Chris Gilbride

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Smashwords book reviews by Chris Gilbride

  • Spinward Fringe Broadcasts 1 and 2: Resurrection and Awakening on March 27, 2011

    Continues the adventures first started in the FirstLight chronicles. The galaxy has moved on, new villains, new plots and twists. Where are we going with this story? I don't know, but so far it's a hell of a ride and I'm in for the duration.
  • Spinward Fringe Broadcast 3: Triton on March 27, 2011

    Read this in a couple of days. One of those stories that you just can't put down. The characters aren't "goody-two shoes", they can be just as nasty as the bad guys. This makes it easier to identify with them. The story is fast paced and pulls the reader along. Excellent.
  • Spinward Fringe Broadcast 4: Frontline on March 27, 2011

    This is the central book. The characters come together, or attempt to. New characters are introduced and information on the background to the story's setting is given. It's been said that this is more of the same, that the descriptions of things are overly long. I can see where that is coming from, however I feel that the main characters are developing constantly. They don't always do what I expect, or even want. The descriptions tend to give the impression of how that character is handling that situation. So it's not, for me at least, necessarily a bad thing. A good addition to the Spinward Fringe series.
  • Ambassador 2: Raising Hell on April 13, 2017

    I came across Patty Jansen's Ambassador books when I got the first two, book 1 and book 1A, from Story Bundle. A great way to discover new authors. These two books were enough to lead me to the others in the series. This book continues where the other finished. Cory Wilson is the ambassador of the title, although he's more of a delegate to an alien organisation. He has a team of aliens around him and it's through his interactions with the alien cultures that we get to know more of this world. I like the fact that in most cases Cory is way out of his depth and often relies upon his alien team to save him. This isn't some sort of ultimate space marine. He's weaker and slower than his team members, is on a planet that he is definitely not suited to and has stepped into the middle of a culture that he understands enough to get himself into serious trouble. The only thing he does well is talk. :-) But that is not to say the book lacks action. Far from it. The cultures, worlds and characters are consistent with the previous books. There is character growth visible, a growth that is believable for a human being. There are enough threads to keep the reader guessing what is happening and who is responsible for these situations. I usually read military SF, so this series is something different for me as it is more of a whodunnit. A good read that kept my interest. I intended to write a review after reading it, but I had to read books 3-6 instead. :-)
  • Ambassador 3: Changing Fate on April 14, 2017

    The adventures, or misadventures, of Cory Wilson continue in this, the next instalment of the Ambassador series. Delegate Wilson discovers that the exchange outage that necessitated his trip to Asto in the previous book, was caused by the return of a ship that vanished 50,000 years ago. Political intrigue as the various factions within the entity gamra bicker and jostle for an advantageous position ensues. Cory and his team once more are left with the task of pulling it out of the fire. Another good read. There's humour, action, mystery and a little bit of the thriller all rolled into one. The only thing missing is the clash of battle, but that isn't the essence of these stories. These are about a man, struggling to understand and survive in a melting pot of different cultures where everyone is essentially an offshoot of humanity. Cory Wilson's main weapon is his words and his mouth. A wonderful description of the new, or should I say old, arrival. It took a moment to visualise it, but then ... hey why not? If you have that technology why be restricted to using it as we would? Three days to read on the way to and from work and just before going to sleep. On to the next volume.
  • Ambassador 4: Coming Home on April 14, 2017

    This volume follows on almost immediately from the previous one, which makes me so glad I didn't have to wait months for it's release before grabbing it. Now Cory Wilson has the captain of the ship and two members of his crew chosen at random, staying in his house. Not trusting them, he's hoping to get information from them regarding the ship and what the captain intends to do. More action, small scale stuff, not battles, in this story. Once again it concerns the frustrations of Wilson as he tries to deal with a worsening political situation, missing people, and a looming war all while trying to understand how the social aspect of his team/household works. This is no doubt an ongoing thing for Wilson. Just when you think you understand a part of a culture, something comes along and trips you up. Or, usually in his case, you keep thinking of it in terms of your own culture. Caught between the two. That's Mr Wilson. There's a lot going on in this world. As a reader you know as much as Wilson does. Some threads seem to be connected, but how? Like peeling an onion, as you remove one layer of obstruction, another is revealed below. As with the other books it's very easy to get into. I'm invested enough to want more of the story and these characters. The two younger members of his team could be worth a story or two of their own (*hint to the author*) :-) A last comment. This is book 4, I've read all 6 books now and will read book 7 when it is available. Sometimes with SF stories, the author tries to make the alien more alien by giving them a name that is almost impossible to pronounce. Nothing jars me out of a story more that having to try and figure out how I should pronounce Aeirrllleuhf or some such ridiculous name. Thankfully there's none of that in these book.