Thursday, July 31, 2008

July '08

-T. Pratchett-fantasy
-338-Vimes goes back in time and must resolve a time conundrum to make "his" future happen. Vimes is getting old. Character age wise. Also interesting wise. Pratchett needs to move on. This whole book screamed "tired" at me. Sure, there were amusing parts, but overall, it seemed that trying to read it was as hard a process as Vimes getting up in the morning. The Discworld "ride" is slowing down and almost at the gate for debarking. I just hope Pratchett knows when to stop.

-T. Pratchett-fantasy
-158-written back in '76, this is one of Pratchett's pre-Discworld novels. BUT. So many of the names and ideas from discworld were in this novel. Basically, a young man finds the creators of the known universe, the Jokers, who are now little lizards on his homeworld. It was a crazy story with huge jumps from point to point. A serious precursor to Discworld. Pratchett wrote one little book and then expanded it to a whole series and called it the Discworld :-)

-N. Takaya-manga
-209- this manga is no longer about Tohru, but about the cursed Soma family. I don't like this. Every single member of the clan is the most messed up person ever. Doesn't exactly make for uplifting reading. Ever time I get tempted to go buy Fruits Basket, I just read the next volume and it depresses me and the desire to buy disappears.

-C. Dickens-classic
-599-An idiot[mentally retarded], Barnaby is swept up into mob action of protestants against catholics. Is caught and sentenced to hang, but in the end his many friends save him. Sidestories of an innkeepers son and a smith's daughter. A catholic landholders niece and a protestant "lord"'s son. Barnaby's father, who supposedly died many years ago. The protestant "lord"'s illegitimate son and his rabble rousing companions. Overall, it was a fictional account of a non-fictional incident [the riots of "something or other" or 1786 or whatever]. Dickens never writes just one story, but about 4-6 interweaving stories that are all tangentially connected. Good stuff!

-L.E. Modesitt, Jr-fantasy
-558-a different series by Modesitt. A young man, a herder with some sort of talent, goes into a local militia. In a fight, is captured and taken prisoner. Forced to wear a collar that can kill unless orders are obeyed, he joins the other side. The other side is run by the Matrial, an ageless woman. In the end, the man destroys a crystal which seems to be the Matrial's lifesupport and takes a company of soldiers back to his homeland. I really enjoyed this story. A completely different flavor than Recluce and a very different writing style. It flowed, more novel like, instead of the choppiness that permeates the Recluce books. Look forward to reading more.

-L.E. Modesitt, Jr-fantasy
-720-Lorn becomes Emperor of Cyador in the end. This was a pretty flat book. It was like drinking cola that has been sitting open in the fridge all night long. It has taste, but not something you really want or like. I felt no connection with Lorn and I didn't see how him becoming Emperor would enable him to save Cyador. New faces but same problems and gridlock. Blah.

-S. Erikson-fantasy
-598- oh man, where to start? I'm not really going into the plot, too many different threads, almost Dickensesque. I really enjoy this series. Erikson pays attention to detail, has a very fullbodied storyline and obviously has an overarching storyline. First thing though, it all gets confusing. Creatures more powerful than gods. So many different kinds, names, etc, etc. It seems to be getting to the point where being a god is pointless because there are so many other things just as, if not more, powerful. Second, nobody is safe. Anybody can die. Of course, nobody is of the Heroic Cast, so you dont really feel happy or sad about them. Thirdly, this book seemed filled with the hopelessness of living in such a world. One characters sums it up as "smile, what else is there?" There really is no hope for characters. Even death isn't always final, nor is it necessarily a release. Nor is god-hood a safety. There are things meant to simply deal with the powerful. I wouldn't want to live in this world, not at all!