Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 19: Project Pandora, by Aden Polydoros

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!
This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and inspired by "Waiting On Wednesday", which used to be hosted by
 Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

For more information, please click HERE.

As in the previous meme, this one showcases future releases  we book  bloggers 
are eagerly anticipating!!
There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 Project Pandora
(Assassin Fall, Book 1)
Aden Polydoros
Trade Paperback,  300 pages
Entangled Teen
August 1, 2017 
Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction, 
Suspense, Thriller,
Young Adult Fiction

Having spent most of his life passing from one foster home to another, seventeen-year-old Tyler Bennett decided the only person he could trust was himself. But he hasn’t been feeling like himself lately. When he learns his entire past is a lie, and someone on the other end of a burner phone can order him to do anything, anywhere, he’s not just powerless. He’s controlled.

But when Tyler wakes during the middle of an assignment, he’s painted a target on his back. In order to unlock his buried memories and keep the Project from killing him, he’s going to need to learn to trust in a group of teens—including a beautiful girl who’s imprisoned in her own mind but he’s desperate to save. If he doesn’t uncover the truth behind the Project before it’s too late, his life is forfeit—and he may be the one to end it.

Why I can't wait for this one!

Well, golly, gee, gosh!!! Just LOOK at that cover!! If this image doesn't get your heart pounding away with excitement and breathless anticipation, then I really don't know what to say.... Me, I'm TOTALLY REVVED up for this book!! It just has the words "AWESOME" and "EXHILARATING" written all over it!! Oh, and did I mention "UNPUTDOWNABLE"?! Well, yeah, that one, too!! And it's a DEBUT novel, guys!!! Since I heartily wish that the warp drive really DID exist, I've done my best to copy it by pre-ordering this book already!!! I can only wish that Scotty could beam it

Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, the youngest of three children. Aden’s family moved to Arizona when he was in second grade. As a kid, he spent much of his time exploring the desert near his home. When he wasn’t searching for snakes and lizards, he was raiding the bookshelves of the local library.

His debut novel, Project Pandora, will be available on August 1, 2017 from Entangled Teen. He is represented by Mallory Brown of Triada US. 


What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link below, so I can
come check out your pick(s)!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Review: The Rings of Tautee, by Dean Wesley Smith & Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Rings of Tautee
(Star Trek: The Original Series, No. 78)
Dean Wesley Smith & Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Mass Market Paperback
242 pages
Pocket Books, May 1, 1996
Science Fiction, Star Trek TOS
Source: Amazon

Book Synopsis: An entire solar system begins to disintegrate into cosmic rubble, and Captain Kirk suspects that rumors of a new Klingon superweapon are all too true. The Tautee system houses a flourishing pre-Warp civilization not quite ready to join the Federation, so the Prime Directive limits Kirk's ability to prevent the disaster, and to make matters worse his rescue efforts provoke an attack from four Klingon warships. But soon Kirk recognizes that he must get to the bottom of the forces at work in the Tautee system, because they could spill over into the rest of the galaxy.

It's been much too long since I last read a Star Trek:The Original Series novel! It was such a treat to get back into the very FIRST Roddenberry universe!

One of the things I liked the most about this novel was how well the two authors captured the personalities of these famous characters. In fact, as I was reading, I could see Kirk, Spock, and the rest of them interacting in my mind's eye. I actually felt that this could have been an actual episode, too!

This beloved TV series was not only known for its originality and bold, highly imaginative story lines, but for its sly humor, as well. That very important ingredient is also present (to some extent) in this novel, as the following sample exchange demonstrates.

"Mister Spock, I thought you said there was no chance of survivors."

"On the contrary, Captain," Spock said. "I believe I said that it was unlikely there would be many survivors."

"Do you care to explain the distinction?"

"The term 'unlikely' means that there is a chance someone did survive. However, an entire series of circumstances would have had to occur. The chances of those circumstances happening at this opportune time would be --- "

"Unlikely, yes, I know, Mister Spock." Kirk shook his head and turned back to Uhura.

I can almost see the look of exasperation and chagrin on Kirk's face.... Lol.  

The concept introduced in this novel was a truly unique, breathtaking one! The science behind it was a bit too complex for me to understand (and it was part of the fiction), but that didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book.  

The plot involves a disaster of truly cosmic proportions, as stated in the synopsis. This disaster had been the result of a physics project gone tragically wrong, which caused a chain reaction in the Tauteean solar system, destroying one planet after another, and creating a rift in space that caused a neighboring universe to "leak through". 

Of course, the U.S.S. Enterprise is dispatched at once to investigate. When they arrive in the area, they are surprised to pick up a distress signal from one of the disintegrated planets' moons, which is also in danger of disintegrating. Before long, the starship is full of survivors, many of them the scientists who had participated in the failed project.

Unfortunately, Kirk and his crew soon have to deal with four Klingon warships that had also been dispatched to the area. The Klingons are under the impression that the Federation has deployed a new, super-powerful weapon in the Tauteean system, and they have every intention of capturing it.

This novel also introduces some new characters, the most memorable of which is Subcommander Prescott, the scientist and Tauteean leader whose brainchild, the Kanst Energy Experiment, has somehow gone so horribly wrong. She is not only a brilliant scientist, but an indomitable leader, as well. In the midst of the tragedy, she remains stoic, and fully accepts responsibility for the havoc and massive loss of life involved. I felt so bad for her, especially as she was not a ruthless, egotistical, scientist with delusions of grandeur. Instead, she came across as a very humane, idealistic person.

As Spock demonstrates later on in the novel, however, the tragic collapse of the Tauteean system was not ultimately Prescott's fault at all, but rather, that of a fatal flaw in the project itself, which no one had previously noticed because it could not have been foreseen until the whole thing was set in motion.

Captain Kelly Bogle, of the U.S.S. Farragut, is another new character. He was supposedly a "friend" of Captain Kirk's, but his thoughts and actions throughout the novel show his true colors. I totally disliked this guy, and felt that his presence in the novel was actually detrimental to it. True, he served as a contrast to Kirk, but I didn't think he was necessary to the plot. At best, he was nothing more than a total annoyance!

The novel was very well paced; the action kept flowing effortlessly, much as it did in each ST episode of the original series that I love so much. These two authors made everything very believable, as well, and thus, the tension was also very believable.

I would have given this book five stars, as it was very well-written, but there were a couple of things I didn't quite like. I have already mentioned Captain Bogle. He's part of the reason. It was actually totally ridiculous that he and Kirk could have EVER been friends, given their differences. Kirk is an adventurer, a risk taker, and not above bending or even breaking the rules when necessary. Bogle is just the opposite. He's a stickler for rules, and will refuse to bend or break them even when the situation he's presented with demands that he do so.

The conflict between these two starship captains is directly related to the Federation's most important rule -- the Prime Directive. For those who are unfamiliar with the ST universe, this rule, held as nearly sacred by all members of the United Federation of Planets, "prohibits Starfleet personnel from interfering with the internal development of alien civilizations. The conceptual law applies particularly to civilizations which are below a certain threshold of technological, scientific, and cultural development, preventing starship crews from using their superior technology to impose their own values or ideals on them." (Source: Wikipedia

This is all well and good, but when possible loss of life enters the picture, all rules should be thrown out the window. Kirk understands this, while Bogle refuses to. However, I thought this whole conflict between them was totally unnecessary. It stands to reason that any rule, if it stands in the way of saving the lives of either human beings, and/or humanoid species, should be discarded. So I really didn't see why the authors of this novel felt that this conflict between the two starship captains would contribute to the novel's effectiveness. 

Another aspect that didn't quite ring true for me was the portrayal of the Klingon characters. The Klingons are an extremely warlike race, and it's not at all easy to reason with them. Besides, their savage warrior code deems it an honor to die in battle. They therefore look upon attempts to avoid violence with utter contempt. Given all this, it did not seem realistic that they should, in the end, actually agree to assist the Federation starships in their mission to help the Tauteeans. 

In spite of these objections, I did enjoy reading this novel, and would recommend it to any diehard Trekkie such as myself! The story did capture my attention until the very end, and I was able to totally disconnect myself from my Terran (Earth) surroundings, joining the crew of the Starship Enterprise in yet another adventure in their long-standing space mission of discovering new worlds, and new civilizations! 


Kristine Kathryn Rusch is an award-winning mystery, romance, science fiction, and fantasy writer. She has written many novels under various names. Her novels have made the bestseller lists –even in London– and have been published in 14 countries and 13 different languages.

Her awards range from the Ellery Queen Readers Choice Award to the John W. Campbell Award. In the past year, she has been nominated for the Hugo, the Shamus, and the Anthony Award. She is the only person in the history of the science fiction field to have won a Hugo award for editing and a Hugo award for fiction.

In addition, she's written a number of nonfiction articles over the years, with her latest being the book A Freelancer's Survival Guide.

She has also published as:
Sandy Schofield (collaborations with 
husband Dean Wesley Smith)
Kristine Grayson - romances
Kathryn Wesley (collaborations with 
husband Dean Wesley Smith)
Kris Nelscott - mysteries
Kris Rusch - historical fiction
Kris DeLake - romances

Dean Wesley Smith is the bestselling author of over ninety novels under many names and well over 100 published short stories. He has over eight million copies of his books in print and has books published in nine different countries. He has written many original novels in science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and romance as well as books for television, movies, games, and comics. He is also known for writing quality work very quickly and has written a large number of novels as a ghost writer or under house names.

With Kristine Kathryn Rusch, he is the coauthor of The Tenth Planet trilogy and The 10th Kingdom.

Dean has also written books and comics for all three major comic book companies, Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse, and has done scripts for Hollywood. One movie was actually made.

Over his career he has also been an editor and publisher, first at Pulphouse Publishing, then for VB Tech Journal, then for Pocket Books.

Currently, he is writing thrillers and mystery novels under another name.

 Pen Names 
Edward Taft
Dee W. Schofield
D.W. Smith
Sandy Schofield
Kathryn Wesley

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 213: Le Morte d'Arthur, by Sir Thomas Malory

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

*Late Edition*
This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

Le Morte d'Arthur
Thomas Malory
B&N Leather-bound Edition, 896  pages
Sterling Publishing
June 7, 2015
   Classics, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

From the very first time I encountered the King Arthur legends, back when I was a sixth-grade student, I have loved them all! (Of course, back then I read an abridged version -- Sidney Lanier's The Boy's King Arthur. Certain things were not proper for a young child to know about....)

Around the same time I read the Sidney Lanier adaptation, I also read, and ADORED, Disney's The Sword In The Stone. Years later, I also read, and LOVED, T.H. White's The Once and Future King, which Disney used as a basis for his own adaptation. So I've been an Arthurian fan for most of my life!

I have never read Malory's version, incredibly enough -- at least, not completely. I think I did read some excerpts in high school. So of course I'd like to peruse it, since it's the basis for all and any subsequent Arthurian tales!

This particular edition is lovely in the extreme! And I am the VERY proud owner of a copy!! In fact, I bought it at my local, beautiful, two-floor Barnes and Noble store this past Friday evening!!!! YAAAAAY!!! I am ABSOLUTELY ECSTATIC!!!! And it was on SALE, fellow book lovers!!! Yup!! The store had several of its collectible editions at 50% off!!!! This book was originally priced at $20.00, plus tax. I had been wistfully eying it for quite some time, too..... So, when I saw that it was on sale, I decided to snap it up ASAP!!! And hey, I only paid a total of $10.70 for it, including tax!!!!! (*dancing an Irish jig around the living room*!!!!)

Now, as for the moral of this little bookish tale: "Thou shalt be aware AT ALL TIMES of all and sundry book sales at thy local B&N!!" 

So....on to my usual cover analysis!

Well.....after all of the above, you can all see that I have EVERY reason to be ecstatic about this particular volume! It is just EXQUISITELY BEAUTIFUL. I could end my post right here, because, well, it's SO obvious that this is a TREASURE! I still can't believe I didn't pay that much for it! Perhaps, years from now, it will be worth a fortune. But dearest readers, I shall NEVER part with it!! Lol.

The cover includes artwork by one of my favorite book illustrators -- Aubrey Beardsley. He is responsible for the GORGEOUS stylized design which frames the central picture. That picture is the work of Howard Pyle. 

Both of these illustrators lived in the 19th century. What they both have in common is a very rich, imaginative style that lends itself PERFECTLY to fantasy works. However, there are some differences between them. Pyle primarily illustrated books for young people, whereas Beardsley's work has certain decadent, erotic elements that are, of course, not suitable for works aimed at children and young people. I don't like ALL of Beardsley's work myself; at least, not the work imbued with erotic elements. But Beardsley has such a command of line and overall design, I can't help but admire him while not favoring his more scandalous designs. He was very influential in the development of the Art Nouveau style.

In the Beardsley illustration below, you can see the very same beautiful, flowing design that appears on the book cover. In both cases, this design frames a picture of people  and/or an event in the story. Interestingly, the design moves from right to left in this illustration, while its direction has been reversed on the book cover.

"How Sir Bedivere Cast the Sword
'Excalibur' into the Water"
(from Le Morte d'Arthur, by Malory)
Aubrey Beardsly, 1894

The work of these two artists has been perfectly combined on this cover! Pyle's illustration, which has a fantastical, medieval flavor (this particular one also has a more adult flavor), is beautifully paired with Beardsley's flowing Art Nouveau frame! A double decorative border has been added to the top and bottom of the cover, as well, and the whole thing carries over to the spine and back cover. You can see this in the picture below.

These decorative borders are most likely the work of Patrice Kaplan, the cover designer. I assume that the shape in the middle of the cover, with the medieval calligraphy for the title and author's name, is also the work of this highly talented designer. It perfectly matches the work of the other two artists!

The inside of the book also displays Beardsley's work; every chapter beginning is adorned with his elegant line designs. The book also features several illustrations by yet another famous 19th-century artist -- Arthur Rackham. He specialized in book illustration, creating many beautiful works with fantasy themes.

I should not neglect to mention this cover's background color; it is a deep olive green which reminds me of a richly verdant forest. This ties in just right with the fantasy theme! 

The name of the cover designer is Patrice Kaplan. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the School of Visual Arts, in New York City. She has been the Designer/Art Dierctor for Sterling Publishing (an imprint of Random House) since 2005. According to LinkedIn, she is "responsible for art directing and designing Barnes and Noble's proprietary classic leather-bound books and Signature Edition books." She has also worked for Simon and Schuster and HarperCollins. 

In 2012, Kaplan won first place in the category of Hardcover Children's Picture Book Series at the New York Book Show, for her Barnes and Noble Classic Children's Leather Editions.

Online Links

What do you think of 
this week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!