Archive for the ‘ Book Reviews ’ Category

Update on reviews

So I’ve got a great backlog of books, that I’ve been reading for the past few months.

But I haven’t done any reviews on the books I’ve been reading as of late so this post is going to feature some of my thoughts on those books. I’ve got to be honest here though and the inactivity on this blog has been mostly because of me being busy with the “real life” so..I think I could’ve done more but haven’t done it here..lets try to fix that shall we.

Scott Lynch has a new book coming out “The Republic of Thieves” and if you haven’t read the two books he has done before (Lies of Locke Lamora/Red Seas Under Red Skies) then you should do so..these are even good books for a writer to study as his worldbuilding is in my opinion great. I also remember I have reviews to do on these two earlier books.

The latest book I read was Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” My verdict: a good book, enjoyable but nothing amazing..but I’m more of a fantasy/SF guy, that said King is always enjoyable for me and I like the way he writes and some of the characters were good and I couldn’t put this book down..oh the sleepless nights.

Books I just started reading:

– David Gemmel – Legend

– Brandon Sanderson – The Alloy of Law (this is my first book from sanderson..I’m quite excited about that since I listen to him on the Writing excuses podcast all the time )

I’m also continuing my University education so expecting that to hamper my reading progress. Maybe I’ll mention some of the books here in a post, that could be interesting there’s some good stuff there.

What is up and some book quickreviews + kickstarter projects

I realise that I haven’t been doing much posts for a while now. I guess I should explain.
I got accepted into a university, where I’m studying student councelling, life has been really busy. I’ve also been unmotivated to do any posts on the blog due to being so busy with everything that has been going on.

Done some reading though so here are quick verdicts:

John Scalzi – Fuzzy Nation

Verdict: A book to read, I found it a pretty good read, pick it up as paperback for cheap and it is really worth it.

Patrick Rothfuss – The Wise Mans Fear

Verdict: GET! I myself am waiting for the next one..if only there were more of these..(Side note: I was a little bit disappointed about the story progression and some little things but all in all it is a great book and definately worth having..I’m just nitpicking here really..)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch – Boneyards

Verdict: I really love these three books (diving into the wreck, city of ruins) and I heartily recommend each of these, that said I think Boneyards isn’t as good as City of Ruins, but considering how good that book was..Boneyards is really worth reading though you should probably not pick this book up if you haven’t read the two before it..now to wait for the next one.

G.R.R Martin – A Dance With Dragons

Verdict: Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire gets back into the good stuff (after the book before this..) and I’m glad he does that, I do hope there won’t be a long wait for the next book..we can only hope and I think the wait will be worth it.

John Steakley – Armor

Verdict: Did I tell you this book has power armors? It does. A good book, very minor flaw (Not being more books for me to read being it!). I could not put it down, read this mostly in one sitting (had to sleep at times) very worth getting if you liked Starship Troopers.

Mark Lawrence – Prince of Thorns 

Verdict: Good, I had some minor issues with this book (Damn you for misleading me for a bit! but thanks for it too..). Going to follow this writer and read more of his books, he can do good books..and I want to read more about the world in this book.

Well that is the update with books, next onto the kickstarter
Kickstarter projects that I like and have backed:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen  (Star Citizen, very promising and already funded, but kickstarter still running)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity (I’m almost wishing I could already play it..)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/wasteland-2 (Mark Morgan Soundtrack! I’m looking forward to this!)

That is that, I think we have a pretty good update here, I’ll probably sometime do a video blog post with Piano music.

Paul McAuley – Quiet War & Gardens of the Sun – Book Review

Quiet War

“the fascinating inventiveness of the bio-engineered life-forms, the intricate detail of both the societies and habitats, the complex characters all amounted to a fabulous story. This is a book that has been carefully thought out and the author displays a wealth of knowledge on subjects such as bio-remediation and terraforming. It’s a tale well worth taking the time to get into and enjoying McCauley’s vision of the future.” SF CROWSNEST

The quiet war is just that, a novel, Hard SF novel that is, the technology is believable. The book title is a bit misleading, if you’re expecting “war” there isn’t much, so if you’re looking for a war novel this might not exactly be it as it’s more about politics and exploring the outer habitat. At times it isn’t a very gripping read, other pages it is. I didn’t much care for the characters(except Macy) and the feel of the atmosphere I found very different(might be just me reading it that way and I’ve never been to Brazilia anyway so I don’t really know..) but it felt I was experiencing things from the point of view of Macy’s culture. I would like to say that perhaps it is the state that Earth is in, the shift in power away from our current centers of influence in the world that makes it feel so odd to me.

But lets talk about Paul McAuley himself here for a bit:

Paul J. McAuley (born 23 April 1955), a British botanist and award-winning author, Ph.D in Botany, worked as a researcher in biology in various universities, including Oxford and UCLA, and for six years was a lecturer in botany at St Andrews University.

And back to the novel:

So worldbuilding is his forte in this novel, often I feel SF tends to favour novels which feel they are more about the setting, science, ideas, politics. So if you are used to SF this novel gives you what you expect. I felt the characters were somewhat uninteresting, they are believable, well thought out, they just didn’t grab me. The one character I liked most wasn’t a point of view one. Newton, one which I won’t be talking about as doing so might ruin the plot a little. There is a plot, but not a driving factor in this novel, no this is more about discovery the plot is just there, I wasn’t really on any side in this, wasn’t cheering for Earth or for the Outers.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked this novel very much(enough to wonder if I’ve been too harsh on this review so far).

I bought the sequel, I read Quiet War very fast. My feelings are now mostly based on the second novel here since it has been so long since I read this first one. This novel doesn’t lose out against other SF novels. It might be a bit info and description heavy but so are many others in SF field.

Quiet War manages at times to be a gripping read, you turn the page to find out what will happen next, then you might get a bit bored like I was at parts. I still needed to know how it all turned out. Science in this novel is interesting, based on real world science, you will get more out of the novel if you know about these fields. And there is some war in this book too.

Gardens of the sun

We return to our familiar characters from the Quiet War to find out what has happened to them. This novel is pretty much more of the same. To be honest I felt I was back to reading the first novel, almost as if I never finished reading Quiet War. Some time has passed but the setting is familiar in ways. I found this novel more interesting on the settings, the character stories were a bit more interesting too. There is even less war in this novel, I didn’t mind it at all. What Gardens of the Sun does is it advances very fast, it is very descriptive. I feel we get a more satisfying resolution at this novel to the whole story. One could say that the two books feel like one book. If you liked Quiet War you will like Gardens of the Sun.

Much of what I wrote about Quiet War applies on Gardens of the Sun.

Verdict – Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun are good SF novels that are carried by the worldbuilding and setting that they take place in. The characters could’ve been more unique and interesting and I felt maybe the plot was a bit weak, but these are only very small complaints and the characters&plot are quite good.

If you got Quiet War and liked it or felt it was incomplete on its ending then Gardens of Sun manages to end the story well.

I recommend getting both of these books if you are used to reading SF. These books made me think, to imagine the possibilities.

Update on Book Reviews.

These are the books i have gotten read:

– The Quiet War. Paul McAuley. (1) Want to write a review before i do one for Garden..possibly double review.

– Gardens of the Sun. Paul McAuley. (2)

– Name of the Wind. Patrick Rothfuss. (7)

– Lies of Locke Lamora. Scott Lynch. (3)

– Red Seas Under Red Skies. Scott Lynch. (4)

– Passage at Arms. Glen Cook. (5)

– Storm Front. Jim Butcher. (6)

(number) Means the review writing priority for the book, deduced by personal preference and considering the state of existing reviews on the book and its popularity.

Currently reading: The Blade Itself. Joe Abercrombie.

Covers of books I shall review

I took my trusthworthy Nikon D3100 out and took some pictures of the books i have for the future reviews.

Might not review all the writing related books there..but some i probably will.

Do you see that old book in there? That is one of my older books, poetic form Kalevala in finnish, a lovely book.

Book Review: Diving Into the Wreck

To start the book reviews i chose this novel that i ordered recently because of reading an excerpt on Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s website. http://www.kristinekathrynrusch.com/ (Good site to follow if you’re interested in what is going on with the publishing indrusty)

Book facts

– 268 pages.

– First person narrative.

“Boss loves to dive historical ships, derelict spacecraft found adrift in the blackness between the stars. Sometimes she salvages for money, but mostly she’s an active historian.”

The book has a nice glossy cover, the paperback version is quite wide which i’m not used to seeing much. I hope the next book is made in same way, i like the look and feel of this book and would want the next one to match the size and look.

This book is effortless to read, which i personally prefer in books. There is a sense that space is a dangerous place where things can go wrong when diving the wrecks out there. There is some good naming of ships, places, and characters in this book. Characters are well fleshed out and interesting. The world building is good but doesn’t take too much space.

Rusch writes the story in a way that the SF concepts seem fresh and interesting.

Complaints

Very minor disconnection between the three parts of the book and at times some of the motives of characters seem a bit too convenient but nothing that would really bother a reader.

Verdict

 Diving Into the Wreck is not a hard read SF book and worth getting if you enjoy a fun easy ready that keeps you turning the pages. I didn’t have to take breaks reading this book, nor did i put it down much. I will be getting the next in series: City of Ruins.

In “Diving Into the Wreck” Rusch greates the universe and setting that leaves you wanting more. So if you get this book know that though the ending is quite standalone there will be questions left.

http://elitistbookreviews.blogspot.com/2009/11/diving-into-wreck.html Elitist Book Reviews “Diving into the Wreck” – I recommend this review to get a good picture what this book has to offer. (its spot on)

Upcoming book reviews

A small list of books i intend to review.

– Diving Into The Wreck – by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (SF)

– The Name Of The Wind – by Patrick Rothfuss (Fantasy)

– Red Seas Under Red Skies – by Scott Lynch (Fantasy) Also expect to see a review of “Lies of Locke Lamora”

– The Moon is A Harsh Mistress – by Robert A. Heinlein (SF) I will admit it right here i am a huge Heinlein junkie.

– Gormenghast trilogy – by Mervyn Peake (Fantasy)

– The Quiet War – by Paul McAuley (SF)

– Lankhmar – by Fritz Leiber (Fantasy)

There is no set schedule or order in which the reviews will come out. There also might be some reviews that come out before these.

Also if there is a review i know of on other review sites/blogs about the book i’m reviewing i will provide links at the end of the review.