Currently Listening

Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds

Wooooo…. an audiobook making an appearance on Kindleworm, whatever next?

If you go to Audible you get a 30 day free trial and you’re allowed to keep the audiobook you chose.   I chose this because i remember the original Jeff Wayne double album from years gone by; yeah, real vinyl played on a record player and all that — showing my age here.   Anyway, this is like a super extended full story version of that and it caught my attention.

It’s a bit of an annoyance as you can only listen to it using the Audible app, but it still works after you cancel your free trial membership.

Review coming when i’ve finished listening to it.

H. G. Wells’s Page

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The Camille — Colby R. Rice

This novella is titled as ‘Til Dolls Do Us Part on Colby’s website and Colby says it is the first episode in what i hope will be a rather long series.

Set in 2054 when nano technology and AI has taken over most things and even the nano technology is intelligent.

As this is a novella don’t expect too much, but it’s certainly a great taster for what may be coming from Colby in the future.   That being said, it can also be read as a stand alone if you’re just wanting something quick to read.

Colby is a great writer and really keeps your attention once you start reading.   Do check out her other books.

Also available in the ‘2054’ anthology.

Colby’s Page

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The Writer and the Witch — Robin Sloan

A wonderful, fairy tale style, short story that you can read for free by simply popping in to Robin’s website while you’re passing.

And don’t forget to give all of Robin’s books a read: they’re really good as well.

Robin’s Page

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Shadow of the Colossus — Nicole Grotepas

I had hopes that this final book in the series would redeem the waste of my time reading the previous three, but sadly, it didn’t.

The fight scene on Paradise: five gangsters who are supposed to be killing Holly and her crew turn up with just one pistol between them, and then the one with the gun decides to engage in an infantile name-calling match instead of shooting people while Odeon simply walks up to him and knocks him out with a stick.   The realism is woeful.

Utterly abysmal ending: Holly’s at a party at the club, dancing, and then suddenly she wakes up having been flown to a different moon after being mysteriously kidnapped from the club in front of all the guests and the rest of the gang.   Really?   And then, enter her kidnapper: Oh, so you’re the Heart?   Yes, you want to join me?   No, i’ll never join you.   Ok, bye then.   Finish.   The end.   WTF?

We get no explanation as to how Holly was kidnapped and appears the next day on a different moon.   Nicole just leaves a huge gap because it’s just so utterly implausible you couldn’t write anything remotely believable.

Pathetic.

We start these four books being lead to believe that the Shadow Coalition were the most fearful organised crime gang in the solar system, yet every time we encounter them they show themselves to be the most stupid, inept, idiots in the solar system.

The worse thing about all this is that the story and Holly’s crew had such potential to become something really good, but instead it all just petered off, book by book, until we’re left with an ending in this book that amounts to nothing but a writer demonstrating that they just couldn’t be bothered.

And, just to add insult to all the injury, there hasn’t been any steampunk whatsoever.   Why is Nicole advertising this as a steampunk space thing when there’s no steampunk?

I won’t be reading any more of Nicole’s books.

Nicole’s Page

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Heart of the Colossus — Nicole Grotepas

Well the good news is that all the missing words that plagued the first two books appear to have been dealt with in this book: i only noticed a couple.   There were a few other typos, but compared to the first two books this one was far, far better edited.

The story is much the same, with our usual gang of protagonists going back to save all the children they couldn’t save last time.   The problem is that while in the first couple of books you can just about suspend belief that a newbie gang can take on some extremely well established gangsters and manage to get away with it simply due to luck and being somewhat under the radar, as the story goes on this becomes much less believable and the most serious, dangerous and established organised crime gang in the solar system is portrayed as a bunch of amateurs who are incapable of shooting a gun straight.

It’s very obvious that the Shadow Coalition is now fully aware of who Holly Drake is, where she is, and that she’s a threat, because they keep sending hit men and women to kill her.   Yet, we are given that the foremost criminal enterprise in the solar system — that everyone is wary of because they’re so organised, ruthless and dangerous — can’t manage to kill one single woman who is terrified of shooting a gun in anyone’s general direction.

And still no steampunk, at all, whatsoever.

Ho hum.

I may as well finish the last book and see how it all ends.   Not very recommendable so far though.

Nicole’s Page

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Hands of the Colossus — Nicole Grotepas

The second book in the series continues in much the same way as the first.   Unfortunately, this also includes the typos, missing words, etc..   I’ve never come across a book that has typos like these.   It beggars belief that a writer can publish a book in this condition: it’s like someone wrote an algorithm that randomly stole words out of the books.

Other annoying things are that this series is clearly labelled with the term “Steampunk” in the subtitle: there isn’t anything steampunk about it.   Labelling your spaceships “Zeppelins” doesn’t make your book steampunk.   Apart from one broken antique watch there’s no clockwork stuff and i haven’t noticed any steam engines or other such steampunk elements.

I like steampunk and i was looking forward to reading some steampunky, space adventure stuff, but all i’m given is a broken antique watch to satisfy my clockwork urges.   It really isn’t acceptable to label something as belonging to a genre when it clearly isn’t.

So, all in all, there’s nothing much new in this book that wasn’t in the first book.

I’m now going to have a little break from this series to read some short stories and then i shall return and finish the series — just coz i kinda like the characters and i’d like to know how they all get on.

Nicole’s Page

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Eye of the Colossus — Nicole Grotepas

A great beginning to this series.   Listed as ‘Steampunk Sci-Fi’ on Amazon but i didn’t get any hint of steampunk.   Mostly it’s a crime/heist story set in a far off solar system on the six moons of a gas giant with 3 alien species alongside the humans.

The story is good, well thought out, with interesting characters that get you on their side: 10 out of 10 for that part.

What lets it down are the typos that are sprinkled throughout.   Sometimes you feel like you’ve been tripped up and you have to go back and read a passage only to notice a word is missing: it’s distracting to say the least.   Running a book through a spell checker is not editing, spell checkers don’t pick up on missing words and stuff.   Oh, if only independent writers would hold back on publishing for just a week while they get some picky pedant to read the book and pull up all their typos.

Still, one can put up with the errors simply because the story is really good, and pacey, and keeps you turning the pages with great characters that grab you and drag you along with them.

Shame about the typos but they haven’t stopped me from diving straight into book 2: Hands of the Colossus.

Nicole’s Page

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