Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by John Tiffany
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounding up because I found it to be such a page-turner down because it just isn't up to the same quality as the first couple of HP books.

I do feel strange with this book lined up on my shelves with 4 stars, right along with the first few HP books. Those were superior to this in every way, but I try to rate each book on its own rather than in comparison to other books in its series. Still, I might tweak it down to 3 eventually-edit: done!. What I probably should do is re-read the main series and tweak them up.

There really isn't much to say about this that hasn't been said already. I did enjoy the hell out of it. I flew through the Acts and really enjoyed the experience. No, it wasn't perfect. It was flawed in many ways. But on pure enjoyment alone, I had to give it thumbs up.

I'd really like to see the play and see how it comes across live.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review: Age of Myth

Age of Myth Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was provided an ebook copy of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley

But then I bought a first edition hardcover too :)

Well, that took me a long time to finish, didn't it? You'd think that reflects on the book, right? Except, not this time. I had my reasons.

First, this was a re-read. Yes, though it was a new book I started, it was my second pass through this particular story. As stated in my initial review of the novel I was selected to be a beta reader nearly two years ago. This time through, I was intentionally going at a slower, more leisurely pace. I didn't have to stop after every chapter and submit a survey, and I didn't have to read it with a critical eye. I got to savor and enjoy...

And then, since I was so leisurely about it, other stuff got jumped ahead in priority. I had school and work deadlines, and other reading commitments. That was okay. In between, I still had this book to savor.

One of those commitments turned out to be another beta read, for the sequel, Age of Swords, reviewed here. Well, I wasn't done with this one yet, but had a limited time to read the new beta version of book 2. What do I do? Set this aside and jump in with all fours.

So now I got back to it, having to rewind the events in my mind to get me back to where I left off. And now I've finished it again.

And...I loved it as much (or more) than the first time. There has not been a lot changed to the final product. It just felt cleaned up a lot from the edits. Such a joy to read this story, and interesting with my knowledge of book 2 for that matter.

Another thing this shows is that this book stands the test of revisiting. So many books don't seem as great the second time through. And others are just as fine on subsequent readings. This one, thankfully, is one of the latter....

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Review: The Christmas Spirit: A Short Story

The Christmas Spirit: A Short Story The Christmas Spirit: A Short Story by Brian James Freeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now, that was different and unexpected. Some good Christmasy stuff to read on this Christmas Eve. And then..well yea, I won't spoil the eggnog. It's definitely worth a few minutes.

View all my reviews

Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: The Fireman

The Fireman The Fireman by Joe Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I've read all of Joe Hill's books (other than some rare stories and some of the comics), and of course when The Fireman came out I had to get a copy immediately. It did take me a few months to get to it. I didn't know what it was about, except that it had something to do with a fireman. But I trust Joe Hill and he hasn't let me down yet.

So right away we were seeing that something was very wrong. The apocalypse was nigh, as we learned pretty early on that some dreaded disease was sweeping across America and Canada. Something called Dragonscale, which caused scaly marks to form on the skin. Sometimes they would smoke, and the victims would quite frequently burst into spontaneous infernos.

The pacing of this book is a comfortable, slow burn. It's really easy to sink in and become attached to the characters and their situations. It reminds me in several places of Stephen King's The Stand, though focused on a smaller group of point of view characters. I often suspected that these similarities were intentional as homage to King's book (and other works), as well as to other apocalyptic themed authors and stories.

I've found that it's very difficult to write a review for a book like this, one that packs so much heat in just over 700 pages. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so it's hard to go into the story that much. I will say that I love the main character, Harper, as she adapts to the changes in her life and the world she's forced to survive in. That being said, her story and that of the supporting characters, is highly recommended. As the winter sinks in, it might even help warm things up for a bit...

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Review: We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was exactly what I needed as I finished up a full time slate of college courses. It's a smart sci-fi story in that the science is very well thought out, but at the same time it is accessible to the non-scientific. Great humor abounds, and there are many geeky pop-culture references that kept me smiling.

I would definitely recommend this to fans of The Martian. Though the actual story is pretty different, the protagonist and his first person narrative brought back memories of that book. That, and the humor-geek smartass personality.

And what's more, I heartily recommend the audiobook version, narrated by Ray Porter. He brings Bob and all the other Bobs characters to life perfectly.

Lots of fun, and I'm anxiously awaiting more books from the author.

View all my reviews

Review: Beyond Redemption

Beyond Redemption Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

!!!!! Man, that was brilliant!

The layers of worldbuilding here are fascinating, as is the mere concept of the delusional world shaping. Wow. Mr Fletcher, I would be afraid to see inside your head.

Really though, this is a unique work of grimdarkian delusional fantasy. One must simply read it to understand. And even then...

I've compared this story to a blend of Joe Abercrombie and Steven Erikson. But even that doesn't do it justice, nor capture what really makes this book special. But yes, if you take the dark fantasy with a dab of humor that we see in Abercrombie, then mix it with a many-layered reality as imagined by Erikson in his Malazan books, you might have an idea of what to expect here. But then...that description probably falls short.

Easier just to read it yourself.

View all my reviews