Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Review: Skyjacked by Shirley Golden

Separated from his son, only a galaxy stands between him and home... The year is 2154, and Corvus Ranger, space pilot and captain of the Soliton, embarks on a penal run to Jupiter's prison moon, Europa. It should be another routine drop, but a motley band of escaped convicts have other ideas. When Soliton is hijacked, Corvus is forced to set a new destination, one which is far from Earth and his son. Unable to fight (or smooth talk) his way to freedom, Corvus finds himself tied to the plans of the escapees, including their leader Isidore and a gifted young boy who seems to possess strange abilities. Desperate to return to Earth and the son he left behind, Corvus is thrown into the ultimate adventure, a star-strewn odyssey where the greatest enemy in the universe may very well be himself. 


Skyjacked by Shirley Golden was exactly the read I needed. I'd finished a couple of amazing books and was stumped with what to pick up next and skipped over a ton of books before cracking open Skyjacked. I love the cover; the lone figure contrasted against the alien planet scape. The bold, one-word title fits perfectly.

This SF takes a clever assortment of characters and confines them on Soliton, Corvus' ship. Golden cleanly defines her characters, pointing out the pointy parts of their personalities, and then throws them in together. Skyjacked has constant action and fluid character dynamic as they succeed, fail or find redemption.

I really liked Isidore, Shai and Janelle. The three female leads in the story displayed confidence and strength. I felt Golden nicely setup and supported them, then let them go at it. Their decisions felt genuine and natural.

Corvus' 'lone wolf' thing made me want to elbow him at times but as I came to understand his pieces, I became protective of him though he'd never admit to needing it =)

All together a really enjoyable SF. Recommended!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Review: Dragon of Ash & Stars by H. Leighton Dickson

“People say that a Dragon breathes Fire. That is a myth. A Dragon IS Fire and his Whole Life is the Story of his Burning - Page by Blistering Page.” 

Stormfall is a dragon born with a coat the colour of a starry night. When a violent storm strikes his island aerie, he is carried on hurricane winds into the complicated and sometimes cruel world of men. There, his journey takes him from fisher dragon to farmer, pit-fighting dragon to warrior, each step leading him closer to a remarkable destiny. But war is coming to Remus and with it, a crossroads for the Night Dragon and the young soul-boy he allows on his back. But how far is Stormfall willing to go in a war that is not his own?


A brilliant, insightful and spiritual tale.

To be honest, even if I'd never heard of H. Leighton Dickson I would have bought this book for the cover alone. I also want the poster, cell phone case, stationery, queen sized bedding and a black toothbrush covered in gold stars. She is on my auto-buy list and reading her work is always an absolute pleasure.

Dragon gives a unique approach to the telling of a fantastic tale. It is the autobiography of Stormfall the black dragon told in his own words.

As an autobiography, the telling is of course slanted to show the teller in whatever light he wants to be seen. For a dragon who is every inch arrogant, proud and self-centred, giving him the opportunity to tell his own tale grants this story an impact that grows as the pages progress and the dragon portrays himself as he sees himself.


Also present in generous amounts is Dickson's ability to take advantage of humour in sharing any type of scene. Regardless of whether the moment is light or dark, one can sense her hand there not in telling the jokes but in allowing her characters the freedom to share those absurd thoughts we all have at even the most difficult of moments. Her images are both pristine and deep and each chapter is engaging.

The story itself is deeply satisfying. (Yes, she had me in tears again with wonderful and agonizing feels.) This is not a story that leaves you looking for book two. It is a complete tale I found epitomizes the idea of a standalone. I reached the end thinking "don't change a thing." I feel like I knew the dragon and will adore him for who he was, treasuring him for the way he saw himself and grateful he shared both his victories and triumphs.

Highly recommended.