Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review:: Amped, by Daniel H. Wilson

Title: Amped
Author: Daniel H. Wilson
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★☆☆

 I thought I'd like Amped better than Robopocalypse. I was right. Unfortunately, though, there's very little substance in Amped, and little that hasn't been worked before.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review:: Ancient Shores, by Jack McDevitt

Title: Ancient Shores
Author: Jack McDevitt
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★★☆

Jack McDevitt takes a pretty stock standard science fiction trope and manages to make something bigger than expected out of it. Ancient Shores teems with deep, realistic characters, and a harrowing, yet optimistic look at how humanity reacts to fear.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Review:: Alice in Zombieland, by Nickolas Cook

Title: Alice in Zombieland
Author: Nickolas Cook
Format: eBook
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

In order for a mashup to work, there needs to be harmony. Harmony can come out of unexpected places. Nickolas Cook misses this mark by quite some distance. He manages not only to fail at matching Lewis Carroll's wit and charm, but goes further, ruining the original cleverness and creating what feels like a desperate, zombie-obsessed madlib.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Review:: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith

Title: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Author: Seth Grahame-Smith
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★☆☆

This book was a pleasant surprise. I started it with low expectations, but the amount of research and the quality of the writing quickly won me over. That's not to say that it doesn't have its issues.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Review:: The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker

Title: The Age of Miracles
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Format: eBook
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

I can deal with books that are skeptical about science, and the way science is being used. I can deal with books with soft science, as long as they don't try to justify it. What I can't deal with is a book that gets all the science terribly wrong, then proceeds to go on an anti-science vendetta. Of course you think science is awful! You don't understand any of it. Spoilers in the review.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review:: Shakespeare Saved My Life, by Laura Bates

 Title: Shakespeare Saved My Life
Author: Laura Bates
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Memoirs should be allowed to be a bit self-absorbed, but in this case, it feels kind of inappropriate. Especially considering it feels like Laura Bates didn't actualize a lot of what she was seeing. However, it's impossible to say that she didn't have a very good impact on some folks.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Review:: Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson

Title: Bridge to Terabithia
Author: Katherine Paterson
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★☆☆

After reading Among Others, I felt like I needed to reread Bridge to Terabithia. I hadn't read it since I was a kid, and I'm kind of saddened to find that it isn't quite the story in my head. Either way, I'm glad I reread it. Spoilers in review.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review:: Among Others, by Jo Walton

Title: Among Others
Author: Jo Walton
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★★★

This book was too much right. It hurt. It made me cry. It was worth every tear.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Review:: Soulless, by Gail Carriger

Title: Soulless
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate, #1
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★☆☆

This book is a cupcake. Very little substance and very sweet. It's a problematic cupcake in a lot of ways, if you look beneath the sprinkles. But there's some nutrition hiding in there somewhere.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review:: Robopocalypse, by Daniel H. Wilson

Title: Robopocalypse
Author: Daniel H. Wilson
Series: Robopocalypse, #1
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Unsurprisingly, Robopocalypse is a story of a robot apocalypse. Unsurprisingly, I once again find myself rooting for the robots. There are spoilers in this review.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Review:: Blackout, by Connie Willis

Title: Blackout
Author: Connie Willis
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

In a world where time travel is used by academics to uncover the past, a group of young historians head off to study WWII. Something is clearly going wrong, but no one seems to notice until it hits them squarely on the head.

Friday, March 20, 2015

State of the Reading:: The Ultimate Reading Challenge

So I keep mentioning the reading challenge I'm doing (or at least I feel like I am...) and I've linked to the copy on 9gag. I think it might have originally been from Pop Sugar, but to investigate that further would involve reading Pop Sugar...

I stumbled on the challenge via HabitRPG, where someone set up a challenge in the Legendary Book Club of Habitica guild (that I run and is currently reading Blackout, by Connie Willis). It's made it super easy to keep track of the challenge and I get rewarded for it. I only have a few left to tick off at this point... More info on the challenge and my status after the jump.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review:: Looking for Jake, by China Miéville

Title: Looking for Jake
Author: China Miéville
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★★☆

China Miéville is best known for his novels, but in short stories he's able to play with his craft in ways that wouldn't work in longer fiction. He left me wanting and unfulfilled time and time again, but simultaneously positive there was no other way for things to end.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review:: Break and Enter, by Rachel Haimowitz and Aleksandr Voinov

Title: Break and Enter
Author: Rachel Haimowitz and Aleksandr Voinov
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★☆☆

I'm not usually the kind to pick up romance novels, but when I saw this one described as "man on machine on man" I just couldn't resist.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review:: When Gravity Fails, by George Alec Effinger

Title: When Gravity Fails
Author: George Alec Effinger
Format: eBook
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this noir detective cyberpunk novel, often ranked as one of the hidden scifi gems. I was especially excited when I realized there was a trans character! Then I remembered that this book was published in 1987. I quickly became less enthused.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review:: Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

Title: Gone With the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★★☆☆

This is a Great American Novel, a novel of manners, a bildungsroman, a romance, historical fiction, and very, very long. It is a tale of the inevitable fall of the status quo, a tale of rebuilding, and a tale of loss once again. But mostly, it's very, very long.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Review:: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Do you like books in which absolutely nothing happens? Do you like apocalypses? I DO! If you don't, you probably will hate this book.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Review:: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Format: eBook (epub)
Rating: ★★★☆☆

With beautiful, fluid writing, vivid descriptions, and continual hints to a bigger mystery, The Night Circus weaves a pretty (but not stunning) Fantasy tale set in the 19th Century.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Review:: Yokai Attack!, by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt

Title: Yokai Attack!
Author: Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt
Illustrator: Tatsuya Morino
Format: eBook (epub)
Rating: ★★★☆☆

A nice, but not super in-depth bestiary, covering yokai, traditional Japanese monsters. Its worth it for Tatsuya Morino's illustrations, which are supplemented with older, more traditional pieces of art.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review:: Liminal States, by Zack Parsons

Title: Liminal States
Author: Zack Parsons
Format: eBook (epub)
Rating: ★★★★☆

What is the worst thing you can do to a grief-stricken windower who has a death wish? Grant him eternal life. The only problem is, when you mess with forces you don't truly understand, you almost always get unintended consequences.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review:: Light, by M. John Harrison

Title: Light
Author: M. John Harrison
Format: eBook (epub)
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Making sense is a stylistic choice. A stylistic choice that this book firmly opted out of. That’s not to say that’s always a bad thing. There are a few books where “not making sense” works rather well. This is not one of them.