Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blood & Ivory (Kencyrath) DNF

Blood And Ivory: A Tapestry - P. C. Hodgell Author: P.C. Hodgell


A bunch of short stories. They appear to be reveals that were a big deal at the time, but all the data was later expounded on in full novels.

So I was 30% through and it was all reruns. So I quit.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Carpe Diem (Liaden #3) Publication

Carpe Diem - 'Sharon Lee', 'Steve Miller' Author: Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
4 of 5 Stars

I really enjoyed this. Our hero's are trapped on a non-techy world and must survive until they are either assassinated or rescued.

We are re-introduced to both couples we've met in book 1 and 2.  Having both their histories helped me relate to this story a lot more. It would have been very disconcerting to read about the society of Liad without the previous history.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Steelheart (Epics #1)

Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson Author: Brandon Sanderson

3 of 5 Stars

Awkward. That is how I felt almost the whole way through this book.

I've enjoyed almost all of Sanderson's adult books, and I really liked his Alcatraz books, which I think of as children's books.

But Steelheart? It really did seem like a teen book. It was awkward, stilted, not quite fitting any parameters, at times rational and adult and at others selfish and childish. I felt like I was wearing a set of clothes that just didn't quite fit.

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this read. But what I read versus what I was expecting was very different. I'll be reading the next Epics book when it comes out, but with a much more realistic set of expectations and I'm hoping that will allow me to enjoy it more.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Crucible (Star Wars)

Crucible: Star Wars - Troy Denning Author: Troy Denning

3 of 5 Stars

If this isn't the end of Luke, Leia and Han as major characters, then I'll eat my hat.

I actually enjoyed the story and found it "slightly" above the average recent Star Wars novels. It was really weird seeing Luke and Leia go all "Anakin II". It was a good thing that Denning wasn't allowed to kill any of them.

I will say, I don't see much of a future in the Star Wars universe between this book and where the comic books start up with Ben's grandkid [or whoever Caid is]. Jaina, Jag and the other characters just aren't interesting enough, imo, to have their own storylines.

And that means that we'll probably get more of those awful Old Republic novels based on the video games. I've Kenobi on tap, but after that, I'm not really sure I want to keep on reading in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Leper of Saint Giles (Brother Cadfael #5)

Leper of Saint Giles (Brother Cadfael Mysteries) - Ellis Peters Author: Ellis Peters

3 of 5 Stars

In which Brother Cadfael solves a mystery of double murder, allows young love to come together and generally runs around sticking his nose everywhere.

And we like him for it.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Freedom TM (Daemon #2)

Freedom (TM) (Daemon) - Daniel Suarez Author: Daniel Suarez

3 of 5 Stars

This was almost a 180 shift from the previous book. Everyone good was now bad and the Daemon and it's minions were now the good guys.

And the first 3rd of the book was more of a soapbox preaching about economic philosophies. It wasn't really interesting.

Then things got interesting, but it was more like a computer game. And Suarez seems to postulate that if only real life were more like a videogame then everything would be ok. The problem is that the system he puts in place could, and would, be abused, hacked and manipulated just like anything in life.

But the points he makes about our current socio-economic way of life simply doesn't ring with me, as I believe the path we are on is one that is a necessity for the End to come.

Really too bad that Daemon wasn't more of a standalone, because this really drags it down.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Warbound (Grimnoir Chronicles #3)

Warbound: Book Three of the Grimnoir Chronicles - Larry CorreiaAuthor: Larry Correia

4 of 5 Stars

A good wrap up to the Grimnoir Chronicle series.  I was satisfied with the ending and yet at the same time I felt like Correia rushed it to fit it into one book.

Faye especially. I liked Faye and yet her growth just didn't quite work for me.

Now Jake Sullivan, he was fully what I had come to expect and he lived up to my expectations. A smart thug. His battle scenes with Toru and others were pretty good.

I am finding it rather tough to write about this book. I enjoyed it and I guess that will have to suffice for this evening.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fated (Alex Verus #1) DNF

Fated (An Alex Verus Novel) - Benedict Jacka
Author: Benedict Jacka

1 of 5 Stars

For the record, Urban Fantasy doesn't really do it for me. But I keep trying it because it "seems" like such a good idea.
I read Dresden until book 8 or 9 and just had to admit that I wouldn't like it. I read the first 4 Iron Druid books and while I enjoyed parts, the overallness didn't make me want to read more.

But my cousin highly recommended the Alex Verus series. I went into it not realizing it was UF to be honest. My first clue was the tip to Butcher's Dresden, the wizard in the yellow pages under "W, for Wizard".

Then Verus's whole backstory. As far as I'm concerned, it was the exact same thing as Dresden. My mind started screaming Dresden Light-Now with NO calories!

So I wasn't enjoying the read. So I stopped. It wasn't badly written, or poorly edited, I simply didn't like the story. If you liked Dresden, or the Iron Druid, you might very well enjoy this YA version of Dresden.

(and yes, I used the word Dresden a lot on purpose)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1)

The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles) - Michael J. Sullivan
Author: Michael Sullivan

4 of 5 Stars

I was in the middle of making dinner and sitting down to write this review when I received an alarm call and had to go. So if this a tad bit disjointed, that "might" explain it.

So, I LOVED Revelations. The whole series. It was a nice light, engaging fantasy without that "epic" weight dragging in the middle of my stomach. I liked Royce and Hadrian. Their characters, their interactions [with others and each other], their adventure.

But considering how Revelations ended, I didn't want "After the Story" stories. So when I heard there were going to be more stories, I was feeling very mixed. Then it was revealed that all stories would be prequels and suddenly, God's on His throne and All's Right with the World.

So I went into this book with pretty high expectations. And I'm glad to say that I was not disappointed.

It was quite the story, seeing how Royce and Hadrian came together. Not at all like how I was expecting or even thought of. In Revelations we don't really see just how messed up Royce was, or how hopeless Hadrian was. We see them together, as a team. This book shows them as the separate individuals that they used to be.

In essence, this is the raw material that Revelations was forged from.

Seeing more of Gwen was nice too. I felt like she was a barely there character in Revelations, so to see her here, fleshed out, made her much more "real".

After reading this book, now I'm looking forward to The Thorn and the Rose even more.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Fraternity of the Stone (Brotherhood #2)

Fraternity of the Stone - David Morrell
Author: David Morrell

2.5 Stars of 5

I found this to be a better story than Brotherhood of the Rose, but not nearly as engaging.

You have the same elements, 2 bestfriends/brothers, 1 girl, an older mentor, betrayal, paranoid assassins.

But it was draggy. Mr Killer/Assassin man feels bad, goes to be a monk and it isn't until almost 1/3 of the way through that his past catches up and the plot begins to move forward.

So while I'm all for secret societies, and assassins and religious overtones, this book just fell shy of being a good book. A plodding time filler.

I'm not so sure I want to read the 3rd Brotherhood book now.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Dawn of Night (Erevis Cale #2)

Dawn of Night: The Erevis Cale Trilogy, Book II: 2 - Paul S. KempAuthor: Paul Kemp

3.5 of 5 Stars

Well, my first lost review due to pressing the wrong button has happened. I had a NICE review, several paragraphs, expressing exactly how I liked this book. And now it is GONE, and honestly, I'm not even sure why.

So anyway, I liked this book. It dealt with the Underdark, which I find more appealing to read about than the surface. We also get a bit more about Mask, even though it is incidental and I like Mask as a "god" character. I enjoyed him in The War of the Spider Queen and The Lady Penitent series.

However, I am not liking what it is doing to Cale as a character. I thoroughly enjoyed him as a Butler with an Assassin hiding in his closet like in The Halls of Stormweather. I enjoyed seeing him pine after his Lord's daughter. But now that he is Mask's chosen, a minor godling [Shade is the term used, but godling is more apt], he moans for his supposed lost humanity. A butterfly might as well moan about no longer being a grub. It just seems like the changes made have made him a weaker character even while making him a more robust fighter. Angst and all that.

And as for the ending, who DIDN'T see that coming? I mean, second place is really just saying "you're not really good enough".

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Bound in Blood (Kencyrath #5)

Bound in Blood (Seeker) - P.C. HodgellAuthor: P.C. Hodgell

4 of 5 Stars

I have FINALLY gotten used to how Hodgell jumps around. I think I've gotten the hang of how they think, so the abrupt shifts are no longer catching me by surprise. Which makes for a much nicer read.
The main thing that continues to bother me is how both Jame and her twin refuse to own up to their responsibilities, as high lady/lord AND as Shanir.

 But I enjoyed the adventure and the continued revealing of the past. I see that I only have one more book in the series to go and a friend told me that Book 6 is NOT the end. I suspect this will be an unfinished series.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Of Human Bondage

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham - William Somerset Maugham
I started out feeling sympathy for the main character, as he's an orphan and a cripple.

But then,he turned into a completely selfish bastard. Every choice he made centered completely on him and his desires with no regard whatsoever to anyone else.

He chases happiness, as if it is a concrete thing he can reach and grasp with his filthy disgusting hands. So of course he fails, and then he rails against God, the universe, everything in fact. Which just makes him even more unbearable.

The ending was pretty good. But it was so out of character, so against everything that he had been, that it just threw me.