Book Review: In Ashes Born by Nathan Lowell

I’ve listened to all six preceding stories of the life of our protagonist Ishmael Wong and I have pretty much loved each one.

With Nathan Lowell’s handling of these books I know I’m getting a quality story. What makes them really stunningly crafted is the fact that rarely does something hugely dramatic happen. In Ashes Born is no different. It’s just the next part of Ishmael Wong’s life and I was hanging on every word! In another writers hands none of these stories would work. Lowell keeps the same pace, tone, and quality of the previous six novels.

This is a solid continuation of this story, and I am looking forward to the next chapter in the life of Ishmael Wong.

I will just say I was worried about having someone other than Nathan Lowell narrate this universe, but Jeffrey Kafer got it absolutely bang on perfect!


I have listened to a lot of podcast books. For those of you who are unaware of podcasted novels they are books that are serialised, normally for free as well. Now I have listened to a lot of these over the last couple of years and have discovered some amazing writers like Scott Sigler, J.C. Hutchins, Mur Lafferty, Nathan Lowell, Phil Rossi and many more. For some reason though I’ve never really listened to audiobooks.

I have a few on my iPod but nowhere near as many podcasts though. Maybe part of this is because podcasts are free, but another reason may be because I’ve not enjoyed a couple of audiobooks that I did buy. A couple of which were also abridged and I felt I was loosing out a little because of this. Last week though I downloaded Stephen King’s On Writing and a zombie one, I forgot the name. Ill mention it in a future post. These two downloads have kind of opened a door in my head and I want to download more. This is logical for me because I am a slow reader and I work a job where I can have my iPod and listen to whatever I wish. I do need to get through more books and this may be the way that I can get more fiction consumed 🙂

A Little Update

Right, I’ve got a few things that I want to get written tonight. Nothing major just some random bits and pieces.

First of all have any of you heard of a writer called Nathan Lowell? He wrote a collection of books that have been called the Share Books. These books follow Ishmael Horatio Wong (I’m fairly confident that I may have spelt his name wrong somewhere there lol). Basically we follow Mr. Wong from when his mother dies when he is in his late teens and he joins the merchant navy and over six books we follow his life. The books start off with Quarter Share, and show the everyday aspects of an intergalactic future. Now it’s been a while since I listened to the first five and ive only just listened to the sixth (Owners Share) and I’ve got to say that it is the best in an outstanding series of stories. If you look these books up, all are available as free podcasts, I’d strongly recommend starting off with the first book, Quarter Share. Heres the link to Mr. Lowell’s website,

I’ve also started reading the Battlestar Galactica tie-in novel. I’ve not read many tie-in novels but so far I am enjoying this one, a lot. It has a very fast pace to it, seeing as its based on a tv show that’s kind of understandable. I am sorely tempted to have a Battlestar Galactica DVD marathon early next year 😉

NaNoWriMo is not going quite as well as I had hoped, but we’re not quite halfway into the month yet so I still hold faith that I will hit my personal 40k target.

I have also had an idea that will not leave my brain, I think I’m going to have to write it soon. Or at least a snippet so I can get the feel for it.

Another Look At World Building

I was chatting with a friend, Stephen, on Facebook yesterday about Star Trek and Star Wars and Batttlestar Galactica and Babylon 5 and Firefly and Stargate, well you get the picture.  And what I learnt about it was not only does he have a bloody good knowledge of the Star Trek universe but also a few little tips about research.  One of the projects that I, with Owen, am working on is set in a universe where mankind has ventured out into space and met a multitude of alien species and we have starships of various shapes and sizes as well as space stations, and as a writer of similar intergalactic escapades he shared a few little tips about how he does he’s research, and a lot of it is spent watching these shows and looking at how the technology works and the everyday difficulties of surviving in space (when I’ve tried this before I’ve got into the film/TV show and forgotten that I’m supposed to be making notes) To me these are the things that give a universe depth.   In Nathan Lowell’s series about the life of an orphan who joins kind of space age freight hauliers and there are a lot of little bits on how the ships are maintained.  These stories are really, really cool, so please check out the link >>>>>>

It was a good conversation that we had which gave me plenty to think about and really created some good little ideas.  As I’ve mentioned before I think depth is a massive component of a universe that a story is set in.  It’s all good and well having a strong plot and/or characters but if the world around them is weak then the reader may feel like they are loosing out.  This is one thing I find with Scott Sigler’s Galactic Football League series.  With each book we learn more and more about the wider universe and that depth is something that me and Owen need to weave into our stories.