Book Review: Wicked Bronze Ambition by Glen Cook

ROC
485 pp.

In Wicked Bronze Ambition, Garret’s matrimonial plans are derailed by his in-laws. They need his help to uncover the “Operators” of a secret tournament that pits the children of the sorcerer families of TunFaire against each other in mortal combat. The prize is the accumulated power of the kids who were killed during the game, but no one wants to play. (Unfortunately, there is no way to opt out of the game once the Operators decide you’re going to be a contestant.) Garret’s job is to keep the game from being initiated, but it might already be too late.

While I liked the book, I had a few problems with the general set up and plot, spoilery reasons to be specific. (That is to say, you are probably going to want to skip the next paragraph or so.) Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Glen Cook, non-earth, Review: Book

Book Review: The Collegium Chronicles: Bastion by Mercedes Lackey

DAW
342 pp.

In Bastion, Mags does not get much time to recover from the events of Redoubt before he has to head out again. His experience with his captors has left him with a number of confused memories, new combat skills and only the slightest inkling of whom his captors were. (They are apparently some kind of secret clan of ninjas, from a desert country very far away.) Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Mercedes Lackey, non-earth, Review: Book

Book Review: 1636: The Kremlin Games by Eric Flint, Gorg Huff & Paula Goodlett

BAEN
408 pp.

The events of The Kremlin Games actually stretches between 1631 (the arrival of Grantville in Germany) and 1636. Our main protagonist is Bernie Zeppi, a former auto mechanic who is not quite sure what to do with himself in the strange new world that is the 17th Century. He gets hired as a technology consultant by a Russian noble who has been sent by the czar to investigate Grantville. Russia of the 17th Century is about two centuries behind the rest of Europe, and Bernie is kind of the bargain basement version of a consultant but is the best Russian rubles can buy. Continue reading

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Filed under alternate history, anomaly/nexus, Eric Flint, Gorg Huff, Paula Goodlett, Review: Book, science fiction

Reading: Survivor, by Octavia Butler Part Three

200px-SurvivorButlerIt would be interesting to know what Butler meant by Survivor being her “Star Trek novel.” (Mostly because there are many Star Trek writers whose non-Star Trek work is really good.) Does it mean simplistic themes or worldbuilding? I can see traces of both in the story, in the way that Alanna has an almost suspicious ability to adapt to other communities and the way the Kohn are able to hide due to the natural camouflage of their fur. (This is followed by Alanna realizing that she is more comfortable with the Tehkohn than she had been among the Missionaries.) There’s also the white/black morality of the Missionaries versus Alanna’s more pragmatic feral upbringing. (And how it compares with the way the Tehkohn assimilate her into their community.) This juxtaposition of similar situations does have the feeling of a Star Trek type morality tale–too simple, too neat, and maybe too obvious.

This speculation is not meant to be a judgment on whether Butler was right to disown the book. This is just an example of one of the questions I’d like to ask her, if I could. Continue reading

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Filed under Octavia Butler, Reading, science fiction, Survivor

Book Review: Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal

TOR
357 pp.

In Without a Summer, Jane and Vincent return to Jane’s family home for a visit. The visit turns sour due to an unseasonably cold spring that might translate into a financial setback for Jane’s family. In addition, Jane’s sister Melody is suffering from a combination of a lack of marital prospects and melancholia. Jane and Vincent decide to take Melody with them to London for the social season after accepting a commission from Lord Stratton. (It turns out they are Irish, which gives Jane some serious misgivings.) Continue reading

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Filed under alternate history, fantasy, manner punk, Mary Robinette Kowal, Review: Book

Book Review: Antiagon Fire by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

TOR
460 pp.

In Antiagon Fire, Quaeryt backs up his wife Vaelora when they are sent on a diplomatic mission to Khel. They also attempt to meet with Bovarian High Holders who don’t show much interest in cooperating with the regime change. The Bovarian High Holders flee to Antiago, which refuses to repatriate them and shows clear signs of being antagonistic to Bhayar’s plans of conquest. (As you do when you’re an independent country that would like to stay that way.) This of course forces Quaeryt to head into Antiago where he runs into Antiago’s imagers. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, L.E. Modesitt Jr., non-earth, political intrigue, Review: Book

Reading Homestuck Part Forty Five: Aradia > Be the dead red Aries

(I’m sorry. I’m not sorry. I could not resist putting in a reference to the fan work “Dead Red Virgo” in this title.)

From here to here.

We are switched to a vague teaser of the last unseen troll! We see a cuttlefish, which is being prodded by a trident held in the hands of another troll. We don’t see very much of this last troll, but she wears a lot of bling and a Pisces sign. She is also kind of cute. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy elements, homestuck, Reading, science fiction, web comic