Book Review: Only Forward

Only Forward
By Michael Marshall Smith

My Edition:
Paperback, 310 pages
2015, Harper Voyager
ISBN: 9780008117443

Stark is the Private Eye you call when Something Happens and you need help. Stark has a way with dreams and the past that makes him the man for the job. Living in a world where people are separated by Neighborhoods governed by specific (and usually bizarre) rules, Stark has found a way to bend the rules and move from Neighborhood to Neighborhood the way most people can’t. But when his friend Zenda calls him to help with Something that Happened, Stark discovers he might be in over his head.

This book is utterly weird and I loved it! It is the first book from my Mr. B’s subscription that my girl Melissa gifted me for my birthday. I’d never heard of M.M. Smith before (he also writes as just Michael Smith) and now I need to get my hands on more of his work.

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Book Review: If Tomorrow Comes

If Tomorrow Comes
By Nancy Kress

My Edition:
Hardcover, 334 pages
2018, Tor
ISBN: 9780765390325

Thank you to Tor for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Ten years after the events of Tomorrow’s Kin, If Tomorrow Comes explores what happens when a group of Terrans sets off on a long-awaited expedition to their kindred on World. A group of scientists, including Marianne Jenner, military and diplomats set off in the ship built to the specifications left behind by the aliens. But when they reach World, also known as Kindred, nothing is as they expected.

This sequel didn’t disappoint. Kress kept it fresh with a new setting and some new characters, but a few familiar faces turn up.
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Book Review: Void Black Shadow

Void Black Shadow
By Corey J. White

My Edition:
Paperback, 217 pages
2018, Tor
ISBN: 9780765396938

Mars and her crew, Squid, Trix, Ocho and newly adopted Pale, set off to a remote corner of the galaxy to save their friend Mookie from a prison planet. Once again, Mars finds herself facing off against the forces of MEPHISTO, the evil corporation that ruled her childhood and manipulated her until she became the powerful weapon she is now. Bent on vengeance, Mars will stop at nothing to save Mookie, especially since it’s her fault he’s been caught.

Not only was this a fantastic follow-up to Killing Gravity, but this book exceeded my expectations and the ending really threw me for a loop!

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Book Review: Tomorrow’s Kin

Tomorrow’s Kin
By Nancy Kress

My Edition:
Hardcover, 349 pages
2017, Tor
ISBN: 9780765390295

Thank you to Tor for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Aliens have landed in New York and will speak only with the UN. The world doesn’t know what they look like, or why they’ve arrived – though the aliens say it is a peaceful mission. Dr. Marianne Jenner finds herself hauled out of a party by the FBI and brought to the Embassy, the strange, glowing ship that floats on the water in the New York Harbor. She finds out the truth behind the alien mission and the impact will ripple father than anyone could have predicted.

I figured I would enjoy this book (otherwise, what’s the point of requesting it?) but I didn’t think I’d be as absorbed as I was!

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Book Review: The Next Together

The Next Together
By Lauren James

My Edition:
Hardcover, 356 pages
2017, Sky Pony Press
ISBN: 9781510710214

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Katherine and Matthew find themselves drawn together, unexpectedly in sync with each other…each and every time they meet. Across history, they’ve been born over and over, always meeting, always falling in love, always doomed. Now it’s the year 2039 and they’ve met once more. As vague memories begin to resurface, the two try to figure out what’s been happening to themselves across the centuries.

This is a hard book to blurb, because there’s a lot going on. I’m feeling a rant coming on, so if you’re looking for the short version: I enjoyed the concept of K&M’s constant reincarnations and their connections across time. There’s a dash of sci-fi thrown in that had me intrigued, but ultimately wanting more. I think the details were lacking and the characters were so similarly boring that I didn’t care for any iteration of the couple. The ending was especially disappointing and if a sequel exists, I won’t read on.

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Book Review: Killing Gravity

Killing Gravity
By Corey J. White

My Edition:
Paperback, 171 pages
2017, Tor
ISBN: 9780765396310

Mars is a voidwitch on the run from MEPHISTO, the corporation that made her what she is. After a tough encounter with a bounty hunter, she is rescued by a trio of strangers. She’s desperate to be on her own once more, but MEPHISTO has caught up with her. Not willing to risk the lives of the people that saved her, Mars must confront everything she’s been running from.

Novellas are getting harder for me to talk about. They’re so short, I feel restricted in what I can discuss for fear of giving away the entire story. And I always say “they’re too short!” about ones I enjoy. Killing Gravity is no different. It was over too soon and I wanted more!

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Book Review: Bash Bash Revolution

Bash Bash Revolution
By Douglas Lain

My Edition:
Paperback, 293 pages
2018, Nightshade Books
ISBN: 9781597809160

Thank you to Skyhorse Publishing for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Matthew Munson’s dad has been in and out of his life thanks to his work on a powerful AI system for the government. Matt has since dropped out of high school to spend his time playing his favorite game, Bash Bash Revolution, for money. When his dad shows up out of the blue, Matt learns the truth behind the project he’d been working on.

While I was wild about the concept of this book, it didn’t pay off and I made the decision to DNF this at the halfway point.

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Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep

Into the Drowning Deep
By Mira Grant

My Edition:
Hardcover, 440 pages
2017, Orbit
ISBN: 9780316379403

Imagine Entertainment set out to “find” mermaids and film a documentary about it. But after the group of scientists, reporters, actors and film crew set sail on the Atargatis and fail to return, it’s clear they found something. Raw footage surfaces, revealing snatches of what appear to be mermaids murdering and devouring the crew. Imagine does their best to dodge the blame and frame the footage as a hoax, while prepping for another mission. Tory Stewart, whose sister has been missing since the first voyage, signs up to find out what really happened to her sister and get closure, and revenge, if she can. But the crew of the Melusine soon find themselves in more troubled waters than they ever imagined.

If I trust anyone to write a story about bloodthirsty mermaids it’s Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) and she didn’t disappoint.

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Book Review: Space is Just a Starry Night

Space is Just a Starry Night
By Tanith Lee

My Edition:
Paperback, 239 pages
2013, Aqueduct Press
ISBN: 9781619760318

A short story collection (from my queen) containing a prison planet that uses memories to manipulate its occupants, a woman released from deep freeze after over a century, a man’s relationship with his ship and a planet, a woman’s drastic transformation under the rays of the sun and more.

Shorts collections can be hit or miss whether the stories are from one or multiple authors. This is a solid sci-fi collection with a range of futuristic worlds and a few really stellar stories.

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