Wednesday, January 09, 2013

A Plethora Of Short Story Reviews

(Sorry but I'm not adding links today)

Alienated by Milo James Fowler 3*
Alienated collects five dark speculative fiction stories:
"Insight" - A sculptor is able to see beyond our reality, but can she control her insatiable desires?
"In His Eyes" - On a farm in the distant future, an unwelcome visitor appears in the middle of a thunderstorm.
"Reverie" - Speech is the first sign of rebellion in a hive of highly evolved telepaths.
"Mo's" - The only racism that exists in this alternate history is between Humans and Greys.
"Doppelgänger Mine" - A man is stalked by his horrifying double. In the end, only one of them can survive.

My Review: This was more of a series of tastera than a full anthology of 5 stories about aliens etc. I liked them a bit but was glad not to have actually paid good money for it.

Human, Mostly (A Qimei La Sci-Fi Story) by Rivas Jakara 4*
In 2120, a group of genetically engineered young adults / adults created by the government are ordered destroyed when all but a small handful are deemed insane. During the escape, five remain behind, saving the life of visiting FBI agent Jordyn Fray. In return, they are granted their lives, on the condition that they use their abilities to track down their own kind. Less than half a year later, Jordyn finds herself in charge of a team Qimei la – Chimera. The worst of their kind has begun a string of murders and only Jordyn's team can stop them. Problem is, with the Chimera, there's always a chance that the five people who saved Jordyn's life and now work for the good guys, may snap and become a bad guy.

My Review: This one was quite a well written story but it came across more as the first few chapters of a longer one. Would really like it if the author actually did expand the idea as it was really well thought out.

Buck Johnson: Dragon Wrangler by Wyatt McLaren 1*
Buck Johnson, along with his slow-moving and slow-thinking sidekick Skeeter Evans, currently plies his trade as a dragon wrangler on Terul and is busting out a bunch of dracs for the repulsive Terullian Karposh. But when an unruly Red Kraken throws Buck, events take an unexpected turn. And Buck and Skeeter, with a little help from Snort Jones, right some wrongs and give Karposh his come-uppance . . . while still meeting their contractual obligations.

My Review: I usually like stories with dragons but this one left me feeling like I had eaten something sour.

The Ohso Project: Hit Song by Jeff Thomason 3*
Teddy B is the hottest act to hit music. Every single hits number one, and his debut album goes diamond. But then a young songwriter comes forward claiming Teddy B stole his song. The problem is the song debuted only days after he wrote it. Who is lying, and who is telling the truth? Or is there a darker secret yet to be uncovered? It is up to The Ohso Project to investigate, only they discover more than they intended.

My Review:
This one was a good story with plenty of background covered in a minimum space. The concept was very good and I know there are more of these shorts to find. If they are written in the same style then this could become a very good book one day.

After a Lean Winter by David Farland 2*
What happened in other parts of the world during H.G. Wells War of the Worlds? Read and find out.

My Review: I picked this up because of the blurb about it being a different viewpoint in The War Of The Worlds. I was vastly disappointed as if you took away the references to H G Well’s Martians you were basically left with a dog fight with aliens!

I am only Human by Diana Metz 2*
Dunn was a simple technician. He was also something they needed: Human. Charles Dunn arrives on a silent world to troubleshoot a simple communication problem. He discovers the entire human population is frozen in quarantine and being tended by robotic caretakers. When these patients are threatened, the robots need Dunn to do what they cannot.

My Review: Didn’t really like this one much. Too short and not enough real story to it.

Kinora: The Plains of Asher by J R Wolfe 4*
When war destroys the only home they have known a stranger will help them find a new one among the purple fields of the Plains of Asher.

My Review:
This jumped straight into the action and built the world as the story ran. I really liked it and hope the author will expend it into more about the main characters.

Caged by Tam Ames 2*
Marcin finds himself in a bind when he's trapped in his shifter form and sold at a pet store. Can he win over his new owner and make his escape? After a few weeks with Hamilton, does he want to?

My Review:
This promised to be a really cute story idea about a shifter but I wasn’t that taken with the actual execution of it.

Bran’s Story (Book 1 SlaveBreakers)by Sabrina Deane 5*
Imagine a modern society parallel to our own where impoverished peasants are legally permitted to sell their children into slavery starting at age 15. The upper class households in this world demonstrate their wealth by buying the best cars, largest houses and the most attractive people.Bran is a "pleasure slave" and when he tries to run away one too many times, his master sells him to a married couple known as the "slave breakers". While in their possession, Bran learns new definitions for love, family and his place in this world.

My Review: This was a little longer than the others I read and I was glad for it. The Characters were interesting and the concept was excellent. I look forward to reading more by this author :D.

Landed Alien by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller 5*
Pool Pilot and Tech Kara ven'Arith sat in the Station Master's office, on an uncomfortable, and cold, steel chair.
She sat alone, hands folded tightly in her lap, face under rigid control. Waiting. . .
A man was dead. A pilot was dead.
By her hand.

My Review:
This was an excellent short story set in the Liaden Universe. Even if you've never read any Liaden stories you can still get to grips with this one.

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