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Who really won the war?

Stalemate: Book Cover Stalemate:
Clockwerk thriller #1
SteamPunk, Adventure and Action,
Cobble Publishing LLC
(7 May 2018)

Clockwerk soldiers, airships, and aether bombs have ground the war between the States to a stalemate. Can Colonel Julius Montclair find a way to end the bitter conflict? Colonel Julius Montclair, elite soldier and the youngest airship commander in the Union fleet, has been humbled by war. He’s venerated for his bravery at the Battle of the Potomac, but he will carry the scars of that victory for the rest of his life. The loss of good men and women under his command continues to haunt him. Now, Montclair wants nothing more than to simply do his job and is more than ready to lay down the mantle of “hero”. That is, until President Grant himself summons Montclair to Washington. Montclair is tasked with a deadly mission: He must lead his troops on a clandestine insertion behind enemy lines to uncover a plot that may destroy the Union. But Montclair won’t be able to do it alone; he’ll need the help of the most dangerous and least trusted weapons in the Union’s formidable arsenal - the spymasters of Strategic Intelligence. Scarlet, a gorgeous young Strategic Intelligence agent and trained assassin, has the lethal skills and gritty determination required to protect her country. But can she gain the trust of Colonel Montclair and his men? Only by working together can they uncover the Confederacy’s plot and stop a dark aether-fueled weapon of mass destruction from erasing the Union from history.

This was an interesting take on what could have happened in the American war between the States. Now being British I don’t know a lot about this war apart from that it was between the Union – The North (mostly) and the Confederacy – The South  (mostly. And that there was a freeing of all the slaves – mostly held in the South that was involved. So iI was not concerned about the ‘real’ war and what really happened at particular battles etc.

You just have to remember that this an alternate universe which closely parallels ours but where there is aether to power machines, and that clockwerk – note the spelling – creates a large number of artificial items, mechanical men. horses , to artificial limbs. there are gears and cogs and everything you might expect in clockwork items, but often also aether power as well. These items are programmed by Babbage cards – yes punch cards as per weaving machines/early computers, or if we assume that Babbage’s and Lovelace’s work was completed and experimented with.

I liked the writing and found the characters believable within their frame of reference. and one especially good point about this universe is that women are powerful, skilled, and take part in everything that men do, including becoming front line soldiers and holding command.

I also love the ‘what if’ concept of this universe and that you are taken for a ride by the author’s imagination.

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Books/book review/Sci-Fi
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Abducted by Aliens? Perhaps just the writer’s secret fantasy?

Betania Breed Collection Book Cover Betania Breed Collection
Betania Breed: SciFi Alien Romance Collection #1-4
Jenny Foster
sci-fi, romance, alien abduction
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(13 Aug. 2018)

The original story "The Captive" led to a novel, and three additional volumes followed. With this collection you are finally holding all four Betania Breed single SciFi romance novels, complete and unabridged, in your hands – and mysterious background material is included. In over 800 pages, you will be up close and personal on an adventurous and dramatic voyage through the universe.

The Boxed Set includes the Betania Breed Series Volumes I-IV:

The Captive
Betania Breed Book One

I am one of the few people who hasn’t given up the fight against the Sethari yet. I would rather die than surrender to the aliens who have enslaved us humans for more than one hundred years. Then the unthinkable happens: I am awarded to the leader of the aliens, so I can bear him healthy, viable children. I am prepared for anything, except this one thing – that this merciless warrior, with his strange eyes and scaly skin, would awaken feelings in me...

The Prey
Betania Breed Book Two

Johar is the most merciless and successful bounty hunter there is. His reputation is legendary, for he has never let any prey slip through his fingers. His creator’s beautiful daughter hates Johar and lets him feel it every waking minute. But Johar knows something about her that nobody else knows. Not even she herself... The book takes place a few months after the events of book 1.

The Human
Betania Breed Book Three

Talon Delkhari was the mightiest warlord of his people, until he dared to contradict his king. Instead of granting him an honorable death in the fight against their enemies, the king made him his chamberlain instead. His newest conquest is from Earth. He won her in a poker game, and Talon is supposed to deliver her safely to his bed. An easy assignment for someone like Talon. That’s what heI thought, anyway, until this human woman awakens the predator lurking under his skin… The book takes place a few years after the events of book 2.

The Dragon
Betania Breed Book Four

The fourth volume takes place shortly after the events in book 3. Coran Burke is an elite undercover agent from Earth. The tough and emotionless fighter has never failed. His new mission leads him to Dassuria where he is pursuing a dangerous dragon lord. At the center of his investigation is a woman who has a lot to hide - but despite her entanglement with the dragon lord, Coran can’t get her out of his head...

I was given this book as an ARC.

But – Oh Dear!

I read up to Part 3: The Awakening in Hope, but really, this whole muscles and pheromones and falling in ‘love ‘ aka lust at first sight? Just too predictable.

I thought the writing style rather prosaic and not in any way different from 100s of other such alien abduction style books.

The heroine could have been acceptable but she was rather 2 dimensional and finding out after several ‘chapters’ that we were somewhere in Ad 3900 was just too late.

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