Oct 132014
Review: The Gods of War

This is a military space story set primarily on Mars that reads like a good action movie. It’s quick and exciting, although very black and white and predictable. Action movie books can be tricky to write as you need to strike a delicate balance between simplicity and entertainment. This book rode that line well and resulted in an enjoyable story that didn’t require a lot of brain power to process. The characters in this story were really black and white. Either they were good or evil, there were no shades of grey. The hero, Captain James Collins, has most of […]

Aug 062014
Review: The Darwin Elevator

This book was disappointing. I was expecting a thrilling space story with aliens. But there wasn’t much space, and no visible aliens. Instead, it’s a military themed story about humans fighting each other. The story starts as centered around Skyler Luiken, a pilot immune to the disease that has ravaged most of the world. He and his immune crew scavenge parts from areas outside the protected circle at the base of the space elevator. While I liked Skyler and his continual self-doubts and esteem issues, his crew were much more enjoyable. In particular, his second in command Sam is a […]

Mar 122014
Review: Ice Station

This is a military action story set in Antarctica. It’s a long story, full of twists and reveals, so it’s hard to talk about much of it without spoilers. The main character Shane Schofield, aka “Scarecrow”, is a youngish Marine leader who specializes in high risk situations. He’s a cool, slightly mysterious character, and a lot of his history remains underexplained in the story. He’s a competent leader, and while a bit aloof, he’s quite respectable. Most of the other characters are underdeveloped, without detailed backstories, but they are fairly believable, without a lot of stereotypes. This is definitely an […]

Jul 262013
Martin Reviews: The Human Division

With the rise of serial ebooks on Amazon and other outlets, there is a new cast of offerings for thirsty readers, and John Scalzi’s latest effort, The Human Division, is no exception. This work, released as thirteen individual short stories between January and April of 2013, is the fifth installment of the Hugo Award nominated Old Man’s War series and Scalzi’s first experiment with a serial format. Scalzi mentions that the challenge in writing in this fashion was that each chapter, or single, had to succeed as a stand-alone story. Whether or not this contributed to a coherent whole (the […]