Sunday, February 28, 2016
Ishmael Wang has always been uncertain of what he wants to do with his adulthood, but now it's looking like he has no choices. Despite his great performance as a crewmember and his many qualifications, it would seem that the Lois McKendrick may be done with him. The corporation that owns the ship is replacing him with someone more experienced, and that means he's going to be left ashore at their next port. He has options, such as going to the Academy to learn to be an officer, but he hasn't made nearly enough money yet, and he's still not sure if a life in space is for him. The officers aboard the Lois seem to be up to something, though, so maybe Ish's future isn't so uncertain.
That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from http://nathanlowell.com/full-share/
When the home office adds a new crew member to the environmental section of the Lois McKendrick, Ishmael Wang faces being put ashore at the next port. Not even his multiple division ratings can save him as he refuses to bump one of his shipmates, which is the only way he can stay with his friends on his new found home in the Deep Dark. Ishmael’s predicament goes from bad to worse when an EMP damages the ship and threatens the lives of everyone on board. Gone are the days when his biggest challenge was making a good cup of coffee. Now he must use his wits, and rely on the ingenuity of his shipmates just to survive. Return with the crew of the SC Lois McKendrick, in what may prove to be their final voyage. All your favorites will be aboard including: Ish, Pip, Cookie, Brill, Diane, and Big Bad Bev.
Half Share picks up right after the previous novel, Half Share.
Full Share was another in a great series by an amazing author. I've been wholly intrigued with Ishmael since the beginning of this literary voyage, and this book was no exception. Tension runs high throughout the book as first one, then another issue crosses Ish's path. It's only made worse when it's clear there is nothing Ish can do to help himself but trust to luck. I was deliciously on edge for the entire novel, though I never got that out of breath sensation that some poorly-paced books have. Lowell kept me holding on for dear life, but never left me hanging so much I grew frustrated. This book was an artistic masterpiece in its complexity and how it toyed with my expectations. I cannot wait to see where Ish goes next!
Would I Recommend This Book? Indubitably! There's more at stake here than there has been ever before, and Lowell handles dishing it out beautifully. There are plenty of surprises for both Ish and the reader, and it left me wanting so much more. I give Full Share an educational 5 of 5 stars!
For more on the author, visit http://nathanlowell.com/
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Ishmael Wang's world changed when he boarded the Lois McKendrick, a solar clipper that transports cargo throughout the galaxy. Now, settled in, he's changing life aboard the ship. He and his crewmate Pip have organized the sailors into a trading co-op for private trading, Pip is working with the ship's extra storage, maximizing profit, and Ishmael... well, he's just been offered a position in the Environmental section, out of the mess deck.
There's just one problem. He still doesn't know what he really wants to do with his life. And the sudden attention of a number of beautiful women around him is making it harder to think.
That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from http://www.nathanlowell.com/half-share/
It’s a time of change on the Lois McKendrick. Sarah Krugg joins the mess deck and Ishmael Wang moves to the environmental section. Just after getting accustomed to life aboard a solar clipper, Ishmael must learn a whole new set of skills, face his own fears and doubts, and try to balance love and loss in the depths of space.
Both Ish and Sarah must learn to live by the mantra, “Trust Lois.” For Sarah, there is the hope of escaping a horrifying past. For Ish, he must discover what type of man he wants to become and learn the consequences of his choices.
Half Share picks up right after the previous novel, Quarter Share.
Lowell has done it again, creating a thoughtful, pensive book that is a joy and comfort to read. The crew I became so comfortable and close with in Quarter Share is still here, and we get new information on them, but as Ishmael's world expands, so does the reader's. There are more members of the crew to meet, new members (okay, one new member), and people off-ship to run across. Ish's experiences are branching out from the closed little bubble he was in during Quarter Share, but he still remains himself. It's amazing to watch Ish evolve as he spends more time aboard the ship and with his friends and crewmates. I can't wait to see what the next book holds!
Would I Recommend This Book? Most definitely! It's a great continuation of Quarter Share, and the universe is growing from what little Ish knew. The reader gets to experience it all with him, and there seems to be no end to the wonders. I give Half Share a fashionable 5 of 5 stars.
For more on the author, visit http://nathanlowell.com/
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Torius Vin and his crew can't really call themselves pirates any more, now that they're working as slavery abolitionists. Sure, they play pirates, capturing slave ships so they can free slaves, but it's not who they used to be. It's a life they miss, but it's not one they can get out of. And now, with a new weapon in the hands of the Chelish navy, it's looking like their abolitionist careers are about to come to a short, watery end.
That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from amazon
Captain Torius Vin and the crew of the Stargazer have given up the pirate life, instead becoming abolitionist privateers bent on capturing slave ships and setting their prisoners free. But when rumors surface of a new secret weapon in devil-ruled Cheliax, are the Stargazers willing to go up against a navy backed by Hell itself?
You can find my comments on Jackson's writing style here.
Ah, it's great to see the old crew again! All those characters I loved from Pirate's Honor and Pirate's Promise are back, and the stakes have risen again. The detail and danger are ramped up in this, with the world actually becoming a little smaller while the problem grows larger. The action is much more contained in this novel than in the previous ones, but it didn't leave me feeling claustrophobic. Trapped, maybe, but I think that's also how the crew feels, so that was spot on.
I'm not sure I liked this book as well as the previous two, though. It was good, yes, and the plot was fantastic (this is Chris Jackson we're talking about, after all), but I think maybe the crew has grown too comfortable for me to read, or maybe I also missed the piracy, the freedom they had before. I couldn't (and still can't) quite pinpoint exactly what the drawback was for me on this book. It wasn't serious, but it was there.
Don't get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The plot was excellent, the writing was beautifully crafted, and it's a good book. But there was just something I couldn't identify that was off for me. That's actually left me in a bit of a pickle. I try not to let my ratings of previous books of series affect how I rate later ones, but I can't help but compare this to the previous two books. Was this a good book? Sure! Did it have the same effect on me that the other two did? I'm afraid not, even though I frustratingly don't know why!
Would I Recommend This Book? Yeah! It's a good book, despite my own unidentifiable issues with it. It's an awesome continuation of the story of Torius and his crew, and it's left me chomping to see where they go next. I give Pirate's Prophecy a drowning 4 of 5 stars.
For more on the author, visit http://jaxbooks.com/
Ishmael Wang lost everything when his mother died, including his right to continue living on Neris. Now, with the threat of deportment hanging over him, Ish has only one option: to sign on with a merchant ship, one of the solar clippers that transports cargo through the galaxy. He has no experience, no money, and no idea what he really wants to do with his life.
Suddenly, he finds himself aboard the Lois McKendrick, part of the life aboard a trading vessel. For the first time, Ish has friends and coworkers. Even if he doesn't have a clue what he wants to do, he discovers he has an aptitude for picking cargo. Maybe he'll make something of himself after all.
That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from http://nathanlowell.com/quarter-share/
When his mother dies in a flitter crash, eighteen-year-old Ishmael Horatio Wang must find a job with the planet company or leave the system–and NerisCo isn’t hiring. With credits running low, and prospects limited, he has just one hope…to enlist for two years with a deep space commercial freighter. Ishmael, who only rarely visited the Neris Orbital, and has never been off-planet alone before, finds himself part of an eclectic crew sailing a deep space leviathan between the stars.
Join the crew of the SC Lois McKendrick, a Manchester built clipper as she sets solar sails in search of profit for her company and a crew each entitled to a share equal to their rating.
Quarter Share is set in a future that could be. Dates are given at the headings of chapters, both to help keep track of the time Ish has spent aboard and to keep track of the ship's course. All told, though, there's not a whole lot that is different in daily life with the technology Ish and the crew have. It's a refreshing mix of science fiction and modern practices, especially when the ship is in port. Lowell isn't relying on science to support the framework of the story. Rather, it's the other way around. It makes for a very real, engaging tale.
It's been some time since I read one of Lowell's works, and it's always a joy to sink into his writing. He writes with intelligence but not condescendingly. He's crisp and clear without being oversimplified. The writing is concise and compelling without detracting from the content. It's about the story, not about the words. Or perhaps, it's about the words, but they're the vessel through which the story is told. They're beautiful but don't compete with the content. It's a little hard to describe, really. I don't notice that I'm reading (or listening) when consuming Lowell's work. It's a beautiful example of the craft.
From the onset, I was captivated by this book. Ishmael's forthright, deep introspection and clear view of events around him was engaging and made me want to know more about him and what would happen to him. Long before the space flight ever came into things, I was hooked. As things continued, I was stunned by the beauty of the writing, the amazing imagery Lowell created, and I was awash in a sense of wonder I wouldn't have thought possible in a book that reall doesn't have a whole lot of action. This book isn't fraught with battles and fights and arguments. Overall, it's a calm book, more given to possibilities and rationale than to disagreements. There's some definite comedic sense to it, and it's so easy to laugh along, or to just chuckle at goings on. This book is, to me, at least, peace. There's conflict, sure, but despite the lack of death threats or bodily danger, it's quite enjoyable. All in all, this book is a pleasure to read just because of how character-driven it is. Everything revolves around who Ishmael is, who his crewmates, friends, and other acquaintances are, and how they interact. The scenery is beautiful, despite being stuck on a ship for most of it. Lowell has made people into living scenery, and I marvel at the craftsmanship of the book. Honestly, it's one I groaned at having to put down.
Would I Recommend This Book? Definitely! Quarter Share sets a vivid scene, but more importantly, it's populated with realistic, colorful characters I would love to meet. It's easy to sink into this book and simply be part of it, to lose onesself in. I cannot rave enough about how I enjoyed this book like I would simply sitting and watching a sunset. I give Quarter Share an enterprising 5 of 5 stars.
For more on the author, visit http://nathanlowell.com/