Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Audiobook Review - Listen To The Signal: Short Stories Volume 1 by

I love short stories and radio dramas! And I love stories that focus on concepts. And I love original stories that take a different angle on stories.

Listen To The Signal: Short Stories Volume 1 by Rob Dircks is a science fiction short story anthology. It is available as an eBook, audio book, and those paper things your grandparents used to read.

The Good




Today I Invented Time Travel. 3.5/5 This was a fun idea that needed more development.

End Game. 5/5 Video game addiction and its effects on society. Even without this twist, the story is really entertaining and fun.

November 8, 2016. 4/5 A look at people's inherent worth vs. the perception of their worth.


Horatio Breathed His Last. 4/5 An author and his creator. A story I've heard before, but well told.

Purgatory. 5/5 Suicide and alien abductions that don't go how you think they'll go.

Out of the Blue. 4/5 Reality is a giant computer simulation which explains why things that have happen happened.


Rose. 2/5 Miracle plant that can bring the dead back to life and a disappointing romance.

Red Parka. 4.5/5 A new take on psychics that can see the future. Fun story.

Mister Personality. 4/5 This is a story about AI. It takes a different twist on what it means to be human.

Christmas in Silver Peak. 4/5 This is a first contact story at Christmas. While the ending isn't original, I didn't expect that twist with this particular story.

The Bad


DakĊ. 1/5 One person looks for a deceased loved one. The "twist" is obvious and been done too often.

Quick Fix. 2/5 Science opera engineering that had potential but didn't go far enough with it.

Tick Tick Tick. 2/5 Man gets a tick which transform him. Okay, unoriginal, and doesn't really go anywhere.

Bloop. 2/5 An alien contact gone wrong, almost as wrong as this story went. Clever approach.

Their DNA Was No Longer the Same. 2/5 This is an exploration of a recent discovery about time in space changing DNA.

The Last One. 2/5 The apocalypse and inborn talent that goes nowhere interesting.

What I Would Like to Have Seen


I loved the originality of the stories, but I wish they had been more developed and thought out.

Overall


Listen To The Signal: Short Stories Volume 1 by Rob Dircks is a great science fiction short story anthology. I loved the originality of the stories, but I wish they had been more developed and thought out. This collection has more good than bad and covers a wide range of science fiction and science fantasy with several commenting on society. I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 eReaders.


     

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/

Friday, April 17, 2020

Book Review - The Unknown by Brett Battles (Jonathan Quinn, Book 14)

I accidentally stumbled upon the Jonathan Quinn series and have loved each and every one of them. The past few books seemed to have lost a little magic with so many major characters having been killed in previous books, that I was afraid the series was on an unchangeable path downward. Then the 14th book was published.

The Unknown (Jonathan Quinn, Book 14) by Brett Battles is a spy thriller. It is available as an eBook, audio book, and those paper things your grandparents used to read.

The Good


Shift of Direction. The main ideas of this series is Jonathan Quinn is hired to clean up bodies after an assassination. That was interesting for about three books, and then the author realized he needed to go in a different direction. The last few books have focused on dealing with the aftermath of several main characters dying. While those deaths made for shocking endings, the series didn't seem to know where to go from there. But this book put it back on a great path with a different type of mission that fits in the world Brett Battles created.

Story. The story is solid. The characters are well developed. The adventure is well constructed. Nothing felt like it was coming out of left field or was a cheat. It is well paced and held my attention the whole time. I'm excited to read the next book.

Action. The action was really exciting and didn't feel like a repeat of what's come before.

SciFi Element. These stories are fairly grounded and realistic. The scifi element introduced is something very far into the future, and yet the way it was introduced and handled made it feel like it fit.

The Bad


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What I Would Like to Have Seen


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Overall


The Unknown (Jonathan Quinn, Book 14) by Brett Battles is a spy thriller that pulls you in from the first page and doesn't let go until the last. All my favorite characters (minus the ones who've died in previous books) were back as was The Office, the black ops government agency involved in questionable cloak and dagger required for every spy thriller. The action is exciting, the scifi element was used in a believable way for this otherwise realistic world, and the story was very enjoyable and well structured. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 eReaders.


     

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/

Monday, April 6, 2020

Audible Original Review - The Science of Sci-Fi: From Warp Speed to Interstellar Travel by Erin Macdonald

One of the many fun things about science fiction is its ability to explore and inspire. So many of the common, everyday technologies we use today were dreamt of and explored in science fiction of the past.

The Science of Sci-Fi: From Warp Speed to Interstellar Travel by Erin Macdonald is a look at the science behind popular science fiction. It is available as an Audible exclusive Audiobook and is appropriate for most ages.

The Good


Explanations. The author does a great job breaking down concepts in an understandable way without sacrificing the science.

Scope. This book covers some of the more useful and popular subjects of science fiction such as transporters, warp drive, and time travel. She uses more up-to-date scientific theories than most books on this topic and covers several experiments that have actually been performed that may lead to making this science fiction science reality.

The Bad


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What I Would Like to Have Seen


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Overall


The Science of Sci-Fi: From Warp Speed to Interstellar Travel by Erin Macdonald is a great look at the science behind science fiction: what fits current theories and what doesn't; where science is in its progress to achieve science fiction dreams; and what science fiction shows provide the best examples of new and old theories. The author also narrates this book and does a really good job. She's fun to listen to and breaks down concepts in an understandable way without sacrificing the science. She uses more up-to-date scientific theories than most books on this topic and covers several experiments that have actually been performed that may lead to making this science fiction science reality. I highly recommend this audiobook and give it 5 out of 5 eReaders.


  

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Book Review - Good Intentions by J. D. Trafford

While I'm not a fan of legal shows and movies, I really enjoy legal thriller books. Most are about lawyers and their criminal cases. To read one about a judge and family law was refreshing.

Good Intentions by J. D. Trafford is a legal thriller about a judge and family law. It is available as an eBook, Audiobook, and those paper things your grandparents used to read.

The Good


Concept. The idea of exploring family law and the way it is handled in the courts is something not usually done in fiction without a lot of heavy handiness. This book treated it as a fact of life acknowledging both good and bad and not trying to force a certain position down the readers' throats. Also dealing with it from a judge's perspective and the twist about innocence and guilt made for a story I haven't read or heard a dozen times.

Story. The story is very solid. The characters are well developed. The mystery is well constructed. Nothing felt like it was coming out of left field or was a cheat. It is well paced and held my attention the whole time. I'm excited to read more by this author.

Twists. This book took several twists I wasn't expecting but that made perfect sense. It was nice not knowing the ending of the book before I even reached the middle.

The Bad

Consequences. The author made several unusual choices about plot points taking unexpected turns, people not being as clear cut as TV tends to make them, and being more honest about situations, that the resolution at the very end where the judge learns the consequences of his actions seemed untrue to the tone of the rest of the book.

What I Would Like to Have Seen


I wish the very end where the judge learns the consequences for his actions was handled with as much thought and realism as the rest of the story.

Overall


Good Intentions by J. D. Trafford is a legal thriller about a judge and family law, something really unusual for a legal thriller. The story is very solid. The characters are well developed. The mystery is well constructed. Nothing feels like it was coming out of left field or is a cheat. It is well paced and held my attention the whole time. This book took several twists I wasn't expecting but that made perfect sense. It was nice not knowing the ending of the book before I even reached the middle.
I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 eReaders.


   

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/