Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Book 48: Three Parts Dead

Max Gladstone has crafted an intriguing world filled with the usual suspects of urban fantasy (demons, vampires, magicians) and not so common characters (living gods and gargoyles).  Gladstone gives us a great central character, a necromatic lawyer capable of great magic.  The first few pages were a bit jarring as I had to adjust to the world that he created, but once I got there, I loved this book.  It drags at some points, but overall, just a great ride.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Book 47: Year Zero

This is a very strange book.  On one hand, the plot level is moderatly engaging, centering on a intellectual rights lawyer who is visited by aliens only to learn that the damages exceed the value of the known universe.  Clever (sometimes by too much) and mostly fun, it drags a bit at times while Rob Reid goes off on uninteresting tangents, but Reid clearly knows the new music industry and has some great barbs.  On a plot level, it's actually pretty funny and engaging.  But dig a bit deeper, and it's kind of like a temper tantrum.  Reid is a techno guy, having created Napster like programs for file sharing.  He's right that laws and fines now are way overboard, but (and I'm grossly overgeneralizing here) I always find the irony in technogeeks who are so protective of their precious code getting indignant over not being able to adequately access someone else's intellectual property. 

On a side note, Reid's interviews are very interesting.  I looked up a few on the internet and he has a solid perspective on future technology and the issues that will arise.  I'd like to see him set an absurdist story in a near future environment.

All being said, I actually enjoyed the book and would recommend it.

Book 46: City of Bones

I'll admit to having a weakness for the occassional teen paranormal romance (that's actually a section at Borders).  So, after hearing about  Cassandra Clare and her regurgitation of some Harry Potter fan fiction that was going to become the next huge teen movie series, I figured I'd burn through City of Bones.  First, the writing is fairly weak.  It's just a plot driven book with some twists that are fairly obvious to anyone even just scanning the book.  But somehow, I still kinda liked it, but it's really forgettable.  I can see how it got made into a movie I suppose (god love the teenage dollar), but it's hard to hate it and impossible to like.  It screams mediocrity on a lot of levels, but its success is undeniable.  I have the second one and I'm not sure I'm even going to bother reading it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book 45: Heroes Die

I fish for new books quite a bit at Goodreads, jumping from review to review of people who seem to have a similar taste.  I stumbled across Heroes Die from one reviewers list of "Epic Bad-Ass" which seemed right in my tastes given my man crush on Logen Ninefingers.  Unfortunately, Caine really isn't quite bad ass enough to carry the book.  He's certainly got some bad ass elements, but he's a bit whiny, seriously pussy whipped, and not that clever.  He actually doesn't do a whole lot.  There's a lot of good fighting with excellent detailing, but despite his professed love of combat, he's really more sad about it, which is kinda sad.  The book itself creates an interesting world with some clever premises, but the book was about 100 pages too long with some seriously boring parts.