I didn't realize The Void was the 3rd book in a series when I picked it up. Didn't affect my reading at all. It's a standalone, following Kyle TannerI didn't realize The Void was the 3rd book in a series when I picked it up. Didn't affect my reading at all. It's a standalone, following Kyle Tanner the murder investigator and his girlfriend from the previous two stories further into their lives, wrapping up the series for those two characters.
Kind of a murder mystery in space. Shades of And Then There Were None, with characters being picked off but not being sure who's doing the picking. It starts out rather gory. So much so that I almost put it down during the first chapter. I don't like descriptive gore.
The gore stopped after that. It was used to set up the character of the Reaper and how horribly he treated his victims, which had great impact at the end of the book.
I reviewed a book where I described the mystery within as frustrating because it wasn't huge enough at the end and too easily covered up. This book felt frustrating because Tanner was frustrated by everyone around impeding him from doing his job and trying to get him into trouble for doing his job. Equipment problems, not having the correct gear when he needed it, trying to figure out who to trust in a new situation - as a reader, it was easy to empathize with that.
The Void was a good science fiction murder mystery. And it made a good wrap up to a series. Enough so that I'm intrigued enough to think about finding the first two books in the series.
A fascinating yet frustrating book. Old Earth drew me in with a story of an archaeology dig in Montana that stumbles upon ...something. There's also aA fascinating yet frustrating book. Old Earth drew me in with a story of an archaeology dig in Montana that stumbles upon ...something. There's also an ancient conspiracy trying to cover up that discovery - anytime and anywhere it's discovered.
The story weaves between the modern day discovery, a similar discovery in the 1600's and the outcome of that, and the efforts of the third party to prevent the discovery from becoming public.
To talk any more about plot would probably give away too much. The blurb does nice a job summarizing without spoiling.
The main characters are Quinn McCauley, a university archaeology professor probably about to lose any future funding for digs, and Katrina Alpert, a peer sent to evaluate him, as well as their group of students and a couple of travel magazine publishers.
This was a page-turner for me. I love books set in caves with mysterious discoveries and maybe some conspiracy thrown in. Ultimately, explanation of the discovery wasn't enough for me at the end though. It was too easily covered up, and perhaps not enough of a physical discovery. Again, to say more would be spoilery.
Apart from that little nitpick, the rest of the book was thoroughly enjoyable.
Heir to the Jedi, by Kevin Hearne, is the third Star Wars book in the "rebooted" expanded universe; where everything going forward now is approved byHeir to the Jedi, by Kevin Hearne, is the third Star Wars book in the "rebooted" expanded universe; where everything going forward now is approved by a story group and will all be official stories.
Heir is set shortly after the original Star Wars movie and is told in first-person from Luke's point of view. I normally don't enjoy first-person POV stories, but this one didn't bother me. I found Luke to be much better at putting his thoughts to paper than trying to express himself verbally to his uncle.
Luke and R2 are given a mission, with a few side missions, and along the way he learns a little bit about himself and a little bit more about using the Force.
If you want to get to know Luke Skywalker when he was fresh from destroying the Death Star, give Heir to the Jedi a read.
A fascinating premise, emotional ride, and kind of a twist ending potentially setting up a sequel, Homefront is quite a ride.
We start off the book beA fascinating premise, emotional ride, and kind of a twist ending potentially setting up a sequel, Homefront is quite a ride.
We start off the book being introduced to a cast of unusual characters from the Colonies on some kind of mission they don't expect to succeed. These characters appear to have a caste system, and are each of a variety of post-human. Shortly, we're introduced to regular humans as well and their space defense force. From there, the body count rises, and new relationships and families are formed.
I can't really describe more without giving too much away, even though I may have already. Even the blurb from the book itself is intentionally vague.
Homefront brings space battles, ship-board combat, ground combat, plenty of character building and world building, relationships developing and ending, emotions flying all over the place, and plenty of character deaths.
Tarkin is the second novel in the new Star Wars unified canon. The novel tells a story featuring Wilhelm Tarkin, shortly before he's promoted from MofTarkin is the second novel in the new Star Wars unified canon. The novel tells a story featuring Wilhelm Tarkin, shortly before he's promoted from Moff to Grand Moff. It also tells a coming-of-age story for a younger Tarkin back on his home planet, depicting the events that shapes him into the man we know from the film and the cartoons.
There were two casts of characters set during the main story: Tarkin, Vader, and the Imperials; and a group of rebels that steal Tarkin's personal ship and set about attacking Imperial installations. I would have liked to have spent more time getting to know the rebels, and maybe see them turn up in previous or later stories (we might, I don't know). Vader's characterization... interests me. More on the that after I tell what I thought of the book. One little tidbit I found interesting that Luceno tells us in the narrative: Tarkin suspects and all but knows outright that Darth Vader used to be Anakin Skywalker.
I was excited to read Tarkin. The promotional material said Luceno was giving Tarkin the "Plagueis" treatment - the book he wrote about Palpatine's rise to power. I found Plagueis a fascinating read. Tarkin kept me entertained. It was enjoyable, but for the new canon books, New Dawn was better. I found myself wishing to spend more time with the rebels on Tarkin's ship, and with the Emperor on Coruscant (I wish he'd get rid of Mas Ameeda though, that overgrown horned smurf is just a Bib Fortuna wannna-be).
If you're a fan of the original Star Wars movie (Episode IV: A New Hope), Tarkin gives some insight and backstory into one of the main villains. If you're a Star Wars fan in-general, you will pick up Tarkin and happily devour it. It's a good Star Wars book and, so far, the first two novels in the new Star Wars canon are much better than the much of the later Legends novels.
Now, back to Darth Vader's portrayal within the pages of Tarkin. I think Vader must be a difficult persona to put into prose in-general, not just in this book; he's had several different portrayals on-screen that all must agree. There was the Vader in the original Star Wars that was practically screaming at his troopers to tear Leia's ship apart to find the plans, and almost demurred to Tarkin (which is a topic that kind of comes up in this book); there's the Vader from Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi which was quiet, foreboding, and almost terrifying, and an old man that seemed barely able to fight; then there was Anakin from the prequels, a whiny, bratty, Jedi with an overpowerful sense of entitlement and attachment; and finally there was Anakin from the Clone Wars cartoon, a hero, sometimes quiet sometimes bratty, powerful in the Force with an underlying tension, emotional and caring; and finally Darth Vader from Episode III, which was just Anakin from the previous movie turned completely to the Dark Side. How can an author successfully write a character that combines that combines all those differing characterizations. What we see on screen is just a few minutes out of a day, a few days out of a lifetime, for that character. From little Annie's "Yippee!" to Old Vader rasping "tell your sister you were right," we've seen the highlights of Vader's life, with many missing segments.
I can't put my finger on it, but Vader's portrayal felt slightly off. I'm not sure what I expected though. Maybe it's because we don't know him yet in this time period. We don't know how he's handled adapting to his new life, his new master, his new job description, his lack of friends and family. We haven't yet had a book about his new life in this era. The more I think about it, the more I see that maybe his characterization was a combination of all those influences I mentioned above. He was often quiet and foreboding, then explosively angry, at one point genuinely curious (I would love to see that scene on screen!). Darth Vader must be a complex character to pin down and write.
Star Wars: Tarkin is due to be published November 4, 2014. I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley for review.
I think I wrote more about Vader than I did about the book itself...
A refreshing change from previous Star Wars novels, Star Wars: A New Dawn has launched the new Star Wars universe that will include the new novels, thA refreshing change from previous Star Wars novels, Star Wars: A New Dawn has launched the new Star Wars universe that will include the new novels, the new and existing movies, the new cartoons and The Clone Wars cartoon, some new fiction from Star Wars insider, new comics, and anything else coming out henceforth. It essentially excommunicates almost all previous fiction to the realm of Legend.
A New Dawn does not rely on the bloated universe that existed in all that legendary material before, and while the author had written in that sandbox, this new novel - this new world is fresher. It's still Star Wars. It still expects you, as a fan, to know know what certain races, ships, weapons, and armor look like, it doesn't bother to describe them in much or any detail. The story itself is clearly meant as a setup for the new Rebels cartoon coming out in October 2015 and serves to introduce two of the main characters to each other before the show starts. It's a standalone story though, no need to have any knowledge, or interest, of the Rebels show.
The two main characters are a former Jedi student now grown into adulthood and hiding in the bottle between shifts at a mining operation, and a Twilek pilot looking for civil unrest she can potentially exploit at some point in the future to undermine the Empire. A strong cast of secondary characters also have interesting stories that all intertwine with the main cast and each other. Really, it's more of an ensemble cast that shares the spotlight than focusing mostly on the two mains, though the Jedi Kanan is pretty much the primary character.
If you're a Star Wars fan: read this and get ready for Rebels. If you're looking to jump in to the world of Star Wars novels, this is a good place to start - though I'd suggest you'd have at least seen Star Wars Episode III to share a frame of reference with Kanan's character.
Disclosure: I received an eARC of this novel for review from the publisher through Netgalley. ...more
I think Daniel Suarez's writing gets better with each book of his I read (though I haven't read Kill Decision). Influx is a fascinating what-if tale oI think Daniel Suarez's writing gets better with each book of his I read (though I haven't read Kill Decision). Influx is a fascinating what-if tale of a government agency that suppresses technological advances supposedly to prevent a sociological catastrophe, while at the same time using and abusing those advances for their own nefarious purposes, and the scientist that ends up helping to bring them down.
There are some interesting twists with characters. Some characters that I expected to have more impact on the story met untimely ends. There's plenty of fascinating science and technology info dumps towards the beginning of the book. There's some torture of the main character, which I don't particularly enjoy reading, so I did some skimming. But what I did read of it, didn't seem too gory, and it was necessary to his development.
There's also lots of neat tech being used throughout the story, which is always fun.
The world is in ruins following the events of Robopocalypse. Archos-18 was defeated, or was it? Other mega AIs scramble to life as well. The Freeborn,The world is in ruins following the events of Robopocalypse. Archos-18 was defeated, or was it? Other mega AIs scramble to life as well. The Freeborn, humans, and a strange intermingling of man and machine all try to find their place in this new world they thing free of the looming threat of the AI supercomputer. They soon discover they're wrong, and again the fight is on to survive.
Robogenesis picks up pretty well right after the events of Robopocalypse. Though at first we're with some new characters in Russia. We're reintroduced to characters from the first book as they're thinking the war is over and can start moving on with life. Things don't go well though, and the characters slowly realize the war never really ended, and eventually everyone is reunited, and some new characters are brought in as well on both sides.
I absolutely loved Robopocalypse. I was excited to read Robogenesis and see where the story went. This books feels like a middle book in a trilogy, especially the way it ended.
There was very little happiness for the characters in the book. I can only think of two events that were really happy. And I happen to like some happy in my books, even post-apoc end-of-world war stories need some happy in them in my opinion.
I think my favorite character this time around might be Houdini. Loyal and faithful Houdini. A close second would be Nine Oh Two, is almost more human than the human characters, and definitely more human than the other freeborn.
Overall, it's a good book. I don't think it's as good as the first one, but if there's a third book in the series I'll definitely keep reading!