Book reviews

Grubane by Karl Drinkwater – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Major Grubane is commander of the Aurikaa, the most feared cruiser in the UFS arsenal.

His crew is handpicked and fiercely loyal. Together, they have never failed a mission, and their reputation precedes them.

But this time he’s been sent to a key planet that is caught up in political tensions at the centre of the freedom debate. What he thought was a simple diplomatic mission turns out to be the hardest choice of his career. His orders: eliminate one million inhabitants of the planet, and ensure their compliance.

Grubane has also rediscovered an ancient game called chess, and plays it against the ship AI as a form of mental training. But maybe it could be more than that as he finds himself asking questions. 

Can orders be reinterpreted? How many moves ahead is it possible for one man to plan? And how many players are involved in this game?

MY REVIEW

Grubane, a novella set in the Lost Solace universe is a game of chess.

Major Grubane plays this ancient game with A.I Aurika 12 and he learns strategy and forward planning….

He receives orders to suppress a rebellion. But he has doubts.

Grubane is thought provoking sci-fi, the interactions between Grubane and 12 make you wonder if A.I can have real emotions, a soul. A short novella which helps build the background to Lost Solace and that universe. Very clever and sci-fi at its best.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Grubane. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/b/Grubane

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Bio – Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

Social Media Links – 

Website https://karldrinkwater.uk

Twitter http://twitter.com/karldrinkwater

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/

Newsletter http://bit.ly/newsletterkd

Book reviews, Novella, Science fiction, Short story

Helene by Karl Drinkwater – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI.

As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.

Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it’s not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.

On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. 

They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality.

Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?

Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.

 

Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/b/Helene

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MY REVIEW 

Helene is an AI Socialisation Specialist, she’s working to help understand the AI VIRAUHX or Via to be successful and complete, to help shape a personality, to give a sense of right and wrong. As they talk Via considers Helene a friend….they start to banter a little and Via’s lame attempts at jokes are funny…..like a toddler just learning.

Helene breaks protocol and lets Via fly (it is a ship after all) and this is noticed by the senior powers that be…….and not in a good way.

Helene is betrayed, Via is silenced and now has limited responses….but then Opal arrives!

I love this novella, it gives a little insight into how Clarissa was ‘born’ and how Opal comes into the story. This will then lead to the events in Lost Solace….and I shudder at the thought of that (in a good way I might add). A quick but but intriguing read….I’m looking forward to the next in the Lost Solace series. 

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Author Bio 

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Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

 

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

 

Social Media Links –

 

https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater/

https://twitter.com/karldrinkwater

https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5766025.Karl_Drinkwater

 

Book reviews, Science fiction

Chasing Solace by Karl Drinkwater – Book Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The legendary Lost Ships exist, and they harbour nightmarish horrors. Opal knows. She barely survived her first encounter with one.

Despite escaping, she failed to find what she was looking for: her lost sister. Now Opal must board a second derelict Lost Ship to seek answers, and it’s even more monstrous, a sickening place of death and decay. To make things worse, the military government wants her, dead or alive. Considering their reputation, dead may be better.

To find her sister, Opal will risk everything: her life, her blood, her sanity. There’s always a price to pay. Armed with her wits, an experimental armoured suit, and an amazing AI companion, she might just stand a chance.

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MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Solace series by Karl Drinkwater. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I feel you are missing out if you haven’t read Lost Solace….

This starts with Opal and Athene (the AI on board the ship, previously called Clarissa, but she changed her own name to Athene…a warrior and wise) they are about to infiltrate a base on Exidris 3 to steal or fabricate supplies.

It seems relatively isolated, so while waiting for Athene to fabricate items, she has a nosy around the security feeds….what she finds is surgery being performed on people by robotic surgeons. These subjects are those who failed the purity tests and they find out that nobody leaves the facility…..Opal wants to save them…..Can she? 

When their mission is complete, they are finally on their journey to find the second Lost ship….still searching for Opal’s sister Clarissa.

They find the ship and Opal gets suited up and off she goes….and things get horrific.

The ship is a food production ship, they grow Chattel….animals for food, with less bone and more meat and something else is roaming the dark. When Opal finds something sticky and web like, my heart skipped at beat….not spiders!!!

No, not spiders exactly, but a mix of insect, arachnid and crustacean….a thing of nightmares..

There’s also an assassin. It’s never easy is it? Then she meets the Oracles!!

This is non-stop action, with a strong Ripley-esq female character and her relationship with the AI Athene, a real friendship and they rely on each other. Gruesome, fun and emotional too. Will Opal find Clarissa? Will she be what she expects? …..

Brilliantly immersive and entertaining. I can’t wait for #3 in the series.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials. This is my honest, unbiased review.

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Book reviews, Science fiction

Chasing Solace by Karl Drinkwater – Book Review. @KarlDrinkwater #ChasingSolace

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The legendary Lost Ships exist, and they harbour nightmarish horrors. Opal knows. She barely survived her first encounter with one.

Despite escaping, she failed to find what she was looking for: her lost sister. Now Opal must board a second derelict Lost Ship to seek answers, and it’s even more monstrous, a sickening place of death and decay. To make things worse, the military government wants her, dead or alive. Considering their reputation, dead may be better.

To find her sister, Opal will risk everything: her life, her blood, her sanity. There’s always a price to pay. Armed with her wits, an experimental armoured suit, and an amazing AI companion, she might just stand a chance.

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MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Solace series by Karl Drinkwater. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I feel you are missing out if you haven’t read Lost Solace….

This starts with Opal and Athene (the AI on board the ship, previously called Clarissa, but she changed her own name to Athene…a warrior and wise) they are about to infiltrate a base on Exidris 3 to steal or fabricate supplies.

It seems relatively isolated, so while waiting for Athene to fabricate items, she has a nosy around the security feeds….what she finds is surgery being performed on people by robotic surgeons. These subjects are those who failed the purity tests and they find out that nobody leaves the facility…..Opal wants to save them…..Can she? 

When their mission is complete, they are finally on their journey to find the second Lost ship….still searching for Opal’s sister Clarissa.

They find the ship and Opal gets suited up and off she goes….and things get horrific.

The ship is a food production ship, they grow Chattel….animals for food, with less bone and more meat and something else is roaming the dark. When Opal finds something sticky and web like, my heart skipped at beat….not spiders!!!

No, not spiders exactly, but a mix of insect, arachnid and crustacean….a thing of nightmares..

There’s also an assassin. It’s never easy is it? Then she meets the Oracles!!

This is non-stop action, with a strong Ripley-esq female character and her relationship with the AI Athene, a real friendship and they rely on each other. Gruesome, fun and emotional too. Will Opal find Clarissa? Will she be what she expects? …..

Brilliantly immersive and entertaining. I can’t wait for #3 in the series.

Thank you to Karl Drinkwater for the opportunity to read this for free.This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Science fiction

Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Sometimes spaceships disappear with everyone on board – the Lost Ships. But sometimes they come back, strangely altered, derelict, and rumoured to be full of horrors.

Opal is on a mission. She’s been seeking something her whole life. Something she is willing to die for. And she thinks it might be on a Lost Ship.

Opal has stolen Clarissa, an experimental AI-controlled spaceship, from the military. Together they have tracked down a Lost Ship, in a lonely nebula far from colonised space.

The Lost Ship is falling into the gravity well of a neutron star, and will soon be truly lost … forever. Legends say the ships harbour death, but there’s no time for indecision.

Opal gears up to board it. She’s just one woman, entering an alien and lethal environment. But perhaps with the aid of Clarissa’s intelligence – and an armoured spacesuit – Opal may stand a chance.
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MY REVIEW 

Opal is searching for a Lost Ship…it’s been missing for 14 years and her sister was on it when it disappeared. Sometimes they come back! They have tech that could be worth a lot of money……but there are things worth so much more…

Opal is alone on a small ship with the AI, Clarissa…..stolen from the military and hacked to ensure it obeys her commands…..

They find a ship, could it be the one?

With Clarissa’s help, Opal gets on board, but she’s not alone….what are the pink blobs? And those fairy lights are mesmerising!

With something unknown chasing her, she relies on Clarissa for navigation, but then things get worse as the military arrive……! 

‘Shoulda brought a bigger gun’

This is a totally immersive and fast paced read that is full on, non stop action.  With a tense atmosphere broken only by the humour and ‘friendship’ between Opal and Clarissa.  The chill of the darkness and those creepy synth dolls made me shudder! ….I loved the strong female character, intelligent and fearless (very Ripley-esq) and likeable too. I can’t wait to read the next in the series…

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2ZyoWWR

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

LINKS

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