First, let's be honest: Mark L. Van Name's name has got to be one of those few that gets you to look at the book twice. Wait- his name is Van Name? Really? And then there is his third entry in "Jon & Lobo" series, where interplanetary trouble keeps finding the skilled mercenary Jon, a man from the forbidden planet pinkleponker (yes, that's right). He is of course teamed up with the Lobo, the obnoxious self-aware space-craft, and once again they are blowing up everything in sight to get to the really, really bad guy in "Overthrowing Heaven." For it's blend of unusual planets, real characters, and of course, good dashes of wit, it earns 26.5/42 Richmans.
Next up: " Master of None" by first time author Sonya Bateman. A thief who is bad at what he is and a djinn who wants nothing more than to have nothing to do with said thief are the duo at the hart of this book about stealing artifacts, honor among thieves, and of course, Genies. There are some seriously creative ideas here, and a tempo that moves the book along very quickly, but things do get a bit gory. Reading it made me wish the "here's what a djinn really can do" lasted a bit longer, but others may find the book dragged in other sections. I can't put a finger on it, but something was off in this book that kept it from really wowing me. A strong first showing and worth a read at 24/42 Richmans.