Thursday 27 April 2023

Lords of Uncreation - Adrian Tchaikovsky



'From Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of Time and winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Lords of Uncreation is the final high-octane instalment in the Final Architecture space opera trilogy.

He's found a way to end their war, but will humanity survive to see it?

Idris Telemmier has uncovered a secret that changes everything – the Architects’ greatest weakness. A shadowy Cartel scrambles to turn his discovery into a weapon against these alien destroyers of worlds. But between them and victory stands self-interest. The galaxy’s great powers would rather pursue their own agendas than stand together against this shared terror.

Human and inhuman interests wrestle to control Idris’ discovery, as the galaxy erupts into a mutually destructive and self-defeating war. The other great obstacle to striking against their alien threat is Idris himself. He knows that the Architects, despite their power, are merely tools of a higher intelligence.

Deep within unspace, where time moves differently, and reality isn’t quite what it seems, their masters are the true threat. Masters who are just becoming aware of humanity’s daring – and taking steps to exterminate this annoyance forever.'

                           MY THOUGHTS

So, here we are at the end of The Final Architecture and, my friends, this is an absolute triumph. This isn't a book you can come into blind, if you haven't read the first two TFA books you won't have a clue (and you'd be missing out on two cracking books). 

Everything about this series feels huge from the planet sized aliens to the weirdness that is Unspace but somehow Tchaikovsky seems to make it all believeable. I sometimes struggle with Sci-Fi as it can be too tech/science heavy bit this guy writes in a way that focuses more on the story than the science, the characters lead the tale and, y'know, by the time I got to the end of Lords of Uncreation (about 3 hours ago) I I actually found myself missing some of them.

 This book and this series deserve all the plaudits they will surely receive. Character driven Sci-Fi on a massive scale - pretty much what I expected from an author who never disappoints.

Highly Recommended 4.5/5*

Thanks to Black Crow PR for inviting me onto this blog tour and for arranging a review copy for me (all views are my own and not influenced in any way). Please have a look at the posts by the other reviewers on the tour (below).

One final thing - Big Praise to the cover artist, I mean, come on, how cool is that art? Stunningly gorgeous 

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Orphan Planet - Rex Burke



 With Earth in crisis, humans are travelling deep into space. But humanity’s future just took a wrong turn.

 A seventeen-year colony-ship voyage – a straight shot to a new planet. Handpicked, single-minded crew, and a thousand settlers in hypersleep. No children, no families, no fuss.

That was the plan, anyway.

 Captain Juno Washington commands a ship of loners and oddballs. The teenagers of the Odyssey Earth didn’t ask to be born, and face an uncertain future. And Jordan Booth really didn’t want to be woken up early to look after a bunch of kids.

 After an unexpected change of course, relationships are tested like never before. If they listen to advice, pull together and stop squabbling, they might just make it.

 Yeah, right. Good luck with that.

                         MY THOUGHTS

 The time is now but the timeline is slightly different. On the Earth of Orphan Planet climate change has wrecked the planet, lots of Britain is under water so we are reaching to the stars. Luckily a suitable New Earth has been located and the prospective settlers are on their way - fast asleep for 17 years.

 Unfortunately the plans to keep the crew don't quite work out and we have six children born on the early phase of the journey . . .

 Shoot forward 16 years and our six children are now teenagers, the crew don't have the time to bring them up, educate them etc so Jordan Booth is brought out of Hypersleep and given the task. Not what he was expecting but them's the breaks.

 Nearing journey's end 'events happen' and Jordan and his protégés are separated from the ship and have to learn how to cope for themselves. But with a life spent onboard Odyssey Earth these kids have never experienced 'outside'.

 This is where the story really comes into its own. Burke really captures the experience well. Planetfall for people who have never been outside has a sense of fear and wonder that the reader shares with them. There is danger and peril but there is also discovery and bonding.

 The highlight character for me is the ships near sentient AI computer (although he probably wouldn't like to be called a computer) Reeves - self named after its favourite film actor. Reeves is highly intelligent (obviously) and, trust me, he knows it so when events lead to Reeves becoming a lesser version of itself it tends to feel a bit more needy and gave me quite a few chuckles. In fact Reeves gave me one of my favourite lines - after telling the teens it'd watched every film ever (in 10 seconds) he goes on "Yes, I've read all the books - that's 20 seconds of my life I will never get back". Very Marvin (Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy).

 Orphan Earth is feel good Sci-Fi - adventure, alien planets and a whole heap of fun and I really can't recommend it highly enough. Don't let this one slip under your radar folks, miss this and you are missing a treat.

All the stars/5 cannot wait for the next in the series.

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Viper's Dream - Jake Lamar



1936. Clyde ‘The Viper’ Morton boards a train from Alabama to Harlem to chase his dreams of being a jazz musician. When his talent fails him, he becomes caught up in the dangerous underbelly of Harlem’s drug trade. In this heartbreaking novel, one man must decide what he is willing to give up and what he wants to fight for.

                                                                     MY THOUGHTS

Clyde Morton is holed up in a jazz club in Harlem, his life seems to be collapsing around him so he is looking back at how he ended up where he is.

He set out for Harlem in the 1930's hoping to follow his dream of becoming one of the greats of the Jazz Age but, as is often the case, things don't fall right for him and he is soon working as a dealer (among other things) in the seedier side of town. He is okay with that until a new drug hits the streets. Smack (heroin) is a lot worse than he has been peddling so Clyde decides to draw the line while still getting deeper in with the gangs running Harlem.

This was a dark, gritty read, a gangland tale with the glory of jazz music running through it and I can honestly say I loved it. I had never heard of Jake Lamar before Viper's Dream but it looks like he has quite a back catalogue so I'm going to dive into that straight away.

Viper's Dream is an atmospheric tale that puts the reader right there, front and centre, in the Harlem of the 1930s through to the 1960s - a highly recommended read.

Thanks to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for inviting me onto this tour and for providing a review copy. All views and opinions are my own.

Please have a look at the posts by the other bloggers on the tour (below)

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Blake's 7, Origins Boxset - various authors


A distress call is coming from a Federation research base…

A crack team is assembled to take over the Liberator…

A band called the Dangerous prepare to ‘Rock the Rock Planet’…


Heroes or villains? Things are not always black and white in the dystopia ruled by the ruthless Federation. The crew of the Liberator are passionate in their opposition to the injustice and corruption of the government, but this group of convicts and outcasts aren’t exactly angels themselves… Whether it’s a large scale rescue mission, or a simple act of kindness, these stories explore an important question: what really makes a hero?

Back in 1978 an 11 year old me  was at a stage where Doctor Who was the bee's knees as far as TV Sci-Fi went but I was looking for something 'more'. That 'more' as it turned out was Blake's 7. The characters here were not as clean cut as the Doc and his companions and that appealed to me. It still had the dodgy sets and the scenes filmed in quarries that stood in for alien planets but it also had that gritty, slightly grubby feel to it, the characters argued amongst themselves, this was what I wanted, my next step on the Sci-Fi ladder and I took that step gladly,

Now comes this gorgeous looking (limited edition) box set of 7 books by renowned Sci-Fi authors based around the first series. Each book contains 2 stories which expand events in the episodes and so far (I still have 2 1/2 books to go) there's not a duff one amongst them. All the authors are fans B7 and it shows. They keep the feel of the original but also bring a touch of modernity to it as well (not too much though, it's still B7 from the 70s and 80s at heart and Orac still looks like something slapped together on Blue Peter to this reader - and I wouldn't have it any other way)

The stories are not long ones, novellas I guess, but they feel bigger and it's great to be spending time with 'old friends' again.

PLEASE NOTE :- These books are only available as the Boxed Set not individually.

Many thanks to Black Crow PR for inviting me on to this Blog Tour (and to revisit my youth) and supplying review files - all opinions are my own and not influenced in any way at all.

Please have a read of the posts by the other bloggers on the tour (below)