Book Review: Aftershocks

Title: Aftershocks
Author: Marko Kloos
Genre: Sci-fi, Military Sci-fi, Space Opera
Year Published: 2019

Aftershocks by Marko Kloos is a military sci-fi novel following four characters. The main character, Aden, a POW on a foreign planet, is freed and makes his trek to a new home. Things don’t go as planned and he ends up working for another group of people under a fake identity.

The other characters are minor to Aden, but they equally share their stories: Solvieg, a young vice president of her father’s business has just started her position when terrorists attack her city. She’s also Aden’s younger sister; Idina, a ground soldier whose team was destroyed in an ambush; and, Dunstan, a fleet captain whose cargo ship also comes under attack.

The story is about interplanetary treaties and things going awry when one or more groups choose not to keep their word. Those on the planets agreed to work together due to limited resources, but due to power control, the planets with the most resources have the upper hand and those in charge then manipulate the others, leading to confusion as to who started what and who to trust.

This is book one of The Palladium Wars. The ending was a cliffhanger which makes sense being that it will continue in future books.

I enjoyed the military and space opera writing. Kloos is an amazing in-depth military storyteller. I loved all the details and space/military terms. It was well done. I thought Aden was put together well. I like how his story started and where it ended. Dunstan wasn’t so bad either. He didn’t have a lot of chapters but I’m guessing there will be more of him in the following books. What I didn’t enjoy so much were the two female characters. Idina was tough at the beginning but then her character changed. I wasn’t sure what role she played after the ambush. And, Solvieg seemed way too young to be vice president of a large company. She’s 23 and came aross clueless. Initially, it came across as though she worked hard for the position but then as her story grew, it felt more like she was handed the position. I wasn’t sure if that was the point or if she was meant to be a strong, intelligent character.

Overall, it was a good read.

Book Review: The Burning White

Title: The Burning White
Author: Brent Weeks
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Year Published: 2019

The Burning White by Brent Weeks is the fifth and final book in the Lightbringer series. I’m not sure how to review this book because it was a whole lot of everything. The plot basically was to defeat the enemy but there were assassins and spies and people you don’t know if you should trust that it created this huge organized mess of a story. In this story, we learn a little more about Gavin Guile’s father, Andross. We also learn that this story is pretty much all about the Guiles, including Kip and Zymun.

I’m not the man you think I am,’ he’d told Ironfist. Ironfist had replied, ‘Are you not the man I’ve served these past ten years?’ ‘I am.’ ‘Then perhaps, my lord, you’re not the man you think you are.’

Gavin himself overcomes the struggles he’s had with himself since the first book, The Black Prism. In The Burning White, he spends pretty much all his time finding himself. That wasn’t what he had set out to do, but it became so.

Kip, always being the hero, continued to do what he knew best: save the people; save his friends. He is so much like his father, Gavin.

Andross in this book was interesting. Throughout the first four books, he came across sort of like the enemy. You couldn’t tell whose side he was on. He never favored the White King (Koios, aka the Color Prince), but he never gave the impression that he was good. This made for a really intriguing ending.

“We keep secret what we fear makes us weak, not realizing in our fear that it is the keeping of secrets itself that weakens us.”

And Zymun. He was a very obvious character.

There were minor main characters such as Teia who showed what she was truly capable of; Liv who stood her ground. She really broke my heart; and Karris, who never seemed to give up. I loved how she finally showed her love toward Kip.

The fight/war scenes are always impeccable. They are semi-gory but they are my favorite action scenes. I was beyond happy to finally see black Luxin at work.

There was one thing I wanted more and that was Liv’s pov. I felt she had a lot to give and deserved more story time. She sacrificed so much to save her friends and nothing became of her. Near the end when she crossed path with her father, I bawled. I loved what she did for him, but I was sad for her. I so wanted her to see Kip face-to-face (it was mostly Kip whom she protected by surrendering herself to the White King), to see how he would react (from the damage of drafting superviolet to the extreme), or what he would say to her. Maybe it was left out because it would have been too sad?

Overall, it was a great read.

A hug didn’t fix everything. Perhaps it didn’t fix anything at all. But it did feel good.

Book Review: The Pale Dreamer

Title: The Pale Dreamer
Author: Samantha Shannon
Genre: Sci-fi, paranormal, new adult
Year Published: 2016

The Pale Dreamer by Samantha Shannon is a prequel novella to The Bone Season series. It gives us a taste of Paige Mahoney’s first job with mime-lord, Jaxon Hall. The story takes place when Paige is sixteen, three years before The Bone Season.

In this story, Paige is given the opportunity to use her ability as a dreamwalker to prove to the mime-lord and her cohorts that she is worthy of working with them. The job was to track down a poltergeist as a team. It turns out, Paige did a lot more than what she thought she could do and what the others thought she was capable of. This gets Jaxon’s attention and he makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

I read The Bone Season series up to book three (The Song Rising). Book four is not out yet but should be later this year. The Pale Dreamer was a free download from the publisher on Instagram. I had plans to read this novella but kept forgetting and new books kept being added to my TBR list pushing this one even further back. I’m glad that I came across the ad. It was worth it to know how Paige joined Jaxon’s team of clairvoyants and how she became his most important member.

Book Review: The Last Man

The Last Man by Mary Shelley is about a plague that killed everyone in the world but one man. The story is through the eyes of a man named, Lionel. It is uniquely done with just mostly telling, but it’s done quite well. Shelley is a beautiful writer.

When I first started the story, I thought the MC was female. When I learned she was a he, I had to go back and read a few things I thought didn’t make a lot of sense (which then made sense afterwards). I found the technology lacking. It was the year 2098. They were still using horse and buggy, carriages, and horses to go places. And, lamps were used often. No electricity. This was all before the plague hit. Shelley hinted at technology but then said that horse and buggy was faster transportation. That kind of fooled with me since I tend to see cars and flying things (including flying cars and hover bikes, etc.) in 2098. Aside from these two things, I actually enjoyed it.

Book Review: Heir to the Sundered Crown (The Sundered Crown Saga Book 1)

I love reading.  My genre of interest is sci-fi and fantasy but I will also read other genres if they are interesting.  Last year, I did a marathon and read 101 books with most being sci-fi and fantasy.  This year, I’ve lowered my goal to 25 books.  I wanted to read without any pressure of deadlines but somehow I found myself just 5 books away from my goal.  I don’t tend to do thorough reviews unless they are just totally beyond my expectation or I’m asked by the author but I will always rate them.  I rate on Goodreads.com and sometimes on Amazon.  Here is the most recent book I finished.  This book was given to me to read and review by the author.  Thank you for allowing me the pleasure to read and review, Mr. Olney.

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After I read the book, I had to sit back and let it soak in. It was very fast pace with a lot going on. Lots of action and gore. Lots of characters and interactions. The storyline was great. The characters and the world they lived in were clearly thought out and well created. The dialogue moved the story forward and explained a lot of what was going on. A lot of the history of that world came out in the dialogue but the author also put the history in an appendix at the end of book, which was very helpful. Overall, I enjoyed it.

One thing I felt the story lacked was character buildup. There wasn’t enough substance in the main characters. They felt one-dimensional. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around why they want to rule so badly. What do they gain besides being a ruler and having all the power? There has to be something much deeper. Wanting power is usually driven by something very personal that one can’t seem to let go of that can manifest in the form of revenge. I did not sense that if that was meant to be part of character buildup. The characters had too much trust in everyone they came across. They seem to all be unintelligent and gullible.  Another thing was that I also found myself wondering why, after Luxon fainted a couple of times, he would continue to use his magic. I would think he would be afraid to even feel his magic knowing it would make him weak afterward.

I read this book on a Kindle and should mention that there were lots of grammatical errors and typos. Also, the word, “whilst” was overused (but this may be just a personal thing).  If these things don’t bother you too much and you simply love the pure enjoyment of reading, or if the fantasy genre is up your alley, I definitely recommend this book.

Walkway Fixed and New Bookshelf

The kids saw this little guy on the lawn earlier today.  He looked me straight in the eyes as I clicked away at him.  He posed for me like a model.  I could see him thinking, “How do I look from this angle?  How about this pose?”  When I was done, he made his way across the motor cut lawn.  Not sure what or who he was looking for.

So the walkway is done.  We hired a small business to fix our thunderstorm damaged walkway and it took them about a week to finish.  I am pleased with the work.  It’s so much better than what husband had put in.  If you want see the before photos, go here.

These photos were taken before the guys came back to power wash.  Now all husband needs to do is level each side of the walkway.  This means more dirt, more rocks, and more sweat.  We also plan to plant some bushes or flowers along the sides.

New Bookshelf

I finally replaced my old bookshelf with a new one.  Since starting Project Life earlier in the year, I’ve been buying quite a few 3 ring binders to put my photos and memorabilia and needed a place to put them.  Previously, they were taking up space on the bill nook so I am really happy to have a place to put them.

Before:

After:

I’ll be posting pages from my Project Life at my design blog, Lee Benkers Designs, so if you would like to see how I’m coming along, or if you’d like to get inspired, head on over there.