Blog Archives

#CBR4 Maneuver #4 – The Rise of the Iron Moon

Target: Stephen Hut’s The Rise of the Iron Moon (Jackelian 3)

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Alien Invasion

Summary: From the Back Cover, “Born into captivity as a product of the Royal Breeding House, friendless orphan Purity Drake suddenly finds herself on the run with a forgone vagrant after accidentally killing one of her guards.

Her strange rescuer claims he is escaping from terrible forces who mean to enslave the Kingdom of Jackals as they conquered his own nation.  Purity doubts his story, until reports begin to filter through from Jackals’ neighbors of the terrible Army of Shadows, marching across the continent and sweeping all before them.

Purity may have little love for her government, but she chooses to fight to save her homeland and people.  The thing is, she hasn’t a clue how to do so.

As Jackals girds itself for war against an army of near-unkillable beasts serving an ancient evil, it soon becomes clear that there is more to Purity than meets the eye.  The kingdom’s only hope may be a strange little royalist girl and the last, desperate plan of an escaped slave.” Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #27 – Embassytown

Target: China Miéville’s Embassytown

Profile: Sci-fi, Speculative Fiction, Linguistics

Summary: From goodreads.com “In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak.

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties—to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.” Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #26 – The God Engines

Target: John Scalzi’s The God Engines

Profile: Sci-fi, Religion, Metafiction

Summary: From goodreads.com, “Captain Ean Tephe is a man of faith, whose allegiance to his lord and to his ship is uncontested. The Bishopry Militant knows this—and so, when it needs a ship and crew to undertake a secret, sacred mission to a hidden land, Tephe is the captain to whom the task is given.

Tephe knows from that the start that his mission will be a test of his skill as a leader of men and as a devout follower of his god. It s what he doesn t know that matters: to what ends his faith and his ship will ultimately be put—and that the tests he will face will come not only from his god and the Bishopry Militant, but from another, more malevolent source entirely…” Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #20 – The Temporal Void

Target: Peter F. Hamilton’s The Temporal Void

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Sci-Fi, Space Opera

Summary: From the back of the book, “Long ago, the astrophysicist Inigo began dreaming scenes from the life of the remarkable Edeard, who lived within the Void, a self-contained microuniverse at the heart of the galaxy.  Inigo’s inspirational dreams, shared by hundreds of millions throughout the galaxy gave, birth to a religion: Living Dream.  But when the appearance of a Second Dreamer seems to trigger the expansion of the Void – which is devouring everything it its path – the Intersolar Commonwealth is thrown into turmoil.

With time running out, the fate of humanity hinges on a handful of people: Araminta, now awakening to the unwelcome fact that she is the mysterious Second Dreamer; Inigo, whose private dreams hint at a darker truth; and Justine, whose desperate gamble places her within the Void, where the godlike Skylords hold the power to save the universe… or destroy it.” Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #16 – The Dreaming Void

Target: Peter F. Hamilton’s The Dreaming Void

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Sci-Fi, Space Opera

Summary: From the back of the book, “The year is 3589.  At the very heart of the galaxy is the Void, a self-contained microuniverse that cannot be stopped as it expands in all directions, consuming everything in its path.  Even the oldest and most technologically advanced of the galaxy’s sentient races, the Raiel, do not know its origin or its purpose.  Then Inigo, an astrophysicist, begins having vivid dreams.  Inside the Void, Inigo sees paradise.  Thanks to the gaiafield, a neural entanglement wired into most humans, those dreams are shared by hundreds of millions – and a religion, the Living Dream, is born, with Inigo as its prophet.  But then he vanishes.  A new wave of dreams broadcast by an unknown Second Dreamer serves as the impetus for a massive Pilgrimage into the void which could trigger an accelerated devourment phase that will swallow up thousands of worlds.  Thus begins a desperate race to find Inigo and avert catastrophe.”

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