Wild Ride Action Adventure. This one has everything – exotic (at least to American audiences) locations throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, unintentional/ intentional skydiving, long distance endurance swimming, running from bad guys via various means, lots of guns, a few explosions here and there… and a touch of the mystic, just because this *is* Maddock and Bones and, well, that’s kind of what they do these days in particular. 🙂 This time, they’re back with the more complete team, and as such this *is* one of the longer, more involved adventures – this isn’t one of the shortish adventures that may be able to be read in an hour or two, but it also isn’t so long as to feel out of place in the overall series or genre. So sit back, strap in, and enjoy the ride. Very much recommended.
τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας Νέμεσις. In one of the more famous Biblical passages amongst at least certain American crowds – and, based on Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God and Dante’s Inferno (itself based on earlier works by St. Thomas Aquinas and non-Biblical yet popular Apocalypse tales that circled in the early centuries within the Christian community), possibly among the more famous Biblical passages in all of Christendom, St. Paul once wrote in his Epistle to the Romans “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NIV/ NKJV)
The title of this review is actually Robinson’s spin on that particular verse, which he essentially used to reboot and retell the story of Νέμεσις – Nemesis, the ancient Greek god of vengeance he originally crafted a balls to the wall kaiju action series around in PROJECT: NEMESIS. Which led to his very *first* ‘Avengers Level Event’ (my term for it) collaboration at the end of that series. If you want the actual translation of the title… you’re gonna have to read the book. Though this review so far should give you a pretty good idea of what it says. 😀 I can honestly say that the very first time I saw that particular phrase in the book, I IM’d Jeremy directly immediately and said “this *has* to be your next image in your TeePublic store“. It was that awesome. 😀
And the rest of the story is equally amazing, unexpectedly bringing back yet another creature from the Robinsonverse – whose origin even in its standalone tale was tied to an “alternate dimension” Nemesis + another connection to yet a third Robinsonverse tale, and whose origin remains intact (in at least these two respects) in this tale. Indeed, the unexpected just keeps coming within this tale, as the presence of this particular creature – and specifically how it is created here – draws Nemesis herself in for yet again more very creative monster/ kaiju fighting. Indeed, even for long time fans of Nemesis herself… old girl’s got some new tricks here, particularly since this is a *different version* of her. 😉 And not just Nemesis. Other features of those books also get entirely rebooted, including a new “Betty” with some interesting new abilities that turn our heroes into in some cases even more badass versions of a particular red and gold Marvel superhero. Also note to be missed is Robinson’s commentary on a particular 2010s era movie that may or may not have included one particular scene that may or may not have been *eerily* reminiscent of the earlier Nemesis tales, in one exact moment in particular.
One thing I need to make 100% crystal clear though: Old fans, new fans, whoever you may be: This is a 100% standalone book. You don’t need to know *anything* about literally anything to enjoy this tale as it is written. You don’t need to have read every Robinson book (or nearly so). You don’t need to have a deep knowledge base of Christian thought. You don’t even have to have any knowledge of pop culture (and in some cases, some relatively obscure areas that wouldn’t necessarily be described as overly “popular”, more along the lines of “cult” at best). This is still the New God of Science Fiction doing what he does best, and that which he does better than anyone else I’ve ever come across – giving you kick ass, balls to the wall, science fiction action/ thrillers that sometimes make you think, often times have connections all around that don’t impede the story, and are always upping themselves in just how creative their creator can be.
It is actually quite funny me in particular. Yet again, Robinson said “I’m working on this new concept” and said what it was. Yet again I was skeptical. And yet again, Robinson earned every praise I can ever give his storytelling and world crafting abilities. (I famously did this with the Chess Team/ Jack Sigler Adventures when he first told me about them – and they became one of his greatest early career innovations.)
Truly a fun bit of escapist science fiction that will nearly be as deep as you want it to be – and no more. Exactly what the best science fiction has always done. Very much recommended.
Here’s what I had to say about the book on Goodreads:
Neurodivergent Time Travel Women’s Fiction. I do believe this is the first time I’ve ever encountered a book quite like this one – a book with a neurodivergent main character who time jumps most similarly to The Time Traveler’s Wife (vs a true time loop ala Groundhog Day or a “glimpse” ala Family Man), but yet ultimately lands more on the women’s fiction side than the romance side, despite said main character’s main focus being on restoring the romance she loses at the beginning of the tale. There’s also quite a reliance on Greek mythology reimagined, more akin to elements of Jeremy Robinson’s Infinite Timeline event than say Rick Riordian’s Percy Jackson lore. But as with at least Robinson’s books (I’ve never actually read Riordian’s), there is enough explanation of the relevant mythology that one not need have a degree in the field to understand the story enough to enjoy the story for itself. Overall, this has quite a few rare features in it, and fans of the time travel genre will likely enjoy it the most, but others should still step into this wildly quirky world. Very much recommended.
After the jump, the “publisher details”, including an excerpt from the book, the book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Cassandra In Reverse by Holly Smale”
The New God Of Science Fiction Strikes With His Best Yet. Robinson, the New God of Science Fiction, squarely takes on an element of scifi/ fantasy that he has been circling a bit tangentially for a few books now via Mind Bullet and Tribe in particular, and in this particular book takes the characters from both of those former books + The Dark and combines them into an “Avengers” crossover event… to travel through Khaos and encounter many creatures from the Greek myths. In classic Robinson style, we get a lot of heart, a lot of action, a lot of banter… and in the end… well… you’re going to want to have SINGULARITY, the final book in the Infinite Timelines “MCU approach to storytelling” event, in your hands the moment you finish this book. Yet again, Robinson proves himself capable of using any element of science fiction and spinning his own unique brand of chaotic action into it, masterfully telling his stories his way incorporating any form of prior science fiction, from the ancient to the bleeding edge. Truly masterful, and very much recommended.
LOTS Of Moving Parts. This is one of those longer books at 634 pages with a LOT of moving parts that can be difficult to track at times – but which it is hard to say that McBride could have separated into two books at any given point. MAYBE by separating out some of the individual threads into two separate yet concurrent 300 ish page books? Yet I struggle to think that the tale would be so compelling without seeing all that is happening at once.
Essentially this is the tale of the beginning of the Apocalypse, and McBride makes it clear in his author’s note that a major inspiration was The Stand (which believe it or not, I’ve never read). Another somewhat similar story that I drew several parallels with from one of McBride’s contemporaries is the Project Eden series by Brett Battles, which I’ve noted for years was the best full series I’ve yet read.
Here, McBride begins to make his case to take that title, and despite the length here and just how many individual threads are all going on… he absolutely makes a strong opening statement. By the end of this book, it is quite clear that this particular tale setting up the Apocalypse and showing how it began is complete… and yet it is also quite clear that several threads will be left for subsequent books and at least a few of them are likely to not be resolved until the final book of this series, whenever that may be. Very much recommended.
Tropical Adventure Turns Mystical / Fantasy. This is one of the rare books from Wood (in this series, he does have a pen name that is more pure fantasy) that has any level of actual fantasy in it, and even here it is more of a mystical bent that *could* be read as more scifi – though it is certainly on that boundary, in a similar place as roughly half of Ted Dekker’s Circle Quadrilogy.
What starts out as a tropical vacation quickly turns into a race to find and obtain priceless artifacts which leads to the mystical/ fantasy payoff – meaning that prior to the fantasy section, this is a pretty standard Maddock Adventures book, with the usual elements – various people showing up from prior adventures, Bones showing up where he isn’t “supposed” to be, Bones wise cracking and cracking bones, Maddock outsmarting most everyone and being all chivalrous while doing so, etc. The things that long time fans know and love, but done in a way such that newer readers won’t be lost – but will be enticed to go back and read about these prior adventures with the various connections.
Overall a fun and quick – just under 200 page – read, and thus a good actual beach read. 😀 Very much recommended.
Another Excellent Maddock and Bones Adventure. This is yet another episode in the sprawling universe that is Maddock and Bones, one with at least a few callouts that won’t be obvious unless you’ve read the entire universe of these stories to this point. That noted, it can indeed work reasonably well as an entry point into the series, as most of the callbacks are more tangential than essential. (And the essential ones are explained well, but are slight spoilers for previous books – for those that particularly care about such things.) Overall a fun romp through the Amazon and Inca lore, and very much recommended.