Aincrad (Sword Art Online #1)

2f4b320e816b4a9bee1e817b9340681aThis 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: Aincrad

Series: Sword Art Online

Author: Reki Kawahara

Rating: 2 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Pages: 256

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Light Novel that spawned the popular anime. 10,000 people get trapped inside a new virtual reality game by the insane creator of said game.

The players must clear a one hundred level tower to get free.

 

My Thoughts:

First off, I think SAO in nothing but a ripoff off the vastly superior Hack//Slash. So I’m not exactly unbiased.

Second, even for a Light Novel, this was singularly blase.

I didn’t like it but I suspect hardcore fans of the anime would like it.

 

Dawnbreaker (Legends of the Duskwalker #3)

1b72d146d0135f2410ea33bb135484eeThis 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: Dawnbreaker

Series: Legends of the Duskwalker

Author: Jay Posey

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Pages: 512

 

 

Synopsis:

Wren separates from all the others and begins training under a mysterious Master, the Master of House 8, the House that Three came from.

At the same time, Wren’s mother Cass begins to explore her own power and must decide whether she’ll keep running or stand and fight Asher.

Finally, Asher. He is seeking out both Wren and Cass, to stamp them out and to begin to consolidate his powers, in real life and in the wired world.

 

My Thoughts:

A fantastic ending to this trilogy. Things wrap up rather quickly. It does leave a LOT of space for future books but at the same time it is a complete ending.

A good bit of time is spent on Wren’s training. Some might find it somewhat tedious, but I’ve always enjoyed seeing a character grow, both in skill and mental agility. The battle for Greenstone was pretty good but not as fleshed out as I was hoping for. Cass’s journey of discovery was just as enjoyable as the other plotlines.

I enjoyed this book as much as Three mainly because we get to see Wren starting to become the Man who will be the Duskwalker.  I was mislead by the series name, Legends of the Duskwalker, especially in the first book, as I was expecting Three to said Legend. But when you deal with such things as Legends, they always have to have a beginning and this trilogy is the beginning of Wren’s Legend.

As satisfied as I am with how things ended, I really hope we get to see more of this world. So many little clues about how different, how Post-Apocalyptic it is, but it never is the focus. I want more.

In ending, a huge thanks to Krazykiwi for putting Jay Posey on my radar with her review of Three. It is for just this type of thing that I love a social booksite like Booklikes. I never would have found Jay Posey on my own.

 

Nexus (Nexus #1) DNF

c8aafe72c0ac9c753304543cc4321575 This 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.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer.

Title: Nexus

Series: Nexus #1

Author: Ramez Naam

Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF/Cyberpunk Prequel

Pages: DNF @ 46%

 

Synopsis:

Mankind is messing with their genes and dna and creating all sorts of miracles and monsters and possibly the next step in human evolution, the Post-Human.

One young genius and his friends have created a breakthrough using a nanobot type drug called Nexus5. The breakthough? Mind to Mind Contact…and Control.

 

My Thoughts:

Two main reason I didn’t get past the 46% mark.

First, the profanity. It was “fuck” that and “shit” this every other sentence after the first chapter or so. I don’t want to read that kind of language, as I do believe that what we expose ourselves to on a continual basis will change us in that direction.

Second, in the last couple of years the big bad bogeyman of the future is nano/bio/techno whatzuhazzits. Just like if you read Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, their stories are filled with either how wonderful Nuclear energy is and how every garbage disposal is a small nuclear reactor that powers your portable rocket pack OR how horrible it is and how mankind ends up destroying itself every time it is used. That is how I feel this story was. Horrible, terrible humanity destroying. So forget it.

One thing I did enjoy was how this is definitely Prequel Cyberpunk. Every wonder how societies like Snowcrash or Neuromancer came about? They didn’t pop into existence over night. This story explores a world on the brink, but instead of humanity using the tech, it is all about the tech using humanity. And I just don’t buy that. We don’t understand 1/100th of the awesome miracle known as the brain, so don’t tell me that some computer program is suddenly smarter. It might be able to do certain things more focusedly, [not sure that is even a real word, to be honest] but it will not have the depth, breadth and creativity of the Mind.

So there you have it.  Good plot overall, good grammar and story editing, just hit me wrong and I didn’t like it. Maybe you will.

Three (Legends of the Duskwalker #1)

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This 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.com by express permission of this reviewer

Synopsis

Three, a mysterious bounty hunter, ends up protecting a drugged out amped up mother and her potentially special son.

 

My Thoughts

This obviously takes place in a dystopian, post-apocolyptic world, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this.

The further I read, the more I liked. This had it all. A damsel in distress. A talented cute kid. A reluctant yet willing Hero. An evil villain who is practically insane. A host of monsters that are futuristic and yet also atavistic. And even better, the Damsel and the Child are saved in the end by the heroic sacrifice of the Reluctant Hero.

This just pushed all the right buttons for me. Fast paced action, mystery, techno-thriller, romance. All these describe this book to a T. However, I can see it not being everyone’s cup of coffee. Drug abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, plain old general violence, none of it in graphic detail thankfully, but they aren’t danced around and euphemistically referred to either.

Jay Posey is now on my radar and I’m going to keep him on my short list.

Rating: Strong 4 of 5 Stars (4.5 Stars)

Author: Jay Posey

Three

Legends of the Duskwalker #1

Kill Decision

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Kill Decision

Author: Daniel Suarez

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

 

Synopsis

Somebody is using unmanned drones to attack targets in the United States and their ulterior motive remains unclear.

My Thoughts

First off, there is NO A.I.! That in itself knocked a star off for me. After Suarez’s Daemon duology, I was hoping for more scary super brains. Instead, we get The Hidden Powers That Be [and feel free to say that in a super SPOOKY voice] trying to make autonomous unmanned aircraft the future of war.

Only one man, deep undercover and practically rogue, along with his heroic team and one sexy ant studying lady, stand in the way.

Yeah, really, that truly sums it up. And it doesn’t get any better.

Near the beginning Suarez overwhelms us with technobabble that doesn’t add anything to the story except confusion. And many aspects of the story felt very klug’ed together.

On the positive side, there are lots of gun battles, action out of the whazoo and near the end, a whole BOATLOAD of killer robots, err, drones.

I’ll read whatever Suarez writes next, but that is the tipping point. This just wasn’t good enough.

Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com

Freedom TM (Daemon #2)

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Freedom TM

Daemon #2

Daniel Suarez

3 Stars

 

This was almost a 180 shift from the previous book. Everyone good was now bad and the Daemon and it’s minions were now the good guys.

And the first 3rd of the book was more of a soapbox preaching about economic philosophies. It wasn’t really interesting.

Then things got interesting, but it was more like a computer game. And Suarez seems to postulate that if only real life were more like a videogame then everything would be ok. The problem is that the system he puts in place could, and would, be abused, hacked and manipulated just like anything in life.

But the points he makes about our current socio-economic way of life simply doesn’t ring with me, as I believe the path we are on is one that is a necessity for the End to come.

Really too bad that Daemon wasn’t more of a standalone, because this really drags it down.

 

Daemon

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Daemon #1

Daniel Suarez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Fantastic read! A lot of fun, intense action and techno-suspense. I’d like to thank Jeff for recommending this book to me.

Take the basic Terminator plotline of a supercomputer and sublimate that AI into a yes/no program that has been programmed by a genius now dead and see what it can do. If the programmer is smart enough, it can do almost anything.

And Sobol is a world class genius. It is fascinating to see all that he planned before he died. He recruits the right people for his cause and makes use of their training in various areas. It was kind of scary actually, to see the plan unfold.

Then you have the opposing team. A police detective, a mystery hacker, a government woman authorized to take the Daemon down. All interacting, failing and being overwhelmed. And seeing the almost inevitable march of the daemon is great. It gave me a sense of doom, which is hard to do.

The couple of things that kept it from being a 5star. Technobabble out your ears! I’m sure it is accurate, as Suarez thanks some programmers/hackers at the end of the book, but it become a little overwhelming. A scene of an underage girl being drugged and used for a sex video. Not “super” graphic, but graphic enough that it stood out in my mind. And finally, the completely overwhelming’ness of Sobol/Daemon. It was just too smart imo. Several times I felt like it was the bogeyman with unlimited threat power.

One warning. It does end on a cliffhanger, so make sure you have the sequel, Freedom (TM), on hand.