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Review: “Lucky Revenge,” Joshua James

Pros: Plenty of machinations; great action Cons: A bit confusing Rating: 4 out of 5 In Joshua James’s Lucky Revenge: Lucky’s Marines | Book Six, the Cardinal Order has joined forces with the alien Dalmuk to attack the home world

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Review: “Connections in Death,” J.D. Robb

Pros: Vintage Robb style; wonderfully quotable text Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 My assessments of the “in Death” books by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) tend to range from 3 out of 5 to 5 out of 5; they

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Review: “Template,” Matthew Hughes

Pros: The last quarter of the book Cons: Dry, tedious; wooden main character; monolithic societies… Rating: 3 out of 5 Matthew Hughes’s Template: A Novel of the Archonate introduces us to Conn Labro, a famed duelist who’s indentured to a

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Review: “vN: The First Machine Dynasty,” Madeline Ashby

Pros: Fascinating look at sentient artificial humanoids Cons: Gets a bit confusing toward the end Rating: 4 out of 5 In Madeline Ashby’s vN: The First Machine Dynasty, self-replicating “von Neumann humanoids” have been created. Ostensibly they were created to

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Review: “Threat of Magic,” Linsey Hall

Pros: Tense battles and creative planning Cons: Books are formulaic; minor issues Rating: 4 out of 5 In book one of Linsey Hall’s “The Amazon” (book 26 of her “Dragon’s Gift” universe) Rowan had to keep her demon-touched power secret,

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Review: “Haunted Blade,” J.C. Daniels

Pros: Want more! Cons: Characters overreact too much Rating: 4 out of 5 In Haunted Blade (Colbana Files Book 6) by J.C. Daniels (Shiloh Walker), Doyle is now acting as an intern for Kit Colbana. A powerful and mysterious non-human

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Review: “Killing Spree,” Various Authors

Pros: A great way to find some new authors Cons: Wildly varying quality Rating: 3.5 out of 5 After trying to read a nice bloody serial killer book only to have it turn out to be horrible, I turned to

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Review: “Earthshaker,” Robert Jeschonek

Pros: Fantastic story and characters Cons: Minor details Rating: 4.5 out of 5 After reading Day 9, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read Robert Jeschonek’s Earthshaker: Gaia Charmer, World Warrior Book 1. I’m so glad that I did! Gaia

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Review: “Devil’s Shoestring,” Stefon Mears

Pros: Truly engaging world, plot, and characters Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Stefon Mears’s Devil’s Shoestring (Spells for Hire Book 1) features Heath Cyr, a conjure man living in Portland. He casts spells and makes potions for hire.

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Review: “Stars Like Cold Fire,” Brent Nichols

Pros: Engrossing, intriguing military sf Cons: … Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Brent Nichols’s Stars Like Cold Fire introduces us to officer trainee Jeff Yi. He and his good friend Carolita (Carrie) Doolittle are each outcasts in their class of

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