RANMA 1/2 #34-36
HUNTER X HUNTER #22-26
CASTINGS: DEEP WATER
-fantasy- the sorcerer manages to raise the dead and razes towns. The others end up on various other adventures to stop him. Enjoyable, but enough different things going on that trying to focus on one storyline is almost impossible.
CASTINGS: FULL CIRCLE
-fantasy-the conclusion to the trilogy. Acton's ghost, the man credited with the invasion, is brought forth, the truth revealed about the past, the ghosts settled and everybody goes on into a future that looks promising. A nice neat ending.
-thriller-a fat lush is the head of a super security firm and has to protect two oil factories from terrorists. Banal, unsurprising, uninteresting. Feels like a ghost writer did this.
-medical thiller-a scientist injects 12 deathrow inmates with a serum intended to make them into super soldiers. And 1 little 6 year old girl. The inmates turn into vampires/giant bats, escape and the virus spreads. It kills 9 out of 10 people in America, and it seems greater amounts in the rest of the world. The last pockets of humanity huddle together, waiting for extinction. Follows the inmates, little girl at the beginning of the story. Then we switch to a compound 100 years later, of survivors. Ends with the girl taking out one of the 12 and the survivors hooking up with a large military group. Reminded me greatly of The Stand. The beginning was interesting. The middle was wicked boring, even though you needed to see how life went on in the compound. The last part was good. Lots of action and fighting, etc. And it looks good for humanity. Then the last chapter is a journal entry by a character with the group in which you realize that the group gets wiped out. Humanity survives, evidenced by the date of recovery of the journal [1003 AV], just not most of the characters we've been following. Cronin sucks.
SEASON OF THE SPELLSONG: SPELLSINGER
-fantasy-a 24 year old prelaw student, who is a complete pot head, is whisked to another dimension by a powerful wizard [a turtle] to be that worlds savior from an "evil menace". The guy is an idiot, and can supposedly work magic through a kind of guitar. Very rarely. And the world is populated by anthropomorphic animals, and humans are a very small part of the big picture. So it comes down to this: this novel is a story for Foster to admit his secret love of furry'ism, pot and 80's music.
SEASON OF THE SPELLSONG: THE HOUR OF THE GATE
-fantasy-finishes the storyline of the ancient evil. A country of bugs had somehow gotten hold of a military computer full of weapons technology. Ends with the baddies setting off a nuclear bomb in their own camp. Kind of hard to come back from that. Spellsinger boy is a whiner and Foster is constantly referencing songs by groups without giving any lyrics, expecting his audience to be familiar with them. Written for an age group, not for good literature.
SEASON OF THE SPELLSONG: THE DAY OF DISSONANCE
-fantasy-Wizard turtle sends pothead boy and crew off to find him some magic medicine. Cross oceans, face death, etc, etc. Get the medicine, turns out to be aspirin, which pothead boy had in his pockets when he was transported. Gets a little more into Foster's desire for Furry and also introduces the fantasy of hot girls, who are minors. Foster was a real bastard with this series. Should be ashamed to have written it.
DIRK GENTLY'S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY
-humor-in the same universe as the Hitchhiker books and very similar in type of humor. The main character knows Dirk Gently and this story is about them as they prevent a multi-billion year old alien ghost from changing the past and wiping out humans. Nothing spectacular, but a fun read.
SHADOWS OF THE APT: BLOOD OF THE MANTIS
-fantasy-the story continues. The wasps take over a spider town, Archeos gets ahold of the mysterious box, only to have it stolen by a mosquito kinden and almost killed and the wasps begin a concentrated battle for the lowlands. This is so well written that I just got sucked in and the end of the book took my by surprise because I was thinking I had pages and pages to go. Looking forward to the next book with great anticipation.
TWELVE KINGDOMS: SKIES OF DAWN
-fantasy-the story of 3 girls. Yoko, the new king of Kei, must face rebellious underlings who isolate her and keep her out of the loop. Shoukei, a former princess of another kingdom, must learn about real life and the responsibilities she forsook as a princess. Suzu, a human from our world, like Yoko, learns that she alone decides if she is miserable or happy. All three stories intertwine and weave together seamlessly and the end works out very well. I continue to enjoy these light novels and the wonder and joy began by the anime is alive and well in these novels.
THE FOURTH REALM: THE GOLDEN CITY
-thriller/scifi-the conclusion. Maya is pregnant with Gabriel's child. Michael goes to the realm of the half-gods who have ruthlessly ruled their world and now want to take over the rest of the realms. Gabriel meets his father in the realm of the gods, who would appear to be 'good' angels and who have disappeared, leaving humanity on their own. In the end the Tabula is split apart from within, Gabriel rallies the world and Gabe and Michael faceoff inbetween and neither comes out of their traveler sleep by the end of the book. The only real finish possible to this series, since Hawks obviously doesn't believe in God. He foists the ending off into the nebulous "future". I have to say, I enjoyed this more than the second novel, even though less happened and more philosophy was spouted. The only thing I don't get is why Michael was suddenly so afraid of Gabriel at the end. It just didn't make any sense to me.
ELSEWORLD: SUPERMAN: TRUE BRIT
-ecomic-Superman falls to England instead of America. Sadly, John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, was involved, so the humor was that style. This was a parody and a farce. Turned the "Clarks" into a couple who cared more about what the neighbors thought than what was good for their son. Colin [Kal-el] is a spineless idiot who can't do anything right, even being super. If I had known it was supposed to be a farce, I might have enjoyed it more. I didn't though, so I was expecting a Red Son for England. Bleh.
RIYRIA REVELATIONS: AVEMPARTHA
-fantasy-taking place half a year or so after Crown Conspiracy. The 2 thieves get roped into helping a village being destroyed by a magical construct left over from the man/elf wars. Esrahaddon is involved, the Nyphron church gets involved and a young girl from the village ends up being declared the Empress of the New Empire. I thought this was a good stepping stone up from the previous novel. It was fast paced, exciting and I had a good time reading it. I was very glad that I had the next book available though. The pacing lent itself to reading very fast, without a break.
RIYRIA REVELATIONS: NYPHRON RISING
-fantasy-splits the story between the empress [who is a puppet] and Royce and Adrian. The New Empire is taking over, with long term planning help from the Nyphron church. Several revelations are made about the past, and future, of Royce and Hadrian and the true Heir is revealed. Esrahaddon shows his conniving wizardly ways and you still don't know if he should be trusted, simply because his agenda is unclear. The empress's story was nicely done. She has gone into a moving coma practically, so the story is really more about a serving maid who draws her out and makes her want to live again. Gave a nice touch and contrasted nicely with the devious scheming of the church.
VLAD TALTOS: ATHYRA
-fantasy-Vlad is on the run from the Jhereg. Comes across an old enemy and dukes it out and kills the undead guy. Told from the viewpoint of a village healer apprentice, who's an Athyra. Nothing in it really stood out. There was no real connection with Vlad, no real reason to root for him besides his history. Nothing here made me want to care about his future.
EARTHFLEET SAGA: THE OORT PERIMETER
-scifi-everybody "smirked" and did things "slyly". Seriously. This guy needs to learn to write better. This was a free download and while I appreciate the effort the guy put into writing this, it needs serious help. I certainly won't be reading any more of his stuff.
EMPIRE: DAUGHTER OF THE EMPIRE
-J. Wurts & R. Feist-epub-377
-fantasy-FANTASTIC! I was expecting a trilogy about the Keshian Empire on Midkemia. Instead, we get a novel about Kelewan. How cool is that? Anyway, a family is betrayed, all members killed in battle on Midkemia, except one 16 year old girl. She becomes the head of her house, which is down to under 40 warriors, and has to play the Game of the Council to survive. It was written very well, with characters being alive and real and each success, or defeat, made you want to shout or groan. I think this is a great trilogy to stand by the Riftwar Saga. Characterizations, machinations, world building, all were done superbly and I look forward greatly [!] to the next 2 novels.
ROBOTECH: SYMPHONY OF LIGHT
-scifi-oh my goodness. this was the book that would never end! Except where hints about the Sentinels and the past life of Hunter, etc, were concerned, this was yet another word for word from the anime. No character stood out. They were all cookie cutter, cast away putzes. I did not enjoy this at all and am wondering about the wisdom of starting the Sentinels series. We'll see.
GUARDIAN OF THE FLAME: THE SLEEPING DRAGON
-fantasy-a group of gamers is transported to a fantasy world. There they assume the characteristics and knowledge [or lack thereof] of their characters. An interesting concept. Then one of the characters is gutstabbed in an inn and dies. Let the gamers know this was a real world, and let us readers know that safety and home were not assured for the characters. And there was another instance where the 2 women of the group get gangraped, for hours, while the others are captive. They are avenged, but it just left a bad taste in my mouth. Nothing graphic, and while it made sense within the storyline, it just felt wrong. The survivors make it back to our world, only to go back to the fantasy world to revive a dead companion. Interesting concept, written ok, very disfunctional characters. Will read the next one or two in the series.
1 Unfinished Novel
11 Graphic Novels/Manga