October 14, 2019

Review: Masterminds by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Never let it be said that we don’t get around to each and every review book sent to us… eventually. Such is the case with this week’s featured review, Masterminds by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, out from WMG Publishing. A Retrieval Artist novel and the final climatic installment of the Anniversary Day saga, Masterminds brings the action-packed saga to its thrilling conclusion. Fans of this saga and this space will recall our reviews of Blowback, A Murder of Clones, Search & Recovery, The Peyti Crisis, Vigilantes and Starbase Human. [Read more...]

Review: The Peyti Crisis by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Things are heating up in the Retrieval Artist Universe.

We just finished Book Five in the Anniversary Day Saga, entitled The Peyti Crisis. Out earlier this year courtesy of WMG Publishing, this eight part series by prolific author Kristine Kathryn Rusch follows a surprise attack on Earth’s Moon and the confusion and mystery that follows.

You can read our reviews of Book 2 (Blowback), Book 3 (A Murder of Clones) and Book 4 (Search and Recovery) as well. [Read more...]

Review: Search and Recovery by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Things are heating up in the Retrieval Artist Universe.  We recently completed book four in the eight book Anniversary Day saga by Kristine Kathryn Rusch as part of our ongoing campaign to catch up with the growing pile of review books that have stacked up while we were on a one year sabbatical.

The Anniversary Day saga follows the aftermath of a massive attack on human colonies on Earth’s Moon and the efforts to uncover just who was behind them. Fans of the series and this space will recall our reviews of Book 2: Blowback and Book 3: A Murder of Clones. We’ve also reviewed The Enemy Within by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, as well as one of our all time faves, the Diving into the Wreck saga. [Read more...]

Review: A Murder of Clones by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Things are definitely heating up in the Retrieval Artist Universe. One thing we arrived back home to after our year-long great American road trip this past year was a stack of books from the sci-fi Anniversary Day saga. We’d read and reviewed Blowback, the second book in the installment, so we eagerly jumped right back in to the eight book series and recently finished A Murder of Clones for review this week. [Read more...]

Review: Blowback by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

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Technology is a Pandora’s Box. Once you put something out there into the universe, you never can predict the manner in which people or (other sentient species) will use it. Or in the case of this week’s review, how it’ll come back to haunt you. This week, we look at Blowback by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, the 9th book in the Retrieval Artist series out in December from WMG Publishing. Fans of this space will recall our reviews of Rusch’s excellent Diving universe series, including Diving into the Wreck, City of Ruins and Boneyards. Rusch is an excellent world builder, and we especially enjoy the refreshing new universes she utilizes along with the engaging characters that populate them.

Blowback deals with the fallout and the aftermath of the Anniversary Day attacks on Earth’s Moon. We thought it elegant and fitting that the Earth Alliance has a Port named Armstrong on the Moon; hopefully it’ll be in or near the real series of craters named after the Apollo 11 astronauts. The book takes a fascinating turn into an alien underworld as Retrieval Artist extraordinaire Miles Flint returns along with his daughter Talia to uncover a plot that may dwarf the initial Anniversary Day attacks. This is juxtaposed against interplanetary politics and efforts by the Moon’s Chief Security officer Noelle DeRicci to hold an uneasy United Domes government coalition together. We always like our intergalactic politics as truly alien, and Rusch delivers the goods. Its one thing to depict members of a Federation whining about treaties, quite another to depict motivations that are truly, well, alien.

And speaking of which, there’s another excellent twist to think about as depicted in the book; the psychology of alien criminals. While it’s easy to depict their motivations as similar to our own (in fact, science fiction serves as a sort of “modern day mythos” in this fashion), Blowback offers another tier of realism by giving alien criminals often inscrutable goals and motives. Which raises the question; what is a crime? While it’s arguable that an alien civilization will by necessity be subject to the same crucible of evolution and have to come up with laws against murder, stealing, etc in order to co-exist, how those might apply to outsiders and differ in more sophisticated concepts is less clear. While Blowback and the Retrieval Artist series touches on these issues, perhaps there’s healthy fodder for Law & Order: Alpha Centauri out there in the sci-fi universe?

But as usual, we digress. Do give Blowback a read. We’d like to point out that the author has an excerpt of the book up on her site for the month of November, and puts featured chapters of her work up every month. We have to admit that we’re a newcomer to the series, but may have to dig in to the earlier books. Blowback does stand on its own as a great read!

Note: A complete listing of Tales of the Retrieval Artist universe can be found here.