The Last of the Plainsmen ★★☆☆½

lastplainsmen (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Last of the Plainsmen
Series: ———-
Author: Zane Grey
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 237
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Grey “chronicles” a time he supposedly had with a man named Jones, a hunter and trapper who tried to trap the animals he hunted so he could domesticate them, whether they were mountain lions or wild ox. Anything but bears.

 

My Thoughts:

This was very much a Man VS Nature story that happened to take place out West (in the United States) and wasn’t what I think of when I think “Western”. There isn’t a single showdown with pistols, no bare knuckle fights, no Indians trying to scalp anyone, no scheming cardsharps, no damsel in distress, no wily saloon keeper with a hidden shotgun behind the bar. None of that.

This is just a boys adventure story about a man who has a lust for trapping animals and domesticating them. The main story was about Grey and Jones and the group Jones had gathered, trying to catch some mountain lions. During that hunt (which lasted several months if not longer) Jones tells stories about himself hunting other animals. Wild stallions, some sort of Indian ox that they considered sacred, bison, etc. There was a lot of adverse Nature conditions which provides most of the tension of the story.

This was not a “bad” book, but once again, Grey doesn’t give me what I was expecting in a Western and as such, I am done reading him. Maybe next year I’ll try Max Brand? I’d like to keep some Westerns in my reading rotation, but I am not willing to sift through L’Amour’s standalones.

★★☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

Places in the Darkness ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@Page11

placesinthedarkness (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Places in the Darkness
Series: ———-
Author: Chris Brookmyre
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 448/DNF on page 11
Format: Digital Edition

 

My Thoughts:

Main character was talking to her male coworker and brings up the fact he might be leaving the space station to go be with his male partner.

At some point I will simply have to give up on SFF because of the pervasiveness of such perversions presented as normal. I don’t know what my tipping point would be though. A monthly total, a yearly total, something else? I take this subject matter pretty seriously and so I guess I really need to sit down and think about just what my tipping point actually is. I have to admit I’ve been avoiding thinking about it but as this seems to be happening more, I just can’t shrug it off as an aberration on the writer’s part. Giving up a whole genre seems like a lot but at some point the apple is so riddled with worms that it is better to throw the apple away than to try to eat the few remaining good parts.

All choices have consequences.

★☆☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

Dark Sky (Keiko #2) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@5%

darksky (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Dark Sky
Series: Keiko #2
Author: Mike Brooks
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 352/DNF@5%
Format: Digital Edition

 

My Thoughts:

Captain Ichabod Drift and the crew are on a Federation world enjoying the money they got from the hidden accounts in the previous book. Ichabod is approached by the Business Man/Crime Lord of the world and hired to pick up some financial data from another world in the system.

When the Crew arrive, they find out the contact is being blackmailed to do the Crime Lord’s dirty work. He threatens the crew with withholding the info unless they take him and his husband offworld to a safe world.

★☆☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard ★★☆☆☆ DNF@55%

completestoriesofjgballard (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard
Series: ———-
Author: Jerry Ballard
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 1199/DNF@55%
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A massive collection of short stories by the author Jerry Ballard. Mainly from the 60’s and 70’s, Ballard’s stories one and all revolved around broken characters; broken mentally, broken physically, broken emotionally, broken psychologically, broken in any way you can imagine. The world is dystopian, hope has been removed and the inexorable pessimistic fate for humanity cannot be thwarted.

 

My Thoughts:

Ballard was a qualified writer, ie, he knew his craft and did it well. However, his style and subject matter destroyed any positives for me in that aspect. In the over 600 pages I read I would have expected SOME variety in the stories but nope, uniform brokenness was what Ballard thought and what he wrote. By the time I’d decided to DNF this, I wasn’t even depressed, I was simply bored. I imagine I felt like what an art connoisseur would have felt like if Edvard Munch had only painted Scream style paintings.

At the 25% mark I was raging inside. The brokenness of the characters really had gotten to me and I was sick that Ballard could write such people over and over and over. Every man was a coward in one way or another, every woman a harpy or drone. Then like I said earlier, I just got bored. You can only read the same type of character and story so many times before it stops having an impact.

Originally, this book was published in 2 separate volumes and honestly, I think that was the correct choice. This 1 volume was just too big. Maybe if you wanted to slowly read a story here and there every day or week and you could set this down whenever you wanted, you’d not get bored. I still would have gotten bored though and there was no way I was going to spend a prolonged time period with this author’s outlook. One week of reading it every day, approximately 100 pages a day (anywhere from 4-10 stories), was enough.

Ballard also hasn’t aged well. The wonders of psychology would solve all the problems, but of course with Ballard that was misused so it would create all the problems. In one story psychologists had been outlawed by a right-wing world order and the main character had gone to jail for trying to help someone in an underground psychology session. I don’t see Ballard becoming an enduring author. To the dustbins of history with him I say!

Finally, I couldn’t help but compare this massive collection to the volumes of short stories by Asimov that I read back in ’16. That was also a 2 volume collection, Volume One and Volume Two and together they about equaled the same number of pages as this. Their tone however, was much more positive and upbeat, which allowed the more negative stories in that collection to be more of a savory contrast, like sweet and sour chicken. Ballard was just sour chicken. That is only yummy if you’re a sick, sick individual.

★★☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Torchship Captain (Torchship #3) ☆☆☆☆½ DNF@10% w/ Extreme Prejudice

torchshipcaptain (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Torchship Captain
Series: Torchship #3
Author: Karl Gallagher
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 354 DNF@10’ish%
Format: Digital Edition

 

My Thoughts:

THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN ADULT CONTENT.

Things were going along really well. The Fusion was starting to fall apart and that threatened the union between the Fusion and the Disconnect against the AI threat. Michigan Long is now captain and running her own ship. She has a friendship with one of the Fusion leaders, the young girl they rescued back in the first book. When the capital world of the Fusion falls to revolution, the young girl becomes part of it to save her life, as she was one of the ruling class.

Then the girl comes aboard the ship to touch base with Michigan and her husband. She’s helping run the new council, as she has some experience, but she’s definitely just staying ahead of mob rule. So she’s complaining about how inexperienced she feels and her biggest complaint is that she is sexually inexperienced. Seriously. Trying to run a world on a council that is just as likely to kill her as take her ideas into consideration and she is thinking about how her sex life is zero.

So Michigan offers to teach her and right there, kneels before her husband and starts sucking him off. She then tells him to show the girl what sex is like and watches as her husband has sexual intercourse with the young woman. I believe I literally said out loud “what the fuck” and closed my kindle in complete and utter disgust.

I really don’t know what to say. It wasn’t erotic, it wasn’t smutty. Gallagher made sure to write in such a way that it wasn’t explicit but that the reader still knew exactly what he meant. But it was revolting. It had no place in this story and it completely destroyed everything. I don’t know if Gallagher has ever written anything else but I abandoned this with Extreme Prejudice and I’ll never read another word by him, or even CONSIDER reading anything by him.

☆☆☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Rath’s Gambit (Janus Group #2) ★★★☆☆

rathsgambit (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Rath’s Gambit
Series: Janus Group #2
Author: Piers Platt
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 210
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Rath is on the run. With other Operatives from the Janus Group tasked to hunt him down, he has to escape, disappear and then hook back up with Operative 339 so they can begin their campaign against the Group and hopefully live through it.

Things start to go off the rails when Operative 339 doesn’t show up at the rendevous point. Rath waits for quite awhile before realizing something is wrong. What he doesn’t know is that Operative 339 was caught by some civil authorities on another planet while she was free-lancing. She was sentenced to a prison term and her her plan was to serve for a year or two and then get early release for good behavior. Of course, Rath knows none of this.

Rath enlists the aid of the man who has been investigating the Group on his own. They track down O339 and Rath breaks her out of prison. Bungling up all her careful plans of staying under the radar.

The book ends with them trying to escape a whole batch of Operatives that had been following Rath, hoping he would do exactly what he did, ie, lead them to O339.

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this BUT between the non-resolution ending, Rath acting like an idiot (for an Operative who made his 50 kills, he sure is incompetent and stupid) and the continued prison reform schtick, I’ve decided to not read any more by Platt.

When I finished this book and it ended with them being chased, I realized I simply didn’t care how it turned out. Rath is a bungler who can’t seem to plan out even basic strategy. I couldn’t tell if that was deliberate on the part of the author or what, but it wasn’t what I wanted to read about. I wanted a story about a highly trained Operative who kicked butt, oh you know, like say Operative 339. But nooooo, I get Rath the Bozo who can’t seem to find his own bum with both hands, a wall mirror and someone directing him.

The parts dealing with O339 were great. She kicked butt. She was smart and knew when to lay low and when to fight back. She had a plan and she knew how to adjust that plan as circumstances changed. WHY couldn’t this series have been about her?

Overall, while Platt hasn’t written any atrociously bad books, he certainly hasn’t written any very good books. I’m done sampling the Mediocre Buffet.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Empire of Silence (Sun Eater #1) ★☆☆☆☆

empireofsilence (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Empire of Silence
Series: Sun Eater #1
Author: Christopher Ruocchio
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 624/DNF@2%
Format: Digital Edition

 

My Thoughts:

I’m pretty sure I got this through a recommendation through Larry Correia’s website and one of his Book Bomb promotional posts.

However, at 2% (personally, I prefer skim milk myself), the main character starts talking about how his mother preferred other women instead of conjugal visits with his father. So I was done.

★☆☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)