Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fate's Mirror by M.H. Mead

Most of you know that sci-fi is not my preferred genre. And I admit that I'd never read a cyber-punk or techno novel in my life. I'm not even sure I knew those new sub genres existed. But I took another author's (Scott Niven), whom I admire, opinion and gave it a try. Some days I'm the queen of good decisions. Happily, that was one of those days.

Fate's Mirror is the action packed brainchild of M. H. Mead, the pen name of Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion. I can honestly say that this book is a thrill ride and I got completely caught up in it from the very beginning.

The story follows Morris Payne, a hacking virtuoso (called a viker in the book). He's one of the best in the world. Morris has everything he needs right at his fingertips and spends most of his time plugged into the e-verse. Living in virtual reality, he's not plagued by his real world problems; severe agoraphobia, crippling panic attacks and a general fear of almost everything.  Unfortunately, his virtual life comes crashing down when someone kills his ex-girlfriend and colleague, NSA employee Khali. He becomes the next target and barely escapes his house before it explodes.

Stuck in the real world, he flees to the home of one of his clients, a private investigator named Aidra. Aidra takes him in and together they begin the search for whoever or whatever murdered Khali and is stalking Morris. Of course they have to battle real world problems as well. But once Morris gets back in his virtual world, the game is really on. And the villain of the piece? An AI who calls herself the Triple Goddesses of Fate and wants to assure her own security.

I don't want to give too much away so I'll stop there. I just want to say that the book is extremely well written and pulls you into Morris' world expertly. I did not have any problems with the language or picking up the slang they've created. The world in the book is easily believable and the characters perfectly drawn. You can't help but find yourself rooting for Morris and Aidra.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good suspense thriller, sci-fi or just really well written books. I think Michael Crighton fans would especially enjoy it. Seriously, I can't recommend it enough.

Happy Reading,

PS- Don't miss my interview with Margaret and Harry over at The Author Spot. Find out how they play so well together!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vampire's Retribution by Jeremiah Coe

Vampire's Retribution is obviously a vampire novella. What isn't obvious from the title is that unlike most vampire tales, it's set in the Civil War Era. What? Vampires and riverboats? Exactly! Mr. Coe has combined two great things- history and vampires. But they do go well together? They do!

The novella follows the story of Carl Tamell, an ordinary guy who grew up in the North and joined the army when the Civil War broke out. After the war, he takes a job as a dealer on the riverboat casino, The Southern Queen. After a bad night at the table, he's unceremoniously thrown off the boat into the mighty Mississippi with only the clothes on his back. He makes it to land and stumbles wearily along wet, cold and bleeding.

Then he meets Gaius Octavia, a vampire who saves him from certain death, only to curse him with undeath. Gaius teaches Carl, a reluctant vampire at first, the ways of the vampire. He tries to teach and shelter his new ward and this works for awhile, but Carl is hungry for more than blood- he wants revenge. So he leaves Gaius to hunt down the owner of the Southern Queen and give him a taste of payback.

The tale is interesting and you find yourself rooting for poor Carl, first with his poor treatment at the hands of the riverboat owner's thugs and for his unwitting transformation to creature of the night. The setting is original and refreshing. You don't get a lot of cowboys and vampires. The setting stays true to the time period, which I think is always a problem with historical fiction. It's obvious that Mr. Coe did his homework there.

I found the book an enjoyable quick read. It wasn't the best vampire novel I've ever read. But it was nowhere near the worst. It held my attention but didn't enthrall me. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys history, particularly the post civil war era. And also to anyone who loves vampires tales, real vampire tales, not that sparkly nonsense. His next novel will feature zombies & the civil war. You can bet that I'm going to read that one as well!

I did an interview with Jeremiah Coe over at The Author Spot. Please drop by and get to know him and what he has in store for us next. Vampire's Retribution is available at Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

Happy Reading,