Incredible science fiction from the master Peter Hamilton. Book two, or really more like the second half of Pandora' States is a complex, hugel4 Stars
Incredible science fiction from the master Peter Hamilton. Book two, or really more like the second half of Pandora' States is a complex, hugely entertaining space opera that is really about an alien invasion. I loved both of these books as they appeal to my tastes and my favorite genre. I do however have some issues with them. The sheer size makes them difficult to complete and as a result to truly love. At over 2000 pages for just two books, most other authors would have written it as four or five books. The Commonwealth series is h u g e.........
The large cast is filled with great characters and unique points of view. The many story arcs make this a heavy weighted page Turner. The subject matter is a sci-fi nerds dream. Put all this together and you should have a masterpiece. Judas Unchained simply did not deliver enough for me to classify these two books as such. It is probably because with so many characters and story lines the main plot of this huge endeavor is lessened. I felt the ending to be incredibly weak and anti climactic. I felt a bit annoyed that I spent so much time getting there that the work was not worth the outcome.
That being said Hamilton is a master story teller and his high concept science fiction is amazing. He writes wonderfully colorful characters that are easy to identify with and to empathize with. His world building is simply incredible and makes a sci-fi dream.
I enjoyed this series. I loved many parts of it as well . The sheer size and to me anti climactic ending keep it from earning full marks.
Highly recommended for science fiction fans......more
This is a really tough book for me to review. I really may have hyped up my feelings about the first book The Hangman's Daughter, as I really b3 Stars
This is a really tough book for me to review. I really may have hyped up my feelings about the first book The Hangman's Daughter, as I really believed that it was a dark and dirty period piece with an awesome hero...The Hangman. It is really freaking cool that Oliver Potzsch has taken interest and explored so much about his families history. These books are fantastic pieces of historical fiction mysteries.
As I started to read The Dark Monk, I was confused and unclear with the audience that Potzsch was tailoring this novel for. Is this a young adult series? The writing is done in such a fashion that I couldn't help like feeling that I was reading a graphic novel. Jakob Kuisl would have fit right in among the legion of 300 if not for being so damned ugly. The writing is at times juvenile and filled with contradictions that I am not sure are done with humor in mind. Was Potzsch trying a pen "G-Rated" Joe Abercrombie novel?
Take for example a description of both sides of our hero....
He is a murderer, with a license to kill. He is Feared by all men. He is a giant of a man in every way. he is a loathed man. And a hated man. He is Strong as an ox and just as ugly. A grim looking giant who always smoked his pipe. He has a grisly face with misshaped oversized nose. He is a man of action without reservation. He has Tendons as thick as a mans fingers.
He also has a dog like snout for a nose(or horse like) that can sniff out just about anything.He is a healer equal to schooled doctors. He is a gentle family man more protective than a mother grisly bear. He is a pharmacist, a chemist, and an alchemist. He is an herb dr. who knows his plants and remedies. He is a tracker and knows the woods like no other. He is a respected man of the law. He fears no man or woman. He is an intelligent man of the mind that loves solving puzzles. He is as Precise as a Swiss watch.
He can just as easily inflict pain on you as he can take it away. He is friends with caretakers, gravediggers, and disdained by all that are holy.
He is the HANGMAN! Jakob Kuisl
Other goofy points:
"I don't give a damn about Koppmeyer, but now they've gone too far. Nobody locks the hangman inside a coffin, no one, and certainly not bums and beggars like these!" ----haha "No one puts baby in a corner!"
"His years of hiking through the forest looking for herbs or hunting game had taught him how to blend in with his environment. If the wind was right, he could wait for deer to pass, then break its neck with one well-placed blow with the side his hand."
The protagonist is a scary dark, draped all in black. He has a hood to hide his face and his machinations. He carries a nasty, deadly, curved blade that is always wet with blood. He hides in the shadows and moves like a cat. Oh yeah did I mention that he smells like damn flowers. Our scary bad guy leaves a dainty smell of violets whenever he is near??
Although I enjoyed this novel enough to push through it. Was this supposed to comedic or cartoonish in nature. After all, there is a mystery and an adventure here in the vain of a Dan Brown novel that makes for a fun summer read. I was really expecting more. I hope that the later books can win me over again. ...more
This is a very good young adult oriented fantasy adventure that is steeped in steampunk style and in the vein of the classic adventure.
This is4 Stars
This is a very good young adult oriented fantasy adventure that is steeped in steampunk style and in the vein of the classic adventure.
This is a fantastic start to an adventure series starring a very brave and capable young heroine named Emilie. Martha Wells does a great job at making her characters feel real to life. They make up the typical diverse cast that one would expect in a YA novel.
The story and the pacing are swift and enjoyable. This is thankfully not a romance series. It is a story about a girl on the run who stumbles to the center of the earth. She is incredibly brave and strong headed, and makes for a great lead character.
I enjoyed this fast summer read. I will definitely continue reading this series as Wells puts out more. I recommend this to adventure readers and to the YA crowd....more
What a thoroughly enjoyable summer space opera read. Eric Brown does something unheard of in this genre, he writes a book that is not Herculean4 Stars
What a thoroughly enjoyable summer space opera read. Eric Brown does something unheard of in this genre, he writes a book that is not Herculean in size and in bloat. The Devil's Nebula is proof that a great writer with lofty ideas, a massive plot scope, and a great editor can achieve science fiction space opera goodness without the intimidation of a massive tome.
This is a novel that is similar in style and in scope as The Ketty Jay series by Chris Wooding. In this we have a group of three rogue outcasts, led by their captain Ed Carew. He saved a young military woman a decade ago named Lania, and now she is his devoted pilot. Along her way into adulthood she came across Jed, the man with the knack with a wrench, and of course a natural engineer. Brown adds to their story by putting them in an old starship with a really cool name...The Paradoxical Poet.
The story and plot are a tad predictable but that is ok. The Weird, the strange alien race are a delight. The action can be fast and violent. The dialogue is filled with enough wit to raise the quality of the conversations. The mysteries unfold as the story progresses and you will want to know more. Brown has created a world that I will definitely revisit, and made the heroes an enjoyable bunch.
The Devil's Nebula is a truly fantastic summer read. Space Opera fans will not want to miss this one. Fans of epic adventures would feel right at home with this novel as the science fiction is done with light hand. I highly recommend this fun read!
Updated February 2015. After A reread of this book, much of my thoughts and feelings remained the same. Brown has disguised an adventure story inside it's space opera shell. The story as a whole is a light science fiction horror adventure that does lay down the grounds for more books in a series. Carew, the Captain and main protagonist is likable, smart, and capable. He remained the solid foundation that made Devil's Nebula work.
I liked this book twice. It is an easy read that is fast paced and fun. I look forward to more. ...more
Greg Gifune Is clearly among my top favorite authors writing today. He writes suspense and tension like no one else out there. I need to start4 Stars
Greg Gifune Is clearly among my top favorite authors writing today. He writes suspense and tension like no one else out there. I need to start this review out by saying that Gifune is one author that should not be missed by readers of all types. Even though he specializes in the macabre, He writes with such flare and elegance that most fiction readers will enjoy his works.
The Living Dead And The Dead is a good horror novel that is written extremely well. My only real problems with this book was that I never really identified with any of the characters. I did love however, how Gifune steeped this book in a dark atmosphere with a grisly tone.
His excellent writing and imagination make him a top writer today!
"“Suspended in the limbo between total sleep and full consciousness, Lana gradually emerged from what had apparently been a deep sleep. Since she’d always been a light sleeper, it struck her as odd that she’d had to force herself awake, pushing through the darkness as if fighting her way free of a giant, gelatinous cocoon. And in that instant when she crossed from dreams to reality, the sudden terror of unfamiliarity exploded through her”"
The theme can best be described by the following quote.
"“There really was such a thing as the pressure of darkness.”"
Although, not my favorite Gifune book The Living Dead And The Dead is a horror suspense novel that most people would enjoy. I highly recommend this book and for everyone to go out and get a Gifune novel.
Infected is an adequate zombie thriller that is worth a quick read for genre fans. I keep telling myself that I am going to slow down my post2.5 Stars
Infected is an adequate zombie thriller that is worth a quick read for genre fans. I keep telling myself that I am going to slow down my post apocalyptic reads, but they really are the flavor of the day.
The action and the pace is good. The zombies are not of the highest quality. There is little original in these pages. Yet, even with these gripes fans of the genre will not regret reading this book, and possibly this series....more
For now I could not finish it. 25% in to this book by one of my very favorite authors, I realized that I had no idea what was going on. Maybe I2 Stars
For now I could not finish it. 25% in to this book by one of my very favorite authors, I realized that I had no idea what was going on. Maybe I'll come back to this one another time, but for now I am shelving it....more
Smile is a fun novella that is worth a quick summer read.
Matt Shaw does a great job at cranking up the tension and the angst and shows how sca4 Stars
Smile is a fun novella that is worth a quick summer read.
Matt Shaw does a great job at cranking up the tension and the angst and shows how scary losing a small child can be. The story quickly unfolds and it is clear that it will not be a fun trip to the mall for our young cast. For a novella, enough is said and enough takes place to make this story work...Check it out!
"I hate clowns. I think that I hate the smiling ones worse. There's something really sinister about them. Stephen fucking king. I'm never gonna read one of his books again, I swear."
I am giving this truly massive read nearly perfect marks as I had so much fun reading this book for such a very long time. Like all Peter Ham4.5 Stars
I am giving this truly massive read nearly perfect marks as I had so much fun reading this book for such a very long time. Like all Peter Hamilton books he writes, writes some more, and just for good measure, he writes even more. I have come to expect that from him. I appreciate his skill at maintaining such large stories. I even don’t really want his books to end. Could they benefit from editing? I am sure that they would. Would he have a larger audience if his books weren’t so intimidatingly huge???Probably! But in the end, I don’t ever want him to change a thing. Call me a fan boy. This futuristic novel is one part police procedural done up in a straight forward fashion mixed with a survival horror movie such as John Carpenter’s The Thing. Angela is a formidable and believable heroine that I loved right from the start. Hamilton adds layers of coolness to her by making her a 1 in 10. By messing up her life so bad that she spends 20 years in jail. But he then makes her a tough as nails bitch that is equipped with all the latest tech gears and even some outlawed antiques as well. Her relations ship with Paresh and Saul made her much more human and likable. The book is slow to start. I sped through a great deal of the beginnings of the Newcastle POV as not much really happens, and I am not a mystery reader. After the first 200 pages or so, Angela’s POV is brought to the front and center and the story takes on a whole new life. Hamilton does an amazing job at creating new worlds, new fauna, and new creatures. He also creates believable futuristic gadgets, weaponry, space ships, and technologies. His writing style slowly builds up tension and angst that makes for great survival stories. I loved the planet of Libra. The cold snow bound north was truly chilling and so much reminded me of the classic movie The Thing. I loved how people slowly came to trust and believe Angela, while at the same time Peter Hamilton was trying to make everyone so untrustworthy. As a science fiction nerd this book is made for me and I loved it, I had so much fun reading it, and I highly recommend it to genre fans.
Now for the not so good…. WARNING!!!! IMPLIED SPOILERS AHEAD…
At the 90% mark of the book the story lines all come together and unfortunately and all I could think about is:
YAY!!!! Can you keep yourself from losing all of your stomach contents????
It reminded me of the ending of Avatar along with and even more closely resembling the alternate ending of The Abyss.
These are examples of movies that I loved and appreciated, and highly recommended, but the endings left me dry heaving.. ...more
Thank you! Neil Gaiman, for a magical summer journey. I must confess that I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and therefore my thoughts and feelings5 Stars
Thank you! Neil Gaiman, for a magical summer journey. I must confess that I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and therefore my thoughts and feelings are definitely biased. Gaiman writes Adult fairy-tales that just happen to be appropriate for readers of all ages. He uses children as the main protagonists even though he tells very adult stories. The Ocean at the End of the Lane lived up to the hype and to my anticipation and it truly is a fantastic summer read.
Gaiman works his magic by making the reader feel, make them remember, and even to make them believe. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a story about a 7 year old boy, yet it is one of the most adult reads that I have had the pleasure of reading this year. Gaiman’s Stardust was the real standard for me to compare any adult oriented fairy tale. That book spoke to me as a young man, it spoke to me and made me really want to believe, it made me want to love. Nobody, the hero from the Graveyard Book was fleshed out in such a way that I knew that I would always think of him fondly. Now, in the Ocean at the End of the Lane, I will never look at a country pond the same way again.
This is one of Gaiman’s most intimate stories, if not the most all together. A story of a middle aged man visiting his home of his youth during a terrible time in his life. How different things look with the passing of time, the experience of living, and of the wisdom of adulthood.
“It was time, I knew, to drive to my sister’s bustling, cheerful house, all tidied and stiff for the day. I would talk to people whose existence I had forgotten years before and they would ask me about my marriage (failed a decade ago, a relationship that had slowly frayed until eventually, as they always seem to, it broke) and whether I was seeing anyone (I wasn’t; I was not even sure that I could, not yet), and they would ask about my children (all grown up, they have their own lives, they wish they could be here today), and work (doing fine, thank you, I would say, never knowing how to talk about what I do. If I could talk about it, I would not have to do it. I make art, sometimes I make true art, and sometimes it fills the empty places in my life. Some of them. Not all). We would talk about the departed; we would remember the dead.”
The best part of this book and of all of Gaiman’s writing is the way he makes the ordinary extraordinary, the way he brings magic into the mundane, the way he makes his stories something more…
“I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality I knew was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger. I saw the world from above and below. I saw that there were patterns and gates and paths beyond the real. I saw all these things and understood them and they filled me, just as the waters of the ocean filled me. Everything whispered inside me. Everything spoke to everything, and I knew it all. I opened my eyes, curious to learn what I would see in the world outside me, if it would be anything like the world inside. I was hanging deep beneath the water.”
I loved my first read through The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and cannot wait to read it again, to have my wife read it, and to tell my friends about it. I will revisit the Ocean again and I will remember, I will remember the when and the where, and how it made me feel. And then, after a second time thorough, I will probably see things a little differently than what I had recalled, but I guess that is what it means to go on living..
My very highest recommendations for The Ocean at the End of the Lane and for all the magic and wonder of Neil Gaiman…Buy it, Read it, Love it.
3 stars only because of my love of the genre. I may need to take a break from zombie novels as they really cannot hold my attention at the mome2 Stars
3 stars only because of my love of the genre. I may need to take a break from zombie novels as they really cannot hold my attention at the moment. Maybe I will have to come back to this one as I blasted through the second half.
Not much original here. The characters are unexceptional, the zombies are standard fast movers, and the story itself is quite played.
Not really enough to recommend at the moment....more
I never was able to really get into this zombie novella. The characters were just ok, and the zombies were fine as far as the traditional shamb2 Stars
I never was able to really get into this zombie novella. The characters were just ok, and the zombies were fine as far as the traditional shamblers go. The reform school itself did not work for me. Although I can appreciate the analogies and the symbolism that he used comparing death-metal heads, and flesh-eating undead, I never got it. The zombie action is plenty of fun and filled with grisly details, but it is not enough to carry is book.
In the end, I really didn't care for this novella....more
Juggernaut is a rarity in that it really worked better as a prequel read after the first book Outpost. I normally have a hard time reading thin4 Stars
Juggernaut is a rarity in that it really worked better as a prequel read after the first book Outpost. I normally have a hard time reading things out of order, it messes me up....haha. In this book Adam Baker has decided to take a straight up action thriller approach to his novel, countdowns and chases included, rather than the survival horror theme of book one.
In Outpost Baker centered the story on one main character, an amazing heroine named Jane. In this one, we get several strong main characters, led by the hard ass Lucy. I like that Baker does a good job at writing from both a male and a female perspective, even though it can be stereotypical at times.
Juggernaut is just that as far as action and pacing is concerned. The setting in the deserts of Iraq make for an awesome and oppressive backdrop. I love how the plot unfolded and the keys behind Outpost were brought to light.
My only real gripe is that I never found myself routing for any of the characters. Jabril, one of the real bad guys ending up being the most complex and easily identified with characters. I loved his backstory and his selfish actions.
A true summer read, Juggernaut is a really fun prequel to Outpost and a great introductions to the bad ass zombies. Highly recommended!...more
Wow, this is a dark, twisted, and sick look at marriage, life, children, and a bad person. This very short novella is witty and funny and times5 Stars
Wow, this is a dark, twisted, and sick look at marriage, life, children, and a bad person. This very short novella is witty and funny and times, while being very mean and cruel as well. This is a story about a very unhealthy marriage, a cat, and a blind daughter. I loved it!...more
Strip this series down to what matters most… James SA Corey(the pen name of Daniel Abraham & Ty Frank) have written a science fiction seri5 Stars
Strip this series down to what matters most… James SA Corey(the pen name of Daniel Abraham & Ty Frank) have written a science fiction series in a way that matters most, it is so much freaking fun to read. Each book has upped the ante on the weight of the issues, on the creativity of the bad guys, and also the fun factor that Holden and his cohorts have brought to the game. The crew of the Rocinante are now my favorite space fearing Scooby gang.
Some criticize the different pacing of each of these three novels; I for one appreciate their differences. There are not nearly as many gripping action scenes in this book as there were on Eros and on Ganymede. The stakes however are much higher and ramped up to critical tensions. The story and plot itself are elevated to make this series more than a space opera and more than an action science fiction horror series. Space Opera is a much used and abused term as this series is really light in that sense compared to the classics.
The writing and the wit make this series a joy to read and make it difficult to put down:
““Holy shit,” he finally said when his breath came back. “We’re in a lot of trouble, aren't we?” “Yeah,” Miller said. “You should not have come.” Miller walked off across the room, and Holden hurried to catch up. “Wait, what?” he said. “I thought you wanted me here!” Miller walked around something that from a distance had looked like a blue statue of an insect, but up close was a massive confusion of metallic limbs and protrusions, like a construction mech folded up on itself. Holden tried to guess at its purpose and failed. “Why would you think that?” Miller said as he walked. “You don’t know what’s inhere. Doors and corners. Never walk into a crime scene until you know there’s not someone there waiting to put you down. You’ve got to clear the room first. But maybe we got lucky. For now. Wouldn’t recommend doing it again, though.” “I don’t understand.””
This series plays like a horror survival game for your xbox and that makes it totally sweet. It has a good amount of humor and wit throughout. The protagonists Holden and Amos are very memorable.
If you like action packed, page turning, fun science fiction, than this is the series for you. I cant recommend it enough for fans of the genre.