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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
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|Sunday, January 9th, 2011|
|Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi -- SF
read in 2010 (Last book of the year)http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8550492
Hollywood agent Thomas Stein gets the client of a lifetime; the Yherajk. An alien race that looks like a pile of transparent goo and smells like rotting fish. Thomas's job is to figure out a way to present the Yherajk to humans in a way that won't freak out everyone on Earth. At first it looks like an impossible job, but as he finds out more about his clients' abilities a sure fire strategy presents itself.
This will be my last entry in this book blog. From now on I intend to keep track of the books I've read at Library Thing.http://www.librarything.com/home/AwesomeAud
|Blood Maidens, by Barbara Hambly -- Fantasy/Horror
read in 2010.http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8550031
It is the third book about James Asher, an ex-spy in the lead up to WWI, and Ysidro, a centuries old vampire who kills to survive, but nonetheless has a strong code of honour. James is contacted by Ysidro when a vampire friend of Ysidro's goes missing in St. Petersburg after she writes to Ysidro about seeing another vampire in the company of a well-known German blood scientist. She fears the vampire and the scientist are in league to find ways for vampirism to be used by the military. James reluctantly argrees to help; if the German government is able to utilise vampires in the inevitable European war, he fears the slaughter and horror would be ... unspeakable. James and his wife, Lydia (herself a medical researcher) know that Ysidro is a murderer of hundreds in his long life, but can't help but feel drawn to the vampire and his own version of honour. Internal conflict is written into every page, but Hambly handles it deftly.
|Black Man, by Richard Morgan -- SF/Thriller
read in 2010.http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8461048
Quite an action packed book! "13s are genetically engineered 'alpha males', designed to fight the century's last conflicts. But when there are no wars left to fight" they are considered too dangerous to have around. Most are exiled to Mars, and most of the rest are interred in special camps around the world. Carl Marsalis, a 13, hunts down rogue 13s for the UN. When a 13 on Mars manages to evade all security protocols and return to Earth, a series of brutal murders occur across North America. Carl begins a frantic man-hunt and a battle for survival - and a search for the truth behind ... so many things..
|Time's Child, by Rebecca Ore -- SF
read in 2010.http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8461044
This is a hard book to describe. It is told mostly from the point of view of Benedetta, a former peasant who had an unlikely friendship with Leonardo da Vinci. Benedetta is pulled out of her time into the future by scientists studying the past. The future is a place that has been ravaged by diseases, and thus all communities maintain an isolation that borders on paranoia. They try to tell her that she, and other people pulled from their times, must stay in isolation so that modern diseases don't kill them. She escapes, and she does become ill, but recovers. With legal help she sues for the release of the other time-captives. As a contradiction in the book, it is never explained why the disease-paranoid future people worry about the 'past people' catching their diseases, but there is no mention of the possibility of future people catching diseases from the past people. In any case, Benedetta and some of the other past people (with the help of people from even further in the future) involve themselves in politics, science, and plots, and bring about a great deal of change in the future society.
Every one seems to be playing head games in this book. If that's not your cup of tea, give it a miss.
|Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010|
|Delete All Suspects, by Donna Andrews -- Mystery SF?
Borrowed from the Region of Waterloo Library
Forth in a series. Turing is an artificial intelligence, and she has a small circle of human friends that know of her existance. In addition to her high tech company, she has set up a detective agency specialising in computer crime. In this book, she and her team investigate the hit and run of a man who ran a small website hosting company. They must figure out his non-existent filing system, his programs, and hope to find a clue as to who would want to hurt him.
|Dorsai, by Gordon Dickson -- SF
I actually read this book a few months ago, but put it aside for repair. The cover was torn and ragged. I finally got around to taping it all together.
This is the story of Donal Graeme, a member of a warrior family, from a planet of warriors. He goes out into the galaxy to make his mark as a military genius.
|Crossing the Line, by Karen Traviss -- SF
Borrowed from the Kitchener Public Library.
Sequel to "City of Pearl". Shan must now adapt to the changes the parasite/symbiont has made in her body, and help deal with the clashes between various races gathered around Cavanagh's Star.
|Raven's Shadow, by Patricia Briggs -- Fantasy
This took a while to get into the main story. It starts with a young man (Tar) who has resigned from the army after ten years of service, and is on his way back to the little mountain town where he came from. He rescues a young woman (Seraph), who is a 'Traveller'(a race that possesses magic) from a lynch mob, and takes her with him. They marry and start a farm. Then the main story starts about twenty years later; they have three children, and then Tar disappears. He has been kidnapped by people who want to steal the Travellers' power. This is the story of how Tar manages his captivity, while Seraph and her children try to find him. The story draws to a firm close, but there is definitely a lead in to the sequel.
|Old Man's War, by John Scalzi -- SF
Borrowed from the Kitchener Public Library.
I really liked this book. A 75-year old man enlists in the interstellar army. He's given a new young body, cloned from his old body, with bioengineered improvements. Mostly it's a story about how he adapts to this change in his life, but there is also a solid war/thriller plot.
|Sunday, November 28th, 2010|
|The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi -- SF
A sequel to "Old Man's War" which I haven't yet read, but I didn't find that I really needed to have read it first.
The Special Forces are vat grown enhanced soldiers, who are 'born' fully adults and functional. With the implanted BrainPal to help them, they complete their training in two weeks, and then are ready to go out and do the dirty jobs that no one else can or will do. With three alien races allied to conquer humanity, one man who knows the military's greatest secrets has turned traitor. In order to figure out how and why Charles Boutin joined the enemy, a Special Forces soldier is grown from his DNA and imprinted with Boutin's consciousness. The experiment seems to fails, and the resultant soldier is named Jared Dirac and integrated into the ranks. But then memories start trickling back, and Jared must choose who he really is.
I enjoyed this book so much, that today I made a special trip to the library to get "Old Man's War".
|Doctor Who: Only Human, by Gareth Roberts -- SF
The Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack find a Neanderthal named Das in modern day Bromley. It seems he was accidentally transported by a primitive and potentially dangerous type of time engine which has contaminated the poor guy somehow - and if they try to bring him back to his own time, he'll die. So Captain Jack stays in Bromley to help Das adapt to his new life, while the Doctor and Rose go back in time to trace the maker of the time engine. They find a tribe of Neanderthals, a tribe of Homo Saps, and a small outpost of self-medicated, blissed out humans from the future. And a dangerous predatory creature that is picking off the drugged and oblivious humans one by one.
|Orphans of Chaos, by John C. Wright -- Fantasy
Amelia and her friends have lived in a strict English boarding school as long as any of them can remember. There are only five students, and none of them know their real names, or even how old they are. The teenagers are precocious and rebellious, and they all seem to have extraordinary abilities.
This book was quite scattered and had an unnecessarily huge cast of mysterious characters who may or may not be the kids' enemies, and it ends in a cliff hanger. You will have to wait until the next book to find out what happens. But I just don't care.
|Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America, by Robert Charles Wilson -- SF
I couldn't even finish it! I was so bored! In the future, people are living by scavenging from the ruins left over when the oil gave out. Julian is the nephew of President-for-life Deklan Comstock. His father was hung for treason - the treason of being more competent and popular than Deklan. Young Julian was sent to a remote town for his education, where he meets our narrator, an equally young Adam Hazzard. Adam is supposedly writing this book years after the events took place, in order to set the record straight. Adam is incredibly naive, and remains that way through being chased halfway across the continent, a tour in the army on the front lines, and being cheated by a dishonest reporter. Adam drove me crazy, and I gave up about halfway through the book because I couldn't take another page of his simple minded, gee-whiz, whatever-you-say-Julian attitude.
|The Cruellest Month, by Louise Penny -- Mystery
Region of Waterloo Library.
The third installment in the Inspector Gamache of the Surete de Quebec. It's Easter, and a seance is held in the old Hadley house. It ends with a dead body. A good mystery, but my two complaints are that I can't believe the people involved would be so disrespectful as to hold a seance on Easter Sunday, and that it took several chapters before the murder actually occurred, and the Inspector is called in.
|Debatable Space, by Philip Palmer -- SF
Region of Waterloo Library.
The Cheo is the despotic ruler of human space. Flanagan is a pirate who has a plan to kidnap Lena, the Cheo's daughter. Except the Cheo won't play ball, and Lena isn't what she seems. The plan goes bad -- but then Flanagan expected that. The pirate is playing a deep game, and a long one. This book is mainly a character study of Flanagan and Lena, but I still didn't understand either of them.
|Tuesday, November 9th, 2010|
|Wild Ride, by Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer -- Fantasy
Borrowed from the Region of Waterloo Library.
Not nearly as romantic as Crusie's previous novels, but nevertheless a good read. Mab has been hired to restore the rides and attractions at an amusement park called Dreamland, built almost a hundred years ago. Ethan's mother is part owner of Dreamland, and he grew up there, but he's spent the last twenty years in the army. Now he has been discharged with a disability, and he is returning home. But what neither one knows is that the park was built as a prison for five very special demons called the Untouchables. With a crooked politician plotting to set them free, and with government demon hunters on the loose, and the annual Halloween Scream Dream celebration, things get exciting.
|Nothing to Lose: A Reacher novel, by Lee Child -- Mystery, Thriller
Borrowed from the Region Of Waterloo Library.
Reacher walks into the town of Despair, Colorado, and is immediately accosted by four big guys who want him out of town. When the police show up, he is arrested for vagrancy and driven back to the town limits. Reacher doesn't like being told where he can go, so he's determined to find out why they are so anxious to keep him out. With the help of a police officer in nearby Hope, he finds out there is something very scary about Despair.