Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

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Book Reviews: Never Have I Ever Kissed My Brother’s Best Friend and Star Fire

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Book Reviews: Week 3!

More books that have been lurking on my Kindle waiting to be read!

This week’s romance is a Young Adult romance called “Never Have I Ever Kissed My Brother’s Best Friend” by Juliet Bardsley. I picked it up because I’ve been toying with the idea of writing YA sweet and clean romance, and this series has been fairly popular.

This week’s science fiction novel is “Star Fire” by M.R. Fobes. I chose this book because at the end of last year, when I started poking into the science fiction world, it was in the top fifty of several categories on Amazon, and I decided to check it out.

Never Have I Ever Kissed My Brother’s Best Friend

Like I said, this series has been fairly popular, and I wanted to check it out.

First off, it’s short. Like, really short. Even shorter than my Academy books, which are about 25k words.

Because of the length, the story is painfully basic. It was fun to read, but the conflict never felt real to me, and because we all know what’s going to happen in the end of a sweet romance, the lack of convincing danger toward the love story crippled this one a bit.

If you want a really fast, very basic read that might remind you a bit of high school, then this is your book.

Just three stars for this one. I like more than just cute in my stories.

She’s crushed on him for the past six years.
He’s always seen her as his best friend’s little sister.
What happens when they’re forced together?

Gavin Mitchell is a star soccer player, the best looking senior at Cedar Oaks High, and a potential recruit for the college of his dreams. But if Gavin doesn’t raise his English grade, all his plans of playing soccer for his dream school will be crushed. Enter Kenzie Fair, his best friend’s smart little sister.

Mackenzie (Kenzie) Fair has the best friend in the world, an enviable collection of books, and the highest grades in the junior class. But there’s one thing she doesn’t have–Gavin Mitchell–the guy she’s crushed on for forever. The guy she acts like a total spaz around. The guy who also happens to be her brother’s best friend.

When the two are forced to spend time together studying Shakespeare, it’s only a matter of time before Gavin sees Kenzie as more than his best friend’s little sister.

The problem is, she still is. Is it worth risking his lifelong friendship for the chance to date Kenzie?

Star Fire

This is another book that I started and put down a few months ago. I picked it back up this week to finish it.

This is the second military sci-fi book that I’ve picked up that’s not really about space, which continues to surprise me. The story starts out as a space battle, but then everyone crashes and the rest of it takes place on the surface of a planet.

It took a bit for this one to get going, but once it did, and I was invested in the main character, then I was in for the long haul. Good conflicts, good characters, and while I hated the fact that I was right about one of them, I take a sick sort of pleasure in it.

That being said, the last chapter is a horrible cliff hanger, which made me a little grouchy.  The rest of the series is out, but I’m on to a different book and I may or may not get back to this one.

Four stars for this one, although I’m still cranky about the end.

New from million-copy bestseller M.R. Forbes. One man’s epic story of loyalty, perseverance, and hope in a galaxy at war.

Alliance Navy Commander Grayson Stone is patrolling a nearby space station when a mysterious starship appears. It emerges from a storm of fire, its shields impenetrable, its weapons overwhelming, attacking without provocation and annihilating everything in its path.

While his ship is badly damaged in the assault, Grayson manages to survive. Suddenly trapped behind the front line of the invasion, faced with gut-wrenching choices and near-impossible odds, he’ll do whatever it takes to escape the grasp of the terrifying new enemy.

Because if he fails, humankind will fall.

There you go! Book reviews Week 3!
Tune in next week for more reviews.


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Book Reviews: Finding Jack and The Messenger

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Book Reviews: Week 2!

We had a busy week, and I barely finished the second of these books a few minutes ago. Still, I finished! Yay!

Both of these came from my Kindle collection of books I’ve downloaded and haven’t read.

The first is a sweet romance called Finding Jack. I believe author Sarah Boucher recommended this one to me.

The second is a science fiction novel called The Messenger that I picked up because it has a giant mech in it, and the sci-fi book I’m writing has mechs in it. Sort of. It turns out they are very different than this one.

Finding Jack

I’ve met this author, but I’ve never read any of her work before this.

Honestly, I started this one about six months ago, got less than 20% in, and never finished. The beginning felt both rushed and manic. The dialogue and the story were being thrown in my face at a very fast rate. Plus, I didn’t love the main character.

This might be Melanie’s style, I’m not sure, but I didn’t love it. I also didn’t love the reason they couldn’t be together near the end. (Not a spoiler, we all know it’s coming in a romance book.) The idea was sound, but could have been set up better.

However, I must admit that after that 20% mark I was hooked. The character grew on me, I started liking Jack more, and reading to the end felt effortless. There is plenty of humor in this one, and the end is satisfying. The only bump was as I said above, their reason for breaking up was weak.

I did like this book, and would give it a solid four stars.

Can their online flirtation become something real?

When smart, practical Emily finds herself in the crosshairs of an Internet prankster, her orderly world goes topsy-turvy. Instead of getting mad at the handsome stranger behind the joke, she finds herself drawn to him. But Jack Dobson, though hilarious and thoughtful, has a lot of secrets. Despite her growing feelings for her new and unexpected long-distance friend, his biggest secret of all might be the one that breaks the spell they’ve been weaving around each other.

The Messenger

This book looks like a young adult book, which is why I picked it up, but it’s not. It’s fine for YA readers, if they’re okay with a little bit of swearing and gore. Oh, and space battles.

One of the authors is J.N. Chaney. I tried to read his Renegade Star series and barely made it through the first book. The main character was a whiner and a jerk, two things I hate, so I only picked this one up because there is a co-author.

Unfortunately, my author brain had an easy time picking this story apart. The beginning is so cliché I literally rolled my eyes. Picture this: A down-and-out courier, in debt, had to dump their last shipment, in desperate need of a job, and then finds the job that will take him from being a bit of a scoundrel to a man willing to sacrifice his life for the galaxy.

Sound familiar? The authors set this up quickly, then went on to the rest of the story.

Which felt like a cross between a leveling up video game and Voltron.

I didn’t hate the main character, but he was kind of bland. A little snarky, a little brave, but nothing really interesting. Until he stumbles onto a giant mech suit and becomes, the Messenger. The champion for good against the Golden…things.

Don’t get me wrong, I like chosen one stories, but didn’t love this one. This first book felt like 100% set up, not an actual story, and I skimmed the last quarter of it. I never meshed with the characters or the premise of the story, and considering it didn’t grab my attention, I probably won’t read any more in the series.

Three stars.

Dash never asked to be a mech pilot, but fate has other plans.

On the run and out of chances, he guides his ship and crew into the heart of a relic older than the galaxy itself—and find himself on the edge of an eternal war he never knew existed.

The relic is a mech, lost to history and forgotten by all who remain. Built by an ancient race to be the ultimate weapon, the machine is capable of unspeakable destruction, and its discovery could unhinge the balance of power throughout known space.

Worse still, the A.I. inside the machine speaks of an ancient evil that will soon arrive–a race whose power far exceeds anything humanity has ever witnessed.

Only the Messenger can stand against them, the A.I. tells its new pilot. Only you can do what must be done.

There you go. Book Reviews Week 2!

Tune in next week for two more reviews.


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Book Reviews: The Devil Drinks Coffee and Empire of Bones

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Have you ever lost sight of something you love because of what’s right in front of you?

I have.

I’ve been writing full-time for the past 2+ years, and I have to admit—much to my shame—I haven’t been doing a lot of reading in that time.

Instead, I’ve been fighting to get books written and out, as well as marketing and running a business. Who has time for reading??

I do have an Audible account, but since I work from home—so no commute—and can’t exactly listen to someone else’s book while I’m writing my own or doing marketing (I do not have that kind of brain power) I haven’t listened to many books either.

Last week I decided to change that.

I’ve been having a really hard time creating since this whole pandemic started and then the local earthquake we had in March.

I have no groove.

So I thought it might help if I read a few of the books on my Kindle.

You know…the ones I downloaded and haven’t read. Some were on sale, some are from authors I know, and a few are books that simply looked interesting to me.

Wow, I have a lot of books like that on my Kindle.

Last week I dove in. I’ve decided since I write romance and I’m writing a science fiction novel, that I’ll probably read one romance and one sci-fi or fantasy novel a week.

That’s the plan, at least.

These were last week’s victims:

The Devil Drinks Coffee

I actually know the author of this one. She’s hilarious, and bought this book a while ago when she was making a big push to get onto the New York Times Best-Seller list. (Pretty sure she made it, by the way.)

I’m not an authority on cozy mysteries, but I found the plot pretty solid. The main character was hilarious. Her mother more so. The small-town vibe cracked me up.

My only complaint is that the story bounced from thing to thing very quickly. Maybe cozy mysteries are all like that. It made me feel ADHD.

Still, I enjoyed it. Four Stars.

A cow suicide, a revolving door rescue, and the birth of a bright purple pig are starting to make Kate Saxee wonder if taking a job in her small hometown of Branson Falls, Utah, was such a great idea. As The Branson Tribune editor, Kate covers local news, which, more often than not, involves her accident-prone mom. Nothing truly newsworthy has ever happened in the quiet town until local teen Chelsea Bradford turns up dead in a Branson Falls lake.

The police rule Chelsea’s death an accident, but Kate suspects there’s more to the story—and she’s not the only one. Two of Branson’s most eligible bachelors are determined to help her solve the crime—among other things. But the small town social network is faster than Twitter, and gossip about Kate’s love-life is quickly branding her the Branson Falls hussy.

As Kate learns more about Chelsea, she discovers that plenty of people are trying to cover up the real story behind the girl’s death—including Chelsea’s parents. Now Kate has to juggle work, men, her mom’s most recent disaster involving a low-speed John Deere Combine chase on the freeway, and fend off the Mormons heaven-bent on saving her soul—all while solving Chelsea’s murder. Dealing with this is going to require a lot of coffee, chocolate frosted donuts, Neil Diamond’s greatest hits, and a slew of words not on the town approved imitation swear list.

Empire of Bones

I see this series in the top of the sci-fi genre on Amazon a lot, so I decided to try the first one.

Personally, I like a little more action in my military sci-fi. Especially when the book starts out with a mock battle, but doesn’t get back to any kind of action until the finale.

That being said, I did like the characters. Enough so that I might read the second book.

The first 75% of this book was well thought out, if not a bit slow for me. The last 25% was the exciting part, but felt as if the author, like Stephanie Meyer, couldn’t write an action scene to save his life.

The entire finale was basically an outline of what happened. No real character reactions or emotions. I didn’t feel anything while the princess was in worse than mortal danger and her half-brother led the a perilous mission to rescue her. The author really dropped the ball there.

However, as I stated, I like the characters just enough that I’ll probably read book 2. 3 1/2 stars

After a terrible war almost extinguished humanity, the New Terran Empire rises from its own ashes.

Sent on an exploratory mission to the dead worlds of the Old Empire, Commander Jared Mertz sets off into the unknown.

Only the Old Empire isn’t quite dead after all. Evil lurks in the dark.

With everything he holds dear at stake, Jared must fight like never before. Victory means life. Defeat means death. Or worse.

Tune in next week for more reviews!

I need an accountability buddy to keep me on task, and you’re it. Aren’t you lucky?


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