Smashwords book reviews by resonant

  • Through Struggle, the Stars on Feb. 07, 2013
    (no rating)
    Not bad at all. I do have a minor quibble. As other reviewers have noted, the society and the universe don't quite match up. The political structure, the sensibilities of the characters, the level of medical care, and most applications of technology are at a mid-21st-century level. The characters feel removed only a generation or two from current society. The presence of partially-terraformed planets with populations in the millions in wide-spanning star systems seems like it should be set several hundred years in the future. However, other than that, it was very well written. Others have mentioned shades of John Ringo (nooooo!) or David Weber. However, a better comparison might be Jack Campbell/John G. Hemry. I look forward to reading more of these books.
  • The Whale Has Wings Vol 1 - Rebirth on July 01, 2013
    (no rating)
    I wish actual history books were written this well.
  • This Crowded Earth on July 28, 2013

    This had some good bits, but wasn't worth purchasing. Much of it just didn't make sense - for example, just to get a sperm sample from the protagonist, he was transported to a far-off pristine valley and allowed to wander freely for months, impregnating various women who came to him with made-up backstories.
  • Smallworld: A Science Fiction Adventure Comedy on Sep. 10, 2013

    This was extremely good, and I am recommending it to my friends.
  • Mimsey's Tale on Sep. 10, 2013

    I was reading this while standing in line at the grocery store; the clerk asked me if I was all right, as I had teared up at one scene. I haven't read anything like this in a long time. This was funny, entertaining, moving, and engaging. It was far too short (in the sense that I was left wanting more, not in value for my money). It has the same premise and setting as some of the author's other stories, so I hope there will soon be a full-length novel.
  • For Your Safety on Sep. 10, 2013

    This is good, but should be read after "Mimsy's Tale", by the same author.
  • Piss Match and Other Stories on Sep. 12, 2013

    Interesting concepts, but too few words for the price.
  • Lacuna on Oct. 23, 2013

    Another reviewer suggested that the first book in the series was free to get readers hooked. It worked. This is a standard navy-in-space story with battles and boarding parties. It's not something new and innovative. It's not a series that will totally revolutionize the science fiction genre. However, it's well-written and I didn't get bored reading it, and it's good enough that I'm buying the next two in the series.
  • Tempus Bellator part 1.1 on Oct. 25, 2013

    This isn't a single coherent work. It's a bunch of story fragments, with a wide variety of different characters, different plotlines, and different technologies. This is like seeing tiny segments of trailers of different movies, jumbled together into a single trailer. And all of the glimpses of the movie trailers make you want to see each individual movie. From this tiny sampling, the author sets the stage for what I hope will be an epic series of excellent novels. I really, really, really want to read them when they are done.
  • Destination Alpha Four on Nov. 24, 2013

    Darker than the others in this series, but well worth reading.
  • Dog on the Highway on Nov. 24, 2013

    Enjoyable, and a lot of reading for the price. Note: get the other free downloads from this series too.
  • There Ain't Gonna Be No World War Three on Nov. 24, 2013

    Weird, funny, enjoyable. I read this first, but you should really read the previous books to get the most out of it (especially understanding the origin of the robosheep).
  • Sister Ships and Alastair on Nov. 24, 2013

    Very enjoyable. After this, read "There Ain't Gonna Be No World War Three".
  • Thieves Emporium on Nov. 24, 2013
    (no rating)
    Interesting, and disturbing.
  • Moon Dreams on Nov. 24, 2013

    Very good. I liked it enough that I'm buying the author's other books.
  • Hit the Town Fabulous: How the Urbane Single Girl Lives Swell & Without Much Cash in Iqaluit on Jan. 01, 2014

    This isn't a travel guide. It's more like a friend sending you an e-mail telling you things that you personally will find useful when visiting Nunavut, that would never get in an official guide. For example, you can get a cheap supply of toilet paper by buying it off someone moving south. And use the washroom before going through airport security in Iqualiut, as there are no facilities on the other side.
  • Refuge on Jan. 01, 2014

    Well written, although somewhat florid in spots. Very good on the details - for example, the protagonist is extremely thorough with his dental hygiene due to the absence of dentists, and his retirement plans include hundreds of cords of neatly-stacked firewood for heating and cooking in his old age.
  • Faith on Jan. 01, 2014

    Noooo! Why would you write something like this??? Why? Why?? :(
  • Magnet: Special Mission on Jan. 01, 2014

    A bit short for the price compared to his other works, but worth reading.
  • Littlestar: A Science Fiction Comedy of Interstellar War and Virtual Gods on Jan. 01, 2014

    Note: Read SMALLWORLD first. Otherwise, this won't make sense. This is darker and less amusing than Smallworld (necessarily so, because it involves interstellar war), but definitely worth reading. Well-developed characters, multiple plotlines, and a huge number of well-crafted words for a very low price.
  • Tirnahiolaire on Jan. 02, 2014

    This is totally different from the author's other books. It feels more like a Terry Pratchett book than a Douglas Adams book, and not just due to the setting.
  • Radiant Crossing on Jan. 02, 2014

    I liked the descriptions of the technical parts of flying a large aircraft. If this were a full book, I'd gladly buy it.
  • Through Struggle, the Stars on Jan. 07, 2014

    Write faster, please.
  • The Subtle Change from Principles to Rules on Jan. 17, 2014

    This was an interesting essay on how (and why) former recommendations and best practices are now becoming mandatory. The analogies are a bit strained in parts, but are cute and illustrate his points nicely. It's very sweet that he dedicates this book to his husband Jesús. It's nice to have spouses believe in each other so strongly, and have such a positive relationship.
  • No Aloha (The Friendly Happy Music Of The Past) on Feb. 02, 2014

    Beautiful, terrible, and sad. The characters are not just faceless refugees fleeing through a conflict zone. They are fully formed, with their own hopes, needs, flaws, and priorities.
  • Hard Stop on Feb. 02, 2014

    If someone read this without checking the author`s name, they`d think it was co-written by Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. Very good.
  • Borders Crossing on Feb. 02, 2014
    (no rating)
    The first two thirds of the book were very good. Plausible, internally consistent, and everything made sense. The decisions and actions of the characters resulted in subsequent events that were logical. Then things got a bit implausible, with half-starved, ill-equipped refugees taking on a well-fed, well-armed gang that had held its own against a National Guard unit. Still, enjoyable to read.
  • Borders Crossing on Feb. 02, 2014

    This book would benefit from an editor who could fix all the cases of ITS, IT`S, and ITS` being used incorrectly. Just a pet peeve of mine.
  • The Rockets' Red Glare on Feb. 02, 2014

    This was a very good take on what would have happened at Dunkirk if the BEF had Katayusha-style rockets.
  • In Search of Lethality: Green Ammo and the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round on Feb. 02, 2014

    A very easy-to-understand and readable explanation.
  • Weapons of the Zombie Apocalypse on Feb. 26, 2014

    This seems authoritative and thorough. My only critique is that it is perhaps a bit dismissive of the value of razor wire, treating it as an accessory rather than a weapon in its own right. True razor wire (not the barbed wire used for livestock) will slice through tissue to the bone, and would do more than delay a zombie. Still, that is a minor quibble. This would be good for someone writing a zombie story who wants to avoid getting details incorrect.
  • Invasion USA I - The End of Modern Civilization on Feb. 26, 2014

    This was entertaining enough that I bought the rest of the series. The premise isn't too far-fetched - the electronics industry today is suffering from substandard counterfeit parts being slipped into the supply chain for profit, so it wouldn't be too hard to deliberately introduce components with a built-in kill switch. The author goes into full aircraft geek mode at times, with detailed descriptions of aircraft that go on for pages and pages. I found these infodumps to be rather enjoyable, but people looking for nonstop adventure may want to skip ahead a few pages. My only criticism is that civilization crumbled unrealistically fast, with looting, indiscriminate killing, and mayhem breaking out before people's New Year's hangovers had even gone away. Of course, there wouldn't be much of a story if people reacted calmly and rationally, with everyone working together peacefully as they adapted to the loss of electronic technology. Overall, well worth reading, especially for enthusiastic aerospace nerds.
  • Ambassador 1: Seeing Red on Feb. 26, 2014

    This drops you into the middle of a situation, where the reader must figure out the setting, and details are explained as if you are already familiar with the background. It's unclear who is good or evil, or what everyone's motives are, and often it's unclear what is even going on. So, just like real life. The future Earth, the alien worlds, and most of the characters were unpleasant. The politics that drove the plot were tedious. Again, just like real life. However, it was enjoyable to read about someone navigating through the situation.
  • The Pandemic Plan on Feb. 26, 2014

    This was a realistic view of the impact of a pandemic on health service professionals and their families, along with the secondary impacts to society. The tedium and fatigue were expressed quite clearly. If you are preparing a pandemic response plan for your workplace, you may find it interesting to read this to better understand the emotional and human factors side of such events.
  • The Army of the Night on March 07, 2014

    More, please. This would make a very good novel. Based on the quality of this story, I'm buying the author's other works.
  • Pandemic Influenza: Mental Health Response on April 01, 2014

    Clear enough for non-professionals to understand. Useful both for those preparing a pandemic response strategy, as well as those writing books about zombies.
  • Fully Guaranteed on April 01, 2014

    The writing style is a bit verbose and overblown at first, but after that it's a good story.
  • Exchange Rate on April 01, 2014

    Interesting, although completely reliant upon an unexplained deus ex machina. The story would have been better if there was at least a token attempt to explain what it was, and why it took such an interest in protecting and guiding the characters.
  • Thieves Emporium on April 29, 2014

    The revised version (April 2014) is an improvement over the 2013 version. A filediff of the two epubs shows over 5100 edits. Most obviously, the current cover picture is much more appropriate to the content. That's not a major issue, but the old cover irritatingly gave an incorrect impression of the story. The new version has an additional appendix on the principal features of money (fungibility and total quantity). There are many very minor edits (mostly dialogue), which makes the conversations between characters flow more smoothly than in the 2013 version. The overall story is the same, just slightly more polished. I still have a quibble about certain witnesses being allowed to live long enough to record their testimony. It would be more likely that they would be promptly killed by a house fire, car crash, drug overdose, or other "accident" with plausible deniability. That's a very minor issue, and their their survival was necessary to the story. Overall the book was excellent, and very good value for the price.
  • An End of Poppies on July 07, 2014

    Oh, so beautiful and sad and so believable.
  • Cycling to Asylum on July 24, 2014

    Very good, engaging characters, a too-real slice of life view of a family seeking refugee status after fleeing a "safe" country. This book is partly responsible for my recent purchase of a bicycle.
  • The Shield on Sep. 24, 2014
    (no rating)
    A good premise, interesting situations, and very well-thought-out details of the issues involved when 21st and mid-20th technology meet. It would be much better if the author would show rather than tell. Worth the purchase, and I'll buy the next in the series when it comes out.
  • The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder on Sep. 24, 2014

    Very good. I like how the book covers the issues time-travelers would face in dealing with sexism, lack of papers, and other problems that are not always considered.
  • The Time Travel Journals: Bridgebuilders on Sep. 24, 2014
    (no rating)
    Very good, although "Shipbuilder" was much better. The author does an excellent job of making us care about individual characters. The story in "Shipbuilder" is confined to the complex but narrow scope of people involved with the Titanic, and so the detailed character development matches the scale of the action. In "Bridgebuilders", the story is more sprawling. The characters are still very well-developed, but we lose a bit of the intimacy. It's definitely a good book, but Shipbuilder was even better.
  • Happy and Glorious (Part One) on Sep. 24, 2014

    Note: this covers the effects of HMS Glorious surviving, especially with its impact on the campaign in North Africa, and is not told solely from the perspective of the carrier itself.
  • The Time Travel Journals: Bridgebuilders on Oct. 04, 2014

    Just to clarify my previous comment about this losing the intimacy seen in the previous book: there is no loss of intimate detail in the character development. It's more that "Shipbuilder" was like a cozy cottage filled with beautifully crafted furniture. "Bridgebuilder"'s larger scope is like a vast warehouse with a few pieces of beautiful furniture in it. Still definitely a good book.
  • The Whale Has Wings Vol3 - Holding the Barrier on Oct. 04, 2014

    Write faster, please.
  • After The Fires Went Out: Coyote (Book One of the Unconventional Post-Apocalyptic Series) on Dec. 24, 2014

    So very, very good. You are thrown right into the story years after it started, with complex characters and plots. The settings and problems are realistic, and things go wrong in horribly mundane (and thus surprising and plausible) ways. Buying all the rest in the series now.
  • After The Fires Went Out: Shards (Book Two of the Unconventional Post-Apocalyptic Series) on Dec. 28, 2014

    Very very good. Note that this should be read after the first book in the series, "Coyote". This book contains flashbacks to events prior to those in "Coyote", but you'll understand them better if you understand the aftermath. The settings in this book are real places in Northern Ontario and Quebec, so it helps to load up Google Earth and see a satellite view of everything going on. For example, when the protagonist blows up one wing of a residence at a remote mine and scurries around to another wing, you can understand exactly how great a distance is involved. This is the first post-apocalyptic series I've read where people were able to maintain limited networks for local e-mail, webcams, and such; it makes sense once the author pointed it out, as anyone with a solar panel, a router, and techie skills could add great benefit to a community of survivors. The author also skillfully uses network latency (and intermittent contact with the greater internet) as plot drivers.
  • The Bones of Texas City on Dec. 28, 2014

    This story fits in with the setting of the "After The Fires Went Out" series, but lacks the hope and cooperation present in the longer works. I much prefer the author's works where the setting is isolated and the population is tiny, where we can get more character development.
  • After The Fires Went Out: Veneration (Book Three of the Unconventional Post-Apocalyptic Series) on Jan. 29, 2015

    This is the end (for now) of the story of Baptiste, but it's a rather weak ending. That's mostly because of the setting. The previous books had a small number of characters in sparsely-populated areas, where one person's actions could change things at the strategic level. As Baptiste moves south, he becomes just one more person shoved about by events, with hardly any agency of his own. Still worth reading to see how it ends, but the earlier books were better, as is "After The Fires Went Out: Descent" (which is the journal of Ant, which the characters were reading from).
  • Ghosts of Niagara on Jan. 29, 2015

    Good, although I much prefer the "After The Fires Went Out" series.
  • After The Fires Went Out: Descent (Book Four of the Unconventional Post-Apocalyptic Series) on Jan. 29, 2015

    This was very good - the journal entries perfectly explain how the characters in the other books in this series came to have such feelings for Ant.
  • Nine Goblins on March 07, 2015

  • Legacy on June 07, 2015

    Very good. My only regret is that this story limits any recovery of civilization in any sequels to "After The Last Day".
  • Beyond The Shield on Feb. 01, 2017

    Disappointing. Not worth the purchase.
  • The Shield on Feb. 01, 2017

    Don't get the next one in the series.
  • Today's Stars for Dinosaurus on April 27, 2017

    It's not essential to have read the other books in the series first, but it'd be a good idea. Definitely not a stand-alone book like "Tirnahiolaire" or "Warlords of Llantatis".
  • Northern Tier: A Novel on Oct. 20, 2017

    This was excellent. The setting, characters, economy, and technologies were all very plausible and well-thought-out. I did think it a bit odd that nobody had managed to bring back electricity or engines. But the author even explained that later in the book; the main character remembered having once seen an electric light, so bits of technology do exist in the background, but are just too rare and expensive to influence the plot. I am very eager to read more from this author.
  • World War Take 2 on May 30, 2018

    Why I gave it one star (mild spoilers): In an environment where everyone is nervous about air attack, nobody pays attention to the sound of a helicopter flying overhead. It is possible to land a helicopter in an empty field within walking distance of a bar and not have anyone notice, in a front-line area crowded with troops. The female love interest falls for an American when she thinks he is there to fight the Nazis killing her neighbours, but doesn't blink when she learns he is there to help the Nazis.