Genre: Science Fiction

Book Review: Priest-Kings of Gor (Gor #3) by John Norman

Posted September 29, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9780345295392
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: Priest-Kings of Gor (Gor #3) by John NormanPriest-Kings of Gor by John Norman
Published by Random House Publishing Group on October 12th 1980
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, General
Pages: 317
Format: hardcover
Source: library
Buy on Amazon

This is the third installment of John Norman's popular and controversial Gor series. Tarl Cabot is the intrepid tarnsman of the planet Gor, a harsh society with a rigid caste system that personifies the most brutal form of social Darwinism. In this volume, Tarl must search for the truth behind the disappearance of his beautiful wife, Talena. Have the ruthless priest-kings destroyed her? Tarl vows to find the answer for himself, journeying to the mountain stronghold of the kings, knowing full well that no one who has dared approach the priest-kings has ever returned alive..

I DID IT!! I finished another book! That seems to be a constant refrain of mine this year. Anyway took me two weeks, but I read this book. It is not a bad book at all. It just my brain is funny these days, and I have no idea what is wrong with my attention span. Maybe I use it all up doing freelance client work then by the time I am done with that for the day my brain don’t wanna focus anymore. Who Knows?

A word of caution: If you are in in way a feminist then you would want to avoid the Goran Saga. I am a Bad Feminist so even though it offends me I just let it slide.

Even though there is a LOT of info dumping here and world building if you haven’t read the first two books in the series, then you will be lost with this one. So I highly recommend you start with the first book Transman of Gor and then proceed from there.

So for this book, our man Tarl is going to the Sardar to face off the Priest-Kings and to find out why they have destroyed his family and city Ko-Ro-Ba. I am not sure what I had in mind when I envisioned a Preist-King, but it sure wasn’t a giant wasp. After reading the description that John Newman provides for some reason a Giant Wasp came into my head and refused to leave. I honestly thought they would be fearsome humans but nope.

Now I can’t unthink the Giant Wasps. How Tarl keep from shitting his pants the first time he saw one I have no idea. I mean if I came face to face with a giant wasp then I probably die of a heart attack right then and there.

The book sloooowly takes us through the process of getting to know thePriest-kings and their ways. It felt slow but probably wasn’t the book is not long at all, but all that info dumping was not done seamlessly. It seemed that info dumping would take pages before anything would happen. I was like come on you are face to face with a giant wasp then u info dump for five pages… Just TELLL me what happens next damnit.

The world building as always in the Goran Saga in fantastic. John Newman was brilliant when he created Gor. I have yet to come across an author who has built such worlds as the early sci-fi people. I mean sure you can world build in 300 pages but to keep it up for 20 somethings novels. THAT takes skill. I sometimes wonder at the people behind the early Sci-Fi and how they came up with the ideas in their heads.

Yes, there are slaves in this book. Human slaves. Women mostly. So like I said if you are in any way offended by a woman being pleasure slaves then stay far far far away from this series. I found it quite fascinating how Newman was able to keep it all consistent across all of his novels. I have found with a series sometimes the author will slip and you will find inconsistencies in the story. Not so with this one.


Overall I enjoyed this book despite taking so damn long to read it.



Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

Book Review:The Martian by Andy Weir

Posted March 5, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review:The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian by Andy Weir
Published by Crown/Archetype on February 11th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fiction, Hard Science Fiction, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 384
Format: ebook
Source: purchased

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

why I read this bookI had heard good things about this book. Bloggers were raving about it and I can’t pass up a book that has that much hype surrounding. Plus I LOVE me a good sci-fi book.



my review


OMG!! I LOVED THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!! seriously y’ all I read this book in one sitting. The suspense kept me up until 6 am. I kept turning the pages and I was all like PLEASE don’t let Mark die! I loved his sense of humor. He has the same personality as me so I really connected with him.  The plot was believable. I could picture myself on Mars along with him I am not usually the kind of person to develop a crush on a fictional person but I absolutely fell in love with Mark. I found myself wishing that he was real so I could write to him or something.

I love sci-fi. I also love when said sci-fi follows the rules of physics and logic. I was really good at Science in school so I can usually tell if the author is just making shit up and disregarding rules. That is not to say if the author creates his OWN world, as long as there is some semblance of order I can accept it. This book made perfect sense. There were no plot holes or loopholes or anything like that.

As I said I loved it!! The dialogue was spot on. The characters were well developed.  The suspense was unbelievable. It kept me turning the pages. I couldn’t bear to stop I just HAD to know what was going to happen. I would recommend this book to everybody. In fact I have. I told everyone  i KNOW YOU must READ this book!




Review: The Amber Spy Glass

Posted January 17, 2012 by Hillary in Book Reviews, fanasty / 0 Comments

book review of amber spyglass
This is the third book in His Dark Materials trilogy. I read the first two during Banned Book Week but never got around to reading this one until I got my Nook for Christmas and downloaded it from my library.
From Good Reads:The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heartstopping close, marking the third and final volume as the most powerful of the trilogy. Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, The Amber Spyglass introduces a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spy-master to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. And this final volume brings startling revelations, too: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone’s amber spyglass, and the names of who will live—and who will die—for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that—in its shocking outcome—will reveal the secret of Dust.
My Review: This book is just as good as the previous two in the trilogy.  The story continues with Will trying to find Lyra and the angel’s who want him to give the Subtle Knife to Lord Asriel in the fight against the authority.
Lyra and Will want to travel to the Land of the Dead but will they be willing to pay the price to do so?
This book covers a multitude of feelings. The lengths people will go to for love. The price people must pay for things they feel they must do among other things. This book will cause one to think about how in real life we must do these things too.


Review: Wither

Posted January 2, 2012 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: WitherWither by Lauren DeStefano
Published by Simon and Schuster on March 22nd 2011
Genres: Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Science Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 368

What if you knew exactly when you’d die? The first book of The Chemical Garden Trilogy.By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males born with a lifespan of 25 years, and females a lifespan of 20 years--leaving the world in a state of panic. Geneticists seek a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Yet her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement; her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next; and Rhine has no way to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

book review ofwither
From Goodreads: Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings.
My Review: I heard many good things about this book but I have to be honest. Rhine the main character sounded like a whiney brat to me. I KNOW she was brought to the marriage against her will and most people in that circumstance would want out. I couldn’t but help think that she has it so much better than her previous life so why does she try and make it sound like she is stuck in a prison.
To be honest it is a prison but come on. She has a servant who does almost anything for her. She gets to go out to all the best parties and she basically gets everything she wants. Yet she spends the whole book moping. I can understand she wants to get back to her twin brother but seriously. Cut out the poor me mentality. It is irritating and gets on my nerves.
That aside the book was well written. The world building and the character growth is amazing. Nothing much happens in the way of the plot but I guess not much can happen while you are at home most of the time. I had mixed feelings about this book. I want to read Fever and see what happens next but it is not a book that I went crazy over.

Review: Galaxy Games

Posted July 30, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, middle-grade, sci-fi / 1 Comment

I received this book from the publisher

galaxy games

From Goodreads:

Things are looking up for Tyler Sato (literally!) as he and his friends scan the night sky for a star named for him by his Tokyo cousins in honor of his eleventh birthday. Ordinary stars tend to stay in one place, but Ty’s seems to be streaking directly toward Earth at an alarming rate. Soon the whole world is talking about TY SATO, the doomsday asteroid, and life is turned upside down for Ty Sato, the boy, who would rather be playing hoops in his best friend’s driveway.
Meanwhile, aboard a silver spaceship heading for Earth, M’Frozza, a girl with three eyes and five nose holes, is on a secret mission. M’Frozza is the captain of planet Mrendaria’s Galaxy Games team, and she is desperate to save her world from a dishonorable performance in the biggest sporting event in the universe.
What will happen when Ty meets M’Frozza? Get ready for the most important event in human history—it’ll be off the backboard, around the rim, and out of this world

My Review:I really like sci fi. Any form of sci-fi so this was a book I couldn’t not like. What I really Liked was the way he incorporated diversity in his book.In most books it’s white people meets a space alien and blah blah. This book however, incorporated all different sorts of cultures and even I learned something from this book. It incorporated Japanese culture, Japanese-American culture among other cultures. It truly embodies the fact that it is earth  meeting the space aliens.

It also says true to the worries and day to day activities of children in that age group. Whether it is going to school or making new friends or even a new girlfriend the emotional completely stays within the typical middle age group

over all it was a great story the characters were well developed. The story had so many believable elements that it was easy to suspend your belief in meeting the aliens. The descriptions were wonderful. I even liked the illustrations that came with the book. I would recommend this to a middle grade student or to anyone who likes sci-fi. I cant wait for book two to come out!


Review: Tankborn

Posted July 1, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, young adult / 0 Comments

FTC notice: This book was sent to me by the publisher


In the beginning of this year I told myself I was going to break out of my literary fiction rut and try new genres. So far I have tried several different genres but have held back trying Young Adult. I cant give a good reason for my hesitation for this expect maybe I thought Young Adult did not have much to offer me. I was sadly mistaken. Young Adult has changed since I was a young adult. So when I found out I had won a prize from Arm Chair BEA I picked three young adult books as the prize and I loved it. This is the first I read of three.

Tankborn is the first Young Adult that I have tried outside the harry potter craze. It is about a girl who is  a GEN (genetically engineered non-human) who is given her Assignment. Before she leaves her nurture mother though she is given a strange package to carry into where the humans live.

Her best Friend is a nurturer tasked with the care of human babies. When they realize babies are being taken in the middle of the night they realize something more sinister is happening.

I could see where a young adult especially one who is in some way different (Like I was with a hearing aid when I was younger) could relate to this story. It showed that just because you are different does not mean you are even less important. Even though they are tankborn they are still important in the grand scheme of things.Likewise YA with disabilities have their place in society also.

I also liked that it was the characters that were flawed that had a hand in solving the issues in the book. That showed that people who are different can still be leaders and have strong role models.

The characters are fully realized to such an extent that the readers starts to care about what happens to them. I was rooting for the characters to come out victorious when they were fighting to save themselves and other people.

The story itself was an engrossing one. I found that I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to know what happened next. The pace was faster than I find in lit fiction. Which is a good thing because I seem to find a lot of books to be dragging these days. Not this one though.

I really liked this book and would recommend it to a YA that has something different about them to show them that they too can find their place and overcome.



Posted June 20, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, steampunk / 0 Comments

Review:DreadnoughtDreadnought by Cherie Priest
Published by Macmillan on September 28th 2010
Genres: Alternative History, Fiction, General, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Pages: 400
Source: library

Nurse Mercy Lynch is elbows deep in bloody laundry at a war hospital in Richmond, Virginia, when Clara Barton comes bearing bad news: Mercy's husband has died in a POW camp. On top of that, a telegram from the west coast declares that her estranged father is gravely injured, and he wishes to see her. Mercy sets out toward the Mississippi River. Once there, she'll catch a train over the Rockies and--if the telegram can be believed--be greeted in Washington Territory by the sheriff, who will take her to see her father in Seattle.Reaching the Mississippi is a harrowing adventure by dirigible and rail through war-torn border states. When Mercy finally arrives in St. Louis, the only Tacoma-bound train is pulled by a terrifying Union-operated steam engine called the Dreadnought. Reluctantly, Mercy buys a ticket and climbs aboard.What ought to be a quiet trip turns deadly when the train is beset by bushwhackers, then vigorously attacked by a band of Rebel soldiers. The train is moving away from battle lines into the vast, unincorporated west, so Mercy can't imagine why they're so interested. Perhaps the mysterious cargo secreted in the second and last train cars has something to do with it?Mercy is just a frustrated nurse who wants to see her father before he dies. But she'll have to survive both Union intrigue and Confederate opposition if she wants to make it off the Dreadnought alive.


After reading Boneshaker I knew I had to read the rest of the Clockwork Century series. Don’t let the fact that they are part of a series fool you all three books can act as a standalone so you do not need to read all of the books to understand what happens in the next book.

Dreadnought takes place during the Civil War. Mercy worked in VA at a Rebel hospital when she receives two devastating pieces of news. First that her husband who was fighting on the Union side was killed. Second is that her father who lived in Seattle and is dying wanted to see her. So she sets off on the journey.

The journey should be easy right? Go south then go west. But it is anything but. Things start to go wrong from the get go. First her dirigible crashes then it is one thing after another. She finally reaches St Louis and manages to catch a train the Dreadnought west. The Dreadnaught is a Union train so she keeps her southern sympathies hid. They say that the Dreadnought is on a purely civilian mission but as things start happening it becomes clear that is not the case. Mercy but figure out what the real purpose of the train is before they are all killed.

I have to be honest I loved this book. I think I may have found a new favorite genre. There were some elements that were the same as boneshaker but you did not have to read boneshaker to follow this book. There were not as many zombies and such in this book as there was in Boneshaker. I felt that the reader felt there was more danger in boneshaker than there were in Dreadnought.

The author weaves the alternate history parts together seamlessly into the story so that you were not jarred every time something out of the ordinary happened. It all had a nice flow to it.

While I might not be a die hard feminist I do like a story that has a strong female character. Mercy in Dreadnought is a very strong character, She shows times and time again that she can take control and have people respect her for it. No matter the situation she does not wait for a man to come rescue her but rather does her own rescuing. I think character such as these are important in literate as they show that a woman can be capable of taking care of herself and others.

I look forward to reading more of this authors books.


Review: Boneshaker

Posted March 29, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, steampunk / 0 Comments

bone shaker

I normally don’t take a week reading a book but this one was so good I just had to savor it. I think I found another favorite for books I have read this year.

The story starts with the boy Zeke and his mother Briar living in the outskirts of Seattle. Years before his father had run a machine called the Boneshaker through downtown Seattle. Originally the boneshaker was for mining gold under the frozen ice of the Klondike. However when it was run through downtown Seattle it caused a huge rift and the blight gas erupted. This gas burned anyone who came into contact with it. It also caused some people to turn into rotters. Zombies in other words. When Zeke goes into the walled off city to find the truth about his father who disappeared during the escape from the blight,  there is an earthquake that blocks the entrance and exit tunnels so his mother goes in by dirigible to try and find and save him.

At the start of the year I had told myself I was going to try new genres of books. I tend to stick with literary fiction with a side helping of self help. I felt the need to broaden my horizons. This book was my first foray into Steampunk. And what a delightful trip it was! I am now going to explore the genre farther. So if you have any suggestion feel free to leave them in the comments.

Back to the Boneshaker. This was a plot and character driven book. Things happen quickly while also giving you necessary background information. I felt that I really cared about the characters in the book and actually fantasized meeting them in real life!.Even the secondary characters come to life.

The plot was believable. Ok, it required you to forget about when actual events happened and to suspend actual history but reading it you felt that it COULD happen. That I feel is really important in this kind of novel. This shows that the world building was excellent. You had such a complete picture that you felt you could really “step” into that world and feel what the characters were feeling.

The plot was really fast. There were no dragging in this book. Things happened one after the other. I was glad because I for one find that as I get older my attention span for long explanations that go on for pages is getting shorter. I could blame twitter and facebook but oh well.

Over all this book had excellent writing, and an excellent story. I would recommend this book to all who like steampunk.


Review: Total Oblivion

Posted February 18, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Total OblivionTotal Oblivion, More Or Less by Alan DeNiro
Published by Spectra Ballantine Books on 2009
Genres: Fiction, General, Science Fiction
Pages: 306

“I remember the first time I began to understand that things might not be the same again.” What’s a girl to do when her world is invaded by warriors from the ancient world? That’s the problem faced by sixteen-year-old Macy, who sees her quiet, normal life in suburban Minnesota turned upside down when things that should never be possible begin to transform the landscape all around her. The cable stops working, the phone lines die–and then the horsemen come to town. It’s not the same America that she last went to sleep in. Ticketed to a refugee camp by the marauding Scythian armies, Macy and her family come to believe that heading down the Mississippi by boat is their one escape from the encroaching madness. But as they make their way downriver, Macy’s world just keeps getting stranger, and the wooden submarines, wasp-borne plagues, and talking dogs are the least of her problems: For in this upside-down world, old identities warp and family bonds are sorely tested. Acclaimed writer Alan DeNiro has fashioned a completely original, utterly beguiling melding of the surreal and the everyday.

total oblivion

I love dystopian novels. There is something about an imagined world where all went to hell and yet people and things manage to survive. In a way it offers hope for the modern world. If worse comes to worse then if we look to dystopian novels almost everything is survivable.

Total Oblivion is a different kind of novel. It takes place in a future United States that has been invaded by ancient tribes. The tribes all use acient ways of fighting. The US in now divided into an Empire and other entities. There is also a mysterious plague that is going around.

The story is told through the eyes of a teenage girl. It goes from her having a normal life to being upended and having to live in a reffugee camp. Then her father takes the family down river to a supposedly new job. Along the way they encounter armies and other strange obstacles.

It also has a little bit of steampunk thrown in. At first I was taken aback my some of the descriptions (having never read steampunk) but a search online showed that this also falls under steampunk category. I am now curious to read that genre and have resolved to try it out.

I really enjoyed this book. Even though I had many questions left over at the end. What we find out is what the characters in the book would know. The author pulls off the technique brilliantly. This is a risky technique as in some books it would come off poorly written but with this book it seems right that we never find out exactly who the invaders are.It adds a bit of mystery to the story.

This is one of the strangest book that I have read. It is a good kind of strange.

The one thing that bothered me in this novel was the poor character development. Yes, I know this novel is plot driven but I feel more time could have been given to the character so that we can know why they make the descions that they do.