Posts Tagged ‘DAW’

Winterwood

April 30, 2016 - 12:19 pm No Comments

Winterwood
Rowankind Book One
Author: Jacey Bedford
Publisher: DAW Books
Page count: 424pp
Release date: 2 Feb 2016
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

The year is 1800. Mad King George is on the throne. Rossalinde returns to Plymouth after seven years of sailing the seas as a privateer. Her mother is dying, but even on her deathbed she still calls her daughter a pirate’s whore, and won’t forgive her for her elopement. But she does leave her one gift; a small box of ensorcelled Winterwood, alive with promise. And Rossalinde needs to keep it safe, as magic is licensed by the Mysterium.
Rossalinde is a strong female character, not because she wears men’s clothes, fights or uses magic, though these are all an integral part of her character. She is strong because of her attitudes, her empathy for those abused or in need, her reliance and her fortitude. 
Amidst the adventure is the story of the rowankind, who are bonded to families for life, much like slavery. This anology is explored in depth, so as well as getting, Pirates, magic and pulse-pounding adventure, you get lots of buckle for your swash and morality to boot!
Bedford is a gifted storyteller, an experienced Milford organiser and participant, who can turn her hand to multiple genres with skill and depth. Her expertise in writing is apparent throughout the novel, which is crisply written, easy to engage with and vibrant with its descriptions and environment. The end promises much for the future of the rowankind and I can’t wait to read what happens to everyone in book two; Silver Wolf, out 2017. Piratical Perfection!

Alien Proliferation

February 8, 2016 - 4:10 pm No Comments

Alien Book 4
Author: Gini Koch
Publisher: DAW
Page count: 458pp
Release date: 6th Dec 2011
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

In the fourth Alien novel, Kitty Katt-Martini is heavily pregnant and almost ready to pop so is mostly confined to bed. That doesn’t stop her alien husband Jeff getting jealous when Chuckie Reynolds of the ET Division CIA, turns up for a meeting with Kitty and the CIA via video call to assess how the couple’s duties will be covered during maternity leave. Copper is angling for Reynold’s job and things are about to get hectic.
Jeff and Christopher are called to an urgent mission in Paris where it appears superbeings are attacking, but the imageer in Kitty’s home touches the screen showing the Paris attacks and knows something is wrong. The creatures the team are battling aren’t superbeings. So, what are they? Chuckie is veering towards a specially created super soldier. 
On top of all that, Kitty and Jeff are worried about whether their baby as a hybrid will have any mutated powers. After a difficult childbirth, danger comes calling again as old school frriend Amy turns up telling Kitty that members of ET Division and PTCU are being hunted. From there on, expect the myriad of mayhem, adventure and insanity that comes with these books.
Kitty as a new mother with her own skill set and an abundance of brains and bravery proves that having ovaries is not a disability. She kicks ass with the best of them, chasing bad guys, juggling breast feeding and snuggles for her newborn baby Jamie, whilst Daddy Jeff also sets a good example. What I particularly enjoy about this series, isn’t just the sense of humour, which is there in droves, but the way in which characters are not restricted by their backgrounds and fight against perceived limitations. Koch presents a diverse cast of characters who defy expectations. As always, bearing in mind this is the fourth book in the series, Koch delivers on every level, and leaves you wanting more.

Alien in the Family

January 5, 2016 - 4:14 pm No Comments

Author: Gini Koch
Publisher: DAW
Release date: 5th April 2011
Page Count: 457pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

The third book in the ‘Alien’ Kitty Katy series by Gini Koch, Alien in The Family starts six months after the events in the second book (Caliente Base is now a political refugee annex) and Kitty Katt is still part of Centaurion Division, as head of Airborne, working with the aliens and humans to deal with ongoing threats, whilst having accepted a declaration from Jeff Martini. In human-speak, she’s engaged, and happily so. Well, that is apart from planning a wedding to an alien, and all of the cultural implications, whilst dealing with the threats to Earth. But at least she can actually plan a wedding, now that she’s actively changed the ban on AC – human weddings.
She’s also started working closely with best friend Chuckie, who is leader of the CIA ET Division, which came as a surprise to Kitty, and a pain to Martini, who is incredibly jealous of his relationship with his fiancé.
At present the team is stuck in the desert watching strange lights in the sky that are somehow familiar, and appear to be linked directly to Kitty.
In fact, the lights in the sky seem to be a message, resembling Kitty’s unity necklace. And it, oh God, appears to be an invite across the solar system to all Martini’s relatives – to the wedding reception from hell.
Similar to the first two novels in in the series, this one, also, literally doesn’t take a breath. There’s action, adventure, fighting and fun all the way through, and Kitty is a fun protagonist to ride along with. The banter she shares with everyone is genius and she can kick-ass or snog with the best of ’em.
This novel offers lots of scope for more political intrigue and fun. The wedding shenanigans (think humour, soap opera, fights and guns) gives this book the tight focus needed for the threat and also adds sparkle to the mix. From choosing a wedding dress, to relatives who think Kitty is marrying the wrong man, there is mayhem all the way.
What I particularly like about these books, is that underneath the veneer of SF action and humour, is a very relevant discourse on diversity and prejudice. Not only is Kitty Jewish, but she is marrying an alien in the first interspecies marriage since the Pontifex changed a ruling. There are also gay couples and lots of inter-racial couples in here and each character is judged on their merits not their race. Koch, through Kitty, makes it very clear what her views are, which are indicative of the tension within the SF community itself. The book is brimming with diversity. And the ending is a real treat, leaving the reader wondering just exactly how Kitty will deal with what happens next, in her own inimitable way.