After the last couple of books, I feel like Butcher and Dresden have made improvements. While it's a generally positive review, I want to take a momen...moreAfter the last couple of books, I feel like Butcher and Dresden have made improvements. While it's a generally positive review, I want to take a moment to put in a big ole SPOILER ALERT since this book hasn't even been out for a week yet. I don't want my comments to spoil anybody's reading.
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So, yeah. I feel like Dresden really is *finally* growing up a bit, which is great. But more important, I was so glad to find that we're done with the "and this is the biggest, baddest baddie I've ever fought" stuff. There gets to a point where it's no longer interesting for him to fight off bigger, badder baddies, because he's just going to get more power from somewhere, and they've run out of "Mores' of power for him to get. YAY to that. This story focused more on him using his brain. Which is also great because I feel a bit like Dresden was muddling through things trying to brute force situations when his initial plan didn't work. In this case, his initial plan DID work because he'd taken the time to think it through. Now, that doesn't mean it didn't also go wrong, and that there weren't other important bits, but it felt like he was finally learning. Momentarily, I'd also like to mention that Karrin was also given a lot more respect in this than usual, as far as her capabilities. It was alllllmost like the women in the book were starting to get a little more fleshed out.
I could have done without the "parkour!", but eh.
In short, I feel like I can see where this is maybe going to wrap up soon, and in a generally positive way. Which is good. (less)
This is the kind of book that reminds you why "science fiction" was called, well, "science fiction" instead of "future fiction" or "technology fiction...moreThis is the kind of book that reminds you why "science fiction" was called, well, "science fiction" instead of "future fiction" or "technology fiction" or something like that. Heavy, heavy (pseudo?)science content layered on top of an adventure narrative that is in no way written to draw the reader into the excitement -- almost written clinically at what could be the most exciting scenes, I can see why people would want to make movies of this and how they could be nothing at all like this book. (less)
I found this really interesting. I came into it with a bit of trepidation, not having read any Heinlein before (except a smidge of Stranger in a Stran...moreI found this really interesting. I came into it with a bit of trepidation, not having read any Heinlein before (except a smidge of Stranger in a Strange Land, which I never took to). I thought it might be dry. I've heard about Heinlein being... not exactly feminist.
First, I have to give kudos for how well he stayed in-voice. I can't imagine writing from the POV of a narrator who had an accent/imperfect English, and keeping in that voice for the entire book, except when other characters were actually speaking. WOAH. I mean, that's impressive.
Second, I thought it was a really interesting vision-of-what-the-future-could-have-been-from-the-POV-of-the-1960s. Which is where I find this less misogynistic than anticipated. I mean, I find it *credible* that women could have been, in the world of the book, treated like that. Not feminist -- not by a long shot, but believable. And that's really all I'm asking for. And then, of course, there's the bit about computers being so obviously unlike what they've become. And imagining that, with enough brain power, a computer could become "alive" in that way. This is what sci-fi was all about, and it's brilliant.(less)
So, being neither linguist nor historian, I can't make any claims about the veracity of the author's claims, but it's certainly interesting to think a...moreSo, being neither linguist nor historian, I can't make any claims about the veracity of the author's claims, but it's certainly interesting to think about. In short: quick and interesting, though I do find myself unwilling to believe that this is Truth. I will absolutely accept that it's a plausible and interesting set of beliefs based on what is known about my beloved English.(less)
"Neil takes a sharp breath and I know exactly what it means, it means, I have waited my whole life to walk through a secret passage built into a books...more"Neil takes a sharp breath and I know exactly what it means, it means, I have waited my whole life to walk through a secret passage built into a bookshelf."
Haven't we all!
This really seems like a book for people who love books. It's a bit kitchy, but wholly enjoyable.(less)
Not much longer than an episode of the show itself, but a nice interlude. Love to hear Ten again, and DT did a perhaps-surprisingly-good job with the...moreNot much longer than an episode of the show itself, but a nice interlude. Love to hear Ten again, and DT did a perhaps-surprisingly-good job with the voices. Not really high literature, but a bit of fluff is nice on occasion.(less)
There's an extent to which I think I need to accept that John Scalzi is, apparently, very much a voice I like in modern sci-fi writing. This is the th...moreThere's an extent to which I think I need to accept that John Scalzi is, apparently, very much a voice I like in modern sci-fi writing. This is the third book of his that I've listened to, and I've enjoyed them all. This one was interesting because it was a "reboot" of an earlier novel, and I'm curious to see how the two compare. Luckily, Little Fuzzy, the original this was based off of, was free for the Kindle, so I'll be taking a look at that soon.
What I find perplexing is the fact that I like the way he writes, but I almost feel like all of his characters seem to be a little *too* average-joe. But then, this is what I feel a lot of OTHER books lack. These characters are clearly just people you could meet in everyday life. Annnd so I'm torn. I love it, but I'd like to see someone extraordinary. Maybe I just need to read other books for that. :)
On the other hand, I absolutely love the way that he integrates modern tech (with certain advances) into books. I find it hard to accept the idea of a future without pocket-sized computer equipment, and he seamlessly includes that kind of tech into a future world where there are even bigger and better gadgets, but people still want to be able to do a few basic things -- like play music and record videos of their pets -- at will.(less)
I don't always fill out a review, but this one seems particularly worth reviewing. I generally value reading through the classics, and this was no exce...moreI don't always fill out a review, but this one seems particularly worth reviewing. I generally value reading through the classics, and this was no exception. That being said, I did find it a bit difficult. Honestly, I think part of the problem may have been the narrator, who was just a bit ... not my thing? But that doesn't cover everything. As others have said, it's pretty dated. The women are pretty atrocious. We fall again into the trope that humans are the "just right" species: one is too timid, the other too warlike, humans are juuuuust right. But then -- was that even a trope back when it was written? The women... well, I was ready to give the benefit of the doubt with Teela (Tila? This is one negative of audiobooks, I can't spell her name!) because of her special circumstances, but Prill? NOPE. There are a lot of really stupid assumptions that go into the making of a character like Prill, and if I had it to do over again, I'd have loved to see her turn Louis Wu's assumptions on his head. Buuut that doesn't happen.
Overall, there was a lot of worldbuilding that was interesting to me, but the characters seemed one-dimensional and flat. Importantly, not even Louis Wu really is shown in a favorable light -- at least, not to me. He's supposed to be 200 years old, but he's always laughing at inappropriate times. In fact, it seems to me as though he acts just as much like a child as Teela does, just in different ways. This was part of why I was able to accept some of Teela's childlike personality -- because apparently humans never have to Grow Up in this magical, consequence-free future of near-immortality.
So... yeah, not my favorite book. Glad I read it though. (less)