Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Spiral Slayers and The Subtle Beauty review

I have recently had the pleasure of reading two books which are so diverse but are well worth your time. The first one was entitled The Spiral Slayers by Rusty Williamson, which is a dense but interesting science fiction thriller that starts with the apparent death of an asteroid miner and ends with the beginning of a war with the spiral slayers. What happens in between is an edge of your seats thrill ride that makes you want to keep reading.
I honestly did not know what to expect on this novel when I picked it up and was a little leery when I first started reading and saw detailed drawings of the ships and the universe that was created for this book. But then the drawings began to make sense when I got into the book. The main premise of the story is a race of highly advanced slug like creatures for lack of a better description come to a planet and make contact with the people of that planet after rescuing the miner and bringing him back to life.
This starts a relationship between the miner, who becomes a celebrity amongst his people, and the creatures, who demand to only deal with him. One minor side effect of having the creatures rescue him is that he is granted immortality, which causes a major disruption with the government and the creatures have to give the entire planet immortality (which was their intention in the first place, much to the government’s dismay).
After the immortality drug is distributed and the creatures begin to share their tech with the people, the one that met with the miner leaves and sets out for the home world, which is a two hundred light year round trip. However, within a short time, the ship returns bearing bad news, that the creature’s galaxy has been destroyed.
Without going into too much detail, the rest of the story is about the build up of the military and the escalations to the actual war with the bad guys which never really appear, as the book ends with a cliff hanger, making you have to read the next book.
Rusty did a good job with his descriptions and made the universe come alive, and I will definitely be buying the second book to see how the conflict resolves itself. If you are into sci-fi and are looking for something that is not your typical robot or star chaser story, then give The Spiral Slayers a chance.
The other novel that I read was by a good friend of mine named Ann Hunter that I have known thru My Fitness Pal for several years. When she approached me last year and said she had finished her book, I was excited to read it. I would describe it as a fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and is entitled The Subtle Beauty.
It is the story of a king who made a pact with an “evil” man in order to expand his kingdom, and gained the use of a mystical sword. But by doing so, he became consumed with the power that the sword gave him. Finally, he is so consumed with the power that his wife asks that the gods take her to make him come home and be with their unborn son. The son is born but is deformed as the king is brought to his knees and sent back to his castle, ordered never to go out and try to expand again.
Years later, a beautiful daughter of a king falls in love with a falconer and plans to run away and be married to him, but the king has other plans. He wants to marry her to the deformed son of the defaced king so that the kingdoms can be united. The daughter hears of this and devises a plan to run off with her love, but is kidnapped. From there the story is intense, but full of love and loss, and the true face of love is shown as well as what it means to be a man, and a boy.
I could not put this story down from the time that I began reading it, and would read it again in an instant. It is the perfect Valentine’s Day story, or the perfect rainy day story, or the perfect story to read to your kids.
I do have to tell you that there are swear words in both stories which knocked them down from getting perfect 5’s.

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As always, be kind, please rewind, and remember two wrongs may not make a right, but three rights always make a left.