The Prefect (Revelation Space #7) ★★★★☆

prefect (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 Prefect
Series: Revelation Space #7
Author: Alastair Reynolds
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 516
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, an officer in the Panoply, a police force that enforces the few laws of the Glitter Band that orbits the planet Yellowstone.

Things start off with a bang as an Ultra ship uses its engines to wipe out 1 of the 10,000 Habitats. Dreyfus is sent in to investigate by his boss, Jane Aumonier. Jane had a run-in several years ago with an entity named the Clockmaker and has a mechanical tick on neck that places all sorts of restrictions on her or it will kill her.

During Dreyfus’s investigation it becomes apparent that the Ultra Captain was framed to cover something else up. While this investigation is going on, Dreyfus’s newest underling, Thalia Ng, is sent out on a routine software patch update to 4 of the Habitats. Said patch closes a loophole that allowed those habitats to sway the voting in their habitats, which is strictly against the Law. Thalia installs the code but finds out that it hid some other code that allowed another entity to take over those Habitats.

Thus is revealed the Bad Guy, Aurora Nerval-Lermontov. She is the only surviving member of the 80, an experiment by the Sylveste’s to truly digitize humans. She has been hiding and found a ship full of Conjoiners. Said conjoiners could see the future and saw the melding plague, which spells the end of the Glitter Band, and thus Aurora, as she would be destroyed by the melding plague. Aurora wants to prevent this plague but the only way she thinks is viable is to take over and control the entire Glitter Band, no matter how many people she has to kill.

Thalia must survive on the Habitat she is on while the rest of the Panoply tries to deal with Aurora, who has a traitor inside the Panoply. She uses the resources of the 4 Habitats she controls to create drones to spread her control code to other Habitats. Panoply ends up nuking several of them to contain the spread but realize they can’t really stop Aurora.

Dreyfus realizes that the first Habitat destroyed by the Ultra ship probably contained the Clockmaker and that Aurora was behind it, as the Clockmaker is the only entity Aurora truly fears. Dreyfus races against the traitor in their midst to find the Clockmaker and release it.

The Clockmaker and Aurora end up inhabiting the entire data band, which slows them down and makes them a non-threat for at least a century or two. The Panoply and the Ultra’s get together to clean up the remnants of Aurora’s forces and Dreyfus deals with the traitor, regains some memories he never knew he’d even lost and Life Goes On.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a decent end to my Revelation Space series read. Since I had already read about the melding plague and the glitter band, the situation presented to me wasn’t completely outside what I could comprehend.

That being said, this was only a decent end to my Revelation Space series read. I enjoyed what I read but I was neither wowed or impressed nor disgusted.

Dreyfus came across as this careworn, stoic, tired man who could barely function. I didn’t enjoy him as a character even while he wasn’t boring. No character was boring though. Each and everyone was unique and made the story what it was. I didn’t feel like anyone should have been cut out nor did I feel like I wanted “someone else”. But by the end of the book I realized that my time with Reynolds was over.

It feels kind of funny to be giving this 4stars and yet saying it wasn’t good enough to keep me reading more Reynolds, but hey, thems the breaks! Reynold’s style just never grabbed me like Neal Asher’s writing did, so take from that what you may.

Glad I read this compendium of 7 books but I’ve had enough.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

City of Night (Frankenstein #2) ★★★☆½

cityofnight (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: City of Night
Series: Frankenstein #2
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 482
Format: Digital Edition

 

 

Synopsis:

Victor Helios is stepping up his campaign of the overthrow of the world with his newmen. Unfortunately for him, some really weird things are starting to happen with his newmen and even though he doesn’t realize it yet, he’s losing control. They are changing, mutating, becoming something completely non-human.

Deucalion is still hamstrung by his inability to harm Victor and so his use of police detectives Carson O’Connor and her partner Michael Maddison continues.

Victor sends some of his assassins after Carson and her autistic younger brother but things don’t go as Victor planned because one of his creations managed to get to them first and put them on guard.

The book ends with the group planning on how to assault Victor and not unleash the wrath of the newmen who have replaced so many key officials in New Orleans.

 

My Thoughts:

This series is one I am glad I didn’t read as it came out. Each “book” ends on a serious cliffhanger and without a lot of resolution. It is really more one big story that has been artificially chunked up into 5 separate books. Knowing that I have it completed and just waiting for me to read, I don’t mind nearly so much. I’m actually reading the omnibus edition, but reading over 1500 pages all at once is just a bit more than I want to deal with. Plus, it’s easier to review 5 smaller chunks than one huge thing like that.

This time around there is no small time villain like in the previous book. It made the cops’ part feel not as needed. A lot more time with the newmen happens and we see some of the happenings as they change. It is wicked creepy and yet perfectly illustrates how evil always turns on itself and destroys itself.

The threat of the newmen is also made a bit more evident in this book. There was at least one incident where the newmen assassins (a couple where the woman is going crazy because she wants a baby but Victor created them unable to have children) simply walked through a hail of 9mm bullets. Being very familiar with the 9mm, as I own a Sig-p938 cbt, it really brought out just how dangerous these beings were. Not immortal, not invincible, but not something that a regular police force could handle. A race of super villains as it were.

Both Carson and Michael come to the realization, and acceptance, that to stop Victor, it will probably cost them their lives. That is a sobering thought to me as a reader. It also makes me want to cheer for them even harder. Heroes.

The ending with the group planning to assault Victor’s secret lab really amped up the tension for me. The lab is filled with newmen, but it is also starting to fill up with the mutations, all of which are wicked nasty and give even the newmen a run for their money in the violence department.

I really wanted to just jump into the next book right away, to see what happens. But I know myself well enough to not start down that path again. I’ll get to the next book in a month or two. That wait won’t hurt me and will help temper any excitement and expectations I may have for book 3.

★★★☆½

bookstooge

 

Prodigal Son (Frankenstein #1) ★★★☆½

prodigal son (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: Prodigal Son
Series: Frankenstein #1
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 498
Format: Digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Deucalion, otherwise known as Frankenstein’s Monster, has been hanging out at some Zen Buddhist Monk Temple Mountain Retreat kind of place. But when Victor Frankenstein, now known as Victor Helios, appears on the scene, Deucalion knows that Victor is continuing his attempts to create a new breed of humanity and replace the old with the new.

At the same time, a mass murderer has appeared and this gets the New Orleans PD involved. Carson O’Connor, the sole caretaker of her younger autistic brother, is partnered up with Michael Maddison. They are the chief detectives and their goal is to bring this scumbag to justice.

Both of these events overlap. Can Deucalion put a stop to Victor’s plan to exterminate humanity and can Carson find a killer who kills for the perfect body part? One of these gets answered and the other will take the rest of the series to answer.

 

My Thoughts:

I would classify this as an urban fantasy police procedural.

Deucalion’s part is much smaller than I had hoped. He starts the ball rolling but then just kind of disappears. Koontz writes at the beginning that he started this whole project for a tv show and it really shows. When things moved over to Carson and the serial murderer side of things, I felt like I was reading a detective murder tv show.

In many ways I felt like this had the supernatural side of things that was missing from Koontz’s Odd Thomas series. Victor Helios is truly one scary guy and while he’s supposedly dabbling in super science, it really comes across as “magic”. Victor is cruel, intelligent, ruthless and so dedicated to his view of Materialism that it blinds him to anything else. This introduces certain flaws into his character and weakness that can be exploited.

There is a much longer story arc going on. I liked that the serial murder case was solved. It gave a good ending so I felt like I had actually finished a book. Yet the arc dealing with Victor and his plans to overthrow humanity seems big enough to fill the rest of the series with no problem.

I enjoyed my time reading this and look forward to the rest of the series. This is my second foray into Koontz territory and so far I’m pretty pleased. I always thought of him as second rate Stephen King horror wannabe but these books are showing me just how wrong I was. He’s writing some good thrillers.

★★★☆½

bookstooge

 

 

Disciple of the Wind (Fated Blades #3)

4aead39a3709b49364d78e03a6dd3775This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Disciple of the Wind

Series: Fated Blades

Author: Steve Bein

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Police Procedural

Pages: 528

 

 

Synopsis:

2 storylines this time around instead of 3. Thankful for that.

 

Modern Day:

Mariko must continue to hunt down Joko Daishi, the insane but genius mastermind who is the Leader of the Divine Wind. Only she has to do it on her own, as she’s been kicked out of the police force. And it turns out there is another group interested in bringing down the Divine Wind. Only Mariko isn’t sure she can work with this new group.

 

Historical:

Daigoro is still on the run from Shichio but now a mistress of politics and intrigue, Nene, enters the fray, hoping to lure them both to a mutual destruction for political gain for her husband. Can Daigoro survive Nene, Shichio AND the backstabbing of former allies?

And a mystical blade, one that gives immortality, is mixed up in it all.

 

My Thoughts:

Whoowhee!   Now this was a fun ride. While the transition from the first book, Daughter of the Sword, to the second book, Year of the Demon, was like a complete cut with brand new storyline, etc, this book was practically a direct continuation from Year of the Demon.

I did deduct a half star for lack of sword fighting, but the more I read, the more I realize that the Inuzama blades are more about their reality shaping powers than their battle prowess.

The pacing and cutoff points between the Modern Day and Historical Times was excellently done and kept me reading. I read most of this in one day. Came home from church, plopped down on the couch and just tore through it like a starving man into a steak.

In the afterwords, Bein did state who the model for this cover was [one Sayuri Oyamada] but I’m not sure if she’s been the model for the previous covers or not. Either way, once again, I love the cover. Exotic Woman with Deadly Weapon = Good Stuff.

Bein also mentioned a novella that accompanies this book, Streaming Dawn, which I’m assuming will be like the previous short story. I’m off to hunt it down now.

 

Year of the Demon (Fated Blades #2)

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Year of the Demon

Fated Blades #2

Author: Steve Bein

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

 

Synopsis:

Mariko is now in the NARC department, with a new partner. She crosses paths with a delusional psycho cult leader who is in possession of a magic mask that has an affinity for weapons and her blade specifically.

The 2 historical storylines are about the making of the mask and an encounter between Victory Unsought and the Mask later on.

 

My Thoughts

I have to admit, I read the first book, Daughter of the Sword, because the cover showed an incredibly cute asian woman with a sword. Well, the cover for this book is even better in my opinion.

I think this is classified as Urban Fantasy, but the fantasy part is so slight that you might miss it if you sneeze. Plus, 2 of the 3 storylines take place in Historical Japan, not modern day.

Mariko’s storyline about the psycho cult leader was pretty good, but was more of a “plucky girl gets her mojo back” storyline than anything else. And there was no sword fighting. Also, the whole Sword and Mask thing didn’t seem to be a big part of this line of the story.

Which brings us to the second storyline. About Daigoro and his continued fight for his and his house’s survival. The Mask and Sword were focused on much more and there was lots of intrigue, fighting, politic’ing and moments of “ah ha!” that I enjoyed. We get to see how the Mask really affects its wearer.

And that leads us to the final storyline. The young girl Kaida who is a diver. Her little village sees a huge shipwreck and several days later some very scary men come to look for something specific in the wreck. One of the men makes the Mask and it is very evident that Arcane Powers are used and infused into the Mask.

All 3 storylines wrap up satisfactorily. Unfortunately, as I noted earlier, Mariko doesn’t get any sword fighting time. I was hoping for another sword fight duel in Tokyo, much like in the first book. Oh well, maybe in the next book.

Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com

Daughter of the Sword

Daughter of the SwordDaughter of the Sword

Fated Blades #1

Steve Bein

4 of 5 Stars

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this “Special Swords” book.

The 4 storylines, [1 current, 3 historical for each of the swords], eh, I wouldn’t have minded if the story had been all in the 21st century, but the history gave us the background and depth needed to make the current storyline have some “oomph”.

Samurai, swords, cops and killers. If the author writes more, I’ll be reading…