I have read a few books from Reynolds several years ago, and I did like them. I was satisfied with The Prefect too. Actually, more than satisfied, I liked it very much.
Being a scifi fan, I always enjoy good science fiction stories. The Prefect is one of those which feels real. It happens in the future, in a far galaxy. The people use technology we just dream about today. There are futuristic habitats, which are members of an utopian democracy. But in spite of these, the story feels like it really happens. Reynolds makes the it so.
I listened to the audiobook version, and I can recommend it if you want a good book.
John Perry is back with his sarcastic humor, and his adopted daughter, Zoe joins him together with Jane. It's like meeting with old friends.
In this book - as in other Scalzi books - there is always something bigger going on in the background. The CU lies to Perry about its real purposes, but he is smart enough not only to play along but to turn the whole situation to his advantage - saving thousands of lives in the meantime.
Scalzi have put a little more than the usual twists and turns into this story right until the end.
If you want ten hours of entertainment, read this book.
Zoe's Tale is a nice addition to the other stories in the series. It makes The Last Colony complete, adding further details. When reading a book I always was wondering about supporting characters. What would be their full story? How they see the events? What is their life like? In this book I got exactly that.
As far as I can tell the author got well into the mind of a teenager.
This story was like meeting old friends and waving them and saying hello. It's not super exciting, but a good read.
The best fantasy I listened to recently.
The world-building is so detailed and well done, it's like walking on the stony land of Roshar, among the Alethi soldiers, looking towards the Origin, waiting for the next highstorm.
By the end of the book I made friends. I feel like Kaladin, Dalinar and the others became my friends, because I know them inside out: their fears, their past and their desires.
The book is extremely long and it could be shortened in some parts, but overall, it's worth listening to.
At first the intonation of Michael Kramer drove me crazy, but I got used to it, and by the end I didn't think about it anymore.
I had certain expectations knowing that this book won several awards.
The world building was accurate, vivid, I could see, hear and smell the places. The consequences of the world running out of oil, new diseases and advanced genetic engineering were well thought through. The Thai setting was interesting.
However, the story was so slow, I got bored. I almost gave up listening at one third of the book. Then something interesting happened, and I kept listening, but I could hardly wait for the next good action.
There is a lot of repetition, for example the start-stop motion of the windup girl. Every time she appears, I was reminded how strange it was. Many times in the scenes she was in.
I could not root for the characters, actually I don't know who was the real protagonist.
The reading was good, except it was also slow, I listened to it at 1,25 times speed.
I hesitated between 2 or 3 stars, finally I gave 3 because of the accurate world building and the cool ideas the story had.
I like John Scalzi's work since I listened to the Old Man's War audiobook. That was the first one I have read from him.
The story of The Ghost Brigades happens in the same universe as the Old Man's War, and I loved that Sagan was part of this story. (If you don't know: Sagan is the clone of Perry's wife, who dies before Perry joins the army. Perry and Sagan have an interesting relation.) It gives extra connection to the previous book. By the way, it really helps if you read the Old Man's War, because a lot of ideas grow from that story, and you can understand better what's going on.
The Ghost Brigades could be a simple space-military type of book if it hadn't several layers. The base of the story: the Colonial Defense Forces fights against the threat from three alien species, who made an alliance against the humans. This already gives reason for a few exciting actions, like taking a research base by force or kidnapping the heir of an alien race. Or blow up the generator and shot the bad guys' base to pieces.
But more is at stake, because by the end of the book we learn that hundreds of races making alliance and other races are making their counter-alliance, so something BIG is going on in the background.
If we go deeper, we see how the Ghost Brigades soldiers are born. Or made would be the better word, because they are clones of people who died on Earth and didn't have the chance to join the CDF as Perry did in Old Man's War. Which raises a series of questions. How can they coop with the fact that they are very young yet fully grown adults? By their "teenager" years they could be retired veterans. And how can they develop an own consciousness? The Brainpal implant seems to solve this issue by providing all the necessary information while they discover the world.
Talking about the brain implant: it is amazing. Not only because it's like an endless source of information, but because it provides deep integration between soldiers. Scalzi unfolds the possibilities of this technology to several degrees, and uses it's impact to create compelling situations and also trouble. Which makes the story more interesting.
The implications of the consciousness-transfer is well done, and its contribution to the final conflict is well played out. Also brings some interesting questions: who really is Jared? The newborn CDF soldier or the incarnation of Boutin, the bad guy? Can the consciousness of Boutin take over completely, or Jared develops his own personality?
There are some really good twists and turns in the story. And of course, there is the characteristic Scalzi humor (for example the stone throwing), which is like a good spice to a delicious food.
It may seem too sentimental, but I liked the ending: Perry, Sagan and Zoe will be a family most probably. I suppose I will know more when I read Zoe's Tale.
This was the first book I have read about willpower, but I'm glad I did. I understand so much more why I give in when tempted by food or entertainment, instead of eating healthy or do something useful.
Just reading this book raised my self-awareness, and I already do more sports, eat less junk food and spend less time watching TV or playing computer games. I will read it again so I can build the technics into my daily practices.
This book was exactly for my taste. Fast paced with lot of adventures. Strong characters. Cool mass destruction weapon, which was destructed by the end, of course. I don't know why I haven't read Cussler novels before, but I definitely will.
This is not the kind of story I read before from Neal Stephenson, but I liked it nonetheless. I worte a review on my blog.
This is a real scifi with aliens, robots, spaceships and laser guns. Time after time it is refreshing to listen to an audiobook without overcomplicated concepts. The story goes around an old concept: aliens attack the Earth to pirate its raw materials. Other aliens send help, so the humanity has a chance to defend itself. But then comes a spin: the help arrives in a form of automated ships, which pick up their command personnel by their own. In the process selecting the suitable candidates they kill the unsuitable ones without hesitation.
After losing his children, it takes time for the hero to come to the conclusion that these ships are not evil, but simply follow an algorithm. Nothing is black and white, as it is the case in real life.
I enjoyed the story, which develops from ships killing people to war with giant robots. And of course, there are nanorobots, which injected into people make them superhuman.
If you want a "shoot the alien robots" type of story, this one will entertain you.
The girl with the dragon tattoo strikes back - with a little help of her friends. This book is the third in the series, and I enjoyed all of them. I'm really sorry that there will be no more books in the Millennium series.
For many people the plot flows slowly. I like fast paced stories myself, but Larsson draws so rich picture of events that I didn't mind the very detailed scenes. Sometimes I was wandering if some particular chain of events was necessary, for example the subplot about the harassment of Erika Berger could be left out. However it added to the whole picture, and I was satisfied that the bad guy got caught.
The characters are very well done. You not often see an anti-social, introvert person as protagonist, but I have ot admit, it worked just fine. Lisbeth Salander is small, but very capable. Her look doesn't say anything about her hacker skills and problem solving abilities. By the way, I was thinking about who is the real protagonist in the Millennium trilogy, and I would say there are two: Salander and Blomkvist. So actually, besides the strange protagonist we also have a hero, who fights for the truth.
In spite of the relatively slow flow, there is a lot of action. The story is compelling, the stakes are high, even the constitutional rights are threatened. There are some really bad guys on the loose within the secret service, who do anything it takes to keep their secret undiscovered: they break into apartments, bug telephones, deceive prosecutors, and they are not afraid of killing people.
Fortunately the good guys outsmart them, and the end gives the satisfaction that the truth wins over the lies.
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