Book Review: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Author: Ray Bradbury
Release Date: 1949
Genre: Classic, Science-Fiction, Short Story Collection
Edition: E-book
Pages: 303
Publisher: Harper Voyager
The strange and wonderful tale of man’s experiences on Mars, filled with intense images and astonishing visions. Now part of the Voyager Classics collection.

The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet. The first men were few. Most succumbed to a disease they called the Great Loneliness when they saw their home planet dwindle to the size of a fist. They felt they had never been born. Those few that survived found no welcome on Mars. The shape-changing Martians thought they were native lunatics and duly locked them up.

But more rockets arrived from Earth, and more, piercing the hallucinations projected by the Martians. People brought their old prejudices with them – and their desires and fantasies, tainted dreams. These were soon inhabited by the strange native beings, with their caged flowers and birds of flame.



This is my first book by author Ray Bradbury and needless to say it was a compelling read.
I felt the same sense of a constant hovering of foreboding while reading this book as I felt while reading Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov. Though the writing styles are very different I think the tones of their works are similar to each other.

Even though this book was written ages ago, the arrogance of humans, sadly, still feels precisely fitting. The need to constantly want more, the urge to explore while being completely oblivious and ignorant to how it affects others and the need to be celebrated for doing something that is important to them and them alone is reflected very aptly in this book. The lingering feel of melancholy is something that greatly appealed to my taste.

I’d recommend this book to everyone as this has a lot more to offer than classy sci-fi entertainment. Though, let me give you a heads-up – if you are not into the classic writing styles, you might have to remind yourself constantly throughout reading this book to be patient as, in the end, I assure you that this book is totally worth it.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Author Interview: Hunter Trammell

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome Hunter Trammell, author of Bitterhold, for an author Interview.

[scroll-box]ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Hunter Trammell

Hunter Trammell is an independent novelist and owner of Outland Publishing. He primarily writes science fiction but enjoys reading and writing other genre’s. When he is not behind a keyboard Hunter can typically found behind his PlayStation or spending time with his family.

You can visit him on Facebook and at


Website: [/scroll-box]

Can you please tell my readers about your ambitions for your writing career?

I work fulltime and write on the side, as I work to grow my library and reach an audience I will eventually shift into writing full time as that is what I truly love to do

Which writers inspire you?

Dan Brown. I am a huge fan of his works, his methods, ideals, etc. He crafts these worlds that bleed effortlessly into a believable reality. Not an easy thing to do, but given the dedication he has to his works, it is something I admire.

Tell us about your book?

Bitterhold follows a grieving father, Decklan Brady, as he is thrust into a conspiracy involving an ancient artifact and a corrupt galactic regime. He is sentenced to life onboard a Cryogenic reformation colony, Bitterhold. There he uncovers evidence of the Eglar Empire’s corrupt practices ultimately leading to the death of his only son. His quest for revenge opens a much larger can o’ worms that will pit him with the task of saving the universe.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took me a little over a year. I took a pretty long break from it as I had my first child, my daughter Murphy Rhead (named from one of the characters in this book). After a while I dove right back in and finished it up.

Are you working on any other project(s) right now? If yes, what are they?

Bitterhold is the first in a long-planned series, Phoenix Rising. I am currently in the process of writing on the next book in the series, not a direct sequel, but a prequel of sorts that will provide insight to the plot in Book 2. I hope to have Shadow of Aetherius finished by the end of the month!

Why have you chosen this genre?

I have always loved Science Fiction. I love the creation that comes along with it. If I were to write a book centered in say 1950’s New York, I would have a predefined set of boundaries to adhere too. The limitations of the technology, the colors of the fauna, etc. I have created my own universe in Bitterhold and aside from the “laws of the universe” I can build my worlds how I see fit.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I started writing after I tested out of High School. I didn’t finish my senior year and opted to get my GED instead. To me writing was my way to prove to myself that I was in control of my future.

Why do you write?

I love it! I’m a very imaginative person, ideas are constantly flowing into my head. Writing is a way for me to funnel my creativity into an artform and connect with others in a way that I can’t do in person

Where do your ideas come from?

Anything! I’ll see a pattern in the orangepeel texture on a wall and it will look like the outline of an alien. I’ll be talking to someone and they will say something that triggers a series of off topic thoughts that ill lead into the plot of a story. I would say that I am easily distracted and often my mind wanders, but that just means that I am easily inspired.

How do you prefer to write? On computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

I’ve tried a few different methods, but computer works best for me. Laptop is good, but I prefer a set station.

What are your 5 favorite books and 5 favorite authors?

Books not in ranking order

  • Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
  • The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris
  • Thrawn – Timothy Zahn
  • Watchmen – Alan Moore
  • Deception Point – Dan Brown

Favorite Authors

  • Dan Brown
  • Michael Crichton
  • J.R. Tolkien
  • Frank Miller
  • Timothy Zahn

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

Get inspired! Although I recommend staying away from social media while trying to get over writer’s block, I find Instagram can be useful. I follow a few accounts that post science-fiction art. Looking at the environments and creatures these artists have crafted can be very inspiring. But at the end of the day, writer’s block is unique for every person so the only person who can really take you out of writer’s block is yourself

What advice would you give to new aspiring authors?

Write Every day. It doesn’t need to be lengthy, it doesn’t need to relate to your current project. If you force yourself to write every day, and set out a time to do so, writers block will become less frequent and you just might surprise yourself on how quick you’re getting your work done.


Thank you, Hunter, for all your interesting answers! I found your advice on Writer’s Block very helpful.



In the future, Earth’s civilization has spread across the stars and now humans and aliens peacefully coexist under the rule of the Eglar Empire as it spreads relentlessly across the universe. Crime is almost unheard of and to many the Empire is a Godsend.
But for an enlightened few it is different. While the media distorts the facts, the universe is on the verge of destruction as the Elgar’s get closer to the Aisle of Dominion, an ancient fable that tells of immeasurable power to whomever beholds it.
An attack on an Eglar Militia base forces Decklan Brady, a grieving father of one of the casualties, to embark on a quest for retribution. But as he investigates he discovers that there is more to it than he was led to believe.
Falling foul of the law, Decklan ends up as a prisoner in Bitterhold, a cryogenic reformation colony onboard the Starship Arcadia. There, he befriends Wesley Rhead, the former leader and founder of a militia group known as Phoenix.
Together, the two devise a plan to escape and rekindle the fire of a broken dream. But can Phoenix really bring justice to the oppressed and restore peace throughout the stars? And can Decklan expose the harsh truth of what happens within the Eglar Empire?

Book Links:

Amazon paperback:


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Book Review: Smokescreen


Author: Tasha Lessey 
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Series: Standalone
Genre: Science Fiction | Thriller
Edition: Kindle (mobi)
Pages: 288
Publisher: Self-published Amazon Digital Services, Inc
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon


It starts in Washington when a lone gunman enters a busy burger chain and opens fire killing twenty-five people. It continues in Paris, London, Sydney and Beijing. Authorities, including FBI agent Jack Rossi find no motive or any connection between the shootings causing fear and panic in the world’s major cities.

As Jack scrambles to get answers, he stumbles upon a secret world of hybrid humans, moles and a threat he never saw coming. One that could lead to the loss of an unprecedented number of lives. Including his own.





I thought the story had great build up. In the beginning, it starts off as your standard novel with a globalized terrorist threat to set the scene for the action. I was prepared for the aliens, but I was not prepared for feeling like I was on the edge of my seat.
The story was similar to Independence Day (the movie) in the sense that the aliens seemed to have an impenetrable defense. But that is not to say that if you saw the movie, it was the same story. This was different is so many ways. There are secrets, lies, intrigue, action, plot twists, and light romance.
A lot of the suspense came from the fact that it was difficult to know who to trust. Who is a hybrid human? Who is a mole? I need answers! I need to know now!


The characters acted in a way that was understandable for the circumstances. Jack was a no-nonsense FBI agent that is trying to figure out how to solve the case. He is dealing with a threat that he never knew existed. A lot has changed in his life in a short period of time and he has hardly any time to decide how he is going to handle all this new information. At the same time, he is trying to resist his urges to initiate a physical relationship with his partner Lauren.
Lauren has feelings for Jack too but knows the timing is off. They are dealing with a global catastrophe and other personal issues. There seemed to be little room for developing their romance. As the story progressed, I could understand her hesitancy.


I was not surprised at the number of kills in this book. After all, the story starts with several mass shooting scenes. However, the killing was not overly graphic. As the reader, I knew there was carnage but it was not described in a way that I could see the blood dripping from wall. The stage was set for the story.
I was surprised that there was a little romance element included in the story. Similarly to the killing, the love scenes were not too graphic. There was enough detail to get a mental picture of who was touching whom and where.


I think the author did a good job of writing the story from the various viewpoints and tying everything together at the end.


The opening scene is the mass shooting in the restaurant in DC. The action gets started on the opening page.


While the story focuses on Jack, by the end, I thought that Lauren was the true hero of the book. I think the ending was fitting and leaves the reader to imagine the possibilities for the future.

Cover Art:

The cover art is fits the story because the overall vibe is ominous with the freaky looking eyes.


From the blurb mention of “hybrid humans”, I could tell there was going to be a sci-fi aspect. I could not tell that the book was going to be about alien invasion. However I had a clue as to what the book would be about because it is categorized in Amazon under the following genres: Alien Invasion, Science Fiction, and Supernatural Thrillers.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Her penchant for French fries and hamburgers had finally gotten her in trouble.

Highlights: The suspense.

Lowlights: I wish some of the characters had not been killed.

Final Thoughts: I enjoyed it.

Review Contributor:

pics-3Amaryllis Turman

I work in an office. Outside of work, I participate on several non-profit boards and volunteer time as a life skills mentor. One of my favorite past times is reading, especially romance genre. I also enjoy writing, travelling, and trying new experiences with my hubby.

I write poetry when inspiration moves me. My hubby and I try to travel a new location each year. I have a goal each year to try something that I have not tried before. Because of that goal, I have ran various types of 5k races, started playing tennis, and attended numerous wine tastings.

You can read more about Amaryllis here.

Book Review: Shackleton’s Folly (The Lost Wonder #1)


Author: Todd Yunker 
Release Date: January 1, 2015
Series:The Lost Wonder Series
Genre: Science-Fiction
Edition: Mobi
Pages: 321 pages
Source: Author
Buy it here: -


In a galaxy, ripped apart by feuding factions, one man emerges to save his people from ‘Human Hunts’ and the rancorous horde lead by a traitor to the human race, Wolfgang Gray. That man is Alec Shackleton. His mission is spurred on by a legend, a theory, his father taught him as a small lad: a human tribe, long before their time, had ventured to the stars in search of a new home. They were never heard from again. A mere 20,000 humans now remain, as a result of The Extinction Event of 2265. Somehow, this meager remnant’s fate is inevitably tied to their brothers of old, and Alec knows it.

Peril awaits Shackleton and his android partner, Dancer, as they scour the galaxy in search of a peaceful homeland and ancient relics. The Eleven Wonders of the Universe, monuments of great treasure left behind by an extinct empire, are also in play, leading the duo to dangerous, inhospitable realms, where death seems all but certain.

Characters abound in this rollicking adventure, some bent on destroying the human race, even if it means killing millions of other beings. If it weren’t for a stroke of good fortune, Alec’s quest, as well as mankind’s future, would have been nipped in the bud. However, the timely acquisition of a priceless map and curious slave girl helps Shackleton’s team find the path to their destiny.

The young slave, Elektra, is stunning, but elusive. She knows far too much to simply be a peasant girl taken hostage. Her shadowy past will eventually come to light, revealing a dark secret of a stolen technology that could ultimately destroy the world. The mysterious beauty’s mission continues, but to what end, only time will tell.




I am in no way saying this is a horrible book. For the right person it could be a fantastic book, but I am not the right person. I could not get into this novel at all. It’s just not my cup of tea.

What I did read of it looked very clean and clear of grammatical errors or spelling errors. It looks like it has been well edited and much loved by the author. My apologies to the author that I was unable to really get into this book.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Review contributor:

pics-2Heather Mostella:

I’m a reader, writer, dreamer, and crafter. I like to create things and I love to see what others create. I avoid reality as much as possible, and often pretend I’m a vampire. I also own a group of black cats, so my neighbors think I’m a witch and I’m okay with that. I am a fan girl.

I love shows like Doctor Who, Supernatural, and Grimm. I love anime and dream of one day going to Japan. I just like to have fun, enjoy life, and do what makes me happy.

Read more about Heather here.


Book Review: The Fifth House (ARC)


Author: Andy Goldman
Release Date: May 11th, 2015
Series: Book 2 of The Only City Left series
Genre: Science Fiction
Edition: Kindle (Mobi)
Pages: 5581
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author (Thanks Andy!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Book Review: Arrival (From The Sky #1)


Author: David McGowan
 Release Date: September 15, 2014
 Genre: Science-Fiction | Fantasy
 Edition: Kindle (mobi)
 Pages: 251
 Publisher: Self-Published
 Source: Author
 Buy it here: Amazon

Graphic Novel Review: Copperhead #2


Author: Jay Faerber
Illustrator: Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley
Release Date: 1st April, 2015
Series: Copperhead
Genre: Science-Fiction | Western | Mystery | Suspense | Action | Comics 
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 77
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors (Image Comics)
Source: NetGalley 
Preceded By: Copperhead #1 (A New Sheriff In Town)
Followed By: Copperhead #3

Graphic Novel Review: Copperhead: A New Sheriff In Town (Vol. #1)


Author: Jay Faerber
Illustrator: Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley
Release Date: 11th March, 2015
Series: Copperhead
Genre: Science-Fiction | Western | Mystery | Suspense | Action | Comics 
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 128
Publisher: Image Comics
Source: NetGalley

Graphic Novel Review: Edward Scissorhands Volume 1: Parts Unknown (Edward Scissorhands, #1)


Author: Kate Leth
Illustrator: Drew Rausch
Release Date: 19th May, 2015
Series: Edward Scissorhands
Genre: Science-Fiction | YA | Comics
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 124
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Source: NetGalley