Starfire: A Red Peace – Spencer Ellsworth

Synopsis: A Red Peace, first in Spencer Ellsworth’s Starfire trilogy, is an action-packed space opera in a universe where the oppressed half-Jorian crosses have risen up to supplant humanity and dominate the galaxy.

Half-breed human star navigator Jaqi, working the edges of human-settled space on contract to whoever will hire her, stumbles into possession of an artifact that the leader of the Resistance wants desperately enough to send his personal guard after. An interstellar empire and the fate of the remnant of humanity hang in the balance.

Spencer Ellsworth has written a classic space opera, with space battles between giant bugs, sun-sized spiders, planets of cyborgs and a heroine with enough grit to bring down the galaxy’s newest warlord. Continue reading “Starfire: A Red Peace – Spencer Ellsworth”

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Entropy in Bloom – Jeremy Robert Johnson

Synopsis: For more than a decade, Jeremy Robert Johnson has been bubbling under the surface of both literary and genre fiction. His short stories present a brilliantly dark and audaciously weird realm where cosmic nightmares collide with all-too-human characters and apocalypses of all shapes and sizes loom ominously. In “Persistence Hunting,” a lonely distance runner is seduced into a brutal life of crime with an ever-narrowing path for escape. In “When Susurrus Stirs,” an unlucky pacifist must stop a horrifying parasite from turning his body into a sentient hive. Running through all of Johnson’s work is a hallucinatory vision and deeply-felt empathy, earning the author a reputation as one of today’s most daring and thrilling writers. 

Featuring the best of his independently-published short fiction, as well as an exclusive, never-before-published novella “The Sleep of Judges” ―where a father’s fight against the denizens of a drug den becomes a mind-bending suburban nightmare ― Entropy in Bloom is a perfect compendium for avid fans and an ideal entry point for adventurous readers seeking the humor, heartbreak, and terror of JRJ’s strange new worlds. Continue reading “Entropy in Bloom – Jeremy Robert Johnson”

Battlefront II: Inferno Squad – Christie Golden

Synopsis: The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Ersoand and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad.

After the humiliating theft of the Death Starplans and the resulting destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. In response to this stunning defeat, the Imperial Navy has authorized the formation of an elite team of soldiers, known as Inferno Squad. Their mission: infiltrate and eliminate the remnants of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire—no matter what the cost. Now, Inferno Squad must prove their status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But as the danger intensifies and the threat of discovery grows, how far will Inferno Squad go to ensure the safety of the Empire? Continue reading “Battlefront II: Inferno Squad – Christie Golden”

Outriders – Jay Posey

Synopsis:

Captain Lincoln Suh died on a Wednesday. And things only got harder from there.

Snatched out of special operations and thrown headfirst into a secretive new unit, Lincoln finds himself as the team leader for the 519th Applied Intelligence Group, better known as the Outriders. And his first day on the job brings a mission with the highest possible stakes.

A dangerously cunning woman who most assuredly should be dead has seemingly returned. And her plans aren’t just devastating, they might be unstoppable.

How do you defeat a hidden enemy when you can’t let them know they’ve been discovered?

You send in the Outriders. Continue reading “Outriders – Jay Posey”

Battlefront: Twilight Company – Alexander Freed

“He would die with a grin & a battle cry.”

Alexander Freed is quickly becoming one of my favorite Star Wars writers. Not surprising really, considering he used to work at BioWare on probably my favorite gaming franchise of all time, Mass Effect! He is a great fit within the Star Wars universe.

Battlefront: Twilight Company was inspired by the video game, Star Wars Battlefront. It is about the war between the Empire & the Rebellion, while focusing on the Sixty-first Mobile Infantry. This is better known as the Twilight Company. It’s rare that we get to see so closely into the grim war side of the Rebellion, especially with the prior Legends novels. Canon really is about expanding & diversifying the universe, which is a fucking righteous thing for me to see happen as a long time fan.

Twilight Company allows the reader to viscerally experience what it is like on the battlefield. It is described as being Band of Brothers, set in the Star Wars universe. Which ticks so many boxes for me, personally! I really enjoyed this interstellar adventure. It was a fast-paced, gripping, realistic, gritty read. There are even a few brief encounters from some recognizable faces, which is always fun for us nerds!

There were a few questionable things that happened towards the end of the book, which I didn’t think flowed with the rest of the story. But it hurtles towards a worthy conclusion.

I have read close to 60 Star Wars novels & besides Lost Stars, another fantastic canon tale, this is the only other one that I can think of that focuses so deeply on the militarization of Star Wars. It shows a more realistic side to both the Rebel Alliance & the Empire. A grittier side to the Rebellion, comprised with many soldiers that had nowhere else to go & where not all of the Empire were horrific monsters.

I hope this will open up the door for more military-themed Star Wars books. The possibilities are endless when it comes to this ever immersive galaxy far, far away!

~Holly

Rebel Rising – Beth Revis

Synopsis: When Jyn Erso was five years old, her mother was murdered and her father taken from her to serve the Empire. But despite the loss of her parents she is not completely alone—Saw Gerrera, a man willing to go to any extremes necessary in order to resist Imperial tyranny, takes her in as his own, and gives her not only a home but all the abilities and resources she needs to become a rebel herself.

Jyn dedicates herself to the cause—and the man. But fighting alongside Saw and his people brings with it danger and the question of just how far Jyn is willing to go as one of Saw’s soldiers. When she faces an unthinkable betrayal that shatters her world, Jyn will have to pull the pieces of herself back together and figure out what she truly believes in…and who she can really trust. Continue reading “Rebel Rising – Beth Revis”

The Wheel of Osheim – Mark Lawrence

Synopsis: All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Kendeth, getting out alive and with Loki’s key is all that matters. Loki’s creation can open any lock, any door, and it may also be the key to Jalan’s fortune back in the living world.

Jalan plans to return to the three w’s that have been the core of his idle and debauched life: wine, women, and wagering. Fate, however, has other plans, larger plans. The Wheel of Osheim is turning ever faster, and it will crack the world unless it’s stopped. When the end of all things looms, and there’s nowhere to run, even the worst coward must find new answers. Jalan and Snorri face many dangers, from the corpse hordes of the Dead King to the many mirrors of the Lady Blue, but in the end, fast or slow, the Wheel of Osheim always pulls you back. In the end, it’s win or die. Continue reading “The Wheel of Osheim – Mark Lawrence”

The Liar’s Key – Mark Lawrence

Synopsis: After harrowing adventure and near death, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in possession of Loki’s key, an artefact capable of opening any door and sought by the most dangerous beings in the Broken Empire—including the Dead King. 

Jal wants only to return home to his wine, women, and song, but Snorri has his own purpose for the key: to find the very door into death, throw it wide, and bring his family back into the land of the living. 

And as Snorri prepares for his quest to find death’s door, Jal’s grandmother, the Red Queen, continues to manipulate kings and pawns toward an endgame of her own design… Continue reading “The Liar’s Key – Mark Lawrence”

Prince of Fools – Mark Lawrence

Synopsis: For all her reign the Red Queen has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by most and unspoken of by all.

The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is one who can see The Silent Sister. Content with his role as a minor royal, Jal pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war with the undead is coming, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks that nothing that will affect him. He’s wrong..
Continue reading “Prince of Fools – Mark Lawrence”

Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee

Synopsis: When Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for her unconventional tactics, Kel Command gives her a chance to redeem herself, by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles from the heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake: if the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress. The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own.

As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim. Continue reading “Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee”