Just finished The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett. I enjoyed the setting and story. The end seemed a bit rushed and the closer I got the less I cared about the lead character. By the end of the book as I'm watching these two characters heading for romance I'm dreading them getting together as I think the girl in the story deserves better and so the romance just wasn't believable. Despite that I still enjoyed the book. I'm still trying to find a book that's as entertaining and interesting as Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson was for me.
[This message has been edited by CraigMc (edited June 17, 2010).]
I recently took "Northern stars : the anthology of Canadian science fiction" out of the library despite the somewhat silly sounding title and the moose in the cover art. It had some really excellent stories, which is not surprising since the editors were trying to put together a representative cross-section of the previous decade or two in Canadian SF (it was published in 1994, Tor).
I think Elisabeth Vonarburg is my new hero. Well, not exactly new; I realised that I had read the English translation of her novel Silent City when I was 11 or 12 (way too young for the content. I'm actually not sure how I got my hands on it) and loved it.
Now that I've rediscovered her I'm requesting everything my local library has of hers (in English). Too bad I can't read French!
On audio, in the car, I'm reading Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams. It's a collection of intros, essays and articles they found on his computer after he passed. I have to admit, I didn't realize that it wasn't its own story and at the beginning I just wanted it to get going. Now that I understand, I'm very much enjoying his wit and the way he observes the world.
On paper I'm reading Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton. I've read the rest of the Anita Blake series, through its ups and downs; the good first bits and then through the tough ones that had little story to speak of; and then later when we started to get the story back.
This is a shorter book, maybe even a novella. So far, it's not that good. It's not horrible but I find it to be very poorly edited. The language is weak and clumsy. There is one line of dialogue that, after reading it a dozen times, I have no clue what it means. The words just don't make sense together.
I know she has this and the Faerie series (which I can't read at all - it has all of the slowest bits that bogged down the Vampire Hunter series for awhile) and all sorts of other stuff going on, but come on. Is it just a money maker now and she doesn't care about quality? And where is the editor? A lot of the problems are line edits that should have been easily caught.
This might be the last book I pick up from her. There's been too much to slog through in the hopes of getting back to what I liked about the series in the first place and I don't think its ever going to happen.
I finished Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton. It ended much better than it started. The editing problems mostly went away and the story got good; very appropriate for the character. So I'll guess I'll be continuing with the series, with my hope.
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Finished DUST by Elizabeth Bear and recommend it. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the ending, though.
Read the 7th 39 Clues book (series for middle-grade readers written by different middle-grade authors.) Good, but nothing amazing. Liked this author's style. Find it interesting how each book is a little different based on authorial style, even though clearly they are following some "rules" (e.g., 3rd limited but roving POV, feels omni sometimes, certain plot details are known/clearly supposed to be revealed in particular titles, etc.)
Read THE MAGIC THIEF: FOUND - can't recommend this book highly enough. It's the third in a series, the author's name is Sarah Prineas. I just plain love Magic Thief, so much so that we are re-reading the original book on audio. These are middle-grade books about a boy and a different kind of magic system. The boy is plucky and determined, has a great voice. I love the way the author uses language to communicate what kind of person the mc is. Great book.
Currently reading THE RED PYRAMID by Rick Riordan, which is basically an offshoot of his Percy Jackson novels but featuring Egyptian gods/mythology. Interesting, but I do find the breakneck pace of this kind of book a little tiring after a while (very similar in pace to the 39 Clues books, so I'm feeling a little pacing burnout.)
Recenty been reading some unusual stuff for me.
I finished "The Time Traveler's Wife", and was pleasantly surprised. Of course it is not hard core Sci-Fi, more of a light fantasy, but it kept me engaged. GOOD.
Also finished "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo". This was one that had a quite good story line, but a combination of the translation and tendency to lean towards the tell-side of the show-vs-tell scale really sort of made the story feel flat much of the time. BETTER-THAN-AVERAGE
I got talked into readin the first of the Twilight Series, and despite my general disinterest in the romantic machinations of teenage girls, there was a lot to be said for Meyer's work. Deaspite a penchant for a bit of melodrama and occasionally explaining too much, the character of Bella is actually rather engaging. Quite well done for a first novel. GOOD.
To counteract Twilight I read Bram Stoker's "Dracula" in parallel with it. Similar to "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" there was a lot of narrative distance between the reader and the story (the story is presented as a series of journal entries). So I never felt immersed in the action. But, since it is the original vampire classic, RECOMMEND to anyone who hasn't read it yet and only knows vampires through literature of the last 20 years.
Usual first-of-the-month posting...it would seem I haven't been reading that much this month, though I kept buying new books I have yet to get to. But here's four interesting titles.
The First War of Physics: The Secret History of the Atom Bomb 1939 - 1949, Jim Babbott. At first I thought I wouldn't like it, but by the second chapter it had sucked me in and held me. It tells the story of the making of the atomic bomb---not just the oft-told tale of the so-called "Manhattan Project," but what went on in Germany and Russia, too. Readable even if you're not up on the technical stuff.
7 Events That Made America America (And Proved That the Founding Fathers Were Right All Along), Larry Schweikart. Essentially a collection of seven historical essays. Whatever your political viewpoint, I think you'll find some impressive stuff here, particularly the chapter "A Steel Guitar Rocks the Iron Curtain," making the case that rock-and-roll brought down the Soviet Union.
10 Books Every Conservative Must Read (Plus Four Not to Miss and One Impostor. Benjamin Wiker, Ph. D. This is hit-or-miss, depending (again) on your politics---but I bring it up here because of its sections on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (the "imposter") and Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," particularly the latter---for one thing, it clarifies for me something I had thought about, that the movies truly botched the character of Aragorn.
You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakus, Peter Doggett. Oh, no, not another book about the Beatles...but this one concentrates on the contracts and the lawsuits and tax dodges and the legalese...and not on their music or their colorful personal lives. (Some of that is here in this book, too.) I, a Beatles freak, learned a lot reading it---the Beatles, after all, broke up on what another writer called "the time-honored field of contract dispute"---and there were some facts that were wholly new to me, as well as some where the truth had not been told. (As a matter of fact, all four Beatles swore things under oath that are demonstrably not true...)
Finished Sanderson's The Hero of Ages. I loved all the Mistborn books, but I founf the end far, too familiar. Halfway through Simon Scarrow's Under the Eagle. After that, I'm leaning toward Jay Lake's Mainspring. It's either that or KJA's Terra Incognita: The Map of All Things, which I was a bit part of.
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Listened to David Farland's The Sum of All Men, followed by Brotherhood of the Wolf. Enjoying the series so far. I'm in the middle of Gallow's Thief by Bernard Cornwell (paperback, liking it) and just started Under the Dome by Stephen King. Oh yeah, a few weeks ago I listened to and enjoyed the audiobook of Louis L'Amour's The Sackett Brand.
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Hmm, well. I recently finished CORDELIA'S HONOR by Lois McMaster Bujold. I hadn't read any of her science fiction. (CORDELIA'S HONOR is the omnibus edition containing SHARDS OF HONOR and BARRAYAR.) Do I really have to say anything about the Vorkosigan Saga? Of course RECOMMENDED.
Then, since my current WIP is a YA fantasy, I read THE BLUE SWORD by Robin McKinley. Took a little getting into. I don't really like her use of flashbacks. But the story was good, once I got into it, although I felt she summarized the end a little too much.
Now I'm reading SPINDLE'S END, also by Robin McKinley. Once again, it took some getting into. Past the 100 page-mark and I just now feel like the story is getting started. Everything else was set up.
What is interesting between the two is that each has a completely different voice, especially in the beginning. (Or maybe I just don't notice it as much once I get used to it.) You wouldn't think they were by the same author.
Decided to go with Jay Lake's Mainspring, and it's a nice change and an interesting world. Though, I think he'd have been battered by Hatrack critiques, it's moving along nicely.
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Wow, it's been ten weeks or so since I posted in here... Since then, I've read only eight books. I must be slacking off. Sundiver, David Brin. Enjoyable, but with reservations. Good/Not Impressed. Warlord of the Air, Michael Moorcock. Loved the voice. Good. Land Leviathan, Michael Moorcock. More of the same, lacking the novelty. Good/Not Impressed. Steel Tsar, Michael Moorcock. More of the same, lacking the novelty. Good/Not Impressed. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley. Occasionally tedious, I wanted to like this much more than I did. Not Impressed. The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd. Great voice, a bit of humour, fun characters. Recommended. Carpet People, Terry Pratchett. A great idea, with a bit of Pratchett wit; a chance to witness the (revised) history of his writing too. Good. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand. Bodice ripping philosophy. My idea of good literature somehow: the story as rhetoric. I can't say I agree with all of it, but it's certainly been the most thought provoking book I've read all year. Recommended.
As usual, my reading is split across genres - 5 SF, 3 non.
[This message has been edited by BenM (edited July 22, 2010).]
I thought it was "Warlord of the Air," not "...Sky"...but Moorcock has published revised editions so many times that the title might've changed, too.
Loved the first two when I was younger---I read them out of order, but that's the way I found them---but would I love them today, when alternate history is all over the place and I know so much of real history that it's hard to relate to something that didn't happen...
I'm finishing Robin McKinley's SPINDLE'S END. I've gotten this far and I'm going to finish it. But, meh. NOT RECOMMENDED.
Her use of flash back in this one is really annoying--and unnecessary. In THE BLUE SWORD, it was mostly part of the set-up for the premise and once the story got started, it stopped. Not in this one. It's all the way through and at some of the most inopportune times. Especially since she's flashing back to things that happened within the timeline of the story. She could just as easily have told it in the right order--and she should have.
Just the fact that I can put it down in the middle of the overly-long "climax"/showdown with the antagonist probably tells you everything you need to know.
It pains me to say this 'cause he's an *******, but Dan Simmons's Black Hills is pretty good. Yeah, it's got his usual "I've researched the hell out of this and I'll point it out to you every single page and chance I get", but it's the best thing he's written in quite some time. There's a section between the main character and his future wife visiting the Chicago World Fair that's as good as anything I've ever read, and worth the price of admission alone. As a matter of fact, I'd even go so far as to say it's well worth picking up just for that section to see how effortlessly, and without any overt sentimentality or cliche, to see how to write two people falling in love. (Seriously. It physically pains me to say that as my opinion about the man himself is...let's just say that anything I say would be libelous.)
Don't buy it 'cause I don't want you giving the man any money. Just rent it from the library.
Taking a break from the young adult fantasy, even though (or maybe because) that's what I'm currently writing. I just started MISTBORN. Yeah, I know, took me long enough to get around to it. Let's just say I needed to have a break from Sanderson, too, after ELANTRIS.
ELANTRIS actually was a good story, but some of the way he went about telling it frustrated the @&$% out of me.
I just finished Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon. It was a respectable first novel that combines some detective noir elements with cyberpunk. Neuromancer it is not. I felt the writing was strong, but there was some gratuitous violence that really didn't do anything for the plot. There were some obvious allusions to current politics which I appreciated, but I did not appreciate the stereotypical villains in this sub-plot (which relate to the protagonist's back story). Overall I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.
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It hasn't ben an active book-reading month for me. (I did read a lot of Internet Fan Fiction, some of which I was much taken with, but I won't inflict comments about that on you.) I'll confine myself to two books I've finished, and one I did not.
Two I finished:
Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century, Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger. The Liz-and-Dick saga was the stuff of tabloid headlines in my younger days...this books gives a good feel of what it was like to have been on the inside of the saga. Reading it was like visiting with old friends.
Helluva Town: The Story of New York City During World War II, Richard Goldstein. This is an episodic account of...well, you can get just what from the title. I enjoyed it...and found, on one page, something that gave me a revelation about something utterly different in the memoirs of Isaac Asimov. (Asimov is not mentioned in the text.)
And the one I didn't:
Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954 - 1965, Mark Moyar. This is a very dense and very important book---it is not for the casual reading I excel in. I still hope to finish it someday---and I recommend it to everyone. Essentially, much of what you know about the Vietnam War is wrong. (A "Volume 2" is promised---this book is several years old.)
Science fiction? Well, I bought some "collected works" books by Lester Del Rey and by Fritz Leiber..."visiting old friends," though some of the stories are brand new to me.
And, sometime in the next month, I fervently hope to pick up Volume One of a biography of Robert A. Heinlein.
[Somewhere a word dropped out, so I'm putting it in again now.]
[This message has been edited by Robert Nowall (edited August 03, 2010).]
Over the Summer, I've been reading a lot of Philip K. Dick. If you haven't read anything by him and you enjoy having your mind blown, YOU HAVE TO PICK UP SOME PHILIP K. DICK. The man had a truly individual, creative mind; he came up with some crazy stuff that nobody else would ever come up with. Maybe it was the methamphetamines talking, but whatever it was, it gave us a bunch of truly original stories.
"The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch": RECOMMEND. The single most bizarre "I don't know what the heck is going on right now but my head is spinning and I love it" book I've ever read.
"Counter-Clock World": RECOMMEND. Took a concept that's been done a few times before (people age backwards, start old and get younger), and made it something completely new.
"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep": RECOMMEND. Just when you thought this was just another "evil androids among us disguised as humans" story, BAM! We're going freaking metaphysical on you.
Anyway, he's carved out a pretty solid spot in my list of very favorite authors ever (which is nice, because he wrote a crapton on books). You want something crazy and bizarre that you won't experience anywhere else, pick up a Philip K. Dick novel.
Kids and I have been delving way back into old fantasy lately with our audio book selections.
We've read the third, fourth, and are now listening to the fifth book from the Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. They are excellent books. While it's also due to an excellent voice talent, the character voice of each character is so unique, I know how hard this is to do, so I stand in awe. Highly recommend.
We also listened to Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones. It, too, was excellent. Very interesting very weird story - lots of fun. Not your standard fantasy, though it feels a little "normalish" at the beginning, it goes in many different directions.
I tried to read And Another Thing, which is Eoin Colfer's extension of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe series. It's been ages since I've read Hitchhiker's Guide, but I remember at least a little forward plot momentum. This story is so bogged down in non-sequitors and tangents that I literally can't do it anymore. I'm moving on.
So as to demonstrate it's not personal to the author, I'm reading Artemis Fowl, which is Colfer's YA contemporary fantasy series. It's cute and it actually is moving, so so far so good.
I had hoped to be reading Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve this afternoon. Today was the official date of release...but the local Books-a-Million didn't have it, or didn't have it out.
They tend to be slow with the lesser new releases. Tomorrow I'm popping down to the local Barnes & Noble, which is better about that sort of thing...and if they don't have it, when I get home, I'll order a copy from Amazon-dot-com...
I did get a copy of Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve at Barnes & Noble this morning...so far (up through Heinlein's graduation from Annapolis) it makes interesting reading, though I've stumbled across what I think are a couple of minor inaccuracies.
I'm happy to find out what events in his life shaped the man who, as it happened, did so much through his literature to shape my life.
I finished most of it, at the cost of a great deal of sleep before having to get up and go to work. Finished the rest of it before going to work...finished the footnotes this morning.
I liked it...it's a lot to digest, but I liked it.
One odd revelation. Early on, it mentions Heinlein making a visit to see the Liberty Bell as a child, when it was on tour and visiting Kansas City.
I would've thought that odd, maybe even wrong---I hadn't thought the Liberty Bell had left Philadelphia since Revolutionary days. But, even more oddly, I learned of these Liberty Bell travels for the first time not two hours before---by reading the jacket flap of a book about the Liberty Bell in Barnes & Noble, just after I picked up the copy of the Heinlein biography, but before I checked out. Odd coincidence...
Highly, highly recommended. Just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Harry Niles (a protag that bears more than a passing resemblance to Greene's Harry Lime) tries to stay one step ahead of EVERYONE so he can get out of Tokyo before war actually starts.
I knew nothing about Tokyo except what I read in Wolverine comic books (which is really nothing), and Smith does an excellent job of detailing the mores and customs of pre-war Japan. A valuable read if you're interested in world-building. Plus it's just damn good.
I'm currently mired in Sanderson's THE WELL OF ASCENSION, making progress very slowly.
I enjoyed MISTBORN, but this one strikes me as several characters in search of a plot. There's not one driving conflict moving the story forward, just a bunch of little conflicts annoying the characters who are actually probably more than capable of dealing with them.
Maybe it's just the curse of the second book in a series. Very few of them live up to the first and many of them are just plain bad.
Looking forward to finishing and hoping HERO OF AGES is better. If I don't find a plot in that one pretty quickly, I'll probably just quit.
Was Not Impressed with Mainspring by Jay Lake. It drug on, was vague where it should have articulated, the end came out of nowhere, and it was a struggle to get through.
On to Alan Campbell's Scar Night, the first in his Deepgate Codex series. It's good, so far. Flows from omniscient to 3PL, but does so smoothly. It is reminiscent of Gaiman's work, with its dark atmosphere and antiheroes. Now, if I could find some time to read it.
Meredith, you don't think that being in siege, both from without and within are not driving conflicts? Without giving anything away, I must say there is a conflict growing--just subtly--that becomes huge at the book's end. The Well of Ascension is the natural progression from Mistborn/The Final Empire, and if you stick with it, I think you'll find it is a completely necessary book (not just a space-filler in a trilogy). By the end of The Hero of Ages, I think you'll find Brandon's treatment of the series was really brilliant. (I discovered how so, when I picked up Mistborn again, after finishing.)
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I'm one of those annoying people that actually sneaks a peak at the ending. I know where this is going and I know what the conflict should be to support that ending for this book. It's not the seige.
No, in fact the seige of the three armies doesn't feel like a driving conflict. It feels pretty much like. . . well, like a seige. Long and drawn out with brief moments of excitement.
I don't dispute that this book may be necessary for the trilogy. But, like a couple of other middle books I can think of (the third in Lois McMaster Bujold's SHARING KNIFE series comes to mind), I'm reading more because I've come to care about the characters than because the story is pulling me forward.
My usual first-of-the-month update. I won't bore you with another recap of the Heinlein biography---I've read it cover-to-cover twice and skimmed through it repeatedly---other than to say that, if you're a true SF fan you should already have bought a copy.
Here's five other books I also read this month:
Selected Stories, Fritz Leiber. edited by Jonathan Strahan and Charles N. Brown. I mentioned it last month. Reading and rereading these stories was an enlightening experience, and a useful recommend to anyone who wants to know how it's done. I particularly recommend "A Pail of Air" and "The Girl With the Hungry Eyes." But read them all if you can get a copy---or if you have other Leiber books. (Charles N. Brown, longtime power behind Locus, died before the volume could come out.)
Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century, Michael Hiltzik. Delves more into the politics of Hoover Dam than any other volume I've seen---but doesn't neglect the details of construction, either.
The Fog of Gettysburg: The Myths and Mysteries of the Battle, Ken Allers, Jr. Of course there's a lot written about the Battle of Gettysburg---but a lot of "facts," stated as such, repeated from volume to volume, are utter nonsense. This volume disspells a lot of them.
The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of American Aviation, Thomas Kessner. This account of the flight of the Spirit of St. Louis is maybe less compelling than some (say, for example, Lindbergh's own, or the account in A. Scott Berg's biography of Lindbergh a decade ago), but it's a good introduction, and adds detail to the events not present elsewhere.
Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations: A William F. Buckley Jr. Omnibus. A collection of Buckley's writings, mostly from his newspaper columns, and a large number not dealing with the politics of the period(s) in question. (Buckley died early in 2008, essentially at the beginning of the current period, depending on how you slice things.) Buckley was difficult to argue with, as his arguments nearly always rested on solid ground. I've found his essay on the Beatles and religion (included here) strongly influencing my own position on their activities and spirituality.
I just read David Weber's Off Armageddon Reef and am hooked. I've always loved this concept of the past teaching the future. It was a slow start for me but picked up about four chapters in. Then I couldn't put it down. I'm definitely picking up the sequel.
A little oddity in my reading, an extra update here. Because of reading that Heinlein bio, I dug out one of my copies of Heinlein's Space Cadet and was skimming through it. (I would have thought I'd have it memorized by now, and I think I very nearly have.)
There's a scene involving how to maneuver in a spacesuit and jet. I don't know how it matches up against the real thing, more than sixty years later, but rereading it made me realize why some scenes in the Pixar movie Cars seemed so familiar to me---the "turn right to go left" scenes, if you know the movie. Offhand, it seemed kind of the same physics...
Just read The Name of the Wind after being given it for my birthday. I loved the blurb on the back. However, it took me a long time to get into it. Not so sure I really liked his style of writing. For me - it didn't get really interesting until he got to the university (over 200 pages in!). After that, I really enjoyed it and was reluctant to put it down. So, I thought it was Good.
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Recommended.
It's oftentimes clunky, but that may be because of the translation. However, as a story it's great. Again, not the most awe-inspiring of prose, and this'll never be confused with "literature", but if you're looking for a good mystery...
Which again reminds me that you don't have to be the best writer in the world to tell your story. Just tell your story, and if it's a good story, people will read it.
[This message has been edited by rich (edited September 15, 2010).]
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Recommended. Normally not a fan of Stephen King, too many of his pages are filled with rambling nonsense that his worshipers choose not to mention. This novel is focused entirely on a nine-year-old girl lost and alone in the woods, trying to survive. King brings us into the woods with the girl and keeps the tension alive as she seeks a way out. Posts: 147 | Registered: Mar 2007
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So I'm reading The Girl Who Played with Fire, and I'm about 3/4 through it so I'll go ahead and recommend it.
The writing's a little stronger in this sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but it's still clunky. There's also a spot where the main character literally disappears from the story for 200 pages (it's over 700 pages total), but...though the main character isn't on the screen (so to speak) everyone talks about her and we find out more about her background.
I don't know that I'd try that stunt at home, but it works for this book. Also, I was surprised at my own reaction while reading it...turning pages because I had to find out what was happening. Credit to Stieg Larsson for tightening the screws and building the anticipation.
Story, story, story, story, and a solid, interesting main character, and you've got yourself a bestseller.
I am a bit past halfway through and I am officially GIVING UP on THE HERO OF AGES. I'm so bored with Elend and Vin fiddling around while the world burns around them I don't even want to read any more.
I'm really disappointed that Sanderson couldn't be content with a strong female character, too. No. Not good enough that Vin could do things no other mistborn could. Or that Elend was emotionally stronger AND emperor. No. Have to make Elend a stronger allomancer, too. Pfft.
And I'm tired of reading what should be Vin's story either filtered through Elend's POV or through Vin thinking about Elend when she should be trying to figure out what she needs to do as the Hero of the Ages.
I realized this afternoon that I only really care about two characters any more--Spook and TenSoon. That's not enough to keep me reading.
On to something lighter for a while.
[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited September 19, 2010).]
Okay, I can finally list what I'm reading right now.
I had to remember to bring one book into the computer room--I needed the book to spell the title correctly.
So "Necropath" by Eric Brown.
I bought it because it sounded intriguing but about 80 percent through and it's not my favorite book. First it had a slow start, second it had a lot of info that the reader needed before it got to the main story.
Anyone want to guess what the title means? It took Brown at least half way through the book to explain.
Another reason I'm not crazy about it is because it's another one that deals with the dark side of humanity. I mean everyone is the story is poor-one character was a teen who was a street urchin and lived with a bunch of others. Another one is a hooker who worked out of a cheap bar. The main character seems more of a anti-hero who is very cynical and hides his past.
Next book is "In The Stormy Sky" By David Drake.
Part of the RCN or Lt. Leery series. Interesting universe Drake came up with, it's based on Roman society, I believe. Many of the plots are based, sometimes very loosely, I think, on real happenings in world history.
He is an excellent writer and engages me even when I'm not too sure about this society. I read these books too quickly and yet I'm not totally sure if I like one of the two main characters. Partly from her upbringing she is a bit fast on taking offense from someone below her ranking. The high ranking of her family that is, even though all of them but her are dead. And it gets a little tedious when she is always thinking about not minding if she died. She doesn't try to get killed but at the same she has to much emotional baggage to care that much either.
I need to finish "At All Costs" by David Weber. I think I know the logical ending and who may end up getting killed but I still need to find out.
Can't wait 'till I get to "An Artificial Night" by Seanan McGuire. Kinda dark UF series but still very good.
Dittos for "Face Off " by Mark Del Franco . Second one in a series and I was wondering if he was going to do the next one. He's got a different and a little strange web site and it's hard to tell when his next book is coming out.
And I got a long wait for "Changes" by Jim Butcher. Paperback version. But That is one I'm going to be reading way too quickly.
For a non fiction I'm reading "Liberty and Tyranny" By Mark Levin. Short and easy to read.
I finished Mockingjay by Suzanne Collings. It's the third book of the Hunger Games Trilogy. I enjoyed but I felt the end was a bit of a let down. It felt hurried and I wanted to add just twenty more pages and really show the ending. Instead it felt rushed and told and like she just wanted to finish. Despite that I enjoyed the book. I give it a GOOD.
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My first-of-the-month posting, one day late---I had a lot on my plate yesterday and there just wasn't time.
Actually, it seemed like I didn't read much last month. Some rereading...just one book caught my interest, and my reaction to that one is, well, kind of odd.
Our Times: The Age of Elizabeth II, A. N. Wilson. This purports to be, essentially, a history of post-war Britain, roughly from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II down to 2008. (I gather it was published in Britain first and has only now made it to America.) I'm interested...I've picked up bits of the history here and there and have always wanted to learn more. It proved an interesting read and held my interest to the end.
But here's the thing. Every time I ran across the writer's commentary on something I knew about---or thought I knew about---he's wrong. For instance, at the beginning of Chapter One there's a commentary on Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, stating essentially, that the work was about "a world wrecked, gone forever, destroyed." That's not the message I took away from The Lord of the Rings, and I doubt very much that was its appeal to the millions who bought and read it.
It's hardly the only example. A discussion of the Beatles misses the point---and adds that the Rolling Stones were the Voice of Britain---without naming a single song as an example. A discussion of Germaine Greer and feminism states there are "forty-eight chromosomes"---the correct number is forty-six. The point of the space race and the American space program is grossly misstated.
Yet some of the other parts of the work are still interesting---but can I trust them?
This work is said to be the third of three volumes...I think, if I ever run across them, I'll give the others a pass.
Just finishing up Gail Carriger's BLAMELESS. Like the others, a very fun read. I just wish the author was a little more rigorous; I keep catching little inconsistencies that pop me out of the story for a moment. They're annoying, especially because they would have been so easy to avoid.
Still, SOULLES, CHANGELESS, and BLAMELESS are all very fun reads when you want something not too serious.
Just imagine a character who would fit tolerably well in a Jane Austen story married to an oversexed werewolf.