#BlogTour: A Quantum Love Story by Mike Chen

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a strong scifi book that will possibly cause a war within Booklandia. For this blog tour, we’re looking at A Quantum Love Story by Mike Chen.

Here’s what I had to say on the review sites (Hardcover.app, TheStoryGraph, BookHype, Goodreads):

Title Vs Genre Will Cause A War In Booklandia. This is a book where the title will quell any riots over the story… and yet so many places (perhaps because of the publisher? unclear there) classifying this as a “romance” for genre purposes… is going to spark those very riots. To be clear, this book does NOT meet RWA qualifications for a “romance novel” – and is actually all the stronger for it. (As is generally the case, fwiw.) Which is why the title is correct and speaks to exactly what you can expect here: a scifi love story, both with the characters and from the writer to the audience. This is a quirky, funny, heart bursting, extremely cloudy room kind of scifi tale that is going to take you less on a rollercoaster of emotion and more through a multiverse of various combinations of emotions.

Yes, at its base this is a Groundhog Day/ Edge Of Tomorrow kind of time looping tale. Which then builds into almost Terminator level time looping. Even certain elements of a Michael Crichton TIMELINE or a Randall Ingermanson TRANSGRESSION or even a Jeremy Robinson THE DIDYMUS CONTINGENCY. All while based in and around a “super-LHC” – which reminds me, make sure to check hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com a few times while reading this book, just to be sure – and its experiments.

Overall this book really was quite good and quite a ride – one of the very few where I knew I had to immediately begin writing the review as soon as I finished the book itself. That, to me over the course of *so very many* books and Advance Review Copies over the last several years, is one of the marks of a particularly good book – you’re just left in such emotional upheaval that you *have* to write to get the thoughts out of your own head. But don’t go into this book expecting a romance – it does NOT meet those “official” guidelines – and, again, is stronger for it. It absolutely IS a love story (and yes, “clean”/ “sweet” crowd, you’ll find this one perfectly acceptable), and honestly one of the better ones I’ve read in the last several years.

Very much recommended.

Note that the review on Hardcover.app, TheStoryGraph, and Goodreads contains an extra paragraph that contains a spoiler that some may find beneficial to know about – this site, BookHype, and BookBub do not support spoiler tags to hide such details.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: A Quantum Love Story by Mike Chen”

#BookReview: Hunger: The Complete Trilogy by Jeremy Robinson

Review of HUNGER (Originally written June 9, 2015):
Curing world hunger sounds great, right?

That is why I did it. I wanted to be the guy that solved World Hunger.

And I did. I used genetic modification to unlock so-called “junk” DNA in plants, and with this I was able to allow them to grow anywhere that had a permeable surface. Desert? Not a problem. Marsh? Not a problem. Mountains? Not a problem. As long as it didn’t involve steel, concrete, rock, or the like, my plants would grow.

Unfortunately I never really tested my breakthrough before it got out of control, and my boss never looked at my work either.

So I wound up causing the apocalypse by solving world hunger.

Oops.

Now it is several years after my breakthrough caused the end of humanity, and my boss is on the run. She still has hope that what little remains of humanity outside of our San Francisco complex can be saved. Me, I’m not so sure – but her bosses sure seem to be intent on stopping her for some reason.

How did we do it? How did we cause the end of humanity? Will she be able to reverse what I did?

Well, you’re just going to have to read Jeremiah Knight’s debut book to find out…

Note: Hate to spoil the illusion here, but just to be clear: I am a real person who is a long time fan of the author (as in, we met via MySpace) whose name the author used for a character in this book. The above is solely my own review, my way of trying to thank the author, who is easily one of my favorites.

Review of FEAST (Originally written June 9, 2016):
This time we travel, interestingly, not far from where the real me actually lives – to the swamps outside Charleston, SC. This book in particular is great because it slows the pace down a bit from the first book, yet WAY amps up the drama. There are certain situations in this book that will make some/ possibly many uncomfortable, but this is still a Jeremiah Knight/ Jeremy Robinson book – you don’t have to worry about actually seeing any of the things I refer to. The monsters here are top notch, as always, but the case could be made that the real monsters of this story are the humans our heroes encounter – and along the way, we may just see the possibility that perhaps the monsters we know aren’t so monstrous, and the people we know aren’t so nice…

Review of FAMINE (Originally written June 24, 2023):
Years ago, Jeremy Robinson created a seemingly fantastical dystopian tale of what *could* happen if genetically modified organisms and specifically food somehow found a way to run amok. He even included a version of me that is probably (almost certainly) more accurate than I’d like to admit, as the absolutely brilliant yet also cocky, self assured scientist who doesn’t double check the safety of his work. Thus, while I manage to (accidentally) solve World Hunger… I also caused the Apocalypse in the process and kick started the events we see unfolding through this now (finally) completed trilogy. After literally *years* of me *begging* Robinson to write this book, FAMINE – and show me how “I” die. And to be sure, while the “me” presented in HUNGER is all too real, the “me” presented in FAMINE is… remarkably less so. ๐Ÿ˜€ But that’s actually quite awesome, because now I’ve had a chance to buy *both* of Robinson’s “Jeremy Robinson [Spared/ Killed] Me In A Novel, So I Had To Buy This Shirt” shirts.

Here, in this book that I’ve been begging so long for, Robinson manages to again outdo the MCU in that while the follow up movie from Avengers: Endgame was a bit of a letdown, here, Robinson shows that his talent is still in full swing and truly at the top of his game. While the INFINITE TIMELINE and its conclusion, SINGULARITY, was one of the best science fiction collections ever written – and whose epic story makes it rank among the best complete stories ever written, period – FAMINE comes in equally strong, showing not a single modicum of a hint of a slide from that peak. The creatures throughout the book are fantastic, the character growth of our central team is on par with some of Robinson’s best ever work, and the final fight scene here is quite possibly one of the best creature feature fight scenes you’re ever going to encounter anywhere in any medium. It has laughs, it has high drama, the tension is razor sharp, and the flow is superconductor level perfectly smooth.

And yes, one might argue that my opinion is tainted because I *have* been begging for this book for so long and building it up for so long in my head. How could I ever think it would be anything less than THE BEST THING EVER!!!!! But that’s just it: Yes, I *had* built this book up in my head for so many years. I *had* been dreaming of seeing my death and how Robinson would orchestrate it. I *had* been trying to figure out the endgame and how Robinson would solve some of the pickles he had written himself into by the end of FEAST. And yet… this book was *still* more than anything I could have ever dreamed. While it is no SINGULARITY, it also wasn’t doing the same things that book was. This book simply had to be a solid conclusion to a great trilogy, and instead of coming in and hitting a base hit to drive in the one walk off run, this book *still* came in and hit the walk-off Grand Slam.

Robinson is pricing this entire trilogy at the normal price of just a single book, making this a 3 for 1 deal – a great value in nearly any situation. Do yourself a favor. Take the deal. Read this book. Have a great summer with a great escapist adventure. Because the “real” world is bad enough, and we could all use some mindless fun, right?

Very much recommended.

This review of Hunger: The Complete Trilogy by Jeremy Robinson was originally written on June 24, 2023.

#BookReview: The Demon Crown by James Rollins

Tom Clancy Meets Jeremy Robinson Meets Brett Battles In An Epic Race To Save The World. Yet again, Rollins manages to blend different things from science and history in ways that seemingly only he can, though this time he did indeed have shades of the other authors named above. You’ve got the Debt of Honor ties to Tom Clancy with similar villains. You’ve got the Island 731 ties to Jeremy Robinson via using the real-world Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army for some of the backstory. And you’ve got the PROJECT EDEN ties to Brett Battles’ epic series via the ultimate endgames of the bad guys.

And yet Rollins manages to make this story completely his own, with only fans of the other three authors being able to see the connections probably at all. The follow up from The Seventh Plague in the opening scene with Sigma characters is great, and really drives home the very humanity that makes this series so truly compelling. But then the action picks up dramatically, and because of the nature of the threat… never really dies down. Once again the team is split with various people going various places, so people who don’t like following multiple trains on a given story may not like that bit – though at least here, we basically follow the two halves of the Sigma team + the bad guys (a bit). One interesting feature here is that Rollins actually bakes the life span of the featured creature into the narrative here, having one chapter devoted to each stage of its development – from that stage’s perspective. And yes, there are some utterly horrific scenes here as well, as virtually anything based on Unit 731 must include.

Overall an excellent tale and strong followup to The Seventh Plague, and sets in motion events which are sure to pay off down the line as well. Very much recommended.

This review of The Demon Crown by James Rollins was originally written on June 7, 2023.

#BookReview: Quantum Radio by A.G. Riddle

Stargate Meets The One. There really is a lot to love about this book, and the fact that it has elements of two scifi movies that I personally love (one which became a cult classic, the other of which has largely been forgotten) was more icing on the cake and something I could use in this review to give an idea of the scope of this book without actually revealing any spoilers. If you like either of the IPs I listed in the title here, you’re likely going to enjoy this more hard-scifi (ish) take on them, where Riddle manages to ground them at least somewhat more in actual reality… and yet still tell an intruging tale of family, secrets, and how far a person will go within the scope of what he has set up. Truly an excellent setup here, and apparently even Riddle himself doesn’t yet know how long he’ll take this series – but I for one can’t wait to see where he takes it next. Will it be a Stargate type? Quantum Leap type? Something truly novel and groundbreaking? Riddle’s talent as a storyteller – shown well in this very book – alone says the next book will be good. I challenge him to make it truly, truly *great*. Very much recommended.

This review of Quantum Radio by A.G. Riddle was originally written on January 13, 2023.

#BookReview: Intruders by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders

Pulse Pounding Conclusion Evokes ALLEGIANT To A Degree. This is a solid continuation and conclusion of the EXILES story, and both combined are short enough that one almost wonders why the two books (each sub-300 pages) were not simply written as one complete story rather than one story in two halves? It seemed to make sense at the end of EXILES, when at least my own expectation was that this would be a second trilogy from the twin sisters that write twin characters. With this clearly being a short duology now… one begins to question a bit more. Ultimately, I’ll leave the 5* and not deduct one for blatant cash grab, but I’ll also be interested to see what other readers think on that point, and perhaps hear in some interview or social media post or some such why the decision was made to split the story as it was. That noted, particularly with its emphasis on fear and our heroes having vials that can evoke or conquer fear… yes, this book absolutely has a degree of a feel of ALLEGIANT to it. Which was an interesting connection, given just how reviled the ending to that particular tale was (though to be crystal clear and yet without actually giving anything away, this tale does *not* use the specific type of ending that got ALLEGIANT most of the scorn it has ultimately gotten – scorn that I have disagreed with since the moment I finished that book myself).

And yet, even with these issues this tale really was another pulse-pounding thrill ride, perhaps with fewer questions for the reader to ponder and more fights to marvel at. The sisters continue to show their evolving skills and natural-seeming storytelling talent, and it will be very interesting to see what they come up with next. Very much recommended.

This review of Intruders by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders was originally written on January 3, 2023.

#BookReview: Khaos by Jeremy Robinson

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.

This review of Khaos by Jeremy Robinson was originally written on October 8, 2022.

#BookReview: The Space Between by Jane Lebak

This Needs To Be Expanded (And That Is A Very Good Thing). Here Lebak creates an inventive yet relatable science fiction tale set on Pluto that is a great yet short read… which is really the only problem with the book. It is so intriguing that I for one would *really* like to see this expanded out into a full length novel, perhaps building in more suspense and mystery and *maybe* adding a few more named characters/ further fleshing out existing named characters. Played right, it could likely even be expanded into a trilogy – one that I for one would love to experience. Seriously great tale, and a very quick read. Which in and of itself is *great* for those with little reading time and/ or trying to squeeze in a few more books at the end of the year to meet reading goals for the year. Also great for younger readers, as there is no cursing / sex/ gore *and* it even has some actual science (explained to “an intelligent five year old”, as the Station Director directs in-book) to use as a teaching point. ๐Ÿ™‚ Very much recommended.

This review of The Space Between by Jane Lebak was originally written on October 13, 2021.

#BookReview: Out Of Time by Matthew Mather

Freaking LHC / CERN *STILL* Trying To Destroy The World! One of the most important websites you can check every morning is HasTheLargeHadronColliderDestroyedTheWorldYet.com … and here, in this action-packed continuation of the Delta Devlin series, Matthew Mather gives yet another reason this is true. One I had never even considered – passing data backward through time – … and doing other things that are certain to go into spoiler territory to name (even without a description of this book to judge “spoiler” by) but which are truly, utterly terrifying. Mather attains the best of the creativity of a Jeremy Robinson type of science fiction writer with the “straight out of the headlines” level current/ near-future tech of a more Michael Crichton type science fiction writer – high praise indeed, considering that both of the aforementioned authors are among my all-time favorites – and he uses this skill to create a tale that can stand up against most any action-based science fiction tale out there. I for one can’t wait to see what tech he tackles next in this series! Very much recommended.

This review of Out Of Time by Matthew Mather was originally written on September 28, 2021.

#BookReview: Chimera by Michael McBride

Human Hubris Leads To Disaster. This is a creature feature tale combined with a disaster tale, with a unique and fairly inventive creature combining with a massive blizzard in the Arctic Circle to create one hell of a ride. McBride uses a dual timeline approach to show us how the creature came to be and just how one scientist in particular had their noble goals turn out so horrifically, along with showing the “now” of having to rescue any possible survivors once the creature runs on its inevitable (due to the genre) rampage. McBride actually teases some even more horrific creatures, but the focus is completely on the titular Chimera. While not in any way a political book (similar to the greats of the genre in that regard), in showing yet another way that altruism and hubris can in fact lead to disaster, this book actually makes some solid points about caution and even corporate and government interests – and back-room dealings – in the areas at hand. But again, these are more minor points in the tale, more throw-away commentary that fleshes out minor characters than truly central to the actual story. Truly a story that fires on all cylinders and offers much for anyone that is remotely a fan of science fiction in general or creature features in particular. Very much recommended.

This review of Chimera by Michael McBride was originally written on September 26, 2021.

Featured New Release Of The Week: The Dark by Jeremy Robinson

This week we’re looking at a scifi action tale that wraps itself up in horror clothing remarkably well. This week we’re looking at The Dark by Jeremy Robinson.

As always, the Goodreads review:

The Master Turns To Horror. With this book, Jeremy Robinson – The Modern Day Master of Science Fiction – again attempts a horror book… before bringing it back to the scifi action that is his bread and butter. He first establishes a loveable galoof of an anti-hero: an Army veteran who has PTSD from his experiences in Afghanistan who can’t quite fit in with his suburban civilian “normal” life. Then, he begins building in the mystery and the horror, slowly ramping it up to truly horrific levels across several different types of horror, finally culminating in a truly utterly horrific sequence that, arguably, hard core fans of Mass Effect who are familiar with Mass Effect 2 in particular may be at least somewhat jaded to. And then, the actual scifi action conclusion – almost as though Robinson has made us see hell, and now wants to leave us on a more interesting/ happier note. Long time fans of Robinson may see at least a few similarities to his 2010 “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” retelling, TORMENT, though for me that particular book was so horrific *because* it was essentially a modern day version of that famous sermon (which was, in itself, essentially a then-modern retelling of Dante’s Inferno). For those like me who literally had nightmares for *years* after reading that book, I can tell you that this one isn’t anywhere near that bad – at least not in the same ways. It truly is utterly horrific in a couple of sequences in particular, and these new horrors may indeed haunt your nightmares for quite some time. But dammit, that is what makes Robinson the Master. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Very much recommended.