Gods of Risk by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Gods of Risk by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

As tension between Mars and Earth mounts, and terrorism plagues the Martian city of Londres Nova, sixteen-year-old David Draper is fighting his own lonely war. A gifted chemist vying for a place at the university, David leads a secret life as a manufacturer for a ruthless drug dealer. When his friend Leelee goes missing, leaving signs of the dealer’s involvement, David takes it upon himself to save her. But first he must shake his aunt Bobbie Draper, an ex-marine who has been set adrift in her own life after a mysterious series of events nobody is talking about.

Set in the hard-scrabble solar system of Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War, Gods of Risk deepens James S. A. Corey’s acclaimed Expanse series.

Review

This story is based around a character that we have not met before in the previous books but we have met his aunt, who is Bobbie Draper. David Draper is sixteen and under a lot of pressure to get a good placement at university but he also has a secret and that secret is that he is secretly making drugs for a drug dealer. 

David is like any other gifted teenager, he is hard working and desperate for the placement of his dreams that he knows will also make his family proud of him. David is also the typical moody teenager and he particularly is not keen on having aunt Bobbie staying in the house. David also has a crush on Leelee who is always with the drug dealer and dreams of one day being her boyfriend. This crush leads to trouble for David when he decides to save her from her fate.

I must admit I can’t believe how much weight lifting she does in this short story, every time we see her she is lifting weights, I have no idea how she finds the energy. She also seems to do a lot of arguing with her brother but to be honest he seems to be the one doing the provoking and does come across as rather a know it all who thinks his job is the hardest job there is and that being a marine is nothing compared to being an engineer. 

Although the story is based around David we do get to see how Bobbie is faring after the events of Caliban’s War and as the story goes on we see how Bobbie makes her mind up about a few things and these decisions are helped along by her involvement with her nephew.

This is a great little short story that I enjoyed reading and it was fantastic to read about Bobbie again. I give this story 4 out of 5 Dragons.

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(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

We are not alone.

On Ganymede, breadbasket of the outer planets, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system.

In the vast wilderness of space, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have been keeping the peace for the Outer Planets Alliance. When they agree to help a scientist search war-torn Ganymede for a missing child, the future of humanity rests on whether a single ship can prevent an alien invasion that may have already begun . . .

Review

Yay, Avasarala has finally arrived and she is even better than she is in the TV series. The woman is amazing!

So as you can tell already this book has really made me very happy and I just loved it and could not put it down. We also get to meet the amazing Bobbie. This book has some amazingly strong female characters and it really is a wonderful read.

Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view and the characters that are used this time are Holden, Prax, Bobbie and Avasarala. All the characters start in different places, Holden on board the Roci, Bobbie and Prax on Ganymede and Avasarala on Earth. As events unfold the characters’ storylines start to entwine and come together. The battle against the protomolecule has begun!

Holden

We find Holden aboard the Roci with Naomi, Alex and Amos trying to keep the peace for the OPA and working for Fred Johnson. However, it is clear that events from the first book have taken effect on Holden and he is not his usual self and this is affecting his relationship with Naomi and the rest of the crew. When Holden and his crew then meet Prax and start to help Prax find his missing daughter Holden starts to find his true self again.

Bobbie

Bobbie is a Martian marine who watches her platoon get slaughtered on Ganymede by some kind of monster never seen before and she wants revenge and she will do anything to get it. Eventually, Bobbie meets Avasarala and a friendship clearly develops between the Earther and the Martian. I must admit this relationship was my favourite part of the book. Bobbie is a soldier and an intimidating woman who scares most men but Avasarala sees her as an asset and someone she can trust. Avasarala swears at Bobbie and tells her off but Bobbie gives the same back and is not afraid to tell Avasarala what she thinks in return. 

Avasarala

Avasarala is a UN politician and will do anything to protect her beloved Earth but she also believes in peace and trying to stop war happening between Earth and Mars. She can see through the rubbish and knows things are not right and she has to play the ‘game’ as she calls it to work out what is going on and keep the peace and she needs Bobbie’s help and the crew of the Roci to accomplish this. I just love when she walks onto the Roci and immediately tells Holden to have a shave and starts dishing out orders. She is woman who takes no nonsense and believes anybody will follow her orders.

Prax

Prax is a botanist from Ganymede whose daughter has been kidnapped and he manages to enlist Holden and his crew to get her back. I loved Prax’s character. He will do anything for his daughter but he is very lost and is not looking after himself but thankfully Amos comes along and takes him under his wing and looks after Prax. Amos the big scary Earther who is quite happy to beat people up and kill is definitely the defender of the weak in this book and it is wonderful to see and rather amusing. Prax finds himself a family in the crew of the Roci and slowly he comes out of his shell as the story moves on.

I thoroughly loved this book and loved seeing the characters develop through the book. The ending of the book also left me very intrigued and I can’t wait to start reading the next book in the series. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons and I personally think it is even better than the first book.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Butcher of Anderson Station by James S. A. Corey (Review)

The Butcher of Anderson Station by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

A new story set in the world of The Expanse. One day, Colonel Fred Johnson will be hailed as a hero to the system. One day, he will meet a desperate man in possession of a stolen spaceship and a deadly secret and extend a hand of friendship. But long before he became the leader of the Outer Planets Alliance, Fred Johnson had a very different name. The Butcher of Anderson Station.

Review

We first meet Fred Johnson in Leviathan Wakes and we soon realise that he has a past and this short story tells us what that past is. 

I really enjoyed reading this short story as it shows what made Johnson join the OPA and become an advocate for their cause. It also introduces us to Anderson Dawes who is a member of the OPA and we get a brief introduction to his character as well which is really interesting.

I already know the story of Johnson from watching the TV series but it was really heart breaking to read the story of the slaughter of the workers and families of Anderson station. 

I read this short story in one setting and really enjoyed it as it filled in a bit of background story. The more I read of this series the more I fall in love with the writing. I give this story 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Link

Amazon

About the author 

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

My review of Leviathan Wakes.

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, “The Scopuli,” they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to “The Scopuli” and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

Review

My husband and myself are massive fans of the TV series The Expanse so I thought it was high time I read the book and I am so pleased that I have started the series.

The first thing I was really surprised about was how close the TV series followed the book which is always a nice surprise as it is really annoying when the book and TV series are all different. 

The thing I loved about the book the most was how much more you get to learn about the Earth, Mars and the Belt. I loved finding out about the history of how the Belt was formed and how Belters are so physically different from people born and bred on Earth. I also love how this story is showing how the human race has advanced to live on asteroids, moons and Mars but hasn’t quite got the stars yet.

I think my favourite character in the book was easily Miller, he has had a hard life and now it has been turned upside down and he is trying to find a way to survive. He knows how to read situations and is a seasoned cop but he also knows that his way of life has had a serious effect on his humanity.

Holden and his crew are trying to piece the events that have happened to them together and in so doing they meet Miller and Holden and Miller form a friendship even if that friendship doesn’t always run smoothly. I must admit I do get annoyed with Holden at times, he is very naive at times and really does not understand the world of politics.

Amos, Alex and Naomi are Holden’s crew and they all have their individual personalities. Naomi is a Belter who can fix anything and seems to hold the crew together. Alex is a fantastic pilot who has a great affection for his fellow crew members and who also has a great sense of humour. Then there is my favourite member of the crew, Amos. Amos is an Earther but he hasn’t been on Earth for so long that he might as well be a Belter. Amos clearly has a past but we do not know what that past is yet but we do find out as the book goes on that he is a seasoned fighter and is very happy with handling firearms and hand to hand combat.

This book is a fantastic read and I can’t wait to start the next book. The comedy in the book also had me laughing out loud several times. I highly recommend this book to all sci-fi fans and give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Star Trek Discovery: Dead Endless by Dave Galanter (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: Dead Endless by Dave Galanter

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About the author

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Dave Galanter has authored various Star Trek projects, including Voyager: Battle Lines, The Next Generation duology Maximum Warp, and The Original Series novels Troublesome Minds and Crisis of Consciousness, as well as numerous works of Star Trek short fiction. He lives in Maryland with his wife and family.

Blurb

The U.S.S. Discovery’s specialty is using its spore-based hub drive to jump great distances faster than any warp-faring vessel in Starfleet. To do this, Lieutenant Paul Stamets navigates the ship through the recently revealed mycelial network, a subspace domain Discovery can briefly transit but in which it cannot remain. After responding to a startling distress call originating from within the network, the Discovery crew find themselves trapped in an inescapable realm where they will surely perish unless their missing mycelial fuel is found or restored. Is the seemingly human man found alone and alive inside the network the Starfleet officer he claims to be, or an impostor created by alien intruders who hope to extract themselves from the mycelial plane at the expense of all lives aboard Discovery?

Review

I must admit after the disappointment of The Enterprise War I was thrilled to read this book and could not put it down. I loved the characters and most of all I loved the humorous interactions.

The first thing I really enjoyed was that this novel had scenes for the lesser seen characters like Airiam, Bryce, Pollard and Landry. I particularly liked a beautiful scene between Landry and Airiam. In fact it was wonderful all round to learn more about Airiam’s character. I also found Dr Pollard highly amusing.

The main thing I enjoyed was the development of Stamets’ character through the story though. He started off his usual grumpy, rude self but as the story went through he mellowed, he became thoughtful, caring and funny and less work obsessed. I also loved the friendship between Tilly and Stamets; it was like a perfect brother and sister relationship.

My favourite character though was Ephraim. Ephraim is such a mystery but also very adorable but I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

There is also a surprise new species in the story who were very intriguing and fun.

Fun to be honest is the best way to describe this book, it really made me smile and laugh out loud. I loved this book and highly recommend it, that is why I have given it 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Book Depository

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Star Trek Discovery: The Enterprise War (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: The Enterprise War by John Jackson Miller

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About the author

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John Jackson Miller is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Star Trek: Prey trilogy (Hell’s Heart, The Jackal’s Trick, The Hall of Heroes) and the novels Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown; Star Wars: A New Dawn; Star Wars: Kenobi Star Wars: Knight Errant; Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith-The Collected Stories; and fifteen Star Wars graphic novels, as well as the original work Overdraft: The Orion Offensive. He has also written the eNovella Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies. A comics industry historian and analyst, he has written for franchises including Halo, Conan, Iron Man, Indiana Jones, Battlestar Galactica, Mass Effect, and The Simpsons. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, two children, and far too many comic books.

Blurb

Hearing of the outbreak of hostilities between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, Captain Christopher Pike attempts to bring the U.S.S. Enterprise home to join in the fight. But in the hellish nebula known as the Pergamum, the stalwart commander instead finds an epic battle of his own, pitting ancient enemies against one another – with not just the Enterprise but also her crew as the spoils of war.

Lost and out of contact with Earth for an entire year, Pike and his trusted first officer, Number One, struggle to find and reunite the ship’s crew – all while Science Officer Spock confronts a mystery that puts even his exceptional skills to the test… with more than their own survival possibly riding on the outcome…

Review

I will be honest I struggled with this book, the first half just dragged but thankfully the second half improved otherwise I’m not sure I would have lasted. The book just felt like it had a load of irrelevant scenes that did nothing to add to the storyline and the book could have been a lot shorter in my opinion.

I did enjoy the storyline of the two battling alien races and the Enterprise stuck in the middle of the war. My favourite character in the book wasn’t actually a member of the Enterprise but one of aliens called Baladon. I really enjoyed his humour and the way he adapted into the way of life of his kidnappers, it was like he had never found anywhere where he truly belonged and he had finally found that place even if it was in a war zone. I also liked the character of Connolly and the friendship between him and Baladon, their interactions were very funny.

Sadly, I did not like Una i.e Number One and just struggled with her character and I found Christopher Pike a little bit dull. They just both seemed to be lacking for me. I did enjoy the character of Spock and found that his experience made a lot of sense with the TV series and I was pleased to see it all linking together and I did feel really sorry for poor Spock and the suffering he was going through.

Out of all the Discovery books so far I found this one my least favourite and I really hope the next one is better as I have loved the series so far. If this book had been shorter I think I would have enjoyed it more so I have given this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Book Depository

Waterstones

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Star Trek Discovery: Drastic Measures by Dayton Ward (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: Drastic Measures by Dayton Ward

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About the author

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Born in 1967 Dayton Ward is primarily known as a Science fiction author who writes Star Trek novels and short stories. Before Ward became an author he served for eleven years in the United States Marine Corps. He currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri and is a software developer when not writing.

Blurb

It is 2246, ten years prior to the “Battle at the Binary Star,” and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.

While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilise the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they’re too late – Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.

In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner.”

Review

My reaction to this book is just wow. I’m not even sure if I should even use the word ‘wow’ to describe a book but I am going to. The more I have thought about this book since finishing it the more it has made its mark on my mind.

The storyline of this book is shocking but the way the characters deal with the situations and the horrifying circumstances is fantastic. There are so many intertwining storylines and that just adds to the story and makes it addictive. I also really enjoyed how the book gives you more background information on Lorca and Georgiou, it was really good to see a part of their lives early in their respective careers in Starfleet that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

There are so many emotions in this book and it does not hold back or sugar coat anything which is another element I enjoyed. There is anger, grief, fear, denial, cowardice, love and much more. The amount packed into this book is fantastic and was a real surprise to me. I really enjoyed the first book in the series Desperate Hours but it does not have the edge like this one, mainly due to the pace of this book, there was no dull, dragged out moments where I lost interest and it constantly had my attention hooked. I think this just shows that Dayton Ward is an experienced author of the genre and knows what the reader wants to read.

This story also contained a lot of twists and turns and so you never knew what could happen next and that really kept you on your toes. The characters we know so well from the TV series Lorca and Georgiou were brilliantly portrayed in the book and in my mind perfectly linked in with the TV series. The other character I was intrigued by and I really hope we see more of in future books is Captain Robert April, the eccentric captain who likes to wear cardigans over his uniform seems like a real character and I would love to see him featured in a story.

However, my favourite thing about this book is the very last section called Elsewhere. This section has had me thinking a lot since finishing the book and I absolutely loved the idea it is putting across but I will not say more as I do not want to spoil the surprise for you.

So as you might have guessed I love this book and so I rate it 5 Dragons out of 5 Dragons. For all you Trekkie fans out there it is a must read and even if you are not a Trekkie fan but adore a good Sci-fi set in space or on another planet I can not recommend it enough.

Lady Book Dragon

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Star Trek Discovery: Desperate Hours by David Mack (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: Desperate Hours by David Mack

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About the author

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David Mack has been writing since 1995 and is best known for his freelance Star Trek Novels. He has also produced a Star Trek script and worked on a Star Trek comic.

Blurb

Aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Lieutenant Michael Burnham, a human woman raised and educated among Vulcans, is promoted to acting first officer. But if she wants to keep the job, she must prove to Captain Philippa Georgiou that she deserves to have it.

She gets her chance when the Shenzhou must protect a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel that has surfaced from the deepest fathoms of the planet’s dark, uncharted sea.

As the menace from this mysterious vessel grows stronger, Starfleet declares the colony expendable in the name of halting the threat. To save thousands of innocent lives, Burnham must infiltrate the alien ship. But to do so, she needs to face the truth of her troubled past, and seek the aid of a man she has tried to avoid her entire life – until now.

Review

After watching the first season of Star Trek: Discovery I was hooked with the series and decided to see if there were any books written based on the series. My cousin who is a major Trekkie informed me there was and I immediately went out and bought all four. I have read quite a few of the books based on the Star Wars films but never any Star Trek books, so this one is a first for me and will definitely not be my last.

I loved this book as it revealed so much about Burnham and Spock and their history together and their respective childhoods. The description of Spock was perfect to what I have always seen on the TV series of the original Star Trek. Burnham was also a perfect fit to the TV Burnham and I must admit I could not help but feel sorry for both of them. They are both troubled and have their own pasts to confront and get over and will need each other eventually to come to terms with their issues.

My other favourite character is Captain Georgiou, she is so strong and powerful, I can just imagine her power and influence on the Shenzhou, she is so full of wisdom and knowledge that her crew can not help but look up to her and be inspired. She is a powerful female lead in the book who holds strong to her principles and is not pushed around by men.

The other element I like in the book is that we get to meet Captain Pike and the USS Enterprise. In all honesty I find Pike to be a bit of a young puppy in comparison to Georgiou but I do not mind that one bit either, it is just another example of Georgiou’s wisdom, firm beliefs and power. Yes she shows weakness and loss of temper but it is also always controlled and just shows she is human.

The storyline of the book I found fascinating and was hooked very early on by the idea of this ancient ship acting out its orders from long ago. I immediately wanted to know more about the ship and where it had come from and could not put the book down.

The two elements which I did not enjoy very much was firstly the character of Saru, sadly I found Saru to be a bit of a wet blanket. He was constantly worrying, being socially awkward and just generally getting on my nerves. Yes, I know it is to do with his species and his genetic make up but at some time I felt like he did not belong in Star Fleet and could be better utilised elsewhere. I was delighted every time Burnham wound him up because I think Burnham and myself share the same point of view regarding Saru. 

The second issue I had with the book was occasionally I found it to be a bit slow and I wanted it to move on quicker, this was mainly with the Burnham and Spock interactions. I just found them to be long winded, as the reader I knew the point that was being put across and did not need it dragged out like it was. I was desperate to know what was going to happen next and did not have the patience to deal with the twaddle that was present at times.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and at times could not put it down and that is why I have given it 4 out of 5 Dragons. I highly recommend it to any Trekkies out there and sci-fi lovers who are not necessarily Star Trek fans. I loved it so much that as soon as I finished it I started to read the next in the series Drastic Measures.

Lady Book Dragon.

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