Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Review: Kite--by Bill Shears

What a ride!

And I’m not just talking about the trip this book took to Canada because my husband couldn’t bear to put it down. No…from the beginning I felt like I was personally on the Kite, relaxing with Dash and free from any sort of schedule…and pants.

But really, not many envy the lax dress code and solitary life that Dash Mason enjoys on the Kite, an outer space vessel with enormous butterfly wings designed for sweeping up the errant debris left behind from the construction that took place above Earth long ago. But of course Dash is not alone during his three month stints, surrounded by Casinos, Space Stations, and joy-riding drunks who throw a little too much life into his rounds around Earth. And if not for his wife Janet and her continual upgrades with artificial intelligence, he might actually get some sleep. But Dash plays it all cool, knowing he only has a few more years until he qualifies for early retirement. He just has to stay out of trouble till then. Yeah, right.

Kite is a perfect blend of sci-fi and exploration, investigating the outer realm while looking deep into one’s soul to discover what it means to truly be alive. I was immensely pleased with the jargon and technological references that gave me a sense of newness without pulling me out of the story. And Dash’s favorite AI, Sheila was the perfect tie to all the worlds involved, encouraging rebellious AI’s, friendly would-be terrorists, trigger-happy aliens, and even the brilliant but jealous Janet to work together by the end.

Pants off–I mean hats off to Bill Shears for renewing the joy of exploration, because with our actual space travel beginning to wane, this book gave me a greater sense of hope that perhaps we’re not entirely through. That there’s so much more to discover if we’re simply willing to try. And in doing so, we may just find out what it means to be truly human.

I received a free copy for my review, but it in no way influenced my opinion. To acquire your own copy visit here, and to find out more about Bill Shears and his fabulous imagination you can visit his blog here.

Happy Reading everyone!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book Review: StarScout Rising: First Trail by Gary Darby

About the book: From the last frontier, Space. A must-have, out of this world adventure! Star Scout Rising, First Trail by Gary Darby is a thoughtful, awe-inspiring, and spine-tingling Sci-Fi mystery that follows a young man named Del Baldura during his quest for knowledge, truth, and discovery in the distant future of human and alien kind. This story has it all superb background, surprises, mystery, love, futuristic technological possibilities, bizarre life forms, and a hero trying to make sense of his duty and loyalty, his current leadership responsibilities, and his search for truth about part of his and his family’s history.

Young Del Baldura is a Junior Scout in the Confederation training program, and with “scouts” of my own the idea behind this book immediately grabbed my interest. As I read, I was intrigued by its clever blending of nature, sci-fi and touch of romance. Plus I love heroes who have a worthy goal. Del’s determination to become a Star Scout makes him a compelling character as he deals with gruesome creatures along with some very dangerous secrets. His abilities were both realistic and heroic, offering an endearing character for the reader to invest their emotions in.

Del’s exchanges with other would-be scouters are often quite hilarious, although the general narration made for a somewhat difficult read. Del’s futuristic world includes a vast amount of new vocabulary and military jargon, equal to the hidden agendas and exciting, but dangerous adventures. Volume One succeeded in posing and answering a plethora of questions, while leaving plenty more for the next installment.

You can pick up a copy of the book here, or download to your kindle here. And to learn more about Gary Darby and his upcoming books, check out his wonderful blog here.
Happy Reading!

*I received a free copy for my review but in no way did it influence my opinion.

1 Comment

Gary Darby says:

Karen, many thanks for taking time to read and review my first novel. I am learning so much on how to be a better writer/author from insightful comments such as yours – especially as I put the finishing touches to volume two of the series. Again, many thanks and best wishes -

Gary Darby

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Casting Decisions: Should fans have a say?

With the recent casting news hitting the internet, I've seen a lot of debate over the choices Hollywood makes when adapting a book to movie.

Fans of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the protagonist Katniss Everdeen, and today they're facing excitement or disappointment at the news. Many are excited that Jennifer Lawrence has been chosen to play the strong, vibrant protagonist, while others complain that she's all wrong. Jennifer has blond hair, not brown. Blue eyes, not gray. And the 20 year old clearly gives Hollywood an advantage in filming, but results in a much more mature looking 16 year old.

Time and again we've seen Hollywood adapt books to movies in their own way, going for talent and name versus "true to the book" and perhaps a new face. But what is "true" when it comes to book adaptations?

I've often thought that no movie could possibly cast someone that can meet everyone's expectations, because we all picture our hero or heroine in our own way. The protagonist's actions as well as their looks create the image we have and feel for them, making it difficult for the reader to relate when someone else tries to paint their own picture.

But here's a question? With book readers making up a large portion of the movie-going fanbase (my own thoughts-mind you), would it be wise to take a poll ahead of time to ask fans what they think the most important thing is to readers when casting someone? Or is there no good solution, and readers should just accept the fact that the movie is just one person's viewpoint of the book and enjoy it for what it is?

Thoughts? Suggestions? Rants? :)

As for me...I can't wait to find out who is playing her two male counterparts. Mmmmmm.