-fiction/philosophy-a bare outline of a story covering the philosophic underpinnings of the objectivest movement. One man, John Galt, removes the best and brightest from the world so that they cannot keep being preyed upon by the "looters". Ends with the collapse of the country [possibly world, but we never actually know] and the thinkers getting ready to take their country back. This was not necessarily an enjoyable book to read, mainly because the characters were simply avatars of ideals that the author holds and every couple of chapters one would start spouting the objectivest viewpoint, in expansively great detail, completely shattering the flow of the story. But like I said, this wasn't really a story, just a cover.
Now to discuss the philosophy part. It posits that there is no God, no afterlife, nothing spiritual, just the material. Hence, the goal of man is to make himself happy. Rand states that each man doing his best to make himself happy will, in the end, make many more people happy as well. Trickle over happiness. Responsibility is a point that is hugely stressed and greatly needed in our day and age. Overall though, this is not something that a Christian could subscribe to. Parts of it, yes. I realize this book delves a lot deeper than what I just wrote, but I don't want to write a treaty myself.
FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN: PRODIGAL MAGE
-fantasy-the sequel to the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology. 10 years later. I couldn't stand this. While Asher was a joy to read about before, now he and Dathne are just nagging people who are completely, willfully, blind to their children's emerging talent. I realize that is a large thrust of the story, but when I just want to throttle every adult character, well, that ruins the reading experience.
POLITY: SPLATTERJAY: VOYAGE OF THE SABLE KEECH
-scifi-10 years after the events of Skinner. A surviving prador gets infected with the hooper virus and ends up going back to Prador space to challenge the king. Also deals with a bunch of reifs who are trying to recreate Sable Keech's resurrection. All ties together and stuff.
BARTIMAEUS: RING OF SOLOMON
-ya fantasy-Bartimaeus around the time of Solomon. Nothing noteworthy or worth writing about.
OTHERLAND: CITY OF GOLDEN SHADOW
-scifi-a near future where online is almost as real as rl. Some rich people, however, are creating an online world to rival the real world. Various characters get sucked into the story line, even if we, the reader, don't know where they fit into the overall picture. A very good job of building the story up, reaching a satisfactory conclusion, while keeping the plot wide open. I read this in the bookclub hardcover edition, which, while hardcover, isn't as big as a first edition. Man, what a pain! I had to constantly use 2 hands, rest the book on something, etc, etc. It was unwieldy. I will be reading the rest of the series on my ereader for sure!
CIRQUE DU FREAK: ALLIES OF THE NIGHT
-ya fantasy-Darren runs into Debby, and she gets taken by Vampaneze and the group has a run in with the Vampaneze Lord.
DRESDEN FILES: BLOOD RITES
-urban fantasy-Harry goes to work as a bodyguard/investigator for a small time porn film producer. The White Court is involved, Harry finds out he has a half-brother and it looks like he and the female cop could end up hooking up.
MECHWARRIOR: MERCENARY'S STAR
-scifi-Gray Death Legion is hired by a planet to help throw off a Great House's yoke. Lots of "then he fired his PPC, then the massive 125mm chaingun until the..." blah blah blah. These are interesting little war stories, but nothing that I ever would get really excited about.
SHADOW WAR: SHADOW MOON
-a sequel to the movie "Willow". I got about 3 pages in and then realized I just didn't care about this at all, nor was I interested.
THE TWO JUNGLE BOOKS
-fiction-the name is really misleading. There are several short stories about Mowgli and his adventures in the Jungle, but there are just as many short stories about seals, eskimoes, etc, and TONS of stupid 'songs' that I really couldn't enjoy this like I did Kim.
CASTLE BRASS: COUNT BRASS
-fantasy-5 years after the events of The Runestaff. Hawkmoon is happily living with his wife and 2 children at Castlebrass. Then 3 friends appear from the dead, and it turns out that one of the Dark Empire Techno-mages is still alive and dimension hopping and trying to topple the new regime. Hawkmoon deals with him, but all his friends die, again, and when Hawkmoon wakes up, it turns out everything of the last 5 years was a delusion and he had been mad. Never had a wife or kids [she died at the last great battle against the Dark Empire] and imagined everything.
RANGER'S APPRENTICE: RUINS OF GORLAN
-ya fantasy-a foundling is taken into the Ranger trade and saves his master and becomes a good ranger. This was actually quite well done. From the beginning to end, I found the main character open, engaging and a good stereotypical hero type. I like those :-) A good plot, with hints and then some real meat, about an overall danger to the kingdom and you know the main character will be playing a pivotal role to save the kingdom. And it deals with knights, monsters, etc, etc, so it is all cool.
PERCY JACKSON: LIGHTNING THIEF
-ya fantasy-Percy Jackson is a delinquent. Kicked out of schools every year, failing almost every grade, etc, etc, but not a troublemaker. Turns out he is a son of a Poseiden and a human. Someone stole Zeus's thunderbolt and everyone thinks it was Percy. So he has to find it, return it, clear his name and stay alive while every godling tries to kill him. Really enjoyable and Riordan does a fantastic job of explaining Greek mythology without boring the reader and bringing it up to the 21st century.
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS
-ya fantasy-turns out Kronos is trying to take back the universe from the gods. So Percy and Co. have to set out to find the golden fleece to heal their camp. Only it turns out it was a long term trap by Kronos. Turns out one of the children of Zeus, Poseidon, or Hades will forever change the world of the gods on their 16th birthday. However, those three had agreed to have no more kids with mortals. Only they lied. Everyone thought Percy was the only one, but the fleece brought back to life a daughter of Zeus.
MECHWARRIOR: PRICE OF GLORY
-scifi-Gray Death Legion gets suckered. They fulfill a contract to get a world of their own as a base. Only it turns out the world has a secret Lost Library and Com Star [a supposedly neutral techno-religious group, which acts like a secret 6th Great House] wants that library. So lots of backstabbing, betrayals and fighting. The Legion survives, barely.
ARTHURIAN SAGA: THE CRYSTAL CAVE
-fantasy-another Arthur saga. This is about Merlin, obviously. Lots of non-christian god stuff and setting the historical stage for Arthur. I didn't really care for this and the story just never drew me in.
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
-fiction-fantastic story. A little orphan girl comes to live with 2 old people [brother and sister] on Prince Edward Island. She forever changes their lives with her personality, etc. Extremely engaging, well written, great characterization, never boring and a story that has such a timeless plot of love and change, that I can see this becoming a "classic" in the future. It should anyway :-)
OTHERLAND: RIVER OF BLUE FIRE
-scifi-the group gets split up, then comes back together, all the while we're finding out more about the Grail Society and hints of what is going on with the Otherland Network.
PERCY JACKSON: THE TITAN'S CURSE
-ya fantasy-Percy and Co have to deal with yet another prophecy and have adventures and it turns out that a son of Hades is alive, he was just stuck in a hotel that warped time. But Thalia [daughter of Zeus] joins Artemis, so she will never turn 16, so the prophecy won't apply to her.
RANGER'S APPRENTICE: THE BURNING BRIDGE
-ya fantasy-Will ends up on a mission with Horace to stop a surprise attack by Morgarath on the kingdom. He and some girl, who turns out to be King Duncan's daughter, are kidnapped by Scandians and the last scene is of Halt seeing the boat take off with them aboard.
CASTLE BRASS: CHAMPIONS OF GARATHORM
-fantasy-Hawkmoon is convinced to go on a mission and he ends up giving his soul to another champion for a short while on another quest. And his wife returns and she remembers their children too. So something is up. Oh yeah, seems to be some sort of cosmic smackdown going on, Lords of Chaos and Law are fighting for their existences.
2 unfinished novels