ORIGINAL READ: DNF (5 February 2006 - 5 February 2006)
With the TBR pile building again, I just couldn't face the size of this book, so I returned it t...moreORIGINAL READ: DNF (5 February 2006 - 5 February 2006)
With the TBR pile building again, I just couldn't face the size of this book, so I returned it to the library. I fully intend to read it, as I still want to finish the story, but I'll let it rest for a bit.
[Copied across from Library Thing; 17 October 2012]
REREAD #1: 8/10 (30 April 2008 - 30 April 2009)
In the end, it turned out to be a couple of years between reading book 1 and book 2 of this duology. As I've said before on this blog, the very large size of the book scared me off for a long time, but once I got going I soon got into the swing of things and managed to finish the book in about 10 days, which I thought was pretty good considering the size of it.
My biggest issue was that there is little or no back story from book 1 provided for a reader like me who had let a large space of time go between books and doesn't remember details very well anyway. In fact, if I'd read the books back to back there's probably still lots of bits and pieces from the first book I wouldn't have remembered while reading the second. So there were places where references to earlier events confused me or left me with a feeling of vague remembrance without being able to pull up the specifics.
Instead, this book begins right where the last one ended and continues on at once as if the story was one very, very large book. I can see the reasons for this, but it made it a struggle for me. Still, getting past that, I enjoyed the book all the same. Hamilton writes in an engaging and very readable style, and the book progressed easily.
Despite the large number of people killed off in the invasion at the end of Pandora's Star, almost all of the large cast of characters from the first book return. As the story progress they are slowly whittled down until it is only the core group that remain - although of course with relife technology most will get to live on eventually (there's a huge backlog at relife facilities as a result of the invasion).
In this book the Commonwealth is slowly beginning to get over the shock of the Prime invasion and starts to come up with ideas and methods for fighting back. It also becomes more and more clear that the Starflyer is real and an equal (or possibly greater) threat than the Primes, meaning humanity finds itself fighting a war on two fronts. One aspect of this I liked was that, because the reader had been inside MorningLightMountain's mind in Pandora's Star, I basically knew how the Prime strategy worked and what MorningLightMountain's intentions were. So it was interesting to see the theories on this that the humans came up with, all of which were wrong.
I did feel that it was a bit convenient how the two main plots turned out to hinge so much on each other and how time-wise both conclusions happened at once even though they were in totally different parts of the galaxy. I had been expecting one plot-strand to be resolved and then the other, when instead Hamilton chose to have them happening concurrently. All the same, I'm willing to chalk that up to artistic licence and leave it alone.
This is a "plot book" rather than a "science book" or a "character book". It's all about what is happening and how the problem is solved. It means that while the characters are well rounded, they're not particularly deep (especially considering how long some of them have lived). All the same, they people the book well and play their parts as required. It's not a failing in the book, just a fact of how it has been written and what the focus of it is. I was rather worried about whether or not Nigel Sheldon was going to turn out to be a Starflyer agent and what happens to Paula Myo as she is forced to go against her basic genetically-programmed nature was cleverly done. I also didn't particularly like Mellanie, which I consider to have been good characterisation rather than the opposite.
I enjoyed Judas Unchained. I was a easy read for all its large size and it wound up all required plot strands and told a rollicking good story. I find myself tempted by the new Commonwealth trilogy Hamilton is currently writing, but I think I'll take a break for a while before considering taking on another one (or in this case, three) of his doorstoppers.
Judas Unchained Peter F. Hamilton Commonwealth Saga, Book 2 8/10
[Copied across from Blogspot; 17 October 2012](less)
ORIGINAL READ: 10/10 (20 February 2007 - 23 February 2007)
I started reading Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop today. This is the first in her Black...moreORIGINAL READ: 10/10 (20 February 2007 - 23 February 2007)
I started reading Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop today. This is the first in her Black Jewels Trilogy. I've had a number of people recommend it, but it always seemed like it might be a bit disturbing and dark, so I left it alone.
Late last year, [FantasyFavorites] read it and while I didn't, it was clear nearly everyone really enjoyed it. To the point the two sequels have been voted into the group's reading list - Heir to the Shadows for this month and Queen of the Darkness for May. Over Christmas the friend who fed my fantasy reading habit when I was a broke teenager also recommended them, so I decided to reserve the first one from the library.
I started it today and I'm already totally hooked, even if I've only been able to read around Marcus' demands for attention. (Aren't they supposed to need less time as they get older, rather than more?)
The dark themes are there, but so far it hasn't been graphic and nasty, which is what I don't like to read. I'm fine with that kind of thing if it is't show to me in gory detail. The best stories are the often the ones where the fight is against something that deserves to be fought against - if that makes sense.
REREAD #1: 10/10 (Finished 23 December 2009)
This was a reread and I loved it all over again. In fact, I think I liked it more as things that had been confusing on a first read now made sense on a reread.
It was also to see where Bishop initially explained some of the basic concepts; it both clarified things and felt it didn't need to be there because I knew it already. It did make me realise that Bishop doesn't rehash and rehash the basics of the world building with each new book. As a reader of the series, I really like that, but I wonder if it could be frustrating for a read coming into the series at a later point and not here at the beginning.
If you are that reader, come back here to the start and read the original trilogy. As much as I have enjoyed the newer Black Jewels Books, I don't think any of them have ever quite lived up to the power of the original three.
I was going to read another book in between before going on to a reread of Heir to the Shadows, but I don't want to spend my time on anything else. I'll be picking up Heir as soon as my iPhone recharges enough for me to open the book!(less)
I really enjoyed this book. It's got such a solidity to it, that doesn't degenerate into grittiness of grit's sake. I like a solid book, but I don't n...moreI really enjoyed this book. It's got such a solidity to it, that doesn't degenerate into grittiness of grit's sake. I like a solid book, but I don't need colossal doses of angst, filth and despair to go with that. There will be more to say once I've gathered my thoughts, and I'll add it once I've written it.(less)
I usually love McKillip, but a lot of these stories failed to completely satisfy. I think a lot of the problem is that the endings tended to feel weak...moreI usually love McKillip, but a lot of these stories failed to completely satisfy. I think a lot of the problem is that the endings tended to feel weak to me; the stories built beautifully, the writing was lovely and then they just kind of ended. My favourites were "The Stranger" and "The Lion and the Lark" and I think part of that is because the endings were stronger. But I'm left with the feeling that McKillip writes better at the longer length than the shorter one.(less)
**spoiler alert** I found this to be very much a book of two halves.
The first part drove me insane - not because it was bad, but because the character...more**spoiler alert** I found this to be very much a book of two halves.
The first part drove me insane - not because it was bad, but because the characterisation was so well done that everyone's behaviour frustrated me terribly. People acted according to the character and background the author had created for them, even when I wished they wouldn't.
Then we got to halfway and the story changed from politics to action. That should have been good, but I felt the realism suffered. Mykkael went from strong protagonist to Energizer Bunny who just keep going and going and going, no matter what injury, insurmountable challenge or problem of honor faced him. And he always came out on top. It began to really annoy me.
Then everything came magically together in the end. On one level I rather liked the ending. It was nice seeing everything turn out okay. But at the same time it all felt a bit too pat after the gritty and uncompromising first half of the book. Anja makes the perfect choice and while we're told she agonising about it, I didn't really feel it. Then all Mykkael's issues are resolved. He even gets the girl who was supposed to be irrevocably lost.
It felt like this was three books all in the same binding. And I'm not convinced those three books worked well together.
I know lots of people love this book, but it just wasn't the right book for me.(less)
I really enjoyed this. It was a lot of funa and one of those books you keep reading when you really should have gone to bed already.
I did have quite a...moreI really enjoyed this. It was a lot of funa and one of those books you keep reading when you really should have gone to bed already.
I did have quite a bit of trouble keeping my head around all the time travel twists in the plot and the growing plethora of paradoxes and incongruities. However, I did especially love the potential twist thrown in at the end for good measure. I think as I digest the book a bit more it will all fall into place a bit better.
But mostly a great, fun read that I recommend.(less)
I do enjoy these books. I admit my brain can't always follow the explanations, but they are all interesting. I'm sorry that I've finished all three an...moreI do enjoy these books. I admit my brain can't always follow the explanations, but they are all interesting. I'm sorry that I've finished all three and will now have to wait for another one to be published. Maybe I need to check out the New Scientist website.(less)
I found that I liked this book more than the previous two, but I have no idea why. Maybe I just liked the mystery a bit more than the others. Justice...moreI found that I liked this book more than the previous two, but I have no idea why. Maybe I just liked the mystery a bit more than the others. Justice was served, which helped, as the "got away with it" ending of Silent in the Sanctuary really annoyed me. I read mysteries with a certain expectation that the villian will get his or her comeuppance at the end and I didn't like it that that didn't happen.
Anyway, I enjoyed Silent on the Moor and I'm glad I didn't let my lukewarm reaction to the previous volume stop me from reading it. But I'm perfectly happy to have borrowed it from the library. I don't need my own copy.(less)