I spent most of the month reading speculative fiction, it seems!
The first of these is a Retrieval Artist novel and the second is a novella set in that world but not including an actual retrieval artist. Retrieval artists are people who search for people who have disappeared, often to avoid some sort of legal problem. In Extremes we meet retrieval artist Miles Flint, a former cop. He and his former partner, Noelle DeRicci, are investigating two sides of the same crime. It is a great detective story with enough science fiction thrown in to make it a wonderful book! I highly recommend it! It is the second book in the series but the first one I have read.
Inhuman Garbage is set in the same world but does not involve retrieval artists. Noelle DeRicci is on her own to solve this murder! The problem is, it isn’t really a murder to anyone but Noelle. A clone, you see, is property not a person. This is a great story and Noelle is a very determined detective. I loved this book!
I cannot recommend this series of books enough. Whether you read mysteries or science fiction, you’ll find a lot here to love!
- Black Virus – Black Rust #1 by Bobby Adair
This book was really engaging. Not a pretty story, by any means, but it really kept me reading. A virus has changed the world, and Christian Black has to find a way to take care of his family. It is a very short book and, therefore, a very quick read. I enjoyed it in spite of myself!
- The Greater Darkness by Eldon Murphy
I enjoyed this vampire book, but it had me confused from the very beginning. Geoffrey is obviously a vampire with a history, but he has forgotten all of it. We never learn why. Or if we did, I missed it. This is part of a series, so maybe the answer lies elsewhere. For a long time, though, I kept expecting to find out why in this book. Geoffrey is a multi-faceted character, and that is what kept me going. I will probably read more in the series to see if I can figure things out a little better.
- Weaving Destiny by G. P. Ching
- Return to Eden by G. P. Ching
- Soul Catcher by G. P. Ching
- Lost Eden by G. P. Ching
- The Last Soulkeeper by G. P. Ching
These are books 2-6 in Ching’s Soulkeepers series, which I started reading in 2013. I will admit to having to skim through book 1 again to remember what is was bout before starting these. The series is really more religious fiction than I usually read, but there was a good story in there, too. It is definitely young adult, and it was more noticeable in these books than in many other young adult books I have read. It wasn’t bad, just a little simplistic. There was definitely a lot of action. I really cared for the characters that appeared in the fist book, but I wasn’t as sold on the ones that came in later books. They didn’t seem as well-developed. All in all, though, I am glad I read these books.
I read a couple pieces of short fiction (in addition to Black Virus).
- “Until Death” by Dan Ames
This was a very short story, and usually I don’t really enjoy short stories. But this was an exception. It is about murder at a wedding chapel, but that is about the only predictable element in it. I can’t say much about the actual story because I don’t want to give it away, but it was hilarious. Some reviewers on Amazon objected to it being a short story because they thought it would make a great novel. I tend to agree. I really recommend it.
- Dust and Ashes: An Apocalyptic Thriller by PJ McDermott
This is the prequel to McDermotts’s Prosperine Trilogy. I know nothing of that series and may or may not read it, but I have to say I really enjoyed this book! Some artifacts found in Turkey lead to war on Earth. The People’s Crusade is taking over governments all around the world, causing problems for the UN, the Catholic Church, and others. This was a quick, easy read, and I highly recommend it.
So that wraps up my December reading. It was a pretty good month as far as reading goes, at least!