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by Mark T. Barnes
An uneasy peace has existed since the fall of the Awakened Empire centuries ago. Now the hybrid Avan share the land with the people they once conquered: the star-born humans; the spectral, undead Nomads; and what remains of the Elemental Masters.
With the Empress-in-Shadows an estranged ghost, it is the ancient dynasties of the Great Houses and the Hundred Families that rule. ... [read more]
- Written by Seregil of Rhiminee (Saturday, 29 December 2012 5:48 pm)
- Category: Articles
Steve S. Grant's The Dreamer Genome was self-published in November 2012. It's Steve S. Grant's debut book.
Click here to visit the author's official website.
Information about The Dreamer Genome:
In 2020, a passionate scientist conducts secret genetic manipulations to give human fetuses the ability to survive long periods of hibernation. He is supported by a pharmaceutical tycoon who believes in his genius and realizes the implications of his work: Cryogenics... to prolong life... a one-way time machine to the future... unlimited financial potential to the company who develops and markets such a long coveted dream.
When the clandestine lab is voluntarily destroyed to avoid discovery, test subjects are scattered and raised in extremely different conditions. Unfortunately for them, their corporate parent is expecting a high return on its initial investment. Greed and personal ambition eventually overthrow the last remaining shreds of common decency and the experiment spirals down a dark path.
The Dreamer Genome is a realistic sci-fi thriller exploiting untested scientific theories in the tradition of Michael Crichton. Readers are taken on a wild ride to the near future and confronted with a definite possibility of the new century.
A REVIEW OF STEVE S. GRANT'S THE DREAMER GENOMEDiscuss this article in the forums (1 replies).
- Written by Seregil of Rhiminee (Wednesday, 26 December 2012 10:14 am)
- Category: Articles
David and Andrew Burrows' Drachar's Demons was published as an e-book in 2011 and as a paperback in 2012.
Click here to visit David Burrows' official website.
Information about Drachar's Demons:
Drachar is a ruthless and ambitious sorcerer who will stop at nothing to wreak revenge against those who betray him. From a lowly although arrogant Eldric lord to commander of the most deadly army the land has ever seen, he pitches relentless hordes of powerful soul devouring demons against his own people, the Eldric.
Fierce battle is to commence and all in its path must fight or risk their soul being sent screaming from their twitching corpses. Madness tears at Drachar, a constant reminder of what should happen if he fails in his bloody pact; delivering one hundred thousand souls to the demons in exchange for the greatest of power. The Eldric must learn to summon demons of their own to stand any chance against Drachar's deadly arsenal of krell, demons and grakyn.
Magic and swords clash together in a war of such catastrophic proportions that the world will be forever stricken. Join Drachar the outcast as he rises to omnipotence. The die are cast and events are set in motion that look set to destroy the world.
The race is on for war threatens; a war like no other for sorcerer will battle sorcerer and demon set against demon.
A REVIEW OF DAVID AND ANDREW BURROWS' DRACHAR'S DEMONSDiscuss this article in the forums (1 replies).
- Written by Seregil of Rhiminee (Friday, 21 December 2012 10:44 pm)
- Category: Articles
Michael Brachman's Rome's Revolution was published in 2011 and The Ark Lords in 2012.
Information about the author:
Michael Brachman has a Ph.D. in Sensory Science with a minor in Computer Science. Rome's Revolution is his first science fiction series, depicting the enduring love between a man from the 21st century and a woman from the 35th century. Between the two of them, they fend off various threats to mankind. The science behind the science fiction is meticulously researched. It is so realistic, you will believe that these stories are true, they just haven't happened yet.
The official websites for Rome's Revolution and The Ark Lords are:
Information about Rome's Revolution:
Imagine waking up 14 centuries from now, only to discover that everything you know about the universe is wrong and you are nothing but a despised relic from the long-dead past.
Rome's Revolution is an interstellar saga about a man from the 21st century and a woman from the 35th century who fight forces from the incomprehensibly large to the infinitesimally small, all intent on destroying mankind. Cinematic in scope, Rome's Revolution offers romance, comedy, heart-pounding thrills, suspense, "legal" time travel, and meticulously researched hard science. It is a love story and a culture clash that celebrates the triumph of the individual over a mass-mind that thinks it is infallible. Rome's Revolution has it all: robots, aliens, computers, genetic manipulation, spaceships that travel faster than light and some that travel a lot slower.
Rome’s Revolution chronicles the adventures of Rei Bierak, a twenty-something male from the very near future. Rei, along with 542 other humans, is frozen and launched in the Ark II toward the stars with the hope of establishing a colony on a habitable world in the Tau Ceti system. During Rei's long trip, modern civilization has collapsed, and society has reformed into a decidedly different model. The 24-chromosome mind-connected humans of the future called the Vuduri are efficient, indifferent, and emotionally deficient. The Vuduri have conquered faster-than-light travel and have established an outpost in the Pi3 Orionis system (aka Tabit) to study why certain stars are disappearing. Awakening 1388 years in the future, Rei meets Rome, a beautiful half-breed Vuduri woman, who is eventually ostracized for consorting with him. Rei and Rome are joined by OMCOM, a super-computer with delusions of omnipotence. Together, they fend off a hostile society, saboteurs, and technology indistinguishable from magic. The fate of humanity, perhaps even life itself, hangs in the balance.
If you are looking for some science in your science fiction, this book is for you. (One other note: this story is true, it just hasn't happened yet.)
Information about The Ark Lords:
In this fast-paced sequel to the novel Rome's Revolution, Rei, Rome and MINIMCOM, the 35th century starship that was once a computer, find themselves under attack from all quarters.
Why? The Ark Lords were the second-most heinous individuals to ever walk the Earth. The first were those responsible for the death of nine billion people - The Great Dying - back in 2081 AD. Who was behind this horrific act has remained a mystery, until the day Rome accidentally stumbles across the answer to the 1400-year-old secret. Merely possessing this knowledge threatens not only Rome's family, but every man, woman and child throughout the galaxy. Those protecting the secret will stop at nothing to make sure their endgame is secure.
Rei, Rome and MINIMCOM embark on a desperate race through three star systems to try to prevent The Ark Lords from rising again. At stake is nothing less than the fate of all of mankind.
A REVIEW OF MICHAEL BRACHMAN'S ROME'S REVOLUTION AND THE ARK LORDSDiscuss this article in the forums (1 replies).
- Written by Seregil of Rhiminee (Tuesday, 11 December 2012 12:19 pm)
- Category: Articles
Martha Wells' The Siren Depths was published in November/December 2012 by Night Shade Books.
Martha Wells is the author of five Ile-Rien novels (The Element of Fire, The Death of the Necromancer, The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air and The Gate of Gods), Books of the Raksura series (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea and The Siren Depths), City of Bones, Wheel of the Infinite and two Stargate Atlantis novels (Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement). She has also written short stories and non-fiction articles.
Martha Wells' official website can be found here.
Here's a description of The Siren Depths:
All his life, Moon roamed the Three Worlds, a solitary wanderer forced to hide his true nature - until he was reunited with his own kind, the Raksura, and found a new life as consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court.
But now a rival court has laid claim to Moon, and Jade may or may not be willing to fight for him. Beset by doubts, Moon must travel in the company of strangers to a distant realm where he will finally face the forgotten secrets of his past, even as an old enemy returns with a vengeance.
The Fell, a vicious race of shapeshifting predators, menaces groundlings and Raksura alike. Determined to crossbreed with the Raksura for arcane purposes, they are driven by an ancient voice that cries out from...
THE SIREN DEPTHS
A REVIEW OF MARTHA WELLS' THE SIREN DEPTHS
Finding originality and true talent in today's overcrowded fantasy market is difficult, but fortunately there are still authors like Martha Wells who write quality fantasy for adults. The Books of the Raksura series can be seen as a proof of her writing talents, because it continues to get better and more complex with each new book. Each time I've read a book by Martha Wells, there's been one question on my mind: How does she manage to write so original and absorbing stories? I don't know the answer to this question, but I think that it takes a lot of courage and determination to write a book series about a totally different culture and race, because this is seldom done in fantasy literature.
When you read this review, you'll probably notice that I love The Siren Depths very much and I'm not afraid to praise it. The Siren Depths is one of those books which deserves all the praise it gets, because it's an excellent book (it's a pleasure to read this kind of well written adult fantasy).
The first two books, The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea, were excellent fantasy books, but in my opinion The Siren Depths is an even better and more satisfying book, because it takes the series to a whole new level of depth.
In the first two books the readers were introduced to a world called Three Worlds, the shapeshifting Raksura and their enemies, the Fell. The author created an amazingly vivid fantasy world by writing about strange beings, new cultures, love, loss, loneliness and relationships in an entertaing and fascinating way. She added politics, cultural differences and fascinating characters to her world and the result was a stunningly original fantasy world. All these things and other things that the readers have to come expect from this series can be found in this book, but this time with more depth and style than before.
Here's a bit of information about this book:
In this book Moon has settled to his life in the Indigo Cloud court, but things still aren't as easy as they could be. He has found a place for himself, but things like having babies with Jade cause him problems. When another court, the court of Opal Night, sets claim on Moon and wants to take him, things become difficult, because Moon isn't sure if Jade will fight for him. This is just one of his worries, beause the Fell make a return and are just as deadly and dangerous as before. The Fell are trying to crossbreed the Raksura for their own purposes...
One of the most intriguing things about The Siren Depths is that Martha Wells focuses on writing about the court of Opal Night. The court of Opal Night is Moon's birthcourt and the rulers of this court have shameful and disturbing secrets, which they try to keep hidden from outsiders. The atmosphere at the court of Opal Night is a bit tense because of these secrets. It was interesting to read what happened when Moon found out about the secrets.
I enjoyed reading about what happened to Moon when he was young. The revelations about his childhood and heritage were interesting, because they explained many things and were a great way to show readers what kind of tragic things had happened at his birthcourt and how they affected everybody.
I like the way Martha Wells writes about the court politics and plots of the Raksura, because these things aren't to Moon's liking. It's good that the author explores court politics through the eyes of Moon, because Moon is used to being a solitary being and several things seem complicated to him. He has just recently come to realize what it means to be a Raksura and he's still learning new things, so his observations about court politics are often sharp and others may not feel the same way about things.
The author writes fluently about how the Raksura deal with the groundlings and their way of life. Things concerning the groundlings are interesting, because the cultural and racial differences between the Raksura and the groundlings (and the problems caused by these differences) add quite a lot of depth to the fantasy world. Certain groundlings fear the Raksura, because they think that they are Fell who want to kill and eath them, but others are used to the Raksura and are friendly to them.
Reading about the enemies of the Raksura - the Fell - and their plans is also interesting, because they have tried to crossbreed with the Raksura. What makes the Fell interesting is that they're related to the Raksura, but are totally different kind of beings and have a different kind of culture. The scenes with the Fell are intriguing, because the author reveals what kind of plans they have - what the readers will find out is truly riveting and unexpected.
The worldbuilding is once again excellent. The author created a solid fantasy world in the previous books and now she continues to write more about the world and the Raksura. I have to admit that I've been very impressed by the author's worldbuilding since the beginning, because she reveals bits and pieces of the world as the story progresses and the readers learn new and exciting things all the time. The worldbuilding culminates in this book, because the author keeps on revealing more things - and especially important things - about the world and the beings which inhabit it.
The character development is one of the best things about this book. The shapeshifting Raksura are fascinating characters, because they aren't human beings, but their feelings are totally similar to human feelings (this is one of the reasons why I love these books so much). I think it's possible that readers will be able to identify themselves with some of the characters and especially with Moon, because he is the protagonist of the story.
Because I've been fascinated by the Raksura and their extraordinary way of life and biology ever since I read The Cloud Roads, I was impressed by how easily the author wrote about Moon's present situation and how he felt about his birthcourt and Jade. The moments between Moon and Jade are handled admirably, and so are the moments between Moon and the members of his birthcourt. I especially enjoyed reading about how Moon felt about Malachite and Shade (the dialogue between the characters is fantastic and at times delightfully sharp).
Martha Wells has already explored what it means to be different in this series by writing about Moon and his problems. In this book she takes things further by writing about Shade and how he differs from other characters. I won't reveal who or what Shade is, but I'll mention that he is a complex character and he has an unusual past, which will be a surprise for the readers. His unusual past makes him a kind of a "recluse", because he doesn't exactly fit into the court. The dialogue between him and Moon is fantastic.
The Siren Depths is probably the most emotionally challenging and beautifully written book in this series, because feelings are explored with a heartfelt pain and clarity - the characters have powerful and believable feelings of love, hate, shame, jealousy and fear (how Moon, Shade, Malachite, Jade, Stone and other characters feel about things is handled perfectly). Writing about feelings can be difficult and several authors tend to write sugary prose, but fortunately there's no sugar coating in this book. For example, when Moon arrives at the court of Opal Night, he feels alone and unsure about his future - his feelings are fully believable and it's easy for a reader to understand what it feels like to be alone in a strange place.
The prose is just as good as in the previous books, if not even better than before. Everybody who likes good prose will enjoy reading the author's sharp, but touching prose. I like the author's writing style very much, because she has a talent for compelling storytelling.
I sincerely hope that Martha Wells will at some point continue to write more books about the Three Worlds, because the world that she has created is astonishingly original without any kind of artificiality. I'm sure that I won't be the only one who wants to read more about the Raksura and Three Worlds. If the author decides not to write more stories about the Raksura, it's great that she has given readers three original fantasy books, which stand head and shoulders above other fantasy books.
I've noticed that some readers have categorized these books as science fiction. There are certain science fictional elements in these books, so it's possible that readers may feel that they're sci-fi books, but I wouldn't categorize them as science fiction, because they're clearly fantasy books.
Before I finish my review I'll mention briefly that this book contains appendixes, which are useful to readers (it's nice to check what the terms mean, if you happen to forget them). I'll also mention that it's good to read the first two books before reading this book (if you've read the first book, you may understand certain things, but I strongly recommend reading both books).
The Siren Depths is a brilliantly complex, absorbing and original fantasy book. If you're tired of clichéd fantasy books with shallow characters, do yourself a favour and read this book, because you'll be impressed by the complex characters, the originality of the story and the poignant prose. The Siren Depths is one of the best and most original fantasy books of 2012, so make sure that you'll read it as soon as possible.
Highly recommended!Discuss this article in the forums (1 replies).
- Written by Seregil of Rhiminee (Saturday, 01 December 2012 9:26 am)
- Category: News
Emmi Itäranta's debut novel, Memory of Water (original title: Teemestarin kirja), will be published in the UK and USA in 2014.
More information about Emmi Itäranta can be found on these websites:Discuss this article in the forums (3 replies).
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