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Allies and Aliens

by Roger Macbride Allen

© 1995 ISBN 0-671-87658-9

The League of Planets has been attacked by humans from an unknown colony. These humans call themselves the Guardians. With almost no effort they have taken over the planet of New Finland. The League has only a little time to stop the Guardians as they are setting up a complex missile defense system that once completed will blast any non-Guardian ship from the sky. Only one ship is in position to sneak into the system before the missile system is complete. A survey ship manned by a crew of two. These two must get to New Finland in time and deactivate the missile system before the Guardians can consolidate their victory.

That is just the beginning of the war. Before it is over, the League will have to fight not only the Guardians but a newly discovered alien species which possesses great scientific knowledge. The book could have easily been broken into three novels. It reads a little long.


by David Hagberg

© 1997 ISBN 0-812-50848-3

The scene is set for Russia to slide back into Communism under a ruthless dictator nicknamed the Tarantula. There is only one way to stop it, and that is by assassinating this "people's" leader. The man willing to take the job is an ex-CIA operative named Kirk McGarvey. Kirk has no allies in this venture. He is being hunted by all sides. The question is will he survive to accomplish his objective?

This is a pretty good book. Parts of it are really great. Hagberg does a good job in developing his plot.

Net Force - Cybernation

by Steve Perry

© 2001 ISBN 0-425-18267-3

This is another Net Force book. A group calling themselves Cybernation is trying to change the face of the world. They want the world's governments to recognize their members as citizens of a nation without any borders or physical land. Their latest plan involves causing serious disruptions to the net. By doing this, they increase their membership and power. The question is if Net Force can find them and stop them in time.

As with all of the Net Force books, this work is only slightly above average. While the series is getting better as Perry gains experience, it is still far from being a master work.

The Valiant

by Michael Jan Friedman

© 2000 ISBN 0-671-77523-5

This book is about Picard's days as the second officer on the U.S.S. Stargazer. Descendants from the first human crossing of the galactic barrier have returned to ask for our assistance. They claim that there is a race called the Nuyyad who are preparing to invade our galaxy. The Stargazer is dispatched to investigate this claim.

As with all of Friedman's books, this is a well written piece. It shows us a little of Picard's days before he became the famous captain that we saw throughout the Next Generation series. Those who know Picard's history can guess where this mission will eventually lead him.

The Lord of the Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien

© 1954-1955 ISBN 0-671-04732-9

With all of the hype surrounding the newly released movie, I don't think that I need to go into any detail as to the contents of the book. It was, indirectly, the release of the movie which got me to read this book. I remember reading the first part of The Hobbit back in grade school. I also remember that I did not like it. I had no intention of reading this work until my little sister bought if for me for X-mas and insisted that I read it.

I can now say that I have read all of The Lord of the Rings stories and am suitably impressed. The plot, character development and detail are fantastic. There are parts that I think read somewhat slowly. I also think that to read this as one huge work is just too much. I would guess that this read better as its six independent works.

Concepts in Database Management

by Phillip Pratt

© 2000 ISBN 0-619-00057-0


A Guide to SQL

by Phillip Pratt

© 2001 ISBN 0-619-03382-7

The above book were used in my introduction to database class at U of Akron. I found them to be extremely well written. I found that they are very easy to follow, and would highly recommend them to anybody wishing to learn the basics of databases.

The Concepts in Database Management is a good book for learning the theory behind database management. It does not cover the nuts and bolts of using a database, just the theory. If you are not learning databases for management purposes, you do not really need this book.

A Guide to SQL covers the nuts and bolts of creating updating and maintaining a database. The book is written for Oracle, but can be used with any SQL compatible database. We used IBM's DB2 in our class, and there were only minor changes to the command that we used. 98% of the SQL commands in this book worked just fine with DB2. The advantage to using DB2 is that you can get a personal copy free by downloading it from IBM.

The Third Option

by Vince Flinn

© 2000 ISBN 0-671-04732-9

This book deals with the CIA and its black-ops. The book is about Mitch Rapp, the CIA's best assassin and his last mission for the CIA. A simple operation turns deadly, and Rapp finds himself on the receiving end of assassination. The question for him is who is behind it and can he find out before he ends up dead?

I really liked this book. I would have preferred it if the author left the plot a bit more mystery. As it is, we know all of the players and their positions right from the start.


by Robert L. Forward

© 1992 ISBN 0-812-51644-3

This book is set in the fairly near future. Mankind has expanded out into the solar system. While hunting for metals in the asteroid belt, some workers stumble upon a strange creature who is named the silverhair. This silverhair opens up whole new frontiers to mankind thanks to the genius of Randy Hunter and his company. The silverhair is composed mostly of negative energy. The tapping of this negative energy makes space flight at near light speeds possible. It also opens up the possibility of time travel.

This book is a typical sci-fi book by Forward. It has many twists and turns that keep the reader interested throughout.

Dark Wing

by Richard Herman Jr.

© 1994 ISBN 0-671-53493-9

This is another book about Herman's character Matt Pontowski. As most of his other heroes have dies in previous books, this is the last one open to him. Pontowski decides to resign his Air Force commission in order to take over a reserve Warthog squadron. His idea is to whip this squadron into such shape that the government changes its mind about its closure. What does happen is a small war in China. This war may shape far eastern politics for years to come. The president decides to send a "volunteer" air wing to assist the Chinese freedom fighters. Pontowoski volunteers his wing.

All in all, this is a pretty average book. This book is not as good as other works that I have read by Herman, but it does fit into his overall series. Hopefully future books improve.


by Larry Niven

© 1985 ISBN 0-345-32344-0

This book is about man's first contact with aliens. It does not go as expected. Most believe that for a civilization to evolve enough to develop space flight that they must be peaceful. This is wrong. The aliens announce themselves by unleashing a hail of asteroids that destroy every major installation on earth. The battle is on for man's survival.

Area 51

by Robert Doherty

© 1997 ISBN 0-440-22073-4

What is really in Area 51? What is the government hiding, and what dangers are there? That is what this FICTIONAL book answers. This is a story, not a representation of fact.

A reporter, a White House advisor, and an archeologist are all looking for answers to different questions until their searches lead them to each other. They are on the verge of the greatest, and most frightening discovery of all time. That is if the knowledge doesn't kill them first.

I really liked this book. It moved along fairly quickly and incorporated some of the different theories of alien visitation in this one work.


by Clive Cussler

© 1990 ISBN 0-671-74276-0

There is a plot on the part of some Japanese industrialists to plant small nuclear bombs throughout the U.S. This plot is uncovered after a Japanese auto carrier explodes in the middle of the Pacific. The race is on to disarm the threat before all of the bombs are in place and able to be detonated.

I found this to be a pretty good book. The plot is not new, but probably was when the book was written. I found the hero to be a little beyond belief, and that hurt the book, but not enough for me to drop my rating. The book is full of little coincidences that lead the U.S. to the leaders of this plot.


by Charles Sheffield

© 1999 ISBN 0-553-57739-5

What would happen to the Earth if Alpha Centauri went supernova? Well, in this book it did. The earth if frantically trying to build an electro magnetic shield to protect the Earth from the lethal particle storm. It doesn't stop there. It seems that the supernova was caused by an unknown power, and the particle storm will arrive ahead of schedule. Will mankind be able to finish the shield, or is mankind finished?

Sorry about the melodrama, but that is exactly the sort of advertisement I could see this type of novel getting. It is actually a well written book. It is not the deepest or most complex book, but it is very entertaining.

The Fighting Agents

by W.E.B. Griffin

© 2001 ISBN 0-515-13052-4

The first time that I knew this book wasn't going to live up to my expectations was when I noticed the following words printed on the cover "Originally published under the pseudonym Alex Baldwin." I thought to myself that if Griffin was not willing to attach his own name to it the first time it was published, that it couldn't be that good. I was right.

The book is set during WWII. It is a book about a group of OSS agents and some of their missions. The book is a part of the Men at War series and will be the only book of this series that I will ever read.

U.S.S. Seawolf

by Patrick Robinson

© 2000 ISBN 0-06-103065-1

The U.S. Navy sends its newest and submarine into Chinese waters to spy on China's newest nuclear submarine. Its captain is charged with gathering every detail about this new boat. His biggest restriction is that he is not to be detected. Well into the book, the worst happens, not only is he detected, but caught. The Chinese now possess the ultimate in submarine technology, and the crew to teach them to use it.

I really liked this book, and think that Patrick Robinson does a great job in developing his plot. I was pleasantly surprised that he did not use all of the standard plot twists one would expect in this type of novel.

The Year's Best Science Fiction

by Gardner Dozois

© 1999 ISBN 0-312-20445-0

This book contains 24 of what the editors consider to be the best science fiction short stories of 1998. While I found some of them to be superb, I found others lacking. If you are a fan of science fiction short stories, these works are for you.

Brain Droppings

by George Carlin

© 1997 ISBN 0-7868-6313-7

George Carlin has been my favorite comedian since I was a teenager. I will always remember listening to Carlin's rantings growing up. This book starts out much like a classic George Carlin bit. The book does decline into hostile rantings at a number of locations. I first thought that this is just an example of George's new style. I heard an interview with George on the television today and he stated that his wife had died back in 97 (the year this book was written), and I have to wonder if that is the reason for the hostility.

After reading this book, I am unsure if I will read his new work. Much of it was great and very funny, but quite a bit of it was hostile and not very funny at all. Seeing him on television this morning, it was like watching George in his earlier days. I am unsure of the reason for all of the hostile parts, but I hope that this is not George's new style. I always thought that his job was "thinking up goofy shit and coming to report it to us."

The Shattered Sphere

by Roger MacBride Allen

© 1994 ISBN 0-812-53016-0

This book is the sequel to The Ring of Charon. Don't worry if you have not read the first one, as it is not necessary. This book stands pretty well on its own. I have not read The Ring of Charon, and had no problem following the book.

In the original, the Earth is taken from the solar system by the Charonians. In this book, humans from the solar system and on Earth try to find a way to return it to its rightful home. The book does not move very quickly. I found it to have a coherent plot and interesting story.

If you wish to continue reading my book reviews, please go to my other page The Book Review II.

These are the reviews of the most recent books that I have read. If you have any comments about my reviews, or wish to submit your own for posting on this site, e-mail me at . The choice of what reviews to post is at my discretion. The author of the review will be given full credit for their review. Any guest reviews do not necessarily reflect my opinion of any novel and can not be considered an endorsement of that book by myself.


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