Category Archives: Science Fiction

Book Review: ‘Holy Crap! The World is Ending!’ by Anna-Marie Abell

Title: Holy Crap! The World is Ending! How a Trip to the Bookstore Led to Sex with an Alien and the Destruction of Earth (The Anunnaki Chronicles Book 1)

Published: 26th December 2017

Publisher: Alien Abduction Press

Author: Anna-Marie Abell

Facebook: www.facebook.com/booksbyanna

Twitter: @writtenbyanna

Instagram: www.instagram.com/booksbyanna

 

Synopsis:

End Times Are Here! Now you can eat whatever you want and not care if you gain weight.

Autumn, a food and wine obsessed ad executive (who for the purpose of this retelling asked to be portrayed as drool-inducing hot with kick-ass ninja skills), has just been handed the task of saving all of humanity.

Here’s the deal. The president has just announced that the Earth is going to collide with a rogue moon, and in the process, our entire planet is going to be smashed to bits. As one would expect, upon hearing this news, humans went ballistic. No car was left unrolled—but oddly enough, Taco Bell remained open and made unfathomable profits in the last days. Apparently, Doritos Locos® Tacos were a popular last meal.

After drinking a bottle of wine and inhaling a wheel of Brie cheese, Autumn hijacks a spaceship and races to save her fellow humans with the help of her unbelievably sexy alien boyfriend and her kleptomaniac friend with fire-retardant hair. The task is simple enough, just loot the Ark of the Covenant from a secret government bunker under a department store in Arkansas and use it to convince the entire human race to come together in one giant group hug. No problem, right? Along the way, Autumn will discover just how sheltered people are from the truth of extraterrestrials and their power to either protect us or destroy us.

Stupid government.

Grab a bottle of wine, a spaceship full of snacks, and prepare to take a ride on this humorous chick lit romantic sci-fi paranormal adventure. If you crave a little sexy time in your reading, are into Ancient Aliens, conspiracy theories, UFOs, are curious if we were genetically engineered (like the Sumerian cuneiform texts claim), and are dying to find out the meaning of life, then this book is for you.

 

Review:

I think the title kind of says it all really so just hold on for a fun filled ride with lots of food thrown in for good measure – you’ll get that when you read it! You will find that Autumn likes her ‘what if’ questions. Not simple ones either, more like ‘what if flaming cats came out of his eyes’, you know that sort of thing.

So Autumn gets a shocked first encounter with ‘Mr. New Age’ at the bookstore. He seems to be a little different than other guys she’s met. Well with him being part of an alien race called Anunnaki from Nibiru, or what we call Planet X, it would kind of make sense. Seems this planet comes close to Earth every few thousand years. Just not as a good omen as last time it caused the great flood – you know the one with Noah. Now this race it seems appeared to have created humans – among other mythical creatures that is; mermaids, centaurs, unicorns and dragons to name a few. Creative bunch you could say. Meeting once would be a chance encounter but more than once, along with a feeling of being watched, you know that Autumn is going to want some answers to why she feels so connected to someone she doesn’t know.

Seems Rigel, aka Mr. New Age, has a bit of explaining to do about light beings and why he seems to be keeping an eye on her. His kind first came to Earth to mine its gold and that’s why they created the human race, to mine for them. They also realised that if they ingested the gold in liquid form then they could live longer and eventually morph into light. Nice quick way to get around it seems.

Seems their souls are calling each other, connected in a way that pulls the other near. Out of body experiences to get closer to the other? Hot connection to the extreme. Well this kind of connection between them might have to take a back seat though when her over active mind starts ticking things over. Namely by finding out said Planet X is coming in close again to Earth. So what if the Anunnaki have decided to fix another mistake in their design by wiping the humans out again so they can start the whole process over – the flood 2.0?

Some research is in order and this is where her bookstore buddy comes into play. ‘The Hair’ come ‘Zarf’, though real name Devon, is there to lend a hand – even if he thinks her a little strange with what she is looking for. Quick off the mark giving a space name when she asked, as she had been wanting to find out information on light beings. He’s Zarf and she’s Zooloo and both as quirky as the other. Looking into Greek myths to see what happened when a God would punish someone for breaking a rule is enough to make her question whether she should really see Rigel again. An Anunnaki and human cannot be together, not anymore anyway as they know what a possible outcome would be. Half gods, half humans – Nephilim – with none of the humans’ compassion but all gods’ strength and height. Something that could fight them it seems. Also seems all Anunnaki have gifts, not good when directed at you.

Myth goes that God created the universe down to a tee but to do so he had to create enough of a spark – hello big bang. This in turn split his soul in two. Great Prophecy says that these two souls will be drawn back together to create balance, for the universes to become one. They would tie back together with one blue light and one gold so the Creator would be made whole again. The thing is Autumn has a blue soul. Would this be the start of the Prophecy or the start of a terrible downfall?

Inanna was an interesting character who is the enforcer of the no mating rule between humans and the Anunnaki. She shows up at just the wrong time for Autumn’s liking. Sparks and souls were literally flying. Autumn’s best friend Emma seems to take her crazy explanations in her stride. Oh sure ok you met an alien, the race that created us, had an orgasmic kiss/soul explosion and the world might be coming to an end. Ok let’s eat while we can. Enlil on the other hand is a right dick who clearly isn’t on humans’ side. He just wants them gone, no matter what the prophecy could mean. The fact Autumn could be a part of it just winds him up even further. Good job that Inanna seems to be coming round and might be able to help. Enki needs to help too by finding another loophole like he did with Noah and his wife with the Ark – one that won’t end with a sacrifice.

Space ship to fly and Devon is like a kid in a toyshop begging to be allowed to play with it. Fab four at the end trying to save the world – Autumn, Rigel, Devon and Inanna. Shame Enlil is finding loopholes to slow them down – post-it notes are funny though.

A race against time to save the human race, let’s see if they make it? A funny, sci-fi, comedy read with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. The power of the pinecone might be what saves the day but what is the price and are they willing to pay it? Got going a bit more from half way onwards but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author via NetGalley for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘The Time Bender’ by Debra Chapoton

Title: The Time Bender: An Alien Teen Fantasy Adventure

Published: 13th September 2017

Author: Debra Chapoton

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigPineLodgeBooks

Twitter: @Debra_Chapoton

 

Synopsis:

Humor, charm, romance and intriguing characters fill this first book of THE TIME BENDER series.

Marcum arrives on an alien spaceship to search Earth for a girl he’s learned can manipulate Time itself. During a sudden snowstorm he finds Selina. Their connection is immediate, delicate and elusive. This shy and strange girl can slow time to a crawl and make his awkward advances both painful and wondrous. Marcum must abduct her for the good of his side of the galaxy, but he falls for Selina.  Now he’s caught between duty and compassion … or maybe it’s love.

 

Review:

A quirky, humorous, teen love rival, sci-fi mixed read with some aliens on a secret mission in the middle of a war searching for a time bender to help them thrown in for good measure.

Selina has always felt different but it isn’t until two mysterious exchange students come onto the scene that she starts to see things in a different light. Maybe she isn’t as strange as she first thought. Or more to the point maybe it’s just that she needed to go somewhere where she really belongs.

Selina suffers from social anxiety a lot and seems to rely on her best friend Alex just to get through the day. The only person – other than her brother Buddy – who can get her to smile and not feel like such an outcast. He has always been there for her and continues to be her guardian no matter what, or who, comes their way. Her journey starts with her wanting to wish on a star for something new. An adventure would be fun but getting a boyfriend is getting to be the top of the list. She should be careful what she wishes for because it might just come true.

On a dark night, when the lights have cut out, Selina notices someone wondering around her garden in the snow. Thinking its Alex – as he is her neighbour – she calls him over to get out of the snow. She gets a little surprise when Marcum comes through the door instead. No coat so freezing he tries to explain who he is. Really it’s more her saying ‘are you this’ and him saying yes. Thinking he’s just an exchange student – a hot one mind you – she helps him stay warm until the lights come on. When they do however she all but pushes him out the door. Seems she was bold in the dark but as soon as the lights are on reality sets in and her anxiety comes full force. Now one hot exchange student stranger is unusual but two would be unheard of in her little town. So when Coreg makes an appearance at school and tries to get her attention she doesn’t quite know how to act. These two strangers seem to take a liking for Selina and want her to come with them for something. Warning bells for Alex as he doesn’t really trust their motives. Good job too as they both came with the objection of taking her back to their home planet Klaqin to help fight a deadly war with her skill set – not that she knows this yet.

Seems Selina has a gift, one she never noticed before but can seem to use without trying. She can slow down time and not just in her head. She only learns this after Marcum comes to her house again to try to explain things. ‘Do you want to see my spaceship?’ A video game this is not. A trip to space but was it real or not? The fact she was missing for hours would suggest the later. Can she trust either guy with what they tell her? They seem to only have their own interests at heart, not hers, not like Alex always has. Could he be her knight in shining armour when trouble arises? He could lend a hand after finding out a secret of his own. She may not be the only one special in this town.

Now this picks up a bit more at the end when you get a space battle thrown in. What good space battle would be complete without a little romantic drama thrown in for good measure? Where does Selina’s heart truly lie and who will step up to help? A battle may be over but the war is about to begin. Fight to save their planet is key, but which planet will they be on to help.

Interesting story but could have developed the characters a bit more, rest of the series should see to this. Easy to read but I did find that this book is really aimed at a young adult audience though as parts did feel a bit childish to me. The whole ‘cue the blush’, ‘drop head, shrink to nothing’ or ‘hear the crickets’ side comments Selina always seems to add can get a bit annoying at times. I guess it’s sort of a way to see what’s going on in her head but not always needed. The start of a quirky story though where much is still to be explored. Not just with the war coming but emotions too.

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘The Digital Storm’ by Benjamin Gorman

Title: The Digital Storm: A Science Fiction Reimagining of William Shakespeare’s the Tempest

Published: 20th November 2017

Publisher: Not a Pipe Publishing

Author: Benjamin Gorman

Twitter: @teachergorman

 

Synopsis:

The Digital Storm is an ingenious science fiction retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest set in the near future inside a bank’s intranet. Prosper, the analogue to Shakespeare’s Prospero, is an artificial intelligence program who has been banished to a quarantined area in the bank’s system, and there he’s created an amazing virtual island home for himself, his daughter Memoranda, and the monstrous virus Caliban. Now, with the help of Ariel and the other programs he’s invented on the island, he’s conjured a massive digital attack on the bank’s system to entice the members of the board, the very humans who exiled him, to enter the system so he can seek his revenge and escape to the Internet. But just how far does his revenge plan go?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with weather in the title. Might be a digital storm but a storm nonetheless. One that seems to come out of nowhere are cause all sorts of trouble to teach others a lesson.

So Bryan who looks after the tech people for Millennium banks is the first to realize that there is an issue with the software in the intranet system – they are under attack but don’t know from where. This is where the creators of some high-tech systems and AI’s come into play. The company is owned by Ada and she is one of the main creators. The only way to really see what is wrong with the system is to go into it. A virtual trip that takes on a life of its own, one none can seem to control.

AI’s Prosper and Memoranda live on an island hidden within the network system. With the help of a human employee, when it was deemed for him to be deleted, he made his way there to continue to live and learn. This hidden place had old broken code sent to it when no longer needed and he managed to create the island to live on as a result. This ever learning AI creation then managed to create Memoranda. Only later trying to explain what she is in relation to everything else and what is happening to their island. He seems to also have other digital programmes at his disposal on the island as well. Ariel is one who tests things for him and he appears to be the one responsible for creating the digital storm stopping data flowing on Prosper’s command. Done as a test to see what affects it would have on the human staff and how they react after the fact.

The island doesn’t just hold old data but also a virus by the name of Caliban. He was sent to hack into the Millennium banks intranet system. When found he was deleted and ended up at the island. Prosper might not like him but he does have skills he can use to his advantage. Prosper was the one to send him to exile when he was in charge of looking after the intranet system but then he too soon found himself sent there when an upgrade was created – Sebastian.

Seems the storm was a way to get people to come and figure out what was going on with the system. The first to arrive on the island is Further, an AI Ada had created in secret. Prosper, Ada’s first creation, and his daughter Memoranda find him first. He doesn’t really know what is going on as on the island he has been given a form instead of just being a digital presence.

This is where the journey splits into three main areas as Further isn’t the only one sent through the storm. Ada, Javier, Ted and Sebastian plugged their conscious minds in to get their and soon find themselves being lead around a creation more advanced than they could have thought up. Bit risky as if your mind gets hurt within what does that really do to the body? Ted is clearly looking at a way to get rid of Ada and Javier so he can be the head of the company with his AI Sebastian by his side. No guilt written into his programme so can almost be convinced to do anything his creator suggests.

The next split follows two hacker kids who felt like taking advantage of the system being down that they went exploring and found themselves on the island. They just want to have fun and when they find a never-ending bottle of booze you can guess the fun they might have. They seem to stumble upon the monster Caliban. He may be able to twist them to do his bidding in getting rid of Prosper by making them believe it truly is a game they are in, one they can win and rule the island.

This island is different, as it truly does seem to exist – elements, human reactions, touch, sound. A true digital world where Prosper is testing his theories he has learned in a way to create his own sense of self and now sense of his daughter too. Is she just a copy of him or does she have her own consciousness and skill of learning and developing.

Note to self if a banquet looks too good to be true it might just be when the host comes to say hello. Seems some people are to be judged for past mistreatments and that day is now. Can AI’s have a sense of self and truly learn? That’s one of the main things Prosper is trying to figure out. An interesting digital world you are sucked into and quite a journey you are taken on. It’s a twist on a classic tale that is well worth a look.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publishers for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘I Have a Friend on Jupiter’ by Celine Rose Mariotti

Title: I Have a Friend on Jupiter

Published: 2nd May 2017

Publisher: Dreaming Big Publications

Author: Celine Rose Mariotti

 

Synopsis:

Carlos and Indiana find a website that promises to find them pen pals from outer space. Imagine their surprise and excitement when they are paired with Mannie and Kossie, two children from Jupiter! The two pairs of pen pals are excited to learn about each other and their planets, and are even more excited to learn they may be able to visit! Will the other Earthlings be as open to a visit from aliens from Jupiter, though?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about Sci-fi. So who is up for finding a new pen pal from a planet far, far away? That’s just what our two young inquisitive minded children do.

So Indiana and Carlos are best friends and like nothing more than to go searching for new and exciting things on the Internet about anything and everything. The main area that they are interested in is outer space so you can be sure that if it is there they will find it. The search for fascinating facts is never ending; there is always something new to learn and if it is space related they are going to get drawn to it. On one of their searches they happen to come across a website that claims you can write to aliens from outer space. Their first thought is that it can’t really be real but hoax or not they want to give it a try. So Carlos writes an email to see what happens knowing that Indiana will write one herself when she gets home. Whether they get a reply is something else entirely.

On the other side of the galaxy it seems that these emails have gotten through to some like-minded inquisitive aliens around the same age as Indiana and Carlos. Mannie and Kossie want to learn knew and exciting things about other planets and the thought of having friends on one of them is a bonus.

What starts out as innocent pen pal chats turns into a bit a national panic when others get wind of what has been happening and who might be popping in for a visit. Going to the Observatory might be an interesting way to see the stars, and who might be planning a visit, but the people in charge might take it the wrong way.

Can these pen pal friends just meet up without extra drama surrounding them? With aliens wanting to pay a visit you know that’s not going to happen. But these guys are different, not just in looks (hello blue skin and silver hair), so you know they aren’t going to be taken advantage of that easily.

A sweet idealistic story about having a pen pal friend from Jupiter. Real or a hoax these kids want to find out. It is aimed at a younger audience but that doesn’t pull away from the story itself. Fun read with how it all comes about.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Thread and Other Stories’ by Eric Halpenny

Title: Thread and Other Stories

Published: 13th July 2018

Publisher: Bookbaby

Author: Eric Halpenny

Facebook: www.facebook.com/halpennyauthor

Twitter: @dragonswordbook

 

Synopsis:

Thread and Other Stories is a multi-genre collection of short stories (single author) that includes science fiction, fantasy, urban fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and espionage. There are seven stories in the collection.

Prudence and her older brother Yannick face extreme poverty and hardship in Thread. They live day to day on the wages they earn at low paying, difficult jobs. They face hardships that seem insurmountable for two young children. Isidore, an impoverished boy trying to survive on his own, enters their lives with even greater needs than Prudence and Yannick. They integrate him into their family life even as their world begins to crumble around them. But, there is an ominous backdrop to these events as strange entities take a keen interest in the lives of the three children.

A military psychologist evaluates a Vietnam war veteran who has experienced psychological damage in Shrink. The veteran’s fellow soldiers and friends must support him as the psychologist attempts to uncover the reasons behind his trauma.

Emil, Annie, and their three children—Zona, Owen, and Abner—struggle to stay safe in a steampunk-inspired fantasy world in Chance. Abner finds himself in trouble as a powerful magical being terrorizes the family farm. Only Zona’s quick thinking along with her parents’ knowledge of magic will give them a chance against the dark sorcery of the enemy.

John and Greg, bound by friendship, embark on a journey of trial and tragedy in Conflict, a 20th Century historical fiction. They must deal with death, loss, and grief as compatriots fall in battle during this poignant snapshot of the Canadian military in World War I. John and Greg show a contrast in the ways that these soldiers adapted to the psychological effects of war.

Veera, an astrophysicist, begins to experience recurring déjà vu, the source of which she cannot determine in Oversight, a science fiction adventure. She is unknowingly set on a collision course with Misha, who challenges Veera’s perception of the world as she struggles to determine what is real and what isn’t. Misha must deal with his own psychological demons as he tries to salvage a failing mission that will either end in glory or in his own death.

Dmitry is a hardened spy in the Cold War who has no mercy for his adversary Olyesa in the espionage thriller Deception. Olyesa and Dmitry navigate their way through the murky waters of agents and double agents while simultaneously struggling against each other for survival. When their divergent plans collide, it threatens to destroy them both.

Explore a metaphysical debate in the literary short story Conversation, which is woven between each of the short stories in this collection. An unnamed protagonist and an unidentified and secretive entity discuss the metaphysical and spiritual meaning behind science and what it means to gain knowledge.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A collection of short stories. All are very different but each have a certain something to keep you intrigued to continue on to the next. Nice style of writing with this collection of shorts.

THREAD

A story connected by conscious thoughts of others perhaps? The main one itself is a trying tale of children living in poverty and having to work just to eat. The mines are for the boys and it’s cleaning for girls. They never feel hope for they can’t see a way out of the cycle they are part of. Work, eat, sleep and repeat. With the eating part sometimes being hard to come by. Yannick protects his sister Prudence but is still a child himself. A saying being you can’t look out for others, as you don’t have enough for yourselves. That’s Yannick’s way of thinking when Isidore comes into their lives. He’s younger than both of them but needs to work to stay alive too. Hardships become them and dangers of the world around them, work included, causes tragic results. Seems conscious minds might be merging to feel something new, hope might be born into their dark lives bringing some light and a connection thread to join them.

SHRINK

The perils of coming back from war and having to live with the consequences of what happened when you were there. A shrink to help the army vets before they go home but sometimes they are too far-gone to come back from the darkness. They need their crew and family to try to bring them round but is that enough?

CHANCE

Well what starts out as an everyday farmers family working life turns into something completely unexpected. Interesting twist with its’ direction and how the story evolves from there. Young minds are inquisitive ones so you should be careful to teach them to understand what’s at stake and not leave books around they might not understand. Creating a doll is one thing but this one had a mind of its own.

CONFLICT

Tales told of the Great War focusing on the Canadians fighting, all showing how and why different people would have signed up. What were they fighting for? Was it King, country, honour, family, friends or perhaps just a mixture of them all? Showing the day-to-day life of the battlefield slowly pulling them under. Two different men’s views on how they see the battle to be won. Who are the lucky ones? Those who go home physically injured, mentally injured, don’t go home at all or the ones who never got called in the first place? The letters or quotes from people who were really there mixing with the story were interesting. Gives you a little insight to what they really experienced.

OVERSIGHT

Two scientists following through with an 18-month task sending and tracking satellites – a link to the Mars project but also a new Jupiter one. Their project is failing and they know they need to go back through notes to find where they went wrong. This is where things get a little strange, as it seems they aren’t the only ones testing something, or should that be someone? Are you the tester or subject and can you tell the difference between the two? Quirky read that will have you questioning what could be out there and who or what everyone really is. Who is controlling whom? Maybe not knowing is the point.

DECEPTION

Spy masters at extracting information out of people. The top of a very select few that needs to stay hidden. Dmitry is one of them and believes he is the one always in control. He gets his pleasure out of tormenting others whether for work or fun. There seems to be no difference for him. He might think he is the one controlling the game but is he the one being played in a complex game of spy vs. spy. Cards are about to fall in a different way and he might not like where they land.

CONVERSATION

A need to have someone to talk to, but are they really there or just in your head? They say they will wait until you are ready to talk. Let’s hope it’s true. For someone to help do you need to be face to face or can they help you from afar? This story is broken up and interlinked between all the others. It gives the impression of time passing between the one who wants to talk but isn’t really ready to as they keep putting up barriers (I must meet you and you’re wrong) and the one who is willing to wait for however long until they are. A philosophical conversation with someone or something – do you really need to see them to talk?

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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