As a concept, I found this trade paperback quite interesting with a nice overall story arc. I was really not impressed however that the beginning of tAs a concept, I found this trade paperback quite interesting with a nice overall story arc. I was really not impressed however that the beginning of the Trade began a story arc that was not completed by the end of the trade. While I would not normally spoiler this type of story on this one I will (view spoiler)[ At the beginning the house of Mystery is stolen from Cain in the dreamtime, and by the end it has not been returned, we do not know why or by whom it was stolen. Majorly unimpressed! (hide spoiler)]
I am one of those people who gravitated to House of Mystery because there was no more Sandman ( and I am still a bit in mourning over that) but this story does not lean too heavily on characters or concepts from the Sandman. The exception is the house itself, in this story it has become something like the wayhouses of the Sandman stories only here there is a twist; some people come and then leave, some people can never leave (do you have 'Hotel California' playing in your mind now?). Those people who come and go like you would at a pub pay their way with stories at the bar, and the stories themselves are interesting and quite beautifully drawn. I like the changing art styles and how that works in context of this graphic novel.
The newest inhabitant of the house is Fig, who had her house exploded behind her by mysterious characters whom she was fleeing when she stumbled into the House of Mystery and joined the dysfunctional little family of people trapped there. But Fig is determined not to stay trapped...
While I did enjoy it, I am giving it a measly three stars because I was really, really annoyed at the story arc not completing. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
In Prison of Night Earl Dumarest's newest adventure starts on the world of Zakym, where it seems he has it all: A lovely, wealthy woman (one of the ruIn Prison of Night Earl Dumarest's newest adventure starts on the world of Zakym, where it seems he has it all: A lovely, wealthy woman (one of the rulers of the planet in fact) is his lover and is wholly obsessed with him. He has comfort, status, everything. As it is Dumarest however, all he wants is to leave as soon as a spaceship arrives and continue his long, relentless search for Earth.
The world is interesting, the humans rule the day but keep curfew at night due to an old pact with the other inhabitants of the world, the Sungari. It is to the Sungari that Dumarest must go if he is to survive the attack launched against him by an off-worlder, spurred on by Dumarests old enemies the Cyclan. As always the world building fascinates me, though he never really develops any of them completely, Tubb's ever creative new worlds fascinate me.
I have not read the previous book in the saga, Haven of Darkness, is one I have not yet acquired. As usual however, you really do not have to have read previous books to get the hang of any one in this series. It is pure space opera with the stern hero, the lovely women falling at his feet, the insurmountable odds that he always surmounts... it is predictable, what my father called a 'pot boiler' and despite all that I have a totally irrational fascination and delight with this series. It is true love - I see all it's faults, acknowledge all the criticisms ever launched against it and still want to own, read and re-read them. ...more
Just finished for the nth time, as it is a compilation of two different novels, I will review them separately:
The first in the valor serJust finished for the nth time, as it is a compilation of two different novels, I will review them separately:
The first in the valor series, this book very ably introduces the world in which the Valor series unfolds. There is a Confederation of sentient, space going species all of whom are largely pacifistic in nature by the time they make it into space. When they encounter another space going civilization they are shocked and at a loss when that civilization proves aggressive, the peaceful species of the confederation have lost the ability at the species level to be able to fight. And so they bring in three species on the verge of space travel who still have their aggressive instincts and, yes, you guessed it, Humans are the first of the mark!
I really like this world concept and the more often I read it the more I enjoy it. Of all the Space Opera scenarios for humanity getting into space, I think it is one of the more interesting, believable and useful in shrugging off pages and pages of scientific rationales.
Within this world we are introduced to the space Marines and Navy and we come to them through the eyes of Staff Sargent Kerr, one of the most enjoyable kick-arse female leads I have ever encountered in sci-fi.
The Plot in Valor's Choice is the urgent need to convince a reptilian race to join the confederation and the means of doing so is a surprise for all. No spoilers!
The Better Part Of Valor
Here Staff Sargent Kerr is taken away from her unit to be incorporated into a recon team that will be exploring an apparently derelict spacecraft of no known origin. The spacecraft was located by a civilian salvage operator who then insists on accompanying the Marines, scientists and unexpectedly included reporter onto the unknown vessel. When the air lock explodes it becomes a race for another airlock in a not-so-very empty, unknown ship.
One of the really enjoyable aspects of the Valor series is the fascinating way Tanya Huff uses the different species to polarise and explore aspects of sentience and society. While I did not love The Better Part of Valor as much as I loved Valor's Choice I still like it enough to escalate it to five stars if only because of how often I re-read my battered old paperback!
Both are brilliant Space Opera with great characters and I thoroughly enjoy the fighting scenes! I think that might be why I liked the first novel over the second, the fighting was better.
One thing has always perplexed me; why on earth does Craig Ryder have an Aussie accent? It definitely is an Aussie accent isn't it?
This was a pleasant enough story since I was in the mood for 'an Agatha Christie'. Anyone who likes the specific genera that is 'Agatha Christie' shouThis was a pleasant enough story since I was in the mood for 'an Agatha Christie'. Anyone who likes the specific genera that is 'Agatha Christie' should like it just fine.
Everyone's favorite Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot takes on the challenge of finding the truth about a murder. A young woman has been poisoned, another is on the dock for her murder will Hercule Poirot discover the truth in time to keep her from hanging?
Well, really, of course he does and we knew he would but that does not make the journey to the truth any less enjoyable. It seems that when I went through an intensive AC reading spree years ago I somehow missed this one, so it was new to me and I confess I was surprised by the solution to the mystery.
It is not one of my favorites, I think her latter books became very much a format and they lack the sparkle of her early books, also the characters become more routine, more stereotyped and they do not have the vigor of her early characters. Still, she had a monumental writing career with vast numbers of books so that is hardly surprising....more
This was a very enjoyable collection of science fiction. In terms of how 'hard' the science was (I gather this is a big thing in sci-fi these days, thThis was a very enjoyable collection of science fiction. In terms of how 'hard' the science was (I gather this is a big thing in sci-fi these days, the 'hardness'...) I think it rates pretty well; there was a decent amount of description of the science behind many of the processes. In terms of characters and plots it was very good to excellent.
I have always found it very difficult to review short story collections because I feel as though one should be reviewing the stories each on its own merit. As a collection it worked well, the level of science was consistent, the stories had good punchlines, as you need in short stories, the plots were all quite distinctive and each had something to say.
I skipped one story, because cars bore me and it seemed to be way to much into cars. The signature story of the collection 'Manhattan in reverse' was a clever, ironical commentary on species intelligence. The first story in the collection 'Watching the trees grow' was a great take on civilisation growing with one small change in it's history (the Roman empire didn't fall) and then continuing into the future. Each story had a unique take and inspired thought. Must read more from this author!...more
Having read the first of the series I was delighted to find Witches in Red. In this story, having beautifully built the world, the politically tensionsHaving read the first of the series I was delighted to find Witches in Red. In this story, having beautifully built the world, the politically tensions and the social structures in the first book, Barb Hendee shows more of it to us.
There is a silver mine owned by the father of Celine and Amalie's patron. Strange shape-shifting has decimated his soldiers there and haltered production and as his seers Celine and Amalie are sent to solve the mystery.
In the course of the book we learn hints and tidbits about the sister's mysterious background through their mother, who was also a seer and apparently abandoned her family and tribe to marry their father. We also get a hint of the direction Amalie's fortunes are likely to develop in and I am eager for more....more