Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February '12

The MotiveThe Motive by John Lescroart

Dtb, 404 pages
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I did not realize this was Book 11 in a series. And after reading it, I still couldn't really tell. Just vague hints of the past and the future.

I guess if you like murder thrillers with large dashes of legality thrown in, this is for you.

I just read it because I needed a dtb for when my ereader was down. Outside of my genre to boot. Not a waste of time, but will not be seeking out more by the author.

I Shall Wear Midnight: A Story Of DiscworldI Shall Wear Midnight: A Story Of Discworld by Terry Pratchett

Dtb, 359 Pages
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This felt very "tacked on" to the Tiffany Aching series.

and boy, did Pratchett allow his vitriol and hate of religion show through. I know he has always not been shy about making fun of religion or anything, but this wasn't making fun, but outright scorn.

It just wasn't the light heartedness that I have always associated with Pratchett.

Distant ThundersDistant Thunders by Taylor Anderson

Ebook, 432 pages
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this, with the following caveats;

1) So much techno-babble made my eyes glaze over
2) it is OLD technobabble-made my eyes glaze over even more
3) introducing the split in the "british" empire, the existence of the Dominion, the existence of lots of non-grik Grik and the continued expanding threat of the Grik, it was all too much for one book.
4) step by step repairs-BORING.

But other than that, good stuff :)

Unseen Academicals (Discworld, #37)Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Ebook, 448 Pages
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amusing, with a heavy dash of Vetinari.

phrackin' "FOOTBALL".

If I owned this ebook, I would go through and change all instances of football to the proper term of soccer.

and the fat girl getting it on with the goblin, or whatever Nutts was. Maybe Pratchett has a secret chubby fetish? I don't know.

I am crabby. Not a good time to write a review. So ignore this and go on about your business...

The Sacred Band: Book Three Of The Acacia TrilogyThe Sacred Band: Book Three Of The Acacia Trilogy by David Anthony Durham

Ebook, 544 Pages
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found this book much like Acacia: The War with the Mein, in that I had a hard time starting, but the ending was good and I enjoyed the read.

This book definitely moved beyond the fantasy action and delved into optimism, hope, philosophy[undefined] and reason.

It made for a satisfying read, even if it was slow and not gripping.

I found it very uplifting to see the author portraying characters who deliberately broke their cycles of violence and hate and reforged circles of love and hope. Just when you thought someone was a complete badguy, they change, are redeemed and make things better.

The Dragon on the Border The Dragon on the Border by Gordon R. Dickson

Ebook, 488 Pages
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

James the Magic Dragon, [insert the rest of the stupid Puff the Magic dragon song here].

things are starting to go stale for me. James and Co have to go battle the forces of evil, yet again, without real aid from his Wizard Mentor and save the day with Brit cunning and 21st century know-how.
And the humor was gone. The first book was funny. Nothing here was funny. And the constant worrying about drinking wine all the time is getting old. Deal with it.

It was still a cool story, with practically invincible invisible enemies, and another worm to fight.

Sisterhood of DuneSisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert

Ebook, 448 Pages
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was more enjoyable than Paul of Dune and I think I enjoyed it a little more than The Winds of Dune.

However, I was/am also reading Heretics of Dune, so was able to contrast directly between Brian Herbert/Kevin Anderson and Frank Herbert. It was just sad.

Sisterhood is just an adventure scifi story that could either stand on its own or be part of a duology or [heaven forbid!] a trilogy. Things, exciting things sometime, happen. But I honestly cannot say that I would find this book [along with all the rest of the H&A's Dune stuff] interesting if I wasn't already enthralled by the original Dune Saga by Frank.

The enjoyment from this book came from seeing the fleshing out of Frank's ideas and not from the actual authors writings or ideas. And while H&A might be laughing all the way to the bank, we the fans know that they are simply riding the coattails of a much better author.

So enjoy all the stuff by H&A [and I plan on continuing to read what they put out], but realize they are the dollop of sour cream on top of the chili. It enhance the food, but it is NOT the meal.

Heretics Of DuneHeretics Of Dune by Frank Herbert

Dtb, 471 Pages
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good Stuff!

Having read Sisterhood of Dune at the same time, I was able to appreciate Frank Herbert as a superior author telling a superior story.

We move away from the Direct Atreides Scions and move towards a larger scope of characters, groups of humanity as main characters, as it were.

The Bene Gesserit, the Teilaxu, Honored Matres, etc. They are representative of the scope of humanity and how it has changed [or not] and each group is represented by an individual-macrocosm and microcosm come together to tell a rich story.

The metaphysical plays a big part, but Herbert also seems to have taken a crash course in freudian thinking and EVERYTHING revolves around sex. Makes you wonder if Herbert wasn't getting any by the way he seems to obsess about in this book. Or maybe he was just a lech....

The Shadow at the GateThe Shadow at the Gate by Christopher Bunn

Ebook, 462 Pages
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this as much as The Hawk and His Boy. It is a good read that is not too heavy or self-serious.

My only beef is how powerless the Anborean seem to be.

Wondering how the final book will wrap up everything because there is so much potential to be explored. Looking forward to it though.

Revan (Star Wars: The Old Republic, #3)Revan by Drew Karpyshyn

Ebook, 272 Pages
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was pedantic and the worst video game tie in so far. Completely put me off the Old Republic sub-series since it is NOTHING but a money grab.

No good story. And that was what was really disappointing. Karpyshyn did some good work with Bane, but Revan and Co just stank of cardboard and the green stench of a cash cow.

Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle Series, #4)Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Ebook, 769 Pages
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Review to come later this week when I have more time. But I can tell you, it won't be nice...


Ok. This book was several hundred pages too long. I enjoyed the ending, and the final battle was pretty good, but everything leading up to it was horrifically detailed so as to bore me out of my mind.

Paolini's writing has not changed from when he wrote Eragon. His youth saved him from many scathing comments from me. But now, he is a published author with 3 huge books under his belt, and Inheritance felt as poorly written as Eragon was.

There is NO excuse for this. He is no longer a 15 year old ripping off Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. He is a twenty something who SHOULD have matured, but this book does not reflect that in any way that I could tell.

Long winded descriptions that go on for pages. Awkward emotional scenes that just didn't really seem real. Characters who are still as 2D as they were in the first books.

This took me over a month to finish. Not because of it's size, but because I simply lost interest in the labyrinth of Paolini's love of his own words.

IF he does publish any more books, I know he is now on my Do Not Waste Time Reading list.

Spin (Spin, #1)Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

Dtb, 458 Pages
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was induced to read this by Sergio, a complete stranger who commented on my review of Bios, encouraging me to read Spin.

Bios was horrible.

But I figured that if a complete stranger could take the time to recommend a different book by the author, then I should try it.

I am glad I did.

It confirms my opinion that Wilson is a pseudo-scyence lover and a snob of HUGE proportions. And he's a complete dickhead who loves his own words like a lover.

Unlike Bios, this had an interesting premise-mankind stalled while the universe races on.

But the execution was horrific. The main character representing all those who are uncertain but don't trust religion. The sister, who gets taken in by a cult, because as we the readers all know [Wilson doesn't insinuate this point, he BLUDGEONS], all religions are false and are simply setup by smart people to take advantage of the gullible. The brother, the brilliant scientist who keeps on going in the face of any and all discouragement and setbacks and who is so pure as to sacrifice himself for Scyence's sake [and yes, Scyence seems to be Wilson's god here. He just doesn't want to admit it].

So if you enjoy thinly disguised "philosophy" [ie, I'm right, you are wrong, because I wrote it so], then I think Wilson is for you. I've read less preachy and pushy Christian romances than this, and that is saying something!

so thank you Sergio. You have helped me definitely cross off Wilson from my TBR author list. And yes, that is a good thing :D

Monthly Summary
12 Novels
5555 Pages [now is that a cool number or what!?!?]