Jim Jim's Comments (member since Dec 18, 2011)

Jim's comments from the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club group.

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1865 I've just finished, and I think I enjoyed this even more than the first book. I completely understand the concerns about pacing - especially the whole Felurian sequence. And I understand being frustrated that little was resolved. But this is a middle book of a trilogy that resolves almost nothing in 1000 pages and still leaves me wanting more. That makes it a 5 star book in my mind.
1865 One of my all time favorites. I've read the whole series a couple times now. I also highly recommend the re-read discussion on Tor.com if you haven't seen that.
2015 Hugo Awards (454 new)
Apr 04, 2015 07:37PM

1865 Ancillary Sword, The Goblin Emperor, and Skin Game all seem like perfectly reasonable nominations to me. Kevin J Anderson has never done much for me. And I don't know anything about Lines of Departure.

Personally I'm tired of all the controversy. Both sides have credible points to make and both sides have made pretty asinine comments. I've never been to a worldcon and have never voted for a Hugo. I'd just encourage anyone to vote their favorites and leave it at that.
1865 Flash Beagle wrote: "Matt wrote: "At first, I thought Sophia may have been pregnant. Did anyone else have this thought?"

Yes, I thought so, and the doctor who attended her quietly told her to be more careful. But af..."

Yes, exactly. She's still ill after the miscarriage, and is still ill at the big climactic scene where Chava carries the Jinni into her home and throws him in the fireplace. If I'm remembering right, the epilogue seems to say she calls of her engagement and goes travelling instead. But I felt her story was sort of cheated - she'd really been harmed by her relationship with the Jinni, and we see a fair bit of her viewpoint in the last 20% of the book. But we never really hear how things work out from her point of view.
1865 Overall, I enjoyed this quite a bit. It was definitely a slower paced read, and I can completely understand some of the reactions in that regard. I think we were still having new characters introduced up through page 200 or so.

Like many of you, I think I was more intrigued by the setting of turn of the century New York City than the story itself. The ending actually seemed to be a bit rushed - which is funny considering the length and how slow the first half of the book went. I think Sophia's story in particular seems incomplete. We never really hear about her illness and whether she recovers, although I guess it's sort of implied.
Feb 14, 2015 08:56AM

1865 I'm about 2/3 of the way through and am loving it so far. I haven't read anything from Bennett before, although American Elsewhere has been on my wishlist for forever.

The setting is wonderful - I understand the comparison with China Miéville but for me the most obvious similarities seemed to be N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy (lost/captured/dead gods) mixed with a bit of Sanderson's The Alloy of Law magic-meets-gaslamp feeling. There's also quite a bit of Joe Abercrombie's morally ambiguous characters and rough edged humour. In fact, Sigrud could practically be an avatar of Logen Ninefingers...
Nov 30, 2014 06:59AM

1865 I'm currently at 77/175. So not bad overall - the list has a LOT of great books, and many I intend to get to.

Unfortunately, I just never seem to have much time. I've managed only 6 club reads so far this year - just too many other good books out there!
Nov 09, 2014 10:31AM

1865 Well, my challenge hasn't worked out so well so far. I know that between work, the family, short story reading, and a comic book habit I keep meaning to cut down on, I can usually only manage 1-2 novels a month. I opted to do the 12 minimum, thinking I could do one group read and one other book each month. But I've just had too many other good books, and not enough time. So I've only now hit 6 group books for the year. I may be able to get one or two more in, but I won't hit 12.
Jul 19, 2014 06:27PM

1865 I'm a couple months late to the party but just finished this one. I have to say I thought this was fairly .... Meh. Like others above I just found all the characters a bit generic. Nothing to really grab me. And I agree the ending was a complete deus ex machina.

I'd consider giving some other Gemmell books a shot since I know so many people love his work. But I won't be racing out to chase any more down.
Mar 25, 2014 08:02PM

1865 I've just finished this and I'm glad to see others had trouble following the various Mianaai factions and their motivations. Do we really know which Minaai survived on the Station at the end?
1865 I finally got an ebook from my library today - they had quite a waiting list. I've only been through the first two chapters and I'm enjoying it so far. The writing is generally pretty clear although I'm still trying to figure a few things out (what's a decade?) I know I've seen the concept of an AI controlling multiple simultaneous bodies before but I'm not sure where. Ring any bells with anyone?
Feb 07, 2014 08:22PM

1865 I really enjoyed Yellow Card Man for some additional background into the windup universe. But I think Pump Six may have been my favorite of the book. As dystopias go, the idea of society devolving into carnal idiots has a certain ring of truth. If you watch enough reality tv (or the Grammy awards) you could certainly think we're heading in that direction already -;
Feb 07, 2014 08:15PM

1865 Quite a competition here. Which was actually more disturbing? Pop Squad or Softer? As bad as Pop Squad was, I found the story of a murderer soaking in the bath tub with the naked corpse of his dead wife to be even worse.
1865 I read Yellow Card Man after reading the Windup Girl and really enjoyed the additional insight into that world. I assume that Trahn is really supposed to be Hock Seng from WG. Why was the name changed? Which was actually written first?
Jan 26, 2014 08:35PM

1865 I'm about halfway through The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan. I've already read The Red Tree. So far this one has a different tone. Less of an overt horror vibe although there's certainly lots of ominous foreshadowing going on. I hope to have time to finish it tomorrow.
Jan 15, 2014 07:59PM

1865 This was the first Scalzi book I've read and I have to say I thought this was an incredibly fun, quick read. I can understand those who complain about a lack of depth or characterization. But I really don't think that was ever the goal here. This reads like an updated golden age story and I think it succeeds very well on that level.

As I read, I found myself thinking what a wonderful movie this would make. I can't remember the last time I read a science fiction novel that I actually thought would work well as a Hollywood movie. But I sure hope this has been optioned somewhere!
Jan 03, 2014 05:51PM

1865 I've challenged myself to the minimum of 12 too. Between work and family issues, it's generally very difficult for me to read more than 2 books a month. I have a huge pile of things I'd like to get to, but I figure dedicating half my time to the group reads should be good for me. I've been looking for an excuse to read a Scalzi book, so Fuzzy Nation will be one of the next I tackle.
Dec 28, 2013 07:22AM

1865 I really enjoyed this, although I agree that Sanderson's writing has further improved since this was written.

I've previously read Elantris and the Mistborn books, and I've always been a bit baffled by the Hoid character. I know he's supposed to be a multi-verse sort of connection between Sanderson's books, but I never really noticed him in Elantris at all and only figured out who he was in the Mistborn books from reading online afterwards. I'd heard others say it was Warbreaker that actually named the character and gave some more information. But I was a little disappointed here - he's actually a pretty quick cameo and there doesn't seem to be any special insight into the "Cosmere" here at all.

So is the greater Cosmere picture really known only through Sanderson interviews and his website more so than through the actual content of the books? Or is this better explained in The Way of Kings (which I haven't gotten to yet)?
Dec 01, 2013 12:24PM

1865 I've had the SFBC edition of this one sitting on my shelf for years. I've always meant to get to it but this one never seems to get the attention his other books do. I sort of figured this meant it's not as good as his others and so I always kept putting it off. But this is the perfect opportunity for me to finally get to it.
Oct 20, 2013 07:07AM

1865 Thanks Michelle - It was the "tekton" part I couldn't figure out, but that makes perfect sense now!
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