I really enjoyed to experience of traveling to the past and seeing an example of what life was like several hundred years ago. A fun romp through history.
I absolutely detested the scenes from the future history department / time travel people. They were silly characters, almost all incompetent (or unconscious). You could have cut out half of what was going on and still made the point. It slowed down the plot and tried to inject mystery and suspense in a way that simply bored me.
And many of the characters were clearly there to be funny. But they were so over the top that I found it detracted from the story. Personally, I wasn't in the mood for a serious book with silly characters, just as I've not been in the mood for a silly book with serious characters.
This is my first book by Connie Willis. I might try another one of the authors books. Her style was generally good and subtle humour appreciated. The comic relief characters I found irritating, however.
Jenny Sterlin's job of reading the book was unimpressive. She talked extremely slowly and her pauses between each character, each piece of dialogue, each sentence was to long. I found myself continually annoyed waiting for her to say something, or finish what she was saying.
This novel breaks everything I thought I knew about the fantasy genre. Instead of a story of an evil despot taking over the world like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Sword of Truth and more, this has him win 1000 years ago. The world is under his tyranny. This is what it looks like when your stereotypical evil lord wins.
So now we need to rebel that he has been in control for a 1000 years. But this novel takes it's narrative from the standard heist movie. A guy with a plan to steal puts together a crack team of different skills to accomplish his goal.
I really liked that the ending climax was all based on the rules we had learned before. Sometimes in fantasy things just happen at the end, because it's all just made up and the author can do anything. But I think Brandon Sanderson does everything very logically and I find that is just one of the things making this book refreshing.
I'm certainly looking forward to reading the sequel.
In the fantasy genre of novels and movies, you have this thing where the male lead and female lead characters always end up with each other, no matter how much they hate each other at the start. It's very cliché. And summarized in the Evil Overlord List where it says the following:
"98. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others' lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution."
Brandon Sanderson's books so far have taken as many of the fantasy clichés and turned them on their head. He has the male and female lead bicker constantly. But then, they don't get together. For any normal person this makes sense. But for people who have read a bunch of fantasy, it's actually delightfully jarring. That's just one example. He plays with the clichés and then breaks them. I like genre writing that subverts the genres own tropes.
This book is full of action, interesting ideas, and further explores the world first shown to us in the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. In that book a lot of things changed, and here is a view from outside of the noble houses.
Not my usual. I thought it was interesting, though at times predictable. Certainly created a creepy setting.
This novel concludes with some interesting implicit themes made explicit. It had a touching (but I sometimes think cheap) ending, but was overall good.
This is the last book in Sequence 1 of the Inheritor/First Contact series. It's very much a continuation of the first book, but also sets up the plot for Sequence 2.
This is a great sequel to the first book in the series. I thought the last book had interesting ideas and explored the alien relationships well. I understand why C.J. Cherryh decided to write the first book as she did. However, it just wasn't exciting as we were kept away from the action, except for the end.
This book takes place right after the first, and there is a lot more politics and a lot more to the plot — solving my only reservations about the last book. It's a slow moving, well crafted exploration of cultures colliding and dealing with the crisis that the return of the starship created. With the foundation of the first book we can really explore these issues more.
∗∗∗∗ ⋅ /5 Writing style
∗∗∗∗ ⋅ /5 Audiobook Narration
∗∗∗∗∗/5 Interesting ideas
∗∗∗∗ ⋅ /5 Engaging story
∗∗∗∗ ⋅ /5 Good science/technology
∗∗∗∗ ⋅ /5 Overall
This is a solid, slow pace, well thought out novel. It deals with how language and the brain interact to produce culture, and how alien cultures will have alien languages and will have motivations and desires completely alien to us. It's a first contact novel that takes place hundreds of years later when forces conspire to tilt the careful balance of Embassytown off kilter.
However, it is both dense with ideas and not an engaging writing style. Very interesting; many ideas that you must pay attention to. However, it's narrative didn't carry me away with it. But China Miéville paid good attention to the society and characters of the Embassytown compared to the rest of the galaxy, as well as the alienness of the Hosts and their unique language.
This interesting and action pack conclusion to the Greg Mandel story is clearly some of Peter F. Hamilton's earlier work, not as big picture as his other work. It is a fun conclusion to the career of Greg who has become a much older man than he was in the previous books. It's hard for me to call these a trilogy as there is no story connecting them. But it is the end cap of Greg's career.
Here we see a peak of Hamilton's galaxy spanning narratives. Without spoiling much it's a first contact novel that deals with multiple human organization (government, corporate) vying for access and control in a short time frame and with almost no one knowing what's going on. Hamilton's prosaic writing I find to be clear, concise, and lets the story speak for itself.
This book was a good, clear book that showed how the company Google thinks about it's mission, works on the inside, and affects our lives, as the subtitle says. Some bits here and there delve into technical aspects but was simplified well. As a programmer and someone who follows the tech industry this book shed a little light on why Google has done the things it did.
I've never a Liaden book or a book from the authors. This far future sci-fi tale was interesting, the pace was constant, and the universe interesting. While this novel didn't excite me terribly, but it kept my attention and there are some interesting ideas that are in the background that will clearly be major elements of future books as this book was written after but takes place before the main series of books. I will look forward to reading them.
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