Superhero Generations

29 03 2016

Author: Carrie Vaughn

After the Golden Age Dreams of the Golden Age

After the Golden Age
(9780765325556) April 2011
Dreams of the Golden Age
(9780765370105) January 2014

The first generation of superheroes in Commerce City are the result of a mind alteration experiment gone wrong. Their creation, though, is a good thing for the city. There may be a super villain or two, but the rest are dedicated to helping the city. Things start to unravel when their identities are revealed.

In book one, we have the story of the next generation. The estranged daughter of the 2 main super heroes, Celia, is the target of frequent abductions. She doesn’t have any powers, but the mind-reader of the team can always find her. This book culminates with the handing over of the reigns from the first gen super heroes to Celia, their daughter. Along the way the history of the super heroes (and villains) is revealed. A thoroughly engaging tale. Young Adult and above. Female lead character.

In book two, it’s the story of the 3rd generation of superheroes. Much younger, mid teens, just exploring their powers without their parents knowing. Not so. The parents give them free reign to explore their talents, without interfering. They watch though.

A new villain arrives from another city, with a collection of new supers that do not have the same loyalty to Commerce City. They are only discovered in the final chapters, when Celia is kidnapped, again. The final shootout between all the supers is quite exciting.

Again, the leads are female (villains older males).

Excellent reading. Read both books over Easter 2016.

Both tales are suitable for Young Adult readers. There are a lot of good YA targeted books out there that may not appear on the main SciFi/Fantasy shelves, and are great reads none-the-less. I got both books from Amazon as they weren’t available for kindle. The first came as a hardcover and the second as a paperback (with much smaller text, of course) – both at the same price.

Two tales of “Life Interrupted”

26 01 2013

Teenage AmnesiacMemoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
ISBN-13: 978-0312561284
Tags: Teen, Young Adult,
High School
Naomi’s accident results in amnesia. She can’t remember the last 4years – her parents divorce, mother’s remarriage, her new step-sister, her boyfriend/s. A good read. Memoirs-Teenage-Amnesiac-AMAZON







Torn By Stephanie Guerra

ISBN-13: 978-0761462729
Tags: Teen, Young Adult, High School
Ruby comes into Stella’s life, alienating her from her friends, and introducing her to a different lifestyle. Ruby leads a detatched sort of life, doing things that unsettle Stella, but she manages to not stray – much! A tame-ish story, and a pleasant read. Torn-Stephanie-Guerra-AMAZON

Torn is not as rich, in characters and story, as the Amnesiac tale.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac 3.5/5
Torn 3/5

Books read in 2012

2 09 2012

MyBooks last 12mths – 2012
This PDF is a preliminary list of the books I have read this year. I will add reviews soon.

More YA (Young Adult) authors have crept into my reading list. Some like Marissa Meyer and Veronica Rossi’s books are debut novels – both the beginnings of series that are expected to have sequels annually until done. L.E. Modesitt’s Magic of Recluce anniversary issue could be YA too, except for it being in the regular SciFi&Fantasy shelves instead of the special younger reader sections of the book store.

Books Read This Year

25 12 2010

Here’s a quick list (pdf) of the books I read in 2010 and 2009’s list.

MyBooks last 12mths 2010 

MyBooks last 12mths 2009

42 Short Stories

27 06 2010

Michael Swanwick is writing a short story a day for six weeks as part of  Clarion West’s fund-raising Write-a-Thon

2010 Clarion West Write-a-thon
These are very-short stories. So far he has written six…

– Queen Maeve’s Coursers
– Viking Graffiti
– Nobody Of Any Importance
– The Warp and the Weft
– Abandoned Objects
– Queen of the Pirate Galaxy

keep up with the latest via Michael’s Blog – Flogging Babel

He’s not the only author involved with the write-a-thon. Check out the list on the Write-a-thon page.

Oath of Fealty

24 05 2010

Oath of Fealty (Hardcover)
by Elizabeth Moon
Publisher: Del Rey (March 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345508742
ISBN-13: 978-0345508744

Gathering Momentum, April 24, 2010
This is the first book of Elizabeth Moon’s “Paladin’s Legacy” trilogy. As such it is laying the background for a looming war. A war in which old magics return.

With Mages able to transfer to other bodies, who can you trust?

The book expands more on the powers of the Marshals of Gird, Tir, etc

The main characters are drawn from Paksenarrion’s old cohort. The Duke who becomes King of the half-elven kingdom of Lyonya, the Captain who becomes Duke of Verrakai after her evil mage family is caught in a treasonous coupe attempt, and another captain who inherits the former Dukes’ (now King) lands and fighting forces.

Paksenarrion plays a background/supporting role.

A good read, although a bit slow for the first third. I will re-read “The Deed of Paksenarrion” before the next book comes out. Can’t wait.

24/05/2010: This book is already out in Paperback in Australia. Today I read Borders misleading blurb about the book. “Kieri is King of a divided land. Human and Elves live in an uneasy peace, newly united under their mixed blood ruler. And they face a common enemy, so unity has never been more important – or harder to achieve. Kieri must try and bind his people together, but a legacy of war has devastated the land and torn apart communities, leaving death and resentment in its wake. The King is also facing great pressure to marry, and consolidate his rule with powerful allies. But will Kieri choose and elven bride, or a human suitor? And will his warrior background allow him to navigate the difficult politics of a fractured realm? ”

Have they even read the book. It looks a lot like the probable synopsis for the next book.

On Elizabeth Moons website the accurate blurb says:
“In Oath of Fealty, book one of Paladin’s Legacy, two neighboring realms each get a new king–and both kings face personal danger and social unrest. An estranged daughter must take over her family’s realm and send her evil adult relatives to prison–or face a charge of treason. And a former mercenary captain inherits the entire company. Assassinations, conspiracies, brigands, wars and rumors of war…will it never end?”

Anyway, I have also just finished reading “The Deed of Paksenarrion” and its prequel “The Legacy of Gird” where Paks and Kieri are mentioned at the conclusion, so I expect the “Paladin’s Legacy” series to link in at some stage – maybe book 3.

The Windup Girl

29 03 2010

The Windup Girlby Paolo Bacigalupi
ISBN 978-1597801577, Hardcover
Night Shade Books, 2009

I have just finished reading this book.
All I heard was raves about this book and author – best book of the year?? Not to me. But an interesting read nonetheless.

It’s set in Thailand, post global warming and civilization collapse. An unstable warlord society in which the displaced strive to recover past glories/power.

International commerce is via clipper ship or dirigible. Genetic engineering of crops etc has lead to plagues that have decimated populations. Theres still the risk of a new variant emerging any time.

Picture the city in Blade Runner, minus the rain and technology. The cover makes the city look grander than the image portrayed in Paolo’s prose.

The Windup Girl is a genetic engineered creature who has been bread to serve as assistant, translator and slave to her Japanese master. She is discarded in the Thai city, and becomes a show piece in a Thai strip club. Following severe abuse she kills some very important personage and flees into the city. It is just one of many triggers that sets off a power stuggle in the city.

Tower and Hive: Anne McCaffrey

24 01 2010

1) The Rowan; 2) Damia;
3) Damia’s Children; 4) Lyons Pride; 5) The Tower and the Hive
ISBN 0593023582 (Bantam) Hardcover, 1990
ISBN 0593023749 (Bantam) Hardcover, 1992
ISBN 0552139122 (Corgi) Paperback, 1994
ISBN 0552142182 (Corgi) Paperback, 1994
ISBN 0593043243 (Bantam) Hardcover, 1999

This series documents the history of a dynasty of Telepaths and Kinetics that serve humanity for inter-stellar communication and shipping.

It all starts with a baby caught in a mudslide. She has the mental scream to keep Altair’s talents on edge until she’s found. As the sole survivor of a tradgedy, she becomes a state ward and is educated by the planets’ Prime telepath/kinetic. At a relatively young age, she is shipped off to Callisto to assist Earth’s Prime in the busy home system.

It’s a lonely life, but she’s soon joined by Afra Lyon.

Their lives are tuned upside down when alien bugs (hive minded) attack outer colony world Deneb. Their Prime, Jeff Raven, shouts a warning back to Callisto station to enlist their support. All the talents unite, and the invaders are destroyed.

Jeff and the Rowan marry, having wayward child Damia. Afa rescues Damia again and again until one error gets her sent to Deneb. As she matures, she is assigned as Prime for the new tower on the mining world, Aurigae. While out in space looking out for more hivers she meets mind to mind with an inter-galactic voyager. He turns out to be predatory and it takes a mind meld, with Afra and her brother as focus, to overcome and destroy him.

Afra marries Damia, and they have many children…

Somewhere in there, another sentinent species (Mrdinis) contacts the humans to join with them to defeat the hivers.

The last 3 books detail Damia’s childrens efforts, in conjunction with the Mrdinis, to chase down the hiver worlds and eliminate their capacity to wage war again.

Well written. I loved the first 2 books best, but the whole series is well worth reading. I first read these books as they were released. It was great to re-read them now, as a complete series. The ending was not as I remembered – must have confused it with some other tale.

Ranger’s Apprentice Series

7 11 2009

Halt's Peril (Bk9)by John Flanagan
Random House Australia

Towards the end of September, the first book in the series was being offered for $5. I bought books 1 & 2. It didn’t take long to read them.

Borders were selling the series at 3 books for the price of 2. I bought books 3-8. And just a week or so ago the ninth book was released. All 9 read now!! That ended the current 2 book story, so no loose ends.

The books can be found in the Child Fiction section of book shops. Don’t let that put you off, as the whole series has been a great read. Read in sequence to not miss anything.

John is an Australian writer, and here’s a description of book 1 to whet the appetite.

“Will is small for his age, but agile and energetic. All his life, he has dreamed of becoming a great knight like the father he never knew, so he is devastated when he is rejected as an apprentice to Castle Redmont’s Battleschool. Instead he is apprenticed to Halt, the mysterious Ranger whose uncanny ability to move unseen is thought to be the result of black magic. Reluctantly, Will learns to use a Ranger’s secret weapons: a bow and arrow, a mottled cloak and a stubborn little pony. It may not be the sword and battlehorse he longs for, but when Will and Halt set out on a desperate mission to prevent the assassination of the King, Will finds that a Ranger’s weapons are not so useless after all…”

Books 1-4 comprise the first adventure
Books 5-6 the second adventure
Book 7 is a prequel to 5
Book 8-9 complete the 4th adventure
Book 10 starting a new thread, is due out in Nov 2010

For more information, visit

Recommended reading for all ages

This is Me, Jack Vance

7 11 2009

Jack Vance BiographyISBN 978-1596062450 (Subterranean)
Hardback, 2009

This is Jack Vance’s biography. His journeys around the world. The people he meets. For much of his career, Vance has been one of the field’s most private writers, an author who preferred to let his work speak for him. this book has been released to coincide with the release of the tribute anthology “Songs of the Dying Earth”.

It is not a story about his works. Towards the end…
“I have been counseled .. to the general effect that since this is the autobiography of a writer I ought to say somthing about writing.” That takes all of 4 pages.

Jack was born in 1916 and led a pretty interesting life thru to 2009. He doesn’t write any more due to blindness. This biography being his only exception.

I gave up reading Jack Vance novels long ago. In my library I have:
– The Dragon Masters
– Emphyrio
– Showboat World
– The Dying Earth

None of which I retain memories of. Maybe I should read them again to remind myself of his writing style.

Jack vance most recent publications have been released through Subterranean Press.
Follow this link to see what’s available, and other reviews.