Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception


Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Artemis Fowl keeps me coming back for more adventures, even when those adventures settle around someone like Mulch Diggums.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of gastro-intestinal humor. Poop is poop and belongs in the sewers, not in a civilized persons joke repertoire.

And yet I still enjoy this series. It is young adult/children and I could see an 8 year old boy giggling his head off when the author describes a character knocking out a whole tribe of trolls with his farts.



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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



In many ways, I felt like I was reading Dickens or Austen, and that was a good thing!

Then the characters intruded and ruined everything. In either Dickens or Austen, you have a protagonist, who have their faults, but who is essentially someone you want to succeed or cheer for or to cheer on.

Strange & Norrell are both pompous asses, complete idiots and yet I wanted to kill them both. There was no one in this story who I wanted to cheer for.

This was post-modern crap under the guise of historical fantasy. If you enjoyed it, then please support Ms. Clarke in her future endeavors, because I'll not be reading any more of her works...



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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: The Hive


The Hive
The Hive by Steven Barnes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



Take [b:Star Wars: The Cestus Deception|35464|The Cestus Deception (Star Wars Clone Wars, #2)|Steven Barnes|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347760493s/35464.jpg|3165217] and boil it down to a short story, and you get this.

Boring and practically plotless. Doesn't give me much hope for any other Star Wars short stories...



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Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: The Last Dragon


The Last Dragon
The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



The story part of this book was enjoyable, but nothing super.

The artwork, however, absolutely blew me away. I read this story twice in a row just looking at the artwork. And I'm not an art guy.



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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: The Terminator


The Terminator
The Terminator by Randall Frakes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



This was a good novelization. While not a blockbuster of a book or anything, I certainly found that this added some much needed depth to side characters and to the relationship between Kyle and Sara and to the mental change of Sara Connor from helpless waif to warrior princess.

I honestly wasn't expecting to enjoy this, but I did.



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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: The Elvenbane


The Elvenbane
The Elvenbane by Andre Norton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



A story of elves, dragons, mages and half elves/humans.

I really enjoyed this. While a bit shallow, I never felt like rolling my eyes or putting the book down.

I found it quite interesting to see dragons as tricksters and elves as the bad guys.



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Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Star Soldier


Star Soldier
Star Soldier by Star Soldier

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I'll continue reading the series, but so far it is choppy writing and the main character is a HUGE idiot.



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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: The Wind in the Willows


The Wind in the Willows
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



A completely whimsical set of short stories about a mole, a rat, a badger and a toad.

Some stories involve all, some only 1, some a mixture.



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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Enchanters' End Game


Enchanters' End Game
Enchanters' End Game by David Eddings

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This was a good, if slightly underwhelming, ending to the series. Everything that applied to the earlier books applies to this as well.

Which brings me to my only real nit-pick with this book. It did not stand alone well at all. It really needed the backing of the previous books, and it needed to be read as part of a whole. Instead of 5 books, this series should be taken as a whole, divided into 5 sections for ease of handling. But it is one story that does not divide well.

And since that is the worst I can say about the book, then that is pretty good!



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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: The Lost Hero


The Lost Hero
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Starts dealing with the Roman aspects of the gods and opens up whole new realms of possibilities.

Jason isn't the personable, likable, enjoyable character that Percy Jackson was though. And I suspect the whole series is going to be "...not like Percy Jackson was"...



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Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Attack of the Fiend


Attack of the Fiend
Attack of the Fiend by Joseph Delaney

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



More of exactly the same. Which isn't necessarily bad, but it makes it feel very cookie-cutter.



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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Review: Jokers Wild


Jokers Wild
Jokers Wild by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



Bleh. How am I supposed to enjoy a story where the "hero's" are as pathetic as the villains?



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Friday, July 13, 2012

Review: Amazing Agent Jennifer Vol 2


Amazing Agent Jennifer Vol 2
Amazing Agent Jennifer Vol 2 by Nunzio DeFilippis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Overall, I found the tone of Amazing Agent Jennifer much more dark and real-world than Amazing Agent Luna, and I didn't really care for it.

Bring back Luna and her ongoing adventures and let Control be a side character again...



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Review: Amazing Agent Jennifer, vol. 1


Amazing Agent Jennifer, vol. 1
Amazing Agent Jennifer, vol. 1 by Nunzio DeFilippis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Technically Amerimanga, but more manga than graphic novel.

Anyway, follows Jen as she gets scoped by the Agency. See what a wreck her family life is and the reasons she is so icequeen in the Amazing Agent Luna series. It makes a lot of sense.



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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Invincible


Invincible
Invincible by Jack Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I thoroughly enjoyed this. A lot happened, so the space battles were pared down, which I am completely ok with.

Several alien races, some good, some bad. And LOTS of politic'ing. Ends up with the fleet heading back to home with the spectre of old rivals perhaps in charge.

If I was Geary, I'd get my fleet ready,and just take over. And that is why I really like this series. Geary has a moral compass, and he sticks to it. Even when it is to his, and others[!!], disadvantage.

It is kind of odd knowing that he and Desjani are married, because they don't act like it at all.



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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Sullivan's Sting


Sullivan's Sting
Sullivan's Sting by Lawrence Sanders

My rating: 1 of 5 stars



So, after reading the book, I see the GR blurb, and it makes sense. Sanders sells his books with sex scenes instead of good storytelling.

This story, about a female cop going under cover, and under the covers, really hit me wrong. Every police character was some sort of sleazeball and on the take in one way or another and the badguys were horrible people as well.

This was a dirty story about dirty people and I did not enjoy it at all.



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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Dragon Outcast


Dragon Outcast
Dragon Outcast by E.E. Knight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



It is the occasional book like this that keeps me reading series in hopes that it will get better.

I enjoyed [b:Dragon Champion|632579|Dragon Champion|E.E. Knight|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1309209466s/632579.jpg|618882] and even [b:Dragon Avenger|271356|Dragon Avenger|E.E. Knight|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1309200719s/271356.jpg|263072], but both of them were heavy on the hopelessness of the situation and left me feeling rather blah.

This book I went into expecting to hate the main character and for him to be a villainous terror for the whole book. So imagine my surprise when I feel sorry for him from the get-go!

And it just gets better. Sure, RuGaard has some very tough times. But he is ALWAYS looking for ways to better himself and help those around him. And in the end, he [spoiler] becomes king of a clan of dragons[/spoiler] and is working with humans and other species.

Hope the rest of the series stays on this level.



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Monday, July 09, 2012

Review: Monster Hunter Alpha


Monster Hunter Alpha
Monster Hunter Alpha by Larry Correia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Lots of spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk [I don't like hiding the whole review]

Oh yeah!!!!! This book was the best of the 3 so far.

I never liked Owen in the previous 2 books, so the fact that this book wasn't about him pushed it up a whole star.

The gun porn was almost non-existent, but just hinted at enough so you knew different guns were being used and that the protagonist and others were not just using generic "guns" [which also ticks me off when an author assumes that all guns are the same, and so on and so forth].

The action reminded me of [a:Neal Asher|56353|Neal Asher|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1207862001p2/56353.jpg]'s Polity Universe-graphic and nonstop.
I mean, a snow-shredder and a whole passle of zombie-werewolves? I was enthralled and grossed out all at the same time.

The emotional content of the book I found very satisfying as well. We learn where Earl came from, what drove/drives him, his wish being granted, his realization that he NEEDS to be a werewolf, the horror [not in the scary way, but in that terrible gut wrenching way] of separation when Team Unicorn shows itself. It all came together in a patchwork of horror, hope, despair and love.

The villains were awesome! On one hand, we have a super werewolf, who beats the crap out of everybody and pretty much out-thinks everyone as well. Then we have the money-grubbing, incompetent government agent of the MCB. You love to hate him :)

A cool set of heroes, some fantastic baddies and some series fighting. Now I am really looking forward to [b:Monster Hunter Legion|13051355|Monster Hunter Legion (MHI, #4)|Larry Correia|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1325733030s/13051355.jpg|18216155]. If more Urban Fantasy was like this, I might be more into it...



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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Review: Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Vol. 10


Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Vol. 10
Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Vol. 10 by CLAMP

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



Plus points for Daidouji and her never-ending quest to film Sakura.

Double minus points for yaoi...



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Review: Ninja High School Pocket Manga #4 (Ninja High School


Ninja High School Pocket Manga #4 (Ninja High School
Ninja High School Pocket Manga #4 (Ninja High School by Ben Dunn

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



This was not very much about Jeremy Feeple or anything.

We get one story where he finds his dad who has become the king of the rats.

Then we get some lame-o story about fair.

And finally we get a super lame story that totally parody's the [b:Secret Wars|318658|Secret Wars|Jim Shooter|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347720030s/318658.jpg|1839815] comic series by Marvel comics.



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Saturday, July 07, 2012

Review: The Bone House


The Bone House
The Bone House by Stephen R. Lawhead

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I just turned my brain off and went along for the ride.

Multiple timelines, multiple storylines. I didn't try to make sense of it.

And Kit is still the stupidest person EVER!!!!!!!!! He gets rescued, then all he has to do it stay in one place, but NO, he gets involved with proto-cavemen and gets lost in time/space.

I like the overall idea of the multiverse, but Lawhead's treatment, while very different from the scifi point that I am used to, is involving the theological, and I like that!



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Friday, July 06, 2012

Review: The Gathering Storm


The Gathering Storm
The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I am glad Sanderson took over.

I found this to be entertaining, explaining and moving the overall story forward. And the dreaded 'male, female fighting/bashing' really wasn't there.



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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Review: The Dragon, the Earl and the Troll


The Dragon, the Earl and the Troll
The Dragon, the Earl and the Troll by Gordon R. Dickson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I liked this the most of the Dragon stories so far. The beginning was a little weird, but I rather enjoyed the whole story and Jim pretty much stopped whining.
And we got to see some of Jim and Angie together, which was nice as Angie has pretty much been a stage prop in the storyline so far.



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Review: Castle of Wizardry


Castle of Wizardry
Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



So prophecy gets to be its own little sentient whatever.

I feel like that took away from the story.



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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Review: The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle


The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle by Arthur Conan Doyle

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



An arrogant pompous professor finds a world where dinosaurs still live and since no one believes him, leads an expedition to prove he is right.

Maybe I'm jaded, but there wasn't actually much happening.



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Review: Magician's Gambit


Magician's Gambit
Magician's Gambit by David Eddings

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I truly enjoyed this, enough so that as I finished this book, I immediately started and finished the next book [b:Castle of Wizardry|645023|Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, #4)|David Eddings|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320402551s/645023.jpg|1808841].
And considering how the story flows from one book right into the next, I am having a hard time remembering what happened in each book.

But I really enjoyed this. So there is my indpeth review :)



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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Review: Way of the Wolf


Way of the Wolf
Way of the Wolf by E.E. Knight

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Vampire Earth series. I figured it was going to be a series that could have been a sequel to [b:The Strain|6065215|The Strain (The Strain Trilogy, #1)|Guillermo del Toro|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1326225354s/6065215.jpg|6241525].

Not quite so much. Vampires are just aliens, yeah, go figure.

Anyway, I never would have thought this author was the same who wrote the [b:Dragon Champion|632579|Dragon Champion|E.E. Knight|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1309209466s/632579.jpg|618882]. I'll probably read a couple more to see where the series goes...



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Review: The Magician's Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia


The Magician's Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia
The Magician's Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Having recently read Roald Dahl's [b:The Witches|6327|The Witches|Roald Dahl|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1351707720s/6327.jpg|105046], it gave me an immediate comparison between 2 children's book.

You can't truly compare them, as they written for completely different reasons.

But anyway...

Very good! A wonderful story about 2 children and the beginning of Narnia. It was well written and the narrative just flowed. Nowhere did a word or phrase jar me out of the world Lewis crafted. Hints of Christian theology were deftly woven through, while leaving the fantasy wide open.

A wonderful start to The Chronicles of Narnia.



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Monday, July 02, 2012

Review: The Gabble - and Other Stories


The Gabble - and Other Stories
The Gabble - and Other Stories by Neal Asher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This series of short stories boils Asher's "essence" down to it's essentials.

I highly recommending reading at least through [b:The Technician|7704959|The Technician|Neal Asher|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1265715884s/7704959.jpg|10409832], as many of the stories deal with planets, people, incidents that have already been introduced, however slightly, in previous book.

Hardcore violence and the fleshing out of the Polity Universe...



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Review: The Witches


The Witches
The Witches by Roald Dahl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



A little boy, along with his grandmother, takes down all of the witches of England, as a mouse!

Yep, another Dahl classic. It is short, funny, terrifying[at least I suspect it would be to a young child] and just chock full of Kid Power like the rest of Dahl's books.



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Review: Brain Jack


Brain Jack
Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



An AI is born and has the ability to change peoples memories, etc due to a new tech. And it is up to our plucky young hero to save the day

Basically, the author is a complete computer geek and goes into indepth detail [shallow, pointless detail I might add] about how the protagonist does his hacking. TCP this, firewall that, blah blah blah. I like computers and have a passing familiarity with networks, etc, but this was just over the top.

The thing that didn't make sense to me, however, was why wasn't the A.I. more like skynet? Saying that it was in its 'infancy' and hadn't 'learned', that just doesn't scan. It had all the world's knowledge at its digital fingertips and it couldn't figure out how to live in harmony with humans or realize it couldn't and hence pull a Judgement Day?

I explain it simply by saying it is YA and the author didn't want to get too complex. But I think that young people would see that same problem I do. At least, I hope so.



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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Review: xxxHolic, Vol. 01


xxxHolic, Vol. 01
xxxHolic, Vol. 01 by CLAMP

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



We are introduced to Watanuki, a helpless bumbling pushover who can see spirits, and to Yuko, the time/space witch [who would also be the hottest character if CLAMP didn't draw her so weird].

Watanuki pretty much gets tricked into servitude and see's Yuko in action, granting peoples wishes.

Right the end Lee and Sakura appear...



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Review: Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Vol. 09


Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Vol. 09
Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Vol. 09 by CLAMP

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Sakura sleeps the day way while Lee fights an evil Kuragane. Is it the original or a copy from that current world?

And is Ashura a woman or a man? I thought a woman, but it gets called "lord, master", etc, and other masculine terms.



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Review: Ninja High School Pocket Manga #3 (Ninja High School


Ninja High School Pocket Manga #3 (Ninja High School
Ninja High School Pocket Manga #3 (Ninja High School by Ben Dunn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



so Jeremy Feeple gets yet ANOTHER space alien trying to marry him.



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Moved to Goodreads.com

Since I've been copying/pasting my reviews at Goodreads to here, I've decided to make my life easier and just keep my reviews there.

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http://www.goodreads.com/RahXephon