Bergers Book Reviews

Wired


Author: Douglas E. Richards
Publisher: Paragon Press
ASIN: B007EWJBIE
Price: $2.99

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Kira Miller has been secretly working on a formula to enhance human intelligence. But what she doesn’t realize is that others are aware of her research, as well as the idea she worries could destroy the world.

Suddenly finding herself on the run, she teams up with military man David Desh, formerly of Special Forces. As they run from those who want to capture Kira, she enlightens David as to the damage that could be done if her work ever reached the public. No matter what, she needs to keep this a secret, even if it means losing her own life in the process.

Wired is a fast-paced science-fiction action novel, but it occasionally bogs down in long conversations between Kira and David. I enjoyed reading this book, for the most part, but the surprise out-of-the-blue ending didn’t work for me. I would have preferred if we had been given hints as to the identity of the man hunting Kira, as well as what David knew in order to stop him. But overall, this is a good read.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 14, 2012 Posted by | science-fiction | Leave a comment

Spaceship Earth


Author: Tom Schwartz
Publisher: Reagent Press
Genre: Science Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-57545-143-5
Pages: 172
Price: $19.99

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How will the human race handle the eventual demise of the sun? Or react to a shrinking universe after it expands to its capacity? Making preparations for something that will happen millions of years in the future is a huge challenge, and the Sylvia Wexler Earth Foundation (SWEF) plans to address this problem in a unique manner.

To the SWEF, the only realistic option is to turn earth into a spaceship, but a solution this radical is not a popular one. Opposition forces try to change the course of action, but SWEF carries on with determination.

Will their mission succeed? Can humans actually create engines that could power earth travel through space? Is it possible for humankind to sustain the momentum necessary for such a huge endeavor over an incredibly long period of time? Although this work of science fiction makes several assumptions, discussion questions explore these very ideas and others.

An enlightening and thought-provoking read, Spaceship Earth is a startling look at our future which should spark some interesting conversations.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 27, 2011 Posted by | science-fiction | Leave a comment

The Prometheus Project: Stranded


Author: Douglas E. Richards
Publisher: Paragon Press
Genre: Science-fiction
ISBN: 978-0-9826184-0-0
Pages: 320
Price $7.95

Author’s website
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Ryan and Regan Resnick are excited to spend a weekend with their parents and other Prometheus scientists on the planet Isis. But as soon as they arrive, one of their team abandons them, taking a hostage and leaving the rest stranded. When the animals of Isis turn predatory, the scientists have little hope of making it home alive.

Luckily, Ryan manages to escape and attempts to get help for the stranded party. He and Regan can communicate telepathically, and the two share ideas and strategies in dealing with their unique situations. They will need to use some determined effort and quick thinking to survive. And when the girl Ryan admires suddenly gets herself caught up in their problems, things get more and more complicated.

Once again Douglas E. Richards has crafted a well-written and enjoyable science fiction novel. All of the information these two smart kids need is provided in the storyline, well before they need to know it. So when they use their reasoning ability to figure out what to do next, the reader already has the knowledge along with them.

I continue to be impressed with the suspenseful story-telling and great characters in The Prometheus Project. Science, logic, and adventure all come together in these wonderful books. I highly recommend this series.

See reviews of: Trapped and Captured

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 31, 2010 Posted by | science-fiction, tween | Leave a comment

Terratorva


Author: Laura Rotter
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Children / Science Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-4490-3092-6
Pages: 30
Price: $12.99

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Wix, the cat, can talk, and he’s from another planet. Terratorva needs help, and Dan, Sarah, and Sean have to save it. When Wix leads them through the portal to another world, they have no idea what awaits them.

Evil dragons threaten to take over the whole planet, but the Rimoras are in hiding, hoping for someone to come and rescue them. The three kids come up with an idea, and set off with Wix to put the plan in action. But if they’re not successful, they may perish along with the Rimoras.

This novel shows some imagination in some of the beings the kids encounter. But there are several things that didn’t work for me. The story isn’t told from any one character’s point of view, and the three kids never develop distinct personalities. The book is short and the plot isn’t very well developed, either. The scenes progress quickly, with no sense of the impending danger or relief at escape. And the typeface may look cool, but it’s a little hard on the eyes – especially for children who may have difficulty reading.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 30, 2010 Posted by | children, science-fiction | Leave a comment

SpaceCoyotes and the Secret of the Blue Planet


Author: Paul Fredrics
Publisher: Matador
Genre: Science Fiction
ISBN: 978-1906510-374
Pages: 344
Price: £13.99 (import)

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Forty years ago, an Anilar expedition to the Blue Planet (Earth) failed. Had this been any ordinary mission, fourteen year-old JoJo would never have given it a second thought. But one of the men on the spaceship was her grandfather, and she is now being denied her dream of becoming a SpaceCoyote because of him.

Jimmy Green’s rock band, Applejuice, was destined for greatness, until their lead singer unexpectedly moved out of the country. Now Jimmy is forced to endure Apple Valley’s spoiled darling’s attempts to sing, while his band grimaces in pain.

JoJo convinces her little brother 2B to come with her on a clandestine visit to the Blue Planet, but suddenly finds her ship crash-landed on its surface. All she wants to do is get home, and Jimmy’s band may well be the answer to her problem. But Jimmy may have more answers than either of them could ever expect.

JoJo’s spunk and determination to try to clear her grandfather’s name are admirable. Whether it’s hacking into top secret computer databases, stealing a spaceship, or fighting off evil grommets and CoyoteBots, nothing will stop her from succeeding at her mission. And Jimmy’s extraordinarily compassionate and helpful nature finally prove to JoJo that Earth isn’t the evil place she’s been led to believe it is.

SpaceCoyotes and the Secret of the Blue Planet is a fast-moving adventure through time and space. In a situation where nothing is as it seems, it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad. I highly recommend this enjoyable science fiction story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

February 1, 2010 Posted by | science-fiction, teen, tween | Leave a comment

Science Fiction Classics: Graphic Classics Vol. 17

scifi classics
Illustrators: Hunt Emerson, Micah Farritor, Johnny Ryan, George Sellas, Roger Langridge, Brad Teare, Ellen L. Lindner
Publisher: Eureka Productions
Genre: Science Fiction
ISBN:978-0-9787919-7-1
Pages: 144
Price: $17.95

Author’s website
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If you’ve ever wanted to read some of the classics in science fiction, but just can’t seem to find the time, Graphic Classics has the solution for you. In these graphic novels, the classics come alive, and each story can be read in a relatively short time.

Stories included:
In a Thousand Years by Hans Christian Andersen
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
In the Year 2889 by Jules Verne
A Martian Odyssey by Stanley G. Weinbaum
The Disintegration Machine by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Bureau d’Echange de Maux by Lord Dunsany
The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster

I had never read any of these classics, and I enjoyed these tales told through pictures and dialogue between the major characters. Of course some of the original story is lost in these abbreviated versions, but the main point is retained in an easy to read format.

If you’re a die-hard literary type, by all means read the originals. But if you enjoy action, good illustrations, and a quick read, these science fiction classics are just what you need to converse intelligently about stories you may never have had the chance to read otherwise.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 6, 2009 Posted by | classics, graphic novel, science-fiction | Leave a comment

Weebeastology Vol. 1

weebeastsIllustrator: Micah Linton
Publisher: Beast Stew
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0-9801888-5-1
Pages: 166
Price: $24.99

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The fictional species of weebeasts, also known as gremlins, pixies, elves, and trolls, have left behind a remarkable series of pictures showing what life is like in their world. After exhaustive research, the Weebeastology Discovery Team has compiled these scenes into the first volume of weebeastology.

Boxed into a 3-book set, these scenes show weebeasts as they go about their daily business, but alas, these unique creatures left no language to go with the pictures. The interpreter must decide what these scenes represent.

Illustrator Micah Linton creates this unusual world in pencil and watercolor, stimulating the imagination with his pictures. This set is targeted towards ages 9-12, but all those who like to use their own creativity in exploration would find them enjoyable. Graphic novels without the words, they invite you to create your own characters and stories, as many times as you like.

If you think you’re up to the challenge of joining the Weebeastology Discovery Team, you need to take a look at these volumes and help them try to figure out the weebeast history. It’s sure to be a great adventure.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

January 13, 2009 Posted by | fantasy, science-fiction | 1 Comment

The Prometheus Project – Captured


Author: Douglas E. Richards
Publisher: DNA Press, LLC
Genre: Science Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-933255-33-0
Pages: 160
Price: $7.95

Author’s website
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When Ryan and Regan Resnick first discover the Prometheus Project in Trapped, they must try to save their mother. In Captured, they face an even bigger challenge – this time they need to save the world.

When the alien race known as the Qwervy created Prometheus, they hadn’t anticipated other aliens sneaking in and using it for sinister motives. Now a brilliant alien criminal has taken over the city and has plans to take over the world. All of the adults on the team have been taken hostage, and it’s up to Ryan and Regan to outwit the alien.

In order to demonstrate the concepts the kids will need to use, the author sets the stage early before disaster strikes. But then these two exceptional kids use those concepts masterfully against the diabolical alien.

I loved Trapped, and I think Douglas E. Richards outdid himself in Captured. These are books the thinking kid will love, and a wonderful adventure. I’m eagerly awaiting the next volumes in this outstanding series.

See review of: Trapped

Reviewer: Alice Berger

January 23, 2008 Posted by | children, science-fiction | 1 Comment

The Prometheus Project – Trapped


Author: Douglas E. Richards
Publisher: DNA Press LLC
Genre: Juvenile / Science Fiction
ISBN: 0-9748765-4-2
Pages: 140
Price: $9.95

Author’s website
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After six weeks in Brewster, Pennsylvania, Ryan and Regan Resnick are looking for anything at all to help relieve their boredom. So, when they discover their scientist parents are working in a top-secret facility where something seems suspicious, they want to find out what’s going on.

Getting in requires some logic and skill, but they soon find that getting out might pose a larger problem, as will saving their mother from certain death.

As they explore this fascinating location, they come across challenges that test their intellect and reasoning ability. Using the scientific method, they need to discover how to navigate this strange environment that occasionally turns hostile on them. And saving their mother will be the ultimate test.

This book held my interest from the moment I picked it up. Just like Ryan and Regan, I wanted to know what was happening in Prometheus Alpha, and I tried to solve the puzzle of how to get in right along with them.

The alien city was reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, where anything could happen, and there were no limits to the places they could go or the things they could do. I would have loved for the kids to spend more time exploring, but under the circumstances, they had no time to waste.

The unique puzzle they needed to solve to save their mother made my head spin, but ultimately their logic was right on. It certainly will give kids something to think about.

This is a well-written and enjoyable science fiction adventure. I highly recommend it.

See review of: Captured

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 24, 2007 Posted by | children, science-fiction | 2 Comments