Tag Archive | War

The War Between by Jennifer Withers

Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I read this book some time ago now, so it’s long past time I wrote a review.

Set in South Africa between present-day Johannesburg and Pretoria, this book is a dystopian vision of the future. In essence, pure humans live in Pretoria, while superhumans live in Johannesburg. There is mention of other settlements, and one appears in the story, but the focus is on the two.

This was an entertaining read, and very well executed considering the complexity of the story. I would have liked to see some more character development, but apart from that, Withers covered all her bases and delivered a solid tale.

The Gulf of the Years by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud

18586183Source: Own collection
Format: Hardback
Rating:  3 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Manoir, who calls himself Jean-Pierre, is clearly a time traveller. He travels back into the past to the day his mother was killed by a bomb. Probably some time during World War 2, although this is never stated as such. He searches for a boy, Jean-Jacques Manoir, on his arrival at school, and then takes the boy home.

I found this story to be really sad. It’s difficult to say much without giving any spoilers away. The tale is beautiful – captivating, even – which is doing pretty well for a story that’s been translated into English from the original French. I had to keep reading until it was done. There are some clues as to what’s really going on, but nothing is explicitly stated – which I quite liked.

Overall, a good entry into the Almanac, even if a sad one.

Empire by Michael R. Hicks

EmpireSource: Own Collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

EMPIRE is the coming-of-age story of Reza Gard, a young boy of the Human Confederation who is swept up in the century-long war with the alien Kreelan Empire. Nightmarish female warriors with blue skin, fangs, and razor sharp talons, the Kreelans have technology that is millennia beyond that of the Confederation, yet they seek out close combat with sword and claw, fighting and dying to honor their god-like Empress.

Captured and enslaved, Reza must live like his enemies in a grand experiment to see if humans have souls, and if one may be the key to unlocking an ages old curse upon the Kreelan race. Enduring the brutal conditions of Kreelan life, Reza and a young warrior named Esah-Zhurah find themselves bound together by fate and a prophecy foretold millennia before they were born.

This is probably the first book I picked up that I could truly place within the modern SFR genre – that is, since my reading of Anne McCaffrey’s novels. It is free on Amazon, and if I could put my reading of it into a single word, it would be ‘Wow!’ The book is arguably a war story, but it focuses on the brutal military training of Reza Gard, a human captured by the Kreelan Empire (yup, aliens, and about as alien as they can come) and a very unlikely romance.

What really impressed me with this book is how totally alien the Kreelan race is. As a human reading the novel, it was initially very difficult to grasp life on the Kreelan Homeworld – just as it must have been difficult for Reza Gard – and how one became used to it as Reza in turn did. This is spectacular writing.

The vision of this book is incredible, though I must admit I have yet to pluck up the courage to read further in the series. One becomes so immersed in the alien mindset and world that coming back to reality almost induces culture shock!

An excellent escapist novel – but don’t expect it to be a pleasant read. The Kreelans are brutal!