Book Review: Star Trek – Harbinger by David Mack

Star Trek – Harbinger by David Mack is a prequel series to the Original Star Trek tv show, called the Vanguard series since all the action involves Vanguard Station. Vanguard Station is Starfleet’s furthermost station in the Federation, the station is in-between two enemies the Klingons and the Tholians and also a warp lane to the new frontier. This story is full of political intrigue and introduces a lot of characters. This is a ensemble story about corruption the USS Enterprise plays a part of it but can’t say it is the main focus. I know this will disappoint some seeing Kirk and Spock as part of an ensemble than the leads. I did not mind it and liked the new characters that all have their own agendas. The Vanguard series is 9 books and this first one set up a lot, of characters and a lot of conflict some that was resolved and some to come. Since this book has so many characters the only crew members of the USS Enterprise that we have any interaction with are Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and Scotty ( the book does mention that the new doctor McCoy will join them soon, all other crew members are not mentioned). I was happy to see a new female character that is a total bad ass and is the root of a lot of conflict. The novel has two LGTBQ characters, I like what it adds to both characters who are both from different alien races. I liked a majority of the story lines for new characters and how they intertwined with others, the plot was complex and made me read a couple things over, but overall I was entertained and want to read the next novel.

The Plot: In 2263 a Starfleet ship makes a discovery of a possible new species with an incredible DNA make up as they’re headed home. Just two years later the Vanguard Space Station is built near the discovery. The discovery has been made secret as Starfleet has setup the space station as a peace deterrent between two species The Klingon and The Tholians, but really the station was set up so the federation can research and keep the two species from finding and using it. The USS Enterprise has just docked at the station, and already is indirectly involved in the cover up, will Kirk and Spock realize they are pawns in this game of chess?

What I Liked: I like the political intrigue, it was written really well and I feel I got all sides of it, Starfllets side, the Underworld’s side, Klinglon’s Side, Tholian’s side, and the scientist’s side. There was a really clever plot twist that I did not see coming that kind blew me away. Of the non USS Enterprise side charcter’s I loved the journalist Tim Pennington (which this character is supposed to be who the school on Deep Space Nine was named after) and I loved the Vulcan T’Prynn who is one of the strongest new character’s to this series. For the brief LGTBQ storyline I liked how it was two different alien races and we get them to think how are they going to be accepted by their race. The cast is very international and inner species.

What I Disliked: We didn’t get enough of Uhura she has one scene that was almost all exposition, she deserves better than that. The dialogue was stale in some places, mainly when character use idioms, and there far too many idioms used in this novel.

Recommendation: I recommend you check this novel out. I think it is a good intro to the Star Trek novel universe, since it does not focus on solely on the Star Trek crew. I think people that just want to have a Kirk and Spock adventure might be a little disappointed, but when Scotty, Kirk and Spock make an appearance it is a good time. I thought this story was a good mix of both Chris Pine and William Shatner’s Kirk, wile Spock was all Leonard Nimoy. I rated Star Trek – Harbinger by David Mack 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes is a horror novel that takes place in a science fiction setting. This novel reminded me very heavily of the science fiction film starring Lawerence Fishburn and Sam Neil called Event Horizon. They both have space ghost, a character Just wanting to see love one that are separated, and eye gouging. This novel had all that I could want but it took me a really long time to connect with these characters. I started really enjoying myself 50% in. The pace drastically picks up and the novel gets good. There’s a couple of good twist that I did not see coming. The Climax is a long that is full of action and some twist. The beginning really made me work it, I don’t think it was ever in the do not finish category, but it was so hard to connect to any of the side characters, and Claire the main character took a while to connect as well. The highlight of this book is the madness and the horror that comes with it, it made me look around my dark room once or twice and felt my chest pounding.

The Plot Summary: Claire hears and sees ghost based on a tragedy that killed both her parents when she was younger. She knows she a risk and isolates her self on the farthest outpost that is monitored in space. She’s been alone for a while but now her job of monitoring is getting replaced with bots. She and her crew of five start heading back on their last day and hear a distress call. The agree to go off course to find it. What they find is the find of the century a luxury starship the Aurora. The Ship has been missing for over 20 years, the crew debates about calling it in but since they’re all jobless after this why not take from it themselves before over scavengers can. When they see the ship they were prepared to see dead bodies but they see bodies not dead to exposer but dead to being brutally murdered. They scavenge but get the idea to use their ships navigation to bring it in so they will get everything, but that means they will have to stay on the ship with all the dead bodies. Everything goes fine until the crew starts to see things that aren’t their and commit self harm. Is the treasure worth it if they don’t have their sanity and life?

What I Liked: The climax is spectacular and the saving grace to this novel it was written very well. I liked the twist with the ship and what was going on. I loved the horror aspect to the book, there’s some scary gory imagery that will haunt you. In the end I ended up liking the romance angle, I didn’t buy it at first but in the end it sold me. I liked the aspect of a person who see’s ghost everyday talking and teaching others about how to deal with seeing ghost. I like how the bad guy was portrayed.

What I Disliked: The beginning of this book is so disjointed and took me so long to get into this book. The characters I only liked to characters and just barely I wanted more backstory, ad the book does a horrible job at making them different personalities at the being. The book also does a lot of telling but not showing at the beginning. It reminded be too much of Event Horizon I would start thinking of scenes from that movie when I was reading this book at some scenes that were close.

Recommendation: If you’ve never watched the movie Event Horizon you will like this book more. Please watch that movie after it s good and you will see similarities. I will barely recommend Dead Silence the ending is a killer if you can get to it. The first 50% was hard but the last leads to it being unputdownable. I wanted to like this book more than I did. I rated Dead Silence by S. A. Barnes 3 out of 5 stars. The ending almost boosted it to 4 stars it was close.

Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir puts the “science” in science fiction. It services as both a compelling story and a lesson in science that is fascinating and not boring. This book is filled with twist and discovery. The story is told from the perspective of Grace Ryland a man with no memory waking in space, we get his backstory as he slowly starts to remember. The narrative really works and leads to a lot of discovery about science and personal insights to his character. There’s no love interest and I give props because there could have been one, but it is a character that had devoted his life to science and in the end that’s what he does. My lack of science could fill a library full of book shelves, but I came away learning a lot about measurements and the scientific method. This book had a surprising amont of humor that were layered throughout the novel. For a novel about one character this story is very compelling. Ryan Gosling is attached to the film, which I can easily see him as this character and can handle the humor and drama of it. The ending of Project Hail Mary is so freaking perfect, it was not what I was thinking, but man did Weir nail it.

The Plot Summary: Grace Ryland finds himself on a spaceship with two dead crew mates. He has no memory of where he is and how he got there. He slowly starts to remember who he is what he discovered and that he is on a suicide mission as Earth’s last hope to save the planet. He remembers he’s not an astronaut but a school teacher that is out of his element. He must use the science he knows to find out why a star and planet, is free from an alien race that is blocking the sun.

What I Liked: The plot was really compelling and I love how the story unfolded. The main character you couldn’t help rooting for an nice guy that was sacrificing himself not for a loved one but for his students. The backstory really worked and explained how a middle school science teacher can get wrapped up in plot to save earth. The ending, I’ve already said is so freaking perfect, I can’t think of a recent ending that got everything so right. The ending is bittersweet but so perfect for the character that it made me well up a little. I loved the science only a couple a small times was I like I’m completely lost on what is happening, which really speaks to how well the science is described. Rocky is great and so much fun as a character.

What I Disliked: There were times when the ship the Hail Mary was really hard to visualize, a schematic would have been a great help. The pacing was mainly good but there was a couple times at the beginning it could have been slightly better.

Recommendations: Read this book! Project Hail Mary was so good, the plot went in really interesting places you could not predict. For science lovers and a good intro to people like me who don’t know science that well. This book was so great I wasn’t able to talk about some aspects of the book because I don’t want it spoiled in any way, but what a fantastic ride. I have not read the Martian or Artemis but plan on adding it to my TBR. I rated Project Hail Mary 5 out of 5 stars, this book is easily my favorite book I have read this year so far.

Wrap Up: March 2022 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, March was an okay month for reading I read 6 books this month. I read all but 1 book on my TBR.  My ratings for this month were the lowest average review so far since I started reviewing 3 and a half years ago 0 five star, 2 fours star and 4 three star. I read 1 graphic novel, 2 science fiction, and 2 horror this month, I read 3 books in a series, 3 advance reader copies (thanks to Netgalley). I only started 1 new series Stars and Bones

Four Star Reviews:


Sundial by Catriona Ward is a family dysfunction horror novel.  The novel is scary in a psychological way that chills the reader. This is Catriona Ward follow up to the blockbuster the Last House on Needless Street which I loved and rated 5 stars. Sundial is a little slower and more of a slow burn horror with lots of tension leading up to crazy twist. This novel has two main perspectives Rob the mother to two young girls Callie and Annie, Callie Rob’s daughter is the other perspective we view. The twists come all at the end and for the most part they’re good and make sense to the narrative. They’re two narratives one in the present which was super tense and one in the past takes a really long time to get going. Thanks to Netgalley and Tor Nightfire for letting me read it. Sundial as published on March 1 2022.

Stars and Bones by Gareth L. Powell was my favorite book this month. It is a clevesr science fiction about the world’s survival after earth has already blown up. The novels plot is half the science fiction horror movie Life meets half of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. This novel gets pretty brutal and no one is safe. The pace of the novel is good as you and the character’s race for time and answers. The big Science Fiction ideas get a little heady but I felt I was able to follow along pretty well. The backstory for the plot and how the earthlings got to this moment in time was the highlight. Stars and Bones was brutal and gory at times as bodies are broken apart and reformed not always in the right way making them nightmare creatures. The narrative pick 6 characters to tell the story, we stay with Eryn for most of it and the other character fill in the past and other areas that are important to the narrative that she is not involved yet.  I read Stars and Bones thanks to Netgalley and Titan Books. Star and Bones by Gareth L. Powell is published on March 1 2022.

Three Star Reviews:

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is a fun domestic thriller. This is my third read of the four books Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen have published. They really know how to twist a relationship and man are there some twists. I’m always captivated by  the relationships and how they are portrayed. The Golden Couple is super fast paced, and makes for a very fast read. The novel tells the story from two viewpoints, one the radical marriage councilor and the other the woman who cheated and wants to save her marriage. The character of Avery and her radical on the fringe marriage councilor was great, even if there was no mystery her approach to marriage counseling was so interesting. This book was my least favorite from these authors, which isn’t that bad since I have loved the last 2. My biggest issue was the story trying to tie the story in a nice bow, which was just a stretch, there was a side story that did not need to blend into the main story. Thanks to Netgally and St. Martin’s Press for letting me read this book for review. The Golden Couple is published on March 8 2022.

Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older is the second middle grade novel in Star War’s High Republic Series. I was blown away by the first book in this series and how the stories are about children but are still taken very seriously in the Star Wars Universe. This novel is way more connected to the High Republic’s other novels especially The Rising Storm. Reader might feel disappointed because the heroes that we spent time with time with in the first middle grade novel A Test of Courage are barely in this novel, we instead get new heroes that have not existed previously in the High Republic. Of the new young padawans Ram is might favorite which his force powers able to connect to machines than they do people. The story is really action packed character development takes a backseat.

Attack of the Mutant by R. L. Stine is the 25th Goosebumps in the regular series order. Attack of the Mutant definitely goes after that comic book audience. There’s so slight horror but more of an adventure. This is one I think I would have liked as a kid, I was a big comic book reader, but now as an adult that cares about story, this goosebumps has one heck of a gapping plot hole. This story is all about tease until you get to the end. The tease is good but it goes too far with just having jump scares and nothing solid. I did like the final twist at the end. When the do talk about comics in this novel it brings up Jack Kirby’s Captain America and Todd McFarland’s Spawn. I was a big fan of this episode of Goosebumps it featured Adam West and was a double episode.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 12 by Stan Lee is the last volume that Stan Lee wrote a majority of the Spiderman issues, he still has input on the stories but does not write the scripts after this. This volume only two notable villains Doc Ock and Kraven the Hunter, then no name villains like Hammerhead, the misunderstood Gibbon, The Smasher and the Disrupter. Spiderman battles the Hulk and a hellbent Thunderbolt Ross which was actually the weakest issues even with sometimes cool battle scenes. We finally get the mystery solved of where Aunt May has been missing. This volume had the first reprise issues, a failed release of a new Spiderman series the Spectacular Spider-Man that only had 2 issues and was featured in Marvel Masterworks The Amazing Spider-Man volume 7, was republished. 

Book Review: Star Wars – Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older

Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older is the second middle grade novel in Star War’s High Republic Series. I was blown away by the first book in this series and how the stories are about children but are still taken seriously in the Star Wars Universe. This novel is way more connected to the High Republic’s other novels especially The Rising Storm. Reader might feel disappointed because the heroes that we spent time with time with in the first middle grade novel A Test of Courage are barely in this novel, we instead get new heroes that have not existed previously in the High Republic. Of the new young Padawans Ram is might favorite which his force powers able to connect to machines than they do people. The story is really action packed character development takes a backseat. This novel tell the story with two perspectives Rams and Lula and Zeen’s which were introduced in High Republic Adventures comics ( which I haven’t read). This novel is good but I feel it relies heavily on having read The Rising Storm. It’s is almost an echo story we take a disaster and then we focus on one part of it but we still want to include everything that happened in the other novel.

The Plot: Ram a padawan who toils in repair shop Crashpoint Peak has noticed a group messing with the communications Tower on Valo. This is on the Eve of a galaxy- wide fair that is working a Republic peace talk as well. Ram discovers it is the Nihil a dangerous group that killed a lot of Jedi mere months ago blowing up a starship as the Jedi plan to patrol the outer rim. The Nihil fire upon him as he tries to go about fixing it, he retreats and must tell the bigger Jedi, but they are concerned with pulling off the big event. He deals with a security guard that looks him up while sending a message out. Lula and Zeen are on a mission investigating a Nihil attack and learn of a bigger one that they can’t pinpoint then they see Ram message and must help him since now Valo is radio silent as all the towers have been taken. Can Lula and Zeen get with Ram to stop this Attack or get help to Valo.

What I Liked: Ram’s force power of connecting with machines was cool and I liked how it helped in aiding him and I liked how he struggled in the Jedi Powers we know like mind control. The mind control scene where the security wouldn’t say exactly what was asked and the moving of the hand got called out for being unnecessary. There was a big moment in The Rising Storm where a zoo is breached and all the creatures are released, which we got a couple more creatures to see. The action is pretty non stop.

What I Disliked: Is how connected this story is to The Rising Storm, I don’t think the reader would be able to figure out the whole plot without reading The Rising Storm first. There’s barely any character development which is a shame because that is what I enjoyed some much from A Test of Courage the first middle grade book. Zeen’s reasons for not being a Jedi didn’t make much sense, maybe it is explained more in The High Republic Adventures comics.

Recommendations: This is a fun book, but ultimately I felt readers can not enjoy with out having read The Rising Storm. I can not recommend it with out having read that book. Then you have a laugh or two and go as fun as that story was it wasn’t necessary, to the larger story and didn’t add anything to the characters. I rated Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Stars and Bones by Gareth L. Powell

Stars and Bones by Gareth L. Powell is a science fiction with about the worlds survival after earth has already blown up. The novels plot is half the science fiction horror movie Life meets half of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. This novel gets pretty brutal and no one is safe. The pace of the novel is good as you and the character’s race for time and answers. The big Science Fiction ideas get a little heady but I felt I was able to follow along pretty well. The backstory for the plot and how the earthlings got to this moment in time was the highlight. Stars and Bones was brutal and gory at times as bodies are broken apart and reformed not always in the right way making them nightmare creatures. The narrative pick 6 characters to tell the story, we stay with Eryn for most of it and the other character fill in the past and other areas that are important to the narrative that she is not involved yet. The beginning of the novel is super overwhelming as it is all exposition and history which I thought is this the second book in a series because there is so much to absorb, I promise you readers this is the first book and will make more sense later. I do not read a lot of science fiction that is not Star Wars but I really enjoyed this story and the imagination behind it. I read Stars and Bones thanks to Netgalley and Titan Books. Star and Bones by Gareth L. Powell is published on March 1 2022.

The Plot Summery: 75 Years from now the Earth will be at war and on the verge of armageddon, but as the missiles flew at the and entity was watching and stepped in. A scientist just hours before had found the substrate a way of which to travel from place to place over distance. Years after this all the earthlings are on giant arcs looking for a new home, they travel through the substrate searching light years in the future. Where a survey team finds a land full of bones, then run into an enemy that takes the humans apart and reassembles making a new creature. Eryn is on the search for her sister a member of the survey team. Eryn and her crew barely escape with their lives, but the the enemy follows and wants all the lives on arcs. Eryn must solve a mystery that began when people left earth.

What I Liked: I loved the idea for this story, it was wild and fun. I liked how action packed it got at times. I liked the character of Eryn and her willingness to sacrifice what she cared about. I liked the bad guys, I wanted a little bit more when it was revealed what it was at the end but was satisfied up until that point. I loved Sam the talking cat, and his musings on the world but still had cat moments. I loved the arcs and how they were all different and came with it’s own theme. The pace was really great it made it a pretty easy read. I liked that the enemy kept evolving and perfecting the way it put people back together, so it made it hard to tell who had already died and was actually the enemy. I loved the backstory that was created.

What I Disliked: Eryn has this big moment with the enemy, explaining why she sacrificed and did everything to raise her sisters kid, then when everything was said and done she doesn’t end up raising the kid, this was very frustrating. there was kind of a reason but it wasn’t good enough after everything Eryn sacrificed. The beginning was too much exposition, I literally stopped reading to check if this was a sequel, but it was not, there was so much it felt like one.

Recommendation: Stars and Bones is a fun ride with lots at stake. This is the first book in a trilogy and I’m excited for the next cause I have no idea where this is going to go but I like the idea of the arcs. I recommend you check out Stars and Bones it is not blow your mind science fiction but it is science fiction done really well like a combination of 4 really good ideas and episodes from Star Trek. When I found out what the enemy was it felt very Star Trek, but a good episode of Star Trek. I rated Stars and Bones by Gareth L. Powell 4 out of 5 stars. I debated for a little bit going to 5 stars but felt 4 is where it belongs.

Wrap Up: February 2022 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, February was a great month, I’m still in my reading groove. I completed my goal of 6 books this month, though I switched one of my TBR books with another I didn’t want to read 2 epic fantasy this month. I read 1 graphic novel, 1 horror, 2 science fiction and 2 new release thanks to Netgalley. I Read 2 books from a book series with Star Wars: The High Republic A Test of Courage the 1 middle grade book in the series, and Soul of Fire the 5th book in the Sword of Truth Series. I read one 5 star book, three 4 star books, and two 3 star books.

Five Star Reviews:


A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland is a novel I was not expecting to give 5 stars, but the novel exceeded my expectations in numerous ways.  It did not pander to its middle grade readers but gave a solid Star Wars to that starred middle grade age characters. This Star Wars Novel taking place in the High Republic which is 200 years before A New Hope. A Test of Courage is the first middle grade novel released in the High Republic time setting. This book was great in it character study and does follow some adult themes as death a grief. There was a great moment where one character’s grief gets the best of him and starts gong towards the dark side of the force. I enjoyed this story and the 4 kids it follows who are all different and have some depth to their characters. The pacing made this a fast read for all 173 pages. I was happy to admit I didn’t always know where the story was going, which was a lot of fun. The characters are really compelling and the book ends in an exciting finish, that was a little shocking. The action scenes are fun and well described. 

Four Star Reviews:

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: A Memoir by Bob Odenkirk who’s famous for playing Saul Goodman in both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and has been influential in the Comedy Scene for the last 30 years writing for SNL, writing and performing on the Ben Stiller Show and Mr. Show with Bob and David. The book really captured his voice I could not help when I was reading it, hearing it told in Odenkirk’s unique voice. Bob Odenkirk’s book title states that this book is 3/4 comedy and 1/4 drama. So if you only know him from Breaking Bad prepare for a lifetime history in comedy before you get to the drama. This is not a mean autobiography, there is no celebrity he goes after for slighting him years ago, he toughest on himself. He portrays himself has humble and lucky to have the career that he has, he would rather you laugh at his jokes than be able to recognize him and remember his name. I learned a lot about his career and some of the sketches and shows that I never knew he was a part of.

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart is a trippy science fiction about time travel and how it can easily spiral out of control. Science Fiction Noir is the genre I would classify The Paradox Hotel under. In simplest terms is a murder mystery, but to make things more complex it is a murder that hasn’t taken place yet, and is trapped in time. This book is Inception meets Primer (an independent time travel movie, more people should see). This book cleverly looks at time travel and imagines it like space travel is currently going. The US developed NASA for space exploration in the 1960’s and now billionaires are privatizing space travel. The Paradox Hotel takes this approach with time travel, and has individuals that want to privatize it and break all the rules. The overall story is great and really clever

Green Arrow by Kevin Smith is just what you expect with Kevin Smith writing Green Arrow, a lot of sexual jokes at a plethora of Justice Leaguers, Some of the weirdest bad guys coming out of the woodwork, really smart observations about on life and death, and observations on teenage sidekicks. This is Kevin Smith’s second time writing for a comic book series, the first time was Daredevil. This is Kevin Smith’s first time writing for DC comics which he has a long standing relationship with. I enjoyed his two Batman Comics that feature a super villain he created in this run, Onomatopoeia, who will say the onomatopoeia like Bang! before he shoots. This book was the resurrection of Oliver Queen who died and his son Connor took the Green Arrow mantle. Oliver Queen had been dead for 5 and half years until this line of comics came out. The main part of the story deals with how Oliver came back and how he gets his memory back which is spotty at best.

Three Star Reviews:

Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow is a slow burn social horror. It looks at the social issues that arise when a Caucasian couple adopt an African American, it makes fear of how there own race will perceive the child and the couples own ideas on race manifested as real horrors. The book waits until the very end to make it’s point on race, and it’s powerful but it takes it to the last pages to get there, which frustrated me because I was in serious doubt this book would have a point at all. The book delivers on the tension, which is layered through out. There are twist which all play out at the end of the book. This book will get compared to the film Get Out which might hurt it as the plot of this book was good but not great like Get Out. The writing by Bethany C. Morrow is good in creating and keeping the tension through out small gestures layered in subtext conversations. Cherish Farrah horror is more cerebral with thinking people are out to get you then, people physically trying to get you. 

Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind is the 5th book in the Sword of Truth Series. Soul of Fire is a high fantasy epic adventure. This book is 50% more political than the other book so far, which the others have more of a mix of politics, adventure, romance and religion. This book toys with the reader, for the first time since the beginning of the series the three main characters are all together, Zedd, Kahlan, and Richard, and this moment last 20 -30 pages and their separated. I wanted this moment to last a lot longer. In Soul of the Fire the main characters of the series are side characters as Goodkind introduces three character we’ve never met before, and follow more than are main characters.

Book Review: The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart is a trippy science fiction about time travel and how it can easily spiral out of control. Science Fiction Noir is the genre I would classify The Paradox Hotel under. In simplest terms is a murder mystery, but to make things more complex it is a murder that hasn’t taken place yet, and is trapped in time. This book is Inception meets Primer an independent time travel movie. This book cleverly looks at time travel and imagines it like space travel is currently going. The US developed NASA for space exploration in the 1960’s and now billionaires are privatizing space travel. The Paradox Hotel takes this approach with time travel, and has individuals that want to privatize it and break all the rules. The overall story is great and really clever, the execution of the story was a little bit muddled and all over the place. The pacing is good and for the most part kept my interest. The finale wraps up some but not all of my questions. The Paradox Hotel will make your head hurt at all the back and forth in time, which might throw off some readers but the end of the book most of it makes sense. This book has the strongest LGTBQIA+ characters our main character is a lesbian, January, the femme fatale is trans Mena, and supporting character, Cameo, they’re non-binary. This book cares about it’s pronouns and representation. I read The Paradox Hotel early thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books. The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart is published on February 22 2022.

The Plot Summary: January work security for the government run Paradox Hotel. The Hotel is a gateway for time travelers to go back to the past. There are rules for time travelers to not alter any thing, January has had to intervene with a person that was going to warn hitler of his death, and another wanted to warn the passengers of the Titanic about the iceberg. January is good at her job but she is one of the unstuck, which is a disease of too much time travel but it allows her to briefly see the future. January takes pills to slow this process. January starts training a new recruit, that could be her replacement. The hotel is gearing up, to be sold to one out of 4 billionaires. But before the building can get sold time starts jumping around and like January the whole hotel becomes unstuck in time. January finds a body that only she can see it. the body is unstuck, January fights against time to find out the killer.

What I Liked: I really liked the disease of being unstuck, I thought that was really clever. I liked the overall plot even though I had problems with how it played out it was a fantastic idea. I like the LGTBQIA+ characters because there background was used to further develop their individual character and did not have anything to do with the plot or a plot twist. I liked the twist at the end I predicted one aspect earl on but there was layers to it. I loved the brief moments of the characters in the past the World War II and Titanic scenes were good but too short.

What I Disliked: That the actual time travel scenes were so short. The plot would have so many starts and stops in momentum. I liked the Mena but it took a little too long for her to serve a purpose. I thought the ending and what exactly happened could have been explained in the epilogue.

Recommendation: For the most part I liked this book and the statement it made about privatizing. Fans of Inception will love the head trippy aspect of the plot. I rated The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Star Wars – A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland

A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland is a Star Wars Novel taking place in the High Republic which is 200 years before A New Hope. A Test of Courage is the first middle grade novel released in the High Republic time setting. This book was great in it character study and does follow some adult themes as death a grief. Thee was a great moment where one character’s grief gets the best of him and starts gong towards the dark side of the force. I enjoyed this story and the 4 kids it follows who are all different and have some depth to their characters. The pacing made this a fast read for all 173 pages. I was happy to admit I didn’t always know where the story was going, which was a lot of fun. The characters are really compelling and the book ends in an exciting finish, that was a little shocking. The action scenes are fun and well described. This is the second book I’ve read by Justina Ireland and liked this a lot better than the second young adult novel in the High Republic Out of the Shadows. My biggest call out was pacing and this book might have the best pacing out of any High Republic book I have read so far. So i don’t know what happened with Out of the Shadows.

The Plot Summary: After the horrible events of the Legacy Run getting destroyed in space (Light of the Jedi) it have caused ships to not go through hyperspace lanes, the starlight beacon is still on and the Nihil who are responsible are trying to make the starlight beacon not happen so they will control the outer rim without any Jedi. The Nihil attack a transport with the order to not allow survivors. Bombs blow holes in the ship with a lot of the escape transport already gone a Jedi sacrifices himself to get the children on the ship away. Vernestra a 16 full Jedi prodigy, Avon 12, a senator’s child that is spoiled but brilliant inventor, Imri 14, a Padawan to the Jedi that sacrificed himself, Honesty 12, a diplomat’s son that Jedi are uniting with and a big part of the starlight beacon and J-6 Avon’s nanny droid that she reprogramed to give sass. These teens must survive in the open space and get rescued with out the Nihil finding out their are survivors still alive.

What I Liked: This is a middle grade novel that does not placate down to children. It takes these teenagers and gives them real emotions and feelings. I was shocked at how this novel looks at death and sacrifice. The Jedi starting to turn to the dark side of the force made since and was pretty awesome how far it went. The pacing was so good, really fun and not predictable. I loved the character developments. I liked 3 out of the 4 of the main characters. I loved J-6 and her sass. I liked the Padawan Jedi dynamic at the end. I liked Sskeer the character that has been mostly in the comics making an appearance and having an impact.

What I Disliked: Honesty the character was the only one I did not feel connected to at all. This is a stand on story and doesn’t add anything to the lore of the High Republic.

Recommendation: I really enjoyed this story and recommend it not just for the middle grade audience I think there is a lot too love in the story. I would recommend reading this story before Out of the Shadows that features Vernestra and Imri, it adds to Imri and his Jedi power to control and feed off emotions, I did not like this novel but might have liked it a bit more if I knew more about these characters. I rated A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland 5 out of 5 stars. This story is my second favorite since the 1st volume of The High Republic graphic novel.

TBR: February 2022

February 2022 TBR list: last month I read all 6 books on my TBR list and added two; I decided to keep it at 6 books If I add more I add more, this is an overtime month for me at my day and don’t know how time consuming that will be.  

Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow is a horror dealing with social issues.  The pitch from Dutton is: in the vein of Get Out meets My Sister, the Serial Killer, about Farrah, a young, calculating Black girl who manipulates her way into the lives of her Black best friend’s white, wealthy, adoptive family but soon suspects she may not be the only one with ulterior motives. Which has me excited, Dutton publishing reached out to me to invite me to read it. Cherish Farrah is Published on February 8.

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James is the sequel to Black Leopard, Red Wolf and the second book in the Dark Star Trilogy.  Reading Black Leopard, Red Wolf was one of the most challenging reads of 2019, but I found the story really rewarding once I figured out the writing style which was beautiful but heavy in metaphors.  The story is based on African Fairy Tales. Moon Witch, Spider King is published on February 15.

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart is a trippy new science fiction by the author of The Warehouse that Ron Howard is looking to adapt.  The tag line is An impossible crime. A detective on the edge of madness. The future of time travel at stake. I’m sold don’t need to know any more. I have not read The Warehouse, Ballentine books reached out to me to read this one.  The Paradox Hotel is published on February 22

Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland is the first novel in the  High Republic Middle Grade Series,  I got approved by Disney for the ARC for the  3rd novel in this series, I want to read all rest first. I have read so far 2 adult novels, 2 young adult novels and 2 graphic novels. So I’m kind of all in on the High Republic series. With reading so many I want to see how they are connected and tied in the greater story.

Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind  is book 5 in the Sword of Truth Series.  This is one I’ve been reading steadily, I have my future Mother and Father in Law hooked and we’ve been reading it together.  It a fantastic High Fantasy with lot’s blood, guts and sex, but with a heart to it.  I like the way it explains things so that all actions are explained, even the brutal soul crushing ones.

Green Arrow by Kevin Smith collects Kevin Smith’s 15 issue run on the comic that brought the character of Oliver Queen back from the dead and his 8 year absence from DC comics.  I’m not a big Green Arrow fan I enjoyed Arrow on the CW but I’m a fan of Kevin Smith and his writing, that is why I wanted to read this book.