Tag Archives: outer space

Devon’s Island by SI Clarke (Book Review)

Other stories will take you to Mars. This one will take you inside the boardroom, the pub, and the bedroom with the people planning the mission.

Gurdeep is an engineer and a soldier. Georgie’s a food scientist. One is pragmatic with a tough outer shell; the other’s an optimist, a person of ideas and compassion. Together, they’re humanity’s last hope for survival.

In the span of a single afternoon, the couple find themselves in charge of planning and establishing a self-sustained colony on Mars. They have 160 slots to fill with experts from all over the world as they set about designing an all-new society with its own government, economy, and culture – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With 1,114 days until the launch, excitement and tensions run high. Earth’s second chance hangs in the balance. Between strict genetic requirements and the dangers of the dystopian almost-present, will everyone make it to the final countdown?

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Devon’s Island is divided into three Acts; therefore, I will discuss each Act separately. 

 

Act One: This section was mainly dedicated to the recruitment of individuals who’ll be beneficial to the starting process of colonizing Mars. It was more scientific-based. SI Clarke discussed how much air, food, and water humans consume. Clarke also pointed out scientists needed to combat the issue of bone loss in space. Spoiler’s alert! It all had to do with stopping the body’s production of TSG-6. Whether you’re a science geek or not, I think you’ll like Act One.

 

Act Two: This portion of the story dealt with how many people would be needed to populate Mars. It was suggested no men would go, but that idea was promptly shut done. Instead, everyone agreed 160 people would go. (144-150 women and 10-16 men)

They would also take 25,000 genetic material. 

When you are starting a new civilization, life is essential. People die, so babies must be born to continue the preservation of the human race. How the people in charge went about ensuring it was a bit extreme. 

*no one over 36

*sexual orientation meeting

*must sign over reproductive rights

Every step the powers that be took had a purpose. Earth was becoming less habitable, so we must adapt. Goodbye Earth…Hello Mars. 

 

Act Three: And we have liftoff! It takes about a year to travel to Mars. As you would assume, space travel is no life on the beach. I’ve never been to space, but I suspect Chapter 27/Devon depicts life in a spacecraft quite accurately: overwhelming smells and lights, no privacy, always too hot or too cold. 

This portion of Devon’s Island was my favorite. I was fascinated by how much the initial crew was able to accomplish. They had bees, apple trees, and daisies. Heck, they also had coffee plants. You wait, in a few years, I bet the first Starbucks will be opening its doors. 🙂

But in all seriousness, Act Three was the darkest section of the three. Human life on Earth was in chaos. As with Act One & Two, SI Clarke touched upon real-life happenings: mass shootings, hate crimes, terrorism. Clarke was correct, “The world was getting darker by the day.”

Currently, we are working on getting the human race to Mars. However, will we get there before the world implodes, before we turn on each other, kill each other off?

After reading Devon’s Island, I DID NOT wonder if technology would allow us to create a colony on Mars and thrive there. No, I wondered if the human race will survive long enough on Earth to make the trek. Times are becoming more combustible by the hour… how long do we actually have on this planet? Days? Weeks? Years? Or how about hours?

 

And on that note…

Good job, SI Clarke! Love the story and the section titled –> It’s Science, Bitches. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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The God Queen: Rebirth Book 1 by M. L. Tishner (Book Review)

The return of the God Queen is not what everyone hoped…

Humans have long since spread their numbers among the stars. Now far, far into the future, war has torn the Tyre Star Cluster into two major political factions. The militant Dominion have gained the upper hand in the last decade when their champion murdered the hope of the progressive Federation: Niklaryn Ettowa. Some considered the war to be almost won.

Yet there are those who claim the war will not be ended by mortals…but by the rebirth of the gods. 

Rei lived most of her life bartending on one Earth’s backwater towns. She daydreams of something more, traveling the stars, and destroying the man who murdered her brother Niklaryn. Her dream is within her grasp only if she accepts her fate as the God Queen.

Bronx is disillusioned with being a reincarnated god, let alone a reaper. He pays his penance by keeping people at a distance and taking up the mantle of a combat medic. When the sister of his old mentor Niklaryn storms in to join the cause will he find something worth fighting for?

Together with others, they must help the Federation tip the scales in their favor, but everyone seems to have their own plans for what the gods should do.

Jupiter Ascending meets X-Men in this epic New Adult space opera bursting with star-crossed romance, elemental magic, and an adventure across the star cluster, perfect for fans of A Spark of White Fire.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

The God Queen is broken up into two sections: The Woman and The Goddess.

(Part One) The Woman read as if it was picking up from a prequel. One hundred pages into the story and I finally contacted M. L. Tishner (the author) to ask if there was perhaps a prequel to The God Queen. M. L. Tishner responded there was NO PREQUEL. She stated things were taken out, but it was all in the sakes of her readers. 

While writing and editing stories, authors are faced with difficult decisions. What to keep and what to toss away is a hard choice they have to make before the book goes to print.

While writing and editing stories, authors are faced with difficult decisions. What to keep and what to toss away is definitely a hard choice they have to make before the book goes to press.

For me, I missed not having more information on key characters: Niklaryn, Infiernen, Negander, to name a few.

 

 

(Part Two) The Goddess was a thousand times better than Part One. Secrets were revealed, past/present connections were explained more, and we finally saw some real emotions from central characters.

It’s in this section that I actually started to like the characters, particularly Bronx. He’s a character you’ll want to hug and tell him everything is going to be okay.

Even though I found Part One lacking in character development, I do recommend reading this book. Why? Part Two was pretty good, and I think the series has great potential.

(Book II, no release date yet)

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

 

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Mari, a native Hoosier, currently lives in southern Germany where she entertains people with her adventures as an American expat in the Land of Beer and Pretzels on her blog adventuresoflamari.com as well as the adventures of her pugs, Abner and Roxy. When she’s not writing, Mari cooks, snowboards, dances to the beat of her own drum, reads late into the night, and binge watches Netflix with her husband. The God Queen is her debut novel.

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Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia #1 and #2 by Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin (Comic Review)

When a disgruntled professional wrestler declares himself “galactic champion of the universe” an alien planet of wrestlers sees it as an act of war!

A hilarious THIRTY-TWO PAGE megaextravaganza kicks off this limited comic book series with art by Dan Schkade, colors by Marissa Louise and lettering by A Larger World Studios. Created & Written by award-winning writers Matt Entin & Ed Kuehnel.

 

(review request submitted by Ed Kuehnel for an honest critique) 

 

Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia: Date With Destiny (Volume 1) contained cheesy lines, extraordinary costumes, and a wrestling bear. Yeah, you read that right… A WRESTLING BEAR.

Besides the bear, it reminded me of why I loved watching televised wrestling programs decades ago. Fans know things are scripted but they still tuned in or attended the matches in person. They are thrilling.

In real life, we’ve seen many wrestling crash and burn for various reason. In volume one, Rock ‘N’ Roll Rory Landell’s drinking and going off script was the kiss of death for him and the American Wrestling Federation. He trash talked his fellow wrestlers and even Martians. One Martian, Manifest Destiny, wasn’t too keen by Rory’s smack talk. They didn’t meet in the ring in this comic but I got the impression they would be meeting up very soon.

On a final note, I have to give props to everyone who contributed to the artwork. You all did a masterful job. I also loved the wrestler names you all had assigned to your real names. I’m not sure who thought of it but the additions to your names was brilliant.

Great job, everyone!

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤ 

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While “Rock n’ Roll” Rory Landell drowns his sorrows off the grid, Earth is on the receiving end of a nasty surprise.

 

(review request submitted by Ed Kuehnel for an honest critique) 

I was hoping in Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia #2: Two Worlds Enter, One Leaves! I would see Rory and Manifest Destiny lock horns but it didn’t happen. We did see wrestling action all across the globe including on the White House’s lawn. Yeah, I could actually see a wrestling event happening there since we all know Trump, the McMahon family and their WWE organization are super tight.

For the rest of the comic, I again thought the artwork was top-notch.

But…

How does volume 2 (Two Worlds Enter, One Leaves!) rate against volume 1 (Date With Destiny)? Well, I think volume 1 had more humor and more wrestling content. Both ended fantastically but, in my opinion, Date With Destiny reins supreme as the comic champion.

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤ 

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Edward Kuehnel

Ed Kuehnel is an award-winning story consultant, narrative designer and writer with sixteen years of experience across a wide range of games, film and video. His list of clients includes publishers such as Ubisoft, Paramount Digital, Vivendi/Universal and Disney Interactive, as well as some of the most highly regarded studios in the world, including Twisted Pixel Games, Uber Entertainment and Telltale Games. His game writing debut, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, earned a Game Developer’s Choice nomination for Best Writing in 2005. More recently, his work on Ubisoft’s Valiant Hearts helped the game win the award for Best Narrative at the 2014 Game Awards.

2014 also marked Ed’s film debut as a co-writer for the soon-to-be released Lumberjack Man, starring Michael Madsen. He is a former contributor to The Onion.

Ed is an expert at solidifying narratives and polishing stories for games, screenplays and other creative projects at all stages of production. For a confidential and complimentary assessment of your needs please email him at ed at edwritesgames dot com

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Matt Entin: I’m a writer with over 15 years of professional experience. I’ve written for film, comics, advertising, and video games. 

My career in games began in 2003. Since then, I’ve worked on a variety of titles, from indie to casual to AAA—including “Valiant Hearts: The Great War,” winner of Best Narrative at The Game Awards.

I’ve also done ad work in Europe and the US for a diverse collection of clients, such as Nintendo, Lexus, Duracell, Sprite, and McDonalds.

I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities. Email me at matt.entin@gmail.com to discuss my misplaced nostalgia for “3-D WorldRunner.”

Specialties: narrative development, dialogue writing, copywriting, ideation, mission design, VO direction, motion-capture direction, cinematography, casting

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