Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Heretic's Apprentice (Brother Cadfael #16) ★★★☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Heretic's Apprentice
Series: Brother Cadfael #16
Author: Ellis Peters
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 256
Format: Digital edition










Synopsis:

A young man returns with his dead master from their journey to the Holy Land. There is some question about whether said master can be buried at the Abbey due to some of his statements said many years ago. All is resolved.

However, a jealous man then accuses the young man of heresy so as to get him out of the way of a job. When said jealous man turns up dead, things don't look good for the young man. Throw in a young woman, a dowry, an Abbot that toes the Church line completely and you have a recipe for a mystery.

Cadfael and Hugh solve the murder mystery side of things and Ellis Peters gets to view her theological views using various Abbots, Bishops, whatevers. If we could only all get along, then it wouldn't matter what we believe or the words we use to express said beliefs. (My synopsis of Peters' views which I vehemently disagree with)


My Thoughts:

Every once in a while I am reminded that I am reading about a Catholic monk in the 1100's. As such, the views expressed by various characters can run very counter to my staunch Protestant beliefs. But it makes for a very interesting read instead of just a dull murder mystery. The biggest thing that I enjoyed seeing was how the characters referenced Scripture very rarely and various Church Fathers quite a lot. You can believe in almost anything if you just go with what men have written ABOUT the Bible instead of reading it for yourself. But even that idea goes against everything that the Catholic Church calls orthodoxy. Thank God I'm a protestant.

The whole mystery part was rather blasé to be honest. The man we're supposed to think is the main culprit practically has neon signs pointing at him, so I knew it couldn't possibly be him even while having no other options. I'm not the kind of reader that tries to figure the mystery out before the main character. Besides, arrogant jackasses like Poirot withhold information, so what's the use? I'm just along for the ride.

On a completely non-review note, I've begun using “series” tags on Wordpress. I have to admit, I never understood why people did that before, but now that I'm thinking of organizing my WP site to be more user/link/post friendly, I understand. I LOVE how my reviewing style keeps on changing to meet various wants and needs. Still not going to see me on twitter or facebook though.

★★★☆☆ 







Friday, December 15, 2017

With Mercy Towards None (The Dread Empire: A Fortress in Shadow #2) ★★★☆½


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: With Mercy Towards None
Series: The Dread Empire: A Fortress in Shadow #2
Author: Glen Cook
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 268
Format: Digital edition










Synopsis:

The El Murid Wars that are referenced in the Cruel Wind trilogy.

These are a series of wars between El Murid and his captains and the northern kingdoms, not just against Haroun and his guerilla warfare group. A tide of warfare that sweeps in first one direction and then another.

Each side seems to be on the cusp of victory when something happens to reverse their fortunates. Talented generals die, politics interfere, etc, etc, etc.

We are also introduced to a young Mocker and see his rise and how he becomes intertwined with Ragnarson. We also see how Ragnarson goes from a mercenary recruit to a leader of his own mercenary group.


My Thoughts:

When I was reading the Cruel Wind trilogy I remarked how I felt that I was missing out because the characters were referring to certain incidents that we the reader had no idea about. Well, this A Fortress in Shadow duology answers all of those questions.

Glancing through other reviews, I've seen the word “sweeping history” used a lot and I have to admit, that is probably the best way to describe this book. At some points we get right down and dirty with the characters, seeing how they think, seeing events that shape their thinking and then we'll suddenly zoom out and 2 huge battles that reverse the course of everything get 2 paragraphs. Cook is following a small group of individuals and really walks that line of showing their individual story within the context of the larger scope of all that is going on.

In many ways, it seems that Steven Erikson and his whole Malazan world is modeled more on this Dread Empire series than on Cook's Black Company. By modeled on, I actually mean “wholesale lifted from”. I don't know that I have seen so many ideas and plot points and characters and working out of things used so much so similarly. Of course, it could be that I'm just starting to get enough books under my belt to finally notice the cyclical nature of writing from one generation to another. Which wouldn't be cool as I'd have to become an even more jaded, cynical and grouchy old coot to handle it.

The writing wasn't quite as rough as the previous books but it was by no means a smooth vanilla coke zero.

★★★☆½







Thursday, December 14, 2017

Vanguard (Genesis Fleet #1) ★★★☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Vanguard
Series: Genesis Fleet #1
Author: Jack Campbell
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 333
Format: Digital edition










Synopsis:

Humanity is expanding to the stars and old Earth and the original Colonies are tired and are inward looking. Anyone with a dream can go forth. And so can anyone looking to fleece said dreamers.

This is the story of how the civilization we came to know in Campbell's Lost Fleet series came into being.

A Geary is on Glenlyon and forced to protect it, understaffed and undercut by the very politicians who placed the burden on his shoulders. He must defend his planet from another star system that wants to claim jump and take over. He must also make an Alliance [yes, the beginning of THE Alliance] with another star system for mutual benefit and protection.

Mele Darcy is a former Earth Marine who is tasked with protecting Glenlyon on the ground. With a volunteer force, she must take over the enemies base and stop their incursion before it is too late.

Both are successful. And at the end of the book, given their hat, a pat on the shoulder and a “thank you but we no longer need your services” speech from the damnable politicians whose asses they just saved.


My Thoughts:

I actually had to put this down at one point because I was so pissed off at the politicians in the book AND the main characters. Campbell, a former military man, is very big on having his good characters play by the rules even when others are doing everything to bend or break those rules. Intended or not, it has always come across to me as “the rules are the rules so we keep them because they are rules” and not because of any deeper meaning BEHIND the rules. Laws are simply social constructs and outside of a few moral laws, I consider laws to be neither inherently good or evil. So when one group dismisses the laws, that contract is now null and void between me and them.
Example: Shooting someone is illegal. But if someone breaks into my place, they have broken that compact and I have every right to pull out my shotgun and shoot them. If I see someone breaking a window into my place and I yell out, “Hey, get the heck out of here” and they don't leave, I have the right to shoot them.
Campbell argues, through his characters, that you don't have the right to shoot them UNTIL they are fully in your house and pawing through your underwear drawer.

Obviously I am being a bit hyperbolic there, but it gets my point across. It makes for very ethical characters which is nice to read about but it can also be incredibly frustrating if your philosophy is different. I am a huge home defense advocate and am unabashedly an American Nationalist and should things ever go into space, I'd be a planetist :-) But that's another discussion.

There was just as much ground pounder action as there was space fighting and I really enjoyed that. Campbell can write some engaging battles and it is fun to read. I'll be reading the rest of the series as they come out but I don't think I'll be buying these. I've bought all the Lost Fleet, Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier and Lost Stars books but this one, it wasn't good enough to buy.

I'm not sure if coming into this new or having the whole Lost Fleet under your belt would be better. I suspect having all of his previous books would make this a better read, as you're invested in characters whose ancestors you're now reading about in the Genesis Fleet books.

★★★☆☆ 






Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Sundering (Dread Empires Fall #2) ★★★☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Sundering
Series: Dread Empires Fall #2
Author: Walter Jon Williams
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 454
Format: Digital edition











Synopsis:

Plucky young hero, Gareth Martinez, wins battles against the horrible Naxids using unthought of tactics using “mathz”.His terrible older brother schemes to make lots of money and gain power.

Plucky young heroine, Caroline Sula, who is really a street rat, wants to marry Gareth. Gareth wants to marry her. But the damnable Gene Checking Office kills her dreams like a fly. In fear and distress, Sula spurns Gareth only to have Gareth's older brother (the power hungry one, in case you missed it) arrange a marriage for Gareth with a beautiful woman from a powerful, but poor, Clan house. Sula, with broken heart, joins the French Foriegn Legion, to forget her troubles. Well, she actually joins the newly birthed anti-Naxid force, to oppose them when they take over the capital world.

The Drama. The Pathos. Find out what happens to them both in our next episode of General Dread Empire Hospital!


My Thoughts:

Pure Space (Soap) Opera.

I've read enough Jack Campbell Lost Fleet books to know that new tactics against stodgy old tactics almost always means insta-victory. There is nothing wrong with that as long as that is all you want. Because that is all you're going to get with this book. Gareth is not a genius, he's just trying out new things against people who aren't used to new things. In 5 to 10 years everybody will be trying out new things and seeing what works and writing new military engagement doctrines.

Sula brought this book down for me. Her knee-jerk reaction to Gareth's proposal and revelation that they'd have to have a gene check wasn't enjoyable to read about. The parts of the story where she's fighting the Naxid as they take control of the capital planet was much better and I wish there had been a lot more focus on that.

Overall, this was pretty decent. Nothing great, nothing inspired but also nothing terrible. If you're craving Space Opera, I'd recommend this to scratch that itch.

★★★☆☆ 







Saturday, December 09, 2017

Light (Kefahuchi Tract #1) ★☆☆☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Light
Series: Kefahuchi Tract #1
Author: M. John Harrison
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 432
Format: Digital edition









Synopsis:

So much purposeful distortion that I'm not even going to bother to try to put up a synopsis. Trash like this isn't worth it.


My Thoughts:

I wasted my time reading this bloody piece of bolluxy crap.

The author is a clever fellow. You can tell because he's always having his characters do drugs, have sex and vomit. Nothing speaks more cleverly than multiple times of vomiting. Even as I'm typing I'm vomiting, on the floor, so that this review will be so much more cleverer.

I was expecting a real SF story. What I got was some pretentious wanker's drug induced hallucinogenic anal excretions.

This is the kind of writing that I would expect a brainless Oscar/Emmy/Whatever Winner to nod sagely about and say something along the lines of * insert typical hollywood soundbyte blather * or some Literati to talk about its 77 different layered meanings to each of us. In other words, total bs.

To close, this book brought me close to Patrick Rothfuss levels of rage.

★☆☆☆☆ 







Friday, December 08, 2017

Orb Sceptre Throne (Malazan Empire #4) ★★★★½


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Orb Sceptre Throne
Series: Malazan Empire #4
Author: Ian Esslemont
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 850
Format: Digital edition










Synopsis:

A golden mask is uncovered in the plains outside of Darujhistan. It belongs to the spirit that raises Tyrants up again and again. This time it calls the Segulah into its service. They and the Moranth, ancient enemies, duke it out until the Segulah are freed from the Golden Mask's domination, then they go back to their little Island Nation.

Kiska and Leoman of the Flails are in limbo, looking for Tayschrenn. They find him, restore his memories to him and they all return to do whatever hidden thingamajig Tayschrenn wants to do.

Also deals with various characters attempting to loot the fallen Moonspawn, all hoping to find the Throne of Night.

Plus about 6 other smaller threads dealing with such characters as Coll, Kalam, Baruk, Kruppe and others that we were introduced to way back in Gardens of the Moon.


My Thoughts:

When I initially read this back in 2012, I was not impressed at all. I still hadn't gotten that Erikson and Esslemont created bigger than life mythos for their characters, whether individuals or as a people, just so they could tear them down. So my thoughts regarding the Segulah were that they were the Pristine Warrior Culture; those thoughts were not only dashed, they were trampled into the dust on my first read and my rating and review reflected that.

This time around, what a difference. I didn't have those misconceptions about the Segulah and so their story didn't bother me. The only thing that really bothered me was the fact that there were just so many story threads going on. Some of those threads had nothing whatsoever to do with this book, ie, Kiska, Leoman and Tayschrenn but simply pushed an overarching story forward. I don't care for that. Other than that, I was pleased as punch.

It was sad to see characters from Gardens of the Moon becoming old or giving up in spirit. Coll turning into an old, wine addicted, fat counselor was especially sad. Baruk's subsumption by a demon seemed very cruel, considering how much he'd sacrificed for his city. And yet that is what happens to old heroes. They fail and a new generation must step up.

While I complained about the multiplicity of threads, they were tightly woven together and even the thread about Tayschrenn didn't detract from overall affect. It really was one story being told even if it took awhile for them all to get tied together.

This book is why I like to re-read things. My mind was completely changed from last time and I went from almost hating this book to really loving it. Most of that change was on my end and my perspective and expectations. 17 years of reviewing and I still marvel at how our expectations can shape how we react to a book. I was semi-dreading this re-read but it turned into a jewel instead.

Pretty satisfied this time around.

★★★★½






Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Prodigal Son (Frankenstein #1) ★★★☆½


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Prodigal Son
Series: Frankenstein #1
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 498
Format: Digital edition











Synopsis:

Deucalion, otherwise known as Frankenstein's Monster, has been hanging out at some Zen Buddhist Monk Temple Mountain Retreat kind of place. But when Victor Frankenstein, now known as Victor Helios, appears on the scene, Deucalion knows that Victor is continuing his attempts to create a new breed of humanity and replace the old with the new.

At the same time, a mass murderer has appeared and this gets the New Orleans PD involved. Carson O'Connor, the sole caretaker of her younger autistic brother, is partnered up with Michael Maddison. They are the chief detectives and their goal is to bring this scumbag to justice.

Both of these events overlap. Can Deucalion put a stop to Victor's plan to exterminate humanity and can Carson find a killer who kills for the perfect body part? One of these gets answered and the other will take the rest of the series to answer.


My Thoughts:

I would classify this as an urban fantasy police procedural.

Deucalion's part is much smaller than I had hoped. He starts the ball rolling but then just kind of disappears. Koontz writes at the beginning that he started this whole project for a tv show and it really shows. When things moved over to Carson and the serial murderer side of things, I felt like I was reading a detective murder tv show.

In many ways I felt like this had the supernatural side of things that was missing from Koontz's Odd Thomas series. Victor Helios is truly one scary guy and while he's supposedly dabbling in super science, it really comes across as “magic”. Victor is cruel, intelligent, ruthless and so dedicated to his view of Materialism that it blinds him to anything else. This introduces certain flaws into his character and weakness that can be exploited.

There is a much longer story arc going on. I liked that the serial murder case was solved. It gave a good ending so I felt like I had actually finished a book. Yet the arc dealing with Victor and his plans to overthrow humanity seems big enough to fill the rest of the series with no problem.
I enjoyed my time reading this and look forward to the rest of the series. This is my second foray into Koontz territory and so far I'm pretty pleased. I always thought of him as second rate Stephen King horror wannabe but these books are showing me just how wrong I was. He's writing some good thrillers.

★★★☆½











Monday, December 04, 2017

Moon over Soho (Peter Grant #2) ★★★☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Moon over Soho
Series: Peter Grant #2
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 306
Format: Digital edition









Synopsis:

Peter Grant must figure out why jazz musicians are falling over dead for no apparent reason [they're jazz musicians, so the Universe itself kills them, duh!] and why there appears to be a rogue magician on the loose, when there aren't supposed to be ANY magicians on the loose, rogue or otherwise.


My Thoughts:

First. Jazz. I hate the stuff. I'd stick one those super long q-tips from Nightmare on Elm Street into my brain before voluntarily listening to the stuff. I find it disgusting. So to have the whole book be about jazz musicians did me no favors whatsoever.

Second, and more important, was the gratuitous lust scenes between Grant and one of the side characters in this book. It bordered on the pornographic and was not something I want in my entertainment. Making the connection between Grant and the character, Simone could have been handled so much less sleasily and still gotten the same affect at the end of the book.

My respect for Aaronovitch took a nosedive and I don't plan on reading any more of the Peter Grant/Rivers of London books.

★★★☆☆ 




Saturday, December 02, 2017

Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen #5) ★★★☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Midnight Tides
Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #5
Author: Steven Erikson
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 684
Format: Digital edition










Synopsis:

We follow the Tisti Edur [grayskinned Tisti] as they come into the world of Malaz. Fast forward several thousand years later and they have dwindled. They attempt to gain back their pre-eminence by declaring Empire and going against the only other Empire in the region. The main Edur stories center around the Sengar family. One of whom becomes the Emperor and the pawn of the Broken god.

We follow the human Letheri Empire as they attempt to subjugate the last remaining pocket of resistance to their Empire and way of life, the Tisti Edur. The main Letheri storylines follow the Beddict brothers. One is the King's Champion, one is a dissolute genius who can manipulate money with barely thinking about it and the final Beddict was a former envoy whose knowledge was used for conquest and not peace.

Lots of little stories interweave between them all and a little more is revealed about the Broken god.

The conflict between Edur and Lether is the framework of the whole story.



My Thoughts:

This was a 4star story that was dragged down with the chains of Erikson's pointless soapbox philosophizing hijacking his characters and turning them all into despair filled, spineless, wusses.

Why can't the man just shut the phrack up and tell the story?!?!?

Gardens of the Moon was a fantastic story and there was very little pontificating. Maybe a small dab in the corner. This book, Erikson took a 5foot roller and bloody whitewashed the story with the crap. Every time you turned around another character was whining about their forsaken feelings and how they weren't even worthy of having such degrading feelings because they were such infinitely unworthy motes in an infinite universe. It was pathetic and ruined the book for me.

The story, the clash between Edur and Letheri was great. A couple of magic battles, some mundane battles and then a showdown in the palace itself. All the while the Broken god is laughing to himself and furthering his own plans.

★★★☆☆ 





Friday, December 01, 2017

Crossover (Cassandra Kresnov #1) ☆☆☆☆½ DNF @45%


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Crossover
Series: Cassandra Kresnov #1
Author: Joel Shepherd
Rating: 1/2 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 467/Abandoned
Format: Digital edition









Synopsis:

DNF @45%


My Thoughts:

Due to some of the moral subject matter, I abandoned this book and will not be reading any more in the series.

☆☆☆☆½







Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Dragon Never Sleeps ★★★☆ ½


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Dragon Never Sleeps
Series: ----------
Author: Glen Cook
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 449
Format: Digital edition








Synopsis:

Humanity rules their part of space, The Canon. With the unstoppable force of the Guardships behind them, Canon forces enforce peace, their peace, whereever they go.

One House wants to stop that. One alien wants to stop that. One other branch of Humanity wants to stop that. But that House is ruled by a megolomaniac who wants to live forever through his forbidden clones. But that alien lives by a code of honor that is unbreakable. But that branch of humanity is enslaved to psychic mind leeches.

On the Guardship side of things, you have insane Guardships. You have nascent sentient Guardships. You have humans who live their lives over and over through cloning without ever remembering their past. You have a Humanity that is stagnating and possibling beginning the long road to its twilight.

And the stories take place with all of those characters and characteristics. Greed, War, Peace and Survival.



My Thoughts:

I had no idea of the background for 99/100ths of the time. I really enjoyed my time, but if you try to figure out the backstory or the history, you're sunk. It doesn't exist except in Cook's mind and he doesn't let slip hardly anything. This is a very “here and now” kind of story, even while taking years in story time.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading this. I didn't feel like I had to understand anything. I just sat back, let the story unfold and let it roll over me. It was extremely complicated but since I wasn't trying to disentangle anything, it was actually rather simple. I was along for the ride. If I had been in an investigative mood I'm sure this would have driven me bonkers. But I wasn't, so it didn't.

I don't know that I could have told you that this was the same Glen Cooke who wrote the Black Company novels. It was a standalone book and even its style seemed standalone. I will say that it was dense and while it claims to be only 449 pages, it felt like the longest 449 pages I've ever read. Not a bad thing, but it was a long read.

★★★☆½





Friday, November 24, 2017

Deadhouse Landing (Malaz: Path to Ascendancy #2) ★★★★ ½


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Deadhouse Landing
Series: Malaz: Path to Ascendancy #2
Author: Ian Esslemont
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover edition









Synopsis:

This time Wu, who takes on the moniker Kellenved part way through the story, and Dancer, set their sights on the Island of Malaz. Their eventual goal is to take over the island proper, but for now they're settling for taking over and running the black market. They buy a rundown inn as their headquarters and keep the staff on, a group of Napan renegades headed by one woman named Surly. Kellenved is continually exploring shadow and drags Dancer along with him. They tame the Hounds of Shadow, look for the Throne of Shadow and generally cause trouble and action wherever they go.

In the tradition of previous Malazan books, we also follow quite a few other characters and storylines.

Tayschrenn. He is an outstanding priest of D'rek but when his mentor dies, Tay's lack of political and human interaction dooms him when a corrupt Invigilator takes over. Ends with him fighting ALL the priests of D'rek and taking refuge in the Deadhouse on Malaz Isle under Kellenved's protection.

Tattersail is the lover of Mock, self-proclaimed Duke of Malaz. But while Mock is quite content with doing a little raiding here and there, or none at all if he can get away with it, Tattersail wants more. So when an alliance with the new King of Napan, Surly's brother, is proposed and a joint attack against a mainland town is the clincher, it comes as a surprise to all when Mock is gung-ho and Tattersail has deep reservations. And Tattersail is right, of course. It's a trap. She also finds out that Mock has been sleeping with the help over the years and so she leaves him to go to a battlemage school somewhere.

Surly and Company. They are tied tightly to Kell and Dancer's storyline but also have their own, as Surly still isn't convinced that she can't take the fight for the Kingdom to her brother and prevail. Mainly about them realizing they need to throw in fully with Kellenved and let their own imperial dreams either die or hybernate.

In a surprise to me, we also get a short little arc dealing with the rise of Kallor. That guy is one evil son of a gun!



My Thoughts:

Two or three issues I had with this book.
One, I tried to start this just reading it at my lunchbreaks at work. I was hoping to draw out how long I could read it so as to lengthen my enjoyment of it. That just wasn't working as winter is here and I'm not always at the van for lunch.
Two, I ended up binging on this yesterday on Thanksgiving, but even then it was interrupted by cooking and eating and walks and whatnot. So my brain felt as full as my stomach, which let me tell you, was VERY full.
Third, I had read some reviews at various places and they were nothing but fanboys squealing like little girls about how wonderful this book was. My instinctive reaction to that is to hate the item in review even while knowing nothing about it. It's the “It is popular so I hate it” reaction. Said instinct usually serves me well but sometimes it does lead me astray.

Other than that? SQUEEEAAAAAAALLLL!
Yeah, I'm fanboying with those other losers. Well, except for Powder&Page. She's not a loser :-)

This was just awesome. Tons of action, lots of characters who we know from later books are introduced. Almost too many for my taste, but since this is just a trilogy and Esslemont had 10+ books worth of characters to shove in, I'm surprised there weren't more.

Dancer and Kell weren't nearly so big a part of this story like they were in Dancer's Lament. But when we did spend time with them, it was almost ALL shadow related or dealing with the hounds. I am not a dog person, at all. But I've always liked the Hounds of Shadow and seeing more of them here was great. We're also introduced to ototoral and moranth munitions.

In some ways I felt like I was drowning in the non-stop action and go,go,go'ness of it all. Which was a good problem to have. I said it in my review of Dancer's Lament but I feel that Esslemont has really come into his own with this trilogy. These are different even from his Novels of the Malazan Empire in tone and style and it's for the better. Erikson might excel at writing lush, super-cryptic and despair filled books, but Esslemont is writing some fantastic action here.

I bought this on release day and have no regrets whatsoever about it. It was that good! Also another contender for Best Book of the Year.

★★★★ ½






Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Flight of Fancy (Spiderman 2099 #8) ★★★☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Flight of Fancy
Series: Spiderman 2099 #8
Author: Peter David
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 23
Format: Digital Edition










Synopsis:

The conclusion to Spidey's fight with Vulture 2099. What more can you ask of 23 pages?



My Thoughts:

So, I wish I had read this with the previous 2 volumes that dealt with Vulture. This concluded Spidey's fight with Vulture and honestly, not much happens. They fly/web around and punch each other and Miguel reveals that he's a lapsed Catholic when the fight goes into a church, but other than, nothing really.

Mig's brother Gabe and his girlfriend Kasey hook up with some people [a comic book style group of tough mofos] who want to help Spiderman. Only Gabe knows who Spidey is, so his actions are a bit stilted and you know at some point in the future he'll reveal to someone that Miguel is Spidey.

I am reading these on my 15in laptop and I have to admit, it is a struggle to read some of the text. In some cases I just looked at the pictures of Spidey and Vulture fighting and ignored the teensy-tinsy bit of dialogue. Whenever I finish/give up this series, I plan on re-reading my Silver Sable collection that was the pride and joy of my collection back in the 90's. She had a 3 year run before being folded back into the general Spiderman universe. Then I shall see if the dialogue is still tiny. Basically, am I getting old eyes or is the digital a crap scan? * grin *

★★★☆☆