A Review of Footsteps in the Sky by Greg Keyes

Footsteps in the Sky

by Greg Keyes

This was an interesting, but kind of schizophrenic sort of book. First it is a book telling the story of a conflict between the Traditional Hopi living up in the high mesas and the Modern Hopi living in the lowlands near the coasts. It’s a conflict between a Native American group who wants to continue with the Old Ways. They hold on to their gods and old stories. They believe that the way to succeed is to only embrace the tools and technologies that they understand and can fix. The city dwellers want to have every new thing, even if they can’t keep the devices going on their own. Sounds like a pretty normal story from the plains of the American South West, doesn’t it. But this story takes place on a far distant planet in another solar system. These groups were settled on this world to terraform it. Their job is to make it livable for the general population.

The other monkey wrench is that this planet had already been changed. Another alien group of planet changers had started adjusting the world to their needs. They had used robotic ships to start the process many thousand of years ago. The ships have returned and discovered that there were humans on their world. But these robots have become damaged, and may even be insane. They may need to sterilize this world and start over.

Mr. Keyes uses multiple Points of View to tell this story. He jumps back and forth between the different groups and different individuals in those groups. You might be seeing something though one of the alien’s eyes, then jump to a human ship traveling from earth, then down to the different people on the surface of the planet. It’s a lot to keep track of, but it is possible.

I had fun reading Footsteps in the Sky. It wasn’t great, but it certainly was different. I give it 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. If you like a quirky sort of hard Science Fiction, you should check this out, just remember that this book was the author’s first novel, written in 1994. It has that first book feel.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

The pueblo people who landed on the Fifth World found it Earthlike, empty, and ready for colonization . . . but a century later, they are about to meet the planet’s owners

One hundred years ago, Sand’s ancestors made the long, one-way trip to the Fifth World, ready to work ceaselessly to terraform the planet. Descendants of native peoples like the Hopi and Zuni, they wanted to return to the way of life of their forebears, who honored the Kachina spirits.

Now, though, many of the planet’s inhabitants have begun to resent their grandparents’ decision to strand them in this harsh and forbidding place, and some have turned away from the customs of the Well-Behaved People. Sand has her doubts, but she longs to believe that the Kachina live on beyond the stars and have been readying a new domain for her people.

She may be right. Humans have discovered nine habitable worlds, all with life that shares a genetic code entirely alien to any on Earth. Someone has been seeding planets, bringing life to them. But no other sign of the ancient farmers has ever been discovered—until one day they return to the Fifth World. They do not like what they find.

Originally written in 1994, Footsteps in the Sky is finally being released in digital form by Open Road Media.

Book Details

Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (May 26, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1497699916
ISBN-13: 978-1497699915
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces

About the Author

Greg_Keyes-Imaginales_2010Greg Keyes was born in 1963 in Meridian, Mississippi. When his father took a job on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, Keyes was exposed at an early age to the cultures and stories of the Native Southwest, which would continue to influence him for years to come. He earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree from the University of Georgia. While pursuing a PhD at UGA, he wrote several novels, including The Waterborn and its sequel, The Blackgod. He followed these with the Age of Unreason books, the epic fantasy series Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, and tie-in novels for numerous franchises, including Star Wars, Babylon 5, the Elder Scrolls, and Planet of the Apes. Keyes lives and works in Savannah, Georgia, with his wife, Nell; son, Archer; and daughter, Nellah.

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Here are the Winners of Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild

blood ties hc mech.inddMy lovely wife, Norma Jean, drew the three winning entries last night, and here they are!

Sheila K. from FL

Alicia G. from TN

Andrew B. from CT

I have sent your names and mailing address to Meredith Summers, a Publicist at Tor/Forge Books. Thanks Meredith for letting me host this Giveaway.

Final chance to win a hardcover copy of BLOOD TIES by Nicholas Guild

Tor/Forge Books is giving Three lucky readers of my blog a chance to win a copy of BLOOD TIES by Nicholas Guild

(Limited to readers who live in the U.S. and Canada)

The giveaway will end Monday, May 11th (11:00 PM U.S. Eastern Daylight time). The 3 winners will be selected at random. Winners will be announced here on May 12th. I will also send an email to the lucky winners.

Go to the original page to enter. Click below.

Book Giveaway! Win a hardcover copy of BLOOD TIES by Nicholas Guild

A Review of Detroit is Our Beat: Tales of the Four Horsemen by Loren D. Estleman

Detroit is Our Beat: Tales of the Four Horsemen

by Loren D. Estleman

I really wanted to like Detroit is Our Beat, but there was just something that was a little bit off. The dialogue was good, it was funny, it felt real, but something was missing. I like my short stories to have a twist, something to grab you, and little bit of point. These stories don’t seem to have that. They have great dialogue, authentic sounding descriptions of Detroit, and they really put across the feel of Detroit during World War II, but most of them have very weak plots. They are more just little snapshots of the antics of the “Four Horsemen”, without the solid storyline that I expect in my short story collections. They are somewhat interesting as peeks into a long-lost era, but not what I was looking for.

I give Detroit is Our Beat 3 Stars out of 5. If you like your short story collections to be more character driven glimpses into recent history, instead of tightly written plot devices, then this will work much better for you than it did for me.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Detroit is Our BeatThe place: Detroit. The time: World War II.

While most of the police department is fighting overseas, the four men of the Racket Squad struggle to keep a lid on a powderkeg stuffed with draft-dodging troublemakers, Black Market gangsters, enemy saboteurs, and a mixed bag of racial and ethnic groups working uneasily side by side in defense plants run by the automobile industry.

With blackjacks, brass knuckles, tommy guns, and their bare fists, Lieutenant Max Zagreb, Sergeant Starvo Canal, and detectives McReary and Burke–known collectively as the “Four Horsemen”–battle their way through ten gritty stories in the hardest-boiled town during the twentieth century’s hardest-boiled decade.

Book Details

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Tyrus Books (May 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1440588457
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

About the Author

LDE_PHOTO_2014Loren D. Estleman graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1974 with a BA in English and journalism. In 2002, Eastern Michigan University presented him with an honorary doctorate in humane letters. He married the mystery writer Deborah Morgan in 1993. He writes with a manual typewriter.

He is most famous for his novels about P.I. Amos Walker; other series center on Old West marshal Page Murdock and hitman Peter Macklin. He has also written a series of novels about the history of crime in Detroit (also the setting of his Walker books), and a more recent series about Valentino, who tracks down lost films, and crimes related to them. His non-series works include Bloody Season, a fictional recreation of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and several novels and stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, as well as contributions to several books on how to write and sell stories and novels. Estleman’s literary works have been recognized and highlighted by Michigan State University in their Michigan Writers Series. (From Wikipedia)



Book Giveaway! Win a hardcover copy of BLOOD TIES by Nicholas Guild

Tor/Forge Books is giving Three lucky readers of my blog a chance to win a copy of BLOOD TIES by Nicholas Guild

(Limited to readers who live in the U.S. and Canada)

Book Description

blood ties hc mech.inddIn BLOOD TIES, Guild explores in true psychologically thrilling fashion, the complexity of relationships and the chilling motives of what drives someone to murder….
BLOOD TIES is an elegant and frightening thriller about a serial killer pursued by a homicide detective and the killer’s own son.
Homicide detective Ellen Ridley of the SFPD is tracking a serial killer terrorizing young women in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ridley is sure she’s cornered her most likely suspect: Stephen Tregear, a hacker and code breaker who works for U.S. naval intelligence. But Tregear is not the killer…he’s the killer’s son.
Ridley and Tregear team up to look for Tregear’s father, Walter, in an elaborate game of murderous cat and mouse. As the body count rises, Ridley must race against the clock to stop Walter before he kills any more women – and Tregear must finally confront the father who has been trying to kill him for twenty years.

Praise for Nicholas Guild

“Guild’s drop-dead characterizations of police men and women, his perfect-pitch dialogue, and the serpentine coils of a plot that’s absorbing and shocking support this unusually convincing combination of romance and homicide.”
Publishers Weekly, « Starred Review « Blood Ties

“This psychological thriller explores the impact of growing up in an abusive, isolated family. One family member grows up to be a brutal serial killer and another becomes someone who puts himself at risk to save the lives of strangers. Guild delivers an unusual plot and a fascinating read.”
RT Book Reviews, «««« on Blood Ties

“Completely riveting, a cat and mouse thriller every suspense fan will crave—original, smart, taut, and surprising. I could not turn the pages fast enough.”
—Hank Phillippi Ryan, Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha, Anthony, and
Macavity Award–winning author of The Other Woman

“The almost languid grace of [Guild’s] writing also sets the measured pace of the storytelling, while wrapping the narrative in an atmosphere thick with sensuality. As thrillers go, this one’s a luxury model.”
New York Times Book Review on Angel

“An intricate, wonderfully paced tale.”
Publishers Weekly, « Starred Review «, on Angel


nicholas guild 2NICHOLAS GUILD was born in Belmont, California and attended Occidental College and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at Clemson and Ohio State before turning full-time to writing fiction. He has published a dozen novels, several of which were international bestsellers including The Assyrian (1998), Blood Star (1989), and Angel (1995). Guild now lives in Fredrick, Maryland.

Contest Details

Here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:

Send an email to contest at mackela dot com.
In the subject line, enter “Blood Ties“

In the body of the email, please provide a mailing address (no P.O. Boxes) so the prize can be sent as soon as possible. (The winning address is used only to mail the prize. All other address info will be purged once the giveaway ends.)

Geographic restrictions: This giveaway is open only to residents of the  U.S. and Canada.

The giveaway will end Monday, May 11th (11:00 PM U.S. Eastern Daylight time). The Three winners will be selected at random. Winners will be announced here on May 12th. I will also send an email to the lucky winners.

Good Luck!

GiveAway for Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild starts May 1st!

Tor/Forge Books #GiveAway
BLOOD TIES by Nicholas Guild
Starts May 1st

(Limited to readers who live in the U.S. and Canada)

blood ties hc mech.inddI’m happy that three of my readers have a chance to win a copy of NICHOLAS GUILD’s engrossing novel BLOOD TIES (A Forge Hardcover; $25.99; On-sale May 12, 2015)! Guild books have been published from Japan to Russia and several have been international bestsellers.  He has written thrillers, historical novels and, most recently, a ghost story.  Early in his career he was recognized as a writer of abundant grace, power and technical agility.  Publishers Weekly described him as “a master of timing, plot and style.” Now FORGE Books will publish his highly anticipated novel, BLOOD TIES. A mystery/thriller set in the San Francisco Bay Area mixed with secret government alliance, hackers, code breakers and a relentless serial killer. BLOOD TIES captures readers pulling them into an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

Here are the winners of the Night Life giveaway!

David Taylor - Night LifeMy lovely wife, Norma Jean, drew the three winning entries last night, and here they are!

Chris M. from OR

Tai D. from CA

Bradly R B. from WI

I have sent your names and mailing address to Emily Mullen, a Senior Publicist at Tor/Forge Books. Thanks Emily for letting me host this Giveaway.

I've read them, so that I can tell you about them.

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