Tag Archives: sci-fi

Review of Chaos Station, by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen

I purchased a copy of Chaos Station, by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen.

Description from Goodreads:

The war with the alien stin is over, but Felix Ingesson has given up on seeing his lover, Zander Anatolius, ever again. Zander’s military file is sealed tighter than an airlock. A former prisoner of war, Felix is attempting a much quieter life keeping his ship, the Chaos, aloft. He almost succeeds, until Zander walks on board and insists that Felix isn’t real.

A retired, broken super soldier, Zander is reeling from the aftereffects of his experimental training and wants nothing more than to disappear and wait for insanity to claim him. Then he sees footage of a friend and ally—a super soldier like him—murdering an entire security squad with her bare hands and a cold, dead look in her eyes. He never expected to find Felix, the man he’d thought dead for years, on the ship he hired to track her down.

Working with Felix to rescue his teammate is a dream come true…and a nightmare. Zander has no exit strategy that will leave Felix unscathed—or his own heart unbroken.

Review:

I enjoyed this. It walks the line between romantic sci-fi and romance in space, and honestly I’m not sure which side it falls on. Either way however, I liked it. 

It’s only about 200 pages long, so it’s not super deep and characters aren’t as well-developed as they might be if the book had another 100 pages. But for a as short as it is, Burke and Jensen create a likable cast and enough of a world to give them life. I rooted for Felix and Zed. My heart broke for Emma. And the rest of the Chaos crew were fun too. 

I did think it dragged a bit in the middle, not progressing in plot as much as you might expect. And the rescue was a tad anti-climactic and border-line repetitive. But overall, I can’t wait to read book two. 

Review of The Bones Beneath My Skin, by T.J. Klune

I mentioned in my last review that my kindle* died and I was waiting on a new one to be delivered. Well it was, and I took great pains to pick the first book I’d read on it. In the end, I chose The Bones Beneath My Skin, by T.J. Klune. If you’re curious, I bought a copy on Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:

In the spring of 1995, Nate Cartwright has lost everything: his parents are dead, his older brother wants nothing to do with him, and he’s been fired from his job as a journalist in Washington DC. With nothing left to lose, he returns to his family’s summer cabin outside the small mountain town of Roseland, Oregon to try and find some sense of direction. 

The cabin should be empty. 

It’s not. 

Inside is a man named Alex. And with him is an extraordinary little girl who calls herself Artemis Darth Vader. 

Artemis, who isn’t exactly as she appears. 

Soon it becomes clear that Nate must make a choice: let himself drown in the memories of his past, or fight for a future he never thought possible. 

Because the girl is special. And forces are descending upon them who want nothing more than to control her.

Review:

Oh man, this broke me. I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve enjoyed every Klune book I’ve read, and I picked this one up because I just finished a horrible book and I needed a sure-win. But this totally broke me. I cried in the end (and maybe a few places in the middle). 

True, you have to sort of like Klune’s writing style, with his habit of repeating words and such. But it so happens that I do and I adored the characters in this book. Art was hilariously blunt. Nate was fluxumed in the most adorable way, and Alex was just a giant teddy bear. 

I did think the whole thing was a tad longer than need be and I would have loved a little of Alex’s POV. But all in all, this was 100% a success for me.

*On a side note, can I say how much I appreciate that the new kindles come with almost no packaging?

Review of The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3), by Don Allmon

I received a copy of Don Allmon‘s The Burning Magus through Netgalley. I previously reviewed the first two books in the series, Apocalypse Alley and The Glamour Thieves.

Description from Goodreads:

JT was a perfectly happy orc building cars in the Arizona desert until his old friend and sometimes lover Austin showed up and talked him into one last crime. Now “one last crime” has snowballed. With a new team of thieves—a supersoldier, a hacker, a driver, a graffiti artist, and a seafaring wizard—JT and Austin are determined to free an artificial intelligence from the dungeon of the Burning Magus. 

For JT, this job is more than a prison break; it’s a do-over of The Job That Went Bad two years ago, the catastrophe in which JT lost his closest friend and then chose to abandon everything, even Austin. Maybe this time no one will die. Maybe this time JT can return to Arizona and bury his old life for good. 

Except Austin won’t be buried. After two years alone, Austin knows he wants JT—not just as a partner in crime, but as the lover he always should have been. Maybe this time they won’t make the same mistakes, especially when it comes to each other. 

Review:

I was disappointed in this book. It’s not that it’s bad, but rather that I loved the first one, liked the second one and found this one uninspired. It felt much more rushed. I thought it had too many characters, too much pointless sex and too little pay off. 

To elaborate, all the previous characters are here in this one, so the book felt unfocused. And though I have no problem with sex in my books, like and expect it even, the sex here is largely voyeuristic and too frequently not between the established couples. (So, it adds nothing to strengthen the bond we’re supposed to believe exists.) What’s more, some of it felt very much like the author went, “Oh, this is SO in right now. I better add it, even if it feels like an after-the-fact add and isn’t well stitched into the plot.” 

As to pay-off, (this is hard to address without spoilers) questions are presented and not answered, and I didn’t feel Allmon made any effort to lead the reader to decide on their own. Instead, the whole thing feels forgotten. A whole important character is introduced and not given any significant page-time (and it really was needed). And bad guys are defeated easily (even ones that took whole books to beat in the past) and simply fade away without fuss. 

All in all, I still like Allmon’s writing style. And I like this series. But, when compared with the previous books, The Burning Magus fell extremely flat for me.