Thursday, October 13, 2011

Starship Troopers

In my last post, I mentioned that I reread The Ghost Brigades by Jon Scalzi. This in turn prompted me to reread Heinlein's classic, Starship Troopers. Both are great military scifi novels. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to tackle Troopers at the beach (It’s getting a bit cold for that!).  If you haven't gotten around to reading this one, you need to.

Much has been written about Troopers in the decades since it was first published so I'll spare you an in-depth analysis. It touches on a variety of themes such as suffrage, militarism, politics, and more.

Basically, Juan Rico is a member of the Mobile Infantry, fighting an interstellar war between humanity and some arachnid aliens known as the "Bugs", and their allies, the "Skinnies". The novel details Rico's enlistment, training, and rise in rank in the military. The novel features a mix of action sequences, in which Rico's team battle hostile aliens, and Rico's classroom studies in both high school and Officer Candidate School.

While it's not such a light beach read, Starship Troopers is fun and has some meat to it. It's great for a book club or someone looking for a novel with substance.

I recommended Starship Troopers to Paul Aridas, a friend and frequent contributor to this blog. Here's what he had to say:
"Adam recommended I read Starship Troopers, arguing that Heinlein’s piece is essential reading from 1950’s science fiction canon.  I agree with his endorsement. It’s not as sophisticated a work as Catch-22 or as emotionally taut as The Things They Carried but it is enjoyable nonetheless.  Ender’s Game was influenced by this work, and those familiar with any of the aforementioned novels will be able to see the connections of structure and theme.” -Paul Aridas
Stop by the library and pick up a copy.

Thanks for reading.
-Adam Delaura

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Ghost Brigades

On my most recent trip to the beach, I opted to reread The Ghost Brigades by Jon Scalzi, the sequel to Old Man's War. It's a fast-paced military science fiction novel; the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing day in the sun.

The novel tells the story of the life and death of Jared Dirac, a cloned, genetically-engineered super-soldier. Basically, a trio of hostile alien races has united against humanity with the help of a traitorous human scientist named Charles Boutin. The scientist faked his death and defected for reasons unknown. Mr. Boutin’s scientific focus is on consciousness transfers and on computers implanted into soldier’s brains called BrainPals.

In order to better understand the threat facing humanity and find the renegade scientist, the Colonial Defense Forces clone Charles Boutin’s body. They attempt to transfer his consciousness (found saved on a computer drive) into the cloned body. The transfer doesn’t work. The clone of Charles Boutin is then renamed Jared Dirac and it’s given to the Ghost Brigades, an elite force within the Colonial Defense Force. Within a short period of time, Charles Boutin’s memories begin surfacing in Jared Dirac’s mind.

Many questions are raised in the novel such as; will Dirac remain loyal to his Ghost Brigade companions? Will the consciousness of Charles Boutin take over? Can Dirac learn the location of Boutin through the revealed memories? Does Dirac have free will? There’s a good amount of suspense as the story unfolds.  

I found this novel to be quite enjoyable and I would recommend it to any scifi or military action fan.

Stop by the library and pick up a copy.

Also, if you liked The Ghost Brigades then you should read our review of another Scalzi novel, The God Engines

Thanks for reading!
-Adam Delaura

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Death Star: Beach Ball of Death

Here’s another quick beach read, Star Wars: Death Star, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry. While this wasn't the best Star Wars novel I had ever read, it did spark a conversation among my friends about the engineering and technological challenges to building a Death Star in real life.

Star Wars: Death Star tells the story of the original Death Star, mostly from the perspective of the soldiers and employees aboard the massive space station. (I can't help but wonder if the authors were influenced by that scene in Clerks) There are a whole bunch of characters such as, a Tie fighter pilot, a storm trooper, a gunner in command of the Death Star's super laser, some cantina workers, and a station design engineer. Unfortunately there were too many for me to keep track of and most of them I just didn't care about. (Nova, a storm trooper with a conscience, was the only exception.)

This book was pretty average to me. Nothing special,but not complete garbage either. While reading it, I felt like I was reading the script for some deleted scenes in A New Hope. However, it did serve its purpose for me as a beach read. It fit in well between swimming and arguing over which Jedi is the "best".

If you're a diehard Star Wars fan then you should read Death Star. Others should skip it. I'm just glad to know how that thermal exhaust port was left unshielded!

Stop by the library and pick up a copy.

Thanks for reading. Leave questions and comments below.
-Adam Delaura

Thursday, August 18, 2011


For me, the summer is all about sitting on the beach and reading a book. In my next few posts I'm going to highlight a handful of books I tackled while soaking up some sun.

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived, by Paul S. Kemp, takes place at a dark time. The Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic have been engaged in a long, costly war. Neither side is capable of defeating the other. It seems like a stalemate, until a daring surprise attack on the Republic capital of Coruscant, led by the cunning Sith lord, Darth Malgus.

The attack takes even the Jedi by surprise. As a reult, many Jedi are killed, including Jedi Master Zallow. Coruscant is quickly subdued and the Jedi Temple is destroyed. Darth Malgus hopes that this will hasten end of the Republic and the Jedi.

Malgus is furious when he learns that the Sith Emperor is engaging in peace talks with the Republic. He believes that only through conflict can one achieve a greater understanding of the dark side of the Force. Darth Malgus feels the Sith will weaken themselves if they make peace.

The destruction of the Jedi Temple does more than just give the Sith a bargaining chip at the negotiating table. It ignites a fire of vengeance within the Jedi, Aryn Leneer. She believes the Jedi are failing to respond appropriately to the destruction of the Temple.   She decides to leave the Jedi Order intent on hunting down the Sith lord who killed her master, the fallen Master Zallow. 

The one person Aryn knows who can get her through the Sith blockade of Coruscant is her old friend Zeerid, a smuggler who is in debt to a group of criminals. As fate would have it, Aryn runs into Zeerid shortly after he is forced to accept a job smuggling spice, a highly addictive narcotic, to Coruscant.

This book is full of edge-of-your-seat action and suspense. A rival criminal gang is trying to stop Zeerid's smuggling run, Darth Malgus is unsure of why the Jedi have sent a clandestine operative to Coruscant, and Aryn doesn't know exactly who killed her master. There are shoot-outs, space battles, and epic light saber fights. There's even a shuttle that crashes into the Jedi Temple, filled with dark Jedi, who leap out and start kicking Jedi-butt. What's not to like about that? ... As a bonus, Darth Malgus is an interesting villain, not your average two-dimensional bad guy.

I would recommend Deceived to anyone interested in SciFi, even if you're not a Star Wars fan.

Stop by the library and pick up a copy.

As always, thanks for reading. Leave questions and comments below.
-Adam Delaura

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shadow's Son

Shadow’s Sonby Jon Sprunk, is very cliché. The run-of-the-mill assassin, Caim, is an orphan with an unknown past and mysterious power.  Caim accepts a job even though he has a bad feeling about it. When he arrives to complete his mission, he finds his target already dead.  That’s when Josey enters the room; the spoiled, naïve daughter of Caim’s target. Fragile Josey barely issues a scream before some other assassins enter the room intent on disposing of Caim and Josey.  They escape from the assassins and form an unlikely partnership as they attempt to find out who set Caim up and who killed Josey’s father. Naturally these two develop romantic feelings for each other, which in turn, makes Caim’s ghost companion jealous… I could go on but you get the point.
Despite Sprunk’s reliance on clichés, I found Shadow’s Son to be a quick and entertaining read. Sprunk’s fantasy world was more interesting to me than his characters. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to reading the recently published sequel Shadow’s Lure. If you’re looking for something to read at the beach, stop by the library and pick up Shadow’s Son.
Here are two other reviews of Shadow’s Son:

As Always, Thanks for reading. Leave questions and comments below
-Adam Delaura

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Discovery of Witches

Today's review comes from Marie Enud, a frequent contributer. Enjoy...

As soon as I finished devouring all 579 pages of A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah harkness, I wanted to start reading it again.  If Anne Rice’s vampire Lestat morphed the Twilight Saga into Harry Potter and added a little alchemy, it would become this tale. The sheer magnitude of this story is told with a sustained pace of depth and intelligence.  Harkness creates a modern world where daemons, witches, vampires must navigate their legacy of complicated alliances and genealogies or face extinction. The facts and folklore of science and history lend a credibility to this story that is absent among lesser writers, and simpler tales.  For those seeking an intellectual antidote to the recent pop-culture “non-human creature craze,” look no further.
The tapestry of this story begins with Diana’s discovery of Ashmole 782, a long forgotten text that “appears” as she pursues academic research on alchemy.  The appearance, and then subsequent re-disappearance, of this book trigger an invitation for other-worldly creatures, danger, and adventure to invade the University where Diana teaches.  Those who love the archaeology of literature will delight in the moments when Diana Bishop (the witch) peruses Matthew Clairmont’s (the vampire) exquisite library.  Lovers of history will delight in the ruins and archeology that bind the characters.  Lovers of love stories will enjoy the intense yet meandering pace with which Diana and Matthew discover each other.
Never indulgent, Harkness guides the mystery of this book expertly.  Ending at a pivotal plot point, I imagine a sequel will be eminent. Until then, I am content to re-read and cherish this magical tale of imaginative alchemy. 
-Marie Enud

As always, thanks for reading. Questions and comments are encouraged below.
-Adam Delaura

Also checkout:
A Discovery of Witches (Audio Book)

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Today's review of Dreadnought, by Cherie Priest, comes from Paul Aridas. Enjoy...

In this sequel to Boneshaker, (previously reviewed here), Cherie Priest returns to the Steampunk world of Civil War America.  Except it’s East Coast Civil War America, where the edition of  Mercy Lynch, nurse-heroine-extraordinaire,  creates a completely different—albeit equally appealing—perspective of this unique world.  Cherie isn’t quiet Briar Wilkes, but she maintains a robust disposition whenever adversity strikes, repeatedly endearing her to the reader.

As Mercy embarks on a scandalously solo cross country trip to visit her dying father, she meets a cast of characters whose veiled motivations complicate her simple goal to reach Seattle. Mercy allies herself with a Texan named Horatio Korman, and together they begin to unravel the uncertainties and dangers emerging on their locomotive.

Intriguing as these relationships are, the story wanes in the middle. The perpetual threat of the Shenandohah, an enemy train, and the never-ending speculation about the mysterious cargo aboard the Dreadnought become redundant. Since the vampiric complications of gas, blight, and yellow tar addiction are just emerging on the East Coast, they are new to these characters…but not for readers who devoured Boneshaker----those fans will wish Priest had opted for tighter editing within these chapters. 

In the end, the book concludes brilliantly.  It’s worth finishing the novel to enjoy the moment when Mercy meets Zeke and Briar Wilkes, plus Lucy O’Gunning, and Andan Clay. It’s a reunion that hopefully foreshadows another steampunk novel set in this world.

~Paul Aridas

As always, thanks for reading. Questions and comments are encouraged below.
-Adam Delaura

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught

In The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught, Admiral Geary is back in command of the Alliance fleet, this time on a mission to explore the territory controlled by the mysterious Enigma race. Fans of the previous novels will no doubt enjoy this installment of Black Jack Geary commanding the fleet from the flagship Dauntless. For Geary and his familiar side-kicks, confronting the Enigma race proves difficult. The Enigmas are secretive and go out of their way to prevent the Alliance Fleet from learning anything about them. In addition to the Enigma race, the fleet faces challenges to Geary’s command, and politicians who would rather see them fail.
Like previous novels in the series, this one is full of tense fleet battles, political maneuvering, and close calls. If you like the others in this then you should definitely stop by the library to pick this one up.

Here are some links to other reviews of this book:

You can also read our previous review of the Lost Fleet series here.
As Always, thanks for reading. Leave your questions and comments below.
-Adam Delaura

Thursday, May 12, 2011

If Dickens designed Star Wars...

Today’s review comes from Paul Aridas, a relative newcomer to the SciFi genre. Read his take on Frank Herbert’s classic, Dune.

William Styron’s quote, “A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end.  You live several lives while reading it”, is true when it comes to the experience of reading Dune by Frank Herbert.

It is immediately apparent, early in the novel, that it is a book that is meant to be savored: slowly, meticulously digested by the reader with a standing invitation to rediscover the book again and again at a later date, each time garnering something new from the pages. Dune is when of those books, where, when someone asks, “What is it about?” a solid half an hour is required to answer. 

There is the basic plot: new conquerors of a planet must adjust to the precarious political situation of a new life….but this is also a story of family, betrayal, politics, religion, humanity, ecology, power, mysticism, and legacy. The details unfold in a systematic way, but lend themselves to multiple interpretations, depending on the reader, and the particular character’s perspective they have chosen to embrace.  This journey differs when comparatively seen through the eyes of Paul, the beliefs of  Jessica and the Bene Gesserit, the prophecy of Muad’Dib, and the political alliances of the Baron.  The adventure evolves into a complicated series of alliances with epic consequences when the  Fremen, the worms, Paul and Chani’s love story, and the wretched climate all begin to intersect.

From a lesser author, this book would be a mess. In Herbert’s hands, it is a masterpiece.  If Dickens designed Star Wars, this would be the result.  From the intricate details of the planet’s ecology to the historical narrative of  Princess Irulan, this book is well thought out and brilliantly layered in complexity.  My reading registry is more complete for having discovered this title, and I look forward to continuing the adventure with the other novels within the Dune series.

Paul Aridas

Stop by the library to checkout Dune in a variety of formats.

As always, thanks for reading. Leave questions and comments below.

-Adam Delaura

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Song of the Dragon

The Song of the Dragon, by Tracy Hickman, opens up with the final battle between a mighty elven empire and the last dwarven king.  Drakis and his companions, all of them slave warriors of the elven empire, fight their way to the Ninth Throne and kill the last dwarven king. It is a great victory for them and it will bring honor to their elven master, Lord Timuran. Unfortunately things begin to go downhill for Drakis and his companions.
After the dwarves are defeated the elven warriors turn on one other, each trying to claim the dwarven crown for their master. The crown is lost in the chaos and Drakis’ cohort is left with nothing to bring back to their master except a rather annoying dwarven fool.
Things get worse when the warriors arrive home; House Timuron’s Aether Well gets destroyed during the Devotion ceremony. The Aether Well is the source of elven magic and it is what allows the elves to control their slaves. Each slave’s memories are manipulated and controlled by the Devotion spell in a way that makes the slaves want to serve their master. With the Aether Well destroyed, all of the slaves remember everything they had been forced to forget.
Drakis and a group of slaves flee north lead by the song he hears in his head. Along the way each former slave grapples with their newly remembered memories. Most of them are shocked when they remember the things they have done in the past. Adding to the tension is the fact that Drakis and his companions are strangers to each other. Also one of them is marking their trail, allowing the elves to follow them.
Normally a few escaped slaves wouldn’t be such a big deal for the elves. However many people think that Drakis will fulfill an ancient prophecy and destroy the elven empire. Various power groups attempt to capitalize on this idea. Drakis himself disbelieves the prophecy but that doesn’t stop others from using it to their advantage.
Drakis is a classic reluctant hero. He is also a static character. In fact, most of the characters are static. By the end I was tired of Drakis’ repetitive reluctance. Regardless, my favorite character is the dwarven fool. By the end of the book I still wasn’t sure if he believed in the prophecy or if he was manipulating Drakis in order to get revenge on the elves.
The Song of the Dragon is a fast-paced, epic fantasy adventure. I recommend it to any fantasy reader; seasoned readers or those new to the genre.
Stop by the library or place it on hold today. (It's also availible as an audio book!)

Thanks for reading. Questions and comments are encouraged below.
-Adam Delaura

Thursday, April 14, 2011

House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves is not a science fiction of fantasy book. In fact, I’m not sure what to call this book. Nevertheless I feel compelled to share my experience with it. House of Leaves is a bizarre, psychological-horror-puzzle that will make your head explode if you try to understand it all.

House of Leaves is about many things although on the surface it provides a pseudo-scholarly examination of a documentary film that may or may not be fictitious. The subject of the documentary film is a house that is larger on the inside than on the outside. Terrible things happen inside this house as the owner and film maker, Navidson, documents his exploration of the extra-dimensional spaces found within the house. The house is possibly alive and it is constantly changing. Hallways and doors change without notice. For example, traveling down a staircase may take only a few seconds but travelling back up that same stairway might take days.

This hardly describes the true plot of this book. The House of Leaves is a fictional book about a fictional film, however in the margins and on several pages are the thoughts of other characters, Zampano and Jonny Truant, who are “reading” House of Leaves and trying to understand it. This act of comprehending the House of Leaves kills Zampano and horrifies Truant. In fact, the introduction to the book is a warning from Truant.

The book has a most unconventional setup. First, it’s filled with various footnotes and references to academic journals, magazines, and scholarly writings; most of which do not exist. Second, there is a separate type-face used to notate the various characters thoughts. Additionally the book has passages in many languages, English, German, Latin, Russian, Braille, and possibly others. There are seemingly random lists of things, passages printed backwards and written in code, entire lines that are struck through, and some very creative page layout. Also the word “house” is always printed in blue.

One could easily write an entire book just trying to explain House of Leaves. Nevertheless it’s worth reading if you are interested in an unconventional novel. Stop by the library and check it out

Thanks for reading. Questions and comments are encouraged.

-Adam Delaura

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Troubled Waters

Today’s review of Sharon Shinn’s Troubled Waters was written by Marie Enud, a new contributor to this blog.

Readers of historical fiction and lovers of Royal family sagas who want to venture into the world of Science Fiction will enjoy this crossover novel.  Within the first few chapters, it is immediately evident that a woman is telling this tale, and I mean that as compliment.  Shinn’s writing style allows her main character to blossom as a result of circumstances and reflection.  Many male writers of this Science Fiction prefer to ascribe leadership traits to women without explaining how they arrived at that particular perspective.  As a reader, I trust a character more when I know how they’ve evolved into the person they are when I first meet them in the narrative.  Shinn does this wonderfully.  Zoe is believable, first as the reluctant heir to a legacy she believed long abandoned, and then as a woman who embraces her future, learning as she goes.
Earth elements and Random Blessings play a critical role in the beliefs of these characters. Bestowed as horoscopes of guidance and good will, these traits shape both personality and circumstance within the story. This helps the novel to embrace the magical/fantasy side of science fiction, and allows Zoe to experiment with her own special powers.
                And then, of course, there is Darien. Steadfast and loyal, a Hunti man to the core, he provides the perfect balance to Zoe’s Coru tendencies of impetuous decisions and emotional responses.  As two characters whose fates intertwine because of a promise, these companions, first burdened with responsibility, eventually evolve into equitable partners for each other.  Along the way, there are Royal lineage betrayals, a flood of epic proportions, and interweaving storylines with townspeople who both befriend and betray the main characters. 
                This is a novel that moves quickly, explains things well, and leaves the reader wondering what happens next in the lives of Darien and Zoe.

Marie Enud

Thanks for reading. Leave your questions and comments below.
-Adam Delaura

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Early Work of PKD

One of our frequent contributors, Tom C. Smith, offers this review of The Early Work of Philip K. Dick Volume 1: The Variable Man and Other Stories.

Picking up The Early Work of Philip K. Dick you might mistakenly think that it’s going to be light reading.  After all, it’s just a bunch of short stories, no heavy weight novels.  Hah!  Partially because the reading is easy, no prolonged descriptions, no academic vocabulary.  More likely though, the short story format makes for immediate action and dialog that leads you on.  Until you get to the end of the story and you find yourself re-reading the last several pages, making sure that you ‘get it’.  Take for instance the first story, Beyond Lies the Wub, within two or three pages your curiosity grabs hold.  You think the Wub, a giant pig in appearance, is an amusing creature whose primary interest for a spaceship crew is dinner.  But that’s before the Wub starts talking about Ulysses and his quest to get back home.   How could an alien pig know about Ulysses you ask?

Story number two, The Gun, is also a space tale of a seemingly dead planet that had been the sight of a devastating nuclear war.  A war that had left the planet bereft of life a ‘pitted, fused, slag’ with nothing to say for itself.  Or was that truly the case?  After all, museums are full of culture but with no animated movement. Nasha, Tance and Dorle (typically off beat Philip K names) must make the call on this surprisingly fruitful exploratory trip.    

The 13th story, The Adjustment Team, is the basis of the recently released movie, The Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon & Emily Blunt.  The Adjustment Team is about as paranoid a tale as most writers can approach, but as we all know, Philip K was not ordinary writer.  His books were the first sci-fi books published by the Library of America.  That’s right, entertaining and literary.  In many ways, although there’s no drugs in evidence here, The Adjustment Team is a baby step towards dark internal horror sci-fi such as A Scanner Darkly, Ubik, and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich.   That being said, there is a kernel of romance (Ed & Ruth) in this well-constructed short story.  Although nothing to compare to the Damon and Blunt chemistry that sustains the worthwhile movie.  But then, the twist in the Movie is small potatoes compared to the ending of The Adjustment Team.

Read On!
Tom C Smith

If you enjoy The Early Work of Philip K. Dick then stop by the library to check out some of Dick's other writings:

Confessions of a Crap Artist
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Reviewed Here)
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
The Man in High Castle
The Man Whose Teeth were all Exactly Alike
A Scanner Darkly

And check out some films based on his work:
Minority Report

As always, thanks for reading. Leave your questions and comments below.
-Adam Delaura

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pluto on My Mind...

Today’s review is a bit of science fact rather than science fiction.  If you’re mildly interested in the night sky, outer space, or the Solar System, Pluto: Sentinel of the Outer Solar System by Barrie W. Jones is worth reading. It tells the story of the discovery of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto while explaining some basic principles of astronomy. What I enjoyed most about this book was the way in which it was written. The author’s explanation of astronomical concepts compliments the overall story of discovery. Better still are the sections of more complicated concepts; these are optional and not required to understand the rest of the story.

Overall I recommend this short non-fiction book to anyone who has a fleeting interest in astronomy, the Solar System, or scientific discovery. Stop by the library or place it on hold today. 

Thanks for reading. Questions and comments encouraged below.
-Adam Delaura

Interested in Pluto? Check out NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Horns of Ruin

Unfortunately it is impossible for me to read every new scifi/fantasy book that the library acquires. The Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers was recommended to me a few months ago though I haven’t had the time to read it. That being said, today I’m sharing some links to reviews of The Horns of Ruin. If any of you have read this book, your comments would be appreciated. “The plot is a familiar one, but the world the author creates brings the story to life”  “a unique fantasy adventure in a world all its own”

Fantasy & SciFi Lovin' News&Review: a “not so typical Steampunk adventure that includes swordplay, jetpacks, mystical powers… and undead enemies.”
The Mad Hatter’s review gave it 7.5 out of 10 stars: “The Horns of Ruin  is an energetic rollercoaster ride in a well accentuated world.”

Stop by the Library and checkout The Horns of Ruin. Thanks for reading. Questions and comments are encouraged below.

Friday, January 21, 2011


The Labyrinth Librarians are back from a rather long holiday break. We have a whole bunch of great SciFi and fantasy books to look forward to this year. Feel free to send us your sugestions for books we should purchase.

I had never read anything by Lois McMaster Bujold before picking up Cryoburn. I now feel compelled to read the previous novels in this series. While I’m sure it would have helped me better understand the plot of Cryoburn if I had read the previous books, I had no difficulty following the plot. That being said, Cryoburn turned out to be a well-paced space opera with plenty of corporate and political intrigue. I should also mention that I listened to this book during my commute rather than physically read it in my spare time. Thankfully the narrator’s voice was pleasant.
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan, the central character of the series, is dispatched to investigate the cryo-corporations on Kibou-Daini. These Cryo-corporations enable the citizens of Kibou to avoid death by freezing them in cryogenic stasis until a cure is found for whatever ails them. These frozen citizens maintain the right to vote which is signed over to the cryo-corporations who vote by proxy and therefore control the government of Kibou. Miles finds himself thrust into the middle of the political, economic, and social turmoil created by Kibou’s unique political system.

Much of the mystery in Cryoburn revolves around the political activist Lisa Sato. She was cryogenically frozen by the authorities under dubious circumstances following a political rally that turned violent. Mile’s attempt at recovering and reviving Madame Sato’s cryo-corpse turns out to be more difficult than anticipated. Added into the mix are corrupt cryo-corp executives who attempt to bribe Miles and cover up their actions, a secret cryo-facility being run by social outcasts, a violent political activist group without any real agenda, the questionable loyalty of the embassy staff, and a boy with a large collection of animals.

Cryoburn begins with a bizarre scene in which I began to doubt whether this was the right book for me. However I was hooked by the end of the first five minutes, even though I didn’t have any idea what was going on. It turns out that Miles had escaped from some disorganized political rebels who had drugged him in order to subdue him. All of the surreal details in the opening scene are Miles’ hallucinations. This wasn’t immediately clear to me and I felt like I was reading a Philip K. Dick novel.  I couldn’t easily go back and re-read the parts because I listened to the entire novel in my car. If I had a print copy of the book I could simply go back and re-read the section for more clarity.

Nevertheless Cryoburn is highly recommended to fans of the space opera genre. It’s a compelling investigative tail with enough twists to keep a reader interested. Check it out in both print and audio format.

As always questions and comments are encouraged below. Thanks for reading.

-Adam Delaura