The Crew Who Came in From the Cold — Kathleen McClure and Kelley McKinnon

To begin, i would just like to mention that i received a free copy of this book from Kathleen and Kelley to read and review.

I’ve always been a total fan of the Fortune series, always great writing, great characters, interesting relationships, with lots of action and shenanigans, and this story was more of the same.

This story follows on from Outrageous Fortune, so do read that first.

In this story Kathleen teams up with Kelley McKinnon once again and what the reader gets is another wonderful adventure with the crew of the Errant when they get a passenger job to carry some doctors to another part of Fortune (they’re like Fortune’s vesion of “Doctors Without Borders), but one of these passengers isn’t who he says he is.   Anyway, when this passenger goes to meet up with an old friend all hell breaks loose and, once again, trouble soon finds the crew of the Errant and shenanigans ensue.   Plus, we get an update on John and Jagati’s budding romance . . . awwww!

All in all, while not a big long book, it’s a very good little adventure within which we learn a lot more about our favourite airship crew and, also, a very good little adventure that’ll keep you awake reading at bedtime when you should be going to sleep.   But who needs sleep, right?

A must read for all Fortune fans and if you’re not a Fortune fan yet then i would humbly suggest that you go to Outrageous Fiction and get a free copy of Soldier of Fortune and give it a read.   Yes, the first book in the series is free to try, so what’s stopping you?   The planet Fortune is a wonderful stage setting for these really good, character driven adventures that Kathleen and Kelly take us on.   If you like lots of action with great characters and great writing you won’t be disappointed.

Bye for now.

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Fortune’s Fool — Kathleen McClure

A super good story continuing Gideon Quinn’s adventures after all the shenanigans we all totally enjoyed in Soldier of Fortune.

I found the pacing of this quite different to Kathleen and her co-writer’s other books, which was not a bad thing at all, i rather liked it.   While the story mostly drives along in Kathleen’s usual fast paced style we are also left with the crew back at Doyle Street who have no idea what is going on with Gideon — and all the others who have gone missing — while getting the cafe ready to open and having a baby.   So it’s quite nice to get these little breathers between the fast paced scenes involving Gideon and co. to catch our reading breaths.

And not only do we have all our favourite characters back and in the thick of it, but we have a few new ones to meet and enjoy reading about, yes, even those nasty ne’er-do-wells.

All in all, once again, brilliant writing, great characters, and great story telling.   I just can’t wait for Kathleen to add the finishing touches to the next Fortune book, The Crew Who Came in From the Cold, which i will be diving into with absolute joy.

And i’ll say it again, like i say on all of books coming out of Outrageous Fiction, if you’re looking for some great action packed character driven story telling then look no further than their website for all your reading needs.   You shall be satisfied.

Bye for now.

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The Longest Shard — Kathleen McClure

If you like really good steampunk with really good characters navigating a really good world then The Fortune Chronicles by Kathleen McClure will be right up your alley.

Every one of the Fortune books i’ve read so far has left me really glad i bought it and always leaves me eagerly awaiting more.   Kathleen is one of those writers who, once she’s got you started in a book, just ain’t gonna let you off the hook until the very last word.   It’s just non-stop, gritty, character driven stuff with great world building that will keep you up late reading when you should be getting some sleep.

The Longest Shard is a really well written, fast paced novella giving us the full tale of Gideon Quinn’s time in Morton Barrens up to the time he leaves at the start of Soldier of Fortune.   I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to have read it before Soldier of Fortune, so if you missed it and want some more Fortune and Gideon Quinn then jump straight into this as soon as finished Soldier of Fortune.

Seriously folks, if you like steampunk give Kathleen, Fortune and Gideon Quinn a chance: you won’t regret it.

Bye for now.

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Orphan, Dodger, Soldier, Spy — Kathleen McClure

This is a back story to the main Gideon Quinn adventures, giving us a bit more of Gideon’s past than is revealed to us in the main books.

In this book we’re taken back to Gideon’s time in the war when Gideon takes a couple of his soldiers to go behind enemy lines to steal some secret documents.   We also get to know how Gideon ends up with all the scars.

Only a short novella kind of thing, but still a good little episode that gives us a bit more history to Gideon’s character.

I would suggest reading this after Soldier of Fortune, and then follow it up with The Longest Shard, which i have jumped straight into after finishing this book.

Bye for now.

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Outrageous Fortune — Kathleen McClure and Kelley McKinnon

Click on picture to get your copy.

In this story we get to hear all about the crew of the airship Errant, whom we briefly met when Gideon and Mia delivered Jinna for safe-keeping in Soldier of Fortune.   Not only do we get to hear all about them and their pasts, but we also get to go on another great adventure on the planet Fortune with shenanigans galore.

To write this book Kathleen teams up with Kelley McKinnon and while i found there’s a slightly different feel to the writing, it’s certainly just as good as, and flows perfectly on from, Soldier of Fortune.   Once again, we are feasted to our heart’s content with great characters who just keep the story rip-roaring along for the reader’s complete entertainment.

This book is mostly set at the same time of the events in Soldier of Fortune, and if you haven’t read that first then i would suggest doing so before embarking on this book.

Another winner from the brilliant writers at Outrageous Fiction.

Bye for now.

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Soldier of Fortune — Kathleen McClure

Click on picture to get your copy.

Having been a long time fan of Kathleen’s books, i recently had the pleasure to read and review the first two books of Kathleen’s new sci-fi series that she co-wrote with L. Gene Brown, The Gemini Hustle and The Libra Gambit.   Well worth reading if you like really good action packed sci-fi.

While reading those i found out that Kathleen and Kelley McKinnon are busy putting the finishing touches on the latest Fortune novel, The Crew Who Came in From the Cold. And it had me wondering how long it had been since i’d read the earlier Fortune books, and yeah, it had been quite a while.   So long, in fact, that i could only remember totally enjoying them but not much else — there’s been a huge amount of books read in those in-between years that just dulls one’s memory.

So once i’d finished The Libra Gambit i quickly finished off another book i’d been itching to read, then i loaded up my newest Kindle with all the Fortune books i have and set out to re-read them all again, ready for The Crew Who Came in From the Cold.

Which leads me to this review.   One thing i can say for sure is that my memory didn’t fail me in remembering that i had totally enjoyed this book, and once again, i totally enjoyed it.   It was so good that my memory of the story had faded because i started reading people and places and dracos all came flooding back and it was like bumping into an old friend after years apart.

Gideon Quinn is our main protagonists, and he is so well written and such a great character, as are all the others.   One of my biggest draws to Kathleen’s books, whether written on her own or those she writes with Kelley McKinnon or L.Gene Brown are the characters: they’re just brilliant.

As i’ve said in other reviews, Kathleen and Co make the goodies that perfect level of good and the baddies that perfect level of bad and the interactions between all the characters just roll along perfectly because of this.

And as usual with Kathleen and Co, the action is just non-stop.   It’s like a super good action film in a book form.

And did i mention that this first book in the series is free to download?   So why not give it a try, i can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed and will soon be reading the whole series.

So having finished this first book i’ve dived straight into Outrageous Fortune and i’m having a whole new blast re-meeting the crew of the Errant once again after all these years since i last read this.

Bye for now.

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The Libra Gambit — Kathleen McClure and L. Gene Brown

Click on picture to get your copy.

Once more, before i begin, i just wish to add that this was sent to me by Kathleen to read and review.

So now that’s out of the way, what did i think?

I think this follows on superbly from the first book in the series, The Gemini Hustle.   All our favourite good characters are back being their goodest best (my spell checker tells me that “goodest” isn’t a real word: stupid spellchecker!), the baddies are, once again, that perfect level of bad, and we even get some AI’s brought into the story: and i really like a good AI.   Who knows where the AI thing is going to go in future episodes, but i’m certainly hoping very much to hearing more about/from them.

On top of this there’s all the different aliens that appear, and also the clones, they call themselves ADs (Artificially Designed Human Life Forms) who are made up of interesting selections of human genes all mixed up into one person or, apparently, a whole crèche.

And there’s so much more to enjoy.   Like a hugely OTT prison break from a space station prison (yeah, in space), which starts off as a simple break-one-person-out and ends up just growing more and more OTT as the story goes on.

Once again, super fast paced which just keeps going and going, great characters, lots of different factions, a great universe setting, it’s just great all round.   It’s got everything a really good action adventure sci-fi novel needs.

Kathleen McClure and L. Gene Brown make a fantastic writing duo and i certainly hope this writing collaboration keeps on going and going and going.   I eagerly look forward to reading more from this universe.

Seriously people, if you haven’t started already, get reading this series.   It’s super duper fun.

Enjoy.   And be sure to check out the Outrageous Fiction website for some more great story treats.

#5t4n5 #books #scifi #kathleenmcclure #lgenebrown

The Gemini Hustle — Kathleen McClure and L. Gene Brown

Click on picture to get your copy.

Before i begin, i just want to let you know that Kathleen sent me a free copy of this book to read and review . . .

. . . which, having totally and absolutely enjoyed every other book of Kathleen’s that i’ve read (and i’ve read a few) i was soooo excited to do.

And also to mention that this is a review of the second edition, as the book was rewritten after The Libra Gambit was released.

And so, moving onto the review: having read all of Kathleen’s Fortune series, which are so seriously good books, the bar for this book was set quite high with my expectations and, free or not, it would still have to earn a good review on it’s own merits.   But, i’m very pleased to say that this book didn’t disappoint me in the least.

Once again with Kathleen, the reader is thrown straight into the action, mayhem and shenanigans of the main protagonists, and once again, it just doesn’t stop until the end of the book.   It’s just full on, turned up to 11, from beginning to end.

The characters were great, even the bad ones.   And that’s something that Kathleen gets so right.   For me, it’s a fine line to tread with baddies in books: if you make them so awful i just don’t want to read the book, and some writers really do make the baddies soooo cringeworthy i just delete the whole book.   But if the baddies aren’t awful enough then the whole thing just doesn’t work and you might as well delete the book and find something else to read that’s more exciting.   So yeah, Kathleen really gets her baddies at that perfect level of badness.

And the web of relationships between the characters that slowly gets revealed and built upon as the story goes on is seriously good also.

As a Trekky, one thing that i really, really enjoyed about this book was the Rasalkans.   They’re like the Betazoids in Star Trek but they come in factions called houses and they have Rasalkans with all kinds of psychic abilities within each house.   Which, giving us a deeper look into Betazoid society, is something that i think Star Trek seriously missed out on.   This book, i think, fills in a lot of those gaps as to what a highly psychic/empathic/telepathic society would possibly be like.   But similar to the Bene Tleilax in Dune where no one knows about the females, in this universe no one seems to know anything about the Rasalkan males.   Hard core matriarchal society, Yeah!!!

All in all, this is fast paced, character driven, sci-fi story telling at it’s best.   If you’ve enjoyed Kathleen’s Fortune books then you’ll certainly enjoy this, and if you haven’t read any of Kathleen’s books at all then i seriously suggest you giving one a go, you’ll have a great time.

Best of all, Kathleen also sent me the next book in the series, The Libra Gambit, to read and review, which, having enjoyed this book so much, i’m having no hesitation jumping straight into to see what our seriously enjoyable protagonists are going to get up to next.   And i’m also hoping we’ll see some of those wonderfully bad baddies that got away make an appearance at some perfectly inopportune moment.

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