Pattern Black is a curious and exciting science fiction novel following Mason as he is brought in to a city prison in which snitching gives one currency. However, during his time in said prison, he quickly starts to notice that he is suffering gaps in time and lapses of memory. This is soon blamed on the therapy treatments that are given to some prisoners. But there is so much more to this therapy than meets the eyes, oh so, so, so much more.
Pattern Black is by far one of the most in-depth science fiction stories I have read in some time. And at 200000 words it will keep you reading for some time. I enjoyed it so much I finished the book in only a couple of days because I enjoyed the tale. However, not everyone can do so, so make sure you set aside an appropriate amount of time so you can enjoy this story.
Now, this is a science fiction story. However, its beginning feels more like an action cop movie until the fine details of the plan wind up. Do not let that get to you as this novel is more than worth finishing. The further you get in to the book the more sci-fi and in-depth this story gets eventually building in to a complex tapestry of technology, mind wiping drugs and daddy issues, all of which are a delight to read about.
Pattern Black’s characters are rough around the edges and feel like real people with actual issues. Particularly the main characters phobias which are painfully relatable. I feel for Mason, holes are creepy. This allows you to feel the emotional roller coasters that these characters are on and leaves you wanting to know more and keeps you deeply invested in their stories.
Now the fine details, there are a lot of curses and middle finger flying in this novel, so if you are uncomfortable with swear words of any sort you should probably skip this read. Otherwise, you are in for an amazing ride!
I got an advanced reading copy of this book on Reedsy Discovery.
UE1: The Secret Revealed is a military science fiction novel by T.M. Ely, one that I almost passed over while going through the Reedsy Discovery list of books that I could review. Why? There were only a few days left to review it and I was unsure I would be interested enough to finish it in such a short time. However, I figured I’d pick it up, anyway. This was a great decision, as this book is amazing!
Not only did I find myself interested in the story taking place and the hunts that much of modern technology has come from various spacecrafts, but also the descriptions of the aliens that flew them to our little blue ball in space. Ely’s descriptions of everything from sight to smell leave you curious about what will happen next. So much so that when the book ends on just enough of a cliffhanger that you wish you can telepathically press the author to give you more. (Read the book and you understand that comment.)
Now, on to the nitty gritty of the books itself. At 60,000 words you’re looking at a pretty average length novel with plenty of time for character building, which Ely takes full advantage of in letting you get to know the well-written characters as you follow many and who doesn’t enjoy a well-written character?
The story itself takes place in times. During the aftermath of the famed alien crashes leading to the fame of Area 51, as well as in a future telling in 2008, which shows how long the military has been studying the contraptions left behind by the little green men. As this is a military science fiction piece, you may be worried that you cannot follow along with the jargon, ranks, and 24-hour clock readings. I assure you, even with the most mild understanding of the United States military, you will be able to follow along and enjoy this amazing book.
I got an Advanced Reading Copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.
Crom The Barbarian is a Gamebook by W. Caddell using stories from Crom the Barbarian, a public domain character with some really heavy Conan feels, and an easy enough play system to learn, though definitely different from others.
This is not exactly like one of your old choose your old adventure stories. As the dice place a heavy role in how things are handled in each scenario. But you do have quite a few choices in how you can make your character, or simply play as the titular character Crom.
Now I am not going to go in to full details on the system or the stories you can play though this as that would ruin quite a bit of the excitement of picking up this book yourself. However, I will strongly suggest that, if you’re looking for a single player game to get your dice rolling kicks out of, this is a far game to pick up.
You can find Crom the Barbarian here! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/365040/Crom-the-GameBook?term=Crom+The+Barbarian
The Cabin Sessions by Isobel Blackthorn is an exciting thriller following the points of view of various characters as they deal with being stuck in an enclosed space on Christmas eve and the various traumas of their past and crimes.
Now I will begin by stating that the above is the most simplified synopsis I might give without ruining any of this amazing thriller. I was so in to this story that I made the huge mistake of staying up most of the night to finish the book. Normally when I do this, it ends up being a regret as I am exhausted and disappointed in how a book ended but The Cabin Sessions did not disappoint.
Moving on to the nuts and bolts now, the characters are realistic, even if they span various levels of lies and madness, but let’s be honest, what group of people does not? Each character is well written. As this story is told from the first person views of the characters, it is clear that the author took time to truly get to know each character as they all feel well rounded.
The Cabin Sessions is a must read of anyone who enjoys a good thriller!
So I am going to begin by saying that there is nothing quite like a good monster story. Particularly one that looks at how monstrous people can be as well as whatever is going bump in the night. Polar Night creates a frightening environment because of both the strange eldritch horrors that await the cast of characters, and how those around them are handling the conflict.
Polar Night has a large cast of characters, though given the horrific nature of the story you do not get to attached to most of them. The ones you do, well it has been some time since I have loved a book that put characters through so much torture. Particularly ones I enjoy. Sadly, even my favorite character suffered an unfortunate loss, leaving me mildly annoyed but still unable to put the story down. This is always a sign of an excellent writer.
The story of Polar Night is fantastic. And while not every question is answered, this fits well with the story, as we don’t always get answers we want, anyway. Sometimes it’s fun to wonder what exactly something was. And you do wonder what the horrors the characters deal with really are.
Polar Night is a fantastic novel that I suggest you pick up. I will be reading it again some time soon I am sure.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.