Series: Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

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If you’re a fan of other Alastair Reynolds books and series such as the Revelation Space series, then you can appreciate his ability to create compelling characters, vast universes, and yet highly specific and detailed individual worlds. The Revenger series is all of those things, and yet completely and utterly different than any other book of his I’ve read. 

Set in a ruined solar system far in the future, humanity continually rises up from the rubble of previous ruined civilizations, spreads out within the system, and relies on the technology of past ages, most of which they can’t replicate or build upon. While individuals struggle to keep themselves alive in the chaos of space, there’s a deeper conspiracy underlying the story, one that is just starting to get revealed at the end of book two. 

As more books come out, I’ll continue to add them here. In the meantime, this is my new favorite series to recommend. 


Genre: Sci-Fi, Steampunk
Series: Revenger | Subjects: Series Review
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Series Review: Machineries of Empire by Yoon Ha Lee

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When I set out to catalog my library, I couldn’t wait to write this series’ review. This series is unlike anything you’ve ever read. It’s 100% sci-fi but the technology almost seems magical in its military applications, yet is described mathematically. The effect is a rich world, deeply imagined, and well executed. 

The story arc is intensely character-driven, and developed from the beginning with the end in mind—in other words, it all ties in neatly throughout the book. But yet, it’s not laid out directly on a straight path from past to present to future. The plot twists and turns, the timelines shift, and the perspective changes. The series is deeply engaging. 

Be warned, it’s not entry-level sci-fi. For that, I recommend 2001 Space Odyssey, Ender’s Game, or Ready Player One.  This series is for the sci-fi nerd looking for something that pushes the boundaries, breaks the norm, and yet is still interesting and engrossing.


Genre: Sci-Fi
Series: Machineries of Empire | Subjects: Rich’s Reco’s, Series Review
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Series Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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I’ve heard that when an author gets stuck, they should just make life harder for their protagonist. Pierce Brown has taken that to heart with Red Rising. Life just gets harder and harder, worse and worse for his main character. And when he’s on top, he gets his hamstrings slashed, knees broken, and teeth kicked in. And I can’t wait to read the series again.

Aldous Huxley started this idea of a regimented class-based society with each class having their own distinct colors. Pierce Brown took that idea to new heights, and new depths. In the Red Rising series, the lowest of the low classes rises up to break the wheel system and put something better in place. 

The books are nail-biting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat intense. At every turn, things get harder and worse for the protagonist. It’s difficult to be exuberant about this without giving away too much,  I’ll say this, when shit goes wrong—and it will nearly every step of the way—you’ll be drawn in to the story even more. And when things go right, you’ll be suspicious, waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop—and it will, only it will be not what you’re expecting, and will be far worse. 

In other words, read the series but be prepared for a crazy, wild ride. 


Genre: Sci-Fi
Series: Red Rising | Subjects: Series Review
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Series: Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

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The first review I wrote for this series was after finishing The Last Colony, and thinking the series was done. I didn’t think much of it, partly due to the short book length, and party due to not really appreciating John Scalzi’s writing style as much as I do now. I digress. I enjoy this series. I love how the aliens are all so very, very alien. And I like that each book follows different characters—making the true main characters the Colonial Defense Force and Earth (and aliens as a whole). 

I can’t honestly give this my strongest recommendation as I love the longer, deeper, space-opera style books. However, the writing is solid, there’s a lot of humor throughout—laugh out loud humor—and it takes place in a vast universe. It is a very good series. And I haven’t even finished it, yet.


Genre: Sci-Fi
Series: Old Man’s War | Subjects: Series Review
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Series: Star Force by B.V. Larson

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Formulaic plots, flimsy characters with zero growth, and dozen books in the series are all great reasons to pass on this entirely. There are interesting parts of the series and perhaps under a different author I would have enjoyed this as a space opera worth a couple of re-reads. But, it’s not. And I won’t waste another word on it.

Series Reviews

  1. Swarm
  2. Extinction
  3. Rebellion
  4. Conquest
  5. Army of One (novella)

Genre: Sci-Fi
Series: Star Force | Subjects: Series Review