Saturday, February 3, 2024

The Dragon's Den (Warders #3), by Armen Pogharian (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Armen Pogharian, ISBN 9798868720390, November 2023

The Warders, the secret protectors of the city of Eridan, are facing a new danger. It's alarming enough when an agent working in another city is killed, and a magical artifact stolen. When the local head of the Thieves' Guild contacts the Warders, the message, and one of the messengers, is even more alarming.

The unexpected messenger is a rogue Shaulan assassin, Khelan, and the message concern a plot whose roots are in a centuries-old conflict between two groups of elves. A Chaotic Order sorceress is determined to gain control of the long-suppressed elven magic, and use it to seize power over the entire Federation of which Eridan is a part. 

Friday, February 2, 2024

My Teacher Flunked the Planet (My Teacher is an Alien: Book #4) by Bruce Coville (author, narrator), Rueby Wood (narrator), Full Cast Audio crew (narrators)

Full Cast Audio, ISBN 9781955324052, January 2023 (original publication June 1992)

Seventh-grader Peter Thompson and his friends, Susan Simpson and Duncan Dougal, have had some pretty startling experiences over the past year. For instance, several of their teachers have turned out to be aliens, on Earth to investigate our species and our culture. Along the way, they've experienced some pretty weird effects of the aliens' technology first-hand. Now they've been kidnapped by the aliens, and learned where all this has been headed.

The alien are trying to decide whether it's safe to let humans continue to advance our technology and emerge into the galaxy, or whether it would be the safer and wiser choice, given how violent we are even towards each other, to destroy us now before we can do any damage outside our own system. The consensus is tilting pretty heavily toward "wipe them out now."

Monday, January 15, 2024

Snipers, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

WMG Publishing, 2013

In the winter of 1913, Vienna Police Detective Johann Runge investigates the murders of two men in a cafe--Lev Bronstein and Viktor Adler. It's puzzling enough to start with, but it's soon followed by more sniper killings. Soon five men are dead, some famous, some unknown--at least in 1913.

In Vienna in 2005, bestselling crime writer Sofie Branstadter is researching what she intends to be the definitive book on the still unsolved Carnival Sniper killings. As she does her research, we gradually realize that Sofie isn't living in the same timeline we are. This timeline had The Great War, lasting ten years, and no Second World War. The League of Nations survived, and international politics is quite different. What happened?

Thursday, January 11, 2024

The Counterfeit Count (Warders #2), by Armen Pogharian (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Armen Pogharian, September 2023

Adara is undergoing her field trial test, the final step in completing her preparation to become a full-fledged member of the Warders, the secret organization that protects Eridan. Geren has assigned her to secretly follow the coach of the Count of neighboring Cruese. She's shocked when she hears sword striking sword, and comes into view of the coach to see Geren fighting the Count's personal guard. Has he gone mad? Has he gotten sucked into Cruese's complex political conflicts? Is it the trickiest part of her test? Instead of finishing up her field trial, she now has a dangerous mystery to untangle.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Becoming Terran, by Mark Roth-Whitworth

Novus Mundi Books, February 2024

It's 2077, with climate change hitting hard, trillionaires bent on world control, and ordinary people in many places struggling to survive.

A young woman from Niger is working in a hotel in North Africa, when it is seized by one of those trillionaires, Phillippe Tolliver. She catches his attention, and manages to impress him enough that he decides she worth recruiting as his newest personal aide. Renamed Francoise Trouve, she insists on taking her little sister, renamed Amelie, with her.

She takes advantage of all the education he gives her, by AR and intense study, and her sister is tutored until she's sent off to an elite private school in England. They both get genetic engineering to soften their curls and lighten their skin, and Francoise works hard at making herself indispensable to him. First as his aide,and later as a skilled business operative he can send into any of his corporations, both to learn more herself and identify and solve problems, she does.