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Six books - Qualified Perceptions
firstfrost
firstfrost
Six books
# are ebooks. I definitely have switched into more-ebooks-than-paper-books mode, which I am oddly embarassed about.

Infernal Devices (by K W Jeter)
Apparently a very early steampunk book, reprinted more recently. I didn't much care for it - the main character's main characteristic seems to be that he's boring and not particularly good at his job, and the named women characters are the sex-mad one, the one whose only goal is to sleep with the automaton, and the brothel madam. The "Brown Leather Man" was interesting for a while, but he ruined his accumulated cred by showing up in the endgame to gloat and then leap out a window, which seemed kind of pointless. Two stars.

# Stealing the Elf-King's Roses (by Diane Duane)
I have interestingly mixed feelings about this one. I like most of the characters, and the dynamics between them. I found the first setting (CSI: Magic) interesting, and the second (Kind of Spies in Elfland) also interesting, though I kind of wanted to see more CSI too. Some of the descriptions of Alfheim were really nice, everything from perfect heartbreaking grandeur to really seriously creepy. I want to be able to write that sort of evocative description. The level of oogly-booging gets kind of high at the end, to the extent that it felt like the protagonist had gotten a bunch more levels quite quickly. (SMALLISH SPOILER) The bit where this-world-Earth is the amoral corruptive influence on the other worlds, that we're the only ones who even have a word for genocide, made me sad, like suddenly discovering that your parents have always thought you were the ugly kid, and oddly defensive about my reality. But it was written by a New Yorker and finished not long after 9/11, so I can kind of understand that sort of despair. Three and a half stars?

unclean spirits (by M.L.N. Hanover)
Another alias for Daniel Abraham! This is his babe-showing-her-back-tattoo genre, and... well, it's a pretty good example of the genre, but I like his other genres better. As with his other books, the characters are more than one-dimensional, though I didn't feel like they were as much as they could have been. There are some slightly off touches, like developing one's leadership skills by Declaring You're Making The Decisions Now, which doesn't strike me as as likely to endear one to one's team as it did here. And there were bits of the backstory I was expecting to be answered that weren't - what was up with the Mysterious Defenses (especially since Tattoos are a thing and she has a Tattoo but it never came up), and why is the series called "The Black Sun's Daughter"? But there was a lot about it I liked, including an action sequence that took good advantage of modern technology and not just weird shit. :) Call it also three and a half stars.

#Memories of the Future (by Wil Wheaton)
This is basically "Wil Wheaton re-watches Star Trek:TNG with commentary and reminiscing" (volume 1). It's mostly fun, though for someone who has not just re-watched TNG, the switching between recap and MSK-snarking is sometimes blurry (and the humor is sometimes kind of teenage, which makes it seem to come from the Wesley-age Wil Wheaton instead of the current one, a kind of amusing effect). The whole "Well, I was fifteen, and there was less Internet, so I didn't realize everyone hated me until later, but watching again now, I can see why [X, Y, Z] made Wesley so terrible" is an interesting place to start with a rewatch.

#Embassytown (by China Mieville)
I really enjoyed this, but I admit I have a serious soft spot for obligate-truthful spider aliens. It's a thoughtful exploration of thought and language and truth and metaphor and lying and changing your worldview, but also a fun story about politics and alien politics and war and the end of the world. I am very fond of the idea of aliens hiring people to act out oddly symbolic situations, so that they can use them as simile examples later ("I am unhappy with my sitation. I'm like the girl who eats what is given her.") Also, I do appreciate how China Mieville never really writes the same book twice. Four and a half stars.

#John Dies at the End (by David Wong)
I... enjoyed this a lot more than I would expect to for a book with so many penises and so much poop. It's a sarcastic slapstic horror story which manages to be scary without making a lot of sense, perhaps more like a nightmare than a ghost story.

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dpolicar From: dpolicar Date: April 12th, 2012 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I remember thinking that Stealing the Elf-King's Roses had some marvelous ideas and was unfortunately just not that well written. Which was a pity, because in general I like her stuff. But, yeah, suddenly realizing that we're the bad guys (sort of) was a bit of a kick in the nuts.
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