Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If you haven't at least started reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yet, most likely your not a fan of the series of you're on the space station. I'm going to review it anyway, though.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the forces of evil are in ascendance. Voldemort's forces can do pretty much whatever they want, and pretty soon the Ministry of Magic is their puppet. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on a quest to find and destroy the Horcruxes, which ultimately leads to the final battle with Lord Voldemort.

I though this was a very satisfying ending for the series. Most of the plot threads have been tied up. There's lots of good action and some character development. We learn something of the history of Dumbeldore and Snape. We learn what the heck a "Deathly Hallow" is. We find out who dies, and who Hermione hooks up with. We even get to see some of the less pleasant characters in a new light.

The only thing I didn't like was the epilogue. It's set (I believe) nineteen years after the main action, and shows some of the characters sending their children to Hogwarts. I won't get into details (to avoid spoiling it), but it didn't really add much to the story and was boring.

Despite that, this was a great book. I give Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a full five yo-yos.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blood & rust, by S. A. Swiniarski

Blood and Rust is a nice little omnibus. It contains two vampire dective stories. The first one, Raven, is about a man who is trying to figure out how he was killed and turned into a vampire. The second, The Flesh, the Blood, and the Fire, is about the hunt for the Cleveland Torso Killer.

I thought these books were great. Both of the stories feature vampiric antiheroes, but both avoid all that vampire sex appeal stuff. The vampires are still all to human, though some of them are monsters.

Anyway, I give Blood and Rust five yo-yos, and I'll have to look for some more of his stuff.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Widdershins, by Charles de Lint

I'll admit that I'm a big fan of de Lint's work, especially the Newford stories, and especially especially ones with Jilly Coppercorn in them. So naturally--seeing as how this is a Jilly Coppercorn book--I loved this one.

This is the story of how Jill and Geordie finally get together (and how Jilly is finally healed from the tragic events of The Onion Girl and her own screwed up childhood). It's also a story about responsibility--almost all of the characters have something to learn about taking responsibilty for what they do and about not taking responsibility for what is done to them.

Besides that, it's also exciting. There's a war shaping up between the native Animal People and the Fairies. Unfortunately, this brings up the only problem I have with the book and much of de Lint's recent works. It's not a major problem, but I'll still mention it anyway. He has a need to constantly bring out the "big guns." Lately a lot of the action has focused on the super powerful spirit being like the Animal People and fairies, especially the uber powerful ones like Raven and the Crow Girls. It's not really a bad thing, but if you want a story where a person struggles against adversity, it's probably more realistic if they on't have a bunch of god-like beings as friends.

Still, this is a great book. I give Widdershins a full five yo-yos.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Thriller, edited by James Patterson

The main reason I bought the Thriller anthology is because it contains a Repairman Jack short story. As a rule, I don't read a lot of books that would be classified as a thriller. Still, I largely enjoyed this collection.

I won't get into detail on each story, but I will point out some of the high- (and low-)points. I like F. Paul Wilson's "Interlude at Duane's," but then I like most of his Repairman Jack stories. J. A. Konrath's "Epitaph," was pretty damn good, too. I like Heather Graham's "The Face in the Window," because it was suspenseful.There were some vaguely supernatural elements in David Dun's "Spirit Walker," which makes it border-line fantasy. I really liked Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's "Gone Fishing." The only story I didn't like so much was Dennis Lynds' "Success of Mission," and even that wasn't bad; it just felt out of place, because it was written in the sixties and the other stories were written specifically for this anthology.

Over all, I highly recommend this book. I give Thriller four yo-yos.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Politics of the Imagination, by Colin Bennett

I'm really not sure what to say about Politics of the Imagination: The Life, Work and Ideas of Charles Fort. Despite its title, it's not really a biography of Charles Fort. It's more of an analysis of his ideas and their place in modern society, especially in relation to how science and the moder, consumer culture are trying to destroy imagination (or something). To be honest, I'm not entirely certain that I grasped the book. It kind of confused me, so, despite the fact that I liked it, I'm not actually going to rate it. I'll just say that it was certainly enlightening.