My Book Reviews

This page contains, in reverse chronological order, the reviews I post on my blog. These relay my impressions of books I have read and enjoyed. I love it when readers take the time to review my books. Here, in a small measure I practice what I desire. Most of my reviews will focus on indie authors since they need all the support we can give them.

Book review appreciation by Eduardo Suastegui

#BookReview: Two Sci-Fi Adventures with Compelling Female Characters

Today is a first. Rather than post individual reviews, I give you my brief thoughts on two SciFi stories featuring strong, compelling female characters. As I’ve written before, as I get more into the SciFi genre in my own writing, I have been sampling some of the great stories that current authors are writing. These two I share with you today form part of that survey I have been conducting. The fact that they feature strong female characters is a bonus, since, as you may also know, I like to have a lot of those in my stories.

Two SciFi stories with strong female characters, reviewed by Eduardo Suastegui

Start Nomad, by Lindsay Buroker

Star Nomad, by Lindsay BurokerIn Star Nomad, I got to join a heroine stuck on the wrong side of the galaxy, wishing terribly to find a way to get back home to her daughter. Along the way she will “requisition” a ship by this story’s namesake and surround herself with a cast of characters, each with their own concealed motivations. The story-telling is really top-notched: well-paced, well-founded in character development, and moving from one escalating conflict to the next to produce a page turner. Without giving away much more, my one regret, and why I don’t give a full five stars, resulted from a marginally satisfying ending where perhaps a bit too much is left unresolved as a hook/cliffhanger for the next installment in the series. Still, I would qualify this as a complete story, well-worth the read and full of enjoyment.
(4 out of 5 stars)

First Duty, by Marva Dasef

Cover-First-DutyOverall, First Duty is a compelling adventure story with personal growth and struggle at its core. It overcomes its marginal faults (and it has some, such as at times stilted dialog and characterization that feels light in spots) through a protagonist I wanted to follow and cheer on. Primarily, the story’s appeal to me came from the struggle of a young woman raised to know and pledge allegiance to a system whose integrity and principles she comes to question. When presented with the choice to join the opposition, which way will she go and what choices and sacrifices will she be willing to make? That central tension kept me reading and enjoying Ultimate Duty.
(3.5 out of 5 stars).

Some of my Female-powered SciFi story-telling…

If you’d like to check out some of my recent SciFi releases that feature more than one strong female characters (yes, more than one, unlike the stories and movies we tend to get out there), check out Virtual Identity and Quantum Law: Containment.

Review: A Facet for The Gem, by C.L. Murray

What happens when evocative writing and compelling storytelling collide and fuse together? You get a powerhouse novel like C.L. Murray‘s A Facet For The Gem, a tale unfolding in a generously described and developed world. We enter this world through Morlen’s viewpoint. We find him struggling to make his way among people who have rejected […]

Review: The Somniscient, by Richard Levesque

I picked up The Somniscient, by Richard Levesque, looking forward to an interesting read. After enjoying his prior work in Strictly Analog, this story’s blurb promised more of the same fun insight. In general I wasn’t wrong. I will note at the outset that in places, the story lagged a bit. Starting with a tad […]

Review: Strictly Analog, by Richard Levesque

In Richard Levesque’s Strictly Analog I was once more pleased to find an innovative story of provocative imagination. Set in not so distant future Los Angeles and Orange County, California, the story presents itself as a noir private investigator romp. Indeed, the beginning may seem to meander a bit to show us the main character […]

Review: Derelict by LJ Cohen

You may have noticed I haven’t posted many reviews of late. Given my rule that if I read a book and don’t like it, I don’t post a review, I’ll let that stand as my answer as to why. I’m pleased to report Derelict by LJ Cohen has broken this dry spell. Yes, I’ll break […]

Review: Pentecost (Stone of Fire) by J.F. Penn

While I must confess it took me a few chapters to get into Pentecost by J.F. Penn, eventually the story grew on me. The story of a scholarly female protagonist who somewhere along the line also learned how to kill and defend herself efficiently seems a little overwrought. Add to this the fantastical, mystical element […]

Review: Murder out of the Blue, by Steve Turnbull

If you can’t put up with a story that doesn’t start with a bang and careens forward without letting you catch your breath, you might not deem Steve Turnbull’s Murder out of the Blue worth the trouble. You might start on the first few pages and think nothing is happening. Except something is. The rich, […]

Review: Scarlet Angel by C.A. Wilke

Scarlet Angel by C.A. Wilke is the kind of story where one should hold on for dear life with little concern or notice for what transpires on the periphery. For the parts where it delivers the blistering, action-based pace that maintains unrestrained reader compulsion to keep turning pages, it works rather well. Overall, in spite […]

Review: Stone Age, by ML Banner

For a while, with no small degree of admiration–OK, and a tad of envy–I have watched M.L. Banner’s progress as an indie author. Whatever I may say in the rest of this review, his storytelling has demonstrably engaged a great many readers. Launching off with Stone Age, his books have landed on the upper echelons […]

Review: Brass Giant, by Brooke Johnson

For the past few months I have looked forward to Brooke Johnson’s debut novel, The Brass Giant. Somewhat familiar with her writing (Dark Lord in Training), I was curious to see what sort of story she’d deliver in the increasingly popular steampunk genre. I was not disappointed. The Brass Giant certainly lives up to the […]