Tag Archives: review

NEW RELEASE: Refractions Of Frozen Time by Marcha Fox

 

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“Author Marcha Fox has a gift for explaining the science. The world she creates in the Star Trails Tetralogy is genius, so well thought out and crafted. As the Brightstar youngsters observe and understand their surroundings, their conclusions can be coloured by their Miran schooling, but when they break old habits and open their minds in order to survive the hostile planet they must now call home, these children achieve the incredible. Quite beautiful.” Ceri London.

 

                 BOOK DESCRIPTION

A discovery that links two dimensions of time. . .A prison ship’s dirty little secret. . .Esheron has answers but will they arrive before it’s too late? 

"Refractions of Frozen Time" finds the Brightstars, your favorite space-faring family, more separated than ever before. Laren is in the process of being exiled to the galaxy's ultimate security prison onboard an automated spacecraft. Creena, her little brother, Deven, and her mother, Sharra, remain in the Caverns, while Dirck and Win report to the Clique base at Apoca Canyon. 

Deven discovers a new crystal which, combined with cristobalite, unlocks the portal between Local and Universal time, offering the potential Creena has been looking for to reunite the family at last. There's one problem, however. Teleporting results in the correct location but the arrival time seems to be random, which has risky implications. Before she can unravel the mystery, however, Integrator commandos find their underground hideout, forcing a harrowing escape loaded with unexpected consequences. Believing they're permanently lost, the dark and lonely days that follow change Dirck forever as fate plays out a hand dealt on Earth years before, ultimately revealing the crystals' incredible secret. 

Onboard the Bezarna Express, Laren's efforts to exploit the ship's dirty little secret backfire, putting him more at risk than ever before, his survival dependent on ground intervention. Little does he know that the solution has been with him all along, quietly lurking in a device that operates strictly on the principle "If you don't ask, you don't get." Meanwhile, Augustus Troy, Laren's long-time nemesis, gains more power than ever before coupled with being armed with a weapon capable of wiping out anyone opposed to his despotic goals. 

Do the Brightstars have what it takes to survive much less prevail at their final confrontation with the Integrator and his evil proponents? Or will the family’s longed-for reunion take place in another dimension of time and space? Find out in this suspense-laden conclusion to the Star Trails Tetralogy. 

 

Marcha Fox

Marcha Fox is a former NASA engineer based at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas so she really does know her science, but she has also written an amazing science-fiction series Star Trails Tetralogy and I was thrilled to get the opportunity to beta read this final volume: Refractions of Frozen Times.

Naturally, I have got to know Marcha through our mutual writing endeavours and so I am delighted to publish my advance review on the day she releases her work.


MY ADVANCE REVIEW

Refractions of Frozen Time (Star Trails Tetralogy, #4)Refractions of Frozen Time by Marcha A. Fox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Star Trails Tetralogy is the classic story of good versus evil seen through one family’s struggle to reunite, an endeavour that draws in a number of lonely souls along the way. The three Brightstar siblings are the young heroes of this story and, as they observe and understand their surroundings, their conclusions can be coloured by their Miran schooling. It’s when they break old habits in order to survive the hostile planet they must now call home that they open their minds and hearts to the mysteries of the universe and achieve the incredible.

This is a beautifully written story, developing themes of loyalty, tolerance, understanding, and patient study. As I have alluded to in reviews of the preceding stories, the thoughtful pace is broken up by moments of intense excitement, but the narrative has to be savoured and enjoyed for gems like this, “…a vast and abrupt precipice, the sheer sides a trickle of motion…” Each character makes a discovery, about themselves and their friends and family, except for maybe Deven, the little boy, who intuits everything in the most lovely and unassuming manner. I so want to see what he gets up to when he’s older. The more alien characters are equally fascinating and the subtle hints of their background cultures enrich the story with depth and colour.

Finally, author Marcha Fox has a gift for explaining the science in an interesting and original way. The detailed world she creates is genius, so well thought out and crafted and sci-fi fans who love properly developed cultures backed up by hard and well understood science will devour these stories. The quiet thread of an entity stronger than either individual or corporation runs throughout this series and I believe reflects many faith systems once semantics are put aside with its impact only fully understood in the uniquely fitting and uplifting climax.

Quite beautiful.

I highly recommend this series for adults and young adults.

(I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

 

AUTHOR LINKS.

You can find Marcha Fox:

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Marcha-Fox/e/B0074RV16O/

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Marcha-Fox/e/B00T6XPLR4/

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6481953.Marcha_A_Fox

Author Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marchafoxauthor

Author Homepage:  http://www.StarTrailsSaga.com

Bublish Author Page:  https://www.bublish.com/author/view/3111

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/startrailsIV

Blog Page: http://marcha2014.wordpress.com/

Tumblr:  http://startrailsiv.tumblr.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/marcha-fox/86/440/326/                

Google+:  google.com/+MarchaFoxAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kallioperisingp/

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZsgOqTmtMFutwU3lt4RByQ


PREVIOUS REVIEWS OF STAR TRAILS BOOKS:

My Review of: A Dark Of Endless Days by Marcha A. Fox  Volume II Star Trails Tetralogy

A Dark Of Endless Days

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I made time over the holiday season to read the second book in this wonderful series. The family is still torn apart, Creena is on Terra, desperate to return to her family and completely bewildered by the backward humans living on planet Earth (loved all the references to UFOs and aliens), while the rest of her family is surviving life on a hostile planet passing between two suns.

The heat ramps up as does the drama as Dirck is forced to take on Laren Brightstar’s design for an AC system that might keep the family alive during the hot season while Troy (baddie) plots how to manipulate Laren into doing his bidding.

I am in awe of the world author Marcha Fox has created. She has populated our galaxy with human colonies and aliens, enriching the story with intricate detail covering solar systems, seasons, geology, politics, anthropological, fauna, eco-commerce, technological, and spiritual beliefs that are unveiled layer upon layer as the story progresses.

The children are learning so much and (as I mentioned in my review for the first book) the reader learns right along with them. These kids face an epic struggle for survival and I felt their joy with each small success and their despair when everything they’ve worked for begins to fall apart on them. The characterisation is beautifully carried throughout and you witness the children’s emotional growth. Deven is still one to watch! I think leaving Mira was the best thing that could have happened to them. I shudder to think how their lives might have turned out if their biggest trial to face had been boredom and compliance in a system designed to perpetuate the ordinary. Not on Cyraria. Here, Marcha Fox has created something extraordinary.

Take your time reading this book as this is not a fast-paced read although it certainly has its heart-thumping moments. However, the pace encouraged me to slow down, savour the rich detail, and get inside the heads of these children. A thoroughly enjoyable read and I’m very much looking forward to Book 3!

( I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.)


My Review of: Beyond the Hidden Sky by Marcha A. Fox Volume I Star Trails Tetralogy

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A joy to read. Imaginative hard sci-fi with real-life characters

Imagine growing up in a regimented, well-ordered, pristine bubble. Then imagine you burst that bubble accidentally and your new playground suddenly opens up to include the galaxy, but you’re on your own, your family is travelling farther and farther away, you’re trapped in this escape pod, and there’s a virtual nanny telling you what to do. Imagine you’re a natural rebel.

Creena Brightstar is a rebel.

Dirck is her brother. Dirck is dutiful, compliant, and loves to drive his non-conforming sister crazy. This time he went too far. Now he’s with his father and on a mission to find Creena, only the big, bad world outside is nothing like the bubble he’s raved about all his life, and his dad has some rapid education to do.

This is such a fun, fascinating read. Marcha Fox knows her science, and the Brightstar children rapidly need to learn all this stuff about space travel, warp drive, and time bumps, and so the reader learns right along with them. Anyone who loves hard science will lap this book up. However, that and the wonderful world-building is the bonus.

The real joy in this story (the start of a bigger, complex, political sci-fi thriller chock-full of mysterious baddies) is Creena and Dirck’s development. Adversity tests, tries, and changes their outlook on life. In Marcha Fox’s world, never mistake inexperience for incompetence. She expects much from her young characters, and yet intuitively understands and empathises with them.

Oh, and there’s a robot I swear would drive C-3PO insane.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for both young and old and I will be gradually devouring the rest of this series.

View all my reviews

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SciFi Author Marcha Fox – Interview on The Dawn of Shades Radio Show

Marcha Fox, science fiction author of the Star Trails Tetralogy and former NASA engineer based at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, not only knows her science, she writes a beautiful story.

I have been Marcha 5cropcaptivated by Marcha’s book Beyond The Hidden Sky, the first volume in her wonderful Star Trails series, and my review follows below.

Even better, you can hear all about Marcha’s latest interest from the author herself as she is being interviewed tonight by Gia Scott on the radio show The Dawn Of Shades.

The show goes out 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm Central Daylight Time on the 30th September 2014. If you can’t catch it live, the show is available FREE through its archives HERE . Marcha is a wonderful author with a fascinating life story and hearing her talk live will be a treat for her fans of astrology.

My Review of: Beyond the Hidden Sky by Marcha A. Fox

BTHS_wrap_around_d-Kindle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A joy to read. Imaginative hard sci-fi with real-life characters

Imagine growing up in a regimented, well-ordered, pristine bubble. Then imagine you burst that bubble accidentally and your new playground suddenly opens up to include the galaxy, but you’re on your own, your family is travelling farther and farther away, you’re trapped in this escape pod, and there’s a virtual nanny telling you what to do. Imagine you’re a natural rebel.

Creena Brightstar is a rebel.

Dirck is her brother. Dirck is dutiful, compliant, and loves to drive his non-conforming sister crazy. This time he went too far. Now he’s with his father and on a mission to find Creena, only the big, bad world outside is nothing like the bubble he’s raved about all his life, and his dad has some rapid education to do.

This is such a fun, fascinating read. Marcha Fox knows her science, and the Brightstar children rapidly need to learn all this stuff about space travel, warp drive, and time bumps, and so the reader learns right along with them. Anyone who loves hard science will lap this book up. However, that and the wonderful world-building is the bonus.

The real joy in this story (the start of a bigger, complex, political sci-fi thriller chock-full of mysterious baddies) is Creena and Dirck’s development. Adversity tests, tries, and changes their outlook on life. In Marcha Fox’s world, never mistake inexperience for incompetence. She expects much from her young characters, and yet intuitively understands and empathises with them.

Oh, and there’s a robot I swear would drive C-3PO insane.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for both young and old and I will be gradually devouring the rest of this series.

View all my reviews

REVIEW: Contract of Defiance by Tammy Salyer

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Contract of Defiance by Tammy Salyer

Book One in the Spectras Arise Trilogy

My rating: 5 of 5 starsContract of Defiance (Spectras Arise Trilogy, Book 1)

This is a well-written book, clean, with fast-paced action that rarely stops for breath and great description that doesn’t fear blood and gore. The military setting benefits from the author’s military background and there are interesting science and medical details science fiction readers will appreciate. Told in the first person (a point of view I don’t usually like) this one pulled me into the protagonist’s mind. Aly Erikson is a hard-ass soldier-turned-criminal and a mixed up mess. When a job goes badly wrong and her brother David gets captured by the Admin, she wakes up in the medical facility on the wrong ship with a crew who has their own objectives. All Aly cares about is finding her own crew so she can rescue David. The story that follows slowly reveals the political set up in this part of the universe providing a wide space opera backdrop for the rest of the series.

Aly Erikson’s development is great and distinctive for the amount of conflict she inspires. She’s impatient, aggressive, and just so slow to work out who to trust with her loyalty. A romantic angle is understated and although I would have enjoyed more emphasis on this, the plot develops the relationship well. I loved how Aly got so many backs up, and connected with so many others. She had to prove herself, demonstrate her true motivations by her actions and the choices she made. This girl has intelligence, guts, and grit. Character wise, my only criticism is that the back story for the captain/surgeon of Aly’s new crew needs a little more development to explain her combat skills, but I suspect there is more story to come. Overall, the characterization is well drawn and balanced, baddies as well as goodies, and everyone has their own peculiarity. The main antagonist is just plain scary.

Contract of Defiance is a great read, brimming with military strategy and tactics, masses of conflict and pistol-drawn battles, and a new galactic way of living to discover that caters for the privileged while suppressing the communities existing on its fringes.

Exciting, riveting stuff. I can highly recommend this book.

(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I also purchased a copy.)

View all my reviews

 

 

Review for SIGHT: The Dream Guild Chronicles – Book Two by David Bruns

TheSight_CVR_LRG-200x300Sight by David Bruns

In the exciting sequel to Irradiance, it’s been four months since the six refugees fled the dystopian Community of Sindra, and already the Joined adults are showing signs of sickness. In their search for a new home, time is not their ally.

A routine planetary survey goes horribly wrong, leaving a native boy near death. In a desperate attempt to save his life, the boy is given a transfusion of Sariah’s blood—and the crew makes an amazing discovery.

Sariah is adopted into the boy’s clan as the Fountain of Dreams, the mysterious girl from the stars who brought them the gift of dreams. But superstitions run deep in the clan and not everyone is happy with the new freedoms, especially Nisador, the tribe’s Sacred Mother.

Sariah learns the ways of the clan are harsh—even deadly.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Not too long ago I reviewed Irradiance, Book One in The Dream Guild Chronicles, and had been eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. So when David gifted me Sight, I tucked it away for my holiday! What decadent pleasure – the Tuscany sun, a shaded terrace overlooking rolling vinyards,  a glass of wine, and Sight.

This is my review:

In Book One of The Dream Guild Chronicles, I was captivated by one family’s fight to escape a sophisticated society, a commune of telepaths, whose leaders are prepared to commit any atrocity and ignore any danger to preserve their way of life. In Sight, the second book in the series, Maribel and Reese are searching for a home for their daughter, Sariah, and they believe the inhabitants of an Earth-like planet can provide Sariah her destined future.

Sight is Sariah’s tale and her immersion into her new adopted family reveals a fascinating culture. I stepped into Sariah’s new world and watched a girl grow into a young woman, torn between her heart and duty as layer upon layer of clan history is slowly divulged.

David Bruns creates a world of dream bubbles and inner sight, mystical orbs and Sacred Mothers. This society that has taken Sariah into its midst has a ranking system that promotes jealousy and competition as well as courage and compassion. But when the powerful do not abide by the code of honour at its heart, Sariah becomes a victim of envy and suspicion as traditional laws turn young love into a dirty secret and allow her elders to dictate her life under the guise of duty for the common good.

As the story reaches its dramatic conclusion, the source of the Sacred Mother’s rule over the clan alters Sariah’s life forever. The ending is quick and signals the start of a new chapter in the character’s lives, a signature of the author I am discovering. Fortunately, there are questions still to answer as the fate of Reese, Maribel and Sariah’s twin, Gideon, remains unknown.

Roll on Book Three!

View all my reviews

 

Review: Phantom Bigfoot & The Vampettes From Venus

I’ve been looking forward to dipping into Simon Okill’s unique brand of writing. I’ve seen reviews and hilarious references to his work, so I wasn’t sure what to expect as it’s a little outside my usual reading material. I found an entertaining read awaiting me. Simon Okill certainly knows how to spin a fun mad yarn, no holds barred.

Here’s my review:

Phantom Bigfoot & The Vampettes From Venus (Phantom Bigfoot Series, #2)Phantom Bigfoot & The Vampettes From Venus by Simon Okill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bigfoot mayhem liberally laced with toilet humour abounds in this paranormal adventure.

The arrival of the FBI distracts the town’s sheriff from solving wanton–read “gross”–vandalism of resident’s bathrooms. Yes, these odorous crimes warrant the attention of two FBI agents! (Only in Bigfoot world.) Duane, teen protector of his Bigfoot kin, has a precarious hold of his powers, young love is in the air, and there are vampettes on the loose.

All the madness combines to form a well-written and fast-paced riot filled with larger-than-life characters, both human and not-human. I read this book, eyes wide, wondering if I should create my own stash of happy juice before turning the next page. My one warning: Never let a Bigfoot loose in your kitchen. Love that scene.

Five stars for the sheer outrageousness of it all. A great fun read.

Christoph Fischer interviews Ceri London – Review & Excerpt

Christoph Fischer Interview of Ceri London
Christoph Fischer Interview of Ceri London

More excitement today. Talented book reviewer and historical fiction author CHRISTOPH FISCHER interviews me today >> here << and includes his wonderful review of my debut sci-fi fantasy thriller: SHIMMER IN THE DARK: ROGUE GENESIS plus excerpt.

Thank you. Christoph!

Don’t forget to check out Christoph’s work and other reviews while you are on his website!

Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis

Also, I am running a SPECIAL OFFER on Rogue Genesis today, April 5th. Grab a copy at $1.50 from Amazon or Smashwords.

A World of Worlds Cover
And don’t forget to collect your free copy of A WORLD OF WORLDS. This sci-fi fantasy anthology by ASMSG Authors includes my short story BRIDGE BUILDER, part of the Shimmer In The Dark series, and can be found here.