The Ninetoes Book of the Week 11/27-12/03/2022

This is the time of year when I think of my past, my family members who have gone before me, and the holidays we spent together. In 1982, my mother, sister, mother’s friend, and I lived in Weaverville, NC. Each weekend went to the Dreamland Flea Market in Asheville. It was there that my mother bought me one of my favorite Christmas gifts, L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth: a Saga of the Year 3000. Everything else under the tree passed by in a blur. At the time I was, for lack of better term, a science fiction junkie! (I have branched to other genres, but sci-fi has an eternal place in my heart.) I wish I could say I have heard Hubbard’s name before, according to articles I have read, Battlefield Earth was a celebration of his 50 years in writing at the time and came in at 500,000 words. This is what the book looked like when I got it (the above is the current cover):

Earth is a wasteland. Savage aliens, Psychlos, have taken over and are stripping Earth of precious resources, especially gold. The great cities stand crumbling as a brutal reminder of what we once were. When the Psychlos invaded, all the world’s armies mustered little resistance against the advanced alien weapons. Now, the man animals serve one purpose. Do the Psychlos’ bidding or face extinction. One man, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, has a plan. They must learn about the Psychlos and their weapons. He needs the other humans to follow him. And that may not be enough. Can he outwit his Psychlo captor, Terl? The fate of the Galaxy lies on the Battlefield of Earth.

This book is a perfect gift for the science fiction lover in your life. If they have read it, maybe get them another copy to remind them of the joy that this book is. I for one will be diving into it again. Forty years is far too long to be away from a good friend like this!

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 can be found in paperback and e-book format. It is $9.99 for the paperback and $9.49 e-book.

Tom Clancy’s The Division: Broken Dawn Review

TITLE: Tom Clancy’s The Division: Broken Dawn

AUTHOR: Alex Irvine

GENRE: Video Game Tie-In

PAGES: 368

FORMAT: E-book

PRICE: $9.99

I am a gamer as well as a reader. One of the games I am deeply into is Tom Clancy’s The Division 1 & 2. Now, to be totally honest, I have been sitting on this book for a long time. My to-be-read pile is insane, but I did get to it. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

A superflu is released through money on Black Friday, with ground zero being New York City. Millions are killed and the country is soon crippled, as well as the rest of the world. The President of the United States puts Directive 51 into effect, basically putting Division agents in play to help maintain law and order.

Tom Clancy’s The Division: Broken Dawn bridges the gap between The Division and The Division 2 video games. It follows the story of several characters, among them, are children, a Division agent, a rogue Division agent, and a civilian who wants to find out the truth about what her husband was working on. A rumor about a possible cure for the superflu is out there and a good thread to follow in the book.

Alex Irvine does a good job getting the world and lore of the video games into a novel. The characters are engaging and I actually cared about what happened to them. The world is gritty and dark with little hope, but there is just a spark of hope and that is played out throughout the book. The action is fast and furious and the pace is consistent.

The only ding I have for this book is the constant reminders of how dismal the world is. The state of the world is established within the first fifty pages, the overly constant reminders were not necessary.

All in all I give this 4 out of 5 bookmarks!

The Ninetoes Book of the Week 11/20-26/2022

My social media feed is a lot of books and authors. As I was searching for an idea for the book of the week, I came across a piece of news that hit me to the core. Science fiction author Greg Bear passed away. I feel as though a friend has departed, even though I never met him. So, in honor of his passing, I chose the first book of his that I read, Eon: The Way Book One.

In a supernova flash, the asteroid arrived and entered Earth’s orbit. Three hundred kilometers in length, it is not solid rock but a series of hollowed-out chambers housing ancient, abandoned cities of human origin, a civilization named Thistledown. The people who lived there survived a nuclear holocaust that nearly rendered humanity extinct—more than a thousand years from now.
 
To prevent this future from coming to pass, theoretical mathematician Patricia Vasquez must explore Thistledown and decipher its secret history. But what she discovers is an even greater mystery, a tunnel that exists beyond the physical dimensions of the asteroid. Called the Way, it leads to the home of humanity’s descendants, and to a conflict greater than the impending war between Earth’s superpowers over the fate of the asteroid, in “the grandest work yet” by Nebula Award–winning author Greg Bear (Locus).

This is a book that should be at the top of every science fiction reader’s list. If you read this book before, now might be a good time to re-visit it!

Eon is available in e-book format for $12.99.

Your Weekend Fun Read 11/18/2022

As I have stated before, I am also a gamer. I love video games. I have set blocks of time during the day just for gaming, and one of those blocks I play with a friend that lives a thousand miles away. We play the Tom Clancy games, and to be honest one of my favorites is The Division 2 by UBISOFT. Oh yeah, for all of those naysayers out there, I have a bunch of UBISOFT games because they always entertain and give me a great story, so there!

Where was I? Oh yeah. You can imagine the surprise of the reader part of my brain that has discovered The Division is also a novel, well, it will be three novels before the end of the year. My brain did a happy little dance at this. The first novel in the series is Alex Irvine’s Tom Clancy’s The Division: Broken Dawn.

Months after the outbreak of a devastating global pandemic that started in New York City on Black Friday, traces of rebirth are spreading across the United States. Spring has come to the nation, and with it a glimmer of hope as civilians band together in settlements, trying to carve out a better life.

Amidst a ruined government, a shattered infrastructure, and an eroding civilization, The Division – an autonomous unit of sleeper agents activated when all else fails – is all that protects the people from predators who would harm them, scavengers who would take from them, and oppressors who would exploit them.

Aurelio Diaz is one of those agents. A man of great honor, he is on the hunt for one of his colleagues who inexplicably abandoned his duty and caused the death of multiple civilians. This trail leads him to April Kelleher, a resourceful civilian who traveled out of New York into a troubled American Midwest. There, she hopes to understand why her husband was murdered and if an antiviral to the deadly disease exists.

Together, Agent Diaz and April soon uncover an imminent threat to the future of the country. They must act to preserve civilization’s last hope to stop a new virus and save itself from a final collapse.

This is my current read. It is a fast read. So much so that I anticipate a review by Monday. So far, all of the grit, grime, fear, courage, and survival that make the game great is here. The true magic (and listen up my fellow agents) is that this book covers territories in The Division and The Division 2.

Tom Clancy’s The Division: Broken Dawn can be found in paperback and e-book. The price is $9.99 for both editions.