Tag Archive: science-speculative



Third Life: Taken (Life First, #3)Third Life: Taken by R.J. Crayton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a good ending to a good series. It was good because it offered plenty to think about. When a government can tell a person what they can or can’t do with their bodies, where does it end? Can they make you give up a kidney because it can save someone else? And who is held responsible when something goes wrong? And though there are scientists that can prove or disprove as much in the scientific realm as theologians can do the same with the Holy Books who can we trust?

Let’s say you decided not to give up your kidney. You feel you need it as much as anyone else. Where does your right to live stand in comparison to someone else’s? What if the government decided who should or shouldn’t have babies? Can you see what a sticky-wicket of a world it would be?

In this last book, which makes me sad to say as I will miss these characters, there are a wedding, a kidnapping, and healing while running for one’s life–or that of another. The action picks up and isn’t as slow as book two.

It has been nearly a month since I read this but I feel good reviewing as I feel I remember quite a lot. At least it made a big enough impact for me that I could remember the gist. **SMILE**

Now a quick question for the author: What was the purpose of the hidden room? Did I miss something? Or did I imagine a greater purpose than that given to us? Could there be more in store for us?

Anyway, I highly recommend this series. Sure there is romance but it doesn’t take over the main story and sometimes adds to it.

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Second Life (Life First #2)Second Life by R.J. Crayton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this second book to be slower and not nearly as exciting as the first book. But then how do you compete with emergency skydiving? I tried to be patient realizing we were getting to know other characters better.

Having a disabled person as the main character was a plus. I love it when authors take a chance with something other than perfect people and let us see characters who are different.

Still, the first half of the book took place in two rooms. THAT was boring! Sure we needed to get to know our characters’ thoughts but there had to be another way to do that.

Towards the end, things picked up and felt more like the first book. Knuckle were whitened, nails were bitten. And I was praying that there would be no cliffhanger. And there wasn’t. The book left you in a safe enough place but you knew there was more that needed to be done. Luckily, I had book three lined up and took off with that one!

Something I need to add here is another original idea of these three books is the moral dilemma similar to abortion or capital punishment. What if we were forced to give up our organs to those we match who are dying? This book takes further into what if by being forced we become disabled or otherwise harmed? Who is held responsible? I love books that make you think and this series does do that while presenting well-developed characters and lots of adventure.

Shoot, I just decided that I need to raise this from three to four stars, just due to my own review. I will remember this series long into the future that hopefully doesn’t have the dilemmas presented here.

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A Tale for the Time BeingA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Over a decade ago, I met an online friend that would change or at least, modify my life. I met Judith on LiveJournal, you remember that old site, better than MySpace but not quite as social as FaceBook. Judith was chatting in her journal about Chris Baty and the NaNoWriMo scene (Which resulted in my first novel being written between the Ides of March and the Ides of April. I didn’t finish the novel then as we had to move to a new city and I just couldn’t stay with it. But I added more than enough wordage to that novel in November 2002 to “win”. (First of 10 or 11 novels since.)

The other thing Judith introduced me to was BookCrossing.com. The concept that grabbed me with BC was how my read book could be recycled to others and then the new reader and the old could discuss this story. The book could travel even when I couldn’t, so it felt like a message in a bottle thrown out to sea. It is fun to see where your book could end up and the friendships that develop over said book. I still belong but since my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I am happy for the invention of Kindle and other e-readers. So I release far fewer books nowadays.

Besides Judith, what do the above paragraphs have in common, and what do they have to do with ‘A Tale for the Time Being’? The art of writing and the art of reading. Both concepts play strong in this story. Rather than a message in a bottle, this message floats ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox in layers of freezer bags. The writer was in Tokyo, the reader/finder in Canada. Years separate the two. Yet a bond is formed. Oh, yeah, Judith read and reviewed this and hooked me in. I think she didn’t like the Zen parts of the book. I found that part delightful. I have to admit that most of the book is believable whereas the Zen bits are a little more ‘magical’. But the title twinkles with that magic. If you read it right.

Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend this book. I actually read it one and a third times. I borrowed the Kindle version from the library. Between reading it on my Kindle app on my Tablet and listening on my old Kindle text-to-speech, I managed to get to about 36% in. Then I found that my library also had the OverDrive version. So I restarted reading the book with the author’s voice. That pumped up my ratings for this wonderful tale. Each layer of depth into the story has its own built-in amazements. Level one, tree book, and the Kindle version, there are many footnotes and definitions to help with a deeper understanding of that time in history or that country, language. But the narration includes minor helps. Hearing a voice say the Japanese names or words adds to the believability of the whole story. Ms. Ruth Ozeki has an impeccable voice and narration, her variations of voices for each character supreme! I enjoyed rereading the first third with her help. I felt I gained deeper understanding just by hearing her. Please, if you get the chance to pair both versions, go for it!

By the way, I want to thank Jonelle Patrick and her Mysteries and website: http://jonellepatrick.me/ for introducing me to many contemporary Japanese subjects presented in A Tale for the Time Being. At least I was forewarned.

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Where the Deer DwellWhere the Deer Dwell by Dorothy Gravelle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where is book two? I want more!

This has been the most satisfying read I’ve had in a long time. Unrequited office romance, abduction, then Clan of the Cavebears. Let go of disbelief. Enjoy the ride. There is action and adventure but also Walden contemplation and zen yoga.

I must admit that I am too ADD to sit still for the meditation bits, but I put on the fast text-to-speech and felt more in touch with the main character.

Dorothy Gravelle, I can hardly wait to read more of your work!

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Semper AudaciaSemper Audacia by M. Pax

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A space opera novelette. This was more like it! Though this wasn’t a full size novel or series, I felt satisfied. The depth of character, world-building, plot, action, adventure, all left me feeling like I’d been to outer-space, meet new beings, experienced friendships, saved and lost lives. In fact, this little book crammed more in than many long series I’ve read.

All that said, I found myself lost trying to figure out if this were memory or the present. In the end, it all sorts itself out. Maybe the author wanted that bit of confusion.

I recommend this little prize to my fellow sci-fi friends.

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Semper AudaciaSemper Audacia by M. Pax

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A space opera novelette. This was more like it! Though this wasn’t a full size novel or series, I felt satisfied. The depth of character, world-building, plot, action, adventure, all left me feeling like I’d been to outer-space, meet new beings, experienced friendships, saved and lost lives. In fact, this little book crammed more in than many long series I’ve read.

All that said, I found myself lost trying to figure out if this were memory or the present. In the end, it all sorts itself out. Maybe the author wanted that bit of confusion.

I recommend this little prize to my fellow sci-fi friends.

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Review: World After


World After
World After by Susan Ee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another book to keep me up until 3 in the morning. This series is so exciting! It involves so much action that from the beginning, in book one, until now the end of book two, one is caught up in the story. Susan Ee’s writing keeps you captured in her world.

It was so long ago that I read the first book that I was a little worried that I would have to go back and read book one again to remember all that had happened but Ms. Ee does a marvelous job reacquainting the reader with ‘World Before’and ‘World During’ that it all flows quite well as we step into ‘World After’.

Book one had us meeting Penryn, her little crippled sister, and their mentally ill mother. The world was hard enough for poor Penryn to live in then the Angels and Demons decided to cause the apocalypse. Survival was the theme in both of these books. But there is a minor (?) romance between Penryn and an angel.

This book continues the survival, fighting, and romance. Penryn is quite the character and struggles to help her family and the other humans to survive. She learns to use the angel’s sword and tries to save everyone. She is quite spunky and able to hold her own no matter what.

I was about a third of the way in the Kindle version of the book when I realized that I had the Audible version of the book that I had purchased a while back. I must admit that the narrator, Caitlin Davies, was able to read the story exactly how I had been hearing it in my head. What is nice about having the audio version is you get to hear how the names should be pronounced. In this case I had been calling Raffe ‘RAF’ with a long ‘A’ sound and silent ‘e’. Apparently it is ‘Rawffa’. Sounds a lot better the right way, I must admit!

Though almost all threads have been tied up, and the ending is sweet, there is enough to let me know there will be more. Yay! I do really enjoy this series. Oh, and those who don’t believe in angels demons or the bible will still enjoy this series as a fantasy. I recommend it to all for a fun adventure.

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Review: Dragonsdawn


Cover of "Dragonsdawn (Dragonriders of Pe...

Cover via Amazon

Dragonsdawn
Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my third reading of this book. I still love it. This time I was able to purchase the Audible version to go along with my own hardback book. This particular book includes Chronicles of Pern: The First Fall. But since I am trying to read these in order I didn’t want to read that part yet. Yes, I realized that Moreta should have been the read, but I didn’t have that Audible version yet. So I jumped ahead. I do have Moreta now, so I’ll start it soon.

I loved discovering, again, how humans landed and learned to survive on Pern. I was fascinated by the amount of research that Ms. McCaffrey put into the writing of this book. Not only is this pointed out in her preface, but it is obvious in how the humans proceed in inhabiting this new land. Her characters are so realistic.

Dick Hill’s narration further developed each character. All voices done so well that you know who is talking without the identifying tags in the sentences.

I have mentioned in previous Pern reviews how I love the way Dick Hill reads. He keeps the reader/listener engaged. Even his dragon voices sound convincing.

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The Dragonriders of Pern
The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If it weren’t for Audible I wouldn’t have been able to read this book. The font is so small that I can’t stay with it for long. Having the story narrated to me helped. When I didn’t understand a passage I could check it out in the book for understanding.

I love this series. I read them all a long time ago. It is so fun to get back into Pern and enjoy the dragons and fire lizards. Anne McCaffrey wrote so beautifully. I loved her vocabulary and the extent that she researched the sciences of these books. Her characters are well developed and fallible. In this part of the series the traditions of a male dominated system are challenged. The dragons make those changes happen. A new more equality-base system is about to emerge. I look forward to more in the series.

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The White Dragon
The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wish I would have written this review when I finished reading/listening this book. I have already started another in the Pern series (Dragonsdawn/Dragonriders’s Dawn).

Okay, let’s see. I remember loving The White Dragon more than the others the first time I read it. Maybe that was because I read it after the Menolly stories last time around. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums. As a music major at the time I was thrilled by the music of Pern. But White Dragon was more mature with a wider vocabulary. It also helped titrated me up to the rest of the books of Pern. This time I was more interested in the trials of the way Pern, herself, demands that traditions be challenged.

The name Ruth, in my life, has been a female name, so it still throws me that the white dragon is Ruth. He named himself. Who would argue with a dragon? Still, I loved the book. Can’t say if it is my favorite this round. We’ll see!

This time I am listening to the Audible versions while reading the paper book (hard back). I love Dick Hall’s voice, especially when he does his rendition of Masterharper Robinton. He keeps the characters individualized. And the voices for the females are not silly. It is a pleasure to listen to his voice.

Oh, the book form for this was Dragonriders of Pern which had the three books: Dragonflight, Dragonquest and The White Dragon.

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