In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg breaker, assassin, and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel "cuts" water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet while the poor get nothing but dust.
I tried to listen to Paolo Bacigalupi's previous novel, The Windup Girl several times but the world and character building in the first half kept turning it to one of those books you keep coming back to less and less until one day you just start something else. This book has the same problem for me, but I stuck it out until the threads came together and the overall story really started going. I'm glad I did as it's pretty good. Good enough that I will go back and give The Windup Girl another shot.
This type of Noir Detective/Thriller in a non-standard setting has always been my favorite. Though lots of of times I've come away disappointed. The Water Knife has its flaws, but looking back at it as a whole, even with what I'll say are minor pacing problems, I find that I liked it a lot. I look forward to Mr. Bacigalupi continuing in this Future Noir genera.
Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi. One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know.
Like many such set-ups the good bits are the explorations of the setting, in this case the murder victims come back thing. The murder mystery by itself is pretty middle of the road when you look at by itself. I really liked it, but didn't realize it wasn't a full length novel until it was over. Some of Mr. Scalzi's best writing and Zachary does a superb job as narrator. Only thing that it was missing was more.
A war fueled by the dark powers of sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard - for Prester John, the High King, slayer of the dread dragon Shurakai, lies dying. And with his death, an ancient evil will at last be unleashed, as the Storm King, undead ruler of the elvishlike Siti, seeks to regain his lost realm through a pact with one of human royal blood. Then, driven by spell-inspired jealousy and hate, prince will fight prince, while around them the very land begins to die.
I read these books as they were coming out in the late 80's and early 90's. I honestly and surprising don't remember too much of the story except I thought the beginning, before Simon leaves the castle, was too slow and the overall series was really good. Listening now it's all coming back to me and I'm really excited to get through the original three books and then get The Heart of What Was Lost, the new sequel to the series.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
"Click-Clack the Rattlebag", a subtle, witty, deceptive little tale, is your Halloween treat from Neil Gaiman and Audible, FREE through October 31. It's not available anywhere else, and for a limited time, each download from Audible benefits educational charities at DonorsChoose.org. Lock the doors, turn off the lights, and enjoy!
It's a quick story at under 15 minutes and when I listened to it, twice, I just thought it was pretty good and got on with what I was doing. I don't know what made me think about it more later, but thoughts of it swung around in my head.
Then at about 2:30 AM I got up out of bed to use the bathroom. I turned on the light in the bathroom so when I climbed back into bed I was still blinded by the light's after affects and couldn't really see. ...and I started thinking about the story again managed to really get myself creeped out. I had no idea my house made so many strange noises in the night. Then when a leaf fell off a dollar plant I have by the window, I have to admit I kind of lost it. No, I didn't scream or jump or anything. I knew it was a leaf falling off, it happens all the time and I know what it sounds like. But I did get up and turn on the TV to light up the room and mask the sounds the house was making so I could go back to sleep.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
You will enjoy it too granted you are into sci-fi TV shows somewhat. Well, if you have at least watched some sci-fi TV shows, especially if they were somewhat poorly written but you still kind of liked it. You kinda glossed over the fact that if another planet suddenly appeared next to the earth, the tides going nuts would be the LEAST of our problems, not to mention if the world were to be teleported to the Medusa Cascade and put into some complex orbit with 25 other celestial bodies. Seriously, didn't these writers ever watch Thundar the Barbarian when they were a kid? In that show a comet passed between the earth and the moon and turned the planet into a post-apocalyptic world with monsters and magic! Seriously though, you can't just screw with the gravitational forces like that.
Okay, sorry about all that above, was writing this while catching up on Doctor Who on Netflix. Back to Red Shirts, think Star Trek as the TV show and then add in all that stuff about the wacky, poor science and other things you just accept because it's a TV show. Now that you have that in your head, think about what is really going on. Now enjoy the ride.
Don't worry if you had the 'twist' spoiled for you, because it is the story, the journey, not the 'twist' that makes it a good story. The 'twist' bit comes out pretty quickly so don't worry. I figured it out from the other reviews and I still enjoyed the story.
The book does get a bit more serious in the two pro-logs, or "Codas" as Scalzi calls them. Though after you've read the book you'll understand why he feels the needs to put his toys away nicely.
Now somebody send this book to the people writing Doctor Who and make sure they read the first Coda.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.
Have you ever seen your chosen profession, hobby, or other general area of knowledge represented in popular media in a way that is just so off-base that you just couldn't take it? I am a video game designer and have been professionally since 1985. I know about video games, MMOs (massively multi-player online games) and the like. I play them and I've made a few. The setup that Stephenson describes for the game T’Rain bugged me so badly in how it was created, how its economy works, how it handles offline play, how players view it and interact with it and and and... I had to stop. Maybe if I had gotten over the hurdle of his chapters on the background, creation and running of the game I would have liked the actual story. I did like "Ready Player One" and that had some technical issues to, but I easily overlooked them in the course of the story. Reamde however spent way too much time going over and over these technical issues in a way that just left me with a really bad feeling and completely pulled me out of the story.
If you are a Stephenson fan, this feels like a solid Stephenson book. If you don't know what really goes into the sausage of a making an MMO you probably won't have the same reaction I did. So please take my review with a grain of salt.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
The end is coming. Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him but it’s going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the King of the Northmen still stands firm and there’s only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend and his oldest enemy. It’s time for the Bloody-Nine to come home. With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta is fighting a different kind of war. A secret struggle in which no-one is safe and no-one can be trusted.
If you've listened to the other two books in this series you might be wondering how it all ties up, especially given the pacing of the story. I'll tell you that the story does come to an end, though that isn't "the end." A lot of the set-up that the story has been pacing out does finally play out with pretty much all the cards on the table. Then it goes on for a bit in a sort of epilogue which lays out anything you might have missed, no more secrets about who is behind what.
But although this is definitely the ending to this story, there is more. The end is obviously putting some of the characters into place for what I guess will be the Second Law series.
In the end I liked it overall and would recommend it to others. I will also probably read a second series if indeed I am right about that.
Bitter and merciless war is coming to the frozen north. It's bloody and dangerous and the Union army, split by politics and hamstrung by incompetence, is unprepared for the slaughter that's coming. Lacking experience, training, and in some cases even weapons, the army is scarcely equipped to repel Bethod's scouts, let alone his elite forces. In the heat-ravaged south, the Gurkish are massing to assault the city of Dagoska, defended by Inquisitor Glokta.
I said in my review of the first book int his series is that it felt like just a story about these character who are just going about their lives without an overall plot. You only barely get hints of something bigger going on, but it is all played very close to the chest. Now however there are some more things going on. Things are happening and the characters are reacting. There are also hints about the bigger picture so you can get a feel about what is going on overall in the world.
All that being said it is good and I'm well into the third book now.
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.
It took me a while to figure out the one bit that was hampering my enjoyment of this book. It is well written with a host of interesting characters. It is just that they aren't really trying to do something. Sure there are minor goals, Nine fingers is trying to go here, Luthor is trying to win the sword fighting competition, and so on, but over all there doesn't seem to be a point. For the most part it feels like it is just a story about these character who are just going about their lives without an overall plot. You only barely get hints of something bigger going on, but it is all played very close to the chest.
I think it would have been better served if there was something stronger tying it all together, even if it didn't work out or turned out to be a ruse.
It isn't until halfway through the second book in the series that you start getting hints at the bigger picture and what some people are up to.
All that being said it is good and I'm well into the third book now.
When an unspeakable tragedy befalls a family of traveling minstrels, they become stranded and left for dead. Here in the heart of The Black Forest, Peter Piper and his older brother Max encounter ominous forces that will change them both irreparably. Thus begins an epic tale of sibling rivalry, magic, music and revenge that spans medieval times to the present day when their deadly conflict surfaces in the placid calm of modern-day Fabletown.
I almost missed the Fables comic/graphic novel series, because I wasn't that impressed with the very first story. In retrospect I blame the artist, feeling he didn't quite capture the detail necessary for the "who dunnit" story. After that though I was hooked hard. Peter & Max is a good story on its own even if you aren't familiar with the Fables series. The bit where it explains the Fables backstory does feel slightly out of place. Actually, it feels like exactly what it is, an aside to explain the back story.
The story itself is solid and well told and I highly recommend it. It has a pretty solid pace all the way through and was a great listen. Wil Wheaton's narration is solid.