Saturday, September 29, 2018

James Review -- Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover

This week I decided to review Spider-man: Hostile Takeover by David Liss. 

The story begins shortly after Wilson Fisk, AKA Kingpin, returns to New York claiming to have reformed into a benevolent philanthropist. While roaming the city, Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, hears of a robbery at a Snake store and moves to intervene. He captures the thief, a young man named Andy. To convince Spider-man to let him go, Andy tells Parker of a supervillain active at a nearby construction site. Parker arrives at the site and defeats a handful of thugs but is ambushed by a new enemy able to match both his moves and his abilities.

Parker returns to Andy to find the would-be thief dead and is soon confronted by police lieutenant Yuri Watanabe who reveals that Andy had been murdered by a impostor Spider-Man, known to be an impostor due to slight errors in his costume. Watanabe also reveals that the construction site Spider-Man was ambushed at secretly belongs to Fisk, and Watanabe, who also wishes to bring Fisk down, forms a secret alliance with Parker.
Soon after this, the fake Spider-Man begins a series of actions designed to ruin Spider-Man’s reputation. And the conflict becomes more personal when one of these incidents leads to the death of Anika Adhikari, a young woman who had recently started working at the same research lab as Parker. Eventually, Parker and Watanabe realize that the fake Spider-man is just a diversion meant to distract Parker while Fisk makes his bid to become New York City’s Commissioner of Finance, a position that would let him cripple the city’s economy if angered or threatened, and the race to find a way to stop him is on.

Meanwhile, Maya Lopez, Fisk’s foster daughter who believes that Spider-Man had murdered her father years earlier, sets out to claim her vengeance. Her combat abilities, combined with years of studying Spider-Man make her just as dangerous as the impostor. And soon Parker is desperately struggling to find a way to convince her of his innocence before its too late…
I give this book 9.5 out of 10. It has a very interesting story and I enjoyed the battle sequences and the investigation plotline. However, there are a few areas that I felt needed more detail. Also, I question the necessity of killing Anika Adhikari. Sure, it gave Spider-man more motivation to hunt down the impostor, but I think he already had plenty of reason to go after him, and until she was killed, Adhikari had potential for interesting plotlines in future material.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

James Review -- Peacekeeper: A Peace Divided

This week I decided to review Peacekeeper: A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff. 

When the story begins, former Confederation Gunnery Sargent Torin Korr is leading one of the Confederation Justice Department’s new strike teams, elite units formed to deal with the threat posed by armed criminals and former soldiers turning to crime in the aftermath of the war between the Confederation and the Primacy. During a raid on a group of arms dealers, however, Kerr’s team finds a pistol. Due to how easy they are to conceal, handguns are banned by the Confederation to the point of attempting to wipe all knowledge of how to create them from member civilizations. Investigating the weapon soon leads to a theory that one of the Confederation’s largest weapons manufacturers may be linked to a human supremacist group plotting to seize power from the Elder Races that lead the Confederation.

Meanwhile an archaeological team on planet 33X73, a restricted world, is studying a long-fallen civilization and finds plastic in a latrine despite this civilization apparently never having developed plastic. This leads to rumors that the plastic is in fact the corpse of one of the bioplastic beings responsible for the war between the Confederation and the Primacy, and soon a group of attackers arrives to force the archaeologists to find and hand over the rumored anti-plastic weapon even though no such weapon has been proven to exist.
Kerr’s strike team is sent to rescue the surviving scientists, but due to the presence of Primacy members among the hostile force, this mission becomes the first planned joint operation combining Confederation and Primacy forces. On top of the difficulties in merging soldiers from two distinct-- and recently opposing--forces into one, it is soon revealed that one of the Primacy team members has kin among the attackers. Matters become worse when one of the Primacy soldiers is captured, mistaken for another who the attackers believe can aid their mission. And during the desperate mission to free the prisoners the true secrets of 33X73 will be discovered…

I give this book 7 out of 10. I like the characters and the overall story, but there are many sections I wish had been covered in more detail, and I would have liked to learn more about the Primacy’s culture. Also, I feel the Confederation handgun ban and its apparent effectiveness are so absurdly unrealistic that it utterly cripples my ability to suspend disbelief. Even if all legal handguns were banned, as long as there is any gun manufacturing industry, it is far too easy to make the jump from other guns to handguns for such a ban to be even remotely effective, or worth the effort, to attempt to enforce in my opinion.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Game Called Revolution Free this Week

The first book in my first series is available for free on Kindle this week. Until 9/22, to be exact. Join Jeanne de Fleur and the knights of the Ordre as they fight to protect France from an evil conspiracy.

Monday, September 10, 2018

James Review -- Kris Longknife: Commanding

This week I decided to review Kris Longknife: Commanding by Mike Shepherd. 

The story begins with the execution of the rebel leaders captured at the end of the previous book. Kris Longknife then shifts her attention to the ongoing Iteeche civil war. Even as she struggles to recruit new ships for her fleet and training crews, she also works to find a way to minimize bloodshed in a culture where civil wars have led to the mass slaughter of civilians for thousands of years. She must also find ways to change many other traditions and attitudes that have stood for ten millennia.

After laying her plans, she launches an attack on Zargoth, the system that served as the staging area for the recent rebel attack on the Imperial capital. After easily securing space around the rebel world, she sends her aide and distant relative Megan Longknife to launch an operation against the bunkers used by the world’s leadership. After defeating the various security measures and eliminating the rebel leadership, efforts to secure the world and rebuild its infrastructure begin, but soon the efforts face sabotage from rebel loyalists that threaten to leave millions of Iteeche civilians without access to food supplies and basic services.
After Zargoth is secure, the combined Human/Imperial loyalist fleet moves on to their objective: an assault aimed as the first strike of a campaign against the rebellion’s major battlecruiser production centers. The offensive begins with an attack against the production center furthest from the imperial capital, but rather than finding the hoped-for lightly guarded system, Longknife’s fleet finds itself facing thousands of rebel warships…

I give this book 9 out of 10. The climatic battle was great. Also, I greatly enjoyed the deeper look into Iteeche culture and how it affected, aka hindered, their military as well as a peek into the mindset of some of the rebels. My main issue is that the look into the rebel point of view came too late. Basically, for the most part, you only see points of view for rebel characters in the final battle, and I feel adding some more into the Zargoth sequence would have been very interesting.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Aragami now Available on Nook and Kobo

Pretty self-explanatory, but yeah. You can now get Aragami on Nook and Kobo, meaning the entire Divine Protector series is available on those platforms. Discover Serika's deadly agenda today!