

 

Each story was quick and easy but the best would have to be Blood Oath. Perhaps it's because G'kar was my favorite character but the story was quick and didn't seem to waste too much time trying to catch the reader up on what was going on.

 

The Babylon 5 world was rich with great characters and a great setting that had so much more potential than was realized. This should have been another Star Trek world but failed to meet that potential, maybe it was too early for something like this. 

 

But if you know the characters the short stories and the books allow more details into that world. 

SPOILER ALERT!
The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

I saw the preview for this movie while watching Mockingjay 2. So I had to get the book just so I knew if seeing the movie was worth it.. and I dunno. The first person narrative from every character's point of view was confusing. It must be a thing to do this because I've seen it done often. I had problems figuring out who was speaking at the beginning of the chapters because the titles didn't help with that. At least George R.R. Martin put the character's names at the beginning of his chapters. 

 

The bouncing around to tell the story was also a bit much for me to grasp but once I got used to all that, it moved fast. We all know the story.. aliens come to take over the world but this time the weapon used to finish off humanity is macabre and frankly scary. The intended audience is young adults and that's frightening. Our main characters are all children ranged from age 5 to 17, so it makes sense but what they do is definitely not young adult material unless of course I'm just not ready to believe young adults can go through what this author put them through

 

I liked the story and I am reading part two. I may also go see the movie just so I can figure out how they do it. I think my rating is 3 stars just because I can't believe what happened. 

Just Wow

Descender #7 - Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen

New story arc.. still a great story and the art work by Nguyen is spectacular. I really can't come up with an adjective fitting to describe how this book continues to bring out emotions and awe. The combination of writing and art fit perfectly together and I since there is no perfect book I cannot give a 5 star review but damn this is close. My only negative is I have to wait so long between issues. If you've not started Descender yet pick it up and enjoy it's a fantastic ride... 

SPOILER ALERT!

Can't go Wrong

Dissident (The Bellator Saga Book 1) - Cecilia London

Cecilia London did an exceptional job in portraying political intrigue, sex and wtf moments that you just can't put down. She portrays a strong female feminine protagonist that a reader can really connect with. I admit I did have my doubts of using Washington D.C. as the setting and expected all the usual cliches. I'm glad I was mistaken. The dialog was quick and snappy and didn't at all seemed forced or confusing. I don't normally like stories that pop back in forth between the past and the present but it was done very well here, with very limited use of long drawn out speeches or memories that are prone in trying to show the reader what or why something happened.

 

The story starts with our protagonist racing through the woods escaping from something and her husband leaving her to get the information out and save her daughters. How do you top that? Well you tell us how we got there and London does that very slowly giving away very little as to why this has happened. Then we flash back and forth between who our characters are and how they got to the woods running in the first place. I was impressed and the only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is because I don't believe in the perfect book or story which is what a 5 star rating would be, but Dissident is very good and I cannot wait for the next part of the story.

 

Now there is sex in this story but it is not just thrown in there for the sake of picking up a different genre of reader. It is used well and actually allows the reader a chance to see our characters grow. This is the first time I've read anything by Cecilia London but I will be watching out for more beyond this series. 

um.. okay then

Broken Worlds Super Boxset - James G. Hunt

I've completed the first half of the stories and I dunno.. The concept was good, was great but there was so little meat to the stories it read like I was watching a silly B movie and yet I couldn't stop reading. I had to know what happened. The premise of his first set, The Beginning, No Borders and Sovereign Land, was drought and how a family and the government dealt with it. Basically some crooked politician made a deal with some silly Mexican dictator type to annex the Southwest part of the U.S. and let Mexico take it over. The reasoning the lack of water and resources. Excellent concept but no character development and many plot holes and yet even with all that I still had to find out how it ended. This would make a very good SYFY channel movie or other B rated action of the week movie. And if you are looking for something light and simple then it is fun. You really want to know what happens. I just wish the author had actually met the potential of this story. 

 

The second set is about GMOs and somehow they kill the country.. yes I'm still reading. I don't know why but I want to know how it all happens. 

Another new comic

New Punisher

 

Ok I'm not a fan of superhero comics, but this looks good. I do hope this works out well because I love Steve Dillon's art work. My biggest complaint for any superhero comic is all the bloody cross over titles.. 

SPOILER ALERT!

So far so good

Perfect Flaw -

I got this free from Seventh Star Press for an honest review.. I like free and I'm always honest so hopefully this works out for me and I can get a few more to try out. I've been going through an anthology stage for some reason. I'm not really sure why and this hasn't disappointed me so far. The concept of the stories is a flaw in the system that makes society not exactly what it should and the author's approach has been great. I've only finished the first three stories out of 17. Smilers by Caroyn M Chang has definitely made me think a  bit before I start thinking out loud again about people. Who knows who might be lurking ready to help me improve my mood. 

 

I will update this as I go through the stories and I hope the rest of the stories do not disappoint. Just goes to show you the greater good doesn't always work out, at least not so far. 

A Great Twist

Star Wars #9 Comic Book - MARVEL

I'm enjoying these stories and even though I know the ending or at least what should happen based on the movies, I am truly enjoying the details these comics are adding. I realize I'm not the intended audience. The feel is much younger than a 50yr old single mom, but even knowing that, even knowing the art work isn't spectacular I find myself counting down the days til the next release. Jason Aaron is doing a great job of taking what is known about the characters and giving us more. I mean what's not to like about meeting Han Solo's wife; or realizing Luke Skywalker is now part of a Jedi  Hutt exhibit. 

 

The next issue cannot come quick enough nor the movies. I do hope the teen audience this is intended for is enjoying this as much as I am. There is much more story to tell and a big hole to fill now that Dark Horse is out of this game. 

SPOILER ALERT!

Not so bad

Slow Bullets - Alastair Reynolds

Slow Bullets is a story about a group of people and how they deal with the end of their world. I think, I'm not sure really. This is my second Reynolds story, the first I read was the short story Troika. This story takes place mostly on a ship. There is very little description of that ship so I had trouble grasping the size, shape and anything else. Which for me is unusual because I'm not one for much technical details, they usually bore me and are beyond my simple grasp of science, but they were needed here since most of the story takes place on this ship. 

 

Our main character was female, a female soldier in fact but that was all there was about her that was interesting. And our title comes from a small object injected into these soldiers with their complete biographies and other details, why I don't know. I don't think I missed it but I didn't quite understand why they were injected with these bullets, why all the data was necessary or really anything else. 

 

It wasn't a horrible story, I've actually read some horrible ones I put down and never picked up again. I finished this story and it was a simple read, I just didn't grasp the why of it. 

 

Our characters were shoved in a ship at the end of a war and woke up thousands of years later and coped.. That's it.. that's all there is to it. It really could have been so much better. I think my dabble into Alastair Reynolds is over after two stories. 

Finally

The Sandman: Overture #1 - J.H. Williams III, Neil Gaiman

It has only taken Gaiman almost 2 years to release 6 issues of this last installment of Sandman. Really??!!!. I love Gaiman, especially his Sandman world but 2 years to do 6 comics is a bit much. The art work is just spectacular with vibrant colors and the lettering, although confusing, tells the story very well. This series is truly a work of art and I wont go so far to say worth the wait, but it is Dream after all so I guess it's not so bad. My weekend reading will be to read all 6 issues together and another addition to my bucket list is to get them signed by Mr. Gaiman of course. 

Troika

Godlike Machines - Jonathan Strahan, Stephen Baxter, Cory Doctorow, Sean Williams, Robert Reed, Greg Egan, Alastair Reynolds

The first story in this Anthology is Troika by Alastair Reynolds... and it was long. Ok not long page wise it is a short story after all, but still it seemed to take me forever to finish the 60 odd pages. (depending on which edition and how you got it) Perhaps its the type of story but it seemed very technical to me and definitely dated with the Soviet Union setting.  Our main character is telling the story about his expedition on a space ship to some entity. It was technical, whether right or not I have no intention of investigating. I don't care about vacuum and space time continuum at least not for this story.

 

I intend to look up Alastair Reynolds and see what else he has written. According to the blurb in the beginning of the story, I like it when the editor does that, he has written at least 9 novels.. hopefully they are a bit better than this one. 

 

And I hope the second story in this collection goes quicker...