These books really hold up well to a second reading. There were so many details that really jumped out the second time around and the plot was just as...moreThese books really hold up well to a second reading. There were so many details that really jumped out the second time around and the plot was just as exciting and fun. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: if you haven't read this series, do so! You won't regret it. Believe it or not, I think I like them better than Harry Potter. There is just a bit more depth, not to mention the educational value. Good, good stuff.(less)
Good, as expected. Paranormal mystery about a wizard who sometimes works with the police to investigate unusual crimes. Dark but not depressing, good...moreGood, as expected. Paranormal mystery about a wizard who sometimes works with the police to investigate unusual crimes. Dark but not depressing, good character, decent plot.(less)
Brilliant. Entertaining. Smart. Complex. Sometimes crude and violent, but not without purpose. In fact, not a word is without purpose. Imaginative sci...moreBrilliant. Entertaining. Smart. Complex. Sometimes crude and violent, but not without purpose. In fact, not a word is without purpose. Imaginative sci-fi based in a traditional mystery format and a vivid exploration of human nature.
Preface: I love Pern and have read every single book in the series and plan to do so until I die or the McCaffrey clan stops writing them.
Overall: A g...morePreface: I love Pern and have read every single book in the series and plan to do so until I die or the McCaffrey clan stops writing them.
Overall: A great book, read it!
This one started a tiny bit rough for me in a few ways. One of the things I love most about this series is how vivid and real it's become for me (after reading what appears to be 22 books or stories). In reading this book it felt to me a bit like the author felt the same way, a little too much. Some common knowledge felt assumed to be there, and when it was regarding the several previous books set in the same time period and authored or co-authored by Todd McCaffrey, I just didn't have the same recall as with the books I've read multiple times. References were made to characters or events that I either could not remember or only remembered vaguely. And the pacing seemed a bit odd and rushed in the beginning. Both of these things could be explained by over-editing, of course. Neither was a deal-breaker at all. They were my only complaints or concerns with the book and did not bother me at all as the book hit it's stride.
This book takes place at the end of the 2nd Interval, beginning just before the 3rd Pass of the Red Star. It is the same time period used for the 3 books Todd McCaffrey co-authored with his mother, Anne McCaffrey, and the 1 other book Mr. McCaffrey solo authored. When they first began writing in this era I was hesitant, not sure that I would enjoy getting to know a whole new crew of characters and settings. But I was wrong. The stories were quite good and I enjoyed reading about aspects of the society that I had not seen before. The first several books dealt a lot with miners and watch whers in addition to the usual Holds and Weyrs. This book, while primarily about dragonriders, continues to explore these themes, and adds more by way of traders. The focus of the book is the experiences of a young woman named Fiona. Fiona is the daughter of Fort's Lord Holder who unexpectedly Impresses a queen dragon. When a dragon illness sweeps the land her big challenges begin.
What I liked best about the book is that it really compliments the others in this section of the series. The events take place at the same time as the other stories, but are told from a very different perspective. Old friends weave in and out as supporting characters, letting us know more about them and adding a sense of realism. Exploring events in this way really made the world feel even more real, adding a great deal of depth of my sense of understand this world and the events of this time. It is also very interesting to see how the line is walked between already established events both in the settling of the planet and early years and in the events of the future in relation to this time period. The consistency is excellent, allowing for a real sense that this planet was settled 500 years ago and it's people retain some memories and abilities from that time that were completely lost by the time we encounter the world in the books that introduced the series (DragonFlight, etc), which take place before and during the 9th Pass (around year 2500 After Landing or so I think). The changes in science, medicine, culture and even language are consistent with this placement in time. In fact, it bothered me at first when a few times when a character used a word that didn't feel "Pernese" to me (ex: awesome, great) until I thought that this actually reflected the more "modern" language of the earlier settlers and not the ways of speaking in the later books.
Readers should know that Fiona is a young girl, only 13 at the beginning of this book. While she is young, this is not a book written for teens, although I sure it would be enjoyed by them. Todd McCaffrey seems to enjoy writing stories of extraordinary young people who rise to the occasion during difficult times, as this theme is seen in all of his Pern books.
I didn't give you much here about the actual story, huh? Well, read the book and find out! It's enjoyable, although not as intense or dramatic as Dragonsblood. If you can, it would be best to read Dragon's Kin and Dragon Harper first, then Dragon's Fire if you wish (I didn't love it) and certainly Dragonsblood before reading this book. As a stand-alone it's a decent story but probably quite confusing and without the great sense of place and time that I found in reading it after the others.(less)
Once again an extremely enjoyable YA book from Brandon Sanderson. This book is the second in the series begun with Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarian...moreOnce again an extremely enjoyable YA book from Brandon Sanderson. This book is the second in the series begun with Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians. The sarcasm is off the charts, there is great adventure, and even some thoughtful ruminations thrown in. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy adventure, or just a series of good laughs. I would especially recommend it to tween and teen reluctant readers, who are sure to enjoy the humor and fast-paced escapades. I greatly look forward to a continuation of this wonderful series.(less)
I can't remember the last time I identified so much with a lead character. OK, I lied - it was Stephenie Meyer's Bella. The coincidence of it being a...moreI can't remember the last time I identified so much with a lead character. OK, I lied - it was Stephenie Meyer's Bella. The coincidence of it being a vampire story is just that, a coincidence, but that both are coming of age stories about young women is not. I have very little in common with Rose, the lead in Frostbite and Vampire Academy. Other than our smart mouths, though I'm not quite as quick on the draw as she is. I am not, nor was I ever, particularly strong, brave, confident or coordinated. But I still really identify with this girl. She has a mix of toughness and vulnerability, combined with loyalty and curiosity, that I really relate to. Richelle Mead is wonderful at presenting vivid, complex and very likable characters. The plot is more exciting than in the first in the series, the new characters are intriguing, and the progression of the series is enticing. But really, it's all about Rose.(less)
Overall, I liked this book very much. It was more substantive than his Nightside series (which I also like, but not quite as well). It wasn't quite as...moreOverall, I liked this book very much. It was more substantive than his Nightside series (which I also like, but not quite as well). It wasn't quite as dark, also. It felt a bit more like a combo of the action in his Deathstalker space opera with the horror/dark fantasy of the Nightside books. More humor, a very likable protagonist and a fun new premise to explore. There were a few of his classic divergences into long descriptions of the weird creatures he's imagined without any real impact on the story. But overall it was fast-paced and a fun new take on the genre. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.(less)
It was great to read a book in this genre that is very well written and imagined. I've been reading Simon R. Green's Nightside series at the same tim...moreIt was great to read a book in this genre that is very well written and imagined. I've been reading Simon R. Green's Nightside series at the same time, and the difference is striking. Although the tone and subject matter are similar (horror, magic, dark tragedy, a paranormal detective-style story set in the modern world), the quality of the talent, or at least effort, is remarkably different. I'm not knocking Nightside, which is an fun series, just noting that Mike Carey is an excellent writer and that this book is complex, engrossing and enjoyable. I would say that it is even better than the first book in the series, The Devil You Know. My only critique is that although I enjoy learning a few new words in a book, I had to look up a few too many to avoid annoyance. Some of that is because of the American/British divide, but it still got on my nerves some, felt like he was being a bit too clever.(less)
Just wonderful. All of the best elements of classic sci-fi and who-done-its, yet totally new at the same time. I was fascinated on every single page....moreJust wonderful. All of the best elements of classic sci-fi and who-done-its, yet totally new at the same time. I was fascinated on every single page. The way she wove the science and human angles together was perfect. In an odd way, it reminded me of the first Dune book. Not the story in any way other than perhaps the genetics/breeding humans stuff, but because both universes were so fully imagined that they feel absolutely real, from technology to politics to interpersonal relationships, it all rings 100% true. I'd also compare it to Richard K. Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs series in the areas of writing skill, smart authors who don't make the reader feel dumb, likable but deeply flawed heroes, and great use of imagined and real technology. It also includes my favorite sci-fi elements of a deep question of morality with more than one legitimate answer (if not methods?) and an exploration of human, and non-human, rights. Without being preachy, always a tough thing to do.
June 2013 - I'm happy to say that I still loved it after reading it a second time. I was nervous that the glow would have worn off, but the second reading just let me appreciate and absorb the details more, and take note of a few things that I vaguely remember might have significance in the second book as well. I'm so thrilled that the third book in the trilogy has finally been released, I wasn't sure if it would ever happen at one point. Chris is one of the smartest authors I've come across. This series and her new YA historical fantasy series (totally different in every way except for the cleverness that permeates every bit of it, check it out) are real achievements, I'm so happy for her.(less)
This was another terrific book by Mike Carey. It's a pleasure to read a book written by such a talented author. His use of language is just a step abo...moreThis was another terrific book by Mike Carey. It's a pleasure to read a book written by such a talented author. His use of language is just a step above most authors. When he describes a scene, I see it clearly. His descriptions are original and extremely vivid. He uses language in an extraordinary way; unfortunately I can't describe it was well as he does it. I put a few references in my comments, but I'd have to quote almost every page to capture the number of times I was amazed and impressed.
The story continues the tale of Felix Castor as he gets wrapped up in another adventure through his job as a "spiritual adviser." Fix used to be an exorcist, but he now feels uncomfortably aware that he doesn't know where he's sending the ghosts he exorcises, so has an uneasy relationship with his skills and basic nature. I think the book would work well as a stand-alone, but it helps to know Fix and his back story. This tale is dark, funny, thoughtful, mysterious with a touch of adventure.
Felix is still a bit of a mystery to me, sort of a typical mystery lead male character, sarcastic, stubborn on a case, loyal to his friends, and reluctantly heroic. There are several stories in this book that weave together to a satisfying whole, with some nice foreshadowing of an even bigger story to come. The parts about Felix's friends Pen and Rafi might seem a little out of place to a new reader, but to those who've read the previous books it would have been very out of character for him not to have followed up with his friends. I thought it added a touch of realism, that no matter what extraordinary things happen in life, the rest of the world still carries on and needs to be dealt with. The exploration of Juliet's nature and character are sure to be fan favorites, she's a terrific character.
Overall, it's a great book and a great series. Any fan of dark mysteries or urban fantasy is sure to enjoy Mike Carey's books.(less)
This book reminded me of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Eugenie, the lead character, reminded me a lot of Anita with her great combo of fie...moreThis book reminded me of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Eugenie, the lead character, reminded me a lot of Anita with her great combo of fierce action and vulnerability and heart. Richelle Mead really is great at writing female characters, I've loved the leads in all three of her series. In this book, I really enjoyed the combo of a modern setting with the fae/magical creatures and Otherworld. I also enjoyed the mythology tie-in, it gave it a nice firm historical basis for me. The pace of the story and the way the action and romances unfolded kept me interested throughout. And I'm definitely intrigued to see what happens in the next book. (less)
A very good first book. Interesting premise, a very different magical history and structure. Great characters. Gritty and dark without being bleak. Lo...moreA very good first book. Interesting premise, a very different magical history and structure. Great characters. Gritty and dark without being bleak. Looking forward to the next one.(less)
**spoiler alert** In some ways a better book than book 2, on other ways worse. Jane has been shown to be a completely self-centered person who has nev...more**spoiler alert** In some ways a better book than book 2, on other ways worse. Jane has been shown to be a completely self-centered person who has never asked David (her Warder) one important thing about his life, has abandoned him for 6 months and never checked to see what that did to his career or his life (who's paying him, for goodness sakes?), and even found out at one point that her best friend had moved her new relationship along to the sleep over point without Jane even knowing they'd slept together. Which is all pretty inconsistent from the gal who was presented off and on throughout the books. It's just hard to believe some of the basic premises sometimes. But overall it was a good story and had a satisfying ending. (less)