Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The Termite Queen: The Wound That Has No Healing, Volume II “ by Author, @TermiteWriter

  • Title:  The Termite Queen, The Wound That Has No Healing, Volume II
  • Author: Lorinda J. Taylor
  • File Size: 1469 KB
  • Print Length: 598 Pages
  • Publisher: Self Published by Author
  • Publication Date: May 18, 2012
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0084NKIR0
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction, Literary

*I won a copy of Volume I and II of the Termite Queen in a contest and enjoyed it so much that I am offering an honest review which follows.*

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“In the Termite Queen: Volume One: The Speaking of the Dead, the death of a specimen of intelligent giant termite impels a team of scientists to mount a new expedition to the alien planet where the specimen was captured. During the voyage out, the linguistic anthropologist Kaitrin Oliva and the expedition’s chief, the entomologist Griffen Gwidian, fall in love and form a union, after which Prf. Gwidian begins to exhibit some troubling changes of mood and behavior. Meanwhile, on the alien planet, civil discord is brewing among the termites; Mo’gri’ta’tu, the Queen’s Chamberlain, hatches a plot to murder the Holy Seer Kwi’ga’ga’tei, a plot foiled only by the sudden reappearance of the Flying Monster.

In Volume Two, the team arrives at the planet to a combative reception, but, aided by Kaitrin’s insights into the termites’ unique language, the “Star-Beings” and the Shshi are soon communicating and learning to know each other. The Shshi accept Kaitrin as a friend and even come to revere her as the Mother of her people. Meanwhile, Griffen’s inexplicable insecurities escalate, while the dastardly Mo’gri’ta’tu continues to foment conspiracies. Ultimately, the two plotlines intersect in an explosive climax, after which the team must return to Earth and try to come to terms with what they have experienced.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

You can find my review of the Termite Queen – The Speaking of the Dead, Volume I, here.

Volume Two of the Termite Queen leads the reader deeper into the workings of the termite civilization of Lo’ro’ra on the planet, 2 Giotta 17 A. At the same time, the relationship between Kaitrin and Professor Griffin Gwidian takes on new dimensions. It’s like getting two separate stories – science fiction/romance intertwined into one huge book. What a bonus!

As Kaitrin and her team delve into the mechanics of the Shshi language, she further discovers the language of the termite is transmitted to humans through a pattern of radio wave frequencies. Katrin’s understanding of the termite tongue deepens, and this leads to many meetings with the Holy Seer or shaman, Kwi’ga’ga’tei where Kaitrin is taught about the culture of the insect society.

The many interactions with the Remembrancer and the worker chiefs reveal a community that is human-like and yet alien. Kaitrin prepares to study the termite race in the most intimate way possible by entering the termite palace beneath the ground. This is my favorite part of the novel where the storyline involving the termite society is revealed.

The author creates a culture that is both, fascinating and believable. The insects behave much like the termite societies on earth but yet appear to be social and much more intelligent. At times, I marveled at how human these creatures seemed.

Not only do the termites have a creation myth, but they also have laws and a caste-like system of behavior. The Queen lives in a room far beneath the ground as her bloated body is not capable of movement other than to bring forth more offspring. There are workers, warriors, and termite alates, those gifted with wings and the ability to create new cities. Everyone has a job to do which ensures the survival of their termite kingdom.

Ms. Taylor employed the skillfully written chapters that dealt with the termite kingdom to read like a play. The termite characters were easier to relate to when presented in this manner.

Moreover, there is so much more to this saga than the termite kingdom. Griffin and Kaitrin’s relationship dominate the story and move it forward. Griffin is older than Kaitrin and has waited many years for his soul mate. Once he has found her, he will do anything to keep her close to his side. In comparison, Kaitrin is consumed with the language and culture of the termite colony. She battles her desire to discover all she can about the creatures versus Griffin’s needs. The tension is palpable in their relationship.

While Kaitrin immerses herself into the termite culture, Griffin can hardly contain his growing anxiety that something will happen to her. The Professor is obsessed with her safety, and dark secrets from a trauma-filled youth roil beneath the surface of his psyche. Kaitrin embarks upon her final visit to the termitarium on the same day that the Chamberlain and his minions launch an attack with the intent to unseat Kwi’ga’ga’tei. Gwidian jumps into the fray determined to save Kaitrin.

The end of the novel is explosive and emotion, and I could not put the book down. I felt as obsessed as Professor Gwidian and read into the wee hours for many nights determined to find out happened next. This story had me hooked, and that is good news because Ms. Taylor has another series that continues the story of the Termite Kingdom.

Image credit: Redbubble.com

I loved the Termite Queen Series and have added it to my “Me Time,” science fiction/fantasy category. If you love science fiction, fantasy, and romance you are going to love this series. I know I did, and I have a book hangover to prove it!

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars



Author, Lorinda J. Taylor

About the Author – Lorinda J. Taylor

I’m a retired librarian who worked in academic libraries as a cataloger, and I live in Colorado Springs, CO.  Besides my MLS, I have a BA and an MA in English, and some work toward a Ph.D.  As a child, I was always making up imaginary worlds, but I didn’t start writing fantasy until I read “Lord of the Rings” in 1969 and discovered that even serious scholars like J.R.R. Tolkien can continue to create such worlds far into their adult lives. I never was successful in getting published in those early days, however, and then family considerations forced me to take a hiatus from writing from 1983 until 2000. Since then, I’ve written a novella and several novels, and have begun to self-publish since I doubt that I can live long enough to go the old-fashioned route!

My interests include almost anything literary, scientific, or speculative — science fiction and fantasy, mythology, language (I write conlangs for my books), poetry, cosmology, astrophysics, anthropology, archaeology, entomology, ornithology …

Philosophically, I call myself a spiritual humanist.

Among my favorite authors are Ursula K. LeGuin, Tolkien (of course), Evangeline Walton, and many poets such as Robert Graves and Dylan Thomas.

Here’s a drawing of one of my favorite creations.  Meet Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head!


Lorinda Taylor also creates her own cover art and illustrations.

WHY BUY TERMITEWRITER PAPERBACKS?

“If you buy a paperback from Amazon, you can get the Kindle version FREE! And the paperback gives you several bonuses, like a full-color cover, plus extra illustrations on the back cover and (for the Ki’shto’ba series and Children of the Music) maps!”

Here is a list of the Termite Queen and The Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head books with links to Amazon:

The Termite Queen (2-volume novel)

v.1: The Speaking of the Dead http://amzn.to/Imh3kd
v.2: The Wound That Has No Healing http://amzn.to/LnvhbL

The Labors of Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head (series: 7 volumes)
v.1: The War of the Stolen Mother http://amzn.to/QO5rPF
v.2: The Storm-Wing http://amzn.to/16PjTxa
v.3: The Valley of Thorns http://amzn.to/16xKzmY
v.4: Beneath the Mountain of Heavy Fear http://amzn.to/1jesQa5
v.5: The Wood Where the Two Moons Shine http://amzn.to/1x7n5nt
v.6: The Revenge of the Dead Enemy http://amzn.to/1nWtuxG
Sequel: The Buried Ship at the End of the World http://amzn.to/2mYr6IC

Here I am, holding the stuffed tiger that my mother sent
to me way back when I was a sophomore in college.
My school’s mascot is a tiger!

Here’s where you can find Lorinda:

Blog – Ruminations of a Remembrancer at http://termitewriter.blogspot.com
(You can find free chapters on her website of Volume I of the Termite Queen).

Twitter – Lorinda J. Taylor @TermiteWriter

Facebook – Lorinda J. Taylor (Termite Writer)

Google+ – Lorinda J Taylor

Thanks for stopping by to meet Lorinda Taylor.

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Colleen’s Book Reviews – “The Solar Wind IV: Raider,” by Lyz Russo

  • Title:  The Solar Wind IV: Raider
  • Author: Lyz Russo
  • File Size: 1129 KB
  • Print Length: 396 Pages
  • Publisher: P’kaboo Publishers
  • Publication Date: August 16, 2013
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EMJY78Q
  • ISBN-10: 0987010395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0987010391
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Literature &Fiction, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy

*I was given a publication copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes*


Alien Touchdown! If the crew of the Solar Wind thought the Unicate and the Rebellion were tough cookies, they haven’t yet met the Danaan – from Planet New Dome. Coming to take over Earth – or destroy the planet. Or alternatively, for a mango daiquiri in the subtropical paradise of Southern Free. And then destroy the planet. And why is Captain Lascek acting so strangely? Raider is the fourth in the series of Solar Wind novels.

Previous sequels are, The Mystery of the Solar Wind, The Assassin, and Freedom Fighter.

Welcome to my first book review of 2017! Pull up a chair and have a seat while I tell you about the adventures of the Solar Wind crew.

Volume Four brings the pirate assassin, Federi, and his wife, the lovely genetic engineer/musician, Paean, back together at long last. When these two are apart, the Solar Wind never rides smooth on the waves beneath its bow. Something is off, though, and Federi’s gypsy intuition is pushed into overdrive to figure out what is wrong.

Suddenly, a new threat surfaces when Dana, an alien from the planet New Dome, arrives aboard the ship with an agenda all her own. The hauntingly beautiful Dana disrupts the newfound relationship between the Captain and Perdita when it is revealed that she is Rushka’s mother. Perdita is stunned and watches, filled with fury, as the Captain succumbs once again to Dana’s evil charms. Meanwhile, Rushka, pregnant with her first child remembers the cruelty she suffered at the hands of her alien mother when she was a young child.

And, if that wasn’t enough drama, mutant creatures are menacing the crew, threatening their very lives. The beings can’t be destroyed, and they regenerate themselves from a single living cell. They multiply into the thousands with only one thing on their mind – to kill. When one of the creatures attacks Federi, the team battles for his and their lives looking for solutions to save the world from certain destruction.

Perdita is the key to protecting humankind from Dana’s malevolence. If they can save Federi, there is still hope…

I have been reading the Solar Wind Series for some time now, and I must say, I enjoyed Book IV, Raider, the best! The characters have long ago found a place in my heart. Once again, it is the relationship between Paean and Federi that steer the crew into new adventures. The addition of space travel and the ability to beam to any location in an instant added another layer of mystique to the plot.

Lyz Russo has created a science fiction series that continues to entertain and invite the reader into the world of the Solar Wind, and its crew. This futuristic pirate fantasy is one of my favorites!

To read my review of the first book, The Mystery of the Solar Wind, click here. To read my review of the second book, The Assassin, click here. To read my review of the third book, Freedom Fighter, click here. All I can say is that thank goodness there is a fifth book: The Morrigan – Solar Wind, Volume 5!


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

122116_2124_BOOKREVIEWB6.jpg


Author, Lyz Russo

About Lyz Russo:

I’m a South African writer and musician. Between running a violin studio and raising 3 beautiful children, and writing through nights, I also run a maverick indie publishing house in South Africa called P’kaboo Publishers.


Have a look: www.pkaboo.net.

You can catch me on my blogs: The Red Ant at skrikvirniks.wordpress.com and Violin Tricks at violintrix.wordpress.com. On WordPress, I’m “gipsika.”

You can find me on Twitter @lyzrusso and also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Lyz-Russo
and www.facebook.com/pkaboo.net.

I’ve added this book & series to my “5 Star – ME Time Recommendations.”

Thanks for stopping by. ❤

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Pearseus, Schism” BY AUTHOR @NICHOLAS_ROSSIS

  • Title:  Pearseus – Schism Rise of the Prince
  • Author: Nicholas C. Rossis
  • File Size: 1314 KB
  • Print Length: 60 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: January 23, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FXOJQA8
  • Formats: Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Science Fiction-Fantasy


*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

FROM THE AUTHOR:

Humanity starts over. Again.

It’s New Year’s Eve, the year of 2099, but the distinguished guests aboard the Pearseus won’t get to countdown seconds; soon they’ll be counting bodies and survivors after the spaceship’s crash landing on another planet.

The good news? The planet is seemingly hospitable both in resources and in terms of the natives’ attitude towards earthlings.

The bad news? They might have come on this planet bare of possessions, but what they haven’t been able to shed are the shortcomings of their human nature. Will that be the sole threat to a unified future, or is the new land and its first inhabitants not as innocent as they look?

Schism is the prequel to the Amazon best-selling series, Pearseus.

Recommendation:

I don’t know how I did it, but it appears that after reading the Pearseus series, I neglected to read the very first book, a prequel novel, you could say. Without further ado, I contacted the author, Nicholas Rossis, and he kindly provided me with a copy. And… let me tell you! I was glad I did!

To read my reviews of Pearseus, Books 1 – 3: Rise of the Prince, Mad Water, and Vigil, click here.

Just to be sure that I understood what I was reading, I looked up the word “Schism.” Dictionary.com explains that a schism means “a division or disunion, especially into mutually opposed parties.” I don’t think the author could have chosen a better word for the title of his book.

Schism begins when the “Pearseus,” a spaceship, crashes on an unknown planet due to the negligence of one of its top officers. Chaos ensues and the survivors have nothing left to do but to create a new civilization in order to survive. Much in the same way man has conquered the continents on earth, the survivors drive the natural inhabitants of the planet to a remote area far away leaving the survivors to rule the area they have settled.

However, factions within the surviving party have a different agenda. True to human nature, corruption within the rank and file causes some of the survivors to scheme on their own. A darkness creeps into the group of a kind that mankind has never seen before. The civilization known as Pearseus begins to fall apart. The schism is now complete and the stage is set for the Pearseus series.

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to read this first book. Although Nicholas Rossis does a superb job at keeping you abreast of the happenings in each book, this first book gives you a glimpse into the personalities of the crew and the catalyst that set the whole series into motion. You won’t want to leave this book out!

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Author, Nicholas Rossis

About Nicholas Rossis:

Nicholas Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats, one of whom claims his lap as home. His children’s book, Runaway Smile, earned a finalist slot in the 2015 International Book Awards.

What readers are saying about Nick’s fantasies:

“Most avid readers still have books from their childhood which they read over and over again. ‘Runaway Smile’ has joined the list.”

“From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure.”

For more on Nick or just to chat, visit him on:

Blog: http://bit.ly/1G79bQS
eNovel Authors: http://bit.ly/1JZEQct
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/18lyLr5
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1dKgsPT
Google+ : http://bit.ly/1IkzR22

Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to seeing you all again!

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SILVER’S BOOK REVIEWS – “Pearseus,” BY NICHOLAS C. ROSSIS

  • Title:  Pearseus, Books 1 – 3: Rise of the Prince, Mad Water, and Vigil
  • Author: Nicholas C. Rossis
  • File Size: 1882 KB
  • Print Length: 911 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: Nicholas Rossis
  • Publication Date: July 17, 2014
  • Sold by  Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LX9UUIY
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy

    *The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

Book Blurb from the author:

“Pearseus does for ancient Greece what Game of Thrones did for Medieval England.”
The first three books of the Amazon genre best-selling series.

Three hundred years after humans crash land on Pearseus, Styx, the Capital’s cruel ruler, learns of a dark prophecy: Cyrus, a young boy, will one day slay her. She imprisons him, but days before his execution he escapes with the help of the First, the planet’s native inhabitants. On their way to safety, nightmarish monsters attack. Cyrus flees, scared and alone until a pair of First warriors rescue him and spirit him away to the mysterious Old Woman. 

All Cyrus wants is to reunite with his family. But the Old Woman insists Cyrus is the foretold instrument in the First’s ancient war against a shadowy enemy who will stop at nothing to prevent him from fulfilling his destiny. Heart and mind war within Cyrus as he learns he must choose between his family and preventing humanity’s extinction. 

The bundle contains the three first books in the series. 

Note: The original version of this bundle contained the prequel, Pearseus: Schism. The new version contains Rise of the Prince, Mad Water, and Vigil.

Recommendation:

I read this collection without reading the first book, Schism so I had to do some catching up before I began. Luckily, included in the beginning of the collection is a character synopsis and map of Pearseus so you can bring yourself up to date with the events that preceded. I really liked this feature because it gave me a sneak peek into the characters from the onset of the book.

Pearseus is an epic fantasy novel of which I had never read the likes of before. It has all the elements of a fantasy novel but it is enriched with the elements of a science fiction novel too. What an imaginative and fascinating read! From the very beginning of the novel, I was hooked!

The plot is one of the most interesting I have encountered. A spaceship is forced to land on a planet that is already inhabited by other life forms that terraformed the planet into what they wanted it to resemble. The refugees from the spaceship are forced to survive in a land fraught with danger. They clash with the “First,” inhabitants which cause the two groups to split. The First go off to the north and the human refugees remain in the territory they took from the First, thereby segregating themselves from each other.

Now, years into the future, most technological advancements have vanished from the original space crew refugee descendants. There are still a few reminders around such as tablets and some weapons of mass destruction. The really interesting part was that the people of the future have regressed into a feudal society with different factions and clans fighting for control using ancient weapons like swords, and knives. At times, I found the societies resembled ancient Greece intertwined with eastern philosophies to make up their complex political and philosophical beliefs.

What I really loved was how detailed the author was in creating all the different factions and clans. The detail is so thorough and believable. To explain, Pearseus was settled by three different life forms. The original inhabitants of the planet were overtaken by the First, who were then overtaken by the refugees of the spaceship. All of these life forms coexist together at the same time on Pearseus resulting in plenty of conflicts. I told you I was blown away at the detail!

Through it all, magic and technology unite in an explosive war between “The Whispers,” “The Fallen,” and “The Orbs.” The humans are brought into the battle to help win the war and to fulfill the ancient prophecies.

I must note that the author kept the intrigue going by switching each chapter in all three books with another character’s point of view. This gave me the perspective from all sides, good and evil. It was a unique and effective storytelling method that really propelled the novel along.

I personally enjoyed the deep characterizations added to the different life forms. In addition, there was plenty of philosophy, hatred, and intrigue much like a modern society today, which added a sense of realism to Pearseus. I understood the struggles of all the life forms and likened it to the differences in cultures today found on our own planet.

At the heart of the books are four central characters that stand out as having the perfect combination of strengths and flaws that together make an unbeatable team. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Author, Nicholas Rossis

About Nicholas Rossis:

Nicholas Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats, one of whom claims his lap as home. His first children’s book, Runaway Smile, has won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award, among other distinctions.

Many of his short stories have appeared in various collections and anthologies. He has published two collections; The Power of Six and Infinite Waters, which was voted as one of the best 50 Indie books of 2015.

From the author: A little-known fact about writing your first book: unless you inform others of your intention well in advance, you might find yourself in an awkward position.  Like, when you present your manuscript to your parents so they can read it.  A couple of months later, when you ask if they have read it, your dad will go, slightly annoyed, “no, I’m re-reading Martin’s books right now, so it’ll have to wait.” 

Then, a further couple of months later, he’ll call you late at night to say, “great book, son, with some fantastic ideas!  I was totally hooked.  A page-turner; kept me up at night.  You know what this guy did?  He took historical elements from ancient Greece and created a space opera with them.”

And you’ll say, after a brief pause, “what guy?”

And your dad will say, in a confused voice, “why, whoever wrote this.  There was no name on the manuscript.”

Now, what I should have said, of course, is something along the lines of “it’s not really a space opera, dad, but a dark epic fantasy with a sci-fi twist, where the heroes face tough moral dilemmas, discovering themselves in the process.”

But no-one talks to their dad this way, right?

So all I said, once I managed to stop laughing, was, “I wrote it, dad.  But I’m super glad you liked it even before you knew that.”

For more on Nick or just to chat, visit him on his blog at nicholasrossis.me, enovelauthorsatwork.com, and Google+ at Nicholas C. Rossis

Make certain to connect with Nicholas through his Twitter @Nicholas_Rossis, and Facebook at NicholasCRossis

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you all again!