If a fictional bestselling author writes a bestselling book that refers to a fictionalised version of his fictional character, at what point does realIf a fictional bestselling author writes a bestselling book that refers to a fictionalised version of his fictional character, at what point does reality start gurgling down the drain?
Derek Storm and Xiangbang have uncovered a plot by a hedge-fund manager to ruin the world economy for financial gain. The hedge-fund manager has hired Storm's presumed dead nemesis Gregor Volkov to aid his plans, i.e. Volkov is hired to kill the right people. Can Storm and Xiangbang stop the carnage and global economic meltdown?
Derek Storm is the super id and hero of the Richard Castle novels. Richard is the fictional author and lead character in the Castle TV show. Rather than have a novel tie-in for the show, Tom Straw has written a series of novels as though he was Richard Castle writing them. This entire series - of which I've only read a couple of instalments of - is written with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
Case in point: there is one scene in this novel that has a crossover between the Nikki Heat and Derek Storm characters that then references the fictionalised versions of the Castle TV show. The exchange of "ruggedly handsome" compliments that flows between the various representations of Richard Castle is something Nathan Fillion's character would definitely do.
It is hard to recommend this novel or any of the Richard Castle books without the caveat that they are meant to be cheesy to fit with the meta-humour and references to the TV show. If you aren't a fan of Castle, or aren't prepared for the style, this book and series would come off as hackneyed; I've seen other reviews suggest as much. So make sure you have your life-sized poster of Captain Mal (or is that Captain Hammer?) next to your reading chair to remind you that this is meant to be stupid-fun....more
The music industry has always run on Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll!! But not for Lindsey Stirling.
The Only Pirate at the Party is Lindsey Stirling'sThe music industry has always run on Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll!! But not for Lindsey Stirling.
The Only Pirate at the Party is Lindsey Stirling's autobiography.... Okay, is it still an autobiography when you co-write it with your sister? That's not like having a ghost writer, right? Anyway, this is Lindsey's story about carving out a career in music her own way.
I'm not exactly someone who follows TV "talent" shows and their stream of supposedly talented winners, let alone the people who lose those "talent" shows. I guess you could say I prefer a different kind of music, one that isn't aimed at generating money off of teenagers voting and selling them insipid cover versions of songs. So it is odd that I would stumble across a crazily good dubstep/electronica dancing violinist who was one of the failed contestants on America's Got Talent (now there's an oxymoron title). It was the incongruous appeal of Lindsey's music that had me interested in her background and thus, this book.
Lindsey's story of success is not only interesting, but deeply personal. She discusses all sorts of personal issues, such as her love of Jesus - as defined by a 19th century conman - and her battle with anorexia. The starkest moments come in the audiobook version when Lindsey talks about her longtime bandmate/friend Jason Gaviati. Between the time when the book was written and when the audiobook was recorded, Jason died of cancer. Like I said: deeply personal.
Even if you aren't a fan of her music, there is a lot to be taken away from this story. Lindsey's tale of success comes from hard work and making her own opportunities. And how can you not enjoy the music? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvipP......more
This book annoyed me. It started off with a scene that seemed odd for a story about a generation ship. Then it started to get a bit interesting for aThis book annoyed me. It started off with a scene that seemed odd for a story about a generation ship. Then it started to get a bit interesting for a chapter or two. Then it entered heavy handed exposition town and proceeded to go as far as listing stuff on the ship. I've got better things to do with my time than read this lazily written rubbish....more
There's nothing quite like an author desperately trying to establish their literary cred by referencing classic works of fiction. Guess what is mentioThere's nothing quite like an author desperately trying to establish their literary cred by referencing classic works of fiction. Guess what is mentioned in Inferno.
Professor Robert Langdon is back for another inexplicable adventure to save the world. This time a madman with a love for Dante's Divine Comedy and the Black Death is threatening to release a new disease that could wipe out humanity. Only Langdon and his latest arm candy can save the day.
If it isn't obvious, I have a like-hate relationship with Dan Brown novels. Dan writes very entertaining novels that are well paced with interesting plots. But he also manages to bash readers over the head with plot points - or character traits, or other random things he deems important - and squeeze in a lot of useless exposition. The useless exposition often feels like an attempt to impress readers with the amount of research that has gone into the novel, but when he starts mentioning things like Dim Mak - the mythical pressure point and no touch martial arts technique - with credulity, I cringe.
There are other points I find amusing about Inferno in particular. The continuous referral to six foot tall Langdon as "tall" says a lot about the author (or editor's) height. The desperate need to reference great literary works in a mass-market thriller novel. The idolatry of Langdon by various characters - "she was admiring him more and more", "his deep voice" - is heavy handed at best. But for these points I wonder if this is from Dan's success and wide appeal. Could it be that because Dan sells in the billions of copies, that he and his editors have to make sure the book has wider appeal and comprehension? Or is it the reverse; is his appeal that every plot point is hammered home, that the reader is repeatedly bludgeoned with how awesome the protagonist is?
For all the book's faults, Inferno was an entertaining read. Upon picking this book up I was refreshingly entertained. Worth a read for fans of Brown, Steve Berry, James Rollins, etc.
[Spoiler]I wanted to rip the final scene out and rewrite it. Langdon is returning the stolen Dante death mask to the museum but the curator can't meet him. So Langdon sneaks in and replaces it, reopening the exhibit himself.
How about Langdon being caught in the act replacing the death mask. Security recognise him as the guy who stole the mask a few days earlier, but haven't gotten the memo about Langdon being off the hook. So they are arresting him at gunpoint, to wit Langdon responds, "Please, I can explain." The handcuffs go on and the book finishes there. [/Spoiler]...more
Sometimes in a novel when you go down the well you have to put the lotion on your skin, other times you're travelling back to Earth. The latter, thisSometimes in a novel when you go down the well you have to put the lotion on your skin, other times you're travelling back to Earth. The latter, this one is the latter.
James Holden and his crew of the Rocinante are back again serving as an ad hoc belter law enforcement when they are sent to investigate an incident on Ganymede. Things quickly circle the drain from there as the war between Earth, Mars, and The Belt threatens to start again at any moment. Oh, and Venus is now under alien control. Fun times.
This is the second novel in The Expanse series by James SA Corey (aka Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) and as a sequel to Leviathan Wakes it delivers. I thoroughly enjoyed the further adventures of the Rocinante crew, but the new characters of Bobbie, Prax and Avasarala only added to fuel to the fire. Avasarala in particular is a great character to follow, making the political side to the story palatable (Avasarala is portrayed by Shohreh Aghdashloo in the TV series, and I'm sure the writers had her in mind when the character was created).
I guess that means it is time to start reading the third novel in this series. Tough job but someone has to do it....more
For the first time I'm actually interested in what is in The Juice. I'm betting The Juice doesn't contain oranges.
Leviathan Wakes is the first novel iFor the first time I'm actually interested in what is in The Juice. I'm betting The Juice doesn't contain oranges.
Leviathan Wakes is the first novel in The Expanse series and follows two protagonists, Jim Holden and Joseph Miller. Holden hauls ice - not that kind - for the colonies spread throughout the solar system. He and his small crew inadvertently start a war when their ship is blown up. Meanwhile Miller is a detective trying to find a missing rich girl. Holden and Miller's paths cross and they have to stop a war, and something even more dangerous, from destroying humanity.
It has been awhile since I've sunk my teeth into a space opera. The impetus to do so came from the SyFy series The Expanse, the first season of which is based upon Leviathan Wakes. For the first few weeks of the show I was matching pace with the TV and novel, but have finally pulled in front with my reading. I can highly recommend both the show and the novel.
There is a lot going on in the novel: it touches on elements of many genres (noir, mystery, hard sci-fi, etc); it maintains a brisk pace/tension; has elements of social and political commentary (anyone else notice the WikiLeaks ethos reference?); and combines some interesting characters with an interesting plot. As such, this is one of the better sci-fi novels I have read. I'm starting Caliban's War, the sequel, today....more
I wanted to like this book as it had an interesting concept, but every time the action waned the naked college girl was being ogled. Felt like amateurI wanted to like this book as it had an interesting concept, but every time the action waned the naked college girl was being ogled. Felt like amateur hour writing as a result. ...more
Did you know that if you are gaming and say Felicia Day three times into the reflection from the screen Felicia appears behind you and shoots an arrowDid you know that if you are gaming and say Felicia Day three times into the reflection from the screen Felicia appears behind you and shoots an arrow into your knee? I heard it on the internet so it must be true.
Memoirs and biographies are something I generally avoid like the port-a-loos at a music festival. But I make the occasional exception for people I find interesting and humorous. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) certainly fits this bill, with Felicia sharing her rise from home schooled kid to the Queen of Geeks. I'm not sure if that title comes with lands and tithings or not.
One Xmas many years ago, my sister decided the family was going to watch Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog. It was a Joss Whedon production, so there were no objections, at least none that would be taken seriously. There was Doogie Howser, and Captain Mal, and what did I recognise the redhead from? And geez she could sing. That was when I became a fan of Felicia's work, and also the only reason I've watched any Supernatural episodes since the finale in season six. So it was great to hear - yes, the audiobook read by Felicia is the best way to read this book - her talk about her life, career, and how she decided to do what she loved on her terms.
I think the most important chapter in her book is the second to last that covers her thoughts on the dark side of the internet and gaming. As a former gamer I still take a passing interest in things going on the industry, and as a resident of the internet, I've taken an interest in that too. To say that guys are dicks to women who dare trespass on "their" turf is to completely fail to understand the level of harassment women endure in trying to enjoy what games and the internet have to offer. But it is worth buying this book just for this chapter....more
Racist Colin Flaherty is here to refute the people who criticised his made up claims about the "Knockout Game". His empty claims are supported once agRacist Colin Flaherty is here to refute the people who criticised his made up claims about the "Knockout Game". His empty claims are supported once again with cherry picking and lies. Don't buy this rubbish. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christan......more
Rather cool tale from Ennis and Woo. Pretty standard fare in terms of the idea behind the story - ancient evil unleashed, about to destroy the world,Rather cool tale from Ennis and Woo. Pretty standard fare in terms of the idea behind the story - ancient evil unleashed, about to destroy the world, only the chosen ones can stop it - but the writing and art make it all work....more
One day I'm going to start a think tank and name it after a bodywash - possibly a shampoo - just like Lincoln Child did with his fictional institutionOne day I'm going to start a think tank and name it after a bodywash - possibly a shampoo - just like Lincoln Child did with his fictional institution, Lux.
There's a problem in the west wing of the think tank Lux. No, it isn't that their research is funded by special interest groups. No, it isn't that they are neo-cons bent bending governments to their policy wills. Lux has a slight problem with residents going crazy. So they contact Dr Jeremy Logan, a former resident and investigator who specialises in the extraordinary, to figure out what is causing the problems. That's when they find The Forgotten Room and its contents.
Without realising it, I've actually read one of the other Jeremy Logan mysteries. The reason I didn't realise I had read the first in the series (this being #4) was that Jeremy wasn't the main character in Deep Storm. But much like Deep Storm, The Forgotten Room is a compelling mystery that hits all the right beats. Where Deep Storm was more techno/sci-fi based, The Forgotten Room has allusions to the supernatural whilst being more conventional. Where Deep Storm had a mysterious illness, The Forgotten Room has a mysterious illness. Where Deep Storm tried to kill off as many characters as possible, The Forgotten Room keeps the fatalities to a minimum. I don't know why I'm comparing the two books in the series this much, probably because they seem to have the same general plot and feel to them. Although I do prefer the character of Logan to Crane.
As with all Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston books, you can be assured of an entertaining read. Whilst Logan is no Pendergast, he does make for an interesting character to follow as he unravels a mystery. But as with my review of Deep Storm, I did feel this book to be a little too "by the numbers"....more