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May 18, 2010

Hard Magic (Paranormal Scene Investigations Book 01) by Laura Anne Gilman

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 7:13 PM

Hard Magic (Paranormal Scene Investigations Book 01)
by Laura Anne Gilman


Welcome to P.U.P.I. – Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations

A handpicked team trained to solve crimes the regular police can’t touch – crimes of magic.

My name’s Bonnie Torres. Recent college grad, magic user and severely unemployed. Until I got a call out of nowhere to interview for a job I hadn’t applied for. It smelled fishy, but the brutal truth was I needed the work – so off I went.

Two days later I’m a PUPI – me and Nick, Sharon, Nifty and Pietr. Five twentysomethings, thrown into an entirely new career in forensic magic.

The first job we get is a doozy: proving that the deaths of two Talents were murder, not suicide. Worse, there are high-profile people who want us to close up shop and go away. We’re sniffing out things they’d rather keep buried.

Looks as if this job is gonna get interesting. The only problem is, we’re making it up as we go along..

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Review:Hard magic is the first book in a new series based in the same universe as her famous Retriever Series.

The P.U.P.I (Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations) is an organization that is mentioned a couple of times in the Retriever books but their origins and manifesto were never told. This book makes up for the lack and introduces us to the P.U.P.I and takes us through their first case.

The storyline was fun and clean and the characters were well defined. Even though its set in the same universe as the Retriever books none of the characters from them appeared in this book though it might change in the future books.

As this was the first book a lot of groundwork was laid before the actual story started but none of it was too tedious or boring, which was good.

The ending not one that answered all the questions but I think that was intentional so that the next novel has a base to start from. But even though it didn’t answer all questions it was a fun read.

Final Recommendation: A fun read

May 17, 2010

Ghostbusters: The Return by Sholly Fisch

Filed under: Reviews-Paranormal — Suramya @ 7:08 PM

Ghostbusters: The Return
by Sholly Fisch


It’s been 2 years since the events in Ghostbusters II and the group finds itself neck deep in ghosts and ghouls as some of the most unsettling urban legends – like the hook-handed killer in lovers lane and The vanishing hitchhiker – all come to deadly life.

But the worse is yet to come for Ray Stanz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore – and quite possibly the people of New York. The ghost buster leader Peter Venkman has been chosen by an independent political party to be their candidate for Mayor!

With the city reeling under a supernatural reign of terror, can the Ghostbusters stop the arrival of an ancient fear-demon in time to save election day – or should Venkman start looking for another job already

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Review:This is the first book in a new series of Original stories featuring the characters in the Original Ghostbusters movies. The events in the book take place a couple of years after the second movie.

As a forerunner to a new series of books this book was a good choice, the book remained true (mostly) to the characters in the movie and still managed to get a decent storyline and plot in the process.

The plot remained interesting throughout and even the minor characters were well developed. Though he didn’t develop them to the point where a reader would get tired of it and start skipping portions of the book.

I really enjoyed the book and since this is the first book I have read by the author I will be making it a point to search for more books by him.

Final Recommendation: A good read. Waiting for the next book in the novelization series.

May 16, 2010

Gryphon’s Quest (Tales of the Order Book 01) by Candace Sams

Filed under: Reviews-Fantasy — Suramya @ 7:06 PM

Gryphon’s Quest (Tales of the Order Book 01)
by Candace Sams


Druid Warrior, Gryphon O’Connor must retrieve the Rune Stones of the Tuatha De Danan, which were stolen from an ancient Irish burial site and will allow a person to shape shift. By the time he gets to New York where the stones have been taken, they’ve been used to commit a hideous murder. At the Manhattan Museum of Antiquities, Heather Green is an Acquisitions Assistant. To find the stones within the cavernous museum, Gryphon approaches her for help. His story about stolen rune stones is just too unbelievable, and Gryphon isn’t the kind of man Heather can trust. But if Gryphon reveals too many of his secrets it will cost him and Heather their lives.

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Review:Gryphon’s Quest is the first novel in the Tales of the Order series and also happens to be the first book by the author that I have read. So far I am quite impressed by her writing style and I really liked the book.

The characters were quite well defined and even though the plot wasn’t too involved and was a bit simplistic, the way she told the story covered all of that up and made the book into an engrossing story.

Since its the first book in the series it sets the stage for the next books in the series but thankfully doesn’t do it with a cliff-hanger or by leaving threads untied. I think this series is going to be a set of stories that happen to be set in the same universe rather than a continuing story line.

Final Recommendation: A good read.

May 15, 2010

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles Book 01) by Rick Riordan

Filed under: Reviews-Young Adult Fantasy — Suramya @ 7:03 PM

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles Book 01)
by Rick Riordan


Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them–Set–has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe–a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

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Review:In this first book of a new series Rick proves that he is a great author and that you don’t have to load your books with sex or violence to make it good.

The book is narrated to us by Carter and Sadie Kane who take turns to tell us the events in the story. The two are the typical brother and sister and the way they tell their story reflects that, with all the silly comments and fooling around the characters are quite real and well developed.

The plot is also quite interesting and I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out. This was the first book that actually explained well how the Egyptian Gods were interrelated without bringing Incest into it. I like this take better than the standard one.

This is a problem I face with the really good books; I run out of things to write. i.e. I can’t think of items to talk about that don’t also include spoilers.

Final Recommendation: A must read.

Why no new photos in the Gallery

Filed under: My Life,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 4:40 AM

A few people asked me why I don’t upload any photos to the Photogallery anymore so I checked the logs and found that the last time I uploaded stuff to the gallery was in August of 2009. Considering that the photogallery was the most frequently updated section of the site before then, it is a long time to not upload new stuff. Plus even before then it was sporadic and not all trips/events got shared on the site.

This is not because I don’t have photos to upload and share. It wasn’t because I was feeling lazy and didn’t have time. It takes me about 15 mins to create a new section and upload new pics and most of it is spent on creating captions. The main issue is that I have gotten tired of getting crap from people about the photos I post. I spend hours deciding what photos to post and what not to post. The no of photos I post on the site are not even 1% of the total photos I have taken. The gallery wasn’t made to embarrass people, it was made to share photos of the good times I have had with friends.

When people asked me to remove a particular photo or change a caption I usually remove the photo if their reason made sense to me. Then I started getting comments telling me that I always post crappy photos of people on the site to make them look bad. If that’s what you think. Fine. Its your point of view. I am tired of listening to the crap and have people giving me shit. So I have stopped uploading photos to the site.

I take photos because I like it. I don’t HAVE to post it for others. If you want a copy of the photos I take email me and I will put them up in a private section of the site and give you access. But I am done posting these photos publicly for now. This is not a decision I have made today. Its been in my thoughts for a while but this is the first time I am writing this down.

I am seriously considering moving the entire domain to a password protected area. No public photos no BS. But its not something I have decided yet. Lets see, I am still thinking about it.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

May 14, 2010

Victorious (The Lost Fleet Book 06) by Jack Campbell

Filed under: Reviews-Science Fiction — Suramya @ 7:01 PM

Victorious (The Lost Fleet Book 06)
by Jack Campbell


Now Victorious leads the charge again-and “Black Jack” Geary is in command…

As war continues to rage between the Alliance and Syndicate Worlds, Captain “Black Jack” Geary is promoted to admiral-even though the ruling council fears he may stage a military coup. His new rank gives him the authority to negotiate with the Syndics, who have suffered tremendous losses and may finally be willing to end the war. But an even greater alien threat lurks on the far side of the Syndic occupied space.

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Review:Victorious is the sixth book in the Lost Fleet Series and concludes the series. In the previous books Jack “Black Jack” Geary fought his way through enemy space and has finally made it home with the remnants of the Alliance Space Fleet.

Now he has to deal with the political leadership of the Alliance while ensuring that the fleet doesn’t stage a coup in his name.

The book ties up a lot of loose ends in the plot that were left unresolved in the previous books and even though it doesn’t have as much action (space battles) as the previous books it has enough to ensure a good read.

One thing I really liked was that the author didn’t use a lot of shipping terms during the battles and if he did then they were explained so at no point did I feel like skipping the battle descriptions.

Although, the book can be read on its own without having read the previous books I recommend that you read them first so that you get a better idea of the backdrop and the current situation in the universe.

Final Recommendation: A great read.

May 13, 2010

Do Unto Others by Michael Z. Williamson

Filed under: Reviews-Science Fiction — Suramya @ 6:57 PM

Do Unto Others
by Michael Z. Williamson


The Prescot family were miners. At one time, they were contracted to develop technology for a mineral rich but uninhabitable system. Gradually, all the investors shied away. Then the Prescots broke through with the technology needed to exploit entire planets, and incidentally develop domed playgrounds for the perversely rich, including indoor ski slopes and cable cars over megavolcanos, casinos and rides. This created the economic problem of being the richest people in the universe, having more money than most governments and effectively unlimited resources.

Money is a small blessing when enemies are quite willing to spend billions for the chance at trillions. Bryan Prescot and his daughter might as well have targets painted on their backs for the thugs, kidnappers and assassins their cmpetitors would throw at them. Bodyguards were necessary’Highly trained bodyguards who could be bought once and be utterly loyal no matter the circumstances.

The altercation comes to a head inside the domes and mines of Govannon, with their enemy desperate to do anything to save their own lives, now that the gloves are off. Caron Prescot has only six bodyguards against an army, but she has two aces in the hole: The miners are on her side, and Elke, Ripple Creek’s psychotic demolition expert, has a nuke.

The problem with Elke having a nuke is that Elke WILL use it.

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Review:The book has not been publicly released as of the time of this review and this is based on the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) released by Baen Publishing.

As is the case with all ARC’s the manuscript had a lot of minor issues and notes from the author like **Cook Name** etc. But none of that detracted from the plot and it remained a fun read throughout.

The plot was quite basic with a bunch of high level bodyguards trying to save their principal (The person they were guarding) from being killed. But the skill of the author showed in the way he told the story and made it interesting enough that at no point did it feel that we were just watching a group of men/women hide and/or kill people.

The characters were well written and though some parts of the story came out as slightly unpolished I think that was because I was reading an ARC instead of the final release and I am quite hopeful that the final version will have all these minor rough edges polished out.

Final Recommendation: A good read

May 12, 2010

The Age of Ra (Age of Series Book 01) by James Lovegrove

Filed under: Reviews-Science Fiction — Suramya @ 6:41 PM

The Age of Ra (Age of Series Book 01)
by James Lovegrove

The Ancient Egyptian gods have defeated all the other pantheons and claimed dominion over the earth, dividing it into warring factions. Lt. David Westwynter, a British soldier, stumbles into Freegypt, the only place to have remained independent of the gods’ influence. There, he encounters the followers of a humanist leader known as the Lightbringer, who has vowed to rid mankind of the shackles of divine oppression. As the world heads towards an apocalyptic battle, there is far more to this freedom fighter than it seems…

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Review:The first book in the Age of Series, The Age of Ra had a great plot and an awesome storyline right up-till it got to the end, then it just made no sense. The ending of the book was horrible and completely destroyed the book.

It would have made sense if the story was continued in another book but as far as I can tell the next book in the series is not at all connected to this one.

If only the author had taken the time to flesh out the ending a little bit it would have been a great novel. As is, it left a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t think I will be trying the next novel in the series.

May 11, 2010

Black Blade Blues (Black Blade Book 01) by J. A Pitts

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 4:56 PM

Black Blade Blues (Black Blade Book 01)
by J. A Pitts


Sarah Beauhall has more on her plate than most twenty-somethings: day job as a blacksmith, night job as a props manager for a low-budget movie, and her free time is spent fighting in a medieval re-enactment group.

When the lead actor breaks Sarah’s favorite one-of-a-kind sword, it sends the director into fits. Sarah agrees to repair the blade to avoid reshooting scenes.

One of the extras claims to be a dwarf and offers to help her at the forge. That’s when things start to get weird. Could the sword really be magic, as he claims? Why does he want her to kill a Portland investment banker? And what is it about that homeless guy that has her on edge?

As if things weren’t surreal enough at that point, Sarah’s girlfriend Katie breaks out the dreaded phrase’ ‘I love you.’

Black Blade Blues is about forging an existence in a world that is much different than one expects.

Oh, and dragons.

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Review:Black Blade Blues is the first fantasy book by JA Pitts and I really liked the book. The plot was interesting and the characters were well defined. The best part was that even though the main character (Sarah) had self doubts and was conflicted about her relationship with another woman at no point in the book did it become too melodramatic or feel like it was put in there for no good reason other than to have drama in the book.

Sarah’s reactions to finding out that Dragons are real were completely believable but it never got to the point of being idiotic. When she finally figured out that it was all real she didn’t continue to deny the fact or do stupid stuff.

Too many authors of Fantasy books allow their characters to adjust to a radical change in their world view instantly and that just doesn’t sound realistic.

The supporting cast could have been defined a bit more in detail but was still sufficient enough to carry the book forward.

Final Recommendation: A good read

May 10, 2010

Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires Book 08) by Rachel Caine

Filed under: Reviews-Young Adult Fantasy — Suramya @ 4:48 PM

Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires Book 08)
by Rachel Caine


A new chapter in the New York Times bestselling Morganville Vampires saga.

Vampire musician Michael Glass has attracted the attention of a big- time producer who wants to cut a demo and play some gigs-which means Michael will have to enter the human world. For this, he’s been assigned escorts that include both a dangerous immortal as well as Michael’s all-too-human friends. And with that mix of personalities, this is going to be a road trip from hell…

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Review:In this latest installment of the Morganville vampire series the war in Morganville has finally ended and things have calmed down a lot.

Now Michael has been approached by a big time producer to record a CD in Dallas, Texas and he along with his friends are to take a road trip from Morganville to Dallas. Unfortunately for them the trip didn’t turn out quite as planned and instead of having a fun enjoyable trip it was business as usual with death, destruction and mayhem.

The plot of the story was a bit weaker than the other books in the series but wasn’t too bad, the fast pace of the book made it easy to ignore the small issues in the plot. Some of the unresolved issues from the previous books were resolved in this book.

I think the author should stop writing more books in the series unless she can think of a completely new angle and plot for the future books ’cause this is a good book to end the series on a high note.

Final Recommendation: A decent read

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