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Maggie the Ranter

Drop in to see what condition my condition is in! I rant on all things booklike here....

Currently reading

Red Seas Under Red Skies
Scott Lynch
Water Sleeps
Glen Cook
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson sooooo LOVED this book!
Maybe I am just parital to cyber-punk, but a lot of times it is not done well. Here, it started out like I would expect, with a lot of high tech gadgetryinvolved in trying to deliver a pizza, but as things progressed I found myself thinking about the dissemination of languages, the prevalence of profit over creativity, how messed up government logic is, and the binary code. I also was rooting for Hiro to have some luck with his ex!
So together there were enough elements on a deep enough level that I was mesmerized!
Kill the Dead - Richard Kadrey Just 3 stars here....I really thought I would like it better, but the snark and violence just seemed like rewrites of [b:Sandman Slim|5776788|Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1)|Richard Kadrey|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1311727590s/5776788.jpg|5948537] dialogue most of the time.....
The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart What a great classic! I have been meaning to read this for forever, it seems like, and am so glad I finally did.
This is the story of young Merlin. His early life, how he came into his power, and his part in the birth of Arthur Pendragon. The story was wonderful, the writing heavy on description but not overly so. A very enjoyable read!
The Warrior's Apprentice - Lois McMaster Bujold Just reread this one after reading the two Cordelia books...and like this one so much better than I did before! Miles issuch a result of his parentage...ingenuity and honor all wrapped into a manic package!

Borders of Infinity

Borders of Infinity - Lois McMaster Bujold Miles has a way of taking advantage of every opportunity presented him, always making for a great ride.

In this installment, he breaks out some POWs, but of course the real story as always is seeing the lessons he learns this time around. My favorite insight-His crush on fellow prisoner Beatriz comes to a very humasn end, as he watches his mother stride into his hospital room and realizes there is probably a psychological reason he always crushes on leggy redheads.

Its moments like these that give this series its depth, and make me love it!
Labyrinth - Lois McMaster Bujold Miles and a 16 y/o werewolf? The beauty of Bujold is how she makes anything work, and work well.....
Steal Across the Sky - Nancy Kress OK-the one sentence version of this book is that some aliens thousands of years ago altered our genes and kidnapped some humans and repopulated a few other planets with them in sort of a 'double-blind' study where some were left with the gene that allowed us to communicate with the recently deceased. Modern humans are sent there to 'witness' this firsthand, and the resulting news creates a lot of chaos.

Although I like the premise and the writing, I didnt connect to any of the characters, and couldnt get any suspense worked up about the whole 'what-if' question. Why would aliens want to remove that gene? and why would they come back to try and fix it so much later?

Also, there is a character, James, for whom there was no indication of motivation, which really bothered me. An epilogue shows two characters have married. While this makes sense, it would have been nice to see the realization of their attraction.
All in all, a solid 3 stars
Beyond the Shadows - Brent Weeks so, I was REALLY appreciating this book for a while...it upped the ante of the first two books, becoming complicated and deepening the characters. Yay, right?
But then there was the ending...all of a sudden everyone's little bit of magic turns into a big bundle of magic, and they just wipe out all the monsters. Really? huh...

1 major character does die, but some magical miracle has the crazy guy transfer her fetus into a different woman's womb. Seriously?

And the crazy guy....he was able to pull it together because a true friend kept calling his name...bringing him back to reality so to speak. Hmmmmmmmm

ok, I can take in a lot, but that was a little too Deus ex machina for me.

and I didnt even get to the part about the haunted woods that kills everyone. Except for the guy who instead got instructions to make a magic sword. Because........?

so it all ended up being a meh for me.
The Quantum Thief - Hannu Rajaniemi So I FINALLY finished this book...and I gotta say once i hit the last 150 pages or so, I just couldnt put it down!

The problem was that during the middle of the book, I was so clueless as to what was going on and who was who that I kept putting it down and forgetting about it!

Now, I love books that lack exposition more than the normal person. (Ive read Erikson too many times to not love it), but this books lack of exposition was a little too much. I still am not sure the difference between Sobornost, Tzaddikim, and Zudu.

However, I can tell some really fantastic things happened...lol Plots within plots, mindgames played on people's own selves, a marvelous system of time as money...and a lot of soul references.

However, I will need a reread to be able to figure it out. BUt that's all right, Im looking forward to it!
Blood Cross - Faith Hunter I really liked the first one of this series, so I went and checked this out from the library right away.Unfortunately, I spent most of my time reading this wondering "why did she just do that?"

I dont neccesarily think UF needs to make sense, but if we are following a character in first person, it seems the motivations should be more clear.
The last scene of the book brought this to a head, when the big battle is over, and the hostages are saved, it seems she would be checking on her friends, making sure the hostages are ok, that the injured are healed, that her allies that lost a member are settled...so many things! But instead she goes off to have sex with one of the cops. Seriously? Doesn't the cop have things to do as well? That just struck me as nonsensical. It made sense for them to get together, but right then?

That kind of wrecked it for me.
Roadside Picnic - Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky, Olena Bormashenko, Ursula K. Le Guin I SO enjoyed this short novel.

After aliens stopped near their town and left a bleak area filled with their refuse, individuals called Stalkers make a living retrieving and selling the castoffs.

The psycholgical and physiological effects of the visit haunt the book, as characters make sense of the things that are happening to them and around them....

I finished this a couple days ago, and the atmosphere is still haunting to me, a sign to me of a piece of fiction I will remember for a long time
The Crown Conspiracy - Michael J. Sullivan I so enjoyed this book..and it's all due to what it lacks!

So much sword and sorcery fantasy these days feels like it has to be uber-descriptive. They remind me of the frozen turkeys that when you unthaw them just drain off water they have been 'plumped up' with.

So it was with great pleasure that I read this book: Despite an evil plot to overthrow the throne, sinister manipulations, secret prisons,a bratty prince and princess, an uber-magician, and a tenacious dwarf, the book seemed as refreshing as air!

the descriptions were there yet not overpowering. The author did not feel the need to add three adverbs and two adjectives to every sentence.The action scenes were to the point....no fillers! How refreshing this was!
In the Midst of Death - Lawrence Block In a lot of ways, this is a really unassuming little mystery, going along its way, when all of a sudden you get just struck with some empathic feel for the narrator, even though he hasn't said a thing about what he is feeling. It's all somehow there. Such a great hallmark of characterization.

This series, following an ex-cop on his solitary journeys after accidentally shooting a child, can seem a bit dated, and none of the characters are very synpathetic, but it all pulls together to give a wonderful example of the human condition.
Dragonflight - Anne McCaffrey I've had a copy of this for a while, but after reading [b:The Rowan|61938|The Rowan (The Tower and the Hive, #1)|Anne McCaffrey|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316408956s/61938.jpg|1892324] last year, I was wary of getting into some more subservient-female mind traps, and have backed off reading McCaffrey.

WHile there is some of that in here, it isn't as laid on thick as it was in the Rowan, and I was ablet to read this for the story it was. THere is a good bit of world building done here, and Pern and it's problems with the threads, and Dragons being able to save the day made for a pleasant visit. I really liked the personalities of the dragons.

The con to this is of course the gender roles. Quite annoying! I have never known a strong and decisive woman who met a man she admired and totally abdicated her life to him. It just doesnt work like that...

but the dragons kept it at a 3.
Hell to Pay - Simon R. Green I liked this installment a lot. The last book was a lot over the top for my taste, and being back in the normal world of Nightside (at least as normal as it gets) was like a breath of fresh air.

John takes on a missing person case, and manages to mix in a few old enemies into the process. There is plenty of action, although it may seem a bit tame after his last adventure. I loved the characters and was glad to see things are back to normal.
Among Thieves - Douglas Hulick I really got hooked into this world...I think just the plot twists created plenty of action and there was enough of a mystery that I literally stayed in and up late on a Saturday to finish it.

Drothe is a 'nose', or information gatherer, for a network among the city theives. When in the ordinary course of business an old book falls into his hands, he quickly becomes a target, and a lynchpin among his brethren. Can he figure out why everyone is after the book and manage to stay alive at the same time????