#SciFiMonth Book Review: The Stars Undying by Emery Robin

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

The Stars Undying by Emery Robin

Mogsy’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Book 1 of Empire Without End

Publisher: Orbit (November 8, 2022)

Length: 528 pages

Author Information: WebsiteTwitter

The Stars Undying is the debut novel of Emery Robin, the first volume of the Empire Without End series inspired by the lives of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, and Marc Antony with a space opera twist.

The story opens with an introduction to Princess Gracia of the planet Szayet, recently forced into exile after losing everything in a bloody civil war to her twin sister. In a last desperate attempt to regain her throne, Gracia turns her focus on winning over Matheus Ceirran, the commander of the Empire of Ceiao who has just arrived on-planet with his trusted lieutenant Anita.

But striking a deal with a foreign power has its costs, as Gracia soon discovers once her birthright is returned to her. Back in her possession is the Pearl of the Dead, a family relic containing the AI consciousness of Szayet’s founder, the legendary conqueror Alekso, who is not at all happy with her new alliances. As Gracia and Ceirran grow closer under the disapproving gaze of Anita, the Empire of Ceia is also facing instability resulting from internal conflict amongst the merchant guilds.

As the plot unfolds, the chapters mostly alternate between Gracia and Ceirran’s perspectives, gradually following the trajectory of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar’s lives. For those who are even passing familiar with the historical events, it will be easier to understand the story behind The Stars Undying and find even more about it to enjoy.

But first, readers will have to contend with the plodding pace. The Stars Undying is probably best described as a slow burn political drama—emphasis on slow. If I were to rate the book based solely on the contents of its first half, I’d give it no higher than a 2. The prose itself very rich and lyrical but also very dense, describing laboriously the internal thoughts of the characters. With so much classical history involved, it’s inevitable too that the introduction requires much setup and a deluge of information which readers will need to persevere against in order to finally get to the good parts.

When the good parts do come though, it’s well worth the wait. In fact, the second half of the novel probably rates 4 stars or higher, as the seeds sown earlier in the book come to fruition and the heavier emphasis on the political intrigue begins working in its favor. The scope of the story narrows to focus on the interplay between the key characters while at the same time expanding to encompass the power games, backroom deals and other political shenanigans of Ceian empire, which is essentially ancient Rome.

For the most part, the overall story also adheres to the historical record, though my favorite aspect of the book was probably the Pearl of prophecy, a computer which contains the “soul” of Szayet’s god and founder, whom you might have guessed by now is modeled upon Alexander the Great. Rightful rulers of Szayet receive the wisdom and prophecies of Alekso by “plugging” the Pearl’s program directly into their brains, a very unique concept in what might otherwise be considered a run-of-the-mill retelling. I wish the book had contained more of these types of sci-fi elements.

Overall, I enjoyed The Stars Undying a little more than I expected. Granted, having read a few reviews of the book which warned against the slower pace of the first half, I was able to push through to the good parts in the second half, with my final rating reflecting the middle ground between the two extremes. For now, tentatively, I have plans to continue the series, partly because I think the rest of it has potential especially if Emery Robin has more interesting ideas waiting in the wings. More plainly though, with The Stars Undying so deeply incorporating the story of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, and Marc Antony, history tells me the best is yet to come.

Bookshelf Roundup 11/20/22: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads

Bookshelf Roundup is a feature I do every weekend which fills the role of several blog memes, like Stacking the Shelves where I talk about the new books I’ve added to my library or received for review, as well as It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? where I summarize what I’ve finished reading in the last week and what I’m planning to read soon. Mostly it also serves as a recap post, so sometimes I’ll throw in stuff like reading challenge progress reports, book lists, and other random bookish thoughts or announcements.

black line

Received for Review

An awesome haul this week! With thanks to Saga Press for an ARC of The Thick and the Lean by Chana Porter which follows an aspiring chef in a world where food pleasure is highly taboo. I have a feeling reading this one will make me hungry! Also thanks to Tordotcom for a review copy of Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk, following a magical detective on a hunt for a serial killer in this fantasy period novella set in Chicago. Thank you also to Subterranean Press for sending me an ARC of The Best of Catherynne M. Valente, a collection of the author’s stories, some of which are long out of print or have never before collected before. And this is just the first volume!

From the amazing folks at Angry Robot, I was also thrilled to receive a review copy of HellSans by Ever Dundas, a really unique story which sounds like a bit of sci-fi, horror, dystopian, and humor all rolled into one! I’ve been hearing some good things about this one, looking forward to checking it out. Speaking of which, earlier this month I was so excited to receive an ARC of Rubicon by J.S. Dewes with thanks to Tor Books. Definitely one of my most anticipated releases of 2023! And finally, huge thanks to McElderry Books for sending me an ARC of Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury, a ghostly paranormal tale following two young women separated by time but connected by a haunted mansion.

No new audiobooks or eARCs for review this week, so moving on to the reviews!

Reviews

The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson (5 of 5 stars)
Area 51 Interns: Zoned Out by James S. Murray and Carsen Smith (4.5 of 5 stars) (Guest Review)
Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle (2.5 of 5 stars)

Roundup Highlights:

What I’ve Been Reading

Have you heard of or read any of the books featured this week? What caught your eye? Any new discoveries? I hope you found something interesting for a future read!

#SciFiMonth Book Review: Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle

Mogsy’s Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Stand Alone

Publisher: Head of Zeus (September 1, 2022)

Length: 416 pages

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Time travel books often test the limits of what I can tolerate in terms of their mindfuckery and outrageous ideas, so I approached Lost in Time with no small amount of trepidation. As it turns out though, it wasn’t the story that got to be too much for me (it was, in fact, quite interesting and full of surprising twists) but factors like the lack of character development and some of the more arbitrary plot devices that took away from the experience.

Lost in Time takes place in the near future, where a team of scientists have developed a new technology capable of time travel called Absolom. Of course, with its capabilities being limited and astronomically costly to run, a deal was struck with the government allowing it to use Absolom to send the world’s worst criminals hundreds of millions of years into the past. Apparently, even monsters feared the unknown, because just the thought of being sentenced to permanent exile in the time of dinosaurs was enough to make the violent crime rate drop to zero overnight.

As one of Absolom’s inventors though, Sam Anderson never thought that he would one day face that fate. But on the anniversary of his wife’s death, while visiting her grave site with his children, Sam is arrested for the murder of his lover and fellow scientist Nora. Camera footage showed Sam and his teenage daughter Adeline at Nora’s house the night before and that they were last people to see her alive. Suspecting that they are being framed, Sam confesses to the crime to protect Adeline, which immediately earns him a one-way ticket to the prehistoric past. Devastated, Adeline sets out on a quest to prove her father’s innocence, and with his former colleagues, figure out a way to bring him back.

At first when I read the book’s synopses, I was instantly intrigued. I wondered at the time traveling elements and the science and tech concepts that must be involved, plus I was excited at the prospect of lots of dinosaurs. As it turned out though, the book was rather light on both these features. Mostly, we just have to accept Absolom as it is—a piece of time traveling tech that does what it does, the “science” behind it fine for a shallow dive but isn’t going hold much water against greater scrutiny or if the right, intelligent  questions are asked. Still, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it does make Lost in Time a lot more accessible than the average time travel story, and it can be picked up easily even if you’re not into science fiction.

As it also happens, Lost in Time isn’t even really about Sam, but Adeline. If you were drawn to the book’s description because it teased a prehistoric survival adventure, then there’s a good chance you’ll be disappointed because the novel strives to be a more human story instead, focusing on a daughter’s love for her father and her willingness to go to any length to set him free. Which would have been fine and good, but the problem was the writing style. I feel that A.G. Riddle’s prose is better suited to straight-up technothrillers where it’s more acceptable for bombastic action and linear narratives to take precedent over character development.

The truth is though, not only did I feel a lack of genuine emotion from the characters, I also couldn’t bring myself to care about them. The novel reads quickly and explosively, but that’s about it. As I alluded to before, I believe Lost in Time would have fared much better as a straight-up technothriller, except Riddle clearly intended it to have a more human, emotional element. Regrettably though, the writing itself felt too sterile and non-nonsense for me to connect with any of the (stereotypical) characters on a deeper level. With no real warmth, atmosphere, or intensity behind the prose, the whole human element behind Adeline’s epic journey quickly fell apart.

Ultimately, as a reader who places great value on character development, I’m afraid Lost in Time simply did not appeal to me on that front. That being said though, if you are drawn to sci-fi action for its cinematic qualities and breakneck pacing, there might be something for you here.

#ScifiMonth Waiting on Wednesday 11/16/22

Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that first originated at Breaking the Spine but has since linked up with “Can’t Wait Wednesday” at Wishful Endings now that the original creator is unable to host it anymore. Either way, this fun feature is a chance to showcase the upcoming releases that we can’t wait to get our hands on!

Mogsy’s Pick

Infinity Gate by M.R. Carey (March 28, 2023 by Orbit)

“From the author of the bestselling The Girl With All the Gifts comes a brilliant new genre-defying story of humanity’s expansion across millions of dimensions, and the AI technology that might see it all come to an end. Perfect for readers of The Space Between Worlds and Adrian Tchaikovsky.

The Pandominion is a political and trading alliance consisting of roughly a million worlds.

But they’re really all the same world – Earth – in many different dimensions. And when an AI threat arises that could destroy everything the Pandominion has built, they’ll eradicate it by whatever means necessary—no matter the cost to human life.” 

*  All SciFi Month artwork courtesy of Simon Fetscher.

 

Book Review: The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson

Mogsy’s Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Book 7 of Mistborn

Publisher: Tor Books (November 15, 2022)

Length: 528 pages

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Endings are always so anxiety-inducing for me.  Especially Brandon Sanderson endings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of him and I love his books, but I often find his series endings to be a bit of a mixed bag. Take the original Mistborn trilogy, for example. Maybe I’m just being overly sentimental, but I’ve always felt conflicted about the way it ended, and if I’m to be honest, that may have a lot to do with why I prefer these new books set in Mistborn’s second era of Scadrial. It was a salve to the tragedy and abruptness. It meant a future and new characters to fall in love with.

And fall in love I did. In a very short amount of time, Wax and Wayne have become like family, and so as we come to the end of their story in The Lost Metal, I steeled my nerves for whatever there was to come.

As always, I keep my reviews as spoiler-free as possible but if you’re not caught up with the series yet, do bear in mind there may be references to events from the earlier books. The Lost Metal is the fourth volume in the new Mistborn sequence, and we once more join up with Waxillium Ladrian as he works to keep the streets of Elendel safe for its citizens, though now he does it as a senator instead of a lawman. The mystery behind all the missing Allomancers also comes to fruition in this book, as Marasi Colms and her partner Wayne from the constabulary uncover a weapons smuggling plot which involves the neighboring city of Bilming.

Meanwhile, Wax is determined to hunt down the shadowy organization known as the Set, whose leader is none other than his sister, Telsin. In light of Wayne and Marasi’s discoveries, our heroes realize that the connection between Set and the smuggling plot may run deeper than they had previously thought. And worse, it may already be too late to stop whatever Telsin has planned, especially since she may be working under the direction of forces more powerful than any of them can imagine. A devastating new type of explosive has been developed and built right under all their noses, an event that even Harmony could not have foreseen. Scadrial’s god has been distracted as of late, his powers diminished, leaving Wax to fight for him in the physical realm, taking his place as his Sword to drive back the influence of Trell, a god worshipped by the Set.

First, let’s get the important questions out of the way. What did I think of The Lost Metal, as a series ending? Well, I’m not going to lie and say it was all sunshine and unicorns, but I did love it. Yes, I loved it. It might be one of my favorite series conclusions in a long time. It was just the right amount of struggle and triumph. I was elated and heartbroken, but not too much of both. The overall tone of the resolution fell somewhere in that sweet spot between hopeful and bittersweet. In other words, it was perfect.

And what of the lead up to the final showdown? If you are a fan of the Mistborn series, and of the greater lore of Sanderson’s Cosmere as a whole, I think you are going to be very happy. More than any of the previous books, The Lost Metal goes deeper and farther into the scope of this magnificent universe, exploring the history of the people, magic, and locations spanning Mistborn as well as Sanderson’s other books. But even if you aren’t a lorehound with a nose for sniffing out clues and theories to the greater mysteries of the Cosmere, you will find plenty to enjoy in this story about our heroes valiantly trying to save Scadrial. The action was blood-pumping and constant, the emotions high and poignant, the overall energy fast-paced and contagious. Sanderson also never fails to win me over with his character development and the moving relationships between them, and as ever, the dialogue was top shelf. The witty banter between Wax and Wayne, Wayne and Marasi, etc. made me giddy with joy.

In short, Brandon Sanderson shows us once again why he’s a master storyteller and the best world-builder in the industry. He’s even starting to win me over on his series conclusions! And while it is with stirring emotions that I bid goodbye to the characters and setting of this second era of Mistborn, I am certainly looking forward to the start of the third, which has been teased as a series set in an 80s-esque early computer age. Truly, I just can’t wait to see what comes out of that.

More at The BiblioSanctum:
Review of Shadows of Self (Book 5)
Review of The Bands of Mourning (Book 6)

#SciFiMonth Guest Review: Area 51 Interns: Zoned Out by James S. Murray and Carsen Smith

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This does not affect the contents of this review, and all opinions belong to the reviewer.

Today we have a very special guest review by my daughter Alexis, age 10, who would like to share with you her thoughts on Area 51 Interns: Zoned Out by James S. Murray and Carsen Smith. The following is her review, edited only for grammar and clarity.

Area 51 Interns: Zoned Out by James S. Murray and Carsen Smith

Alexis’ Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction

Series: Book 1 of Area 51 Interns

Publisher: Penguin Workshop (October 18, 2022)

Length: 240 pages

Author Information: James S. Murray | Carsen Smith

Area 51 Interns: Zoned Out by James S. Murray and Carsen Smith is about four friends named Viv, Charlotte, Elijah, and Ray who intern at Area 51. They have just finished saving the world but apparently that isn’t enough to get them out of the copy room where they are stuck blacking out documents. That’s how the book starts. Then, Joanna comes. She is a very smart high schooler who was invited to Area 51 to help with research. Together with Joanna, Viv and her friends discover a map they were supposed to black out, which shows all the secret areas and door codes. At night, they follow the map down a giant flight of stairs to an area called the Forbidden Zone.

In the Forbidden Zone, they discover that Area 51 has been hiding a shocking secret! The government has been keeping cryptids and other mythological creatures like the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster and the Chupacabra in an underground base. After a security breach and some of the creatures escape, Charlotte is blamed for letting out one of the most dangerous cryptids in the world. Now her friends have to clear her name and return all the escaped creatures back to Area 51.

This is the second book of the series and I had a little trouble figuring out what was going on at first, but after things were explained later on in the book, I didn’t feel lost anymore. I really liked this story because I love anything to do with mythological creatures. I was so surprised and happy when Viv and her friends found jackalopes, the Mothman and even a wendigo in the Forbidden Zone!

The characters were also fun and seemed like real people. Viv is the main character. Her mom is the director of Area 51, so Viv is constantly trying to impress her. Charlotte is Viv’s best friend. She is Australian, and both her parents also work at Area 51. Viv’s crush is Elijah, who is obsessed with flying because his dad’s a pilot. And then there’s Ray, who is also Viv’s friend. Ray is timid and has a little alien friend named Meekee. He’s my favorite character because he’s the most like me.

Then there’s Joanna, who is Viv’s nemesis. Viv becomes jealous when Joanna comes and is given top level clearance, when Viv and her friends only have level one clearance. Joanna also embarrasses Viv in front of her mom on purpose, and flirts with Elijah which annoys Viv to no end. But because Joanna is a special guest and everyone loves her, there wasn’t anything Viv could do about it and that made me feel bad for her.

I would give this book four and a half stars, but it was really close to five stars! I liked that it was filled with action and it was very funny, like when Ray was trying teach Meekee how to say human words or when Charlotte got locked in with the Mothman in his terrarium. I also liked the friendship between the characters, even though they sometimes fought.

What I didn’t like about the story was that there was a lot of drama, especially with Viv and her mom. The book was obsessed about her mommy problems and to be honest they argued over some pretty dumb things.

I also thought there would be more aliens. But that’s okay, because the mythological creatures made up for it.

So you should read this book if you’re a kid who likes cryptids and science fiction. I really enjoyed it, this was one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I’ve read A LOT of books this year!

Alexis

Bookshelf Roundup 11/13/22: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads

Bookshelf Roundup is a feature I do every weekend which fills the role of several blog memes, like Stacking the Shelves where I talk about the new books I’ve added to my library or received for review, as well as It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? where I summarize what I’ve finished reading in the last week and what I’m planning to read soon. Mostly it also serves as a recap post, so sometimes I’ll throw in stuff like reading challenge progress reports, book lists, and other random bookish thoughts or announcements.

black line

Received for Review

Big thanks to Tor Books for sending me a finished copy of The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson earlier this month. I really enjoyed this conclusion to the second Mistborn saga, and if all goes well I should have my review up on Tuesday, release day!

With thanks also to the amazing folks at Del Rey for Wanderers and Wayward by Chuck Wendig. They were kind enough to send the first book since I hadn’t read it yet, and the sequel is coming out next week. I’ve always wanted to read this series and now I know how I’ll be keeping busy this winter!

I also want to thank Orbit Books for a finished copy of Empire of Exiles by Erin M. Evans. Depending on how I do on the rest of my sci-fi reading list this month, I’m really hoping to fit this one into my schedule for November!

Courtesy of Subterranean Press, I also received an ARC of Rose/House by Arkady Martine. This novella by the author of the Teixcalaan series is a sci-fi mystery about a supposedly empty house looked after by an embedded artificial intelligence. But then that AI reports the presence of a dead body within its walls…

And finally, thank you to Minotaur books for a surprise copy of The Double Agent by William Christie which, as you might expect, is a spy thriller!

Just one audiobook in the digital review pile this week, but it’s a good one! Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger is a locked-room thriller about three couples who rent a luxury cabin in the woods for a deadly weekend getaway. I’m really feeling this one, might even pick up this one next for a mood read!

Reviews

Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell (4 of 5 stars)
Living Memory by David Walton (4 of 5 stars)
The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian (3 of 5 stars)

What I’ve Been Reading

 

Have you heard of or read any of the books featured this week? What caught your eye? Any new discoveries? I hope you found something interesting for a future read!

#ScifiMonth Friday Face-Off: The Gang

Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme created by Books by Proxy! Each Friday, we will pit cover against cover while also taking the opportunity to showcase gorgeous artwork and feature some of our favorite book covers. If you want to join the fun, simply choose a book each Friday that fits that week’s predetermined theme, post and compare two or more different covers available for that book, then name your favorite. A list of future weeks’ themes are available at Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme is:

~ a cover featuring THE GANG

Seven Devils by Elizabeth May & Laura Lam

The Gang. The Fellowship. The Found Family. Though typically thought of as a fantasy trope, plenty of examples can be found in sci-fi as well, often in the form of a motley crew aboard a starship or even a squad of interplanetary resistance fighters, as in the case of Seven Devils, the book I’ve chosen to feature for this topic. Today, we have another good old-fashioned head-to-head:

DAW Books (2020) vs. Gollancz (2020)

Winner:

Ooh, this week’s choice was so tough! I love both covers, especially the gorgeous colors. In the end though, I have to go with the DAW edition, as the portrayal of the characters gives it a slight edge and for the fact it highlights “the gang”.

But what do you think? Which one is your favorite?

Thursday Thriller Audio: The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian

Mogsy’s Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction

Series: Stand Alone

Publisher: Random House Audio (May 10, 2022)

Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Narrators: January LaVoy, Grace Experience, Gabrielle De Cuir

This was somewhat of an outside-the-box read for me, even when it comes to thrillers. But when I learned of this historical thriller set in the 1960s which follows a group of Hollywood stars who afoul of a deadly kidnapping during an African safari on the Serengeti, there was an Agatha Christie-ness to the killer mystery plotline which appealed to me. Hence, I took a chance on The Lioness.

The central figure of the novel is Katie Barstow, a young actress who has risen to the peak of her career. Every movie she stars in is immediately a success, and she’s even risen high in her personal life, with her recent marriage to David Hill, an art gallery owner who was also childhood best friend with her older brother. To celebrate all the happiness in her life, Katie has decided to invite her closest friends and family to no expense spared adventure to Tanzania, where the group will be treated to visions of sunset-lit and acacia tree-lined horizons as well as the wild herds of roving wildebeests, giraffes, and zebras.  After spending their dusty days out on the plains photographing the majestic wildlife, they will then spend their nights drinking gin and tonics chilled with portable icemakers and enjoying warm water baths filled by their local guides before retiring to proper beds. A good hostess, Katie has ensured that none of her glamorous guests will go without the usual luxuries.

But what none of them expected was violence. On a safari day like any other, the group is suddenly ambushed by mercenaries driving trucks and wielding guns. Katie and her friends are rounded up and held hostage while any of the safari guides who try to help them are shot and killed. From their language and manner, Katie deduces that the gunmen are Russian, but what could Russian mercenaries possibly want with a group of Hollywood elites? Could this be as simple as a kidnapping for ransom? Or is there something more to the picture she’s not seeing? As the body count rises, all Katie can do is fight for survival and hope her nerves won’t fail her when it counts.

The character list for The Lioness is quite long. Besides Katie and her husband David, her brother Billy and his pregnant wife Margie are also along for the ride. There’s also Katie’s best friend and fellow actress Carmen and her husband Felix, a screenwriter. Then there are the single guests, who include Terrance Dutton, a celebrated black actor and Katie’s good friend; publicist and director Reggie Stout; and Peter, Katie’s agent. This group is next accompanied by team members of the safari led by Charlie Patton, a famed big game hunter who also owns the business. His employees are made up of local guides, porters, and other support staff like young Benjamin Kilwete who is starstruck by the American actors.

While this setup certainly resembles something Christie-esque, the reality is actually quite different. But though I did not get what I’d expected, I did enjoy the book. There is no mystery here of who the killer is; we know who the mercenaries are and who they work for. The question is, what do they want? The story unfolds via the POVs of the various characters, and there are also flashbacks aplenty, going into their backgrounds which may reveal clues into their predicament.

In this sense, The Lioness works better as a character drama rather a true mystery thriller. As much bloodshed as there is, what action we get is quite muted. The backstories of the characters take center stage, diving into their pasts, their inner most desires, and the important events in their lives that have shaped their futures and motivations.  The setting of the 1960s is also significant and plays a role in unveiling of the overall plot. In an era of much socio-cultural change, there are yet tensions in race relations, matters like sexual orientation was only spoken of in hushed tones, and prejudice against women was still rampant. All of which are topics that the story explores.

Ultimately though, what hurts The Lioness most is the sheer number of characters to keep track of, and I didn’t really feel close to any of them, didn’t really care if they lived or died. Truth be told, I was having a hard time even trying to figure out who survived the ordeal by the end. It probably also didn’t help that I listened to the audio edition, which I can’t really say was the best format for a book like this with so many POVs. And the fact that the thrills never truly materialized made this one just an okay thriller—but it’s an interesting read for sure. Though I would have preferred a more engaging mystery and characters I could feel invested in, it’s recommended if the historical aspects or the safari backdrop catches your eye.

#ScifiMonth Waiting on Wednesday 11/09/22

Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that first originated at Breaking the Spine but has since linked up with “Can’t Wait Wednesday” at Wishful Endings now that the original creator is unable to host it anymore. Either way, this fun feature is a chance to showcase the upcoming releases that we can’t wait to get our hands on!

Mogsy’s Pick

Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini (May 16, 2023 by Tor Books)

A new blockbuster science fiction adventure from world-wide phenomenon and #1 New York Times bestseller Christopher Paolini, set in the world of New York Times and USA Today bestseller To Sleep in a Sea of Stars.

July 25th, 2234: The crew of the Adamura discovers the Anomaly.

On the seemingly uninhabited planet Talos VII:a circular pit, 50 kilometers wide.

Its curve not of nature, but design.

Now, a small team must land and journey on foot across the surface to learn who built the hole and why.

But they all carry the burdens of lives carved out on disparate colonies in the cruel cold of space.

For some the mission is the dream of the lifetime, for others a risk not worth taking, and for one it is a desperate attempt to find meaning in an uncaring universe.

Each step they take toward the mysterious abyss is more punishing than the last.

And the ghosts of their past follow.”

*  All SciFi Month artwork courtesy of Simon Fetscher.