Review: Aliens: Bug Hunt

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Posted on : 1/15/2018 07:37:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Aliens: Bug Hunt Aliens: Bug Hunt by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a 4-star review. It is a weak 4-star book; closer to 3.5 stars.

The premise of the book it a series of short stories told in the Alien universe. While the aliens are not all xenomorphs of the type shown in the Alien movies, most of them are close to that.

A few of the early stories are quite good. They expand on the premise of humanity discovering a harsh and dangerous universe and present characters that are short-sighted in their pursuit of success.

The weakness of the book is that the stories trade extensively on the standard premise of the movies. An evil corporation sends an unwitting military patrol to someplace where the corporation knows is the home of an evil critter. The military discovers that they are suckers far too late in the game.

Mayhem...ensues.

If you enjoy the Alien franchise, then you will largely enjoy this book. The stories are largely entertaining even if it becomes a bit repetitive by the end.

Two standout stories were by Larry Correia and Brian Keene. Larry's story was the most disappointing as it ended up being largely gun porn. Brian's story was the best of the bunch as it delved deeper into his characters rather than focusing on the aliens.

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Review: Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists

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Posted on : 1/15/2018 07:37:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists by Adrian Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a 5-star review.

The premise of this book is to tell stories from the vantage point of the antagonist. It is supposed to present a logical, if not sympathetic, perspective on why villains do what they do.

The stories in this book largely deliver on that premise. I believe that all of the stories take place in fictional worlds that were used to write longer books. So each story ends up being a vignette into a world that already has a book in place. If you like a story, then the chances are that you will like the book (or books) that also take place in the story.

I found the stories by Peter Orullian, Alex Marshall, and R. Scott Baker to inspire much greater interest in their work. If I wasn't already a fan of Brian Stavely, then his entry would have caused me to want to read more of his work as well.

Every story delivers on the premise of the book. Even if you never quite buy into the justifications that the antagonist has for their evil, you will eventually appreciate the logic that supports their actions.

I fully expect this to be a book that I will read again in the future.

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Review: Kings of the Wyld

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Posted on : 1/15/2018 07:36:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Kings of the Wyld Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a 5-star review.

Kings of the Wyld is a lovely bit of farce. Bands of adventurers are treated like rock and roll bands. They show off. They "tour". The "play" big halls. They have groupies.

They get old. They retire. They have kids. And then those kids...or at least one of them...decides to show old dad exactly how many poor life choices a person can make.

And one of the bands has to come out of retirement to go save a wayward daughter intent on having her own adventure. Even if it kills here. Which it probably will.

The old bandmates aren't exactly enthusiastic about going back on the road and into the "Wyld". The Wyld is where all the dangerous monsters live. In truth, all the younger bands avoid going into the Wyld because it is dangerous.

Instead their lives are an imitation of how the old bands used to do it. The young bands fight creatures from the Wyld in stadiums where it is easier for the humans to win. The young bands focus on putting on a good show with parades instead of actually going out into the world and having adventures.

In some respects, the book is a great reflection on our modern society where real risk is managed almost to the point of avoidance. Where individuals seem less likely to experience a larger world first hand.

While being a bit of a farce, the book also deals in deeper truths regarding the bonds of friendship, how success can be a bit illusory, and why doing things for real matters more than doing things just to look good.

Saga rides again! Hang on for a wild and entertaining ride.

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Review: The Grey Bastards

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Posted on : 1/15/2018 07:36:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

The Grey Bastards The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What happens when a group of half-orcs stands between full orcs and the destruction of humanity? Are the orcs willing defenders or dupes? Is there something else holding back the tide or orcs?

These and so many other questions get explored in this outstanding book from Jonathan French.

The story revolves around a group of almost exclusively male fighters that are loyal to the cause. They know how to fight the orcs and win. They are defending their homeland; bestowed upon them by the humans they protect.

It is only somewhat later that the reader learns that not everything is as it seems.

One one level, this is a straightforward story about males doing male-oriented things and living male-oriented lives. On a second level, this is a story about being cautious about accepting the narrative that you are handed. Both levels are entertaining, engaging, and intriguing.

I recommend this book to everyone except one type of reader. That would be the reader that disdains reading about masculine characters being happily masculine. 'Cause there's a fair amount of that here.

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