Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Eight: Rare Birds: A Biographical Fiction” by Lorinda J. Taylor, @TermiteWriter

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From the Author

First contact has taken place and the occupants of the alien ship are giant Birds. While nothing could make Capt. Robbin Nikalishin happier, the Ariana remains marooned on a moon in the Epsilon Eridani system and is running out of oxygen. The crew works furiously to learn how to communicate with the extraterrestrials (the most important element of a first contact), but not all the denizens of the Ariana are as pleased with the situation as Capt. Robbie is. Ian Glencrosse has failed in his attempt to sacrifice himself to save the mission and he remains convinced the death of everyone aboard is imminent. Meanwhile, another member of the mission devises a more ominous plan to “save” Earth from destruction by feathered monsters.

If the Phenix Mission is to make it back to Earth and set in motion that planet’s role in the wider universe, these avian extraterrestrials must be willing to come to the aid of the human aliens – or will they simply fly away and leave them to die?

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

“The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Eight: Rare Birds,” is the eighth book in this series of The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars series by Lorinda J. Taylor.  I have read and reviewed part one, “Eagle Ascendant,” HERE and part two, “Wounded Eagle” HERE and part three, “Bird of Prey,” HERE, part four, “Survivor,” HERE, part five, “Phoenix Rises,” HERE, and part six, “Merlin,” HERE; and part seven, “Fifth Island in the River,” HERE.

We left off in part seven, with the crew in dire straights. The tension cranked up to a fever pitch when a section of the engine failed. I couldn’t stop reading. These characters had become real to me, and I needed to know if they would survive their ordeal.

Now, in book eight, the crew is still alive, and we meet the extraterrestrials themselves. The intelligent birds are Captain Robbie’s only hope of returning to Earth. Learning how to communicate with this new species becomes the prime focus of the book.

The author is a constructed language enthusiast (conlanger, for short). Within these pages, she’s created an alien language, symbols and all, for this new bird species, which gives the book an entirely different feel from anything I’ve ever read. It makes sense, though. If you meet aliens, you have to figure out how to communicate with them. Most scenes revolve around communication between the species. The detail is astonishing!

There are plenty of humorous moments between the birds and humans as they learn to grasp each other’s languages. Taylor skillfully bridges the differences between the species by presenting the alien characters with almost human traits, which the reader comes to love as much as their human counterparts. There are several tense moments with the right amount of tension to move the plot forward.

I’m an enormous fan of this author and her books. She excels at first contact scenarios and I know this book in the series will not disappoint. I suspect there will be a book nine and that it comes out soon, but then, I was hooked on Captain Robbie’s story long ago.

Here is another series by Lorinda J. Taylor that I’ve enjoyed:

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The Termite Queen: The Speaking of the Dead, Vol. I,” by Author, @TermiteWriter

Title:  The Termite Queen: Volume 1, The Speaking of the Dead Author: Lorinda J. Taylor File Size: 998 KB Print Length: 404 Pages Publisher: Self Published by the Author Publication Date: January 2, 2014 Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC Language: English ASIN: B007RFYSWC Formats: Paperback and Kindle Goodreads Genres: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy *I won a copy of Volume I and II of… More

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Viral Blues,” BY AUTHOR, C. S. Boyack, @virgilante

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About this Book

Someone knows about the hat. The creature from another dimension that helps Lizzie fight against the creatures of darkness.

They are summoned to a cryptic meeting with a secret society, where they meet other people with enhanced skills. It turns out someone, or something, has been tampering with the world’s vaccine supply. The goal doesn’t appear to be political or financial, but biblical pestilence.

Can this group of loners come together in time to make a difference when even the proper authorities are obstacles?

Check out Viral Blues, for your dose of paranormal adventure, with a strong sample of dark humor. And in recent superhero style, don’t miss the secret last chapter after the back material.

Amazon.com

International BOOK Link

MY RECOMMENDATION

Someone is tampering with the world’s vaccine supply, replacing life-saving therapies with virulent viruses that threaten to overtake the earth’s population. Sound familiar? Now, who’s going to fix this mess?

Remember the superhero comics you read as a kid? Personally, I loved the Fantastic Four! How can you forget the iconic figure of “The Thing?” So, now that you have that visual in your mind, imagine a group of unlikely players, an extra-terrestrial disguised as a hat who is an ancient monster hunter, a sexy robot-girl, a guy who can turn into fog, and a normal American girl named Lizzie who sings in a band. They all unite to combine their magical gifts to fight a bunch of zombies! Throw in some great music and you have everything you need to save the world.

Boyack’s characters are always fun. He lets them be who they are, playing up their paranormal abilities along with their inner strengths. This time, the heros rise to the occasion as they battle supernatural villains, swarms of zombies, and even some mob bosses. Be ready for surprise shoot-outs and a few near misses as the non-stop action ramps up to a fever pitch.

Just like in the first book, “The Hat,” the dialog between Lisa and the Hat is full of cynical humor that will leave you quaking with laughter. Their banter is always magical. They behave like two old friends who know each other so well; they know what they can get away with. As usual, the Hat steals the show.

“Viral Blues” is a fun read and perfect for the Halloween season. It’s filled with amazing characters and I found the story highly entertaining. Not my usual read, but the holiday calls for stepping out of your comfort zone, if you catch my drift!

About the Author

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

~Craig~

How to Connect with the Author

Blog 

My Novels  

Twitter 

Goodreads 

Facebook 

Pinterest 

BookBub

Amazon Author Page US

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Seven: Fifth Island in the River: A Biographical Fiction,” BY AUTHOR, Lorinda J. Taylor, @TermiteWriter

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About this Book

The Phenix Project for Interstellar Flight has launched its first mission – a flight to the star system called Epsilon Eridani, 10.5 light years away. Capt. Robbin Nikalishin is finally achieving his dream, although the recent breakup with his wife Fedaylia High Feather can’t help but sour the pleasure a little. However, the mission begins on a positive note and its first half is marred only by some personnel conflicts and serious injuries. Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer Ian Glencrosse continues to believe a demonic space entity has doomed the mission and this entity will relent only if provided with a sacrifice – the death of Ian himself. 

The ship IS Ariana arrives at Epsilon Eri and deploys the Mission Specialists’ life-seeking probe on a young planet that may harbor nascent life. They are on the verge of retrieving the probe when a series of disasters puts the mission in jeopardy. Will Ian’s self-sacrifice come in time, or will the ship run out of oxygen before the Dauntless can come to its rescue?

Meanwhile, it seems Earthers are not the only interstellar travelers voyaging in the vicinity …

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

“Fifth Island in the River,” is the seventh book in The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars series by Lorinda J. Taylor. I have read and reviewed part one, “Eagle Ascendant,” HERE and part two, “Wounded Eagle” HERE and part three, “Bird of Prey,” HERE, part four, “Survivor,” HERE, part five, “Phoenix Rises,” HERE, and part six, “Merlin,” HERE.

Oh, my goodness! The long-expected voyage, manned by a mature Captain Robbie at the helm, has launched. The crew is in excellent hands and safely settle into their assigned positions. The coordinates are set as a series of temporal quantum jumps take them to the star Epsilon Eridani.

Finally, everything seems to work in their favor, and the crew settles into life aboard ship. Having served in the U. S. Air Force, I enjoyed the easy camaraderie depicted amongst the officers and crew.

This author thinks of all the details. Taylor adds touches of reality to life aboard ship with plenty of interesting personnel problems. When two crew members start a brawl because they discover they are dating the same woman, the reader learns that one of the professor’s like to cross dress, which was an unexpected disclosure to come out of the situation. In between the normal operations of the ship there were birthday celebrations and even a wedding!

Yet, as much as a family as the crew can be to each other, Ian Glencrosse, the Chief Engineer, continues to descend into a deep delusional state. There were some notable tense moments where I held my breath as I read, afraid for what it would reveal.

The tension cranks up to a fever pitch when a section of the engine fails. I couldn’t stop reading. These characters had become real to me, and I needed to know if they would survive their ordeal.

As you would expect in a science fiction novel, there are some exciting new discoveries. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this for a while, but the author illustrates her own book covers. I never truly understood the title of the series until book seven. It was a late night revelation that left me breathless with excitement!

I’m an enormous fan of this author and her books. She excels at first contact scenarios and I know this seventh book in the series will not disappoint. Every prior book led up to this one! I hope book eight comes out soon, but then, I was hooked on Captain Robbie’s story long ago.

Here’s another of Lorinda J. Taylor’s series that I enjoyed:

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The Termite Queen: The Speaking of the Dead, Vol. I,” by Author, @TermiteWriter

Title:  The Termite Queen: Volume 1, The Speaking of the Dead Author: Lorinda J. Taylor File Size: 998 KB Print Length: 404 Pages Publisher: Self Published by the Author Publication Date: January 2, 2014 Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC Language: English ASIN: B007RFYSWC Formats: Paperback and Kindle Goodreads Genres: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy *I won a copy of Volume I and II of… More

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Lorinda J. Taylor, author of “The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars” Series

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.

How to Connect with the Author

Blog – Ruminations of a Remembrancer at https://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)

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Six: Merlin: A Biographical Fiction ,” BY AUTHOR, Lorinda J. Taylor, @TermiteWriter

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About this Book

As preparation for the first star-mission continues, the new crew members begin to interact with one another, new relationships form, old ones continue to evolve, and life on Earth moves forward. Capt. Nikalishin’s wife persists in disrupting his life no matter how he tries to discourage her. Cmdr. Glencrosse remains under psychiatric treatment for his delusions about an entity out to destroy the mission, but nevertheless his Captain continues to support his appointment as Chief Engineer of the Ariana. Too many complexities exist in their relationship for either of them to cast the other aside.At last the mission’s destination and date of departure are set. Ian Glencrosse attempts to reconcile with his father, with ominous consequences which he reveals to no one. Furthermore, on the eve of departure, the High Feather makes another unexpected appearance … It’s too late to alter history …

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

“Merlin,” is the sixth book in The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars series by Lorinda J. Taylor. I have read and reviewed part one, “Eagle Ascendant,” HERE and part two, “Wounded Eagle” HERE and part three, “Bird of Prey,” HERE, part four, “Survivor,” HERE, and part five, “Phoenix Rises,” HERE.

I’ve read this series from the beginning onward. In book six, “Merlin,” Robbin Nikalishin (Captain Robbie) is deep into the Phenix Project interstellar program preparing for the Big Mission to the Eridanus, or Epsilon Eridani, a wandering pathway of stars.

The captain spends most of his time assembling his crew and building his team of space farers. There was an extensive amount of technical information shared which I could follow easily. In science fiction, the technical jargon matters and Taylor knows her quantum physics, or at least enough to make it all sound plausible. However, don’t worry. Her explanations made perfect sense. She dedicated much of the book to the training and testing of the ship and crew to prepare for their voyage to the stars.

Ian Glencrosse, the Chief Engineer and another survivor of the Darter disaster, continues to struggle with mental health issues. He hides most of this apprehension from Robbie and Dr. Winehandle, who hope he is ready for the voyage. Deep down, Ian’s convinced the mission is doomed, unless he takes some drastic action to ensure everyone’s safety. I picked up some dark vibes from Ian. Only time will tell how his story unravels.

Meanwhile, Captain Robbie hits another snag with his estranged wife, Fedaylia. When he went through terrible times before, she was the first to throw him under the bus. Now that things are looking up, the status seeking communication’s officer wants to be part of his life again. All I can tell you is that she is a real piece of work!

Then, there is Captain Robbie’s relationship with Linna Katsopolos to factor into this equation. Robbie’s conflicted feelings about Fedaylia and his views regarding religion and marriage add to his difficulties. As the time grows closer for the launch, tensions build into a crescendo.

Since this book is the sixth in the series, I suggest you begin at book one and work your way through to understand the characters and the dynamics behind the series.

The author’s attention to detail both in her characters and in the motivations behind their decisions really makes this series shine. I’m so emotionally invested in the characters that I can’t wait to find out what happens next! Onward and upward to book seven.

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Lorinda J. Taylor, author of “The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars” Series

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.

How to Connect with the Author

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)

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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars, Part Five: Phenix Rises: A Biographical Fiction” by Author, Lorinda J. Taylor, @TermiteWriter

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Title: The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Five: Phenix Rises: A Biographical Fiction

Amazon Author Page: Lorinda J. Taylor

Formats: Kindle Paperback

Genres: Science Fiction, Biographical Fiction

Goodreads

In the author’s words

A rehabilitated Robbin Nikalishin is back in the Captain’s chair as the Phenix Project for Interstellar Flight gets underway. After finishing off the loose ends remaining from his unorthodox penalty, the Captain returns to Herinen Space Port, where the first tasks are to complete the construction of two starships, give them names, and select a crew to fly them, including certain participants from the previous interstellar program.

The Captain is fully committed to supporting his old friends, even though not all of them have fully recovered from the Darter Disaster. Specifically, Ian Glencrosse remains deeply – and ominously – affected, while Banyat Thaksin, the Engineer who lost his foot in the disaster, embarks on a course that will influence the future history of Earth.

Capt. Robbie never loses his sense of humor or his willingness to engage in romantic relationships, finding a comfortable liaison with an earlier acquaintance. However, his disastrous marriage has not been severed. Can it be that the High Feather will resurface, with a new agenda of her own?

MY RECOMMENDATION

“Phenix Rises,” is the fifth book in The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars series by Lorinda J. Taylor. I have read and reviewed part one, “Eagle Ascendant,” HERE and part two, “Wounded Eagle” HERE and part three, “Bird of Prey,” HERE and part four, “Survivor,” HERE.

I have followed this series since its inception and can’t help but feel a motherly connection to the captain. It seems all my heartfelt worry for this character has finally paid off. Robbin Nikalishin has returned to the Phenix Project interstellar program and taken his rightful seat in the Captain’s chair. Yea!

Having finally overcome the majority of his past mistakes, Captain Robby launches into the personnel staffing portion of the new project which results in a journey back in time. The captain meets with each of the original Darter crew offering them another chance at reaching beyond the stars with him at the helm. After everything they’ve been through together will they want to be part of his crew again?

For me, this series has always been about the characters. Watching the captain grow through the ups and downs of his early manhood has been some pretty riveting stuff. This series has offered a deep dive into the psyche of a man, created purely from the author’s imagination. I think I know Captain Robby better than some of my friends! Once again the author demonstrates her astute capture of human nature by creating unforgettable characters.

But, don’t get to comfortable thinking you have this story figured out. The author has managed to throw in a jaw-dropping twist at the very end! I can’t wait to read what happens next!

MY RATING:

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

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*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lorinda J. Taylor, author of The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars Series

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.

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HOW TO CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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)


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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “The Dim Continent: Series Finale (The Legend of the Gamesmen Book 3),” by Author, Jo Sparkes

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

The Legend of the Gamesmen

More than mere sport, the gamesmen stand for an idea. That humble men can win the day, that the lowly are not so low. That the least of men may yet succeed. This is the tale that launched the legend. 

The Women of Agben use potions to heal and enhance. Now Marra knows of a third use, one that brews goo capable of detecting a prince or a potion to hide a creature’s appearance. It’s forbidden – and being wielded against Tryst’s throne.

Its key ingredient grows only on the Dim Continent.

Journeying with her mentor to this fabled place, she stumbles on another secret. Agben allows Terrin females into the order, the same hairy creatures that kidnapped a king. Now the trust that bound the two species together is rapidly corroding.

Marra doesn’t know Prince Tryst has also pursued the traitors to this wild, dangerous land. Or that Drail travels with him, to provide gamesmen cover.

In a land of strange beings and dangerous animals, the three friends must again pool their skills, this time not just to save themselves – but to save all their people. The fate of Skullan and Trumen alike depend on defeating a powerful enemy who has plotted their destruction for centuries.

The final battle looms in the evil heart of power – the Dim Continent.

Title: The Dim Continent: Series Finale – The Legend of the Gamesmen Book Three

Amazon Author Page: Jo Sparkes

Publication Date: August 30, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Science fiction & Fantasy, Children’s E-books, Fantasy & Magic, Sword & Sorcery

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION: 

I’ve read and reviewed the first book in the series, “The Birr Elixir,” HERE. Book two is “The Agben School,” and you can read my review, HERE. Please note: The Author as changed the book covers from my previous reviews. ❤

At the Agben school, Marra has learned the art of concocting potions that help to heal and enhance. She has a keen sense of smell and this ability helps her surpass all expectations.

But when she stumbles upon the concealed body of King Bactor, she also discovers there exists a forbidden potion that can change and deceive appearances, found only on the Dim Continent.

The Skullan empire is under siege and the healers of the Agben school are forced to act. One of their own, Rain, has grabbed more authority for herself by betraying the trust of their order and escaping to the Dim Continent. Could this evil have spread to more of the healers? The time has come for Kirth and Marra to venture to the Dim Continent to seek out the truth of Rain’s deceit. 

Weaving throughout the story is the game of Comet. The “game” is played in an arena with two opposing teams. At an inner circle in the field, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. Four leather balls need to be dropped into a cone-shaped area to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball has distinctive markings which ascertain the number of points each ball is worth.

As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a competition to the death to win, if necessary.

The Skullan and the Trumen are the usual gamesmen. The Trumen are the smaller, weaker race, while the Skullan is the physically superior race which rules the kingdom. But this time the game is different. On the Dim Continent, they encounter the Terrin. Huge hairy, long-fanged beasts that play to win. Even the Skullan are out of their realm, now.

Meanwhile, the elder Kirth, Marra, and a female Agben Terrin, named Tinge set out to make things right. Their only hope is to get to Rain before any more damage can be done!

This has been a delightful epic journey and if you love epic fantasy you will love this series. Jo Sparks has created fantastic lands, filled with creatures you will never forget. I found this story from start to finish to be quite unusual in the realm of fantasy. It was a pleasant surprise.

The author devises characters that are rich and multifaceted, often motivated by human needs. I found the inclusion of the game of Comet to greatly enhance the story. The game paved the way for the different peoples to relate to each other. And, in much the same way, the book will appeal to everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed the series. 

I received this book as a gift from the author and because I enjoyed the novel, I chose to review 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 Fairies

5 fairies

About the Author:

Author, Jo Sparks

From television shows to football articles, Jo Sparkes can’t put the pen down. She’s interviewed Emmit Smith and Anquan Boldin (as Arizona Cardinals), taught screenwriting at the Film School at SCC, and went on camera to make “Stepping Above Criticism”.

An award winning writer, she lives happily in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their dog, Oscar.

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog:  josparkes.com

Facebook: Jo Sparkes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sparkes777

LOVE FANTASY? I got your back! This is one series you will enjoy! 
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 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments.

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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Fathers and Demons ~ Glimpses of the Future,” by Author, Lorinda J. Taylor

book reviews

Title: Fathers and Demons ~ Glimpses of the Future

Amazon Author Page: Lorinda J. Taylor

Publication Date: April 5, 2015

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Science Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“All human beings must live with demons, but those demons are unusually powerful when they are summoned by the sort of catastrophe that happened aboard the Darter in 2761. No member of the crew completely escaped being affected, including the Engineer Cmdr. Ian Glencrosse. Nevertheless, when Capt. Nikalishin receives command of the first real interstellar mission under the new Phenix Project, he selects Ian Glencrosse to serve as his Chief Engineer; few experts in temporal quantum drive are still alive and Nikalishin and Glencrosse have become close friends. And in spite of (or perhaps because of) his own demons, Glencrosse accepts the appointment.

As the day approaches when the IS Ariana will depart for Epsilon Eridani, the crew takes leave time to attend the wedding of the Communications Officer, Lt. Avi Oman, and Capt. Mercedes Tulu, Administrative Aide to the Phenix Project’s Mission Director. Lt. Oman hails from the Istrian Judish Enclave, a place of origin mysterious to most 28th-century Earthers, and the visit proves to be an enlightening experience. What can we expect to have become of remnant religious populations in the humanist 28th century?

Cmdr. Glencrosse does not accompany his fellow crewmembers on this happy excursion. He has long been haunted by visions of a malevolent entity that inhabits the depths of space – the very entity he sees as responsible for destroying the Darter. Both his Captain and the team psychologist know about this aberration; in fact, Dr. Winehandle had at one time improvised an unfortunate nickname for the entity – “the god in the pod.”

While the Engineer’s peers think his delusions are under control, Ian still secretly believes in the reality of this demon space-god – that it disapproves of humans’ invasion of its territory and therefore has doomed the upcoming mission to destruction. Ian is convinced he will not survive the voyage and so he is heading home to Mitchican Prefecture, where he plans to confront his parents and make his peace after a long separation.”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

I have been an avid reader of the series, The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars, by Lorinda J. Taylor. I have read and reviewed part one, “Eagle Ascendant,” HERE and part two, “Wounded Eagle” HERE and part three, “Bird of Prey,” HERE, and part four, Survivor HERE. All of these reviews are searchable on colleenchesebro.com.

I’ve adored this series which is a deep character study of Captain Robbin Nikalishin’s experiences as a starship captain set far into the future. I was thrilled to find out that the author had penned an additional book which appeared to be an offshoot of the original series.

Fathers and Demons is a detailed chronicle of two characters from the series, Captain Robbin Nikalishin and his Chief Engineer, Ian Glencrosse who are survivors of the original Darter disaster. Both men have been scarred mentally and physically from their near-death experiences.

The men embark on a philosophical journey searching for the meaning of their experiences, exploring the future religions of Catholicism and Judaism as perceived by the author. The two men attempt to overcome their fear of a malicious entity they believe is waiting for them in deep space.

Now, I’d like to be clear. The descriptions of each religion are mostly fictional and based on the author’s interpretations of what she perceives to transfer into a future era. I do, however, acknowledge that much of the religious discussion is fact-based. In this way, the characters tend to explain some of the more detailed aspects of their own belief systems.

Taylor explains:

“The theme of fatherhood and the connections between fathers and gods form the mesh that binds the book together.  The most appropriate designation to accord this piece is speculative literary fiction; it is science fiction in that it takes place in a future time, at the very inception of interstellar travel, but it also deals with demons and gods that may or may not be real, introducing an element of the supernatural.”

(Taylor, Lorinda J. Fathers and Demons: Glimpses of the Future. Kindle Edition).

It is into this atmosphere that we meet our characters. Captain Robbie has limited religious training other than a few consultations with a Catholic Priest. Ian, the Chief Engineer has grown up under Judaism. Both men are searching for answers and as most humans do when they can’t find clarification, they turn to religion to help find those explanations. Adding to their turmoil, the men are conflicted by the relationships they had with their fathers.

This is not an action-packed novel, but I found the philosophical discussions to be most gratifying. I learned quite a bit about Judaism that I didn’t know. I would suggest reading the “Note from the Author,” at the beginning of the book to gain further insight into the creativity of this author.

I’m glad I waited to read this book long after I had finished the first four books of the series. I grew to love the characters from the series, so Fathers and Demons only added to my enjoyment.

MY RATING:

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

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

 

lorinda-j-taylor

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.

icon-2486501_1920

How to Connect with the Author:

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

hearts Thanks for stopping by to meet Lorinda and to hear about Fathers and Demons. This is an unusual read that I totally enjoyed. ❤

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Colleen’s 2018 Book Reviews – “The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Four: Survivor: A Biographical Fiction,” by Author, Lorinda J. Taylor

book reviews

Title: The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Four: Survivor: A Biographical Fiction

Amazon Author Page: Lorinda J. Taylor

Publication Date: January 21, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Biographical, Science Fiction

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“Capt. Nikalishin has recovered from the Darter Disaster, received command of his own Mars ship, and married the woman of his dreams, yet his struggles with loneliness, misunderstandings, and dissatisfaction continue in spite of his many friends’ efforts to help him.

His wife proves to be hard-hearted and manipulative, while the revelations that come with the loss of his mother do nothing to improve his mental state, and the persecutions of his vindictive commanding officer exacerbate his problems. His health declines and he takes increasing refuge in alcohol.

He knows nothing about the existence of the new interstellar program as government officials wait for him to prove himself still capable of commanding a starship.

Will Robbin Nikalishin’s “core of character” save him, or is his life really at an end?”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Survivor is the fourth book in The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars series by Lorinda J. Taylor. I have read and reviewed part one, “Eagle Ascendant,” HERE and part two, “Wounded Eagle” HERE and part three, “Bird of Prey,” HERE.

Captain Robbin Nikalishin’s world has imploded around him leaving him to deal with the consequences of his many bad decisions. He embarks upon the search for the meaning of life that will set him free.

Robbie’s relationship with his wife has deteriorated to the point of no return. Problems with women have always plagued him. Most of these feelings stem from his inability to understand his mother and the choices she made long ago when he was a boy. This shortcoming has stunted his emotional growth acting as the catalyst that throws him into a deep depression, coloring his decision-making capabilities.

In a downward spiral, Robbie plunges into the depths of self-loathing. He turns to alcohol, seeking sanctuary from the personal revelations that haunt his psyche. Reckless, he pushes his luck and almost ends his career.

Yet, behind the scenes, his friends are working to help him regain his confidence. It is through their guidance and love that Captain Nikalshin finds the man he once was.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. The author has created an in-depth character study of the protagonist, Captain Robbie with stunning results. Seldom in fiction do you get to know the deepest secrets of a man and why he makes the choices he does.

With that said, be prepared, because Survivor is long, maybe a bit too long. I have followed this series since its inception and always felt a motherly connection to the captain. Nevertheless, there were a few episodes where he devolved into a sniveling mess where I wanted to slap him or give him a firm talking to!

Somehow, I always find my way to back to falling for Robbie Nikalishin’s naivete and charm. You simply can’t be mad at the character for long, which demonstrates the writing talent of the author.

I’m looking forward to the fifth book. I hope the captain finds everything he’s been searching for.

MY RATING:

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

4 star rating

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

 

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.

icon-2486501_1920

How to Connect with the Author:

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

 

IMG_D40523AA3102-1Thanks for stopping by to meet Lorinda Taylor. If you love science fiction you will adore this series. ❤

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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews, “Kari’s Reckoning, The Rose Shield, Book 4,” by D. Wallace Peach

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Title: Kari’s Reckoning, The Rose Shield, Book IV

Amazon Author Page: D. Wallace Peach

Publication Date: April 20, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Colonization, First Contact, New Adult & College

Goodreads

 

hand-307786_640My review of Book 1: Catling’s Bane

My review of Book 2: Oathbreaker’s Guild

My review of Book 3: Farlander’s Law

In the Author’s Words:

“The epic adventure concludes as the Shiplord vies for what he desires—the throne of Ellegeance. Their power in jeopardy, influencers surrender their oaths, their loyalties fractured. Rose, a child of untrained and reckless talent, once again becomes a pawn in the quest for control.

As the Cull Tarr solidify their rule, Guardian plots rebellion. Catling and Whitt, each gifted with singular skills, seek to sway the course of the conflict. Oathbreakers, traitors, and those desperate to save Rose collide in a final battle for the realm.

Yet, a third player emerges in the deadly game. The kari, spirits of a sentient planet, command the air, water, and land. They manipulate events to satisfy their sovereign designs and care not who survives the human war.”

The Rose Shield Series (1)

My Recommendation:

The last book in the Rose Shield series opens with Caitling’s realization that she has nothing left to lose but her life. The new rulers, the Cull Tarr, seek to control her and her daughter, Rose who is only beginning to wield the natural influence she has inherited. The child is untrained, and her abilities far surpass those of anyone in the Influencers Guild. If the shipbuilder can control Catling and Rose, he would solidify his rule.

The kari, speaking as the goddess or the soul of the planet understands this dynamism between the power of the luminescence and the magic that Rose and her mother possess. She admits that Catling and Rose are far more powerful than was realized. Catling is the catalyst and the kari will get their reckoning though her.

As the war rages on, the Cull Tarr War and the high wardens have slaughtered and decimated the population of the native Farlanders. Whitt and Sim have battled for the lives of their people, losing more than they ever considered possible.

Yet, this devastating loss imparts a wisdom concerning the sentience of the planet onto Whitt. He feels the spirit of the goddess and finally learns the truth of what the luminescent lifeblood represents to the people. The realization that the kari exist beyond the luminescence and that the world is sentient weighs heavily on Whitt. He aligns with Guardian hoping that between Kaden and Catling their world can be saved.

The ending is explosive and unexpected as the storytelling skills of D. Wallace Peach burst into play. As with the other novels in the series, the writing in this final book is superb, with rich descriptions that put the reader in the midst of the action.

I can’t believe it’s over…

bookhangover-epicreads

Image Credit: Epicreads.com

I will revisit The Rose Shield series from time to time, visiting these characters who have become like friends from a far away land. Whenever I need to, I’ll wallow in the magic of the luminescence and remember that it flows through all of us. ❤

MY RATING:

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

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*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

122517_2210_ColleensBoo4.jpg

Author, D. Wallace Peach

About the Author:

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains with her husband, two dogs, and Pinky the Cat.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Ready for an adventure?

The Sorcerer’s Garden
Sunwielder
The Bone Wall
The Melding of Aeris

The Rose Shield Tetralogy:
Catling’s Bane, Book I
Oathbreakers’ Guild, Book II
Farlanders’ Law, Book III
Kari’s Reckoning, Book IV

The Dragon Soul Saga:
Myths of the Mirror, Book I
Eye of Fire, Book II
Eye of Blind, Book III
Eye of Fire, Book IV

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters: A Children’s Space Tale

icon-2486501_1920

How to Connect with the Author:

For her blog on all things writing, please visit D. Wallace Peach at http://mythsofthemirror.com.

TWITTER: @Dwallacepeach

FACEBOOK: Myths of the Mirror: @DWPeachbooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dianapeach33/pins/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/activities/d-wallace-peach+0_2F1UmSg–qRIqYJlk2W1Q_?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_yourupdates
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101899993447765818692/posts

 

Witchey ReadsThanks for stopping by to meet D. Wallace Peach. This series is one of the best I’ve read in the epic fantasy genre. ❤

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Are you looking for more great reads? Join author, D.G. Kaye, and myself in our Facebook group, The Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from authors you love.

 

 

 

Colleen’s 2018 Book Reviews: “Farlander’s Law,” The Rose Shield, Book 3

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Title: Farlander’s Law, The Rose Shield, Book III

Amazon Author Page: D. Wallace Peach

Publication Date: April 12, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Colonization, First Contact, New Adult & College

Goodreads

The Rose Shield Series

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“Immune to influence, the Cull Tarr infiltrate the tier cities, and the Shiplord plies the queen for a bond that will cede her realm. Catling’s daughter, Rose, becomes collateral in a game of power, and the only way to save her is to lose her. Oathbreaker and lawbreaker, Catling rebels, and her power grows more deadly.

In the frozen lands of the Far Wolds, treaties collapse. Forced to choose sides, Whitt betrays his oath. Fugitives, he and young Rose traverse the realm and enter the rebel world of the Farlanders. The brief tranquility of their lives crumbles as Ellegean aggression escalates. Sent by the queen to broker a lasting peace, Gannon proposes a risky strategy—to win the battle for the Far Wolds, Whitt and the people he loves must lose the war.”

hand-307786_640My review of Book 1: Catling’s Bane

My review of Book 2: Oathbreaker’s Guild

MY RECOMMENDATION:

After the birth of Rose, Catling struggles to balance her oath to the queen with the needs of her daughter. She hopes that if she fulfills her obligations without question, the queen will leave her and her daughter alone. But it’s not to be. Catling makes the decision to increase her power which places her in more peril than ever before.

Meanwhile, war is brewing, and the Cull Tarr will stop at nothing to take control of and govern Ellegeance. Catling and the Influencer’s Guild are tested past their limits. If they can survive the takeover they might be of use to the new rulers.  When it’s discovered that the Cull Tarr are unaffected by the influencer’s magic, the Influencer’s Guild members now become pawns in the hands of their captors.

After the Cull Tarr attack on Ellegeance, the provinces are ripped apart. The people in the lower tiers become slaves. Looking to expand their control, the High Ward authorizes his guards to forcibly evict the Farlander’s from their homes and businesses.

As the High Wardens expand their territories, the Cull Tarr way of life becomes the law of the land. That leaves the native people of the planet, the Farlander’s, embroiled in a war they didn’t ask to be part of. The Farlanders are ready to sacrifice their lives for the land they love.

No longer part of Catling’s life, Whitt has fallen in love with Sim, a Farlander he met when he was a child. Sim teaches Whitt the ways of the kari, the spirits of the land. Luminescence is the lifeblood of the planet connecting them to each other and the wilderness that surrounds them. Sim possesses the knowledge of kari magic and she uses it to their advantage.

Before long, Whitt understands that the planet is sentient, a force that holds more power than the humans can imagine. As the war rages on, the kari manipulate events to benefit the planet without regard to who might survive the human war.

This series has captured my heart. I find myself bewitched with the magic of the sentient planet and the luminescence that flows and links each of the books in the series to the other. D. Wallace Peach is a master storyteller weaving a tale of suspense filled with the enchantment of a far-off magical land. The characters are rich and multifaceted, often filled with surprises I didn’t see coming. They do not disappoint.

The next book in the series is Book IV – Kari’s Reckoning. In my emotionally connected status to this series, I feel the end of the saga approaching. Sadness grips me. I don’t want the magic to end. Stay tuned…

MY RATING:

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

122517_2210_ColleensBoo3.png

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

122517_2210_ColleensBoo4.jpg

Author, D. Wallace Peach

About the Author:

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains with her husband, two dogs, and Pinky the Cat.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Ready for an adventure?

The Sorcerer’s Garden
Sunwielder
The Bone Wall
The Melding of Aeris

The Rose Shield Tetralogy:
Catling’s Bane, Book I
Oathbreakers’ Guild, Book II
Farlanders’ Law, Book III
Kari’s Reckoning, Book IV

The Dragon Soul Saga:
Myths of the Mirror, Book I
Eye of Fire, Book II
Eye of Blind, Book III
Eye of Fire, Book IV

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters: A Children’s Space Tale

icon-2486501_1920

How to Connect with the Author:

For her blog on all things writing, please visit D. Wallace Peach at http://mythsofthemirror.com.

TWITTER: @Dwallacepeach

FACEBOOK: Myths of the Mirror: @DWPeachbooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dianapeach33/pins/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/activities/d-wallace-peach+0_2F1UmSg–qRIqYJlk2W1Q_?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_yourupdates
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101899993447765818692/posts

 

Witchey ReadsThanks for stopping by to meet D. Wallace Peach. This series is one of the best I’ve read in the epic fantasy genre. ❤

The Literary Diva's Library 1640x859

Are you looking for more great reads? Join author, D.G. Kaye, and myself in our Facebook group, The Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from authors you love.