Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston

The Kraken Project (Wyman Ford, #4)

The AI Dorothy has vowed to destroy humanity after seeing humanity’s worst on the internet. Dorothy’s creator, Melissa Shepherd, and spy Wyman Ford must contain or destroy Dorothy. Complicating their mission is a Wall Street stockbroker who wants Dorothy for himself. Can Dorothy be convinced to change its mind or is humanity doomed?

The story is suspenseful as Ford and Shepherd run into greedy and/or psychopathic humans while trying to contain Dorothy. It is also thought provoking about AIs- are they sentient, the ethics of using them, and their connection to humanity’s future. The internet is portrayed in a visual way as Dorothy interprets data into various dangerous landscapes.  The characters show humanity at its best and worst. The Kraken Project features suspense, provokes thought about the future of technology and humanity, and has interesting characters.

Want other books like The Kraken Project?

A scientist is kidnapped by a group powered by futuristic technology in Influx by David Suarez. ( Click here to read my post on Influx.)

A doctor faces off against a conspiracy as he strives to save his best friend from a deadly, rampaging disease in Resistant by Michael Palmer.

The Kraken Project inspires wonder about the future of computers. Books such as Natural Computing: DNA, Quantum Bits, and the Future of Smart Machines by Dennis E. Shasha and Cathy A. Lazere explore this topic.



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Copperhead by Tina Connolly

Copperhead (Ironskin, #2)

Helena Huntingdon is one of London’s One Hundred who almost became fae controlled. The anti-fae Copperhead movement should be her ally, but it holds a darker side that makes her suspicious. Can Helena determine friend from foe and save London from another fae attack?

Helena grows into a heroine by facing internal conflict and making societal tricks count. Copperhead offers a fast paced fantasy with dashes of romance and horror. Helena and the intriguing spy Rook grow closer by being haunted by their pasts. Unease is felt at the One Hundred literally changing faces and the danger of fae control. This all takes place in an England where WWI was a ‘Great War’ against the fae. Copperhead offers a female protagonist who becomes a heroine, historical fantasy, genreblend fantasy, and an England affected by faeries.

Want other books like Copperhead?

When an orphan steals a faerie ring belonging to Queen Victoria she becomes embroiled in the politics of the two worlds in The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton.

Two magicians face the faerie world, rivalry, and the Napoleonic Wars in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susan Clarke.

Eliza O’Malley searches for her missing sweetheart and finds a faerie world deep within London in With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan.


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The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian

Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded alone on Mars. His situation is grim. His supplies- he’ll suffocate or starve long before the next manned mission. Communication- all systems down and no one knows he’s alive. Can Mark overcome the odds and live to see Earth again?

Mark is inventive, a smart-aleck, and not super human. He gives a knowledgeable and sarcastically humorous view of space equipment and trying to survive on Mars. He shows Mars as cold and dangerous place that is -perhaps- survivable. Bits from characters back on Earth show the foresight required for, and sacrifices of, space travel. As Mark struggles to survive suspense and appreciation for the good in humanity is felt. The Martian offers a first-hand view of Mars and space travel, a tale of survival, and suspense.

Want other books like The Martian?

When a mission to Mars goes wrong a crew’s only hope of survival is trek across Mars to an abandoned Mars vehicle in Mars Crossing by Geoffrey A. Landis.

A crew of astronauts wins the space race to Mars only to find the odds of getting back to Earth are heavily against them in The Martian Race by Gregory Benford.

Want to learn more about the challenges, history and future plans for exploring Mars? Check out books like Destination Mars: New Explorations of the Red Planet by Rod Pyle.

Interested in a true tale of survival in space? Read how the Apollo 13 crew overcame a dangerous malfunction to make it back to Earth in Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell. (The Apollo 13 story was made into the movie Apollo 13.)


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Mad Kestrel by Misty Massey

Mad Kestrel

Kestrel came to the seas for a life of straightforward pirate glory and to escape the magic hunters. When her captain is arrested, and set to hang, she’ll rescue him or die trying. To save him she’ll have to face magic, secrets, foul enemies, and a handsome knave. Will she succeed or will her sailing days end in death?

Mad Kestrel has the dangerous daring-do of a pirate tale with magic added to provide fantasy flavor. These elements and a dash of political intrigue provide a fun escapist feel. Kestrel is tough, thinks fast in tight corners, and thrives in a traditional male world. She grows from a capable Quartermaster into a tale-worthy leader. Mad Kestrel offers pirates, magic, and/or a strong female protagonist.

Want other books like Mad Kestrel?

When slavers kill his parents a young man turns to piracy to fight the slavers and faces dangerous magic in Corsair by Chris Bunch.

An heiress turns to piracy to regain her fortune which includes a living ship in Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb.

When an emperor loses a deadly weapon a band of pirates -some with differing reasons- bands together to find it in Voyage of the Shadowmoon by Sean McMullen.



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