Saturday, November 29, 2008

November '08

-C. Dickens-classic
-479- a young boy helps a convict and he in turns makes the boy's fortune later in life and in secret. It all comes to naught though and the convict dies and the boy, now a man, must make it on his own. I enjoyed this story, but the main character, except right at the end, is one of the typical "gentlemen" of the times. Loose with money, miserable and doing anything to make that misery disappear. He is a shallow, selfish jerk. Redeemed at the end, but 20-30 pages against 430+ doesn't do a whole lot.

-C. Dickens-classic
-230- Dickens' last novel, unfinished. A young man, Edwin Drood, is affianced to a young lady who his uncle is in love with. The uncle is a scoundrel, in secret. Edwin disappears and suspicion is thrown on a young man who is also in love with the fiance. Probably the uncle though. But we will never know. It just ends, very abruptly. Drat that Dickens' for dying! As bad that Jordan guy ;-)

-C. Dickens-classic
-501- a young boy is brought up on the streets but taken in by kind people. Goes through various struggles and ends up being the rightful heir to a deadman. More of a social commentary on the workhouses of the times. Horrible places and run by hypocrites. Young Oliver is an innocent and a joy to read about.

-L.E. Modesitt, Jr-fantasy
-400- Kharl the cooper saves a neighbors daughter from rape. Then he saves a young black staffer from Recluce. The man he thwarts is the son of the local lord. Kharl's consort is killed, his sons leave him and his cooperage is taxed out of his control. He leaves, learns some about Order on his own and helps a ruler from being displaced. Gets lands and a title in another land. Probably going to be a sequel about him going back to his land and giving justice. This was the most "novel" of them to date. Not much repetition and noise words.

-T. Dekker-fiction
-347- a sequel to Showdown, of sorts. A man has been stripped of his very identity and memories and rebuilt, many times. He is an assassin. He doesn't know when something is a test or the real thing as he is conditioned. He is sent to kill the US President but meets up with Samuel and David Abraham from Showdown. Turns out he is Johnny from Paradise and he has special powers. He comes to a showdown of his own with a fictitious character named The Englishman who has similar powers. Johnny ends up 'believing' and loses his normal eyesight but gains something like Ghostriders soulsear eyesight or something. Also uses 2 sentences to tie in House, which I thought was wicked cool. Pretty shallow, but I enjoyed it and would consider buying it.

-I. Asimov-scifi
-227-a galaxy spanning empire of 12 millenia is crumbling. One man, Hari Seldon, uses psychohistory to plot a course to shorten the new dark age from 30,000 years to 1000 years. To do this, he establishes 2 Foundations. This book deals with the First Foundation, a collection of scientists who embody all the collective knowledge needed to bring about the Second Galactic Empire. Follows the Foundation through the first couple of hundred years as it weathers "Seldon Crises" and becomes the nucleus of the New Empire.

-I. Asimov-scifi
-227-the Foundation comes head to head with the remnant of the First Empire and conquers it. A genetic mutant with the ability to twist peoples emotions ends up foiling the Seldon Plan and taking over the galaxy. Introduces the Second Foundation, a foundation of Mentalists. The Mule, the mutant, hunts them down to destroy them. The book ends with him being foiled by a couple who are First Foundationers.

-I. Asimov-scifi
-225- the Mule continues his hunt. Comes head to head with the Second Foundation, loses and never realizes it. After his demise, the First Foundation feels threatened and begins to try to hunt down the Second Foundation so as to be unrivaled. Through some tricky mindstuff, the Second Foundation, which is to be the true guardian of psychohistory, convinces the First Foundation that they have been destroyed. These three novels were written back in the 50's and they are just good vintage scifi. Simple, easy and yet extremely enjoyable.

-E.R. Burroughs-scifi
-208-John Carter goes to another city to break up an assassins guild. They in turn kidnap his wife. End up going to a moon of mars and back to rescue her. Ugh. I can't stand these anymore. I wish I hadn't bought them. Well, I will end up finishing the series next year. Only 3 more stories to go. But I need at least 4 months between these.

-T. Brooks-fantasy
-304-Ben and Willow's child is kidnapped by Nightshade. Nightshade uses the child's magic against Ben before he gets a clue and realizes what is going on. Ends with everything ok and Nightshade as a crow in our world. This book had absolutely nothing interesting in it. Which is why it was the last of the Landover novels. But it was typical Brooks, so who knows why this series didn't take off like the Shannara one.

-T. Dekker-suspense/thriller
-349- a killer is on the loose in a smalltown and seems hellbent on having 5 specific people kill each other, based on who is most ugly. It is just weird. Turns out it is all in a "game" that is testing new tech on epileptic people. But the badguy is one of the players turned bad. This was a thriller through and through. Some very vague references to universal truths, but without Christ, so it seemed like they were just kind of thrown in. I enjoyed this, knowing that things were NOT as they seemed, but having no idea how they were not :-) Dekker likes colors in regards to his villians names-Marsuvees Black, Barsidious White, Sterling Red in this one. Two things I didn't care for; 1: Tied it to the Circle Trilogy world, probably in reference to his new Lost Books quaddrilogy, just too blatant. 2: It ends with them still in the game, and you never know when or if they'll get out. Other than those 2 things, this was a fantastic page turner that just entertained the darkside of me :-)

-L.E. Modesitt, Jr-fantasy
-494- Kharl goes back to his homecountry and ends up finding a new consort and killing off a bunch of white mages and Egen, the man responsible for killing his family and driving him from Brysta. I enjoyed this, but nothing special in any way.

-T. Zahn-scifi
-379-Compton and Bayta help a girl who is part of a group. This group is in symbiosis with a variant of the Mhodri, in an attempt for the Chahwyn to create an army of their own to fight back against the Mhodri. This was so filled with "I know that they know that I know that I will do this to..." that it was just confusing. Read the first 2 or 3 chapters, read the last 3 chapters, and your have the story in a nutshell. I enjoyed this only because I enjoyed the previous 2 books in the series. Pretty blase work though. I really hope Zahn ups his game in any forthcoming Quadrail books or I'm afraid they just won't be worth reading.

-J. Ringo-military scifi
-366- basically take Doom and parts of Starcraft, specificall the Zerg, add in some military hardware jargon and you've got this book. Some rogue physicist creates some kind of gate that throws out bosun particles, which allow gates to be opened to other planets. The dreen come through one and we go through another and meet some friendly aliens. The dreen take over planets and suck them dry of resources. The dreen are zerglike, growing creatures for specific needs. Besides some profanity and some seriously over the top weapon specifications[it IS military scifi though], this was enjoyable. I plan on reading some more in this series.

-T.&L. Hickman-fantasy
-433- 3 worlds. One of men, dragons and dwarves. One of goblins and mechanical titans. One of elves, dryads, nyads, etc. One man, Galen, is taken as an "Elect", or madman under the laws of the dragonkings. He dreams of another world. The fae world. His dreams and communications within them become real. Begins the start of humanity throwing off the chains of the dragonkings. It seems that all 3 worlds are somehow going to become one and the dreams are precursor to it. It seems that communication between worlds opens up the user to a well of "deep magic". Plan on finishing the series.

-E. Isaak-fantasy
-469- this novel had an interesting plotline. A king dies, his brother kills his heirs and wife but lets his fave nephew live, but castrates him and sends him to live with singing monks. The nephew comes back many years later and retakes his throne. Ok, now the real review. This was a HORRIBLE book. By horrible, I mean I would gladly do physical violence to the author to prevent her from ever writing again. Why, you ask? Let me tell you. This lady either hates men, doesn't understand them AT all OR has some insane desire for men to actually be women inside. ALL the male good characters are the most effeminate, emotional, wussy and plain cowardly wusses I have ever wanted to throttle and then run through. How many times can you read about men "...touched his shoulder and gazed into his eyes" without wanting to just totally puke it all up! And the thing is, it is not at all homosexual. It is just girly. Men acting like women, WRONGO!

-L. Byers-fantasy
-344-a forgotten realms novel. This series is about the drow, dark elves. The ones living beneath the earth. They worship some spider goddess, who is apparently doing something of her own and leaving them to fend for themselves. Chronicles what is happening as the ruling caste loses their power. The drow appear to be the worst kind of creature I could imagine. Elves, but with no love, no honor, nothing good. Pure ambition, even to the hurt of their own houses. I only have the first 3 books and the libraries don't have the rest, so I don't know if I'll be finishing this series or not.