Wanted a break from dark, brooding books and chose a fantasy novel with a storyline that is easy to follow. The main characters are likeable and a perfect contrast to the villains with their evil intentions. The plot includes twists and, as desired, the action includes manly swordplay.
One of my favorite scenes was when a minor character, who had lived a sheltered and secluded life, saw a woman for the first time. “My, they are even more beautiful than horses.” One of the main characters replied “I agree, but I wouldn’t tell them that.”
Mitchell Hogan could make mowing the grass sound exciting and memorable. There were some tense moments that had me up late at night and the magic elements were unique. Sure, there were too many characters and the book was somewhat repetitive, but does not detract from a solid narrative.
In the near future, a malicious virus sweeps through the US and leaves some of the victims bed ridden, connected to feeding tubes and have their diapers changed by caretakers. While this may sound depressing, the victims have neural networks installed in their brains which allow them to control an android. As a robot, they are able to lead relatively normal lives, well except for not being able to feel, taste or smell.
The book follows one victim who lives in Washington DC and has just joined the FBI. On the first day of work the agent is assigned to a murder case with tentacles throughout the city.
I chose to listen to the Amber Benson version because she is an actor, author and is gaining the reputation as a talented narrator. Rarely have I heard someone with so many distinct voices and able to maintain the voice throughout the book.
This book delivers on the promise of blood, and if I could have been a character in the book, it would have been as the owner of a funeral home. After the government is overthrown, all former officials and civic leaders had their heads lopped off (Cha-Ching). Next, a civil war breaks out which leads to more burials (as in more Cha-Ching). Then a neighboring country declares war and the bodies pile up (Cha-Ching Cha-Ching).
But, the book is at its best when describing the unusual powers in this fantasy world. Some people sniff gun powder which gives them the power to guide bullets while in flight to hit their target while others use magical gloves to smash buildings. Most unusual was a deity who uses his cooking skills to bend others to his will.
Every March 15 I think about Julius Caesar, but since I only have a few thoughts, I decided that a 25 hour book would fill some gaps. As expected, it’s jam-packed with military battles and the political intrigue of the Roman Senate. But this book also shares details that left me in shock. For example, there was the widespread practice among Roman Senators of seducing a rival’s wife to gain a political advantage. Also, as a demonstration of leniency following a bloody battle, to cut off the hands of the defeated army and setting the soldiers free. I was also surprised by Caesar and Cleopatra’s motivations for becoming friends with benefits. And finally, the narration is delivered with an academic voice that frequently reminds us that demeaning, mutilating and using others was very acceptable in the ancient world.
Originally I skipped this book because the publisher’s description led me to believe this was just another story about slaves on Mars working for the man. Instead, the publisher should have summarized “Red Rising” as a dark, violent coming of age Sci Fi thriller that builds on George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “Nineteen Eighty Four”.
Now I am late to the party and trying to excuse myself. Somebody needs to yell at the publisher!
A maniacal villain is planning to cleanse the world of everyone he dislikes, which is almost all of us. The book’s hero would like to stop him. Expect action, tense moments and difficulty turning the story off when it’s time for work or bed.
The author reminds me of Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, The Lost World, etc.). The book is packed with interesting science facts and the author’s views on religion, government, taxes, torture and comic book heroes.
A coming of age book that includes intense space battles and high tech cloak and dagger. Unfortunately for me, the storyline also includes first love. I did enjoy that she broke his nose during their first argument.
This is a series, but uncertain that I am motivated enough to continue.
I have a weakness for parodies and other laugh out loud Sci-Fi books. A few of my favorites are "Jane Carver of Waar", "Redshirts" and "Hard Luck Hank: Screw the Galaxy". The "Willful Child" will not be joining this esteemed list of classic literature. I liked the high-tech gadgets and that the ship’s crew was selected based on their photographs. But, this book seems more like a novel about Zapp Brannigan (Futurama) than a parody of James T Kirk from the original Star Trek series. The Willful Child’s captain is arrogant, condescending, racist, sexist and stupid. Hard to like someone who reminds me of a US Senator.
In the distant future, Humans have reached the golden age. Many have relocated to a distant solar system and built 10,000 artificial habitats which are designed to fulfill a fantasy or provide access to a unique lifestyle. An innocuous computer program error sets events in motion that, if unchecked, will lead to the genocide of humanity in this futuristic Garden of Eden. A detective (prefect) with the single minded purpose to bring justice to those who break the law is determined to track down those who are responsible. But can he succeed against a mind that is vastly more intelligent?
Published in 2007, this was one of my favorite books of 2014. There is action, intrigue, twists and a villain who is meant to be hated. And, as always with Alastair Reynolds, technology that I wish I could purchase at Amazon. While part of the “Revelation Space” series, it is a stand-alone book and covers events that precede other books in the series.
The “Abyss Beyond Dreams” reminds me why I listen to Science Fiction. When faced with the certain destruction of their civilization and the Milky-Way Galaxy, the Commonwealth quickly clones one of their two most influential leaders and ships him off to save the day. (The other person was too busy to help.) Does the intrepid hero succeed? The outcome may or may not end as planned, but the listener is guaranteed a good story.
If I was interested in listening to this book, but had not heard the 100+ hours of the previous novels, I would not hesitate. Yes, the other books provide background, but are not a requirement for enjoying a well told story by a Science Fiction heavy weight.
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