Deserves 3.5 stars, but Goodreads doesn't do decimals. I finished this a couple of weeks ago, but was waiting for it all to sink in before posting anyDeserves 3.5 stars, but Goodreads doesn't do decimals. I finished this a couple of weeks ago, but was waiting for it all to sink in before posting any comments. I may have waited a bit too long....aaand will probably be facing a reread. The good news is that it's worth a second look. It's an action cyberpunk novel with a brooding drug addicted protagonist trying to track down an escaped killer, previously jailed for the murder of said protagonist's wife. Oh, and the protagonist only has a day or so to do it because his Life Tracker is down to one bar. Only everyone and their mother seems to be able to hack that thing (hence the name "Time Heist") so the bars keep going up and down throughout the story. Also, the protagonist sustains so many injuries that the whole Life Tracker thing seemed pretty moot by the end. I lost track of what the characters were fighting for in the deluge of lovingly described wounds. But if you can focus your attention and get through all the collapsed lungs and what-not there are plenty of scenes to enjoy. I liked the hive mind bit with the protagonist jumping bodies and playing puppet master. I liked the final big fight scene with the attack nanites. I liked the non-linear story telling with the personal revenge thread embedded in the larger AI conspiracy plot. But I feel like I missed something. Remember the Life Tracker? Remember that everyone has one? Remember that several characters get killed by hacks to the Tracker and that even our hero has his bars manipulated? With so many exceptions to the safe guards what exactly kept the big bad AI from just killing all the humans via their trackers? I’m pretty sure this was covered, but I missed it in an explosion somewhere. Hence, the need for a reread....more
**spoiler alert** Parallel is a little piece of mind candy that I enjoyed quite a bit. I like the overarching concept: multiple dimensions overseen by**spoiler alert** Parallel is a little piece of mind candy that I enjoyed quite a bit. I like the overarching concept: multiple dimensions overseen by an Alliance of alien species governed by the Lenoreans, a race of tech savvy humanoids that can project their emotions and/or share thoughts via computer implants. In this alien stew, the magic gravy is something called Eitr, a compound that allows the Lenoreans to access multiple dimensions and maintain their way of life. How? Not entirely clear. Doesn't matter. The Eitr must flow. Fortunately, the stuff has been found on Earth and this leads to a funny first contact situation in which nearly every viewpoint character dies. Did I say die? I meant moves on to the "Unknown Dimension". I respect authors who eat their young, but the outpouring of emotion at the end as well as all the silver, red and green body fluids felt a little over the top. In fact, that's my biggest problem with the story. My tastes run towards simple prose and the writing was florid in parts. Still, a fun read. Check it out for the world building and kick ass plotting....more
**spoiler alert** I was dubious when I picked this up. The hype and the Hugo award meant that I was coming in with pretty high expectations. My expect**spoiler alert** I was dubious when I picked this up. The hype and the Hugo award meant that I was coming in with pretty high expectations. My expectations are usually dashed. Not in this case. I love this book, mostly for the character of Cordelia. She's portrayed as a nurturing sort that still manages to cut off Vidal Vordarian's head and carry it back in a sack. Granted the man had kidnapped her unborn son. An interesting trick accomplished through a piece of technology called a uterine replicator. Future technology is often window dressing in science fiction. Ray guns, space ships etc. are taken for granted. In this case, the tech. informs and enhances the plot bringing in complex social and ethical overtones. The only thing that felt a little flat for me was the relationship between Aral and Cordelia. I didn't quite understand why the two of them hit it off. They jumped from a captor(Aral)-prisoner(Cordelia) relationship to a comfortable married couple without much in the way of courtship. Unless you consider Cordelia's betrayal of her own culture and near drowning of her psychologist to be flirtatious. Aral does state that he wants to marry her because he is attracted to her sense of honor. You'd think he'd ask her a few more questions about how and why she left the Beta Colony. ...more
Not done yet, but it's been a long time since I enjoyed a novel this much. I was skeptical at first. I was concerned that it would be tough to maintaiNot done yet, but it's been a long time since I enjoyed a novel this much. I was skeptical at first. I was concerned that it would be tough to maintain interest in a plot that is essentially. PROBLEM ARISES! Character mentally lists what he's going to do to solve it. Character executes his plan. NEW PROBLEM! There were times when I found myself thinking "Yeah right. You're going to plug the radioactive whoosy-whatsit into the gizmo and that'll heat the rover." But the engineering details turned out to be a lot more fun than that. I love this book.
When an author starts by saying "You might not want to buy this book", it's kind of refreshing. They're opening up about something. Unfortunately, thaWhen an author starts by saying "You might not want to buy this book", it's kind of refreshing. They're opening up about something. Unfortunately, that stance gets a little off putting by the end of the forward and once I finished the afterward, I wanted to slap Mr. Rothfuss. I get it. You did something different. Now back off and let the thing stand up on its own. You have something pretty here, but at the same time fragile, so fragile that the forward itself could crush it. Did I like it? Yes. Is there a plot? No. So what. It's about a character and a place. It's likely to resonate with anyone who likes characters and places. In particular, it filled me with nostalgia. As a kid, the local park was my "safe place". I had my favorite trees, rocks, plants etc. I didn't name things, but they were friends none the less. This book made me miss them. The tadpoles, orchids, crayfish and jewel weed. There were poisonous things too. Copper heads and Doll-eyed bane berry (awesome name there!). They didn't deter me. In a way, I guess I'm still there. Wandering around, picking up rocks, alone and triumphant. This story is about that. Childhood. If you had one, you'll identify. That said, I need to finish up this review with one tiny, little nit-picky complaint. Two uses of the word "incarnadine" is too many for any story. ...more
Borrowed the e-book from the library. The blurb said it was a first contact story and the author was an astrophysicist. Nice combination. UnfortunatelBorrowed the e-book from the library. The blurb said it was a first contact story and the author was an astrophysicist. Nice combination. Unfortunately, I started feeling uneasy on pg. 52 when the protagonist's girl friend emerges from the shower "...her expressive bottom jiggling beneath a sheen of moisture." That prompted me to look at some reviews. Seems that the book is saddled with a fair bit of 1970s style wish-fullfillment sex. I'm not sure the story is good enough to support one "jiggling" bottom let alone several....more
Wanted to spend less time with Jezal and more time with the barbarians. Also, wished the author hadn't felt obligated to throw in the child abuse backWanted to spend less time with Jezal and more time with the barbarians. Also, wished the author hadn't felt obligated to throw in the child abuse back story. I think it was an effort to add a dark dimension to the otherwise responsible, stolid character of West. It actually diminished my interest in both West and his sister. I enjoyed Ardee as a bored, uppity, social misfit. Now, I have to reexamine all her behavior in light of her miserable childhood? That said, the women in this story felt a little flat. Either dumb, but decorative ladies of the court or horribly abused but intelligent, interesting (Ardee) and nearly psycopathic (Ferro). I guess that dichotomy even extends to the more fleshed out male characters. Jezal is shallow and irritating whereas Glokta (the crippled inquisitor) is fascinating. I suppose torture brings out the best in everyone and no one is interesting/intelligent unless they've suffered? But I am sounding sarcastic and harsh about a book I really liked. Glokta truly is a gem of a character for a fantasy novel. A torturer, a bitter sarcastic cripple, and yet we're rooting for him against all the political manipulators and dark magic that's coming down the pike. Take my money. I need to buy the rest of the series. ...more