Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dominic Deegan Volume Two: Ecstasy and Evil, by Michael "Mookie" Terracciano

I got my copy of Dominic Deegan volume two today. I just love Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire

This volume covers chapters 10 & 11. It's a great story, and it has commentary by the author. The only bad thing is "A Brief History of the Strange Life of Szark Sturtz." In his about the author bio, Mookie says that he's quite bad at prose writing, and now I know why. Still, he's great at writing comics. This is well worth picking up from the Seer's Catalog.

I give Dominic Deegan Volume Two a full five yo-yos.

Shadows Linger, by Glen Cook

I read the first Black Company novel a few months back, and liked it enough to get the second one, Shadows Linger. I didn't like this one quite as much. I didn't think it was bad, but I didn't think it was great either.

For one thing, the chapters are too damn short. There are forty nine chapters, and only 319 pages in the book. That works out to an average of 7.5952381 pages per chapter. This is especially annoying because the viewpoint alternated between two characters from chapter to chapter. So every couple of pages it would switch from one character (Croaker) to the other (Shed).

I also didn't really like the characters that much. They came across as a bunch of thugs. The best one was Shed, and he murdered (and maybe worse than murdered) several people.

On the plus side, there was lots of action. It was good enough for me to give the book three and a half yo-yos.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wizard at Large, by Jim Butcher

Wizard At Large is the third Dresden Files Omnibus put out by the Science Fiction Book Club. It contains Blood Rites and Dead Beat. It is so cool.

Blood Rites is a strange tale involving sex vampires, a porno movie, and a deadly curse. It managed to keep me enthralled. Dead Beat was probably my favorite Dresden novel yet. I just couldn't put the book down. I was up until almost 3 last night reading it. It's got zombies (including a zombie dinosaur), necromancers, a ninja ghoul, a demoness, and other cool stuff. Harry Dresden finally gets some respect from the Whit Council in it, too. I just loved it.

That's why I give this particular omnibus a full five stars.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Industrial Magic, by Kelly Armstrong

Industrial Magic is the sequel to Dime Store Magic, which I just reviewed a few posts back. Like it's predecessor, this is a great book. I will definitely pick up th rest of the books in the Women of the Otherworld Series.

I like the characters. I like the plot. I like the mafia-like Cabals. I like the psychotic killer. I like the mystery elements. I like that I only payed $4.99 for it. What else can I say? Not much really.

So, let's just sum it up by giving Industrial Magic four and a half yo-yos.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Last Aerie, by Brian Lumley

The Last Aerie was a pretty good book. I didn't think it was quite as good as Blood Brothers, but I liked it. I'm not really sure what else to say about it. It was a good continuation of the storyline, and I'll certainly pick up the final volume of the trilogy if I can. So, I'll just sum up my feelings by giving this book four yo-yos.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dime Store Magic, by Kelly Armstrong

I mainly picked up Dime Store Magic and its sequel, Industrial Magic because they were only $4.99. Now that I finally had the chance to read it, I'm glad I did.

I loved this book. The writing style is great. The characters are interesting. The plot is fast paced. There's action and romance. It's a sort of urban fantasy, which is my favorite type of fantasy. I'm definitely looking forward to reading Industrial Magic, and I'll probably pick up the rest of the books in the series.

I'm keeping this review short, because it's late and I'm tired. I'll just finish off by giving Dime Store Magic a full five yo-yos.

Khai of Khem, by Brian Lumley

I got a remaindered hardcover copy of Khai of Khem from Barnes & Noble for only $6. It's a good book, though I found the structure a bit annoying.

It's about a guy named Khai. He's a general of the armies of Khush. He was originally from Khem, but the pharaoh of Khem--who's a psychotic alien/human hybrid--murdered his family. Now Khai seeks revenge. Unfortunately, his soul is separated from his body and is propelled into the modern world. Somehow this enables him to go back to his own time with knowledge of iron weapons (this is set in the bronze age), chariots, and saddles.

The story starts with him getting his soul separated by evil necromancers. Then we see him in the modern world. Then we see his life story n the ancient world (during which time he knows stuff from the future world for no apparent reason). Then the story catches up to the beginning and his soul is drawn back from the future. Then comes the final battle with the pharaoh and his evil necromancers.

I'm really not sure how Khai knows about iron before his soul travels to the future. It just doesn't make any sense to me. It's still a good story though. Good enough for Khai of Khem to get four yo-yos.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gilfeather, by Glenda Larke

I read The Aware
, volume one of the Isles of Glory, back when I was feeling too lazy to write reviews. I loved it, and now I just finished volume two, Gilfeather.

It's a great book. I love the characters. There's Blaze Halfbreed, a female warrior who has no place in the world because she is a half-breed. There's Flame, the beautiful sylv user who is being slowly tainted by the evil dunmagic. And there's Kelwyn Gilfeather, the naive physician who is thrust into a life of adventure that he doesn't particularly want.

The novel is told entirely in the first person, which is bad if done poorly and great if done well. In this case, it's done well. Most of the story is narrated by Gilfeather, and we see a lot of his inner struggle to come to terms with what he's done (he kills his wife in the first chapter), with the magics that he cannot see and doesn't believe in, and with his own repressed adventurous nature. The rest of the novel is narrated by Blaze who, while less conflicted, is also a very interesting person.

The plot is great too. There's lots of action. There's a great, well-imagined world. I'll definitely read book three as soon as I can get it.

I give Gilfeather a full five yo-yos.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Flight of the Nighthawks, by Raymond E. Feist

I'm not terribly familiar with the works of Raymond E. Feist, which made Flight of the Nighthawks something of a pain to read. I do have one of his other novels in my library (though I can't recall if I actually read it or not) and one of his stories was in Legends II, but I really don't know much of the backstory that would have made Nighthawks more enjoyable. As far as I can make out, about 90% of the characters are from previous books, and the plot revolves around incidents from the previous books. Since I'm not familiar with any of this, the book was awfully confusing in parts, which is very annoying in a book that's part one of a series.

If it wasn't for this, I'd give the book a high rating. The characters were interesting, and the plot was action-packed--both of which are things I love in a book. Feist's writing style is pretty good, and the pacing in excellent. It's probably a good book if you're a fan of his writing.

Since I haven't read his other books, I can't give it a good recommendation. If you've read his other books, go for it. If you haven't, you should probably read his other ones first. Since this is the beginning of a new series, it's annoying that it begins in the middle of a greater story. Because of this, I can only give Flight of the Nighthawks three yo-yos.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Voice of the Gods, by Trudi Canavan

I have now read the final volume of Trudi Canavan's Age of the Five Trilogy, Voice of the Gods. As a whole, it isn't as good as her Black Magician Trilogy, but it's still pretty good.

As far as this book goes, it has it's good points and it's bad points. It does explain how come there is a set of ex-conjoined twins where one's male and one's female (the male had a sex change), though it's only briefly mentioned in passing almost as an afterthought (probably just to explain the blunder from the last book). The plot is pretty fast paced, and I love the characters. It's not particularly deep, but it is a fun read.

One thing I don't like is that the characters are all pretty dumb. Say you're a Circlian. You worship five gods, who killed all of the other gods off a hundred years ago or so. Now suddenly another religion, called the Pentadrians, pops up. They also worship exactly five gods. Everyone wonders where these five new gods come from, but no one (until almost the end of the last book) ever stops to think that maybe their the same gods, just playing some inscrutable godly games. Sheesh. I had that figured out before the end of the first book. I also had it figured out the the reason the gods hated the immortal Wilds is because immortals can become gods, but somehow this came as a shock to the characters.

It's a bit annoying, but it doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. I give Voice of the Gods four yo-yos.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Blood Brothers, by Brian Lumley

I finally decided to buy a use copy of Brian Lumley's Blood Brothers, which seems to have gone out of print (as far as I can see, none of the other books in the series are). This is the first volume of the Vampire World Trilogy, which chronicles the story of Harry Keogh's twin suns, Nathan and Nestor, in the alternate universe where the vampire menace was spawned.

Both boys take after their father. Unfortunately, Nestor seems to have all of his father's worst qualities and ends up becoming Wamphyri. Nathan's a much better sort and goes around befriending people and learning. I like the characters. I like the plot (it has lots of action). I like the opening, despite its flaws.

The opening is a recap of past events, a mini-biography of Shaitan (the first vampire), and a history of how a vampire colony was founded across the desert from the inhabited parts of the vampire world. Normally, putting that kind of stuff at the beginning of a book would annoy me, but it was so well written that I didn't care.

This is probably the best book in the Necroscope series, except for the original. I give Blood Brothers a full five yo-yos.