This one had difficulty in keeping my attention. In fact, I set it aside for nearly a month before picking it back up a...moreBook number two in the series.
This one had difficulty in keeping my attention. In fact, I set it aside for nearly a month before picking it back up again. My main contention was how fragmented the story was - it was like reading a series of tweets. Just about the time I could settle into the current POV, the plot was on to something else. Add in the "history" blurbs at the beginning of each chapter tweet and I became annoyed enough to lose interest.
It wasn't until nearly halfway through the book when everything started to coalesce enough to engage my interest to finish the book. A 2 hour plane flight also played a role. Our vampire Cade is still nasty, his "girlfriend" Tania is an interesting counterpoint, and Jake grows some balls. The political setting is as ugly - if not worse - as the monsters Cade and Jake are fighting. There are layers to the political bureaucracy and secrecy enough to make the CIA's head spin.
Ultimately, I think this book could have been as strong as the first one if the tweet-like chapters had been condensed into something longer than a paragraph and the "historical" blurbs at the chapter heads shorter or fewer of them. Recommended with reservations. (less)
October 2013 book group selection. Kinda. I didn't realize there was a New Space Opera 1 and a New Space Opera 2 with nearly the same covers. I grabbe...moreOctober 2013 book group selection. Kinda. I didn't realize there was a New Space Opera 1 and a New Space Opera 2 with nearly the same covers. I grabbed 2. Oops! In my defense, Space Opera 2 was the only one available as an e-book. Ultimately, it all worked out.
Mixed thoughts on this selection that stemmed partly from my inability to get into the stories - I wasn't in the mood. Some selections were better than others, and what I may like, someone else detests. Overall, recommended.
1) Utriusque Cosmi (2009) novelette by Robert Charles Wilson. A woman goes back in time to tell her younger self to run and don't look back because the Earth is going to explode, but see's things from a different perspective.
2) The Island (2009) novelette by Peter Watts. In space, when building a interstellar highway, nobody wins.
3) Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance (2009) novelette by John Kessel. A monk is tasked with bringing a set of plays back to the Monestary in an attempt to stop the fighting.
4) To Go Boldly shortstory by Cory Doctorow. Making fun of Star Trek.
5) The Lost Princess Man (2009) novelette by John Barnes. A conman is running the “lost princess” con with a technological twist.
6) Defect (2009) novelette by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. An assassin refuses to carry out an assignment involving biological annihilation and is now a wanted woman. The ship carrying her husband and young son is subject to an attack, leaving only her son alive. For the first time, she is responsible for another person, and finds that this person is more like her than she ever realized.
7) To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves (2009) novelette by Jay Lake. Two “Before's” with an ancient history, one ship-mind caught between its Captains. Mutiny on several levels, but who really wins in the end?
8) Shell Game (2009) novelette by Neal Asher. Interspecies revenge with a biological twist. No pun intended.
9) Punctuality (2009) short story by Garth Nix. A young woman finds out she is Heir to the Galactic Throne. The Galaxy wants to bring on more Punctuality drives. There are two people who have the right kind of training - herself and her father. One will sublime, one will rule the Galaxy.
10) Inevitable (2009) novelette by Sean Williams. Who is the actually terrorist? A planetary terrorist is caught trying to blow an access to the “Structure” by the Ship-bound. Captured and forced to reveal another access, Ship-bound and Terrorist alike learn more than they realize.
11) Join The Navy and See the Worlds (2009) shortstory by Bruce Sterling. India and America are the superpowers after international nukes destroy major cities. Kipp is a world-renown hero reduced to giving space trips to tourists and ends up on an unexpected tour of the slums of India.
12) Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings (2009) novelette by Bill Willingham. A case of mistaken identity and space pirates.
13) From the Heart (2009) novelette by John Meaney. Lost love. Humiliation. Redemption. One ship for one person.
14) Chameleons (2009) novella by Elizabeth Moon. A bodyguard finds himself stuck on his home-world with two petulant teenagers and they all surprise each other.
15) The Tenth Muse (2009) novelette by Tad Williams.
16) Cracklegrackle (2009) novelette by Justina Robson.
17) The Tale of the Wicked (2009) novelette by John Scalzi.
18) Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz (2009) short story by Mike Resnick.
19) The Far End of History (2009) novelette by John C. Wright. (less)
I read The Windup Girl several years ago and was entranced with the world and characters Bacigalupi created. Ship Breaker was just as interesting and...moreI read The Windup Girl several years ago and was entranced with the world and characters Bacigalupi created. Ship Breaker was just as interesting and I had a hard time putting the book down.
Set in the Gulf of Mexico, somewhere along the the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama, a small group of people struggle to survive by disassembling old oil tankers and ocean going ships for scrap and, if they are lucky, oil. They live in fear of hurricanes, specifically "City Killers", a new category of storm that destroys everything in its path.
Life is a struggle for the folks on the Beach. Laboring on the ships is hard work and your size and ability dictate what you can and cannot do. Survival depends up on meeting quotas, and in Nailer's case, also avoiding his abusive father. A storm changes everything when it washes a "Swanks" clipper ship onto the shoals of a submerged city. Nailer and his friend Pima rescue "Lucky Girl" and the subsequent journey to reunite her with her father shows Nailer that there is more to family than blood.
Written as a YA book, I couldn't help but reflect that our young protagonist grew up long before the story even started, so less a coming of age story than a journey of self discovery. I would have like more back ground on the half-men, the genetically modified laborers; I think "Lucky Girl" could have had more depth to her character - she felt very superficial to me; and more information on the power struggle in Lucky Girls life to justify reuniting her with her father.
But, overall, minor complaints. This really was a well written story and I highly recommended it. (less)
Interesting premise and setting. I think the story would have been even better if it had been fleshed out more. The plot felt too short for everything...moreInteresting premise and setting. I think the story would have been even better if it had been fleshed out more. The plot felt too short for everything it was trying to convey, leaving the emotional impact rather cool - almost as if there was an outline that had been filled out.
Recommended if you like LA Witt's work, scifi and vampires. (less)
Book three in a series that focus's on the people living in a world dominated by zombies - but it's not about the zombies themselves....moreHugo Nominee 2013
Book three in a series that focus's on the people living in a world dominated by zombies - but it's not about the zombies themselves. Our group of main characters continues to struggle against the Center for Disease Control's nefarious plots of corruption and conspiracy but without the edgy blogging that dominated book one and two.
I thought this book could have been about 100 pages shorter and better for it. The running hither and tither in great angst and anticipation, fighting suddenly amplified lab assistants, large angry animals and fast talking around nervous independent settlers had gone it's course. The one positive was there was a bit more personal interaction and thus more character development through that interaction than in previous books.
Uff. Trying to do this without spoilers...
The book felt like a rehashing of the previous two books, where our illustrious team is up against impossible odds: the threat of death imminent from guns, grenades, decontamination procedures that kill, zombies and imminent amplification; and yet, miraculously makes it out the other side of the building to run away and fight another day. Very much a been there. Done that.
By the time we hit Big Revelation One and Two, instead of being thrilled and titillated, my reaction was one of sarcastic, eye rolling, "Oh, we didn't see that coming...". It was compounded by two plot lines that should have merged immediately yet the author continued for numerous pages replaying the scene from alternating perspectives. Once was enough.
When it comes down to it, I liked book three the least, I had a hard time finding the motivation to continue reading it, and was very glad when it was finally over.(less)
A light space romance that was about 100 pages too long.
Bujold's books tend to be dialog driven, with just enough description...more2013 Hugo Novel Nominee
A light space romance that was about 100 pages too long.
Bujold's books tend to be dialog driven, with just enough description to give you an idea of how people look in their snazzy uniforms and an impression of the city or space station they are living on. My complaint with dialog driven books is there are often not enough cues as to whom is talking and I have to go back and carefully do the he said/he said only to find out there was a she said added in.
The main cast of characters in this one seemed to alternate acting like the High-born adults they were and teenagers who were allowed off the space station for the first time in their lives. A dichotomy of ones rank and place in the world, then behaving in a manner that was incongruous with that rank of birth.
And of course, all the Vorkosigan favorites are trotted out at one point or another.
Ultimately, not a favorite, but I enjoyed it as the light entertainment it offers, lots of fun, witty comments throughout the book. A good book to read in an airport or at the beach as it can be easily picked up and put down, especially if you are already familiar with Bujold's Vorkosigan world. (less)
I thoroughly enjoyed this story - set in an exotic land with magic, evil khalif, eastern Robin Hoods, djinns, and g...moreThis is a 2013 Hugo Novel Nominee.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story - set in an exotic land with magic, evil khalif, eastern Robin Hoods, djinns, and ghuls. The last demon-hunter is now an old man with a young, noble hearted - but slightly misguided - warrior as an apprentice. We meet a Badwai desert shape-changer, and feel the affection between a magic-worker and his apothecary wife. There's love, disappointment, and promises to be honored. We have the "great city of Dhamsawaat" that is seen from the eyes of the old and young, from the viewpoint of City dwellers and desert tribesman.
Throne of the Crescent Moon is as rich as any middle eastern tapestry - deftly woven, delightful colors, intricate in it's design. For some, it might be a bit...flat; others will delight in the nuances offered.
I've heard it touted as reminiscent of Arabian Nights, but I thought the only similarity was it's Far Eastern setting. And while not marketed as YA, it's definitely straddles that line.
Again, Harry Dresden, Chicago Wizard, is put into life threatening situations (note, plural). Again, Harry survives with a little help from his friend...moreAgain, Harry Dresden, Chicago Wizard, is put into life threatening situations (note, plural). Again, Harry survives with a little help from his friends.
In this volume (episode?) the Red Court vampires have sent a Warlord to engage Harry in a duel to the death. Meanwhile, the Shroud of Turin has been stolen and is somewhere in Chicago. The Church is rather eager to get it back, the buyer wants his goods, and the underworld plans on disrupting everyone's plans. Harry has been give a prophecy that if he gets the Shroud back, he dies. If he doesn't get the Shroud back, everyone else dies. Harry doesn't think much of prophecies.
While the action continues to be a bit over the top (really, two life threatening situations in one week?), the character development and writing continues to improve in my opinion. I could have done without the ah...liaison, between Harry and his ex-girlfriend-turned-vampire, and the train ride across Kansas was right out of several movies, but yet all of this somehow works. It's Harry, it's quirky, and it's just a fun read. If you want serious, read Tolkien.