#AllTheseWorlds (Bobiverse, #3): Cheap and Easy. And Awesome.

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All These Worlds by Dennis E. Taylor

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Well, THAT was a lot of fun!

Bob used to be human, but now he’s the AI brain of a self-replicating space probe. He thought his job would be exploring strange new worlds. He might have planned a little differently if he’d known he would end up being the savior of humanity…and not humanity.

I picked up We Are Legion (We Are Bob), book 1 of the Bobiverse, expecting a tongue-in-cheek, B-level, popcorn read that lured me in because it was cheap and easy and had a clever name.

Happily, I found a well written, unique ScyFy story with smart humor, real science, great characters, and an engaging story…

…that’s cheap and easy. And has a clever name.

Cheap, meaning the ebook is $3.99, and the audio book is only $1.99.

Easy, meaning it’s a book about rocket science that doesn’t read like rocket science.

The final book, All These Worlds, came out last week…and I loved it. It finished off the trilogy with all the right notes.

Two or three swears, but other than that no content issues. I highly recommend the audio books too.

Happy reading!

#TheGreenEmber (The Green Ember #1): Don’t be fooled by the talking rabbits…

51vzxrua2bnl-_sy344_bo1204203200_The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Well, dang. I guess I’m not like everyone else.

This book is boring.

I love to read to my kids, and discovering new treasures to read aloud to them is kind of my thing. The Green Ember looked like it was going to be a lot of fun, maybe a Watership Down kind of adventure. It had the reviews to back it up, and I was ready for something awesome.

It wasn’t.

The writing belongs in a picture book, not a 360 page novel. It is age appropriate content-wise, but length-wise it feels too long for a 7-year-old. Probably right for a 10-year-old, but I think the 10-year-old’s I know will bored of this one too.

The strong reviews make me feel like I missed the punchline of a joke everyone else got, so I might try reading it aloud to my 5 and 8 year old kiddos and see what they think. If they like it I’ll come back and revisit this review.

Until then, if you need a book about rabbits, read Watership Down. It’s brilliant.

Happy Reading!

#LeviathanWakes (The Expanse #1): The Expanse is…Big.

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Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Expanse is…big.

I’ve only read the first book, but I can tell–there’s a lot of story to be told. I can see why so many love this series.

Leviathan Wakes worked really well for me. It introduced the world, peeled the layers from the complicated characters, told a great story, and–blessedly–ended without a cliffhanger.

In some distant future, humanity ran out of room on Earth and began populating the other planets, moons, and even asteroids in our solar system. Deep space is still out of reach. Still haven’t met E.T.

While we may have escaped Earth, turns out we will never escape politics. Or terrorists.

Good guys + bad guys + space ships = awesome space ship fights.

I’m relieved at the no cliffhanger part because I’m feeling pretty ScyFy’d out at the moment, and I’m glad I don’t feel an urgency to read the next installment. I’m sure the series continues to be great, and I’m certain I’ll get to it. I just need to go read something fluffy first.

Grown up language throughout, so keep this one away from your ScyFy-loving young people.

Happy reading!

#RunProgram by Scott Meyer: Not for boring people.

 

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Run Program By Scott Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Scott Meyer strikes again!

This is a fun story about a rouge A.I. It’s been done before, obviously.

Many times.

The strength of this story isn’t the…uh…story. It’s in the humor and it’s hilariously goofy cast of characters.

That’s what keeps me coming back to read Scott Meyer. He makes me laugh!

Looking for some fun? Give Scott Meyer a read. Start with Off to Be the Wizard…it’s his first and best. His audiobooks are always done well, too.

No content issues here.

Happy Reading!

#ForWeAreMany (Bobiverse #2): 1 was fresh. 2 was awesome. You have no excuse.

For We Are Many
For We Are Many by Dennis E. Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I called the first one fresh ScyFy. I’m calling the second one just plain awesome.

Bob used to be human, but now he’s the AI brain of a self-replicating space probe. He thought his job would be exploring strange new worlds. He might have planned a little differently if he’d known he would end up being the savior of humanity…and not humanity.

It’s exciting. It’s funny. It’s stressful. It’s smart.

The story is fantastic. The characters are well written.

The smart science is so easy to understand it even makes ME feel smart.

I can’t wait for book three to be published on 8/8. You have no excuse. Get your hands on book one.

Then thank me.

A couple of swears, but other than that no content issues.

Happy reading.

#WeAreLegion(WeAreBob) (Bobiverse, #1): Heads up… We’ve got some fresh ScyFy here! 

We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fresh Scyfy!

Now here’s a nice surprise…space-based science fiction that takes the same old and turns it into brand new.

Bob just sold his software company, and now he’s loaded and looking forward to a life of relaxation and retirement–right up until he is killed crossing the street. Lucky for Bob, the day before he had signed a contract with a cryogenics company…

…so he wakes up 117 years later to find things aren’t quite like he expected. Bob no longer has a body, for example. He’s now the AI part of a computer program designed to pilot space probes, and suddenly Bob finds himself Star Trek-ing through the galaxy in search of strange, new worlds.

Space-probe Bob can replicate himself, and before long there are many space-probe Bob’s, all with the same memories but slightly different personalities. They give themselves different names and take on different roles depending on what interests them. Soon there are scientist Bob’s, Battle Bob’s, Earth-rescuing Bob’s, Explorer Bob’s, all traveling the galaxy and becoming saviors of mankind.

The humor is nice and nerdy, the science is realistic, and the story is engaging. The Bob’s are surprisingly excellent as characters! All that, plus some really great writing, give unexpected and impressive depth to what–on the surface–sounds like a silly concept. There is plenty of fun, but I kept finding myself impressed by the applied science, written in a way that made dumb me feel smart because I could understand what was going on.

One f-bomb, no sex. I green light this one for anyone 14 and older who is nerdy enough to appreciate good Star Trek and Star Wars jokes.

Happy Reading!

#Wonder: How to Change the World

Wonder
Wonder by R.J. Palacio

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My word, this is a wonderful book!

Auggie wasn’t born perfect. He wasn’t even supposed to survive. His head didn’t come together right. His face makes children cry and adults flinch. He doesn’t have ears, his eyes are in the wrong place, and his mouth and teeth make it hard for him to eat normally and keep his saliva in his mouth. The endless surgeries have prevented him from attending school, so he’s been home-schooled. Other than that, Auggie’s perfectly normal.

And it’s time to start the 5th grade. Middle school–Lord of the Flies in real life.

You can probably fill in the rest.

I’ve been telling the people around me about Wonder, and I keep getting the same flabbergasted response: How sad! Why would you read a book like that?

Why? Because this isn’t a book about mean kids who bully. It isn’t a book about not being mean.  This book is about what happens when you act just a little kinder than is necessary.

Oh, my dad heart! What a message this is! My children, do you want to change the world? It’s not enough to not be mean. It’s not even enough to be kind. Change the world for someone by being kinder than needed.

I can’t recommend Wonder enough. There is meaning for all of us, because every single one of us feel different. Fellow parents…we all have Auggies, and this book will give you strength.

My only warning: Don’t read this book in public. Tears will flow.

Recommended for the world. Starting with my kids tonight.

Happy Reading!

#TheHumans: We may be odd, but we make a great story!

The Humans
The Humans by Matt Haig

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

Humans. We are odd, aren’t we?

At the very least, we make a good story.

A math professor at Cambridge has proved the Riemann Hypothesis (Google it!), which turns out is the key to setting humans on the fast track…except that an alien race decided we’re not worthy. So they kill the professor on the night of his discovery, replace him with an alien replica, and task him with going Terminator one everyone who might know about the discovery.

Of course, as any visiting alien with preconceived ideas eventually learns…there’s hope for the Human Race after all.

This is a sweet story of learning about love, family, and what it means to be Human.

There was a whole lot of philosophy in there, and it got old. I would have rather had more story and less philosophy. I guess I’m just not smart enough to go that deep.

Watch out for one character’s proficiency in using 4 letter words, and be advised that teen suicide is significant subplot.

Best for discerning 16-year-olds and up.

Happy Reading!

#TheGreatcoats: If the 3 Musketeers, Scooby Doo, and Deadpool had a baby . . .

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Traitor’s Blade

Knight’s Shadow

Saint’s Blood

Tyrant’s Throne

by Sebastien de Castell   My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If the 3 Musketeers, Scooby Doo, and Deadpool had a baby it’d be…weird.

It’d also be called The Greatcoats.

For every bit of awesome I found in these four books, I found something else that drove me crazy.

The brilliant sword fights? The witty banter? The complex relationships? The multi-layered characters?

Awesome.

The same plot over and over? The forced plot resolutions? The out of place f-bombs? The forced plot resolutions? The amazing abilities of the important characters to not die? The forced plot resolutions?

Finger nails on chalkboard. Did I mention that I hated the forced plot resolutions? (I just looked up “deus ex machina” in the dictionary and found a picture of these 4 books in place of a definition.)

Without a doubt, The Greatcoats quintet is great fun. The heroes struggle against all odds, fighting against evil and those who would oppress, motivated purely by their lofty ideals, respect for the law, and their love for their king. These guys know how to fight! Their friendship is enviable, and their witty banter is hilarious. The only thing missing was “All for one, and one for all!”

If only…

…I didn’t hear in my mind “…and I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those pesky Greatcoats!” every time a tricky problem was solved miraculously—over and over and over again. It made Scooby Doo fun. It made The Greatcoats frustrating and unbelievable.

If only…

…I didn’t mind if D’Artagnan only knew one expletive, and it started with F and rhymed with duck. The language works for Deadpool’s brand of heroics. It would not have worked for The Three Musketeers, and it just doesn’t work for these guys. Uncouth. Uncomfortable. Unfortunate.

There’s violence, swearing, and a graphic rape scene in book two. Can you handle that? Can you overlook the easy outs? I say go for it. I bet you’ll love The Greatcoats.

Adults only.

Happy Reading!