Friday Face Off : Daddy Dearest – a book with a strong father role

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.

I’ve added themes in below. For information, I’m trying out some new ideas so along with coming up with particular items for book covers I thought we could also look for certain elements contained within the book or that play a large part in the story – this really broadens things out because I have plenty of more ideas with this – I’ve gone for a few of the Tough Travel Themes (so a book with that theme – just choose any book – the theme isn’t necessarily on the cover, then compare covers), also, I’ve thrown in some genres and some colours.  Hopefully this will open things out a little and give us some more freedom to come up with new books.

This week’s theme:

Daddy Dearest – a book with a strong father role

Well, I struggled with this one – I just couldn’t find a lot of books with a strong father role – no doubt lots will spring to mind as soon as this post goes live.  I had a couple of ideas that I eventually picked up but then a scroll back through my shelves eventually pulled out a book, in fact a series, that I really enjoyed and is perfect for this week’s theme.  The Mancer series by Ferrett Steinmetz.  Flex, The Flux and Fix.  In this series a desperate father goes to extreme measures to help his injured daughter.  There aren’t a range of covers for this one so I’m going to compare the three book covers in the series instead.

Here are the covers:

2022

Jul  
1st Genre – epic – any book that fits into the genre
8th Hazy and hot – a cover that is predominantly orange
15th Tough Travel Tropes – Snarky sidekick
22nd Off the TBR
29th Gigantic – monsters, giants, buildings,insects – anything at all
August
5th Tough Travel Tropes – out for summer – school or academic setting
12th Dark/sky/navy  – a cover that is blue
19th Scantily Dressed
26th Tough Travel Tropes – Vacation time – the quest
September RIP
2nd Fallen leaves – covers that are brown
9th Armour/Protection
16th Rage against the machine – anything, cogs, clockwork, AI
23rd Tough Travel Tropes – Coming of Age
30th Genre – horror
October – Horror/Dark
7th Guess who’s back?  – Vampires – popular again?
14th Witches vs warlocks
21st Tough Travel Tropes – Good vs evil
28th  Covers that are black
November – Scifi Month
4th Red skies at night – Covers that are red
11th Tough Travel Tropes – The gang
18th Genre – Swords and Sorcery
25th Genre – And they all lived happily ever after – fairy tales retold
December
2nd Tough Travel Tropes – Assassins
9th Tough Travel Tropes – Darklord
16th Genre – Grimdark (most recent/favourite, etc)
23rd Decadent and rich – a cover that is purple
30th Completions – a satisfying conclusion to a book or serie

Automatic Reload by Ferrett Steinmetz

AutoI loved the Mancer series by Ferrett Steinmetz and so when I saw the description for Automatic Reload it was something of a no-brainer that I wanted this book in my life.  Here’s a short snippet of the original description to give you something of an idea:

‘Ferrett Steinmetzs quirky, genre-mashing cyberpunk romance Automatic Reload a high-octane adventure about a grizzled mercenary with machine gun arms who unexpectedly falls in love with a bio-engineered assassin.’

This was a very entertaining story, quick paced and high octane indeed.  Steinmetz certainly does deliver a genre-mashing quirky romance and even with all the descriptions of guns and customised body parts he still manages to infuse this action story with plenty of warmth.

The story involves two key characters.  Mat, a former soldier, now a mercenary who has been offered a job with a dream payout.  If things go smoothly he’ll be very comfortable for quite some time (what could possibly go wrong?).  Mat is the top in his field. This is a future where people can replace limbs with high grade weaponry andMat has gone for all four limbs. His attention to detail has ensured him an enviable reputation but, he suffers with guilt that means he likes to examine all the risks before taking action.  Silvia is a genetically engineered assassin, almost inhuman in terms of strength, speed and agility with a panic disorder that makes her a little trigger happy.  Silvia has been engineered almost beyond recognition by a ruthless company that will pull out all the stops to retrieve her when she goes AWOL and this is when Mat and Silvia team up.

What I will say about AR is it’s a whole load of fun.  Steinmetz is really good with banter and also including all sorts of references that simply give you a buzz when you’re reading his stories.  Automatic Reload isn’t necessarily a complicated plot, it’s really a boy meets girl story where the two people in question have their own hang ups and never believed that anyone would give them a second look again and so were overjoyed to find this unexpected second chance.  It’s also a rescue mission, boy rescues girl, girl rescues boy, etc and more than that it’s a rage against the machine style plot that goes from fast to faster and promotes all round good feelings.

Of course all this out and out action does come at a slight cost.  The characters are thinly drawn and the romance and love is almost instantaneous.  That’s not really a criticism as it happens because for me lengthy descriptions and too much backstory would probably overload what is otherwise a very entertaining read that has a superhero or comic book feel to it and is a breath of fresh air.

I think the only issue that I really experienced is that there was a little too much information about the body hackers and all their tech.  It wasn’t a problem as such but it did reach a point where I felt I understood the workings and wanted to move on.

I had no problems racing from cover to cover.  This has plenty of action.  Characters that are on the side of good, trying to do good things and a helluva lot of explosions – not to mention some incredibly creative thinking, particularly with the car scene – which I won’t spoil – but was great.

What I can say with absolute certainty is that Steinmetz is an author whose work I really enjoy.

I would rate this 3.5 of 5 stars

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  the above is my own opinion.

Can’t Wait Wednesday : Automatic Reload by Ferrett Steinmetz

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Automatic Reload by Ferrett Steinmetz.  Why, because the description sounds awesome and because I loved this author’s Mancer series.  More information below:

automatic reloadFerrett Steinmetzs quirky, genre-mashing cyberpunk romance Automatic Reload a high-octane adventure about a grizzled mercenary with machine gun arms who unexpectedly falls in love with a bio-engineered assassin

In the near-future, automation is king, and Mat is the top mercenary working the black market. He’s your solider’s solider, with military-grade weapons instead of arms…and a haunted past that keeps him awake at night. On a mission that promises the biggest score of his life, he discovers that the top secret shipment he’s been sent to guard is not a package, but a person: Silvia.

Silvia is genetically-altered to be the deadliest woman on the planet–her only weakness is her panic disorder. When Mat decides to free her, both of them become targets of the most powerful shadow organization in the world. They go on the lam, determined to stop a sinister plot to create more super assassins like Silvia. Between bloody gunfights, rampant car chases and drone attacks, Mat and Silvia team up to survive…and unexpectedly realize their messed up brain-chemistry cannot overpower their very real chemistry.

Automatic Reload is the genre’s most unexpectedly heartfelt romantic comedy with explosions, perfect for fans of both Die Hard and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Expected publication : May 2020

The best of the best of the best 2016

As is my tradition I’m breaking in the New Year with a little look back at my favourite books from 2016.  Another good reading year with plenty to choose from and I admit that I struggled narrowing this down to 10, in fact I singled out at least 25 in my initial search.  I really did read some most excellent books this year in fact I was lucky enough to get through 120 books.  My list for the year is here.  Without further ado my favourites for 2016 with links to the reviews.

  1. The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence
  2. City of Blades by Robert J Bennett
  3. The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky
  4. The Silver Tide by Jen William
  5. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  6. Company Town by Madeline Ashby
  7. Fix by Ferrett Steinmetz
  8. The Family Plot by Cherie Priest
  9. Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  10. The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

I feel like I should also make honorary mentions for Monstrous Little Voices by Jonathan Barnes, Emma Newman, Kate Heartfield, Fox Meadows, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards, 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough, The Hike by Drew Magary, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and The Facefaker’s Game by Chandler J Birch

 

 

 

 

The Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz

I recently read and reviewed The Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz over at The Speculative Herald (below is a condensed version).  My review of Flex is here).  Basically: I love both these books and can’t wait for No.3.

Be aware that, whilst I try to avoid spoilers, this review may contain spoilers for Flex so if you haven’t yet started this series probably best to stop reading now!

The Flux starts a short while after the conclusion of Flex. Aliyah is now 8 years old and her mancy powers make her something of a handful to manage. Her parents have divorced and Paul, following his heroics at the conclusion of Flex, heads up the task force who track mancers. Of course, being a mancer, and not wishing to be caught (or brainwashed) he uses every trick in the book to fail. His lack of success is starting to attract attention!

As the book begins we have Paul and Valentine cooking up a batch of flex (a powerful drug that is created using magic).  Unfortunately, following a tip off from the mysterious King of New York, the task force have honed in on their location and are about to try and apprehend the pair. And that’s when the magic really kicks off.

I went into this story with raised expectations and wondered if the author could sustain the level of enthusiasm I felt for Flex. I’m pleased to say he managed to do just that.  In a rather cunning ploy FS brings not only all sorts of game references and characters into play but also creates something of a film geek fest and in fact uses the love of films to create a different sort of mancy. I love the concept here and think FS has given himself massive scope to create all sorts of different magical abilities and super obsessed evil baddies.

The characters. Firstly Paul, his magic seems tame compared with most of the others but it’s actually subtly ingenious. Perhaps not the explosion of fireworks that Aliyah creates or the fun game worlds that Valentine pulls out of the hat but in a world where most people leave a paper trail, bureaucromacy is very effective. Valentine is an amazing character. She’s so full of passion for what she does and who she is that she’s a force of nature waiting to happen. She loves Paul and Aliyah and is protective of their small unit.  On top of that she’s about to gain a love interest.  Then of course we have the maniacs of the piece. One of them very obvious and one of them not as immediately apparent.

I don’t really have any criticisms. You could say that after the dramatic and horror filled start of Flex, The Flux has something of a tamer start but I think it’s appropriate and allows you to stop and gain a feel for the characters. That isn’t to say the action is in short supply but the author takes the time to show you how Aliyah feels and how she’s dealing with the traumas she’s already suffered. Paul also suffers unimaginable guilt and will go to great lengths to secure his daughter’s happiness (almost forgetting to be a parent in the process). Valentine is also desperate to retain the friendship and closeness she values but needs something more in her life. They all have things to lose and for a while these fears drive a wedge between them.

In a nutshell –  this is a great story. It expands on the possibilities created in Flex, has a great plot, excellent writing, action, heartbreak and loss, tempered with fun and laugh out loud moments. Highly entertaining with an addictive comic book/super hero feel. I have no hesitation in recommending. Explosively good fun.

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