Blue on Black

Blue on Black

Kimolijah Adani—Class 2 gridTech, beloved brother, most promising student the Academy’s ever had the privilege of calling their own, genius mechanical gridstream engineer, brilliantly pioneering inventor... and dead man. But that’s what happens when a whiz kid messes with dynamic crystals and, apparently, comes to the attention of Baron Petra Stanslo. Killed for his revolu...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Blue on Black
Author:Carole Cummings
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Blue on Black Reviews

  • Lisa The Novel Approach

    If ever there was a book written that deserves to be an illustrated novel, it’s Carole Cummings’ Blue on Black, an alternate universe, twisted history, sci-fi/fantasy/steampunkish feast for the imagination and senses that sends readers on a synesthetic journey to an Old West-like place that, had it ever existed in reality, would have changed our own world dramatically.

    Blue on Black is a story that’s not so much woven together from beginning to end as it is deconstructed and put back

    If ever there was a book written that deserves to be an illustrated novel, it’s Carole Cummings’ Blue on Black, an alternate universe, twisted history, sci-fi/fantasy/steampunkish feast for the imagination and senses that sends readers on a synesthetic journey to an Old West-like place that, had it ever existed in reality, would have changed our own world dramatically.

    Blue on Black is a story that’s not so much woven together from beginning to end as it is deconstructed and put back together again. What I mean by that is the plot and characters, and how they relate to each other, are constructed of a series of knots at the outset that must be untangled in order for us to see the “big picture” resolve itself in the end. Everything in this novel is layered—the colors, the characters, the setting, the Tech, the grandiose scheme which has brought the outlier Stanslo’s Bridge and its robber baron, Petra Stanslo, to the attention of the Directorate—with a subtlety that makes you look just that little bit deeper to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Who are enemies, who are allies, and who is simply looking out for number one? When does servitude represent freedom and freedom, servitude? It’s a web we’re snared in from the start, and we must decipher it right along with our intrepid hero.

    Stanslo is both the Pandora’s Box and the Prometheus in the novel, dictator of a place where life often means death, where language is mind control, where double-think and its controlled insanity is delivered with a feral grin. Stanslo has opened up his twisted mind and spilled out an insane amount of narcissism upon his world, using people as leverage to oppress and fear to motivate them to carry out his plans, leaving the reader wondering where is their hope. He is predator and scavenger, exploiter and extortionist, both law and lawlessness, and he has stolen the spark (a spark he’s having trouble harnessing, by the way) necessary to unleash a technology upon humankind that humankind will not appreciate. Rather than a tool of progress, the technology in this novel is the agent of greed and lust and evil, and there seems to be no way to stop Stanslo before his delusions of grandeur give free reign to unchecked horror.

    This is where Bartholomew Eisen becomes integral to the story. Bas is a Grade 3 Tracker with the Directorate of the Consolidated Territories, which is a fancy way of saying he can not only sense Tech but can taste its colors, and by taste, can tell what sort of Tech a man or woman possesses. He’s been assigned to track a missing weatherTech, a case which ends up intersecting with another, a murder case he’s been investigating involving one of the most promising minds in gridTech ever to be born, Kimolijah Adani, and Kimolijah’s father Ajamil. And this is how Bas ends up in Stanslo’s Bridge posing as a gunslinger called Jakob Barstow.

    Narrated with no small amount of sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek humor, not to mention a flair that invokes comic book storytelling, Blue on Black is motion and movement in not only in its crafting but in the very magic of its Tech. Kimo’s power is all about the kinetic energy that flows through and from him, which draws all manner of attention to him, not to mention attracts the bad to him like a negative to a positive charge. “Everything that leaks from the Bruise goes after gridstream,” and poor Kimo is the target of the worst of it.

    The Bruise itself is a place, a contusion in the skin of this world from which mutant beasts escape, a place where Nature has been made wild and toxic, a foe of the humans who, in all its karmic glory, are the ones guilty of corrupting it in the first place. It is the place that has offered Stanslo the means to control and the method to compel his madness and incite his avarice, jealousy, suspicion, and obsession with his most prized possession, playing god in his own little corner of hell. But, as with all oppressors, a day of reckoning awaits, and it’s one of the book’s greatest and most satisfying ironies when it happens.

    There is action and suspense and danger between the covers of this novel, and while there is something building between Bas and Kimo amidst the destruction, Blue on Black is not a love story, though it is the story of two men who don’t know they’re falling into something that could be love, and doing it quite humorously, I might add. Really, how could they know, though, when one of them is in denial of his feelings, and the other is so full of anger and distrust that there isn’t much room for anything else? You’ve heard the idiom about someone having a burr under his saddle (or in other ::ahem:: delicate areas)? Well, the burrs in this book aren’t figurative, they are literal, and they play far too significant a role in Kimo’s life for him not to be more than a bit prickly. Plus, it’s hard to know love in the presence of fear, and it’s also rather difficult to recognize it when fear and love present some of the same physical symptoms—another lovely irony that.

    Blue on Black is yet another outstanding novel by this author. I have had the pleasure of reading all her published work to date and can say without reservation that each of her books is an experience that may make you think a little harder, but the payoff in the end is always well worth the journey.

    When you’re in the mood for an Alt U, Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure trip into an (un)reality of (un)imaginably fantastic proportions, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Blue on Black.

  • B.A. Brock

    Bas is a tech tracker, undercover. In his search for a few missing techs, he finds himself in the middle of a thug empire in the desert. Baron Stanslo is hiding more than Bas or the Directorate reckon, and while Bas keeps an eye out for the techs, he discovers a brutal world ruled by a mad man and populated by the oppressed and the bullies who oppress them. Fortunately, he’s skilled enough to become easily accepted into the illusive group; unfortunately, he may not be able to get back out.

    Bas is a tech tracker, undercover. In his search for a few missing techs, he finds himself in the middle of a thug empire in the desert. Baron Stanslo is hiding more than Bas or the Directorate reckon, and while Bas keeps an eye out for the techs, he discovers a brutal world ruled by a mad man and populated by the oppressed and the bullies who oppress them. Fortunately, he’s skilled enough to become easily accepted into the illusive group; unfortunately, he may not be able to get back out.

    Blue on Black by Carole Cummings is one of the best books I’ve read all year. Go read it! Review done. *wink*

    First thing I noticed: The writing was great, like, really super great.

    Second thing I noticed: I had no idea what was going on half the time and I loved it. I understood just what I needed to at the time, but I was surprised at every page. There were plot twists and plot twists and plot twists. Holy smokes—trust no one. I also appreciated how the magic system wasn’t completely spelled out for me. By the end of it I still had questions. I love that.

    The third thing I noticed was that the Blue on Black was striking some very familiar vibes, à la Steven King’s Dark Tower series. It wasn’t horror exactly, but it was steampunk, thrilling, terrifying in some respects (fuck spiders), and the plot and people were convoluted and diabolical. The cherry on top was the touch of magical realism.

    The characters had their own motivations and acted consistently. I don’t usually reread novels, but there are layers upon layers, and now that I’ve read it, I want to reread it and catch everyone in their lies. Kimo was probably my favorite character, but Bas was was another great one. Both were complex, believable, sexy in unique ways, and interesting. When I was reading this, I imagined the characters as they would be in a graphic novel—I could picture them perfectly. Cummings draws them so well.

    I didn’t classify this as a Romance, or erotic (no slash tags), but if you like those things, you won’t be disappointed. Trust me. At the same time, I’d recommend this to someone who doesn’t enjoy Romance, but loves spec fic.

    Carole Cummings has a website and a blog:

    . You can find her other works there, and on DSP’s website. I’ll definitely be reading more.

    ---------------------------------------

    B. A. Brock is a reviewer for DSP and QSF. He enjoys reading, writing, running, family and food, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is

    . You can find him on Goodreads:

    .

    Dreamspinner Press–Where Dreams Come True… International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007.

    DSP Publications–Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey.

    Harmony Ink Press–LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction.

  • Joyfully Jay

    What a ride! Blue on Black is another fantastic novel by Carole Cummings and one that keeps the reader desperately trying to keep up as it twists and turns to a blinding conclusion. The author has an excellent, natural voice that translates to an easy, comfortable writing style that is especially suited to this novel. The world building is intensely designed and it forces the reader to develop a new way of understanding the ordinary. This isn’t always easy and more

    What a ride! Blue on Black is another fantastic novel by Carole Cummings and one that keeps the reader desperately trying to keep up as it twists and turns to a blinding conclusion. The author has an excellent, natural voice that translates to an easy, comfortable writing style that is especially suited to this novel. The world building is intensely designed and it forces the reader to develop a new way of understanding the ordinary. This isn’t always easy and more than once I had to go back re-read passages to fully understand what was going on, but it was worth the extra time and patience on my part. Blue on Black is one of those unique novels that is simple and complex all at once. The plot is fairy straightforward, but interwoven at every turn is a mythos that is absolutely unique and unusual.

    Both Bas and Kimo captivate from the start. They are complete opposites, but they have a natural chemistry that works and never overpowers the story. The evolution of their relationship is strained, which under the circumstances, makes sense and seems normal. Kimo’s brilliant mind is both tortured and tangled and given that he lives with the constant threat of an excruciatingly painful death, he is surprisingly sane. But he sees no end to his torment and while he’s not exactly hopeless, his resistance to Bas and everything he wants to accomplish feels very real. Kimo forever wavers between desperation and self-destruction and as a reader you can’t help but sympathize with him. Bas is more practical and though he appreciates Kimo’s wondrously amazing mind, he doesn’t think in terms of what can be done, but rather what must be done. This pragmatism is out of place in the bizarre and dangerous world of Stanslo’s Bridge but it gives the reader an unshakeable connection to Bas. I think one of the biggest reasons these two characters work so well together is that they serve as a balance to one another. Kimo routinely creates the impossible while Bas grounds him to the reality of their world.

  • Leta Blake

    Brilliant, creative, breathtaking, fantastic, inspiring, and just all-together the best thing I've read this year so far. Go to Amazon and buy this book. It made me want to be a better writer. It made me aspire to reach these dizzy heights. Absolutely loved every last bit of it.

    If you love Westerns, SciFi, Fantasy, and angry gay men, if you love hurt/comfort, if you love messed up social dynamics and psychological messes, if you love not knowing what's coming next, then this is the b

    Brilliant, creative, breathtaking, fantastic, inspiring, and just all-together the best thing I've read this year so far. Go to Amazon and buy this book. It made me want to be a better writer. It made me aspire to reach these dizzy heights. Absolutely loved every last bit of it.

    If you love Westerns, SciFi, Fantasy, and angry gay men, if you love hurt/comfort, if you love messed up social dynamics and psychological messes, if you love not knowing what's coming next, then this is the book for you. I've read so many books over the years that I am almost NEVER surprised by anything in a book. My highest compliment is, "I didn't guess that in advance." There were some things in this book I did guess, but there were several I didn't, and that was such a freaking good feeling. I'm thrilled by this book. Amazed. BUY IT. :D

  • Kaje Harper

    This is a book for fantasy lovers, full of atmospheric steampunkish-magic/tech and imaginative world building. The main characters are great, and the action is tense and exciting.

    Bas is working undercover, looking for the killer of a young psionic gridTech genius whose charred corpse was found in his lab, and whose notebooks and journals documented a brilliant young man gone too soon. Bas has studied Kimolijah's writing, to the point where he feels like he knows and mourns the dead m

    This is a book for fantasy lovers, full of atmospheric steampunkish-magic/tech and imaginative world building. The main characters are great, and the action is tense and exciting.

    Bas is working undercover, looking for the killer of a young psionic gridTech genius whose charred corpse was found in his lab, and whose notebooks and journals documented a brilliant young man gone too soon. Bas has studied Kimolijah's writing, to the point where he feels like he knows and mourns the dead man. So he has seriously mixed feelings when he makes it to the outlaw-suspect's remote border town, and finds Kimo alive, and apparently, possibly even willingly, helping his captor build astonishing gridTech inventions.

    It's Bas's job, as a tracker, to sort out the truth, rescue any captive Techs, and restore justice. But in this small criminal empire, run by one half-crazy Baron with a bunch of hardened men, it's hard to figure out who is on what side. It doesn't help that there seem to be far more than just two sides. It also doesn't help that unknown alien creatures walk (and fly) in the area, that Kimo will talk only in obscure riddles, or that Bas's infatuation for a dead man is turning into a serious hard-on for a potentially insane or criminal live one.

    This is a slow, slow burn story with a lot of details. Both the action and the characters take a long time to unravel, and I spent the first half of the book alternately thrilled, charmed and baffled. Had I read straight through (and paid better attention) I think this would have been a 5-star read. But, because I didn't quite make that effort, some of the details of who among the wide cast of secondary characters was subject to whom, or had what abilities, or what past, escaped me. For that reason the climactic action, thrilling as it was, still confused me slightly.

    On the other hand, I adored Bas, and Kimo, and felt for both of them in the impossibilities of their situation. I was invested in their safety, and their attraction. I definitely wanted a happy ending for them. The book does provide a HFN, in beautifully-chosen words that let me set it down with a sigh. I love this author's prose, and recommend this for anyone who likes detailed fantasy or paranormal, with a side of slow-burn romance, and great characters.

  • Sherry

    This was great....this was detailed....this was very, very plot driven. It is a wonderful story that I will re-read to see what I missed along the way but for now.... I am exhausted and need a no brainer fluff story.

  • LenaLena

    Let’s start with the bad news: The middle part of this book is unnecessarily long and repetitive. It could have benefited greatly from tighter content editing. The arguments between Bas and Kimo all start running together at some point and the hanging out in Crazy Town in the desert gets monotonous too.

    The other thing the content editor should have caught is the sometimes repetitive phrasing. If you’re using a wink-wink-nudge-nudge reference to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (‘brai

    Let’s start with the bad news: The middle part of this book is unnecessarily long and repetitive. It could have benefited greatly from tighter content editing. The arguments between Bas and Kimo all start running together at some point and the hanging out in Crazy Town in the desert gets monotonous too.

    The other thing the content editor should have caught is the sometimes repetitive phrasing. If you’re using a wink-wink-nudge-nudge reference to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (‘brain the size of a planet’), you can do that once. Not five times. And -especially in the first part- there a few incongruously humorous phrases. It’s not like the book is too deadly serious and broody for humor, it’s not, but the steampunk Western setting with its massive body count and its psychopath control freak torture-happy robber Baron in charge does not gel with phrases like: ‘He lies awake and broods like a brooding thing…’ Please leave those for the Sterek fanfic writers.

    As long as I am making a list of what the content editor* missed, then I would also have requested a prologue type chapter set in the Territories, so I would have had a better idea of what passes for ‘normal’ society in this world and therefore I would better appreciate how abnormal Stanslo’s Bridge really is.

    Aside from those niggles, this book is great. The hot and dirty desert town is so vividly set you’ll be yearning for a cold beer and deodorant. It has a meaty, multi-layered mystery plot, with twists and surprises and we see plenty of action. The second half of the book reads like a train. One that runs on gridTech and has a canon mounted on top to shoot mutants with. Yeehaw!

    The romantic pairing is the Cummings standard couple. The slighter, more or less unhinged genius as the love interest and the older, larger, protective MC ,who gets yanked out of his comfort zone. It is what she likes to write and she writes it well. The book came with a warning from the publisher that it wasn’t a romance and it shouldn’t be judged as such, but I found it plenty romantic. It has a very hopeful HFN, so I am not sure what the issue would be? Maybe they have a minimum percentage of sex scenes that wasn’t met by this book. On the Carole Cummings Angst-o-meter that ranges from Queen’s Librarian at the bottom to the Wolf’s Own series at the top, I’d say it rates just a little under Aisling, but still well above Queen’s Librarian (thank god).

    Anyway, despite a saggy center part, this is an interesting, plot-like-an-onion driven story that should satisfy most fantasy fans of the steampunkish variety.

    *Btw, the line editing is great, I don’t remember seeing even one typo and that’s not something I would have expected from an associated-with-Dreamspinner publication.

  • Eepa *mm loving bookworm*

    2,5 stars really. Waaaay too complicated and the first 20-30% was dreadfully dull. And I still don't know what the title actually means. I know where it comes from but I never understood why even that thing was made so complicated. So not book for me.

  • Julio Genao

    really chewy start, but far more action and escandalo than other novels by this author. sometimes it was too voicey for me; sometimes the pace slowed way, way down. but overall i found myself unwilling to set the book aside until i found out what happened next.

    some regrettable DSP editing gaffes aside, a fun and twisty story.

    occasionally pretty funny, too :-)

  • M'rella

    Thank god for the blurb, or I would have been lost forever in the first measly 4% of the book (that's 17 pages of the most itsy-bitsy-tiniest text I've ever seen).

    I am rating only the part that I read, that same part that left me completely disoriented and feeling "slow" because I am not ....smart enough? proficient in English enough? to keep up with the author's imagination.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.