Red Harvest

Red Harvest
Star Wars
Joe Schreiber
Horror
2 Stars
DTB, 244

the prequel, by several thousand years, to Death Troopers. Some Sith lord finds a sith holocron with plans for immortality and experiments on sith students. Thing go horribly wrong and everyone gets infected. A jedi gets involved and some random bounty hunter and pilot. Lots of descriptions to make creepy settings, but there was not really any tension or scariness involved. Enjoyed it a little more than Death Troopers though.

Slightly more enjoyable than “Death Troopers”, but not by much. If SW is going to have a horror line, they need to get an author who can make the reader feel something, not just describe things gruesomely.
I did like the fact that simple decapitation wasn’t the easy way out like in the rest of of the zombie genre.
Finally, why are zombies equated with horror? I want to be scared, not bored or grossed out.

A Cavern of Black Ice

A Cavern of Black Ice
Sword of Shadows #1
J.V. Jones
Fantasy
2 Stars
Epub, 618

Graphic. The word to best describe this book. Every negative emotion, every detail about frozen, dying flesh, every bad habit, all were described to such detail so as to make me hate this book. A young woman, who has the power to free an undead horde, must discharge her power in a safe place, the cavern of black ice. Her fate is thrown in with a young clans man who ends up clanless. They succeed in their quest, but more things are still on the horizon. I don’t think I’ll be reading any more by this author.

This was too graphic for me. Not necessarily brutal violence graphic, but everything negative, from emotions such as hate/fear/anger, to the descriptions of frozen/broken/battered flesh, to bad habits [ie, curd chewing, crass talk] just left me feeling very yucky. Which is unusual.

I finished it, but nothing in it makes me want to read another book by J.V. Jones.

Dragon and Phoenix

Dragon and Phoenix
Dragonlord #2
Joanne Bertin
Fantasy
4 Stars
DTB, 695

A fantastic story with openings of potential for many more books. Sadly, Bertin seems to have dropped off the literary radar. Oh well.

the dragons and true dragons find out about a dragon being held captive in a foreign land and set out to rescue him. In the process Maurynna is able to change and the DragonLords find yet another “hidden” DragonLord. I really enjoyed this novel. Depth and a very wide view of things kept my attention and separate plotlines never got tangled up. Well written. I just wish the 3rd book had been written [the back of this book, published in ’98 says the author is in the process of writing it. So if it hasn’t happened in 13 years, I doubt it will]

Swallows and Amazons

Swallows and Amazons
Swallows and Amazons #1
Arthur Ransome
Children’s Lit
3 Stars
Epub, 204 Pages

a group of children spend a couple of weeks on an island and sailing a lake. Simplistic and not something I was really in the mood for. However, I can see how this would stir the imagination of young duffers and intrigue them greatly.

Not really written for me, and not really my thing, but I can see how kids could like this. Better reading than some of that vampire trash for kids that exists anyway…

Acacia: The War with the Mein

Acacia: The War with the Mein
Acacia #1
David Durham
Fantasy
4 Stars
Epub, 456 Pages

After having tried to read this [twice!] earlier this year, I had given up on this series. However, after some encouragement from people here, I tried again, and I have to say, it was worth it.

The setup for the plot IS laggy. But after the 150 page mark, things get better and better. I was really drawn into the world Durham creates and am looking forward to more stories in this world.

Complex, long term and with just enough twists and turns to keep things interesting, Durham has created a world that is potentially HUGE for exploring. Definitely looking forward to the other 2 in this series.

Thief of Time

Thief of Time
Discworld #26
Terry Pratchett
Fantasy
3 Stars
Epub, 241 Pages

Time has a baby and it gets split in two. The Auditors try using one of them to build the perfect clock, so that time stops. Death must reunite the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse [plus 1] and Susan must tie everything together while she meets and falls in love with the perfect man[for her]. Highly entertaining. Especially when scads of auditors take on human form for some reason or another.

A good solid, amusing Discworld book. Susan really needs to lighten up though, and the ending of the book hints at the chance of that happening. And Auditors. Oh yeah, love those things 🙂

The Sword and the Dragon

The Sword and the Dragon
Wardstone Trilogy #1
M.R. Mathias
Fantasy
4 Stars
Epub, 524 Pages

First off, just want to state that I think the author of this book is a complete asshole. I’ve run across him at several online forums and never once was he polite or nice unless everybody was kowtowing to him [which, the net being what it is, just isn’t going to happen].

That being said, this book sucked me in. I read the first chapter and couldn’t put it down. Near the end though things got a little draggy and I was glad for the end [hence the 4 stars instead of 5]. If the author writes more in this direct series, I’ll definitely be checking it out. Highly recommended

The Skinner (Polity: Spatterjay #1)

The Skinner

Polity: Spatterjay #1

Neal Asher

4 Stars

 

Fantastic! I liked this book as much as any of the “Agent Cormac” books by Asher. Action and ideas intertwining and giving the reader the best of both worlds. I found the additional info about the Prador fascinating.

a new storyline dealing with a world called Spatterjay. It has a virus that infects humans and makes them strong, regenerative and nearly immortal. But if they don’t eat Polity foods [ie, human food], they turn into a skinner. A skinner is a creature that kills and destroys. This book was about a polity agent looking for retribution on a gang of Hoopers [what turned humans are called] that participated in the Prador war, on the Prador’s side. Follows the agent, some Hoopers, a Prador and some AI’s as they all come together on Spatterjay and deal with a skinner. I enjoyed this as much, if not more, than the Agent Cormac books.

Storm of the Dead

Storm of the Dead
Forgotten Realms: Lady Penitent #2
Lisa Smedman
Fantasy
3 Stars
Epub, 209 Pages

another god enters the game between Lolth and her daughter. And loses. Undead battles, etc, etc. Find out more history about the drow. Same quality as the other books by Smedman.

Same level of writing skill and storytelling as in her other forgotten realms books, so it was ok. Nothing spectacular, but a good fantasy read in a thought out world.

Rendezvous with Rama

Rendezvous with Rama
Rama #1
Arthur Clarke
SF
3 Stars
Epub, 255 Pages

humanity finds a giant spaceship coming into the solar system. They explore it and realize they are not alone in the universe. The story is about the group exploring the ship. Very little action, well written, but dull none the less. There is a whole series of Rama books, but I don’t think I’ll waste my time on any more.

A well written book. But horribly dull. I felt like I was eating oatmeal the whole time. It might be good for me, but it sure is bland and boring. Will definitely not be reading any more in this series.