Finally, after seven books, its all over. Unfortunately, for me, this was the weakest in the series and the winding up of the story was somewhat prediFinally, after seven books, its all over. Unfortunately, for me, this was the weakest in the series and the winding up of the story was somewhat predictable. I took a four year break between books five and six and now I remember why - it just got a bit tedious as more dangerous threats were added into the mix every time.
In essence what I'm saying is that it was just too long a tale. It was still a great story with interesting characters, cultures and aliens but one that could easily have been tightened up a bit.
At the end of it all Earth or the Terran Hanseatic League are still the bad guys but there's hope for humanity. Who knows, maybe a new tale or two could emerge as there could be a fair bit of mileage in the Ildiran or Klikiss stories....more
It had been about four years since I put down Of Fire and Night so, on picking up Metal Swarm, I find not much has changed but the story rages on. WheIt had been about four years since I put down Of Fire and Night so, on picking up Metal Swarm, I find not much has changed but the story rages on. When one enemy falls another arises only this time it's two of them - the Faeros and the long lost Klikiss. The Faeros are being directed by ex-Ildiran nut-job Rusa'h and basically burning everything in sight while the Klikiss simply want their old worlds back and woe betide anyone foolish enough to have colonized them.
On top of that lot the human political mess continues with the Hansa as the bad guys, King Peter forming a new confederation and the Roamers trying to keep their heads down. An then there's the Klikiss robots who basically hate everyone organic, especially their old creators and humans and Ildirans.
So, the mayhem continues much as before but it well crafted and still very readable. The characters we've grown to love and detest are mostly still there, romances are still blossoming, life goes on. Roll on The Ashes of Worlds....more
After 20 years under the rule of the conquering, alien Jao, Earth's resistance factions are still strong and still a thorn in Governor Oppuk krinnu avAfter 20 years under the rule of the conquering, alien Jao, Earth's resistance factions are still strong and still a thorn in Governor Oppuk krinnu ava Narvo's side. Oppuk would dearly love to cleanse this world of it's infestation of an overly-fecund indigenous species but he also knows that very fact may help in their war with the mysterious and reputedly genocidal Ekhat.
The Ekhat have never been seen by humanity. Are they a Jao-invented boogie-man of whom terrible tales are meant to keep the slaves in line or are they a real threat and, as the Jao are saying, coming to our solar system soon? The Jao, genetically engineered by the Ekhat to fight their wars for them, operate like Roman legions or medieval Japanese clans; swift to conquer and swift to punish with little regard for any subject species but this timn it's different; humanity is different!
The arrival of the young subcommandant Aille krinnu ava Pluthrak, from a clan the ruling Narvo have no love for sets everything in motion to bring the Jao, the local human government and even the resistance together in a game of politics and intrigue that doesn't reveal until the play is at an end.
It's not often I give a book a five out of five but this one earned it. The plots within plots are Machiavellian and both Jao and Ekhat are beautifully alien to our way of life; the Jao with their complex and intricate body language and the Ekhat simply indescribable. The main player character's are decently fleshed out but not overly so and we get to know enough about them to keep the story going, with more revealed as time goes on. Happily looking forward to the next story in the series. ...more
Harry's back from the dead but at a price as he's now taken on the mantle of the Winter Knight and chief enforcer for Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness.Harry's back from the dead but at a price as he's now taken on the mantle of the Winter Knight and chief enforcer for Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness. For his his first job she commands him to kill an immortal, which might sound a bit tricky but on top of that there are dark forces tampering with Demonreach and that could see Chicago wiped off the face of the planet so he's got his hands full with this tale.
This might be book 14 in the series and, while some sagas might be struggling at this stage, this isn't one of them. Cold Days is a cracking read from start to finish. With adversaries coming from within and without the realm of Faerie, Harry discovers more secrets about himself, about Demonreach, about the wardens and about how the Unseelie Court operates.
I thought I'd try another of Mr. Murning's novels; after all, I liked If I Never and The Legacy... had what sounded like a bit of a mystery to it.
TobiI thought I'd try another of Mr. Murning's novels; after all, I liked If I Never and The Legacy... had what sounded like a bit of a mystery to it.
Tobias is a manager at a cardboard box factory and Lorna works in the local library; really ordinary people until fate deals them a few twists.
Tobias's best mate Bob, albeit a tad estranged, has developed a phobia concerning open doors and, as a result, has been housebound since. He's also obsessing about something he thinks he remembers seeing as a child - a woman, silently falling from a window.
Lorna on the other hand gets dealt a much darker hand, hence the legacy of the title, and we get to follow her organizing and arranging of it.
So, while Lorna and Tobias try to help Bob with his doors thing and everyone tries to help solve the mystery of the falling woman, Lorna is also planning something for Tobias.
Once I started reading it I found it a moving and immersive tale and I just had to keep going to find out what happened next in the lives of fairly ordinary couple Tobias and Lorna Lovelost. It's a well crafted tale, albeit a tad predictable in part given the title, of a love story come mystery tinged with sadness and humour and it just works.
The only downside I felt was it was a tad wordy and maybe a bit above my head at times; there were words in there I'd never heard anyone use in normal conversation. I don't really run in circles that discuss philosophy or sociology much and I found myself skipping over paragraphs that seemed just a bit too highbrow for me. That said, I enjoyed the bits I did read, which was most of it....more
After the events in The Departure, Argus Station has indeed departed, heading for Mars, and leaving a power vacuum on Earth. By destroying much of theAfter the events in The Departure, Argus Station has indeed departed, heading for Mars, and leaving a power vacuum on Earth. By destroying much of the planet's government, Alan Saul has unwittingly opened the playing field to a much deadlier opponent in Serene Glahad. As the new leadership contest begins, Galahad wastes no time in eliminating any opposition and goes on to unleash a deadly virus among the zero-asset population while blaming it all on Saul. All of this of course keeps her very busy but she hasn't forgotten about Saul and Argus Station or those rebels on Mars.
All in all, it's a very enjoyable read, continuing the tale from four viewpoints - Earth, Mars, Argus Station and their pursuers. The story has progressed along Asher's usual gritty, hard science fiction lines while introducing new characters, new technologies and even a few twists. I'll certainly read the next installment....more
In a bit of a digression from his usual Discworld stories, Terry Pratchett's Dodger is a historical fantasy set in early Victorian London and brings aIn a bit of a digression from his usual Discworld stories, Terry Pratchett's Dodger is a historical fantasy set in early Victorian London and brings an array of historical and fictional figures together along with the hero of the piece who's based on the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist.
When Dodger rescues a maiden in distress, his further adventures pull in such figures as Charles Dickens, John Mayhew, Sir Robert Peel, Benjamin Disraeli, Sweeney Todd, Angela Burdett-Coutts and even Queen Victoria herself.
It's an enjoyable, often mirthful read and if you like Pratchett's wit and satirical viewpoint on life, politics and justice, then you won't be disappointed. To be honest, I'm surprised he didn't set it in Ankh-Morpork or Genua as I'm sure he could have woven the characters and plot into the Discworld fairly easily but it works just as well in the "real" world.
Set in a post-nuclear holocaust California, survival is hard enough but when you add a B movie starlet, two rich kids, an ex-army hermit and a plane cSet in a post-nuclear holocaust California, survival is hard enough but when you add a B movie starlet, two rich kids, an ex-army hermit and a plane crash into the mix then things get a lot more complicated.
First, Carl rescues Jessie from bandits. She then rescues a couple of rich kids from a plane crash but when their father's bodyguards come searching for them, rescue isn't on the agenda and the new "friends" have to go on the run.
It's a bit complicated but quite readable with a good level of violence and gritty sexual content mixed in. Kept me reading till the end so has to be not bad at all and I'll be hunting down the sequel....more
I found The Storm Glass an enjoyable read with a very decent storyline and believable characters, each of whom start in a separate thread and are veryI found The Storm Glass an enjoyable read with a very decent storyline and believable characters, each of whom start in a separate thread and are very nicely woven together into a fairly climactic scene. From there, it just gets faster and more intense. It's got suspense, action, a goodly bit of violence and a smattering of sex. Add that to the underlying mystery of Wilson's ring and the back story of his kids and their drug problems and it makes for a very readable tale. It's also nicely lined up for a series of adventures, should the author want to go down that road, involving Wilson, the CIA and the ring....more
The story revolves around an ordinary bloke called Price Waters whose life is in need some adventure or at least change for the better as it hasn't beThe story revolves around an ordinary bloke called Price Waters whose life is in need some adventure or at least change for the better as it hasn't been all that momentous up till now. Price is single and jobless but those circumstances are about to change but not without consequences.
If I Never was a welcome change from my usual diet of fantasy and sci-fi novels and my first time with a book on the Kindle. I havce to say I quite enjoyed it....more
Ian Cormac has been gridlinked for far longer than is recommended and it's affecting his humanity. The solution is separation from the grid and, alongIan Cormac has been gridlinked for far longer than is recommended and it's affecting his humanity. The solution is separation from the grid and, along with having to deal with the loss of that support, he's plunged headlong into an investigation as to why a runcible gate exploded on Samarkand, killing thousands.
Cormac also has enemies and one, Arian Pelter, in particular will stop at nothing, sacrificing the lives of anyone in his way, to kill him for the sake of revenge. Along with Pelter and his gang of highly-trained mercenaries comes Mr Crane, a psychotic android with a penchant for toys and well, killing.
Then there's Dragon, a mysterious entity comprised of four spheres, each about a kilometre long, with little regard for human life. Cormac first met it on Colora but why is it now seemingly aiding Arian Pelter? What are its true motives?
Gridlinked is Asher's first Agent Cormac novel and a great start to a series I hope to continue reading. Set in the rich universe that is Asher's Polity, the story is nicely paced and well dotted with sex and violence. Possibly a bit heavy on the violence but it works well here and enhances the tale. Well worth reading!...more
It's the story of a young boy, growing up in the little Caithness fishing village of Dunbeath and his relationship with the local river. The parts ofIt's the story of a young boy, growing up in the little Caithness fishing village of Dunbeath and his relationship with the local river. The parts of the story involving the boy, his brothers and family are enchanting and full of colour and adventure but once it wanders into his growing up and participating in WW1, it goes rapidly downhill. Whatever possessed the author to drone on with self-analytical drivel and philosophysing is unknown but I really just wanted to drop the book down a hole at one point....more