BOOK REVIEWS

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   Enjoy reading? Picking up a book and reading is becoming a lost art. It's easier to download a copy into a reader than care a novel around looking like some nerdy geek. 

  My reviews are of books you WILL want to pick up and take a read... whether paperback or digital. 
  My favorite would be series. I enjoy reading when characters or storylines can be followed. Unlike many readers I read books several times. Below are some of the series I have read and wanted to pass the recommendation to you.  

I enjoy reading books that are in a series the most. And I enjoy reading them more than once. There are many of them here that are an excellent read. And it may not be an entire series that is worth reading. The books that are, are listed with the series...

 

BOOKS

MAN WHO NEVER MISSED - SERIES
John Norman's  GOR - SERIES
JOHN CARTER OF MARS - SERIES
ENDWORLD - SERIES
VLAD TALTOS - SERIES
DEATHSTALKER - SERIES
THE APPRENTICE ADEPT - SERIES
ALIENS: EARTH HIVE - SERIES
BATTLETECH - SERIES
DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN - SERIES
TEKLORDS - SERIES
BLADE - SERIES
DRAGON & the GEORGE 
MAGIC KINGDOM FOR SALE
 
DRAGONSBANE

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Man Who Never Missed series

Written by STEVE PERRY
Published by: Ace Books
# in series: 8

Rating:  9.0

1. the Man Who Never Missed
2. Matadora
3. the Machiavelli Interface
4. the Omega Cage (hard to find)
5. the 97th Step (read this one first)
6. the Albino Knife
7. Black Steel
8. Brother Death

Steve Perry is one of the best writers I have read.  His style pulls you into his story with wonderful characters, and a story that keeps you glued until the last page of the last book.

Synopsis:
    One man against an empire. Emil Khadaji began as that man. Once he had been a member of that empire as part of an elite force. He had taken part in terrible slaughters in the name of law and order.
     One day he had a revelation. He walked away from the battlefield a new man, with a secret plan that he shared with no other. not his mysterious mentor, who him how to use his body as a deadly weapon. Not even the beautiful exotic who he loved - and had to leave.
     For on the planet Greave, the Shamba Freedom Forces are gathering. No one ever sees them. No one can understand how they bring Confed to its knees. No one knows who they are.  At least until 'The Man Who Never Missed' is ready for them to know...

 

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Vlad Taltos  series

By Steven Brust
Published by: ACE Books.
# in series: 6 (new one due I hear)

Rating: 8.0

1. Jhereg
2. Yendi
3. Teckla (this should be first I believe)
4. Taltos
5. Phoenix
6. Athyra

    These are the only books I have read by Steven Brust. They are well written and easily envelope you within the pages. Using a paid assassin as the main character is very neat idea. How often do you find one with a conscience? The third book, titled "Teckla" should be read before the series actual first novel, Jhereg. All six novels are quality reads. It's actually been about 8 years since I last read them, but enjoyed the series enough to keep them in my very limited collection. 

Synopsis:

     There are many ways for a young man with quick wits and a quick sword to advance in the world. Vlad Taltos chose the route of the assassin, and the constant companionship of a young Jhereg dragon (mini-dragon)
     These are the stories of his life as part of house Jhereg, his time in the Jhereg war. It also tells how he fell in love with a woman who killed him. Life doesn't get any better than that. lol.

 

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ENDWORLD  series

by David Robbins
published by: Leisure Adventures
# in series: 29 novels.

1986-1991

Rating: 6.5

    This series by David Robbins is an easy read. There are 29 novels in the series, but I have only read about six of them. The books are difficult to locate, but I have to admit I have never looked for them online (I usually on purchase used books these days)  The others I have seen come with two novels in one paperback book. The series is well written and fun to read. Recommended for sure.

Synopsis:

     100 years after world war three, in what use to be the United States. The descendants of those few survivors of a nuclear holocaust that annihilated most life on earth, struggle to rebuild a vanished civilization with the walls of the compound known as "the home".
     Beyond the compound lies a dangerous and vast wasteland inhabited by a savage barbarian tribes who plunder, ravage and destroy whatever comes within their grasp.
     Skilled Warriors, working in Triads, and intrepid defenders of the home protect the family. The Triads constantly pit their skills against the enemy that lies outside.

 

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Alien Earth Hive series

By Steve Perry
Publisher: Bantam Books  1992
# in series: 3

Ratings:  9.0

1. Aliens Earth Hive
2. Aliens Nightmare Asylum
3. Aliens the Female War

     Steve Perry does it again! His alien trilogy rocks the alien series better than any of the shit that has come after the fourth film.  I read the trilogy in three days. Aliens: Earth Hive are so well written you are quickly sucked in, rough up and spit out the other end before you realize it's over. I just couldn't get enough of the story. The two main characters hook you in and make you part of their world.  The lead character reminds you of the 'Aliens' character Hicks.  For the Alien fan the trilogy is a must read. Ripley halfway through the series, or does she? The Aliens have taken over the Earth. Hicks armed with his wits and a you women with no where else to be must win it back at all cost. 

Synopsis:

     Wilks was a space marine with a near-fatal flaw: he had a heart. Billie was a child, the only survivor of a far-flung colony outpost. Thrown together in the last hellish night of an alien invasion, Billie and Wilks helped each other get out alive.
     Thirteen years later Wilks is in prison, and while Billie lives in a mental institution, the nightmare memories of the massacre at Rim seared into her mind. Now the government has tapped Wilks to lead an expedition to the aliens' home planet to bring back a live alien. But the competition on Earth to develop the aliens as a new weapons system is brutal. When Wilk's team departs on their mission, a trained assassin trails them. And what follows is no less than guerilla warfare on the aliens' planet--and alien conquest on Earth?

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By Simon R. Green
Publisher: ROC Books    1995
# in series: 5

 

Ratings: 5.5
(didn't like ending at all)

1. Deathstalker
2. Deathstalker: Rebellion
3. Deathstalker: War
4. Deathstalker: Honor (had to order)
5. Deathstalker: Destiny

     All the books are about 500+ pages.  Great story, interesting characters to enjoy through the series. Simon R. Green is an good author, the series enjoyable. The end however sucked ass for me. I only read the series once.  The war ended to quickly for such a huge build up. it was to a abrupt, and the way the characters were handled at the end didn't fit into what I wanted or thought the ending should turn to. I felt cheated, but enjoyed the overall read. I don't particularly care for dark endings with main characters. I think you will too. Just be ready for an abrupt end. 

Synopsis:

     Owen Deathstalker, unwilling head of his clan, sought to avoid the perils of the Empire's warring factions but enexpectedly found a price on his head. He fled to Mistworld where he slowly built an unlikely force that could topple the throne - a broken hero, a thief, a bounty hunter, and an outlawed Hadenman. With his people the Deathstalker would take on an Empire, a journey to claim the role for which he was destined since before his birth...

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BATTLETECH  series

By Various Authors
Publisher: ROC Books

Rating:  7

    Battletech is a wargaming and science fiction fantasy franchise launched by FASA in 1984 and purchased by WizKids in 2000, only to finally be purchased Topps in 2003. Battletech began as a board game. There are now over 100 novels

    Star Wars copied the writing style of Battletech having various authors responsible for trilogies and individual novels.  Battletech follows a timeline stretching from the 20th century to the middle of the 32nd, approximately 1150 years.  Humanity battles for control in gigantic battle mechs designed centuries before. 
     I would recommend starting with..  Legion of the Jade Phoenix Trilogy by Robert Thurston. Here is a listing of books I have read with the ratings next to them.
     In this series the story telling of Robert Thurston (1- 6) and Michael A. Stackpole (7 - 13) are by far my favorite, but other writers Victor Milan, Christopher Kubasik, Andrew Keith, Blaine Pardoe,  Jim Long & Thomas Gressman also do  a great job.  

     

1.  JP- Way of the Clans 1   8
2.  JP- Blood-name               8
3.  JP- Falcon Guard            8
4.  I Am Jade Falcon             8
5.  Freebirth 7.5
6.  Falcon Rising 8
7.  Warrior Trilogy- Engarde 8
8.  Warrior Trilogy- Riposte 7.5
9.  Warrior Trilogy- Coupe' 8
10. Bred For War 6.5
11. Malicious Intent 7
12. Assumption of Risk 8.5
13. Prince of Havok 6.5
14. Main Event 7
15. DRT 7
16. Impetus of War 8
17. The Hunters 7.5
18. Sword and Fire 6.5
19. Black Dragon 7
20. Hearts of Chaos 7
21. Highlander Gambit 8
22. Blood of Heroes 7.5
23. Ideal War 7
24. Star Lord 7.5

 

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GOR  series

By John Norman
Publisher: Del Rey Books

Rating:  7.5 
(first 10 books)

1.   Tarnsman of GOR  
2.   Outlaw of GOR  
3.   Priest-Kings of GOR 
4.   Nomads of GOR 
5.   Assassin of GOR 
6.   Raiders of GOR
7.   Captive of GOR 
8.   Hunters of GOR 
9.   Marauders of GOR 
10. Tribesman of GOR   
11.  There are many more novels in the series. 

  This would be a series for the male readers out there. There are few women, even if they are fantasy or scifi fans, that would appreciate the world of GOR. The first eleven books were excellent tales of honor, female slavery, and graphic battles. Boris did the covers for many of the early books in the series. After about the 11th book John Norman fell deep into his world and would drift off in tangents for an entire chapter. It greatly took away from the stories he had written.

Synopsis:

     Earth could never know of GOR, the world always on the opposite side of the sun. Hidden by the Others. But GOR knew of Earth, as Tarl Cabot soon discovered. Taken by force to that savage world, Cabot was forced to become a tarnsman- a warrior who could control the great war bird of Koroba.
     GOR was a world of slaves and beautiful women, of human domination by the aliens. Tarl Cabot must be an agent of the Priest- Kings and help fight the Others who wish this world for themselves. These are the stories of one mans journeys through the world of GOR.

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the Apprentice Adept trilogy

By Piers Anthony
Publisher: Del Rey Books

 

Ratings:  8.5

1.  Split Infinity 
2.  Blue Adept 
3.  Juxtaposition 

     Piers Anthony at her best. She did an awesome job on this trilogy. There are more in the series now, but this is the best. The worlds she created are technical and magical.  This is a need to read for the genre fan. This is a must read for the fantasy fan. 

Synopsis:

    On the technological decadent world of Proton, someone was trying to destroy Stile, serf and master Gamesman. His only escape lay through a mysterious 'curtain' revealed by a loving robot. His fate depended on winning the Great Games on Proton.
    On the other side of the curtain lay Phaze. His duplicate in this world had already been murdered, allowing him to move between worlds. Phaze is a world of magic while Proton of Science. If he uses magic at all in Phaze his only friends, the werewolf and a unicorn will be determined to kill him at once.
    This is the story of Stile, Magician and Gamesman. A world of two worlds interlocked in a way that may destroy them both. And only one man can stop it. If he survives.

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John Carter of Mars  series

by E.R. Burroughs
Publisher: Del Rey Books   1912

 

Ratings: 9

1.  A Princess of Mars
2.  the Gods of Mars
3.  the Warlord of Mars
4.  Thubia, Maid of Mars
5.  the Chessman of Mars
6.  the Mastermind of Mars
7.  A Fighting Man of Mars
8.  Swords of Mars
9.  Synthetic Men of Mars
10. Llana of Gathol
11. John Carter of Mars (not by burroughs)

     The 11th book is two short stories put together from notes Burroughs left behind after his death. Book 11 falls apart from the first ten.
     Burroughs is classic in his writing of romance and chivalry to the extreme. The hero, brainless when it comes to love but a master of war.  A great series for any fan of the genre. My reading set is around the 11th printing or higher. My collection set is the 7th printing from 1974. 
     Even in the forwards of his book ERB gives you the feel that these stories are true as told to him by John Carter himself. True Sci-Fi Fantasy at its best. Adventure  beautifully told from an incredble world. It is all here.

Synopsis:

     John Carter is wisked away to the planet Mars where he must fight to survive in a world where the word friend means enemy. A world where he falls in love with a woman constantly kept from his grasp. Carter must fight his way to her and in the attempt try to bring peace to a world at war.

Dragon Riders of Pern

by Anne McCaffrey
Publisher: Doubleday (hardback)

 

RATING  10

1. Dragonflight
2. Dragonquest
3. The White Dragon

     There are more than three books in the series. This review is just for the three books, but the entire series is just totally rocks!  I would recommend the entire series to anyone.  The only difficulty for me is learning all the names, lol. Dragon Riders of Pern is one of my favorite series. It's hard to believe with all the shit being turned out in Hollywood the films have not made it to television or the big screen. There were two attempts at a TV series but both failed to materialize. 
     Anne McCaffery pulls you and keeps you there. When you've turned that final page you'll want more. The characters are fleshed out and believable.  
     Synopsis: Dragonriders must take to the air to kill thread that comes periodically from the red star. Using their fiery breath and the ability to phase in and out of reality these great magical beast fight for the people, the planet and themselves.
     In return for protection , Land Holders, and Craftsman have traditionally tithed food  and supplies to the dragonweyrs to which they are bound. But nearly 400 years since the last Threadfall, and some people have come to doubt that the menace will ever strike again. But believe me folks, it does. And the stories to come are exciting, fun and entertaining. A must read!!!

 

TEKLORDS

by William Shatner
Published by ACE.

 

RATING  Trilogy - 7.5

1.  TEKLORDS
2.  TEKWAR
3.  TEKLAB 

     There are more in the series but I found the first three books the best. 
     This series follows the adventures of ex-cop/ex-con Jake Cardigan as he finds a new career and attempts to find a new life after coming out of deep freeze. The drug is TEK. Jake works with his partner now to solve cases for a detective agency but each case seems to envole the TEK Lords. 
     The series is a surprising adventure from Star Trek star William Shatner. It is well written with interesting characters. The trilogy here will keep you entertained. 

 

BLADE  series

by Jeffrey Lord
Published by... Pinnacle Books

 

RATING 6.5

1.   The Bronze Axe 11. Dimension of Dreams
2.   The Jade Warrior 12. King of Zunga
3.   Jewel of Tharn 13. The Golden Steed
4.   Slave of Sarma 14. The Temples of Ayocan
5.   Liberator of Jedd 15. The Towers of Melnon
6.   Monster of the Maze 16. The Crystal Seas
7.   Pearl of Patmos 17. The Mountains of Brega
8.   Undying World 18. Warlords of Gaikon
9.   Kingdon of Royth 19. Looters of Tharn
10. Ice Dragon 20. Guardians of the Coral Throne

     The first book began in 1969 and book 20 in 1976. These are the adventures of the European government secret agent Richard Blade. An agent sent to other dimensions using a secret transporter unit. Blade fights his way through different worlds looking for vital information and technology he can bring back with him, if he survives long enough for the machine to find him and pull him back. You can enjoy the adventures if you can find the out of print books. Blade is retired and no longer in circulation. Check your used book stores for them. They are poorly made and binding glue is always deteriorating until the novels fall apart.  
    

 

DRAGON & the GEORGE

by Gordon Dickson
Published by... DELREY

 

RATING: 8

     This was a truly surprising novel when I picked it up. Gordon Dickson did an incredible job with this novel. Excellent writing and story telling.
     Jim Eckert was a Dragon. It just happened that way. Jim followed her through an astral-projection machine. He found himself in a weird world and stuck inside a the body of a monstrous dragon named Gorbash.
     His girl was still a beautiful female but capture by an evil dragon. Jim needs help to rescue her and get out of the dragon and become himself. He needs help by George. It is his adventure and you will have a great time experiencing it. Happy reading.

 

Magic Kingdom For Sale

by Terry Brooks
Published by... Delrey Books.

 

RATING: 8

     Man. Terry Brooks did an outstanding job on this book. Great light hearted reading. Action, drama, comedy and more in the 373 page novel. It will leave you with a smile and wanting more. I picked this one up at a used book store for something to read. It was a great choice.
     After purchasing the magic kingdom from a department store, Ben Holiday finds out he wasn't given all the details before he made the purchase. Now Ben must fight through a world to be accepted as the Kingdoms King. He must fight the Iron Mark, the terrible Lord of the Demons.
     Is it hopeless? Only time will tell. And you must read this one to see how it ends.

 


DRAGONSBANE

by Barbara Hambly
Published by... Delrey books

 

RATING  7

     Picked this one up at the used book store as well. It won't be going back. This one is a keeper. One you can read more than once.
     Nicely written material from Barbara Hambly.
     After a black dragon has seized the deep of Ylferdun, John Aversin, Dragonsbane, is sought after to come and kill the dragon who is making meals from the kingdoms best knights. When Averson shows up things at the castle and around the kingdom are not as they appear or should be. Helping Averson is the woman he loves, a half-taught sorceress, and mother of his kids. And young Gareth, untested son of the king.
     The perils they face will keep you interested in the book til the end. I think you will enjoy it.

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