August’s book recommendations

These are the books I am looking forward to next month.

ps. By the way, you should be playing Planet Baen for some free ebook coupons.

Zero Point

(Owner Trilogy 2) by Neal Asher (TorUK) – us uk

This trilogy started with the action packed Departure last year and now the story continues on Mars where the Argus Station was headed at the end of book one. Expect artificial intelligence, social critique and a lot of action. I really want to see where this story ends up.

Earth’s Zero Asset citizens no longer face extermination from orbit. Thanks to Alan Saul, the Committee’s network of control is a smoking ruin and its robotic enforcers lie dormant. But power abhors a vacuum and, scrambling from the wreckage, comes the ruthless Serene Galahad. She must act while the last vestiges of Committee infrastructure remain intact – and she has the means to ensure command is hers. On Mars, Var Delex fights for the survival of Antares Base, while the Argus Space Station hurls towards the red planet. And she knows whomever, or whatever, trashed Earth is still aboard. Var must save the base, while also dealing with the first signs of rebellion. And aboard Argus Station, Alan Saul’s mind has expanded into the local computer network. In the process, he uncovers the ghastly experiments of the Humanoid Unit Development, the possibility of eternal life, and a madman who may hold the keys to interstellar flight. But Earth’s agents are closer than Saul thinks, and the killing will soon begin.

The Queen of Wands

(Special Circumstances 2) by John Ringo (Baen) – uk us

This was a surprise, I am usually more into science fiction than fantasy and a fundamentalist christian soccer mom as protagonist was just weird.  I read Princess of Wand with low expectations but it was a truly enjoyable read. I found myself liking the cast and style of the book so this sequel is something I am looking forward to.

Soccer mom and demon fighter Barabara Everette is back  in this intricately interwoven monster noir thriller, the sequel to bestselling Princess of Wands by eight times New York Times best-seller, John Ringo.

Barbara Everette has a problem.  It seems Janea, Barbara’s assistant and The Foundation for Love and Universal Faith’s best operative, has been thrown into a coma by some very nasty magic she’s stirred up. Barbara must track down the perpetrators and break the spell or Janea’s soul will be forever lost on the astral plane. Oh, and if she can’t break the spell, zombies will destroy all mankind.

Meanwhile, Janea, a high-dollar call girl, stripper and High Priestess of Freya when she isn’t fighting demons, must contend with a spiritual journey of her own.  It’s a journey into Janea’s acceptance of herself in all her dimensions (and what dimensions they are!). Where to locate one’s true inner essence? At a science fiction convention, of course. But when rescuers pursue Janea into her vision of a geeky alternate reality, we find this is one science fiction convention where the Guest of Honor could turn out to be Death Himself.

Finally, the Christian soccer mom and the Norse priestess stripper face their greatest challenge ever when an ancient Old One rears Her ugly face, and the Mother of Darkness walks among us. Since this is one Mother who is quite immune to any conventional power, including nuclear weapons, it seems humanity’s only hope is God. The question being: Is God willing to save humanity?

Fortunately for the rest of us, Barbara and Janea are determined to fight to the last ounce of faith to find out.

 

When Diplomacy Fails

(Freehold Bodyguards) by Michael Z. Williamson (Baen) – uk us

Michael continues what is an entertaining series about a group of bodyguards slash mercenaries with When Diplomacy Fails. It takes place in the Freehold  (the first book free download) universe, a place worth visiting. The books are fairly standalone or you can start with Better to beg Forgivness (also a free download).

Alex Marlow and Ripple Creek Security’s best personal security detail return to action. This time, they really don’t like their principal, World Bureau Minister Joy Herman Highland – a highly-placed bureaucrat with aspirations to elected office. Even worse, Highland’s assistant wants to publicize every movement and action for his boss’s pending campaign, which is anathema to good security. With a person of this status, it’s not a case of someone wanting her dead. The only question is how many people want her dead, and what are they bringing to the fight? The enemies are from without, within, and all over. They have resources, funding, and political cover. Ripple Creek needs to be cautious. But the enemy also needs to worry. They’re going to be getting in each others’ way in the process of carrying out their plans. And Ripple Creek has no qualms about explosions on galactic news. In fact, they enjoy it!

Bloodstar Unti 

(Star Corpsman 1) by William Keith (Harper) – us uk

This is a maybe. I have enjoyed William Keith’s Stellar Marines series (written under the alias Ian Douglas), the later Star Carrier series a little less. He is weak on characterization but the military aspects are better and the science leans towards hard.

In the 23rd Century, war is still hell . . .

Navy Corpsman Elliot Carlyle joined up to save lives and see the universe. Now he and Bravo Company’s Black Wizards of the interstellar Fleet Marine Force are en route to Bloodworld—a hellish, volatile rock colonized by the fanatical Salvationists who desired an inhospitable world where they could suffer for humanity’s sins. Their penance could prove fatal—for the Qesh, a strange alien race detected but still mysterious for six decades, have made violent first contact.

Suddenly countless lives depend upon Bravo Company—perhaps even the fate of homeworld Earth itself—as the Marines prepare to confront a vast force of powerful, inscrutable enemies. And one dedicated medic, singled out by an extraordinary act of valor, will find himself with an astounding opportunity to alter the universe forever . . .