Entries Categorized as 'Science Fiction'

Red Rain

Our rating: ****

Philadelphia lives with her father in a restricted compound for the religious, held there by the United, the world power. When her father is chosen to go to Mars for a secret mission and Philadelphia is forced to accompany him, she stumbles on secrets that she wasn’t ever supposed to find out. Secrets that could destroy everything she’s ever known if she’s not careful.

As the debut novel of author Aubrey Hansen, Red Rain has a lot going for it. It’s a fast-paced, well-written book with all the trappings that go with that label. Interesting characters, intriguing mysteries, plot twists—it’s all here. My only complaint, and it’s minor, is that there was room for some more exploration of the underlying themes to really make parts of the narrative keep you awake at night pondering the impossible choices. But as an exciting afternoon read, Red Rain shines brilliantly. More, please!

Pyramid of the Ancients

Our rating: **½

A group of archeologists makes an astounding discovery when they unearth a pyramid with writings inside in a language nobody has ever seen before. Rebecca (from Logic’s End) and her husband Jeffery are among the team of scientists set to study the pyramid. But when they discover it has strange powers, and then accidentally turn it on during an emergency, the team is in for a wild ride through time and space that will challenge what they believe about the origin of civilizations.

The job of a reviewer is a difficult one. I often enjoy a book’s plot and characters, while at the same time I am put off by the writing style. Such is the case with Pyramid of the Ancients. Although I found the story itself to be excellent, fast-paced, and well thought out, I had problems with the writing style that refused to pick a point-of-view character and stay there. Also, a couple of chapters of unmasked exposition had me wishing that the characters would quit talking so the story could start again. That aside, this one has a great story, and the final book in the Origins Trilogy ought to be a humdinger.

Logic’s End

Our rating: ***

NASA has discovered a planet that is so similar to Earth that it is believed to be capable of supporting life. Rebecca, an evolutionist scientist who helped make the discovery, is chosen to join a mission to visit the planet. But upon arrival, Rebecca is separated from her team and kidnapped by a group of aliens who live only for themselves and the furthering of evolution. Will she be able rejoin her team and make it back to Earth?

Logic’s End is a well-told story that is certainly a page-turner. Keith Robinson is to be commended for that. That said, the goal of the book appears to be to prove that creation is true and evolution is false. Unfortunately, because of the way the story, characters, and facts are presented, Logic’s End succeeds only in preaching to the choir. If you’re looking for a book to convince someone that evolution is false, this is likely not a good choice. But to strengthen your own belief, or even to plant a seed in an unbeliever’s life, Logic’s End is an excellent read.

Drowned Wednesday

Our rating: ****

Wednesday dawns and Author Penhaligon is facing his next task: finding and claiming the next part of the Will and the Third Key. But this isn’t any easier than Monday and Tuesday were. Lady Wednesday herself, rumor has it, has been transformed into a monstrous, all-devouring whale. And the terrible and powerful pirate-sorceror Feverfew is set on capturing and killing Arthur. Falling in with the unusual crew of the salvaging ship The Moth, Arthur faces high adventure on the Border Sea, risking much to complete his quest. Lives are at stake.

Drowned Wednesday is fairly consistent with the first two books of the series, while still keeping the adventures fresh and unique. A good blend of humor and peril, with both old characters and new. I can’t say that it’s an exceptionally remarkable story, but I found it imaginative and enjoyable nonetheless, and I intend to follow it up promptly with the fourth book, Sir Thursday.

Nightmare’s Edge

Our rating: ****½

Due to events that can only be understood by reading the first two books, Nathan Shepherd must travel to the dream world to find his father. Preventing Interfinity, a merging of the three Earths, is his goal. But events take a turn for the worst as previously-safe Earth Red heads back into a collision course. Nathan must decide between sacrificing the remaining supplicants (the strange powers behind dimensional mirror travel), playing the giant violin that previously almost killed him, or a third option which may be the most dangerous of all.

Hold onto your hat as you read this final installment! Themes of sacrifice, courage, and love are demonstrated over and over before your eyes as the story races to its conclusion. We finally learn the answers to most of the mysteries from the previous books. The ending is satisfying, yet things feel a bit rushed as the final chapter hurtles to a close. I was more emotionally involved in the previous two books than I was in Nightmare’s Edge, but with so much ground to cover it’s no wonder.