Book Review Double: Three Fantastic Surprises & Three Tales of the USAians by Sarah A. Hoyt

Greetings, Happy Readers!

This week has been shifted by a day. Sorry about that. I hope to get back on the MWF schedule next week. But, I have done 3 blogs, so there’s that!

This one is double review of two small shorty story collections.

Three Fantastic Surprises & Three Tales of the USAians

by Sarah A. Hoyt

I admit that I cleaned the digital dust off these two collections because I was looking for something quick to read & review. Luckily for me, they are actually quite good.

I can’t remember when I picked them up, exactly, but they were offered for free by the author on her blog site at one point (originally Dec 2015… I hate to think I’ve had them that long and not read them, but guess it’s possible). I went back to try to find them on the site, but the links to the freebie files are no longer working. Unfortunately, they are not available on Amazon either. The best I can do is offer links to the individual stories that are still on her website — accordingtohoyt.com — so that you can go read them for yourself.

Also note: While I am reviewing each story (3 per collection) they are ‘short’, so it’s hard not to spoil. I’ll try my best not to do that, but I’ll probably be spare on detail in general because of it.

Three Fantastic Surprises consists of:

From Out the Fire was originally published in Bean’s Big Book of Monsters. It is in the Urban Fantasy genre and about cryptid-esque beings called the Magical Legion who help fight fantastical dangers. It starts you in the middle of this universe, hints at a very detailed backstory, but is still a self-contained story.

Green Eggs and Spam is a comedy sci-fi (urban sci-fi? Is that even a thing?) about a lady physicist with a trans-dimensional portal in her basement and a very curious young son. It’s light hearted & fun, but seems like it’s the intro to a wider world.

The Camels of Christmas is an urban fantasy ‘shifter’ story. It is directly tied to the universe of Hoyt’s Draw One In the Dark novel (which is also on my backlog).

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 starts for originality.

All the stories are in the USAian universe, which is science fiction.

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear takes place at Christmas as you might guess. It is not a peaceful tale about a silent night though. It is a fast paced and heart squeezing tale of one family being pursued by the state for exercising their ‘faith’ which is really a set of political beliefs. It will pull your heartstrings and rouse your patriotic nature.

The Bombs Bursting in Air – An agent of the Good Men, finding herself in peril from her own, questions her beliefs and allegiances while in pursuit of the ‘evil’ USAians. Lots of action and patriotic hope.

On a Far Distant Shore – A conformist who had rejected her upbringing finds herself torn when faced with the potential torture and death of another USAian. Her decisions prove her ideals are not as buried as she might have believed.

This one got 5 out of 5 stars from me. The stories are action packed, emotional & well written. It leaves you wanting more.

I hope you can find these for yourself. They are well worth the read.

And that’s Review #4 for 2021!


Happy Reading!


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Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver (short story)

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Null Gravitas (short story)

New crew and new relationships form above the skies of Venus. A post-prequel to Escaping Aurora.

Escaping Aurora (novella)

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

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Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

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HAPPY READING!

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