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Book Review: Iraq + 100: The First Anthology Of Science Fiction To Have Emerged From Iraq
Waerloga69   |  

Iraq + 100 header

Iraq + 100
The First Anthology of Science Fiction to Have Emerged from Iraq
Paperback | Kindle
Edited Hassan Blasim
Tor Books
Release Date: September 12, 2017

Anytime the opportunity arises to experience something new and unique, I advise you to embrace it. But I must warn you, not all of these will be easily categorized. As a matter of fact, sometimes the experience will not just be enlightening, but also challenging. Iraq + 100: The First Anthology of Science Fiction to Have Emerged from Iraq is more than an anthology of new voices in science fiction. It is a testament to mankind’s willpower and tenacity even in the face of certain destruction. But, and this is a huge but, it is far more than even that. This book defies contemporary concepts of what sci-fi is by adding additional layers of history, laced with emotional turmoil.

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Book Review: The Librarians and The Mother Goose Chase By Greg Cox
Olympus Athens   |  

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase Greg Cox Cover

The Librarians and The Mother Goose Chase
The Librarians Book 2
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
Written by Greg Cox
Tor Books
Release Date: April 25th, 2017

Mother Goose is real. Although that should not surprise Eve Baird and her team of ragtag genius librarians, they are still able to muster some disbelief at some of the cases that the Clippings Book hands them. Three inexplicable events happen in separate areas of the world: a woman gets trapped inside a pumpkin, 3 giant rodents with no eyes attack a woman, and a man gets caught up in a fierce wind which catches him up into the sky, until he lands on a trampoline. What do these three people have in common? They appropriately lived through some real life nursery rhymes, appropriate since they are direct descendants of the real Mother Goose.

Such is the hook that ensnares us in The Librarians and The Mother Goose Chase By Greg Cox.

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Book Review: Extreme Makeover By Dan Wells
Olympus Athens   |  

Extreme Makeover Header

Extreme Makeover: A Novel
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
Written by Dan Wells
Tor Books
Release Date: November 15th, 2016

The never-ending quest for eternal youth and beauty is the bread and butter of the beauty industry, and it looks like NewYew is the company that has hit the winning jackpot. Their secret weapon (literally) is scientist Lyle Fontanelle, who has developed a lotion that can cause a body to create more collagen, good for burn victims, and Lyle hopes, eventually… cancer patients. But the corporate bigwigs want to push through with the testing and manufacturing against Lyle’s better judgment. An accidental lapse in safety protocols cause the lotion to be tainted. During the test run, most of the subjects start turning into Lyle, and one man starts turning into his assistant (a woman). That doesn’t end pretty. The tainted lotion overwrites one’s DNA, and the quick knowledge spread of the lotion’s capabilities start spiraling the drain, leading all to want an Extreme Makeover by Dan Wells.

More below.

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Book Review: The Librarians and The Lost Lamp By Greg Cox
Olympus Athens   |  

The Librarians and The Lost Lamp book photo

The Librarians and The Lost Lamp
The Librarians Book 1
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
Written by Greg Cox
Tor Books
Release Date: October 11, 2016

Aladdin’s lamp and its djinn occupant are real and sought after by The Forty. That’s right… as in Ali Baba. That is the quest our modern day Librarians are sent on, before they really know who or what they are looking for. Their Librarian recruiter, Flynn Carsen, thought he solved this case in 2006, when he ran solo (okay – with a cute little museum lady). The Forty stole the oldest copy of Scheherazade’s Arabian Nights, which held the clue to the location of the lamp. The djinn is no flashy, funny, always-ready-with-a-musical-number type of genie. This one was and is angry and oppressed, and slavering for the day when he will finally be free. Every wish puts a strain on the magical cell, and one day, one good wish will crack it open, freeing the djinn forever. You can expect mayhem and apocalypse to follow.

More below on The Librarians and The Lost Lamp by Greg Cox.

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Book Review: Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising By Jeffrey J. Mariotte
Waerloga69   |  

Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising header

Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising
Paperback | Kindle
Written by Jeffrey J. Mariotte
Illustrated by Steve Ellis
Cover by Aaron J. Riley
Tor Books
Release Date: September 20, 2016

A western/horror-themed role-playing game is turning out books and I’m being offered the chance to review one? Uh, YES! That was pretty much my thought process when it happened. I’m about as country as a skyscraper, but I have always had a soft spot for western novels. Mash that up with my love of RPGs and horror and it’s a match (mashup?) made in heaven (hell?). Eh, whatever. Let’s talk about Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising, shall we? That’s why we are all here, right? Well then, let’s go!

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Book Review: Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator
Waerloga69   |  

Wolf's Empire: Gladiator header

Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator
Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan
Tor Books
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Cover Price: $26.99

I read very quickly. This is a fact that few will even attempt to dispute. But there is a caveat when it comes to fiction: I have to like the book. Not to say I didn’t enjoy all of Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator, but there were some extraordinarily trying times during the consumption of this novel. I normally love anything that has even the slightest bit of history or historical reference but when it’s delivery is the equivalent of my monotoned American History professor from my freshman year, I sort of lose focus. Luckily, there were some spectacular chapters that all but redeemed this book in my eyes.

Read on for more!

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Book Review: Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn By Wendy N. Wagner
Waerloga69   |  

Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn header

Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn
Paperback | Kindle
By Wendy N. Wagner
Cover Art by Jesper Ejsing
Tor Books
Release Date: August 9, 2016

I was having a crisis of faith, folks. Specifically a loss of faith in the extended world of Pathfinder. For you see, I have read at least a half dozen of the Pathfinder Tales over the last few months and had become discouraged that I would find any that would please me. Luckily, I picked up Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn, for it has made everything okay again. Blending classic sword and sorcery with tales of the Old Ones, this novel more than makes up for some of the shortcomings I’ve seen in other books from this series. It is not without its flaws, but the tale itself is amazing and well written, two essential components in any fictional story.

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Book Review: Pathfinder Tales: Pirate’s Prophecy
Waerloga69   |  

Pathfinder Tales: Pirate's Prophecy Book Review

Pathfinder Tales: Pirate’s Prophecy
Softcover | Kindle
By Chris A. Jackson
Paizo Publishing | Tor Books
Release date: February 2, 2016

I’ll read almost anything. After working amongst books for the better part of two decades, being picky seems restrictive. So anytime the great folks here at Geeks of Doom offer me a book to review, I normally accept. Such was the case here, with Pathfinder Tales: Pirate’s Prophecy. This was my first journey into the Pathfinder franchise. Not to say I’m not familiar with it. I mean I know it’s an alternative game system to the D&D that I grew up with, but I’ve never played it, per se. However, I went into it expecting something akin to a role-playing game in prose form. Lucky for me, that’s essentially what I got!

I want to take a different approach with this review, though. I didn’t realize until halfway through the book that it was the third in a series. There were several scenes where I felt I was missing something and, truth be told, I was. So, I’ll review the storyline briefly but I want to talk about the content, as well. As I know next to nothing about the author, Chris A. Jackson, I shall not dwell too long on him at all.

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Book Review: Lock In
Olympus Athens   |  

Lock In reviewLock In
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
Written by John Scalzi
Tor Books
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Cover Price: $24.99

In the near future, a flu-like virus wreaks havoc across the Earth and kills 400 million people. Some got the flu and recovered. The rest experienced “lock in,” trapped inside paralyzed mute bodies, completely aware of their surroundings with full brain activity (at least the thinking part).

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Book Review: Superman: Peace In The Balance
Waerloga69   |  

Superman: Peace In The BalanceSuperman: Peace In The Balance
A Choose-Your-Fate Adventure Book
Softcover
Written by Michael Teitelbaum
Tor/Starscape
144 Pages
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Cover Price: $5.99

This isn’t going to be a normal book review, mainly because this isn’t a normal book. I offered to review Superman: Peace In The Balance because it’s a Choose-Your-Fate Adventure Book, not because it’s superhero related. I have much love for this type of literature, though it doesn’t seem to be as prevalent today as it once was. There’s nothing like a variety of possible endings to extend the fun you can have with a story.

And when I say a variety of endings, I mean just that. These books are similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure books of my youth. Everything hinges upon decisions the reader makes after each short chapter. Essentially, as the story progresses, you (acting as the main character would) make choices and flip to a new chapter to see the results of your action. This leads to a lot of flipping back and forth, but can create vastly different conclusions. For instance, in this book, I killed Superman no less than four times and destroyed the Earth at least once. And I had a blast doing it (pun intended).

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