Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review - Children of Destruction

My book website,, is doing pretty well, drawing some attention.

In fact, recently a small publisher contacted me, submitting books for inclusion on my website. In addition, he asked me to read and review a couple of books.

I must say, after reading the first book, those of you who are hesitating to dive into the self-published book market, you need to take a deep breath and go for it. Just be sure to read the samples and reviews so ensure that you have an idea of the author's ability to write an interesting tale, and then get the darn book! You can't go wrong, the prices are darn near used book prices and you can read them on a Kindle or Nook, on your home computer, or depending on the publisher, download a pdf that you can print out a few pages at a time and read at your leisure. (Use the fast draft option on your printer and print two sided to save paper!)

One of the books provided to me (I haven't read the other yet), the Children of Destruction by Al Philipson is a good read, coming to a very satisfying conclusion.

Here's my review, posted on

I really enjoyed this adult romp that extends from the deaths of darn nearly everyone on Earth to a distant planet, spanning 200 years. A new beginning for both societies, leading up to a violent and satisfying conclusion.

Like another reviewer, I felt like the Matthews family saga dragged a little in the middle of the story, until it jumped 200 years into the future. I would've like to have read about their first contact with other groups of surviving humans. On the other hand, I liked the way the author mixed a bit of social commentary into the mix, in a very Heinlein-like way, and the solutions to their continued survival. I was a bit concerned at how few survivors there were, as I know a lot of very, very intelligent people who have high IQs; it seemed a little unrealistic on that point. But then again, this is science fiction so perhaps some didn't survive due to their mental quirkiness. A little more diversity in the original disaster would've been nice too. Only two children survive to join the Matthews family, one a teen, and they're both white. Hmmm. Surely there would've been more highly intelligent children who lived, some of them children of Color? And no gays or lesbians?

I would've also enjoyed reading a snippet about the alien's evil wife and her reaction when she found out how she'd out-smarted herself. And too bad they didn't take a few slaves along, it would've been cool to see how they'd have adapted to space and a new world. However, the callousness in how they were abandoned highlighted the aliens' brutality and inhuman (and yet all too human) disregard for other species. I did see some irony in the alien protagonist's situation and the end result, 200 years in the future. No spoilers here, you'll have to read the story to see what I mean!

On the formatting and grammar end, there were actually very few typos and misused words. A few places where there was an extra space between a word and a comma, and the smart quote problem where the single quote faces the wrong way on shortened words like 'em. (You have to put two single quotes in, then delete the first one. Write ''em and then change it to 'em) In general, nothing that held up the progression of the story or made me groan in frustration. One more proofreading pass through the book would've taken care of those small issues.

All in all, I'd recommend this very creative and practical science fiction adventure to adult sci-fi fans. Due to the sex, I'd say it's definitely an R-rated adult book. Some scenarios, including the sex and group marriage, may be disturbing to more conservative readers.

Please note that the book was provided to me at no charge and I received no other compensation for reading and reviewing it.

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