Romance and romantic missteps, intrigue and counter-intrigue, and painful emotional growth (not to mention insect growth as well) abound in this insta...moreRomance and romantic missteps, intrigue and counter-intrigue, and painful emotional growth (not to mention insect growth as well) abound in this installment of the Miles Vorkosigan series.
This book took me from laughter bursting forth to tears trickling down my cheeks. Bujold is a master of the one-liner, but she also sets up and unfolds the most absurd situations in absolutely believable detail. Her characters are so real, so layered, so nuanced--not just Miles, but his clone-brother Mark, his new lady love Ekaterin, even the supposedly feckless Ivan.
Just as the characters in the series continue to grow and develop, so does Barrayar as a culture. Bujold never loses sight of the fact that the planet with its history and its people is a character in her novels.
Poor Ivan--the only main character left without a partner at the end of the lively dance that is A Civil Campaign.(less)
This is an odd little book. First, not at all what I expected, given its Young Adult label. I would recommend it to OLDER young adults, I guess, because Reeve's dystopian London is quite complex and there is a fair amount of violence and death in the book.
Reeve plops the reader down in this dystopian London without a lot of explanation as to when the story takes place (far future) or how the world got to be the way it is. It's an intriguing setting and, in some ways, London itself is one of the characters in the story.
At the center of the story is the conflict between ordinary humans and the Scriveners (a "superior" type of human). The Scriveners had ruled London but had been defeated in riots, yet a few remained, as did their hunters (the Skinners Guild). Fever Crumb, the young engineer, is caught up in the middle of both this past conflict and the impending conflict with the Movement (nomad humans).
Fever is an unlikely heroine, and that is part of the appeal of the story. Although traditional "good guy/bad guy" lines are initially drawn, they quickly become blurred as the story unfolds and we realize that all the characters have mixed motives and are just trying to survive.
At its heart, this is a story of survival and the search for one's identity, not just for Fever, but for several of the other characters around her.
I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars. For me, as an adult reader, more backstory would have boosted the rating. (less)
**spoiler alert** I know, I know, each Vorkosigan Saga book I read, I seem to say, this is my favorite. Well, once again, I have a few favorite and it...more**spoiler alert** I know, I know, each Vorkosigan Saga book I read, I seem to say, this is my favorite. Well, once again, I have a few favorite and it's Komarr.
First and best, it is Miles as Imperial Auditor Vorkosigan, unraveling (with help) a mystery. He is on the planet where his father acted in such a way as to be called The Butcher of Komarr. He is growing into his new role. And he is falling in love.
I found Ekaterin's character to be sympathetic and compelling. She is, in many ways, emotionally frozen, and yet her compassion and caregiving instincts are strong. She nurtures plants and virtual gardens as she is unable to nurture her relationship with her husband.
Tien's death is convenient, but since Ekaterin was leaving him and had informed Tien of that fact before his death, I felt like the death simply made things easier in the aftermath. It didn't change the direction she had already started to take for herself.
I did find it somewhat contradictory that Ekaterin was so numb, so dead, so emotionally flat and yet so quick to respond to Miles. But then we get a clue as to how he was able to penetrate her numbness when, at the very end of the book, Ekaterin describes Miles as "concentrated". I loved that description and it so completely captures his force of personality. And yet, throughout the book, he is simply himself and, I might add, even more at home with himself than in any book prior to this.
Seeds of romance to be nurtured in the upcoming books, I hope, and a whopping good mystery in this one. (less)
Pirate Latitudes is just what is appears to be, a rollicking pirate adventure story, a bit on the gory side. Although Hunter and his crew take excepti...morePirate Latitudes is just what is appears to be, a rollicking pirate adventure story, a bit on the gory side. Although Hunter and his crew take exception to the "pirate" label and see themselves as privateers, they are hunting treasure and don't mind bending or breaking the rules to obtain it. Hunter is intelligent, clever, and daring--a strong leader--and he surrounds himself with fellow privateers who have incredible expertise in given areas that are necessary to his success.
The characters are interesting, each with his or her own backstory (sometimes only hinted at) and quirks. My favorites are Lazue and Anne Sharpe. Anne caught my interest from the moment she was introduced and her character leapt off the pages with confidence, resilience, and resourcefulness.
The twists and turns of the story are many, some predictable and some not. What I thought would be the climactic events happened in the middle of the book, so I knew I was in for more surprises.
This is a quick read, a wonderful adventure by Crichton.(less)
**spoiler alert** I had a hard time getting into this book, partly because my life was interfering and partly because I couldn't believe Miles Vorkosi...more**spoiler alert** I had a hard time getting into this book, partly because my life was interfering and partly because I couldn't believe Miles Vorkosigan was "letting" Admiral Naismith be so stupid!
But after I got about a third into the book, I read the rest in almost one sitting. Miles may be short, but he really had to stretch in this book. He has grown and matured in every book in the series so far, but this book really took us inside Miles as he discovered how to find his balance, his true and integrated self.
Memory was a very satisfying book in so many ways. We not only witness the ongoing development of Miles, but we get to see Gregor in love and Illyan without ImpSec.
While I have enjoyed the Admiral Naismith adventures, I have always found Vorkosigan to be a more interesting character, and this book really focused on the Barrayar side of Miles.
On a 10 point scale, I gave Memory a 9. But Goodreads has a 5 point scale and the depth of this book moves me to give it a 5.(less)
Jeremy Robinson's Pulse is my first encounter with this author, and I will admit that Special Ops adventures are not my usual fare. But Pulse was a qu...moreJeremy Robinson's Pulse is my first encounter with this author, and I will admit that Special Ops adventures are not my usual fare. But Pulse was a quick and action-packed read--I finished it in two sittings!
Part of what attracted me to the story is the science fiction element of an artifact that may endow one with immortality. Another attraction was the connection to ancient Greek history and mythology. And I actually found myself caring about some of the characters. Robinson does a good job of making each member of the Delta team an individual.
There was a bit too much bloody mayhem for my taste, but I found that if I thought of the story as a video game, it was easier for me to swallow.
And the misuse of the word "site" for "sight" (more than once) made me wince and wish for better editing.
All in all, a book I enjoyed more than I expected, but still not something I would normally buy. This was a First Reads win for me.(less)
**spoiler alert** Not great literature but certainly a page-turner. The tone was a little too "preachy" for me, which is why I gave it 3 stars. But I...more**spoiler alert** Not great literature but certainly a page-turner. The tone was a little too "preachy" for me, which is why I gave it 3 stars. But I loved all the "insider info" about the Masons and Washington, DC. I know I will look at the city differently the next time I am there.
I guessed early on that the location of the Lost Word was going to be the Washington Monument, but I never guessed that the tattooed man was Zach. I was suspicious of Sato for quite a while--she was an interesting character!(less)
**spoiler alert** I finished the book last night. Like Spin, I felt the story started out as a character driven story that was pretty accessible even...more**spoiler alert** I finished the book last night. Like Spin, I felt the story started out as a character driven story that was pretty accessible even as unusual things happened to the earth. Then we get a dose of SF-babble (my word for the "explanation" that I don't quite grasp). Then we get more story and, through the story, we come to better understand the SF-babble. (That' probably a bit of babble on my part...)
I cared about Guilford and his yearning to live a "normal human life" was poignant and touching to me. The other characters were fleshed out enough for me to like or dislike them and to be interested in what happened to them. The only character who seemed out of place was Colin Watson--why was Caroline so attracted to him (and apparently not to Guilford, even though married him) and then why did he leave after they went to Australia?
Before the first Interlude, I thought maybe the insectile creatures were from Mars and they had somehow tranformed Europe as part of their invasion.
On a 10 point scale, this is a 7 for me. But Goodreads is a 5 point scale, so I have to decide whether to bump it up to an 8 or down to a 6. Hmmmm...(less)
I didn't like the whole first part of the book, but it was necessary to the remainder of the story. I didn't like Mark and I'm still not sure I do, but I have more respect for him now.
Mark's time on Barrayar and his conversations with Cordelia, Aral, and Gregor are highlights in this book. (Side comment--when did Gregor become so insightful???)
MIles with cryo-amnesia was very interesting, trying to choose whether he was Naismith or the clone (Mark), not knowing that Miles Vorkosigan was an option until his memory cascade.
I also thought it was interesting that Bujold continues the idea that Miles Vorkosigan needs Admiral Naismith as an "outlet" to keep from going crazy--sort of a therapeutic alter-ego--and then expands the idea in Mark with his multiple egos (Gorge, Grunt, Howl and Killer). Will "Betan therapy" integrate these in the future? Will that be a good thing or a bad thing for Mark?
And will Aral and Cordelia go full circle and move to Sergyar?
I finished The Golden Key, after more than a month. It's the not fault of the book that it took me so long (although it is almost 900 pages and spans...moreI finished The Golden Key, after more than a month. It's the not fault of the book that it took me so long (although it is almost 900 pages and spans 400 years). Because there were days-long periods of time between readings, I don't know if my perceptions are that accurate. But I thought I could "feel" the differences in the sections that were written by each of the authors (Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott). The middle section of the book was my favorite, and, to me, it seemed to flow the best, but again, that could be because I read most of that without long breaks in-between.
I have read other books by each of these authors and liked them a lot, so it's not surprising that I gave this book 9/10 on m personal rating scale.
What I liked: I found the system of magic to be original and unusual. Most of the characters were people I ended up caring about. Although there was an inevitability about the conclusion, it was satisfying and there were enoguth twists and turns along the way to keep it from being too predictable.
What I didn't like: I still am confused about the power of the Grijalva Gift vs. the power of the magic. I would like to know more about how the Tza'ab used the magic vs. how the Grijalvas used it. And the similarity of names used through the years, while very appropriate to the setting, made following the story challenging at times.
Let me finish by saying that I know this book was meant to be followed up by 3 volumes, each written by one of the authors of this book. That plan apparently was scrapped years ago, but perhaps some of my questions would have been answered if those books had been written. (less)
**spoiler alert** Miles Vorkosigan and his alter ego, Admiral Naismith, are closely intertwined in this story--sometimes it's as confusing for the rea...more**spoiler alert** Miles Vorkosigan and his alter ego, Admiral Naismith, are closely intertwined in this story--sometimes it's as confusing for the reader as it is for Miles, but Bujold certainly handles it deftly. Then she adds to the confusion! It never occurred to me that Miles's comment to the reporter about there being a clone of him would turn out to be true, and a clone planned & paid for by Komarrans--never saw that coming!
Interesting tidbits that stood out for me: Miles's realization that giving Elli such a beautiful face was not necessarily the gift he initially thought it was, but Elli is a stronger and more capable officer because of it. Miles's longing for Elena, so thoroughly buried but so heart-breakingly real, was very touching and deeply moving.
As always, the center of each Miles tale seems to be about second chances, about overcoming one's circumstances, about making difficult choices and accepting the consequences, about learning who one really is and what is truly important, which may be different for each character.
So, why 4 stars and not 5? A bit too many identity switches, and some over-stretching of the limits of believability, even for Bujold.(less)
Ethan is from an all-male planet who manages population replacement and growth with cell lines from imported ovarian tissue and local sperm donations from approved fathers. The cell lines are getting old and decaying and new stock is needed. But when the order is filled, the specimens sent are useless and, in some cases, are not even human tissue.
So we have a mystery (what happened to the ordered tissue?) and a problem (how do we get more tissue?), and Ethan is sent to take care of the problem and, along the way, meets females for the first time and solves the mystery. We meet Cetagandan miliary operatives, Elli Quinn (a name from an earlier Miles/Naismith adventure), and Terence Cee (a key to the mystery).
I liked this book a lot and thought it paired well with Cetaganda in the Miles, Mystery & Mayhem omnibus. Both, at heart, are mysteries and have themes of genetic and sociological engineering.
I think Ethan's inner curiosity contributed mightily to how quickly he lost his naivete. Given that he was raised in such a closed society, he was amazinly open-minded. In acting as an operative for the Dendarii Free Mercenaries, I liked the way Elli Quinn consciously invoked "WWND?" (What Would Naismith Do?)
**spoiler alert** Brokedown Palace is the first book I've read by Steven Brust, and I know I will read more, but I have to say I had a hard time getti...more**spoiler alert** Brokedown Palace is the first book I've read by Steven Brust, and I know I will read more, but I have to say I had a hard time getting into this book.
What I liked: the characters, especially Prince Vilmos, Countess Mariska, and Brigitta. While they didn't feel like "main" characters, each was a key in the story.
What I didn't like: the Interludes--for the most part, they felt incongruous, especially the ones that were "legends" of past kings, princes, or other Fenarians. I tried to figure out what they had to do with the main story, but most of the time, I was clueless. I also didn't like how many things were just unexplained--the various animals, for example--there was very little description and I was unable to picture them.
I will admit to being a not very careful reader--I usually read too fast and, in this book, I read it in fits and starts and didn't get into a "flow" with it. At the end of the book, I couldn't recall where Miklos had previously met Devera. And although I understand that Brigitta had Power from Faerie, I don't understand the oblique reference to who her father was. Nor do I understand what happened to Mariska before she came to Fenario.
So--I enjoyed the book enough to want to read more of Brust's work, but I hope I won't always be so frustrated and feel so confused at the end of his books.(less)
This is my favorite book so far in the Miles Vorkosigan series.
What I liked: A limited sphere of action, fewer characters than some of the other books...moreThis is my favorite book so far in the Miles Vorkosigan series.
What I liked: A limited sphere of action, fewer characters than some of the other books, a mystery to be solved, and a closer look at the Cetagandan civilization.
Miles does more thinking things through in this novel, rather than making so many intuitive leaps. We get to see more of his relationship with his cousin Ivan (who provides some of the laugh-out-loud moments in the book). Miles continues to learn about himself, continues to come to terms with his physical limitations, and continues to be bold in following his own path.(less)
The Hero of Ages is a darker book than the first two in the series, and not just because the ashfalls have worsened. Self-doubts, loss of faith and ho...moreThe Hero of Ages is a darker book than the first two in the series, and not just because the ashfalls have worsened. Self-doubts, loss of faith and hope, and depression plague all the major characters. But we see Elend Venture mature, integrating his various roles into a coherent person and strong, compassionate leader. We see Vin accept the burden of her gifts. We see TenSoon, Sazed, and Sppok strive to find the ways to carry on in this ever-darkening, failing world.
Brandon Sanderson ties the trilogy up in a neat bow at the end, a little too tidily in some respects. It is a surprising and yet fitting conclusion to the series.
On a 1-10 scale, this would be a 9, highly recommended. After completing the Mistborn trilogy, I have moved Sanderson onto my list of "must read" authors.(less)
**spoiler alert** Brandon Sanderson has done a wonderful job of continuing the story of Vin, Elend, and the remnants of Kel's crew after the overthrow...more**spoiler alert** Brandon Sanderson has done a wonderful job of continuing the story of Vin, Elend, and the remnants of Kel's crew after the overthrow of the Lord Ruler. We get to know the familiar characters even better, especially Vin and Elend, and meet some fascinating new ones like Zane and Tindwyl.
But do we come to understand any better what the Mists are? What the Lord Ruler did at the Well? What is required now? How the kandra and koloss came to be? Maybe a little bit, but not enough to satisfy my curiosity.
And there are other unanswered questions that may or may not be important, in addition to the big one posed at the end of the book: Why did the Steel Inquisitors destroy the Terris Synod and the Keepers? What is going on with Marsh? Why did Zane have a spike in his chest?
The first book, Mistborn The Final Empire, felt like more of a story in itself as well as the first installment of the series. While The Well of Ascension moved the plotlines forward, much of it seemed to be a set up for the conclusion. I have high hopes and expectations for the conclusion of the trilogy.(less)
This book really reads as two separate stories--the episode on Kyril Island and then the adventure with Ungari and Gregor. Miles has difficult choices...moreThis book really reads as two separate stories--the episode on Kyril Island and then the adventure with Ungari and Gregor. Miles has difficult choices to make, and his nimble mind makes the unexpected connections out of conjecture.
I am coming to like and appreciate Miles, conflicts in his life, the forces that drive him. His "Admiral Naismith" persona is engaging and amazing, but it is the reality of his Vorkosigan life that I appreciate the most.
New and old relationships shape this story, the changes that relationships must undergo over time and in different circumstances.
I wanted to savor the story and Bujold's marvelous way with words, but I also couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next, and so I raced rather than rambled through the book. I will try, next time, to slow down to better appreciate the writing, but I have a feeling Bujold will have me turning the pages till late in the night yet again.
On a 1-10 scale, I gave it a 9, so on a 1-5 scale, it would be a 4.5.(less)
I am just working my way through Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan books and this is only by second contact with young Miles. The reader clearly sees his intelligence and humor, as well as his determination to make his way and his mark in the world. We get a taste of the forceful personalities that have helped him become the young man he is, as well as the important role of the planet Barrayar itself in shaping him.
I'm now looking forward to following Miles into his next adventure and watching him mature as he struggles with his own limitations and those of the people and society around him.(less)
Too preachy, too predictable, too clichéd... None of the characters had any surprises, and the minor characters, rather than being interesting, were s...moreToo preachy, too predictable, too clichéd... None of the characters had any surprises, and the minor characters, rather than being interesting, were so stereotypical it was almost laughable. I know this trilogy was written early in Lawhead's career, but even compared to the first two books in this series, this was a letdown.(less)
Miles Vorkosigan (going by Miles Naismith during most of this story) is an adolescent of long noble lineage, short stature, and a bone disease. He has...moreMiles Vorkosigan (going by Miles Naismith during most of this story) is an adolescent of long noble lineage, short stature, and a bone disease. He has galloping hormones that are outstripped by his ingenuity, capacity for risk, and sheer inventiveness.
Lois McMaster Bujold has written a rollicking tale with more than its share of lucky coincidences, yet it is a layered tale of characters trying to define or redefine themselves, of characters exceeding the expectations of others, of characters dealing with losses and overcoming them.
Miles is surrounded by a cast of characters almost as colorful and intriguing as he is. Through a combination of luck and intuition, Miles finds ways to win unlikely allies and defeat formidable foes.
I'm looking forward to following his continuing adventures as I read further into the Miles Vorkosigan series.(less)
**spoiler alert** ** spoiler alert ** Although I own other books by Brandon Sanderson, Mistborn The Final Empire is the first I've read, but it certai...more**spoiler alert** ** spoiler alert ** Although I own other books by Brandon Sanderson, Mistborn The Final Empire is the first I've read, but it certainly won't be the last. I will be finishing the Mistborn trilogy this fall for sure!
Sanderson creates a fascinating and diverse cast of characters, featuring Vin, an untrusting and street-smart member of the thieving crew, and Kelsior, master Allomancer and thief who comes up with an audacious plan to overthrow the Final Empire. While they dominate the action, the secondary characters of Saze, Dox, Ham, Breeeze, Elend, and others add depth and interest.
I have read a lot of fantasy, and I found Sanderson's world to be unique, as were his systems of magic (Allomancy and Feruchemy). The politics and bureaucracy of the Final Empire were, in my opinion, also fresh and original.
I was frequently surprised by the twists and revelations as the plot progressed, especially in the last few chapters.
I also liked the excerpts from the log or journal of the "Hero of Ages" that prefaced each chapter. Unlike some readers, i was not tipped off by them that perhaps the Lord Ruler was not who we thought he was. (less)
**spoiler alert** Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks is the first book in his science fiction series about the Culture. In this wild adventure, Horza i...more**spoiler alert** Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks is the first book in his science fiction series about the Culture. In this wild adventure, Horza is an agent for the Idiran who are currently fighting a war with the Culture. He has a number of experiences, some stomach-turning, some heart-pounding, as he tries to carry out his mission to capture a hidden Culture Mind.
I liked Horza, although his connection to the Idirans never seemed terribly strong to me. His status as a Changer, while useful in some of his escapades, also didn't seem to set him apart from the other characters as much as I thought it might.
My favorite characters were actually the two females who became close to Horza in one way or another--Yalson, his ally in the Free Company, and Balveda the Culture operative who keeps turning up in Horza's life. And I really liked two of the machines--Unaha-Closp, the rather prissy drone who has a lot more fight inside than anyone realized, and Jase, the ancient drone who serves Fal, a Culture Referer (a rare and highly intuitive thinker). We are given glimpses of personality that are very revealing for each of them.
Some readers have criticized the number of characters who are introduced and then killed off. I think that is an accurate reflection of Horza's life and the way most people come and go in it. He doesn't have a chance to really connect with them, and it would interfere with his mission, so we don't really get to connect with them either.
Some readers have also expressed concern about the violence. I think a lot of the violent action is similar to a big budget action adventure film with great special effects--exciting and spectacular. The disturbing violence, to me, is contained in the more personal scenes, like the sewage torture, Horza'a combat to join the Free Company, and the Eaters. Each of these is important to the plot, I think, and had more impact on me that the "shoot 'em up" scenes.
I plan to acquire the other Culture books and look forward to reading them in the future. (less)
**spoiler alert** The path of the story in The Warlords of Nin is quite predictable, but there are some interesting stops along the way. I especially...more**spoiler alert** The path of the story in The Warlords of Nin is quite predictable, but there are some interesting stops along the way. I especially like the character of Inchkeith and continue to be fascinated by Toli and the bits we are learning about him as the story develops. Myrmior was also an intriguing addition to the story.
I know that Lawhead needed Nin and his warlords to be the ultimate evil, the destroying force, but I would have liked to know more about how the four warlords came to serve Nin. We also are told that Nin's warlords, navy and armies have literally destroyed most of the rest of the world, but that seems to have very little impact or importance to the characters in this story.
The new map in this book is a great improvement over the one in the first book, but more of the world should have been depicted so we could better understand the apparent invincibility of Nin and his warlords.
I will be reading the final book in this trilogy, if only to see if Quentin is able to combine kingship of Mensandor with furthering his study and understanding of the Ariga in Dekra.(less)
This book really is "the rest of the story" of Shards of Honour. The main characters, Cordelia and Aral, are more fully developed and their relationsh...moreThis book really is "the rest of the story" of Shards of Honour. The main characters, Cordelia and Aral, are more fully developed and their relationship is more nuanced. The other central characters, Piotr, Drou, and Kou, really come to life. I found the history and culture of Barrayar to be more developed as well, and that helps with understanding the characters' attitudes and actions.
I'm looking forward to getting to know Miles as I read more of this series, but I will miss Cordelia and Aral and hope they make more than cameo appearances in the upcoming books.(less)
Diamond Star is a stand-alone book, but it also is part of a collection of books, novellas, and short stories that Catherine Asaro has written about t...moreDiamond Star is a stand-alone book, but it also is part of a collection of books, novellas, and short stories that Catherine Asaro has written about the Skolian empire/universe. I also have to disclose that this is the first of Asaro's books that I have read.
The book is strong enough to encourage me to read more of her books, especially from the Skolian empire series. The book is weak enough that I almost didn't get far enough to come to that conclusion. Let me explain:
The first third of the book is very focused on introducing us to Del and his baptism into the world of the music business of the future. Other than references to fancy equipment and the fact that Del was from a planet other than earth, I felt like it was a book about a wannabe rock singer of the 1960s or '70s, and I wasn't very intrigued.
But as the reader gets to know Del and some layers of background are unpeeled, the story becomes more complex and compelling. I found the last half of the book to be engrossing, fun, scary, and thought-provoking, and I found the ending to be heart-wrenching. I was surprised I had come to care so much about Del and his relationships with family and friends, but I had. That's the mark of a good writer.
I will be interested to see how some of Asaro's other Skolian books compare to Diamond Star. I am especially interested to read about some of the other members of Del's family to better understand how they became the people they are in this book.
If we could give half-stars, this book would be 3.5. I bumped it up to 4 rather than down to 3 because of the strength of the second half of the book.
The CD that goes with the book is quite good--not music I would normally listen to, but I received it with the book and have listened several times. Kudos to the band Point Valid.(less)
**spoiler alert** This book featured "clunky" writing and a rather heavy-handed religious subtext, but in spite of those issues, I enjoyed the story o...more**spoiler alert** This book featured "clunky" writing and a rather heavy-handed religious subtext, but in spite of those issues, I enjoyed the story of Quentin and his comrades in their quest to find and free the Dragon King.
What I liked: The Jher, especially Toli, who accompanies Quentin and becomes both his servant and friend. The city of Dekra and the caretakers who are restoring it. Durwin, ex-priest, ex-sorcerer (who still has a few tricks up his sleeve), ever-seeking enlightenment and peace.
What I disliked: The Queen was a bit too unqueenly for me--she adapted to her circumstances marvelously well, but that was unrealistic, even for fantasy. And the revelation at the end, that Bria is her daughter, the Princess--totally unbelievable. She never once worried for her safety, nor did anyone else, yet she was left in the castle with Nimrood. I can't believe he would not have used her as a pawn in this power game. (OK, Lawhead never says that Bria is the Eskevar & Alinea's daughter, but she is a Princess of the realm, which would imply that.)
I liked the story well enough that I will definitely read the rest of the Dragon King trilogy.(less)
Shards of Honour grabbed my interest right away and never let go. I found myself caring about both Cordelia and Aral. At first glimpse, Cordelia is a simpler character and Aral more multi-layered and complex, but she proved to have more depth as the story progressed.
Looking forward to more books in this series!!(less)
I am always surprised at how many mistakes V.I. Warshawski makes before eventually stumbling into the solution of a case, and Guardian Angel continues...moreI am always surprised at how many mistakes V.I. Warshawski makes before eventually stumbling into the solution of a case, and Guardian Angel continues the pattern. I like Vic and enjoy her evolving relationships with neighbors and friends. So, I liked this book well enough to read some more of Paretsky's books, but I will read them more for the "human interest" angle than for the mysteries.(less)
**spoiler alert** ** spoiler alert ** Not as strong, in my opinion, as Myst The Book of Ti'ana but stronger than the first book, The Book of Atrus. To...more**spoiler alert** ** spoiler alert ** Not as strong, in my opinion, as Myst The Book of Ti'ana but stronger than the first book, The Book of Atrus. Too many unanswered questions about "the prophecies", too many missing links.
The entire last section of the book--the disease, the revolt, the war, the resoution--felt very rushed compared to the build-up. Why did Uta idolize Ymur--how did that turn-about happen? Why not describe their final confrontation and the resulting disappearance of Ymur's army? How did they resolve the issue of the men & women all being sterile? Who stayed behind when the world was sealed, and did any of the D'Ni stay in the underground world of D'Ni?
I would not recommend any of the Myst books unless the potential reader already had an interest because of the games. But, as fantasy books separate from the games, the second book was best.(less)
**spoiler alert** Excellent! (9/10) The book was written in 1977 and takes place in the early 70's, and it's true to the times.
Most of the science in t...more**spoiler alert** Excellent! (9/10) The book was written in 1977 and takes place in the early 70's, and it's true to the times.
Most of the science in this book is accessible to the average reader. The comet wreaked almost indescribable destruction and chaos, but Niven & Pournelle are successful in helping the reader see and feel it.
I found the sections with the astronauts in space to be especially interesting--I remember so well the Apollo flights and Skylab. Here we are facing the end of the space shuttle era and in the book, the space shuttles were the next big thing!
Although the large cast of characters made following the individual stories difficult at times, it allowed the reader to see "Hammerfall" and its effects from many different perspectives. Some of the characters changed dramatically and others only became more intense or real versions of who they already were. Each person struggled with choices and decisions, not once, but over and over again. The characters were realistic and believable in the midst of unbelievable losses and challenges.