Tag Archive | Futuristic

Domine by Rjurik Davidson

Format: Hardcover
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Marek, a musician and soundscaper, is excitedly anticipating the return of Dany, a crew member on the first close-to-light-speed space trip. But who is Dany, and what will happen?

This story had a distinctly “The Forever War” feel to it, but from the other side of the coin, so to speak. Fascinating, really, and somewhat disturbing too. I really enjoyed Davidson’s vision of the near future, of how the cities had evolved and/or degenerated, and his depiction of disconnect was excellent.

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Hell Divers III: Deliverance by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Format: Ebook
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

What an absolute treat to be able to reenter the post-apocalyptic world of the Hell Divers. The first book blew me away, the second book was duly devoured, and this third book was no less of a hell-ride.

Approximately 250 years after the world went to hell in a nuclear war that destroyed the surface of the planet, airships ply the skies over what used to be the USA, unable to land on the blasted – and dangerous – earth. Now aged and falling apart, the airships are maintained by supplies collected from locations across the country by the intrepid Hell Divers, men and women who risk their lives with each jump they take to retrieve the supplies, battling raging thunderstorms, high radiation and mostly humanoid monsters called Sirens.

Hive, the last of the airships, recently lost its last two teams of Hell Divers. Unknown to them, some of those Hell Divers survived to find a new airship they name Deliverance. And they are hunting down the legendary Hell Diver, X, lost ten years ago on a mission in Hades.

Meanwhile, on the Hive, a new team of Hell Divers must be trained to continue the supply runs. But when Captain Leon Jordan learns of Deliverance, he has a new goal: acquire the sleek new airship at all costs.

Nick’s prose, particularly in this series, is some of the most beautiful I’ve come across, making this series a qualified (due to the nature of the storyline) pleasure to read. It’s rare that I find books I can inhale as rapidly as these. The settings and characters are so realistic, and the delivery so smooth, that I just wrap myself up in the world for a few hours – sans hot chocolate!

For all this is a post-apoc book with monsters – humanoid, animal and plant – Nick always manages to show that the true depths of depravity are found in the human heart; there’s truly no monster worse than one that wears a human face. I’m by nature not a vindictive person, but I really really hate the villain in this story.

Oh, and that epilogue? It had me in tears. SO beautiful.

The Sigma Surrogate by JT Lawrence

Source: Own Collection
Format: Kindle Edition
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I just spent two hours of my day reading this, and I can tell you, every moment was well worth it.

What starts out as a simple investigation for resourceful journalist Keke takes twists and turns she doesn’t foresee until she’s in way over her head. In a world where infertility is rife, those who are fertile are well-protected (or are they?) – and used as surrogates. Of course, surrogacy has its opponents, cue the Sigma surrogate. Also seen in this book is Kirsten, heroine of Why You Were Taken.

Full of action, suspense and with a few more twists than I could keep track of, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Lawrence paints a vivid picture with her words, drawing the reader easily into Keke and Kirsten’s world.

Terms & Conditions Apply by Pippa Jay

Terms & Conditions ApplySource: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

“Welcome to Venus Ascendant, a Public Grade space station in the Andromedan Galaxy. With our open-to-all policy, any being in the universe can find their perfect R & R, romantic getaway or dangerous liaison at our purpose built resort. The on-board empathic AI Ganesa ensures that anyone coming to Venus Ascendant will find their heart’s desire, with suites that transform from luxurious boudoirs to sunset-lit beaches to dark BDSM dungeons. So come to Venus Ascendant and find exactly what you’re looking for!”

It was meant to be a romantic getaway for Marie and the love of her life Jaisen; a chance for him to get to know her better after months of her denying him more than a few stolen kisses. Instead, Marie finds herself dumped and alone on Venus Ascendant with no credit for a transmat and the next starship home not due for another hour.

But the all-seeing AI isn’t going to leave anyone aboard the space station with their dreams unfulfilled. Marie’s boyfriend might not have made it to the station, but there are others willing and able to take on the role – even if they aren’t entirely human.

A space station, a woman who’s been dumped, and an avatar… ingredients for a romantic cocktail delicately crafted by Pippa Jay. There were several surprises along the way, and some fabulous characters one can really sympathise with.

Having read Pippa Jay’s previous works, and thoroughly enjoyed them both, it wasn’t much of a surprise that Pippa has once again created a setting that my imagination is immediately at home in. The writing is vivid, and drew me into the story with ease. This is a quick, easy read, and a fabulous scifi romance.

Cloak and Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Cloak and SilenceSource: Own collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

One of the fiercest soldiers the Phrixians have ever produced, Maris Sulle has been an outsider from the moment he was born different from the rest of his family. He grew up with a secret that cost him everything——his birthright, his family, and his military career. In all his life, he’s only had one love, and he has sacrificed his own happiness to see his best friend reunited with the woman he loves. But now that his good deed is done, he feels lost and adrift. Even though they do their best to include him in their new family, Maris is once again on the outside looking in.

Ture has spent his life hiding from everyone around him——his family, the world, you name it——while trying desperately to fit in. Badly hurt by everyone he’s ever known, he trusts no one except his own best friend. And honestly, he can’t understand why he trusts her. Nor can he believe her when she describes a loyalty between friends the likes of which he’s never seen.

But when Ture is in his darkest hour, he’s saved by a hero he thought only existed in novels. A man who is every bit as scarred and mistrusting as he is——one who has no interest in being dragged into another relationship with anyone.

Having spent his life as a living study of doomed relationships, Maris is well aware of the courtship and fiasco that invariably follows. Still, there is something about Ture he can’t resist. Something that won’t let him walk away when he knows he should.

But when old enemies return to threaten them both, they either have to stand together or die alone.

The paramount thought I came away from this novella with was “band of brothers”. Maris and his friends are a band of brothers. Without having read any of the other stories in The League, I could sense their loyalty to one another, clearly brought about through adversity. Ture, a stranger to friendship and loyalty, doesn’t believe it can exist, despite his best friend Zarya’s insistence that her betrothed, Darling, will come and rescue them. To Ture’s great surprise, that is precisely what happens. But Darling is not alone. There is another soldier with him, the mysterious and much-talked about (by Zarya) Maris. As Ture is subsequently taken to Darling and Zarya’s palace to recover from the ordeal, he and Maris grow to become friends, and more. But their developing relationship doesn’t come without its consequences.

A quick read, excellent characters and tight plot. This is my first Sherrilyn Kenyon – I originally picked the book up based purely on the cover, and only subsequently found out who Kenyon is – and I won’t mind reading more of her books.

Note: this is an M/M romance.