Devi is one badass merc – HONOR’S KNIGHT

Honors Knight

 

When I was a kid, around twelve, I wanted to be a mercenary. A person who got paid for fighting, gave allegiance to no one, the ultimate badass. I got older, began playing Dungeons and Dragons, and then wanted to be an assassin, but not just any assassin–a mercenary assassin; which I later found out to be redundant.

I grew older as people are wont to do. My career wishes closer aligning to that of a productive member of society. A videogame journalist was on the table, chosen after falling in love with NexGen–the premier gaming publication that unfortunately folded. I became a Marine on a whim, the journalist swallowed by bootcamp, and once again I wanted to be a badass who got paid for fighting. I wanted to be Force Recon then Delta Force then that super clan destine group that doesn’t exist but gets written about by Robert Ludlum.

I graduated college with a Bachelors in Marketing–funny how life always follows a straight path from A to B–and one thing that never left me throughout the years was that twelve year old who wanted to get paid fighting for a living. It’s little like looking at a Lamborghini and thinking it’s an amazing car and I should have three of them. The practical and rational side of me sees how impractical the car is, how much it would cost to insure, and how very silly it would be to own even one of them. Same goes for wanting to be a mercenary, but that little boy’s desire still burns. That’s where HONOR’S KNIGHT comes in.

Rachel Bach has created a mercenary I can live vicariously through. That, said mercenary, Devi Morris, is a woman and I’m a man is moot as Devi is bar-none the coolest, most kickass, most badass character I have ever read about or seen in a movie. I’m not going to add “for a girl” as a disclaimer.

No.

Put simply. Devi Morris is the biggest and best badass ever to be created.

Devi is smart. Awesome in a fight–be it with guns, knives, swords, hand to hand, or fist to armor. And an in your face, don’t take shit attitude, with a gentle side that actually shows empathy rounds her out. And she’s a mercenary.

Unfortunately I can’t accurately describe how awesome of a character Devi Morris is without reading the books to you; and I wish I could accurately describe how goddamn fun HONOR’S KNIGHT is, though I’ll give it the old college try. Reading HONOR’S KNIGHT, reading about Devi, is just…it’s fun. A better word to describe reading FORTUNE’S PAWN and HONOR’S KNIGHT I cannot find.

I can honestly say, I have never had as much fun reading a book (or series) as I have reading the PARADOX series, which HONOR’S KNIGHT is Book 2 of.

To me, Rachel Bach has created something special with the PARADOX series; more importantly, Devi Morris. As now I can do three things simultaneously while reading the PARADOX series–read because I love to read; have fun doing what I love to do; vicariously live my twelve year old dream of becoming a mercenary.

Should you purchase or do a library check-out of HONOR’S KNIGHT? The answer to that in unequivocal: YES. However, you should read FORTUNE’S PAWN first so you know what’s going on.

 

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Top 10 books I read in 2014

The Top 10 books I read in 2014. Not really in any particular order, except for #1. The Ocean… is by far the best novel I have ever had the pleasure of reading. And The Martian is a book I can’t stop telling everyone to read. Seriously. I work from home as a stay-at-home dad and author, so everytime I see people who aren’t my wife and daughter, I try to work in how great The Martian is and how they should read it.

  1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane – by Neil Gaiman
  2. The Martian – by Andy Weir
  3. Blindsight – by Peter Watts
  4. Redshirts – by John Scalzi
  5. Old Man’s War – by John Scalzi
  6. Leviathan Wakes – by James S. A. Corey
  7. Caliban’s War – by James S. A. Corey
  8. Slaughterhouse Five – by Kurt Vonnegut
  9. Amped – by Daniel Wilson
  10. Sparky – by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans

Blindsight – Peter Watts

Blindsight_(book_cover)

Holy shit. Yeah I know I shouldn’t use obscenities as a descriptor but…holy shit.

Blindsight is amazing. The book that won the Hugo in 2007 must be mind-exploding, because this is a mind-blowing novel. I had to constantly look up words, but that seemed to add to the book. How it’s written, in a back and forth manner, actually works. Everything plays on everything else.

It reads so fast and yet it is vastly intricate. As intricate as the sentience and biology that permeate the book. There is so much to this novel that to make any direct references would ruin it for someone who hasn’t read it.

To say I enjoyed reading Blindsight would fall short. This is a book I know I will read multiple, five, ten times. There are very few books I do that with, but this is one of them.

And to think I had never even heard of Peter Watts until about a week ago when Google Play Books said it was like another book (don’t remember which one) I was looking at. Very happy I went out on a limb and bought it.

Slaughterhouse Five

slaughterhousefive

Well I am a little mad with myself that, before this book, the only Vonnegut story I read was a short in a Scholastic magazine back in middle school. The story is Harrison Bergeron. I remember reading it because it had my last name in the title and I love science fiction (have ever since I saw Star Wars in 1st grade). The sad thing about that story is, it is probably not found in Scholastic magazines anymore because people die in it.

Slaughterhouse Five is likely under the same type of ban. It is the first book I saw fall victim to book bans. My freshman year of high school, Slaughterhouse Five was on the reading list. My teacher was so stoked that book was on it. A week later he gave an inspired rant that lasted at least 10 minutes. At that time I didn’t understand the issue at hand, all I wanted to do was ready whatever book I had in my hand at the time. Now…Well now I’ll leave that rant for another post, because just thinking of the ignorant self-absorbed people who don’t understand literature and wish everyone else to remain as uneducated and as ignorant as them, gets my blood boiling.

Back to Slaughterhouse Five. It is the first “classic” I agree is a classic.If there is ever a better war book that shows just how ridiculously stupid war is, I would like to know it. The way it’s written, how crazy it is with Billy Pilgrim jumping around in time, is so genius that I want everyone I know to read the book. Hell, I want my five year old daughter to read the book already; but I’ll wait until she’s ten and then give her the book.

I am now on a Kurt Vonnegut binge. Cat’s Cradle is my next book.

Use your library people. I did with this book, used Overdrive to get it from the Pinellas County Public Library.

Android Hunters (my book!)

Android Hunter

Android Hunter – Book 1 in The Corli Saga.
Written by (me) Jonathan Bergeron

Eighty one years ago androids broke free of the bonds humans had over them, massacred a planet, and became the most hated beings in all of creation. For the eighty years following, the elite four person teams of Android Intelligence and Removal Specialists (AIRS) have hunted down the androids, showing no mercy.

On Elysian, eighty years after the first android hunters team was sent on the first hunt, AIRS Team 4 is involved in another hunt for one of the androids. Nearing the end of the hunt, with the android trapped, the hunters, themselves, find out what it is like to be trapped.

In a closed down mine two hundred kilometers away, a unique android, Corli, is captured by a group led by a disgraced android hunter, and imprisoned with no knowledge of why they want her.

The tables turned, AIRS Team 4 is trapped and hunted by an android changed at the molecular level by a cybernetic alien race bent on destroying humanity. Attempting to find a way off of Elysian and to their warship that is being changed by the same cybernetic race, the android hunters learn what it is like being on the other end of the gun.

Deep in the closed down mine Corli, an android raised by one of her creators to be as peaceful as the saints, in order for what she is to be hidden even to her, is beaten and abused in hopes of breaking down the mental blocks that prevent her from knowing her true potential. Those hopes are realized, but in a way unexpected by those who captured her.

As Corli’s mental blocks crumble and her true nature is slowly revealed. With time running short and patience wearing thin, the android hunters and the most powerful weapon ever devised, learn what it is to fear. Fear that of which they have become and that of which they will become.

————–

Out soon, soon, SOON! I will definitely update once I learn the concrete release date.

Newton’s Wake

Well holy shit, I was not expecting this. I had never heard of Ken MacLeod before finding out about Newton’s Wake on io9. For years I kept myself to a small group of authors, only occasionally branching out, and then quickly running back to my cave when those works people love (i.e. Dune) couldn’t hold my interest no matter how hard I tried to read them.

This year has been different, I’ve been trying to read as many different authors as I can. Lots of them have been terrible in my opinion; which is why I don’t have 30 ‘what I think about the book posts’. I see no reason to slam a fellow author’s work…So I’ve been reading a lot of different authors and loving it.

I’m glad I’ve been branching out because Newton’s Wake is phenomenal. Everything about it is great. The casual story telling, Carlyle’s who talk like the sophisticated gangsters they are, the giant ideas. Shit, Lucinda even feels like a 25 year old. At first I couldn’t place why she didn’t seem all that grownup, at times showing lack of maturity, and then he mentions her age and the writing instantly became even better. Good job Ken, it’s no small feat making characters that each feel the age they are across a range of ages; instead of the characters feeling the same age even though they’re not.

And I’m really digging these books that don’t go out of their way to explain things in long paragraphs, rather everything just comes together by the end.

I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of Ken’s books.

Amped

So while I was reading this, maybe in the first 50 – 60 pages my only thoughts were it’s well written but it’s not very good. About 3/4 of the way through I was blown away by the story behind the writing. It’s powerful to say the least and should be put on the reading list of every high school in America.

It is an instant classic about the wrongness of discrimination. Yes, everyone thinks about discrimination in terms of color and race but with how technology is advancing, I am positive it will one day be about technology. Who has it and who doesn’t.

It is scary and sickening how true the overall scenario in this book could be. As I got near the end of the book I kept thinking of McCarthy on his witch hunt on supposed communists, and the Bush era witch hunts on anyone who doesn’t look “American”.

True no one with medical implants has been discriminated against as of yet, so calling this book an instant classic on discrimination may seem like a stretch; but it’s the ideas in it that demand attention.

Daniel Wilson writes so casually (which is a testament on how good of an author he is) that it is hard to think a similar scenario would never play out in reality.

I’m so happy with all these books I’m been reading lately. Either I’m really lucky in picking the books or there are suddenly a plethora of insanely talented authors alive today.