Indie Book Review: But Thomas Aiken Is Dead (Part 1) by Alex McKechnie



But Thomas Aiken Is Dead deals with a lot of ideas, all of them fascinating. The story is written two ways: first, as an interrogation transcript from the future; second, as a diary written by a distraught father in the present-day.

It is deliciously trippy finding out how these two documents are related.

Atia is a sort of futuristic archaeologist, looking back on our time with increasing fascination. She and her species is much more than just robots, but I’ll let you read the book to discover that for yourself. She is feisty and opinionated in the face of her arrest, unabashed about her desire to be more ‘human’ (though that’s not what she calls us).

As the story unfolds, so does the lore, and it is FASCINATING. I’m fully geeking out about this because it’s pretty high-concept but it’s presented in a way that I can understand. This RARELY HAPPENS! Shit usually goes over my head but Alex McKechnie has managed to explain it in layman’s terms without making the future sound any less amazingly complex.

Think Matrix 2, but the ending makes sense.

I cannot wait for part 2. This is right up my alley. Highly recommended.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Amazon buy link.

But Thomas Aiken Is Dead (Part 1), by Alex McKechnie

Part 1/3

Book Length: 70 pages

Speculative Fiction (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

“Sometimes blunt tools construct beautiful objects.”

Two lovers are divided by seven hundred years; one living just a few steps from the end of history, the other already long dead. Present day, Thomas Aiken has little else left to live for but his journalist daughter. When she disappears without warning, he devotes himself to securing her return. He abandons life as an architect in exchange for obsessively collecting evidence and, in the evenings, writes her letters which he will deliver on her safe return.

Seven hundred years later, Atia – a conscious AI entity, discovers Aiken’s letters. She understands Aiken’s grief well enough, she’s lost a child herself. More than that, the Cadence, her home, is falling into anarchy. Pining for a time when life was imperfect and fragile, she insists on presenting as an original biological human. Fuelled by long-dead Aiken’s search for his daughter, she incites a rebellion that will alter life’s course on Earth forever.

Indie Book Review: Nine Lives of Adam Blake by Ryan Gladney



This is a different sort of time-travel book, one where the main character, upon his death, gets transported back in his own lifetime to his twelve-year old self. Adam Blake gets to go through his life again and again, making new discoveries and pursuits in order to be the best he could be, thinking that that would be the path to end his (quite literal) life cycle. But then, what is the ‘best’ we can be?

I was hooked by the mystery presented in this book. Every life he lived was very different, mostly from the choices he made, but then the plot thickens when there are changes in the world that cannot be contributed to Adam and his actions. He explores all possible causes for this by pursuing spiritual, religious and scientific theories. I really connected with Adam’s story. He was an understandably flawed person in his first life (which I always like, since none of us are perfect), and all the characters made up a tangible, interesting world.

This is a shorter sort of book, and I loved it. I fell right into the ripping yarn, and ate up all the contemplations on life, how it works, and what we choose to do with it. A great story wrapped in some very interesting ideas. Looking forward to seeing what the author comes up with next.

Highly recommended, especially for people who like genre-defying books.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Ryan Gladney has also given me permission to post his email and invite readers to email him if they would like the same arrangement (he provides a free ecopy of his book, and all you have to do it review it honestly once you’ve read it)! Email him at gladney.ryan <at>

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Author Blog.

Amazon buy link.

The Nine Lives of Adam Blake, by Ryan Gladney

Book Length: 218 pages / ~40k words

Sci-fi/Time-travelly with Romance (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

Adam Blake knows what fate awaits him after death. He has died before, and will die again, and always it’s the same. For Adam, there is no heaven, no hell, no reincarnation, or cold, final sleep. When he dies, his life flashes before his eyes; it rushes backward—nothing skipped or overlooked—until it stops, suddenly, at age twelve, one week after he had mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind his childhood home. Then, he wakes up. Adam is cursed—or blessed—to relive the same life again and again, from this moment onward, regardless of how he lives, who he becomes, or what ultimately causes next his demise. He is free to right past wrongs, avoid past mistakes, pursue any interest and chase any dream. But the longer Adam lives, the less anything matters but answers. He must know: Why is he stuck in this loop? What is its cause? How will it end? And what awaits him on the other side of death when it finally does?

Indie Book Review: Rise of the Prince by Nicholas C. Rossis (Pearseus #2)



This was my bedside table book: a slow burn with diverse, multi-faceted characters which, for me, was best consumed in small but regular servings. I reviewed the first book here and this sequel blows it out of the water in scope and scale. I could never be sure where this book was heading, save for the nods to the Greco-Persian Wars, but since this was a science-fiction tale I knew I couldn’t rely on that ;). Truthfully, I had trouble deciding who was meant to be the ‘good guys’ or even who the ‘real’ main character was, and I mean this as a compliment. After all, real life is not so clear cut, is it? The story is told through so many characters’ eyes over their evolving and challenging lives, a true epic.

While the culture and warfare was more ancient world, the touches of scifi and relict energy weapons (seen through the eyes of characters whose limited understanding of the technologies often interpreted it as magic) reminded me of where these people came from, and the book even comments on where we could be going. The concept of ‘the eternal games’ sticks in my mind.

I think this will definitely appeal to lovers of epic stories and historic retellings (is that a genre? It should be). A unique mix of space-age science fiction, fantastical spirits, and epic history.

Nicholas C. Rossis’ Blog.

Rise of the Prince, by Nicholas C. Rossis

Pearseus #2

Book Length: 372 pages

Scifi Epic/Historic retelling (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

This is the best-selling book 2 of the Pearseus series. Game of Thrones meets Dune in this rich and thought-provoking story of humanity starting afresh on the remote planet of Pearseus. Three hundred years have passed since the first humans crash-landed on Pearseus. Following the disastrous schism of year 18, their descendants have split into three competing factions. In the process, the electronic books containing humanity’s vast knowledge are lost, forcing humanity to rebuild its civilization from scratch. Peace of the Eclipse, an uneasy truce between the Capital, the Loyalists and the Democracies, still holds – barely. While man turns against man, the First, Pearseus’ indigenous people, wage their own ancient war against a shadowy enemy; an unceasing struggle that threatens to destroy all of humanity. Egged on by unseen forces, the increasingly paranoid ruler of the Capital terrorizes her subjects. As war looms ever closer, the protagonists find their lives in danger at every turn. Pearseus is a page-turning Science Fiction adventure, which tries to answer the question: “What good is justice without compassion?” Following Pearseus: Year 18, Rise of the Prince is the first book in the Pearseus trilogy. Mixing blood-curling drama with psychology, religion, history and philosophy, it offers a rich tale with surprising twists.

Indie Book Review: The Power of Six by Nicholas C. Rossis



I love short stories that come with twists, something that challenges the reader’s perception and expectations. Of course, I like short stories that are enjoyable and entertaining, but if it has that twist in there it gives a nice zing to the whole thing – makes you think about it afterwards and reflect and read it again just to see if the changed perspective works. In this case, it does!

These short stories were perfect for me: they were fun, they made me think, and they intrigued me. The extra short story by Amos M. Carpenter compliments perfectly with the sci-fi ‘perception’ theme of Nicholas C. Rossis’ six short stories.

If you want a fun taste of sci-fi then I have to recommend this book.

I received this book as a gift from the author. This review is my honest opinion.

The Power of Six by Nicholas C. Rossis

Plus one short story by Amos M. Carpenter.

Book Length: 137 pages (includes sneak-peaks at Perseas, Year 18: The Schism by Nicholas C. Rossis and The Beginning by Ryan Schneider)

Science Fiction Short story collection.


According to the Blurb on the Back:

Six science fiction short stories written by the author of Pearseus, the epic fantasy series that has reached #1 on Amazon. This edition includes an extra story, by Amos M. Carpenter.

Although they seem to be concerned with various themes, there are certain passions that run through them, almost obsessively. What is the nature of reality; digital and corporeal? Is there more to the world than we can see? How far can we trust our senses? What are the consequences of our actions, and is it possible to change them? And if so, would we simply repeat same mistakes, or make new ones?

The anthology includes “I Come in Peace”, an award-winning short story that deals with a tortuous question: how far would man go to alleviate his loneliness? Readers of Pearseus will certainly recognize here the birth of the Orbs.

Humorous and poignant, these short stories are exciting, intriguing and imaginative.

I Got My First Autographed Book!

Nicholas Rossis has very kindly sent me an autographed copy of his latest book, The Power of Six. All the way from Greece! Look at those stamps!

It’s a collection of sci-fi stories (which it says on the cover, but I sympathise with those who have dodgy internet that struggles with images). I was lucky enough to read a great story of his about a time-traveler who tries to kill Hitler (NOT River Song), which I really enjoyed, so I’m looking forward to this!


I am only halfway through his first book of the Pearseus trilogy (my holidays didn’t give me nearly as much time to read as I anticipated) so I have lots of catching up to do. I’ll be posting reviews of all these once I’ve finished them. READING! GO!

Of course, I still have plenty to post about my holiday (which I will, definitely), but next week will be back to the regular schedule of:

Tuesday – Book Review

Thursday – Mini Story

Friday – Haiku

All other days – Random Nonsense that Comes to Mind

And then I’ll be returning to work… which I chose to divert my attention from by reading and blogging!