Review: Red Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson

  • Title: Red Mars
  • Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Genre: Science-Fiction
  • Why: It’s been staring at me for ages
  • Rating: 3.5 Stars

Description: In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research & cutting-edge science in the 1st of a trilogy chronicling the colonization of Mars: For eons, sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape. For centuries, Mars has beckoned humans to conquer its hostile climate. Now, in 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to fulfill that destiny. John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers & Arkady Bogdanov lead a terraforming mission. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage & madness. For others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. For the genetic alchemists, it presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life & death. The colonists orbit giant satellite mirrors to reflect light to the surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth. Massive tunnels, kilometers deep, will be drilled into the mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves & friendships will form & fall to pieces–for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.
Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope & ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in evolution, creating a world in its entirety. It shows a future, with both glory & tarnish, that awes with complexity & inspires with vision.

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Review: His Wicked Games – Ember Casey

  • Title: His Wicked Games
  • Author: Ember Casey
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Why: Recommendation by another review blog.
  • Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Trapped with a billionaire in his mysterious mansion… Can she beat him at his own game?

Lily Frazer would do anything to save the Frazer Center for the Arts–even take on the infamous billionaire Calder Cunningham. When Lily breaks onto the Cunningham estate, she only wants to find and reason with Calder. (All right, all right, she wants to punch him in the face, too, but that’s Plan B.) As it turns out, the arrogant billionaire is willing to give her the money he promised, but there’s a catch: she must win it from him.

Lily isn’t about to give up the money without a fight (or let some haughty bastard seduce her), but she quickly discovers that there might be more to the brooding Calder than she initially perceived. As their games of cat and mouse become increasingly intense, she suddenly finds herself confused by her own emotions. Can she deny her attraction long enough to win the money she needs?

A contemporary, steamy take on Beauty and the Beast, His Wicked Games is a tale of devilish deeds, wild passions, and wicked romance.

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Review: Wounded – Lindsay Buroker

  • Title: Wounded
  • Author: Lindsay Buroker
  • Genre: Adventure? With a bit of comedy and romance? Kinda hard to place.
  • Why: Saw someone else’s review and was intrigued.
  • Rating: 3.5 Stars

Description: When Tara Blankenship’s writing assignment takes her to an “eco village” on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, she anticipates a quiet couple of weeks in a quaint setting. (She’s far too mature to use the word boring, thank you very much.) What she stumbles into is anything but quiet and quaint.

Someone has been slaughtering livestock to scare the villagers, mysterious intruders are searching the property at night, and Tara finds a grisly welcome-warning on the porch of her guest cottage. To top it off, the surly neighbor nearly runs her off the road on her first day. Why are the handsome ones always such jerks?

Malcolm Ashcroft is the last person a sane woman would want to deal with, but he may be the only one with the key to solving the mystery—and giving Tara the story of her career. Of course… he might also be the man behind all the trouble.

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My reading project for next year

I know, 2015 is still two months away, but this popped into my head sometime last week, and I haven’t been able to let it go since.

Those of you familiar with Goodreads might also be familiar with their annual reading challenge. This year I’ve given it a go, setting myself a goal of 75 books, and I’m well on target to reach that. Still, I’m not sure I like the challenge. It adds a sense of compulsion to my reading which I’ve never felt before. I know I read a lot; do I really need a website to keep track of exactly how much I’m reading? So I won’t take the challenge next year. Instead I’m creating a challenge of my own.

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Review: Betrayal in Death – J D Robb

  • Title: Betrayal in Death
  • Author: J D Robb
  • Genre: Futuristic murder mystery romance
  • Why: I still intend to read the whole series
  • Rating: 4 Stars

Description: At the luxurious Roarke Palace Hotel, a maid walks into suite 4602 for the nightly turndown — and steps into her worst nightmare. A killer leaves her dead, strangled by a thin silver wire. He’s Sly Yost, a virtuoso of music and murder. A hit man for the elite. Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows him well. But in this twisted case, knowing the killer doesn’t help solve the crime. Because there’s someone else involved. Someone with a more personal motive. And Eve must face a terrifying possibility — that the real target may, in fact, be her husband Roarke…

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Musings on Science-Fiction

I know it has been absolutely ages since I last posted a blog post, but this is in part due to the fact that I have been on holiday for two and a half weeks. I am also shamelessly behind on reviews, but I will catch up on those at some point, I promise. I just don’t know when yet.

With that brief news out of the way, I found myself pondering science-fiction literature recently, mainly because I have started Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars).

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Questions I have after re-reading Harry Potter

Over the past couple of weeks I have been re-reading the entire Harry Potter series. It was a very interesting and rewarding experience, since I don’t believe I’ve read any of the books since Deathly Hallows came out, but it has also left me with rather a lot of questions.

Some of these questions are simple musings that I don’t really expect an answer to, others feel almost like plot holes, or at least things that could have been explained but weren’t. I would be very interested to hear other people’s views on any or all of these questions.

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