Saturday, October 31, 2015

Review:: The Slippery Slope, by Lemony Snicket

Title: The Slippery Slope
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Hostile Hospital
The Carnivorous Carnival

Wait, what, three stars? Yup. This book was genuinely enjoyable, unlike most of the books minus the beginning. Either I'm inured to the author's tone or it's lighter in this book, the entire work doesn't feel like an exercise in futility, and Sunny is actually treated like a character.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Nostalgia Review:: A Stainless Steel Rat is Born, by Harry Harrison

Title: A Stainless Steel Rat is Born
Author: Harry Harrison
Series: Stainless Steel Rat, #6 (Publication Order)
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Still good?

The Stainless Steel Rat
The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge
The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World
The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You!
The Stainless Steel Rat for President

I have fond memories of realizing I could learn the origins of the Stainless Steel Rat. I have even fonder memories of meeting his mentor, The Bishop. And that's where my fond memories stop. Probably because the rest of the book is just repetitive. Up until now, I felt like Slippery Jim hadn't overstayed, but in this one... it was a bit tough.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review:: The Carnivorous Carnival, by Lemony Snicket

Title: The Carnivorous Carnival
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★★☆☆☆


Once again, the Baudelaire orphans have to deal with an awful situation involving Count Olaf. Once again, the moment something seems to be getting better, it gets worse. Even though we're not dealing with incompetent guardians anymore, this is still really formulaic.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review:: The Victorian Internet, by Tom Standage

Title: The Victorian Internet
Author: Tom Standage
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

While The Victorian Internet has some great info, it reads like a school essay. Minus good citations. I learned quite a bit, but if you're writing nonfic, you should cite, not just put sources at the end, and if you're making a point, trust your reader.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review:: Permanent Present Tense, by Suzanne Corkin

Title: Permanent Present Tense
Author: Suzanne Corkin
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★★☆

This round, my book club on Habitica (previously called HabitRPG) selected from a set of non-fiction books. I was hoping that this (or The Victorian Internet) would be chosen. And I got my wish! While I definitely enjoyed it, as you can see from the rating, it wasn't a book without issues. It certainly felt "split," as if Suzanne Corkin couldn't decide if she wanted to write about H.M.'s life or his contributions to science.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Review:: The Hostile Hospital, by Lemony Snicket

Title: The Hostile Hospital
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★★☆☆☆


Something novel happens. No seriously! Something changes. Is it enough to make the books any better?, not really. But hey, hey. The formula has been altered.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Nostalgia Review:: Enchantment, by Orson Scott Card

Title: Enchantment
Author: Orson Scott Card
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Still good?
No. Just... no. no. no. no.

Considering reading this? Go read Deathless, by Catherynne M. Valente instead. Just trust me on it. Or don't.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review:: In the Hand of the Goddess, by Tamora Pierce

Title: In the Hand of the Goddess
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Song of the Lioness, #2
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆


I was promised this one might be better. I'm so glad I wasn't really expecting it to. Pretty much all the flaws of the first book remain, just with Alanna getting older. We learn she's super special. Nothing is truly difficult. Oh, and she comes out as a woman. Guess how that went over! (Didn't I just say "Nothing is truly difficult?")

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Nostalgia Review:: Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke

Title: Inkheart
Author: Cornelia Funke
Series: Inkworld, #1
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Still good?

I only vaguely remember the circumstances around which I read Inkheart as a young adult. More clearly, I remembered the premise. I honestly think the book might have suffered a bit for it; it takes some time for things to build up, and when you know what's going to happen, it just feels slow. But Inkheart is still a cute book, even if it's not the best I've ever read. What really won me over was that this was a young adult book where the adults aren't useless.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Review:: The Vile Village, by Lemony Snicket

Title: The Vile Village
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆


I really wish I didn't feel an unhealthy desire to finish this series. Because then I wouldn't be reading them, and could be busy reading things that are awesome. At least they're quick?

In The Vile Village, the Baudelaire orphans once again get put in a horrible living situation (this time, an entire village of awful people, as it takes a village to raise a child), get ensnared in one of Count Olaf's plots (this time, with bonus Esmé), and engineer a patently ridiculous way to get out of it (this time, stretched so far the author has to hang a lantern on it). Spoilers past the cut.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Review:: Startide Rising, by David Brin

Title: Startide Rising
Author: David Brin
Series: The Uplift Saga, #2
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★★★☆☆

It's really sad when a favorite book of yours doesn't stand up in a re-read. Well, its fourth re-read. Maybe the depression that kept me from posting so long kind of sullied its shine. Well, that, and the more I think about the sexism in the book the more it makes me feel a bit grimy. But hey, I'm not saying don't read it. I do have such a soft spot in my heart for this book, primarily because hey, spacer dolphins that still act like dolphins, not like they just swapped brains with a human. And alien aliens.