Sci-Fi Review: War of the Realms: Conquests and Consequences

War of the Realms by Lee Watts, Th. D.

War of the Realms: Conquests & Consequences
by Lee Watts, Th. D.
3.5 out of 5 stars
SYNOPSIS:
Alexander is the heir to the throne of Theera-Enty. After a failed assassination attempt, he is stranded on a remote jungle planet while the kingdom is thrown into chaos. But it isn’t only human-kind who are working against him. The legendary Guardians must protect Alexander by battling against demonic beings who whisper evil into the minds of men. A pirate captain is caught in the middle of the war, a group of castaways look for rescue, an old priest preaches for repentance, and the governments of different planets vie for power.

This book has an epic scope as the people of Theera-Enty begin a fight against oppression, and Alexander struggles to understand a prophecy regarding the throne. A mysterious key might lead to a treasure beyond imagining but no one can unravel its secrets.

PLOT/ACTION:
This plot is full of so much action and twists and betrayals and big reveals! It really kept my interest through every chapter. There is a big space battle at the end of the book that amazed me from start to finish. Usually I am bored by fight scenes, but this was presented like a puzzle to be solved. How are they going to survive? What tricks and tactics can they use to overpower the enemy? It was fascinating, and full of emotional moments as characters had to face their worst fears and find the courage to keep going.

THEMES:
There are deep themes about faith, spiritual warfare, friendship, courage, the nature of truth, and the proper roles of government and education. These powerful messages are so smoothly woven into the story that it never feels too preachy. It makes the story really meaningful. I especially appreciated the spiritual themes and the clear messages about God’s love and forgiveness through Christ.

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Book Review: That Hideous Strength

That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3)
by C.S. Lewis
4 out of 5 stars
Jane and Mark are caught between the forces of good and evil. As the N.I.C.E. corporation offers Mark a job to lure him into their wicked schemes, Jane is approached by a very different group of people who have gathered around Ransom. They each have to decide what they believe in when it turns out that archangels and ancient legends are real.

This book has a very different format from the other books in the series, and Ransom is a side character in his own story. The trouble with Jane and Mark being the main characters, is that I don’t really like either of them. They are so wishy-washy and both their personalities are unattractive. However, they do both have extreme character development and really interesting internal journeys.

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Classic Book Review: Perelandra

Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

Perelandra (Space Trilogy, #2)
by C.S. Lewis
4 out of 5 stars
In this second book of the trilogy, Ransom travels to another alien planet at the request of Maleldil. This time he goes to Perelandra (Venus), and encounters a new race of aliens, who are struggling with the same temptations from the Evil One that Adam and Eve fell victim to in our own world. Ransom must battle against the Evil Presence in order to protect the innocent new society that is just beginning to form.

I love the imaginative world-building in this book! There are so many different settings and alien animals and weird plants. Perelandra is such a strange planet with a perpetually cloudy sky and rolling islands that float on the seas. And even when you are more than halfway through the book, and you think you’ve seen all the scenery and met all the animals that Perelandra could possibly have, then there are still more mysteries and wildlife and extreme mountains and rivers to be explored.

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Classic Sci-Fi Review: Out of the Silent Planet

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, #1)
by C.S. Lewis
4 out of 5 stars
Ransom is kidnapped and taken to another planet, where he escapes his kidnappers and must fend for himself on an alien world. Everything he encounters is entirely foreign and strange, from the water to the trees. The landscape is wild and inhospitable, and there are aliens who (he has been told) need a human sacrifice for some pagan ritual.

Malacandra is such a vibrant planet, with rich cultures and languages of its own. I love all the little details of the aliens and their society that make it feel like a real place. It’s utterly bizarre and wild, but with little flecks of familiarity that endear you to the alienness of it all.

The writing and story-telling are truly brilliant. The plot is exciting, and the writing draws the reader into each scene so that you are experiencing what Ransom is experiencing through every adventure. I love that there are a lot of philosophical questions and spiritual lessons in this book, but it never weighs down the plot or spoils the adventure.

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Book Review: Mothstorm

Mothstorm by Philip Reeve

Mothstorm (Larklight, #3)
by Philip Reeve (Goodreads Author)
4 out of 5 stars

A mysterious cloud is approaching the solar system from deep space, and of course only Arthur and Myrtle can solve the mystery and save the British Empire and the nine planets (along with some asteroids and dwarf planets). They are joined by our favorite old characters and a few new ones, as they travel between the planets to fight for Queen and country.

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the characters, the hilarious writing, the world-building, the mystery, the adventure, and every single dramatic chapter all kept me reading for hours on end. This is one of those books where there isn’t a good place to stop reading. You just have to keep going through the next chapter and the next.

It’s wonderful to see how the entire trilogy is wrapped up beautifully in this last book. The plot comes together really well to solve problems and answer questions that have been hanging since the first book. I love how each thread of the story resolves into this great ending!

I am amazed at how imaginative this fantasy world is. The aliens and their strange cultures are all so intricate and well-formed, right down to the diseases, commerce, and vegetation of each planet. I love that it is set in a steam-punk 1850s British Empire full of space travel that has expanded to Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. It’s such an interesting solar system, and each planet has it’s own history and people who live there.

The writing style is very humorous with that sort of dry humor that I love. I was delighted at how some of the characters are doing their best to have good manners and polite modesty in the middle of their outlandish adventures. We may be about to be blown to smithereens by space pirates, but let us not forget proper courtesy and decorum. The whole book is hilarious!

The characters are really varied and interesting. They come from all sorts of backgrounds, and I loved the character development for so many of them. They change and grow and learn from one another.

Myrtle has some excellent development as she learns that she is stronger and more resourceful than she thought. She does NOT faint every time something dangerous happens, as a properly-educated young lady should do. Instead she begins to take little steps towards saving herself, instead of waiting for a hero to rescue her as a demure young lady should do. And through those little steps she moves on to bigger steps, until finally she gains enough confidence in her own abilities to have the courage to jump into the fray and save everyone.

I only wish there were more books in this series!

Book Review: The Telling

The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Telling
by Ursula K. Le Guin

2 out of 5 stars


Sutty is an Observer visiting an alien planet to escape the political and religious unrest on Earth. But she arrives at a planet in the middle of their own religious upheaval where the old religions are illegal, and only small pockets of people in the countryside practice their beliefs in secret.

I DNF’d this book after page 63, because I was upset at the themes and attitudes behind the moral worldview of this book. Sutty is homosexual, and I didn’t like how that was approached and handled in this book. Continue reading

Book Review: Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall

Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall by Rae Knightly
Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall (Alien Skill, #1)
by Rae Knightly (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars


Ben has no memory of when a “meteor” fell near his Grampa’s home while Ben was visiting there. There are government agents snooping around the crash site, and Ben’s Grampa is trying to keep Ben’s name out of it by hiding him away with his mother in the city. An alien named Mesmo is on the run from dangerous government agents, and tries to protect the innocent human witnesses from the “meteor” crash site. A mysterious shape-shifter tracks down Ben as a witness to the crash, and Ben and his mother are both in terrible danger.

I enjoyed the writing style in this book. It’s concise and clear, with a lot of emotional scenes between characters. The writer shows us the inner feelings of each character, and there is some powerful dialogue. The characters are deep and complex with authentic relationships. Continue reading

Book Review: SpaceKid iLK

Spacekid iLK by Andrew  Hammond
Spacekid iLK: Invasion 101 
by Andrew Hammond 

4 out of 5 stars

iLK is a normal alien boy, flying around with his parents in a spaceship and invading planets. But when iLK’s father conquers Earth, he gets tired of being the supreme ruler of such a boring planet, and gives the job to iLK to teach him some responsibility. Earth is soon in danger, and it’s up to iLK to save the planet with the help of some friendly Earthlings!

I thought this book was hilarious! The writing is so clever and silly, and the plot is really imaginative. I loved the world-building with the aliens, and their culture of invasion and world domination. I especially enjoyed the complex family dynamics between iLK and his parents.
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