Fantastic Voyage (Fantastic Voyage #1) ★★✬☆☆

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Title: Fantastic Voyage
Series: Fantastic Voyage #1
Authors: Isaac Asimov
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 195
Words: 69K

From Wikipedia:

The United States and the Soviet Union have both developed technology that can miniaturize matter by shrinking individual atoms, but only for one hour.

A scientist. Dr. Jan Benes, working behind the Iron Curtain, has figured out how to make the process work indefinitely. With the help of American intelligence agents, including agent Charles Grant, he escapes to the West and arrives in New York City, but an attempted assassination leaves him comatose with a blood clot in his brain that no surgery can remove from the outside.

To save his life, Grant, Navy pilot Captain Bill Owens, medical chief and circulatory specialist Dr. Michaels, surgeon Dr. Peter Duval, and his assistant Cora Peterson are placed aboard a Navy ichthyology submarine at the Combined Miniature Deterrent Forces facilities. The submarine, named Proteus, is then miniaturized to “about the size of a microbe”, and injected into Benes’ body. The team has 60 minutes to get to and remove the clot; after this, Proteus and its crew will begin reverting to their normal size, become vulnerable to Benes’s immune system, and kill Benes.

The crew faces many obstacles during the mission. An undetected arteriovenous fistula forces them to detour through the heart, where cardiac arrest must be induced to, at best, reduce turbulence that would be strong enough to destroy Proteus. As the crew faces an unexplained loss of oxygen and must replenish their supply in the lungs, Grant finds the surgical laser needed to destroy the clot was damaged from the turbulence in the heart, as it was not fastened down as it had been before: this and his safety line snapping loose while the crew was refilling their air supply has Grant begin to suspect a saboteur is on the mission. The crew must cannibalize their wireless radio to repair the laser, cutting off all communication and guidance from the outside, although because the submarine is nuclear-powered, surgeons and technicians outside Benes’s body are still able to track their movements via a radioactive tracer, allowing General Alan Carter and Colonel Donald Reid, the officers in charge of CMDF, to figure out the crew’s strategies as they make their way through the body. The crew is then forced to pass through the inner ear, requiring all outside personnel to make no noise to prevent destructive shocks, but while the crew is removing reticular fibers clogging the submarine’s vents and making the engines overheat, a fallen surgical tool causes the crew to be thrown about and Peterson is nearly killed by antibodies, but they are able to reboard the submarine in time. By the time they finally reach the clot, the crew has only six minutes remaining to operate and then exit the body.

Before the mission, Grant had been briefed that Duval was the prime suspect as a potential surgical assassin, but as the mission progresses, he instead begins to suspect Michaels. During the surgery, Dr. Michaels knocks out Owens and takes control of Proteus while the rest of the crew is outside for the operation. As Duval finishes removing the clot with the laser, Michaels tries to crash the submarine into the same area of Benes’ brain to kill him. Grant fires the laser at the ship, causing it to veer away and crash, and Michaels to get trapped in the wreckage with the controls pinning him to the seat, which attracts the attention of white blood cells. While Grant saves Owens from the Proteus, Michaels is killed when a white blood cell consumes the ship. The remaining crew quickly swim to one of Benes’ eyes and escape through a tear duct seconds before returning to normal size.

I went into this thinking it was an original story by Asimov that was later adapted to the 1966 Movie, Fantastic Voyage. Little did I know that the book was based on the screenplay and was just a novelization of the movie.

And it was all the stronger for it. Because Asimov can’t write a great novel to save his life. (considering that he’s dead, I’d say that’s a strong piece of evidence right there).

At the same time, this was boring as a vanilla fudgsicle made out of tap water. I can see this being a visually appealing movie, but as a book, it was just boring.

Asimov wasn’t happy with doing a novelization and decided to write his own book, which was later released as Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain. I will not be reading that however. This was boring enough and I can only imagine that a solo Asimov venture would only take a downward trajectory.


Uprising: Ascension (Pacific Rim #2) ★★☆☆½

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Title: Uprising: Ascension
Series: Pacific Rim #2
Author: Greg Keyes
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Movie Tie-In
Pages: 320
Format: Digital Edition



Taking place 17’ish years after Pacific Rim, we follow several new recruits into the Ranger program, from which new Jaeger pilots are chosen. With the closing of the portal and threat from the Kaiju vanquished, the Jaegers were re-purposed into peace keeping forces. Nor did technology stand still and the Mark 6 is the latest model.

Jinhai and Viktoriya are both talented candidates with their own issues. Jinhai is the son of a famous pair of Jaiger pilots and has always felt left out of his own family. Vik was raised by her grandparents and told that her parents were the brave Russian Jaeger pilots who went down stopping the Kaiju threat. But from the get-go of everyone’s training, things go seriously wrong. A training jaeger is sabotaged and a technician killed. Suspicion rests on Jinhai or Vik and ties to Kaiju worshippers pop up incriminating both of them.

We also get flashbacks about Jinhai and Vik growing up that show the forces that have shaped them.

Eventually the Kaiju worshippers make their move. They kidnap Jinhai and Vik and plan to sacrifice them as they detonate a bomb drenched in kaiju blook (thus exponentially increasing its power) under an island, thus opening a new portal to the anteverse and the Kaiju. They are stopped in time but it is obvious that Jinhai and Vik weren’t random selections for the sacrifice.

The Kaiju will return and humanity must be ready.


My Thoughts:

Last time I read a movie prequel book was Terminator: Salvation: Cold War. I had already watched the movie and absolutely loved it. The book was enjoyable as a backstory filler and it led me on to Terminator: Salvation: From the Ashes. That was a direct prequel and I loved it. All of this leads up to say that I had decent expectations for this prequel movie tie-in.

This was the novel prequel to Pacific Rim: Uprising. I have not watched the movie yet but since I enjoyed the first movie so much at some point I know I’ll watch it. So I figured why not read the prequel to get me ready for the movie? Man, what a mistake. The thing with Terminator: Salvation is that I watched the movie first. I should have done the same thing with this book.

There was nothing wrong with this book but I was bored for most of it, as it was almost all setup for the movie. There was way too much “I’m a poor hurt teenager, feel bad for me while I sulk and act like a spoiled brat” and not any jaeger fights. Thankfully, we do get simulated jaeger fights in their training and it was fun to see them work through scenarios that previous pilots had battled through. The kaiju worshipers were the big threat and they were poorly done. Caricatures and barely there.

I had the movie novelization on my tbr, but after this and re-reading my review for the original Pacific Rim, I’m going to pass and just watch the movie “sometime”.



bookstooge (Custom)



azure_cce5835bfa7328bdb76ae0f47bdad3c8This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Tron

Series: ———-

Author: Brian Daley

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

Genre: Movie Novelization

Pages: 186

Format: Kindle digital scan



Flynn came up with several smash hit games, only to have them stolen by another man who leveraged that fame into the position of CEO at Endcom. Flynn is on a crusade to prove that those were HIS games and that HE deserves that position. With the help of Bradley and Laura, friends who are still employed at Endcom, Flynn breaks in and starts to hack the system.

Little does he know that MCP has taken control of the company and it doesn’t want Flynn around. Zapped into an electronic world, Flynn must hook up with Brad and Laura’s alter ego’s and take down the MCP from the inside. As a mythical User, Flynn has powers at his fingertips not known to mere programs. With the help of Tron the Warrior and Lori the shaper, Flynn is on a journey to survive and destroy the MCP.


My Thoughts:

I am a big fan of the movie Tron. I acknowledge it’s complete 80’sness but that is part of the appeal. It is the Electronic 80’s in all its Glory.

Sadly, this book was deadly boring. Boring that I really wanted to DNF this. But my love of the movie overcame and I soldiered on. Kind of wish I hadn’t and started something else. Daley was a good author and his own works showcase that pretty well but this, it was just boring. I know I’m saying that lot, but that was what kept striking me in the face over and over.

Wouldn’t recommend this at all and if it wasn’t for the movie being so cool, I would give this an easy 1 Star.

Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization

33e4b6aca666a15b7f522ae77613d8eb This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Pacific Rim

Series: —–

Author: Alex Irvine

Rating: 3 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Pages: 352

Format: Kindle



A good movie novelization.

Aliens are coming. From the ocean. And we have to use gigantic robots to fight them off.


My Thoughts:

If you liked the movie for the fights and the action and raw, brute power, stick with the movie. This book didn’t really portray the power side of things very well.

If you thought the movie was skimpy on characterization and mecha info, then read the book. It fills in a good bit of stuff without making the book different from the movie.

I’m usually not a fan of movie novelizations and don’t bother with them. I either want to watch the movie OR read the book the movie is based on.

Ghostbusters: The Return

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Title: Ghostbusters: The Return

Series: —–

Author: Sholly Fisch

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal

Pages: 304



5 Years after GBII, the boys are kind of making things work. Emphasis on “kind of”. Until a group decides that Peter V should be the next mayor of New York. At the same time an old has-been of a spirit, the spirit of Fear that wiped out Roanoke back in the day, decides that his time has come and he needs to instill fear in people so he can emerge and walk the earth again, with the requisite blood and sacrifices, etc, etc.


My Thoughts:

I actually only read this because of the authors name. I mean, is that name for real? I kept wanting to call him Folly Sh*t for some reason.

This book was mediocre at best. It felt like a real rehash of GBII as far as the villain went. The whole Peter for Mayor distracted from the story without adding anything except to give Morris[the black dude] a semi-happy ending. Peter and Girlfriend went over the exact same issues as they did in GBII and if it weren’t for a couple of throw-away references I’d say this author wrote this book BEFORE GBII came out.

I was left with absolutely NO desire to seek out or read any other Ghostbuster books, whether by this author or not. Which is to bad, because the original Ghostbusters movie is one of the best ever, cheese effects and all.

Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas #1)

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Title: Odd Thomas

Series: Odd Thomas #1

Author: Dean Koontz

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Pages: 344



Odd Thomas, a young man who has a gift for seeing ghosties and other supernatural apparitions, must try to stop an unknown deadly event from happening in the small town of Pico Mundo. With help from his soul mate Stormy, his father figure the Police Chief and the ghost of Elvis, Odd must solve the mystery before evil blooms.


My Thoughts:

Back in May, I watched the movie Odd Thomas [Review can be found HERE] and really enjoyed it. Enough so that I sought out the books it was based on.

This was definitely a case where whichever medium you were acquainted with Odd first is your preferred. I enjoyed the book, and the movie got the dry, self-deprecating tone down perfectly, but since I already knew what was going to happen, the book didn’t have the same “oomph”.  I liked the movie better, but I can see if I had read the book first I would have liked that better.

For someone who grew up with a complete narcissistic father, a selfish bordering on the insane mother and who can see ghosts and “demons” [bodachs], Odd is pretty grounded. I found the balance he struck between trying to change things and not getting involved to be just what I’d like to think I would have done.

Thoroughly enjoyable read and I’ll be seeking out the later novels to put on my TBR list.

Trial by Fire (Terminator Salvation #4) (Terminator)

trialbyfire (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at by express permission of this reviewer


Terminator: Salvation was NOT the end. It was merely the beginning of the end. And Marcus was not alone.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed the movie and really thought it was the end. Instead, this book shows that the AI that was destroyed was just a branch version, not the main one.

I recently read another Terminator book, Cold War, and man, Zahn shows with this book what a great author he is. There is no comparing the two. The writing was tight, the overarching plot suspenseful and the different storylines were all blended together just right.

It was nice to read something that I felt was crafted well even while being about something as non-serious as a movie spinoff. With all the crap floating around nowadays, coming across a well crafted gem makes it even more precious. Even if it is a fools gold gem 😀

The advent of the Theta Terminators opens up the whole future of the Terminator world. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening, much like I was hoping the T2 trilogy would give things a kick and they didn’t. Highly recommended to Terminator fans but not to anyone else. Too much backstory is needed, or at least the first 2 and 4th Terminator movie.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Author: Timothy Zahn

Trial by Fire

Terminator: Salvation #4

Cold War



Cold War

Terminator: Salvation #1

Author: Greg Cox

3 of 5 Stars


A prequel to Terminator Salvation, but not directly related, more tangentially.

Starts off with a Russian submarine taking part in Judgement Day, in 2003. Then the alternate story, about Resistance Fighters in Alaska in 2018, takes place.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Russian 2003 story. They’re confused, horribly shaken up and then they find the machines, but they don’t believe it themselves and nobody  believes them. This storyline wraps up with them joining Ashdown and the Resistance.

Then we get the Alaskan story. I didn’t like it. Bunch of people survive and end up fighting Sky-Net any way they can. This was a story that was supposed to be dramatic and moving, but ended up coming across as petty and amateurish.

The 2 storylines mesh with an attack on a trainline supplying Skynet with uranium. I really wish Cox had focused exclusively on the Russians and their fight. Oh well.

crossposted at

From the Ashes

Terminator Salvation: From the AshesFrom the Ashes

Terminator: Salvation #0.5

Timothy Zahn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The prequel to Terminator: Salvation. I truly enjoyed this. Zahn does a masterful job of introducing us to the characters. Reese, Star, their protector Orzohc [or something like that], John and Kate Connor and their tight knit group of Resistance fighters.

Skynet prepares to cleanse a particular region of L.A. and the Connors prepare to pull of a coup to secure their place in the Resistance. And the group Reese and Star are living with are caught squarely in the middle.

This was written well, engagingly, with flashes of humor and sadness.