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[personal profile] ed_rex

'Steaming like raw meat dropped onto a hot stove'

Image: Cover of The Departure, by Neal Asher

It's not news that one shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I have a soft spot for space opera; I confess, the big space base (which I initially mistook for a starship of some sort) adorning the cover of Neal Asher's novel, The Departure, helped sell me on it.

As it turned out though, The Departure hardly qualifies as space-opera and only squeaks by as science fiction pretty much the way Superman does: on technicalities only.

Though it's set in the future and some of the action takes place in orbit and on Mars, the book is really just a narrated first-person shooter dressed up in some SF tropes — a corrupt and incompetent world government, artificial intelligence, robotic weapons and a transhuman genesis.

But all that is only window-dressing. That spectacular cover is a gateway to lugubrious dialogue, sophomoric libertarian philosophy, hackneyed world-building and, especially, to one pornographic blood-bath after another.

The Departure is one of the worst books I have read in a very long time. More boring than Atlas Shrugged (which I reviewed a while back), it drips with just as much contempt for ordinary human beings. Unlike Rand's John Galt though, Asher's superman does much of his killing at first-hand.

Does this novel have any redeeming qualities? The short answer is "no". The long answer lives behind this link.

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[personal profile] supranee
I picked this book up at a clearance sale in Kinokuniya, but its value is worth so much more than the price written inside its cover. Just as the Economist states on the back, "One would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved."

This book is a collection of oral stories and letters from Chinese mothers who have abandoned their daughters. For a mixture of reasons - deep-rooted traditional culture, one-child policy, poverty - it's difficult to believe this book was only published three years ago. The scars of mothers in this book are quite recent, from the late 1980s to 2005. These aren't folktales and rumors from the long-ago dynasties. They are as real and young as my own generation. In contrast to those stereotypical stories about Chinese mother-in-laws being harsh and demanding on the wives of their son, these are letters and messages from grief-stricken Chinese mothers to their lost or adopted daughters.

Check out my review at Bookworm in Bangkok.

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[personal profile] supranee
A/N: This is my first post in this community, so I apologize beforehand for any mistakes.

The End of East is a collection of memories through three generations of a Chinese family who have migrated to Canada in hopes of pursuing a more successful life. At the age of 18, with the help of his village, Seid Quan affords a boat trip across the Pacific to find himself employed in Vancouver doing small odd jobs, like cleaning stores after closing hours. He makes various trips back to China to marry and bear children, working hard to able to afford their trips to Canada, and a house sufficient enough for his family. But families aren't perfect. There are huge tensions between a father and a son who never knew him. And when that son grows up to have a family of his own, his wife changes from ideal to unstable while his mother also becomes obsessive over her power in the household. Then, the grandchildren of Seid Quan are forced to accept this unhinged family, who are quiet and hide their history, guarding them like horrible secrets. 

Written in the tradition of the Joy Luck Club, I found this novel to be better than I thought. I was impressed with its writing style and I thoroughly enjoyed the character development of each family member. Who you thought was a great person in the beginning emerges to be a horrible mother-in-law, and the relationship a father wishes to have with his son changes to mutual silence. Nobody in the family is perfect, and I thought the author did a great job depicting this unstable family as a whole. It took me a bit to understand the family relations, though, because each scene is a memory of different relatives in different times of their lives. It jumps around quite a bit in the beginning, but it gets much easier to tie things together as you continue. I enjoyed this, but it didn't leave me with any inspiration or motivation to reach out towards my own family to solve issues. I'd recommend this book for those who enjoy the dramatic family stories.

Check out the full review on my blog.
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[personal profile] ed_rex

Speaking ill of the dead

Elisabeth Sladen: the autobiography

Elisabeth Sladen the autobiography cover plus link to amazon.ca

Like many North American of a certain age, my introduction to Doctor Who was haphazard at best. The first episode I remember seeing was Robots of Death, in which Louise Jameson's Leela was the companion, not Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane Smith.

Nevertheless, TV Ontario sooner or later broadcast at least a few of the Sarah Jane serials, and the buttoned-down young journalist joined the half-naked savage as my favourites among the Doctor's companions.

So I was very much part of the target audience when Sarah Jane returned to Doctor Who in the (revived) series' second season episode, "School Reunion". That production managed to please both old fans and new, so much so that Sladen's return spawned a spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, a children's program that often managed to be quite a bit better than its big brother.

The Sarah Jane Adventures featured Sladen as its alien-fighting principal, a woman in her seventh decade who was nevertheless forever running down corridors, hopping fences and facing down monsters, even as she played reluctant mentor and den mother to her teenage co-stars. Sarah Jane Smith was so credible as a paragon of courage and intelligence that one longed to believe those traits reflected the performer as much as they did her writers.

Fan of both Sarah Jane Smith's first and third incarnations (even Sladen quite rightly acknowledges the failure of her second, in the early 1980s), I am clearly also part of the target audience for Sladen's memoir. And so it was I impatiently waited for a Canadian release of Sladen's autobiography, completed just a few months before her surprising and terribly untimely death from cancer in 2011.

Sadly, the contents between the frankly dated and cheap-looking covers pretty accurately reflect the contents of the book itself.

Though the autobiography does not stoop to gossip or cheap score-settling, neither does it offer much insight into acting; into what it was like being a feminist icon of sorts; or into Sladen's life. Those hoping for more than some amusing anecdotes about working with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker will find in this book some tasty snacks, but nothing remotely like a full meal.

My full review is at my site, ed-rex.com.

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[personal profile] ed_rex

Return to Middle Earth: The Hobbit

Believe it or not, Peter Jackson's latest film is only indirectly responsible for my decision to re-read The Hobbit (again). The proximal cause was Tor.com's (no-doubt entirely commercial) decision to ask the redoubtable Kate Nepveu to lead a weekly, chapter-by-chapter "re-read" of the novel in conjunction with the release of the first (of three!) movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's 300 page children's story.

My intention had been to follow along at Nepveu's chapter-a-week pace and, perhaps, to contribute to the ongoing conversation she was (and is!) sure to inspire, but Tolkien's deceptively simple prose and thematically complex fairy story swept me away (as it has a number of times before). I finished the book in a couple of days.

The short version is that The Hobbit remains a delightful adventure story and fairy tale, even if it is the work of a writer who has yet to reach the full extent of his creative powers.

That said, it also a very strange book, that strays very far indeed from a typical heroic path in favour of wandering the fields of moral complexity and (relatively) complex characterizations. The protagonists are far from perfect and even the villains show surprising signs of humanity.

A lovely book to read aloud to a child, there is every chance that you will have to read it twice, since you'll likely treat yourself to the whole thing before you sit down for Chapter Two with said youngster.

The long version lives on my site. (As usual, there are spoilers.)



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[personal profile] ed_rex
Drawing on myths from Jamaica to Russia, on folk tales of Coyote and Brer Rabbit, and maybe from sources as disparate as Chuck Jones, J.R.R. Tolkien and Mervyn Peake (not to mention Lewis Carroll), Nalo Hopkinson's "Young Adult" debut is as singular a creation as it has been my pleasure to read in a very long time.

All at once a surreal adventure, a subtle exploration of privilege in caste-ridden society and a daring push against the walls of narrative fiction itself, The Chaos has no villain and its (black, Canadian) heroine never wields a blade nor fires a gun.

Though questions of race and identify form organic parts of how the novel's characters view and interact with the world (none of the book's major characters is white), race is not what the book is about. Hopkinson is telling a story, she is not preaching.

Narrated by probably the most fully-realized teenager I have come across in fiction, The Chaos is always surprising, a thoroughly unconventional page-turner you owe it to yourself to read — to pass on to any literate young person you know.

For my full review, click, "When I cried, the tears were black."


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[personal profile] ed_rex


Hugos considered as dyptich of semi-precious novels

Vernor Vinge and why the golden age of science fiction is still twelve


I really ought to know better by now. It doesn't matter whether an award is given out by fans or by peers, critics or the general public, whether the criteria is ostensibly "best" this or "favourite" that.

Awards are a crap shoot, influenced by fashions, by lobbying and by plain old bad taste.

That's right, I said it. Sometimes an award is given out to a book (or a movie, or a play, or a poem — the list is as endless as variations in the arts) that simply doesn't deserve it. That doesn't even merit being on the short-list in the first place.

Let me tell you about Vernor Vinge and why the golden age of science fiction is still 12. My full review lives at Edifice Rex Online. Yell at me here, or there.

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[personal profile] ed_rex

The girls, the monster and the Artifact!

More than a year ago I reviewed the first half of what I thought then was a "gentle" children's adventure, Stargazer, by Ottawa indie cartoonist Von Allan. I bought the concluding sequel back in December if memory serves, but circumstances didn't see me get to it until now.

A black and white comic book featuring three pre-pubescent girls in the role of unlikely heroines, Stargazer features a Magic Doorway in the tradition of Alice's rabbit-hole and Narnia's wardrobe (and the Starship Enterprise's warp drive, for that matter).

But what seemed a "gentle adventure" in its first half, proves to be a considerably more spicy brew in its second. What seemed to be turning into an exercise of that hoary old "And then she woke up!" cliché becomes something very different — and very memorable — by the time the story is over.

A little rough-hewn, Stargazer nevertheless has considerable virtues. This story of friendship and loss just might be a gateway drug to comics for that young boy or (especially) girl in your life — but keep a kleenex handy. My full review lives on my site, ed-rex.com/reviews/books/stargazer_volume_two.

moonplanet: cover of Alan's CD single "Hitotsu" (alan-hitotsu)
[personal profile] moonplanet
(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)

Title: Ashma (on Librarything)
Author: compiled and translated from Shani into Chinese by the Yunnan People's Cultural Troupe, translated into English by Gladys Yang
Format: hardcover
Pages: 82
Year published: not mentioned
Language: English, original Shani (but translated from the Chinese version)
ISBN number: no isbn number
Reason for reading: I borrowed it from a friend because it sounded interesting.

Back cover text:
There is no back cover text, but for the story (the entire story in prose form), you can go read it here.

First alinea of the preface:
"Ashma" is a long and colourful narrative poem which has been handed down orally for generations by the Shani people in Yunnan. The poem describes a young village girl, Ashma, and her brother Ahay. In simple, unadorned language, it relates Ashma's determined struggle against the despotic landlord who has carried her off. With their vitality and their longing for freedom and happiness, young Ahay and Ashma epitomize the whole Shani people.
A branch of the Yi, one of the minority peoples in Southwest China, the Shani live in Kweishan District, southeast of Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan. They have their own spoken language, and a simple written script. They love music and dancing, and can express their feelings and wishes with a simple musical instrument made of bambook - the mô-sheen.

First few verses:
A fine bamboo we lengthwise split
In two, four, eight, sixteen,
And choose a piece without a flaw
To fashion a mö-sheen.

For when the soft mô-sheen is played,
Our inmost thoughts are told.
No sweeter music has been heard;
We love it more than gold.

Beneath the rock bees build their hive,
And make their honey sweet;
But I, I cannot make a hive,
Or honey good to eat.

Beside the pool the long grass grows,
And cuckoos sing in spring;
But I, I cannot grow like grass,
And neither can I sing!

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[personal profile] ed_rex
Cover to Well of Sorrows, by Benjamin TateWell Of Sorrows
I hate coming down hard on books by relatively unknown writers; given my 'druthers, I'd much prefer to pass over them in silence. At the same time, if a writer goes to the trouble of sending me a review copy (even an electronic copy), it seems disrespectful to ignore it.

So I've struggled with this review, and not only because I have been "friends" with the author (or rather, with his pseudonym) on Livejournal for a while, but because it became clear in the reading that Benjamin Tate's heart is very much in the right place.

Well of Sorrows tries hard to play with, and even to reverse, many of epic fantasy's tired tropes. The protagonist is more peace-maker than warrior, and in plays of scenes of glorious battle we are given the blood and the shit and the brutality of hand-to-hand combat.

Unfortunately, good intentions alone don't make for good art. Well of Sorrows suffers from shallow characterization, structural confusion and world-building that is not remotely convincing. Click here for my full review (hardly any spoilers).

moonplanet: Dutch cover of His Dark Materials book 1, "Het Noorderlicht" by Philip Pullman (greentea)
[personal profile] moonplanet
Title: De man die zijn vrouw voor een hoed hield - neurologische case-histories (on Librarything; original title "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales")
Author: Oliver Sacks
Format: paperback
Pages: 260
Year published: original 1985 (English) 1986 (Dutch), my edition 1988
Language: Dutch (original English)
ISBN number: 9029098066
Reason for reading: When I borrowed This is your brain on music the friend I borrowed it from said that Oliver Sacks wrote interesting books too. As I had never read a book by him and she owned this book in both Dutch and English editions, I borrowed the Dutch one.

Back cover text:
Oliver Sacks (Londen, 1933) is hoogleraar in de neurologie aan het Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Als auteur verwierf hij internationale faam met Een been om op te staan, waarin de arts Sacks zijn ervaringen als patiënt verwoordt. In Ontwaken in verbijstering beschrijft hij op betrokken wijze het 'ontwaken' uit de slaapziekte (Encephalitis lethargica).
De man die zijn vrouw voor een hoed hield, neurologische case-histories uit zijn eigen praktijk, stond wekenlang in de non-fiction bestsellerslijst van de New York Times. Oliver Sacks onderzoekt in dit intrigerende boek een groot aantal neurologische gevallen die, op zijn minst, als buitengewoon gekenschetst kunnen worden. Hij beschrijft patiënten met vreemde intellectuele en perceptuele afwijkingen, maar ook patiënten die juist een abnormale mentale kracht tentoonspreiden. Hij plaatst patiënten met geheugenverlies naast patiënten die overspoeld worden door herinneringen.
Sacks raakt hiermee aan de vreemdste uitersten van het menselijk bestaan. Hij laat een krachtig licht schijnen op de organische fundamenten van onze verbeelding, oordeelvorming en identiteit en pleit daarbij voor een diepergaande neurologie die van het zelf van de patiënt uitgaat. Door het inlevingsvermogen van Sacks kan de lezer de wereld van de patiënten binnengaan en zich voorstellen hoe het is te leven en te voelen als zij.

First alinea:
Hét favoriete woord van de neurologie is 'uitval', waarmee een beschadiging of onvermogen wordt aangeduid van neurologische functie: van spraak, taal, geheugen, zien, behendigheid, identiteit en tal van andere vormen van gebrek aan en verlies van speciale functies (of vermogens). Voor al deze dysfuncties (nog zo'n favoriete term) hebben we allerlei geheel eigen woorden: Afonie, Afasie, Alexie, Apraxie, Agnosie, Amnesie, Ataxie - een woord voor elke specifieke neurale of mentale functie waarvan patiënten soms merken dat ze deze als gevolg van ziekte, letsel of ontwikkelingsstoornis ten dele of geheel niet meer bezitten.

Read the review here (in English so it should be understandable for people who want to read the English book)
moonplanet: Stargate Atlantis, slightly edited screenshot (stargate-atlantis)
[personal profile] moonplanet
(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)

Title: Vertrek van Aankomst (on Librarything; original English title "One step from Earth")
Author: Harry Harrison
Format: paperback
Pages: 174
Year published: original 1970, my edition 1971
Language: Dutch, original English
ISBN number: 9027406251
BookCrossing ID: 10286062
Reason for reading: I found it on Eindhoven train station. And it's a science-fiction book from the '70s! Which I really like reading :) And I hadn't read anything by this author yet.

Back cover text:
Harry Harrison is bij de kenners van science-fiction hoog gekwalificeerd. In 'De technicolor tijdmachine' sloeg hij een brug tussen nu, straks, toen. In dit boek overbrugt hij de ruimte: één flits tussen hier, ver, lichtjaren ver. Geen tijd, geen ruimte.
De auteur van De technicolor tijdmachine (P 1381) geeft negen ingenieuze variaties rond een futuristische vorm van telecommunicatie. Materiezenders verplaatsen drie-dimensionale voorwerpen, ook mensen, in geen tijd naar elke plaats in het heelal.
Eén stap naar Mars.
Eén stap naar infiltratie.
Eén stap naar misbruik voor militaire doeleinden.
Science-fiction van grote klasse.

First alinea:
1. Stap van de Aarde af
Dit land was dood. Het had nooit geleefd. Dood was het geboren bij de eerste vorming van het zonnestelsel, een planetaire miskraam van granietblokken, grof zand en scherpe rotsen. De lucht was zó ijl en koud dat ze eerder een vacuüm leek dan een leefbare dampkring. Hoewel het bijna middag was en de kleine bleke zonneschijf hoog aan de hemel stond, was de lucht donker, het fletse licht scheen over de oneffen vlakte die door geen voetafdruk nog getekend was. Stilte, eenzaamheid, leegte.

moonplanet: cover of Superfly's CD single "Aa" (superfly-aa)
[personal profile] moonplanet
(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)

Title: Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass (on Librarything)
Author: Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)
Format: paperback
Pages: 351
Year published: "Out of Africa" original 1937, "Shadows on the grass" original 1960, my edition 1984
Language: English
ISBN number: 0140085335
Reason for reading: My grandmother loves Africa and the story "Out of Africa" a lot, both the book and the movie. As I have never seen the movie, I thought it would be a nice idea to read the book first and when I was at my grandmother's house a while ago, I asked if I could borrow the book.

Back cover text:
Karen Blixen's extraordinary love affair with Africa began when she and her husband went to Kenya to plant coffee in 1913. The marriage and the plantation failed, but Baroness Blixen's passion for Africa remained.

Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass, presented for the first time in one volume, were written when she returned to her native Denmark and are full of her longing to return to the country and the people she came to love and admire. Her writing combines intelligence, compassion and an acute understanding of an alien culture.

First alinea of "Out of Africa":
I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up, near the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold.

First alinea of "Shadows on the Grass":
As here, after twenty-five years, I again take up episodes of my life in Africa, one figure, straight, candid, and very fine to look at, stands as doorkeeper to all of them: my Somali servant Farah Aden. Were any reader to object that I might choose a character of greater importance, I should answer him that that would not be possible.

moonplanet: Playing the okoto (okotomakikogoto)
[personal profile] moonplanet
Recently I've been reading a lot of Japanese literature in English and Dutch. For the English reviews on the Dutch translations, see my weblog. But here is one for an English translation!

(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)

Title: The old capital (on Librarything)
Author: Yasunari Kawabata
Format: paperback
Pages: 182
Year published: original 1962, my edition 2006
Language: English (original Japanese title "Koto")
ISBN number: 9781593760328
BookCrossing ID: 8613166
Reason for reading: Found it on Abunai-con Veldhoven.

Back cover text:
Set in the traditional city of Kyoto, The Old Capital tells the story of Chieko, the adopted daughter of a kimono designer and his wife. Since her youth, Chieko was told that the childless couple kidnapped her in a moment of profound desire. When Chieko learns unsettling truths about her past, her life of love and affection is thrown into disarray.
This delicate novel traces the legacy of beauty and tradition from one generation of artists to the next as they navigate, with an ambivalent mixture of regret and fascination, the complex world of postwar Japan. This simple story of chance, art, and devotion resounds with deep spiritual and human understanding.
Yasunari Kawabata is widely recognized as one of the most significant figures in modern Japanese literature. The Old Capital was one of three novels specifically cited when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968.

First alinea:
Chieko discovered the violets flowering on the trunk of the old maple tree. "Ah. They've bloomed again this year," she said as she encountered the gentleness of spring.
The maple was rather large for such a small garden in the city; the trunk was larger around than Chieko's waist. But this ancient tree with its course moss-covered bark was not the sort of thing one should compare with a girl's innocent body.
The trunk of the tree twisted slightly to the right at about the height of Chieko's waist, and just over her head it bent even farther. Above the bend the limbs extended outward, dominating the garden, the ends of the longer branches drooping with their own weight.

othercat: (Default)
[personal profile] othercat
Tears of the Sun continues on from The High King of Montival with Rudi now High King and the various changes the various regions that make up the new kingdom are going through. We also get a good view of how preparations are going for the war against the Church Universal and Triumphant, the war itself, and how everyone who had been previously nonreligious are now suddenly finding religion now that magic of some variety works.

Read the rest of this review on A Wicked Convergence of Circumstances
moonplanet: Kagome from Inuyasha (kagome-rain)
[personal profile] moonplanet
(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)

Title: Chobits anime comic #5 / ちょびっツアニメ版5 (on Amazon)
Author: CLAMP
Format: paperback
Pages: 128
Year published: 2002 (first edition)
ISBN number: 4063101665
Reason for reading: A friend had a few Japanese Chobits anime comics I could borrow. As I really enjoyed the manga and I have never seen the anime, I thought it was a nice opportunity to see if I liked the stories in the anime (an "anime comic" contains the stories in the anime with screenshots and speech ballons and drawn sound-effects).

Episodes in this book:
13: ちぃ 海いく (Chii "go sea")
14: ちぃ もてなす (Chii "entertain")
15: ちぃ 何もしない (Chii "do nothing")

moonplanet: Dutch cover of His Dark Materials book 1, "Het Noorderlicht" by Philip Pullman (rodepanda_li)
[personal profile] moonplanet
(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)

Title: Moshie Cat - The true adventures of a Majorcan kitten (on Librarything)
Author: Helen Griffiths
Format: paperback
Pages: 129
Year published: original 1969, my edition 1977
ISBN number:067129816X
Reason for reading: In elementary school I borrowed the Dutch version (title "Misjo") from the library. It was a very old book, but I really really liked it. When I wanted to borrow it again a short while after, it wasn't present at the library anymore. They had book sales of old books and I suspect they put the Misjo book in the "sales" as well. I wasn't able to find it for a very long time, but last year it appeared on Bookmooch. However, the person offering it only sent within the USA, but as someone else in the USA was filling a box of such books for me, I asked if she wanted to mooch it and put it in the box as well. It took a while, but now I could finally read the book again :D

Back cover text:
Moshie Cat was born in a small, protected orchard on a beautiful island. He had his mother beside him, plants and trees to explore, and brothers and sisters to play with. Then, one day, he was taken from his mother to catch mice for a neighbor. Moshie's life became one of uncertainty, new challenges, and surprises. Moving from home to home, he made both human and feline friends. He sometimes experienced cruelty, sometimes kindness. Never short of adventure, Moshie explored the grounds of a dangerous building site, dared to ride the elevator in a hotel, and pulled through a case of pneumonia. He finally found a loving family and all the friends any cat could want.

First alinea of the first chapter:
Moshie Cat was born on a beautiful island, an island covered with hills and pine trees and heather and surrounded by a sea that is almost as blue as the sky.
He was born in a little village which straggles in a triangular fashion in a valley at the bottom of a steep range of hills. The village is not far from the coast and from its highest streets the sea is plainly visible, shimmering silver in the sunlight, across a vista of orchards and isolated palm trees.
It is a village full of white or sand-brown houses with red roofs and green shutters. Each house has a small garden or a strip of orchard, and it was in one of these orchards that Moshie Cat was born.

moonplanet: cover of Superfly's CD single "Aa" (superfly-aa)
[personal profile] moonplanet
Title: Forgotten Realms - Songs & Swords - Book 1: Elfshadow (on Librarything)
Author: Elaine Cunningham
Format: paperback
Pages: 312
Bookcrossing ID: 4957869 (received from silvas in Utrecht, left behind in Köln-Riehl Youth Hostel: http://www.jugendherberge.de/jh/rheinland/koeln-riehl/index.shtml.en?m)
Back cover text:
Silenth death stalks the Harpers of Faerûn. One by one, members of the semi-secret society for good in the Realms are falling to a murderer's blade. Now a Harper agent and a beautiful half-elf assassin must solve the mystery. If they fail, they will be the next victims.

But things in the Realms are rarely that simple.

First alinea of the prelude:
The elf emerged in a glade, a small verdant meadow ringed by a tight circle of vast, ancient oaks. His path had brought him to a spot of rare beauty that, to the untrained eye, appeared to be utterly untouched. Never had the elf seen a place more deeply green; a few determined shafts of early morning sunlight filtered through leaves and vines until even the air around him seemed dense and alive. At his feet, emerald droplets of dew clung to the grass. The elf's seeking eyes narrowed in speculation. Dropping to his knees, he studied the grass until he found it - an almost imperceptible path where the dew had been shaken loose from the ankle-high grass. Yes, his prey had come this way.

moonplanet: cover of Superfly's CD single "Aa" (superfly-aa)
[personal profile] moonplanet
I just joined Dreamwidth this week and I was looking for an interesting book-review community, as I like reading book reviews :)
This summer holiday I'm trying to write as many book reviews as possible. Except for a few manga and French comic books, I have written a review for every book I read in July. It's fun and I'm going to try and continue writing reviews after the holiday as well!

Here is my latest review, of a fantasy book:

I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story and there aren't even real spoilers in the back cover description...

Title: The Wise Man's Fear (on Librarything)
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Format: hardcover
Pages: 994
ISBN: 9780575081413
Back cover text (actually on the inside of the dust jacket):
The Kingkiller Chronicle Day Two

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

My name is Kvothe.
You may have heard of me.'

The man was lost. The myth remained.

Kvothe - the dragon-slayer, the renowned swordsman, the most feared, famed and notorious wizard the world has ever seen - vanished without warning and without trace. And even now, when he has been found, when darkness is rising in the corners of the world, he will not return.

But his story lives on and, for the first time, Kvothe is going to tell it...
Read more... )
othercat: (journalling this)
[personal profile] othercat
Fuzzy Nation is a reboot of H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy. It is absolutely not necessary for you to have read Little Fuzzy in order to read Fuzzy Nation--but you might want to, and probably should. I’ve read both, so it will be a challenge to not compare and contrast the two books. Scalzi takes the story in a very different direction from the way things happened in the book though with the same end result.

Fuzzy Nation

Edit: It would probably help if I did the link correctly, yeah.

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