Crusader: An Exciting Conclusion

Crusader by Sara Douglas is the sixth book in The Wayfarer Redemption series. By this time, the demons have come through the Stargate and wreaked havoc on Tencendor. All people and animals not affected by the demons have been taken to Sanctuary, but how long will they be safe there? Drago (now Dragonstar) must still have his ultimate showdown with Qeteb, the leader of the demons, while making sure the people remain safe.

Dragonstar can’t do it alone. Faraday and his other “angels” must face the other demons, and Axis, who still hates his second son, must help to make his way easier. Meanwhile, Wolfstar enlists the help of a traitor to scheme against them.

Read Crusader to find the surprising ending of this final conflict. As always, it will be an exciting journey with Sara Douglas at the helm. You won’t be sorry.

Stone of Farewell

Stone of Farewell is the second book in the series Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams. At the beginning of the book, Simon and Binabek the troll are still in the land of the Qanuc but know that they cannot stay there much longer. They must leave and make the treacherous trip to the Stone of Farewell, though they do not know what they will find there. Meanwhile, the influence of the Storm King continues to spread winter throughout the land and try and stop Simon’s little band.

Elsewhere, Prince Josua struggles to make his way to a place of safety as do other people made homeless by the fight between Josua and his brother King Elias. In addition, the four surviving members of the League of the Scroll search for each other in order to complete their mission.

An epic unto itself, Stone of Farewell will engage you. Williams’ magnificent writing carries you along as the heroes meet obstacle after obstacle. Adventure, suspense, and humor combine to make this a truly wonderful book.

House of Leaves Leaves Me Cold

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski was on a list of 20 scariest books I recently found online. Many of them I had read and agreed to the assessment, so I decided to explore the rest of the list. House of Leaves is an unusual book, really two stories in one. The introduction tells of a man who discovered a chest full of writings by an old man who died under mysterious circumstances. The writings tell of a strange house where the inside is bigger than the outside.

The main part of the book chronicles this house and the writer’s explanations. There is a door in the house which should lead nowhere but instead leads to long corridors and labyrinths. Part of this story is told in simple narrative but other parts of it are an analysis of what may be happening in the house written as a scientific paper.

The second story is about the man who discovered the writings. While his take includes some of what he goes through assembling and interpreting the papers, most of it is about his exploits with drugs, sex, and halluciations. This section is shown in footnotes and written in a colloquial fashion.

My favorite part of the book was the narrative about the house and the people who lived there, but the rest of it was so tedious, I could not finish the book. I struggled to read 150 pages out of 528, not counting exhibits and appendices.

House of Leaves is certainly a unique book, in its writing style and composition, but I didn’t find it scary in the least and was not going to read another 378 pages to find out if it ever became scary. I would not recommend this book.

Better Than Us: Worth Seeing

Better Than Us is a Russian sci-fi show on Netflix. The show revolves around life-like robots known as “bots”. An unscrupulous man heading up the leading bot corporation has illegally imported what is known as an empathy bot, who is supposed to have real emotions and learn from her surroundings. Unfortunately, in the first few minutes after she is activated, she kills two people and escapes.

While wandering around the city, she meets a little girl and adopts her family. But this family is anything but perfect. The mother is trying to take the children to Australia to be with her boyfriend, while her husband Georgy works to keep the family together. Meanwhile, their teenage son has joined a violent group dedicated to ending bots in order to meet a girl. In addition, the businessman and the police are after Georgy.

There’s a lot of action and violence in this series but some tender moments as well. It’s well-done and very binge-worthy. Watch it if you can.

Noumenon Infinity: Quite a Journey

Noumenon Infinity by Marina J.  Lostetter is the story of a deep space mission to study a distant star. The mission consists of twelve generational ships, which use clone technology to perpetuate the crews.

However, at the last minute, the original Convoy 12 is scrapped and replaced with a convoy headed not for deep space but for the edges of the solar system. Their mission: to study Sub-Dimensional Travel. Unlike the other convoys, they have regular supply ships and are not involved in reproduction by clone technology. But an accident has them traveling further in both time and space than any other.

Noumenon Infinity follows Convoy 12 and deep-space Convoy 7 in their captivating adventures over thousands of years. Although their journeys are separate, they are interlocked, one discovering weird alien machines and the other meeting the aliens themselves.

There are a lot of surprises in this book. I am reminded of Heinlein and Clarke in these pages, along with some hint of Star Trek. But Lostetter puts her own twist to the story, giving us cause to wonder about the future of humanity. Some things never change and others change a great deal. Give it a read.