A Stunning Tour de Force


Stunning and Intelligent, Red Rising is certainly the Best Science Fiction Novel in Years.

This novel takes place in the far distant future. Space has been conquered. And humans have devised a way to alter DNA, to change humans into hybrids. Humans are caste in different roles and functions; they are designated by their colors and distinguishing characteristics. Colors cannot change or ascend the hierarchy. Darrow is a Red, the lowest of castes, a mining Hell Diver who digs dangerously deep for the Helium-3 needed for terra forming Mars. He lives beneath the surface of Mars, as he and the Reds have done for seven hundred years. They are nothing more than slaves to the ruling class, the Golds, who live in luxury on the Terra formed surface of Mars.

The World building in this novel is spectacular, utterly believable.

The arrogance of the Ruling Class is underpinned with all things Roman, from their mythology to their military philosophy and strategies. Peirce Brown’s weaving and interlacing of the ancient Romanesque world is astounding.

It is a brutal world where justice is swift and merciless, and politics is rife with treachery.

This is the world Darrow is thrust into after the murderous and merciless whipping and hanging of his lovely and brave young wife, Eco, all because she longed to see the stars, because she sang a song of freedom.

Darrow is remade into a Peerless Gold. His mission for the Sons of Ares, the revolutionaries, is to win at the Institute, to become a Fleet Officer and take down the Society of the Gold’

Red Rising is a tour de force which combines the philosophy of the ancient Roman world and which resonates uncannily with the political forces at work in the modern world. The trilogy of Red Rising, Golden Son and Morning Star is certainly the best Science Fiction series in years.

Red Rising is a stunning novel, intelligent and brutal in its telling. Peirce Brown is a writer to watch and to love.

What we Do for Love

514PNcQQBLL__AA160_Five stars for the language, which is stunningly beautiful at times, and only two Stars for the Story itself,  and I’ve a personal opinion for the two stars.

Natalie Cleary, an adopted Native American, has been visited by the spectral vision of  a woman she calls Grandmother for most of her life. This grandmother tells her stories, allegories perhaps, or heritage retellings. Natalie is different than other girls, she has a gift of sorts, an ability to see and be in different dimensions. She is one of the Others, those who can see  and be in the beyond the here and now. But she never knows when this will happened and that, I feel, is quite unfair. The unseen, the one of greatest Love doesn’t seem to realize just how unfair it is to send a young girl on mind trips.

Somehow, Natalie copes, until the day Grandmother tells her she has 3 months to save him. And who him is, is the mystery. Though Natalie assumes it’s Matt at first, her ex boy friend who loves her to the point of instability. Then there’s Beau, one of the Others with the same skill who she loves intensely though she barely comes to know him, though he’s there every time she tries to figure things out.

Ultimately, through much goings on and confusion between the two as to what to do, Natalie comes to realize that in order to save the boy, no spoilers here, she must offer herself as sacrifice so that the world will not be split, or something  like that which I feel is never made quite clear enough.  Here is where I have a problem. Love is not about sacrifice, it is never about sacrifice. It is about giving love and receiving love. Period. My opinion.

This is where a biblical sort of allegory takes place. God is the perfect love, Natalie comes to understand and gives of herself freely. Of her life. Though her sacrifice is met with Love and her life is redeemed. End of Story.  I feel there was some confusion in the story, though growing up and finding out about life, and loss and where we fit into this confusing place we call life, is difficult I grant. Haven’t we all been through it? Most of us come out unscathed, or mostly so.

In summary, The Love That Split the World, has many merits. Language and its beauty is one of them. A story about growing up and facing life is another. But love, the kind that grows between two people, is not achieved in an instant.  And self sacrifice for love, to offer oneself as a lamb is something I’d rather not impose on those who are coming of age. They have enough to deal with as it is. So I don’t recommend this for teens.


A Wild and Crazy Ride


Ana Spoke’s Shizzle, Inc. is all that and more. Isa Maxwell. the protagonist,  is not just any girl. She’s special, special in a way that must have the God’s looking out for her because of all the bewildering, harrowing incidents that befall her. What’s so funny is that she doesn’t even have the slightest idea what she’s getting into. But she is definitely the girl with the heart of gold, even though she doesn’t know it. After the first few paragraphs, I realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, and that was okay because the story swept me in up in a whirlwind of activity, a tornado of events! No problem though, because the cast of characters were just a madcap as Isa. They are all off the grid which makes this novel a singular work of hilarity.

What I love the most was how Isa makes every crazy thing seem just so normal, as if, hey, this is life and I’m living it, even if life itself is nonsensical. Basically, Isa wants Brad, her high school sweet heart who callously dumps her. Will this get Isa down? Nope, not by a long shot. She’s determined to have it all, if only she can get rich and famous. Just because she hasn’t the tiniest be of talent, absolutely no skills, a junky VW that is coughing up it’s last bilge of oil, and living, well squatting in a dump of a house with a roommate who is doped up and certifiably weird, and that’s putting it mildly, Isa remains undaunted. Her friend, Harden, a wannabe DJ who changes his name daily, is the most sane character and who is sweet and lovable.

Isa gets a job a Shizzle, Inc, owned by a billionaire who is totally certifiable, but he sees something in Isa and she gets the job, and boy, whoa, it’s a crazy undertaking, seriously.

Ana has delivered a fresh and completely novel, pun intended, novel. If you are up for a joy ride with all the bumps, crashes and with the characters running around like something right out of the Keystone Cops, this novel is for you.  I highly recommend this novel for anyone who wants a slew of belly laughs!  5 Stars all the way!




The Waiting Room


The new comer is ducking and turning slightly to get through the narrow office door. A swoosh of chilly air follows him. Most of us sit with a book or a magazine in our hands. What else is there to do in a waiting room? We slouch in our uncomfortable chairs, glancing up as if we’d been expecting him, though of course we weren’t. Why would we? Each of us just islands, cocooned in our own little worlds, waiting to be distracted by the simple act of an opening door. I view the new comer from beneath my lashes.  He has the appearance of an unmade bed. His dark coat, one of those Navy Pea Coats, has a scattering of white fur, cat? Ugh. I stifle a sneeze while fumbling through my purse for a tissue. I am not a fan of cats.  Cats are unpredictable, everyone knows that. The new comer leans against the wall by the door, eyeing the only two unoccupied chairs, which happen to be on either side of me.  He winks a blue eye and I cringe to have been caught staring.  I bring my book up to my nose, pretending to be immersed.  “May I?” he says, standing by the chair to my left. I nod, lifting one shoulder in a shrug.  He settles in and I get a scent of soap, Tide?  It’s warm in the room, warmer now that he is so close. From the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of him as he opens his coat, tugging a scarf from around his neck. It’s blue, but not like his eyes.  It’s more of a blueberry color, a purplish blue. He’s staring down at it, twisting it, folding it and refolding it. There is morning stubble on his face, but it’s a nice face, I concede. Square jaw, straight nose and a high forehead; his unruly hair is dark, dark as onyx. It’s the kind of hair you itch to comb, or run your fingers through. ~~~~



The Realm of Possiblities

51D4kANVYHL__AA160_Eye Dancers, by Michael S. Fedison

That we’re not so alone, you know? Maybe we’re all connected to each other in ways we can’t understand. And that’s okay, I guess. Because maybe we don’t need to understand it.

We just need to believe it.”

Eye Dancers is a delightful and suspenseful coming of age novel, aimed primarily for young boys. The story revolves around four boys during one hot summer. They are friends, well, all but one, Kuslanski who is an outsider, but a real geek, a genius and a loner.  But he will soon be pulled into their nightmares. Joe, Ryan and Mitchell find themselves having the same freaky, terrifying dream, a dream about a girl with weird dancing, twirling blue eyes. She pulls at them with her hypnotic eyes. She is a ghost girl, or so they think.

They enlist Kuslanski, the brain, to help them figure out what’s happening. They are scared, but it is Kuslanski’s logic they need, and they need him to watch over them as they sleep. He’s only supposed to be an observer, but finds himself pulled along with them as the ghost girl’s power engulfs all of them and they are whirled into another dimension.

The ghost girl is in trouble and her very life may be at stake. Only the boys’ can save her, but only if they can find her in time. And so the mystery begins and along the way, each boy finds an unmistakable truth, about who they are and about what it means to be a friend. And about self reflection and acceptance.

Michael is a wonderful and insightful writer. Suspense, humor and pathos combine to make Eye Dancers an exceptional novel, not only for the young, but the young at heart. Reading it, I was pulled back to my own childhood, to the time when we are not sure of ourselves and just learning about life and our place in it.

I highly recommend Eye Dancers, five stars all the way!

Love, above all else, Love


“Love,” I breathed, the world crumbling into a blackness with no end.  “The answer to the riddle,” I got out, choking on my own blood, “is . . .love.”

The deeper you get into A Court of Thorns and Roses, the better it gets. The reader doesn’t get a complete understanding of the curse, ‘The Blight’, until after Feyre is sent back to the ‘human’ world. When Feyre understands how she unwittingly failed to grasp the devastating effects of the curse, she returns on her own to the world of Fae, and this is when it gets really exciting and terrifying.
No spoilers here, but the ending is completely satisfying and leads to the next in the series, which, unfortunately, won’t be released until May.  Knuckle biting here….

Needless to say, I’m happily waiting for the sequel!