February 12, 2014

Casting Some Starlight on Indie Star Mark Wayne McGinnis [review time]

Scrapyard Ship by Mark Wayne McGinnis: 4.5/5 STARS (Get it on Amazon)

Lieutenant Commander Jason Reynolds has had a string of bad luck lately — evident by the uncomfortable house arrest bracelet strapped to his right ankle. Worse yet, he’s relegated to his grandfather’s old house and rambling scrapyard. To complicate things, the women in his life are pulling from every direction. But it’s through a bizarre turn of events that Jason is led to a dried up subterranean aquifer hundreds of feet below ground. Here he discovers an advanced alien spacecraft, one that will propel his life in a new direction.

Mark Wayne McGinnis is something of a surprise. His fun science fiction series has rocketed to the top of the Amazon charts, launching all the way to number 11 for Best Science Fiction in the Space Exploration and Alien Invasion categories, and number 12 in the category for Space Fleet fiction. His work is adventurous and captures the imaginations and hearts of readers. Scrapyard Ship was the first space adventure in the series, which was followed at the end of 2013 with HAB 12, the sequel. The Scrapyard Ship novels are written as a kind of web serial in that each one ends with a cliffhanger, but don't worry, book 3 is in the works, and isn't it fun to have something to look forward to anyways? (I'm just bitter there are no more Harry Potter or Wheel of Time books being written, what has become of my life?)

Here's what Amazon reviewers are saying about Scrapyard Ship:

The title is unusual, as are the characters, but they are well done and provided a lot of entertainment. Mr. McGinnis Is an interesting writer. He balanced the action with some 'down time' to develop the plot. He didn't seem to get too involved in prolonged descriptions, as some authors do, but educated me and then went on to get back into the fray. I'm headed back to the order page to get the next book, Hab 12."

"I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fun filled fight with impossible odds against an implacable alien foe!"

"Reads fast and makes for a great 'mental time out.' Aliens and Phase cannons, the 'Fate of the Earth' and some fun set ups keep ya turning the pages. I'm for the next book!"

HAB 12 by Mark Wayne McGinnis: 4/5 STARS (Get it on Amazon)

HAB 12 really takes off from Scrapyard Ship in one of those cases where the sequel manages to be even more compelling than the original. Scrapyard Ship introduces The Lilly and all of the ship's capabilities, but HAB 12 really runs wild with the possibilities of the multi-verse technology when it comes to weaponry, communications, security, space travel, etc. Believe it or not, this volume is even more complex with more twists and turns, while the characters remain endearing, and raw yet lovable. Another fantastic read. And brace yourselves for another doozy of an ending that will make you ready to die for the next in the series.

Here's what Amazon reviewers are saying about about HAB 12:

"Can't believe this is a new independent author."

"The second book is even better than the first - the characters continue to mature and the plot and imagination of this fast paced SciFi are thrilling. Highly recommend both books and I await eagerly the next book of this series!"

Tapped In by Mark Wayne McGinnis: 5/5 STARS (Get it on Amazon)

Tapped In is possibly the best of the McGinnis pack.

It's nice to see Mark Wayne McGinnis expand into new territory genre-wise, and as usual he does it with original writing, unique and lovable (as well as intentionally hate-able) characters, and a very different kind of story. The way Rob discovers tapping in and then makes use of its power to get through obstacles and out-smart his antagonists, even with the disadvantage of amnesia, is enjoyable, thrilling, and often-times really humorous. 

If you like Dean Koontz, this will be very much up your alley; some bits reminded me of Watchers. Another entertaining, fast-paced page turner to curl up with on the couch (and stay there until you finish). The only downside is that you'll be dying to find out what happens next, and you'll just have to wait for the next one.

More Amazon reviews:

"The good news is you survived a car crash. The bad news is you don't know who you are. The good news you've got a new sixth sense. The bad news . . .

"So it goes in an exciting new action series that touches on science fiction and espionage and lots of other genres. All that with a light touch of humor making a quick, entertaining read."

"This author certainly knows how to put one in suspense! A great novelette, but really a taster and nothing more. Rather annoying really. The basis of the yarn is a sort of ex-CIA operative involved in an accident which leaves him with amnesia. But it also affects his mind, having him become both a mind reader and manipulator, but only with the help of high voltage electrical input every 24 hours."

I hope you enjoyed this month's Indie Star Author. I don't know about you, but I don't read nearly enough independently published fiction, so every month or so I hope to review an indie novel for some supportive and honest promotion (the best kind, if you ask me.) 

To indie writers: While I have a fair supply of books to get me started, I am in the market for review copies of independently published fiction, with a preference for science fiction and fantasy. It won't be the first time I've accepted a book as payment for labor. I will feature your book on Musings by Starlight, first come first serve, and post the review to Amazon (and wherever else you please). While I can't promise five stars, I can promise a promotion that is thought out, fair and honest.

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