Song Of Blue follows a child soldier trying to survive a brutal far future reality where an ageless king rules thousands of planets. Blu joins the king’s army in an attempt to escape his harsh life and is sent to quell a rebellion off world, where he learns that he has just traded in one gang life for another. Blu is forced to pick a side in a world with no easy choices.
Author J.A. Ebonlight’s uniquely gritty writing style captivated me from the start of this thrilling science fiction novel. This is a fascinating literary hybrid with a storyline I would normally find in contemporary urban fantasy, but set in the far future where humans inhabit thousands of worlds. I detected tones throughout this entertaining story that reminded me of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein, or another great sicfi writer John Scalzi, with unique views on humanity and deep commentary or society in a compelling and introspective story.
Blu is an intriguing and contemplative character, a bit of a trope, but grounded and endearing enough for me to be fully invested in his character throughout the story. Song of Blue is an ambitious story, edging into the epic science fiction genre with its particular world building, but remaining accessible with its simple but engaging language and dialogue. Author J.A. Ebonlight does a fantastic job of ensuring his characters feel as real as possible, which is important in a far future science fiction story involving aliens, and I appreciated the how easy flowing the dialogue was.
Song of Blue is a riveting space opera that will satisfy any science fiction fan looking for a space marine story that reaches far enough out of the genre to feel new. J.A. Ebonlight provides readers with a unique perspective in a story that is dark, imaginative and thought-provoking.
Pages: 209 | ASIN: B08W1ZHB82
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In The Martian Hermitage by Blair Wylie the earth continues to deteriorate as natural calamities wipe out the last vestiges of civilization. Mars is a dry, infertile and hostile place but it has more resources than the moon. The people in the Moon base are stranded, and are preparing to evacuate and head to Mars. But Mars had been visited before by a noble race who rescued and studied a Christian roman centurion. More heroes will be needed since the benevolent alien race is fleeing an evil alien race.
Blair Wylie’s intellectually invigorating science fiction books always seem to have something new in each. This is a story filled with wonderfully detailed observations and a mixture of thrilling events, drama and action. I am beyond impressed with this book. The characters are consistently intriguing, ensuring that readers are engaged throughout a story that has great pace and depth.
In this piece of literature the story revolves around a diverse group of human beings who will do everything and anything in order to survive in an extremely dangerous world that is full of violence and hostility. This world is threatened by aliens who want to invade it. There are people in the Moon base who are secretly plotting to leave the moon and go to Mars. But Mars is not as it seems. This developments brings a unique twist that sets an enigmatic and contemplative tone throughout this adventurous novel.
The author convincingly writes futuristic science fiction that feels fanciful yet still grounded. I think the key to Blair Wylie’s engaging writing style is the ability to create characters that feel grounded and are easy to empathize with, if not relate to, and this drives us forward through some wild plot twists.
The Martian Hermitage delivers fantastic science fiction, world building, and engaging enigmas in a unique way that I’ve come to expect in Blair Wylie’s novels. Fans of Blair’s earlier works will find his writing finely honed to deliver more of what they love, in a story that is as cerebral as it is entertaining.
Pages: 262 | ISBN: 978-1-784660-95-8
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Samantha was only sixteen when her sister Abby took her on an exciting journey through space to live on a new planet. She couldn’t be happier, until her eighteenth birthday, when the king declares she must accept the claim of a Raiden warrior. No one will stand up for her right to choose a mate for herself, not even Abby, until a magnificent dragon shifter drops out of the sky, offering Sam sanctuary with his clan.
When Seraphym’s niece is abducted and claimed against her will by a sadistic Raiden prince, he vows to one day take vengeance against the House of Nekbet. Two years later, he witnesses another young female, this one human, fighting off the advances of a Raiden warrior. Seraphym can’t say no when Samantha begs him for help. He refuses to stand by and do nothing while another innocent life is ruined.
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A Country Among Countries is a political thriller inside of a space opera that’s filled with intriguing characters up against tough obstacles. What was the initial idea behind this story and how did it change as you wrote?
There were two story elements that needed to be accomplished. The first was winding down the incidents at Ganymede, and the second was getting the majority of characters to Mars because of the approaching mid-series conclusion in the next book. It was tough for me, and don’t feel like I’ve told half the story that I wanted to tell in this particular novel. One major events in the story is the rejection of Mat’s ore at A40, thus leading to the decision to go to Mars.
The story is filled with intriguing characters. Who was your favorite character to write for?
Ludwick or Mat. Ludwick because he’s so easy to write, and Mat because of his personal values.
The science inserted in the fiction, I felt, was well balanced. How did you manage to keep it grounded while still providing the fantastic edge science fiction stories usually provide?
Well I did do my research with regards to propulsion, fuel, speed, orbit and gravity. I like novels with ‘real science’ in them, but because it’s fiction you can hedge a little bit. But it is a balance. I believe my audience is educated, and they’ll know when I push the tech too far out of bounds. I just tried to make it as realistic as possible without the benefit of an engineering PHD.
This is book three in your Harmony series. What can readers expect in book four?
Rashomon’s War will conclude this part of the series. The events surrounding Modi’s take over of Mars will likely be quick, and the majority of the story will be found in the resolutions for the characters, and most of those were determined by Book 2, Year of the Child. (psst. then we start again in a new timeline.)
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A Country Among Countries by R.L. Dean is a science fiction thriller with deep socio-political commentary. The lives of many characters are intertwined and move towards a satisfying climax. Tetsuya is concerned with ideas of justice and duties and carries the burden of his past mistakes as a cop. Misaki and Middleton are caught up in a complicated game of loyalty and trust where neither can give up their secrets without harming the other. Compton is a soldier struggling with the pressure of tough decisions that lay ahead of him. The UN is intending the economic ruin of Mars by creating a dependence on the businesses on Earth. All of them are connected through Ganymede, a planet where the assassination of Governor Jung had occurred.
There are interesting illustrations woven throughout by R.L. Dean that builds a delightful tension before the chapters. All the characters are given a rich inner life. All their motivations and behavior came from a natural place. I almost felt like I was part of their group, and that is definitely the biggest strength of this book. The characters are three-dimensional and feel alive that you can’t help but feel that this is happening somewhere in an alternate universe. The banter between Asha and her dad was endearing and adorable. There’s also a lot of diversity in the characters- even though some of their origins are not explicitly mentioned, a variety of cultures are portrayed in a realistic manner. In the science fiction that I have encountered, this is a pretty uncommon element, but greatly appreciated. On the flip side, there are hordes of characters present in this book. So it was a little hard keeping track of all of them, but I found that making a note of their names and the relations in a text file helped.
Of course, since it is a science fiction novel, there were some fantastic and fascinating gadgets and devices- like the air recycler systems and the “boxes of water” in hatch pads. I was intrigued by the descriptions of the different spaceships and the inter-space transportation. There are some parts of the story that felt like a commentary on the ongoing political situation in some countries. Especially when a character shares the same name as a leader of one of the most populous countries in the world. However, this didn’t bother me much as the fictional aspect is obviously kept at the forefront.
A Country Among Countries is a thrilling space adventure, with something in it for everyone, especially for people interested in examining the modern political world from a new perspective.
Pages: 265 | ASIN: B08PSBYZB2
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Change by NG Nelson is the first book in a riveting science fiction saga. This fast-paced story takes place over many worlds. The novel follows Major Patricea Markis and her journey to protect the young prince, Kal Jerran. This is a captivating story of warring dynasties, there are themes of myths, legends, loyalty and deception. Allegiances are tested and questioned, and betrayal is frequent. Change is rife with action to keep the reader hooked, including violence, seduction and assassination. The continuous action ensures Change is an energetic read.
Change has numerous characters that narrate each chapter but overall the story follows the path of Major Patriciea Markis who is charged with the difficult task of protecting the young prince Kal Jerran and evading the forces of the New Imperium. However, there are also many other important characters, such as Paul and Bernadette from Earth, Hellia, a journalist, Vel Toyan, Ral Dannan and Martial Varian. Nelson’s clever use of vocabulary and dialogue help to distinguish between the many characters and their worlds. The characters are further defined by the outfits and descriptions of body language and physical characteristics, ensuring each character is fully developed and easily distinguishable. The rich descriptions of the setting throughout the story appeal to the reader’s sense of sound and sight. The worlds are like characters in their own right. This is an epic space opera with a universe that feels large and intriguing, reminiscent of the Frank Herbert’s Dune series.
Like any good science fiction tale, the story is filled science fiction trappings: teleportation, inter galactic travel, and holograms. Coupled with this and interwoven into the story are the trappings of royal life; servants, military protection and ladies in waiting. These are further juxtaposed with the description and narration of Paul and Bernadette and their everyday life on Earth. These stark contrasts between lives add to the multifaceted story being told.
Change is an enthralling space adventure novel that will appeal to fantasy and science fiction fans alike. Thoughtful world building, intriguing characters, and high stakes ensure readers are consistently entertained.
Pages: 232 | ASIN: B08PTFP27D
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The Guardian War Chronicles Vol I follows a brash truck stop intendant as she is unwillingly thrust into a game of cat and mouse with the fate of the universe in the balance. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?
I’ve always enjoyed the written word. It had been a dream of mine to write a book and tell a story my way, with my own voice. To be honest, and not intentionally confusing, “Vol II” had always been the first book in the series. Vol II (for now we’ll call it RISE) was edited, the artwork was in process, ready to publish, but something didn’t feel right. I was pleased with RISE and was told it was a fun read (staying in the vein of science fiction/action adventure) by my editors and beta readers, and I was ready to commit, but something was out of place.
That was… back in 2016.
The Surrender Game (the new Vol I) then became the backstory (an epic prologue), to what would become the rest of the series, continuing with RISE as Vol II. And the series title “The Guardian War Chronicles” came into existence.
I had a “what if” idea, and one day after work, I sat down at the computer and started putting the pieces together.
I come to the hard realization after RISE was completed, certain “items” needed more context and definition. The contents of the black backpack needed some explanation. Specific characters (even the “villains” perhaps) needed to be fleshed out a bit more. The Surrender Game became my outlet to unify all those things I believed were missing/lacking in the bigger story.
I’ve always been a huge fan of high energy, fast moving, quick pace, rapid-fire, snappy dialogue, action packed content, and never letting up for a second. I’m a child of the 80’s, a teen of the nineties, raised with Star Wars, Star Trek, adventure flicks, cop/buddy movies, and science fiction novels and comic books of the time, and in those make-believe places, I found my escapes. Those faraway locations in my imagination were what guided me to want to tell my own stories, generate my own characters and “bad guys” from the ground up, build places and make things, and create my own universe from scratch. Staying inside that lane I’m comfortable and familiar with. Always being myself.
I wrote these books initially for my own personal enjoyment. Writing has always been a hobby and a coping mechanism for me. I had never thought of publishing, until I was instructed by a trusted friend in the author community that I should publish my work.
I longed to write something in which the reader “wants” to turn the page, read every line, and itch to read the line after, and be curious to what happens next. I wanted to write a story “I” could read and get lost in. I wanted to create something that doesn’t let up, has the appropriate cliffhanger moments, and has that same high energy I enjoy. Even those areas where the story slows down momentarily, are not slow for very long. I desired a certain uniqueness with different characters, a level of fun, mysteriousness, excitement, on edge, gritty, with a mystical/mythological/fantasy quality. Sticking with what I know.
Liberty Bell is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?
I’ve always been of the belief that we are all products of our environment, and life experiences. Who we are, what we’ve become, is an amalgamation of everything we have been through, and experienced personally throughout our lifetime, good or bad, up to this exact moment in time. When High Intendant Liberty Bell was in early stages of character creation, (believe-it-or-not), she was the anthesis, mirror opposite, to the character you’re familiar with, today.
She was in her late twenties, sweet, loving, caring, yet stern with her subordinates when necessary, but kind to all she interacts with… giving, selfless. Prim and proper. Dressed to the nines. Immaculate quarters. Decorative/pretty surroundings. Always willing to do the right thing. Stepping on no one to get ahead in life.
One night while working on her back story development I had a moment where I said to myself, “Nope. The High Intendant of Truckstop One, Liberty Bell, is not the sweet, “southern belle,” bed-and-breakfast owner, accommodating rig pilots and local truckers with a gracious attitude; always smiling and pleasant to be around.
It had to be the opposite. Her life experiences, environment, early teenage trauma, those “Markena” encounters, the routine and reality of her lifestyle, the dangerous unpredictable setting within the walls of her Truckstop, mixed with the isolation and permanency of being a fueling station owner/operator, her shady “friends” and colleagues of the industry, the stress, would eventually mold her into something a bit more hard, forthright, no-nonsense, brash, and perhaps a bit self-centered. Tyreel would say to her, “we’ll create an empire in Truckstop One, Liberty. Trust me. But to create an empire, one needs to think like an emperor.”
Tyreel had a large role to play in her development as well. She was forced to rely on his expertise and advice in the early years. She had to trust him and believe what he said was true. With Tyreel’s daily influence, the ongoing training, being that little voice always whispering in her ear, helping Liberty find that respect and level of success she so desperately wanted; Tyreel played a large part in her growth over the span of thirty (backstory) years. She became a product of her environment. She became “honest”.
What were some themes you wanted to focus on in this book?
I do believe the “good versus evil” dynamic is an obvious prevalent theme throughout the novel, however, I wanted to wiggle free from the stereotypical hero(s) versus villain(s) concept and play around with the idea of, “what if those lines of good and evil are not clearly defined? What if the villain is right? What if ‘doing the right thing’ is vague, and doing the wrong thing for all the right reasons could be a foggy area, difficult to navigate? I wanted to explore that area of thought and the repercussions of those choices made.
Which then led into some of the other themes I enjoyed exploring: Love, friendship, sacrifice. How would we react and respond to certain situations, and how far are we willing to go? Is there truly a gray area regarding ethics? Are my characters willing to cross that line, and if so, what is the outcome or potential outcome? What is the villain capable of? Is there really such a thing as a no-win scenario? What could happen if the rules of the game are always in flux and open to interpretation? Is there really an “at all costs” mentality? I’m hoping I pulled that off with the Surrender Game. I’d like to believe Liberty navigated those paradoxes and self-discoveries in the only way she knows how.
This is volume one in The Guardian War series. What can readers expect in volume II?
I included the first chapter of Vol II, at the end of the Surrender Game, to allow a glimpse into what could happen next or where the story potential could possibly lead in the future. Allowing some room for reader imagination (while waiting for its release, stay tuned) and hoping the reader desires to remain in my universe to find out what happens next. The overall story, over the span of the series, is quite large and all ends need a beginning. Vol II splays out the foundation to how the story will be told moving forward. Vol II is the true beginning to the grand tale. Keeping with the same pace and action as the Surrender Game.
The Surrender Game ends, in what some have described as a bit “uncomfortable”, “a gasper” and that was the intention. Vol II provides some breathing room after the uncomfortable gasper and takes the reader elsewhere for a time, but never deviating from the storyline.
Readers can expect more action, more unique characters, science fiction content, twists and turns, and maybe some of those mystical, mythological fantasy type facets of the story, will begin to take shape.
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The Guardian War Chronicles, Volume I. The Surrender Game, by Jeremy Morang, is a science fiction novel that revolves around a distinct struggle to reach an ancient piece of weapon. This weapon is a symbol of dominance and authority and confers power and glory over the person who possesses it. Liberty Bell is a High Intendant of the Truck Shop One fueling station. She is wealthy, brash, straight-forward, greedy, a gambler, rude, and an alcoholic vapor addict. By accident, she gets involved in the struggle of the Guardians to reach a fragment which is a small part of the powerful ancient weapon. Liberty Bell gets stuck in this fight with little more than a clue, as the fragment of the sacred weapon is delivered to her house by chance. This puts the entire universe out of balance. The guardians of the weapon want to have it and Liberty is standing between their goals. They are coming for her at her truck shop to reclaim it and continue on their quest of ultimate glory.
The Guardian War Chronicles, Volume 1. The Surrender Game is the first in, what promises to be, an epic science fiction adventure story. Author Jeremy Morang’s thrilling space opera is a unique fit in a packed genre. Liberty Bell is an intriguing character that is well defined within a short amount of time, which is great because things move rather quickly after the opening scenes. With little time to waste readers are thrust into a universe of danger and mysticism that feels as if it is only barely revealed in this story.
Liberty Bell is a lot of things, pick your adjective, but she is definitely a character who’s rough charm grows on you, and once you take a liking she is easy to root for. It is nice to have a grounded character in a story with dense lore.
This novel reminds me a bit of the movie Legion with Dennis Quaid, add in a bit of the movie Priest with Paul Bettany and you’ve got a story that knows how to setup intriguing characters and propel them through an action filled adventure. The Guardian War Chronicles, Volume I. The Surrender Game is a riveting novel that is consistently entertaining. I can’t wait for volume II.
Pages: 257 | ASIN: B08P5QC6N5
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