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posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 10:36pm on 02/04/2009 under , ,
John Meaney, Black Blood
Bantam (2008) ISBN: 978-0-553-80671-7
Score: 2

The second Tristopolis novel (titled Dark Blood in the UK), containing more gritty violence, creepy scenery, and mind control. This time the good cops have to deal with conspiracies, corruption, bigotry, bad cops, and evil telephones. I find it odd the cover says "by the author of Bone Song" instead of "sequel to", since the first scene shows the execution of one the villains of the previous book; there may or may not be more books in the series.
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Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Turtle Moves!
BenBella (2008) ISBN: 978-1-933771-46-5
Score: 1.5

This is explicitly one author trying to cash in on another author's success. It's really more of a long essay than a book, giving an overview of the Discworld series (and each sub-series), discussion of how the series changed over time, and speculation about why it's so popular (short answer: it's stories about stories). The author is trying hard not to write a scholarly book, so none of these topics is pursued in much depth and the chapters are generally only about 3 pages long, with most of the book being brief descriptions of each story in the series, including the short stories and Science of books.
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posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 08:22pm on 24/02/2009 under , ,
Taylor Anderson, Crusade
Roc (2008) ISBN: 978-0-451-46230-5
Score: 2

Second book of the Destroyermen trilogy, in which the plucky Americans continue to slaughter hordes of baby-eating dinosaurs. The conflict escalates and we get three POV characters from the other side[s], but while one of those was sympathetic, the enemies as a whole remain Eeevul (another POV was the baby eater).

Next Book: Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Turtle Moves!
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Michelle Sagara [West], Cast in Fury
Luna (2008) ISBN: 0-373-80269-2
Score: 2

Fourth book of the Chronicles of Elantra, dealing with stories and children. In addition to the usual saving the world, the heroine must also deal with the public reaction to something that happened at the end of the previous book. We also learn more about the fiefs and the Leontine race (so the next book will probably feature the Aerians).

Next Book: Patricia Briggs, Bone Crossed
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Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
Knopf (2008) ISBN: 978-0-307-26886-0
Score: 0

The first chapter introduces us to a post-apocalypse world and the members of the Haulage and HazMat Emergency Civil Freebooting Company of Exmoor County (who are just as interesting and cool and exciting as they sound) as they're hired to save the world (again). Unfortunately, chapter two was a series of anecdotes from the main character's childhood (he seems to have grown up in an alt-hist 20th century), and it looks like the rest of the chapters are more of the same (I assume eventually the main narrative catches up with the first chapter). While the anecdotes were somewhat amusing, they didn't quite add up to a story, much less the story promised by the first chapter. I really should stop trying to read SF published by non-SF imprints.

Next Book: Michelle Sagara, Cast in Fury
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Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz versus the Scrivener's Bones
Scholastic (2008) ISBN: 0-439-92553-3
Score: 2.5

Second book about Alcatraz Smedry, in which he tries to rescue his grandfather from the Library of Alexandria. We meet a few more members of his family, and learn more of the secrets of the world (that the librarian conspiracy is hiding from us), and Alcatraz continues to spend as much time lecturing the reader as telling the story.

Next Book: Carrie Vaughn, Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand
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posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 10:00pm on 27/01/2009 under , ,
Jim Butcher, Princeps' Fury
Ace (2008) ISBN: 978-0-441-01638-9
Score: 2

Fifth book of the Codex Alera series, in which the situation gets really bleak and hopeless. I felt the anti-slavery message was awfully heavy-handed, though I suppose anything less wouldn't sway the characters.

Next Book: Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz versus the Scrivener's Bones
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posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 04:35pm on 17/01/2009 under , ,
Terry Pratchett, Nation
Harper (2008) ISBN: 978-0-06-143301-6
Score: 3

A stand alone novel about a young sheltered princess and a boy who is the only member of his tribe to survive the tidal wave that shipwrecked her. This is set on a parallel Earth rather than Discworld, and while I can see the author's reasons for doing so, it didn't seem to work quite right; he seemed to want to say something about the meaning and importance of nations and religions but the fantasy elements (which only affect a couple characters) undermined that somewhat, and he seemed to chicken out on challenging customs concerning gender roles and education of children (the epilogue made me wonder if any of the characters learned anything). Still an enjoyable read; it's just when you stop to think about what it's trying to say that things start falling apart.

Next book: Jim Butcher, Princeps' Fury
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Brandon Sanderson, "Firstborn"
Score: 1

A MilSF short story about the incompetent younger brother of a perfect commander.

Next Book: Terry Pratchett, Nation
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posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 10:22pm on 31/12/2008 under , ,
Devon Monk, Magic to the Bone
Roc (2008) ISBN: 978-0-451-46240-4
Score: 1.5

Start of an unnamed paranormal romance series about magic that is widely available, but causes a lot of pain every time it's used; the heroine makes her living tracking down people who illegally shift that pain to innocent bystanders. The characters are likable enough, there's a considerable amount of action, and the premise is fairly interesting, but I don't like tampering with characters' memories (an additional side effect of magic use that seems to be unique to the heroine) so I was really upset when she ends up forgetting everything that happened in this book. I'd also like a more complex romantic subplot than having someone walk up and say, "Hi, I'm your perfect soul mate."


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