Arrival to the City of Heavens

Honestly, I’m not really sure how to introduce this story as a whole. Originally I was going to make this one continuous series of Six Sentence Stories, with each entry as a connecting, almost journal style entry. However the more I wrote it, the more I realized it worked better as a short story, instead a series of intertwined entries in a journal of the unnamed protagonist.  Oddly enough, that makes the writing flow without interruption. Without further ado, I present: Arrival to the City of Heavens;

Sadly, I watched from the small window, as I left the surface, and my family behind. I always seemed to be the unlucky one in my family. Yet here I sat, on an uncomfortable seat, going to live in the floating islands among the clouds. All because, my ticket was plucked from the revolving drum the government was using to select the citizens for these islands. It was their way to balance out the elite, and the rich, that were escaping a plague brought on by overpopulation. Was this my chance at a better life, or was it some sick joke by God?
With a sigh I turned my gaze from the window, to the people nearby. From what I was told when I boarded, all of the passengers were here because there names were drawn. I wondered to myself trying to delay the tears, what was going through their minds right now. Did they consider themselves fortunate, or were they fighting the incredible sadness from leaving their loved ones behind? Their focused downward made it for me to tell what exactly was passing through their heads. Looking down on the meager things I had brought with me, I let myself weep.
A soft squeeze at my hand, made me look up through the tears. It was a young woman, who appeared to be close to my age. She had brown hair, that was up in a ponytail, and had thick, black glasses which looked back at me with tear filled, green eyes. I had never met this women before but, I had to admit the gesture was comforting. Gently she leaned into my right shoulder before, weeping again. I made no move, to push the women away as we both cried. For the things we left behind, and for our loved ones who remained on the surface.
We both cried until a calm, robotic voice came through the small speakers above us. “The ship will be docking at your new homes, shortly. Look out the window, for your first view of the City of the Heavens,” before it cut off with a loud click. Trying to wipe the tears from my eyes, I glanced out the window. Large, octagonal islands, cover with patches of green grass greeted my eyes. Tall steel skyscraper like buildings, erupted from the ground, before they were forcibly cut off by a large mostly clear dome.
A hard shift broke my gaze as something I couldn’t see shook the ship. The woman at my shoulder, looked up to my with a look of fear in her eyes. Once again the robotic voice broke the silent, melancholy of the air. “The shaking you just experienced , is normal. The ship is safe in the docking arm of the city. You will have a brief wait before, you will be allowed to enter the city. Do as you are told,and you will be cleared to enter your new home, in the clouds,” before cutting off once more.
With a soft, mousy voice the woman asked “What more can they want from us? They examined us all for signs of the virus before they let us on.” I shrugged, not knowing how to answer her. Part of me assumed they were just being careful. Another part of me wasn’t sure what they could want, since they had already taken so much from us. What more could there be left to take?

Reveiw of Jupiter’s Daughter by Tom Hymn

Jupiter's DaughterJupiter’s Daughter by Tom Hyman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a book heavily dosed with genetics, this book is one interesting thrill ride. The concept of using genetic engineering to build a “superior,” child is interesting, despite the odd simplicity of the concept. For the most part the characters are like able, outside of Dalton Stewart, and the Baroness. Those two are two sides of the same coin, ruthless, money hungry business types. However, Dalton is a little more charismatic than the baroness.

Story wise, it sounds like something that would make a decent X-Files style show. Complete with complex characters, various locations, and the superior product child of the Jupiter project, Genny. I will admit I’m curious to see what she is like as an adult/teenager as compared to the three year old child she is in this novel. Given the unique situation of her creation, it would interesting to see what is stronger. Nurture, or nature.

Review of Strange Flesh

Strange FleshStrange Flesh by Michael Olson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of the first books I have read by this author. While the testimony on the back says “(strangeFlesh==(sex&&games),” is odd but brief description of what lies inside. Combining a mix of hacking, a game of cat and mouse, murders, robotic sex, suicide, gaming, and a family’s odd history gives this book a cyberpunk feel.

He is paid by Billy’s twin siblings Blythe and Blake, who have a complicated history with their brother to say the least.Focused on exposing Billy Randell, James is chasing him. Delving into a computerized world, and an IT (not information technology) project as he tries to understand Billy’s strange and dark sense of artistry. James finds out Billy has withdrawn into a virtual world of sadism, and pornography followed by Gina’s suicide. He is forced to do things of questionable morality and legality, to get to close to Billy. To find him in this sea of blood, and sex.

Billy’s behavior becomes increasingly paranoid, as James begins getting close. A this is going on he is living a double life, working on a project designed to make virtual sex much more “real.” Between the pressure of that and the sexual tension between a mutual friend of Billy and James, things go from interesting to a rapid descent down madness.

Honestly the book is defiantly worth reading. Especially if enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I will be keeping my eye out for more books to come from this author.

Review of Virals (Virals, #1)

Virals (Virals, #1)Virals by Kathy Reichs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like most of the more popular young-adult series,(the hunger games, The mortal instruments), the main protagonist is a women. Since this is the first book I have read by the author, I wasn’t sure what to expect outside of what the book jacket told me. The pace is solid throughout, and would make the book a good vacation read I think. Given the short sentence structure that is seen throughout the book, it will keep any fan of young-adult books entertained. Within the first fifty pages, the book hooks you in, and refuses to let go.

This book tells, the story of Tory Brennan and her friends as they uncover murder, cover-ups, and more. The four main characters would be considered “nerds,” in their world. Given their parents academic standing it makes sense.Of course nothing is as it seems, when they uncover an old, dirt covered dog tag, and wolf-pup locked in a lab. As they begin to figure out who the dog tag belongs, they are unknowingly drawn into a cover-up that goes back 40 years. In a slightly predictable method, things get bad and most dangerous to the main characters near the end of the book as things finally come together. I’m not sure I would the ending is “happy,” but it leaves the reader wanting more of the series.
Given how well known the author is, I am surprised this book isn’t more well known.

Review of Envious

EnviousEnvious by Katie Keller-Nieman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won this book from goodreads.

To be honest I thought the book had a difficult start (in my opinion), before it took off. It defiantly has a unique premise as a whole, even though I wished it focused more on the memories/visions over the romance but as they the book progresses they combine very well.

Cassandra, Aurora and Eric are the books main characters and are linked though some past event (which is found near the end of the book). The two girls both have feelings for Eric, but only aurora is dating him. Aurora has this strange hold on Eric. Even though if Eric is away from aurora, he is himself. Eventually Cassandra realizes this and tries to get Eric over Aurora.

The book can best be summed up in two word, those are love triangle.

Tumblr settup

As I mentioned in last night’s post, I wanted to set up a tumblr that will be similar to this wordpress blog. The tumblr blog is called craftingstrangenewworlds.   For those who follow this and have a literature themed (books, writing, reviews), please follow me there as well. Of course since tumblr is more visual, it will allow me to blog about other things I love or have a passion for. This will include books (obviously),technology, comic books, fantasy/sci-fi art, cars, cosplaying, and of course F.I.R.S.T.

Also if anyone knows how to put tumblr in the social widget, would you please tell me or post a link on how to.

Review of the Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon #1)

The Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon, #1)The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a whole the book had so much promise, and delivered on some of it potential promises. However the book suffers from one minor problem. The characters for the most part are bland and lack complexity outside of small number of them (Cass, Zack, Piper and The Confesser). They are the only characters that seem to really matter, despite the entire story being told from Cass’s point of view. The chosen setting however was definitely spot on, since if this was told in a setting to rich in technology or too primitive it wouldn’t work. Francesca managed to find the right balance between the two extremes. However it seems that no matter what Cass does, the world still moves on for the most part as if her actions never occurred causing the book to be a little duller then I wished. The whole concept of “linked,” people is definitely unique in the sense that if you kill, or greatly injure the Alpha or the Omega they are both affected. I think this actually benefited and hindered the story since it imposes a limited number of actions that can be taken without consequence to those involved. The quick pace of the book aids to its readability since it draws the reader in, despite the problems with the book. I got this book from goodreads giveaway.

Review of Heart of Annihilation

Heart of AnnihilationHeart of Annihilation by C.R. Asay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review.

While the book isn’t the traditional take on the whole alien concept, it is however a refreshing breath of air into the idea. The book is well paced, and is equal parts action and plot. I could say more but that would just give the plot away, haha. If you want a different take on aliens, with a slight military edge to it this is the  book I would suggest.

Reviews of Transcendent Tales:Volume one

Transcendent Tales - Volume OneTranscendent Tales – Volume One by Adam Train
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I plan on reviewing each story individually, before giving my impressions on the book as a whole.

The legend of Skoll defiantly has a unique start of the tale, similar to oral story passed down generation to generation. I highly enjoyed this short story. It tells about the birth of the man named Skoll and his less then pleasant childhood as a slave. Eventually he escapes that life and becomes a bounty hunter. Near the end of the story he finds his homeland and imparts two lessons to his downtrodden people.

The New End has a very almost twilight zone feel to the story, at least in my opinion. It tells the story of a journalist who interviews the last man who knows he is gong to die. The man imparts his wisdom gained over his limited life to the journalist.

The Voyage of Windward Atoll has a very Poe vibe to the story. Is tell the story from the perspective of a deckhand and the journey of the ship to some cursed island upon the direction of a bronze-masked stranger.

The Third Realm is a more modern take on planetary exploration. It tells the story of how mankind discovered a parallel realm populated by Amela. The Amela guide humanity or at least to attempt to since the government controls access.

Prey is a very simple story that tells us about Homo sapiens encounter with Neanderthals and the conflict that comes about.

The treaty of nine -part 1 starts as a traditional science fiction story with a war between the human race and the Krahl’kahn who are what remains of their race. They fight over control of Mars. With the treasonous actions of a Krahl’kahn first mate a peace is achieved with the humans. Occasional skirmishes still happen from both sides but the peace lasts.

Saisho no kamikaze is about the brave Japanese samurai who are fighting against Mongol invaders.

Review of Warpworld (Warpworld #1)

WarpworldWarpworld by Kristene Perron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is defiantly worth picking up any fan of science fiction writing. The book plot reminds me a little bit of the tv show Stargate meets anthropology to some minor extant. The main character Seg is a cultural theorist who charters Ama’s boat to search for vita to prevent the Storm from expanding on his world. Ama and Segs relationship is simple to begin with but as Ama gets to know Seg she slowly begins to trust him. Meanwhile Ama father gets taken by in the authorities on Ama’s world in an attempt to find Ama and Seg. Near the end of the book Seg returns to Ama’s world to save her father as he promised. In addition Seg aids the rebellion on Ama’s world to overthrow the religious rulers of her world and the people who aid them while searching for the vita needed for his world. The book concludes by Seg and Ama returning to Seg’s world to explorer other worlds by Seg’s side. I’m defiantly looking forward to reading the next book.