Friday, October 30, 2009

October '09

-A. Norton-fantasy
-144-a young man of half blood [Starman and native] must go with the last group of Starmen leaving the planet. They use a "gate" to travel to alternate worlds of the same world. Due to being chased, they are stranded on a world where the Star Lords are evil, corrupt gods. The young man helps with the downfall of the evil Star Lords and then travels on, looking for a world never inhabited. A nice YA novel that is well written but brief. To bad more authors today don't take lessons from Norton. She knew how to write!

-T. Denning-fantasy
-352- Luke and Ben go on some weird force trip and meet dead people. Some darkside force is manipulating the sith to capture the Skywalkers. More Jedi go crazy and there is more confrontation between the Galactic Alliance and Jedi Order.

-P. Wylie & E. Balmer-scifi
-192-the world is on a collision course with 2 planets heading into our solar system. A group of scientists gather a group of select people and work on a rocket ship to take them to the second, smaller, hopefully inhabitable planet. For something written back in the 1930's, this was really good.

-B. Herbert & K. Anderson-scifi
-448-a direct sequel to Dune Messiah. This looks at Alia as she is forced to deal with the Empire after Paul so abruptly leaves. Jessica plays a big part too. Where the Dune Chronicles were big in scope and vision, these books between books by Herbert and Anderson seem to be looking at the nitty-gritty, the small. And I don't like that contrast. Dune SHOULD be big and galactic and over-arching. I'll continue to read these other Dune books, but I have no interest in buying them. Messing with immediate past, far past and ending the series is one thing, messing between books is another. It is just messy.

-T. Brooks-fantasy
-352-this was just another tired rehash. About Ben and Willow's daughter. She is a teenager and rebellious and is sent off to a library to fix it. She rebels, Edgewood Dirk the prism cat convinces her to go anyway, she goes, discovers an evil magician [there only seem to be evil or inept magicians in Landover by the way] who is trying to open a gate to Abaddon and in the end takes care of everything and learns a valuable lesson about listening to her elders and yet doing exactly what she wants to anyway. I am not sure I can stomach much more of Brooks' stuff. Give me at least another year or two.

-L.E. Modesitt, Jr-scifi
-303-I gave Modesitt a final chance with this book. He failed. It is at least 1000-1500 years after the fall of the American Empire but at least 2-3 times per chapter the main character is reminded in one form or another how evil they were and how enlightened and wonderful this new society is. First off, who even talks about empires thousands of years in the past. The past is forgotten and the evils of a generation are glossed over by newer evils. It was just another diatribe against capitalism wrapped in Modesitt's scifi universe. Only his Recluce stuff for me now.

-B. Sanderson-fantasy
-588-an interesting stand-alone story. People can give their "breath" [life essence] to another person and it enhances certain aspects of perception. The overall story deals with a kingdom split in the past that are now being manipulated to go to war by a third country. Deals with people who were present at the first split 300 years ago and how they are either trying to make up for what they did or running away from it. My first thought was how much like Mistborn it was, but it was different enough that it didn't feel like a copy. There was a lot of humor and I just laughed out loud several times. I would like to see Sanderson explore this world or the Elantris world more. But given his involvement in the finishing up of The Wheel of Time series, that is doubtful. This was a worthwhile read.

RANMA 1/2 #9-11
-R. Takahashi-manga

-D. Moriyama-manga

-J. Stroud-YA fantasy
-501-the conclusion to this trilogy. Turns out certain demons have been planning revenge on the human race. They have figured out a way to take over a human host which gets rid of many of the drawbacks of being summoned. Nathanial finally stops being a complete ass right at the end and kills off all the hybrids with Gladstone's Staff. Finally, he unleashes the complete potential of the Staff to destroy the leader and in the process gives his life up. I have to admit, at first I didn't like the ending. Then I realized these books were about Bartimaeus, not Nathanial. Probably won't be reading any more by this guy though.

-R.A. Salvatore-fantasy
-805-consisting of Homeland, Exile and Sojourn, this chronicles the beginnings of Drizz't Do'Urden, renegade drow. From his birth and growing up years in which he realizes he cannot be a typical drow [capricious, backstabbing, evil], his exile in the Underdark and realization that the Drow will never cease trying to kill him, to his journey to the surface world and his adventures to gain acceptance, these stories tell of a Drow of great skill and kind heart. Okay, so not the best writing ever, pretty shallow, but a good rousing tale to wile the time away.

-J. Rollins-fiction
-330-the final nail in the Indiana Jones franchise's coffin. An old Indi is kidnapped by russians, along with a loser kid, who turns out to be his son by the woman from the first Indi movie. Aliens are at the heart of this adventure and they all go into a big black hole at the end or something. Glad I read the book and didn't spend money on seeing the movie.

RANMA 1/2 #12-14
-R. Takahashi-manga

-R. Feist-fantasy
-1295- the complete original Riftwar Saga, which includes Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness At Sethanon. After having idolized this series from my highschool days, it was good to re-read it with a more mature reading taste. It still stands tall :-). A fantastic tale. A bit unpolished, but given it was Feist's first series, to be expected. Adventure and magic and fighting and bad bad guys and good good guys. I like this and would still recommend it.

-B. Sanderson-YA fantasy
-308-oh my. What a tale. Cross A Series of Unfortunate Events with something light, upbeat and funny, with a dash of the Mistborn non-hero, and this is what you get. I laughed the entire way through the book. A thirteen year old boy finds out that he is an Ocularist and must fight evil Librarians, who want to box and order everything. His grandfather helps him along with 2 cousins and a 13year old girl who is a knight. Their powers are hilarious. Alcatraz can break things. His grandfather can be late for anything, his cousins can trip and speak gibberish. I don't know how this will hold up to repeated readings, but on a first read, it was GREAT!