Tag: Novel

Virtues of War!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Bennett R. Coles New SF Novel!

Recently, Titan Books published a new science fiction novel by Bennett R. Coles. The new novel, Virtues of War is an exciting chunk of military science fiction in the tradition of great stories like Starship Troopers (Book. Not the movie). In Virtues of War we get to follow the lives of the crew of the Rapier. A fast attack craft assigned to a Terran expeditionary force to the colony world’s of Sirius and Centauria. On board is Lieutenant Katja Emmes who gets her first combat experiences leading her platoon into an investigation of smuggled weapons. The mission will eventually kick off a galaxy wide war, but Emmes quickly begins to develop into a first rate officer and combat veteran along with the rest of the Rapier crew.

According to his webpage, Coles is a former Royal Canadian Navy officer and his 15 years naval experience shines through in Virtues of War. Coles did a brilliant job of weaving the regulation, procedures, and day to day drama of military life, with a wonderful idea of future human expansion into other star systems. In virtues of War he presents a fast paced and action packed story that actually had me wanting to read more after finishing the novel. Also, his characters aren’t just remakes of past hero templates. Katja and the rest of the Rapier crew are become real and believable through Coles writing and, as a reader, I was quickly drawn into her journey from novice to hero.

I’ve posted the official synopsis below, but Virtues of War is available for sale online at Titan Books Online Store!

Lieutenant Katja Emmes is a platoon commander, leader of the 10-trooper strike team aboard the fast-attack craft Rapier. Although fully trained, she has never led troops in real operations before, and lives in the shadow of her war-hero father. Sublieutenant Jack Mallory is fresh out of pilot school, daydreaming about a fighter pilot position in the space fleet. He is in for a rude awakening. Lieutenant Commander Thomas Kane uses a six-month deployment in command of Rapier is to secure his rise to stardom within the Astral Force. He also plays the subtle politics of the military.

Beneath London: A Tale of Langdon St. Ives!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of James P. Blaylock’s New Steampunk Novel!

Alright, steam (and/or punk) love’n El Moochadores. There’s a new book out from Titan Books and the master of steampunk that’ll have you iching all over to polishing your brass googles and doft a bowler hat. Beneath London is an exciting new Langdon St. Ives adventure from author James P. Blaylock, that takes readers back to the late 19th century, and deep beneath London. It’s a strange world of macabre science and man eating mushrooms. Good stuff.

The adventure starts soon after Blaylock’s last novel, the The Aylesford Skull, and when St. Ives crashing dirigible opened up a chasm to the deep underworld beneath London. Now, St. Ives is all set to explore this gaping maw, but unfortunately a head collecting sociopath has other plans for St. Ives… and his knowledge rich noggin. Oh, and then there’s a flute playing dwarf, a kidnapped blind girl, the man eating mushrooms, talking -goo filled- heads, and an electric head shaver. The whole head, that is.

In a way, I thought this novel had a “Lovecraft” like feel to its dark journey, and though some steam-era tech does make an apperance, for the most part the story stays away from retro tech re-imagining that seem to overburden most steampunk stories. Dammit, not every one can get their hands on a dirigible! However; I did like the idea of the electric guillotine and the new villain, Klingheimer. The man is wealthy, English, and a total sociopath. All ingredients for a great bad guy. A lot of credit goes to Blaylock for consistent imagining of sinister fellows like Dr. Norbondon, Klingheimer, and their assorted henchmen. The only criticism (and its more of a personal dislike) I have of this book is Blaylock’s writing of the main characters. Can someone by so English it actually gets them killed? Well, maybe. Read the book to find out, but the main, “good”, characters are almost too flawless to really be enjoyed. I get that there’s an ideal behind characters like these, but were a whole generation raised on the “anti-hero,” and it has always been a little hard for me to enjoy Blaylock’s sinless good guys. Then again, there’s the dwarf.

Beneath London is now available in all major book stores or you can find your copy online at titanbooks.com.

Check out Beneath London’s full synopsis below!

The collapse of the Victoria Embankment uncovers a passage to an unknown realm beneath the city. Langdon St. Ives sets out to explore it, not knowing that a brilliant and wealthy psychopathic murderer is working to keep the underworld’s secrets hidden for reasons of his own.

St. Ives and his stalwart friends investigate a string of ghastly crimes: the gruesome death of a witch, the kidnapping of a blind, psychic girl, and the grim horrors of a secret hospital where experiments in medical electricity and the development of human, vampiric fungi, serve the strange, murderous ends of perhaps St. Ives’s most dangerous nemesis yet.

Poison: A Wicked Snow White Tale

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Sarah Pinborough’s Dark Fairy Tale

Sarah Pinborough’s dark fairy tale, Poison, is one of those books who’s reading experience I really don’t want to spoil for anyone, but I also know that somehow I’m probably going to spoil it all the same. So, for what it’s worth… Spoiler Alert!

Published by Titan Books (2013), Poison is a darker (adult) spin on the classic Snow White fairy tale, also made popular by the 1937 Disney film. However; Pinborough doesn’t rely on the classic cartoon for her story. Instead she diverges from the popular versions of the tale (retaining an evil queen, helpful dwarves, and even a handsome prince) to make a fresh (if not amazingly creepy) version of the Snow White story that is vastly more interesting than anything put out by the Walt Disney Co.

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Fringe: The Sins of the Father

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Christa Faust’s New Novel

Now out through Titan books is the final novel in Christa Faust’s trilogy of Fringe novels. Based on the NBC television series, Fringe, these books are a chance to jump into the history of the principal characters, giving readers interesting, and exciting, insights into the strange events that led up to the first episode. In book three, Sins of the Father, Peter Bishop is a struggling scam artist, until the day of a very lucrative con, where he accidentally grabs the wrong suitcase from a stranger, and begins a bizarre, and deadly, adventure… Here’s the synopsis:

A fatal incident in Walter Bishop’s lab estranges his volatile son Peter. In Bangkok, Peter steals a briefcase containing a mysterious vial and becomes the target of a group willing to kill to get it back. Seeking answers, he becomes entangled with Ella Lachaux-—the woman behind the lab disaster—and David Robert Jones, a terrorist whose goal is to create an army of shape-shifting killers

I’ve really enjoyed this series, and Faust’s writing has helped me to enjoy the television show (…as I binged watched it on Netflix) with a perspective most casual watchers don’t get. I think Faust did an excellent job of imagining and scripting the pre-television characters as well as establishing the full level of weird that Fringe fans expect from the show. Though Sins of the Father wasn’t my favorite of the three novels, it was still entertaining. I just couldn’t see Peter, as a globe trotting professional con artist, getting involved with Dr. Lachaux and her virus loving schemes as quickly as he did. However, the level of bizarre happenings is fun. Fringe readers are in for a full treat of mutant making viruses, alt-dimensions, and weird shape changers. Or are they body snatchers? Anyways, Sins of the Father is a solid and fun story and hopefully you’ll get to read it with Faust’s other novels!

Fringe: Sins of the Father is now available in all major book stores, or you can find your copy online at www.titanbooks.com

Also, Netflix subscribers: Check out the entire series online!

The Killing: Uncommon Denominator

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of the Prelude Novel to AMC’s Cop Drama

Fans of AMC’s cop drama, The Killing, now get a chance to read about grizzly murders in drizzly Seattle in through a new novel from Titan Books! Uncommon Denominator, preludes the events in the television series (season one) with a dark, and engaging, murder mystery. Here’s the synopsis:

When firefighters respond to a suspected meth explosion at a trailer park, they discover a man’s body, unburned but with terrible head wounds. Meanwhile, another man is discovered in a shipping container at the Port of Seattle, shot execution-style. For Homicide Detective Sarah Linden, two cases soon become one, and she must unravel a complex web of addiction, greed, and betrayal to reveal the killer.

The Killing is unique among other cop dramas because it takes its time with its murder mysteries. It isn’t a show that presents, and solves, a mystery (not counting commercial breaks) in one hour.tk3-linden-holder-2-325 The drama is steeped in character development, and actual mystery, which can take several episodes (seasons) to resolve. So, it’s incredibly refreshing that author Karen Dionne retains the shows sense of mystery and investigation in her novelization. Thanks to Dionne’s writing, Uncommon Denominator perfectly captures the “noir” feel of the television show and strongly represents its characters. And, it’s all mystery! The crime has already happened, but it’s up to the detectives Linden and Goddard (Holder plays a part, but in this book he’s still working undercover) to suss out what happened and make the arrest. After having read her book and watching the first season of the Killing, I feel her portrayal of detectives Linden and Holder was dead on (no pun intended) and that she wrote an engaging murder mystery that follows all the twist, turns, and dead ends, that makes the television show better than most.

Uncommon Denominator is available now in all major book stores, or you can get your copy online at Titan Books! Also, all four seasons of The Killing are now available to watch on Netflix!

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