Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells

*No Major Spoilers*

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a series I’ve been wanting to delve into, but I just wasn’t sure if all the hype I was hearing about it would live up to my expectations. I read a lot of sci-fi, and so I guess it’s time to delve into All Systems Red.

When I first started reading this, it felt disjointed in regard to the way Murderbot interacted with the humans. For a long time I couldn’t describe why I felt like the humans were just cardboard. However, I think this was a stylistic choice to show how Murderbot feels when interacting with humans. They would just rather not talk to humans.

And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.

Martha Wells; All Systems Red

There’s not much action in this first instillation, but it’s a great introduction to Murderbot and how they carry themselves and how they see the world around them. When the crew figure out that something is trying to hunt them down, that’s when Murderbot gets to shine.

This is a great place to start if you’re new to sci-fi, or wanting to get more into the genre. I know sometimes sci-fi gets carried away with all the science and tech, but All Systems Red explains the tech in ways I think newcomers to science fiction can follow.

Overall, I liked All Systems Red, I liked seeing a sci-fi mystery through the eyes of a robot. If you want a new take on the sci-fi genre or are looking for a quick read, then I’d recommend All Systems Red.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Justice in an Age of Metal and Men (Metal and Men #1) by Anthony W. Eichenlaub

*No Major Spoilers*

Things aren’t always easy for the Sheriff of Dead Oak, Texas. Cybernetically modified biker gangs roam the skies, dangerous outlaws prowl the streets, and gunslingers threaten the delicate balance of a Texas gone sour. J.D. doesn’t mind. He’ll hold hard the line of justice, no matter what it takes. 

Sometimes things aren’t so simple. 

When a rancher is murdered, it’s going to take all of J.D.’s skills as a Texas Ranger to track the killer. Every turn he makes he find more threads of a massive conspiracy that could tear his town apart. Every discovery leads him down the darker path of his own past. 

And he’s not the only one doing some tracking. A man in black is on his trail. 

There’s only one thing J.D. knows for sure: One way or another, there’s going to be Justice in an Age of Metal and Men.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

For those who know me personally, I deeply enjoy the subgenre called “Weird Wild West” or “Western Steampunk”. A story that’s futuristic in technology, but still has The Wild West theme and setting. Justice in an Age of Metal and Men is just what I’ve been craving to read. Now let’s dive into this Sci-fi western adventure!

Nothing annoys a man of justice quite like forgiveness.

Justice in the Age of Metal and Men

Most dystopian novels I tend to come across these days tend to be young adult/romance. Or dystopian/zombies. However, this story is it’s own unique spin on the dystopian subgenre. This is a story that takes place after the second civil war, and Texas becomes its own country and envelops the western half of the former states. Dairy and farming have main control of the big cities, even though most farmers don’t seem to realize how much power they do wield.

Watching J.D. traverse a world of ever-changing cybernetics, which he somewhat despises as he’s trying to solve this complex case is interesting as a character study. Even when his new deputy convinces him to use more advanced tech, he still hates feeling the need to have to depend on it.

During the case J.D. travels all over Texas to the dairy factories, the more backwater side of the city, and back again to Dead Oak in the search for answers someone clearly doesn’t want to be answered. “Was this more than just a tragic accident?” “What does Big Dairy have to do with this farm?” and the classic: “Is the wife hiding something?”

Overall, I enjoyed this novel and solving the mystery along with J.D. I can’t wait to dive back into this universe and see what happens next with J.D. and friends. This novel is perfect for those looking for a new series to dive into as well as those looking for a good cyberpunk read.


Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The X-Files: Goblins (The X-Files #1) by Charles L. Grant

Meet Mulder and Scully, FBI. The agency maverick and the female agent assigned to keep him in line.

Their job: investigate the eeriest unsolved mysteries in modern America, from pyro-psychics to death row demonics, from rampaging Sasquatches to alien invasions. The cases the Bureau wants handled quietly, but quickly, before the public finds out what’s really out there. And panics. The cases filed under “X.”

Something out there is killing people, remaining invisible and unseen by human eyes until it strikes with deadly force.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The X-Files is a show I’ve been admiring for several years now. I binged season 1 and waiting for the right mood to start on season 2. Now, the thing I think has made this show such a big hit was the dynamic between Mulder and Scully. Aliens and UFOs aside, most people love chemistry between two characters. There’s that sexual tension of “will they/won’t they?” and the fact that Scully admires Mulder’s deduction skills. She just feels it’s being wasted on these kinds of cases.

This case opens like any other X-File does. Murders happen, FBI/government in high and unknown places get a whiff of it and send Mulder and Scully out to investigate. Most of the time the unreachable government is trying to run interference by cleaning up the mess that was made or trying to scare Mulder and Scully off of the case.

In this story, Scully and Mulder were joined by two more FBI agents who were secretly moles for the head of the FBI to keep tabs on whether Mulder and Scully were likely to blow to the lid on any government ops that were either “off the record” or “still in development”.

One of the witnesses to these murders was an older lady who carried around a can of neon orange spray paint to “tag the goblins”. Since this case takes place in small town USA, the sheriff thinks she’s a crazy drunk. I liked how the author not only made her a likable character, but also had the town doctor defend her honor by explaining why she spent so much time in the local tavern.

Overall, I liked this story. It read like an episode, but in book form. The characters were relatable and memorable, so if you’re already an X-Files fan this story is a great place to start with the novelizations. Even for new fans, Goblins is a great place to start on your X-Files adventure.

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Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Guardian of the Galaxy: Rocket Raccoon and Groot Steal the Galaxy! by Dan Abnett

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*No Spoilers*

These are not the Avengers or the Fantastic Four – in fact, they’re barely even famous – but Rocket Raccoon and the faithful Groot are the baddest heroes in the cosmos, and they’re on the run across the Marvel Universe! During a spaceport brawl, the infamous pair rescues an android Recorder from a pack of alien Badoons. Everyone in the galaxy, however, including the ruthless Kree Empire and the stalwart Nova Corps, seems to want that Recorder, who’s about as sane as a sandwich with no mustard. Join Rocket and Groot on a free-for-all across the stars while they try to save all of existence-again!


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ever since the MCU introduced The Guardians of the Galaxy to old and new fans alike, I have been reading their comics every chance I can get. Like most fans, I fell in love with Groot and his best friend Rocket. Seeing how this story features the dynamic duo, I was excited to listen to this audio adventure.

The Recorder that is rescued by Rocket and Groot is the main narrator of the story. He is a likable character overall, except when he feels the need to stop the story to explain why he used an “Human-like expression” or when “additional exposition” is needed. It becomes a bit jarring at times.

Over the course of the story, the Recorder keeps commenting on Rocket’s “disconcerting human-like hands” and if I never hear that phrase again, it’ll be too soon. There are other ways to describe Rocket’s hands/paws without repeating yourself.

The overall plot is convoluted and gets a little complicated at points, but Rocket Raccoon and Groot Steal the Universe is an enjoyable ride full of action, adventure, and space battles. If you are looking for a fun sci-fi adventure then I would recommend this story.

Posted in Book Reviews, Guest Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: His Robot Wife: Patience Under Fire by Wesley Allison

Good afternoon everyone, my name is Alex Dickson, I’m Elisha’s fiance and I’m doing a guest review of a book out of one of my favorite book series. His Robot Wife: Patience Under Fire is an excellent book let’s just start there. I’ll tell you why as we get into the review. Please note there may be some spoilers.

Okay to start off this is a continuation of the story of Mike Smith and his family from the last 5 books in the series. This book continues on starting off with Mike’s son, Lucas in the military out on the front lines. With it starting following Lucas through his battle in Russia just him and his Robot soldiers around him, he’s having it rough out there.

As we go along with the story this book kind of flip-flops between different sections of different characters’ lives. It kind of does it like a movie where it’s written like scenes, multiple scenes in each chapter.

As we continue through the book we learn various things about what’s going on with Patience, Mike, his daughter Harriet, Lucas and his wife as well as a couple of the other cast of the series. When we move over the story of Patience and Mike supposedly the ATF&R (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Robots) are wanting to question Mike and Patience. Patience is the robot wife to Mike and if you’ve ever read the previous books in the series you will have learned Patience was able to reprogram herself to make herself “Free”. When Patience learns of this she takes off without telling Mike where she’s going, but leaves in place, without anyone’s knowledge an exact copy of Patience to take care of Mike.

The story eventually flips to Harriet finally getting out to start dating again and she ends up going out with a tattoo artist, he’s a nice guy and she really likes him, they have a lot of fun together for about the first 3 dates, she eventually drops him off and she forgets to tell him something so she runs back up to his apartment and catches him getting blown by his robot maid. So he tries to explain his way out of it and so far she’s having none of it.

At another point in the story Lucas gets pulled from deployment and sent home with commendations and he finally gets to see his wife, Haruka once again and the rest of his family. Everyone was so delighted to see him and he was especially delighted to see his wife once again.

There’s a critical plot point that I’m about to discuss without going into too much detail just because it’d be a major spoiler, but there’s a point where this robot under a different name takes a trip to Canada for an at first unspecified reason, but she takes a trip to a hub station where the various Daffodil robots’ software is distributed around North America. It’s a really interesting part to the story, but I’m sure it will tie in more into the next book.

I know my thoughts here feel incomplete, but I’m trying to tell about the book without giving too much away and I know my thoughts seem random because I don’t want to give away the order of everything. This is an excellent book and I think any sci-fi/fantasy nerd with an interest in a bit of romance and adventure may like.

But yeah, there’s a lot to this book series and not just this book alone, if you start at the beginning of the series with His Robot Girlfriend you’ll learn how everything begins to lead from one place to the next.

Anyway this series has kept me entertained for the last 6-7 years and I always look forward to the next book in the series. I don’t know if this series will ever conclude, but it’s always a fun read. Like I said I recommend this to anyone that’s into a sci-fi/fantasy style romance adventure. There’s a lot of adventure and different scenes to be had in this series. I like the writing and how it all plays out like a movie, I personally think this entire series could be turned into at least 2-3 feature length films with the amount of story as there is right now.