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Four books, one incomplete series - Qualified Perceptions
Four books, one incomplete series
Leviathan (by Scott Westerfeld, via audiobook)
A bouncy steampunk YA adventure with Darwinists and giant mechanical walkers, in an alternate-history beginning of World War I. What could be more fun? (And, it even caused me to look up some of the real history, which I do not often do.) Unfortunately, it ends, not on a cliffhanger, but with the story not yet done; there is a sequel due, but I was startled to find that it ended when it did. (This is a trick of audiobooks, too, to surprise me with a sudden ending. With a paper book, I can see it coming.) Four stars, after deducting half a star for not finishing.

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (by Leanna Renee Hieber)
I somehow thought this was a fantasy instead of a romance when I picked it up, and was greatly disappointed. It's a supernatural romance, so the angst is, well, very angsty, but the supernatural part just MAKES NO SENSE. Jack the Ripper is actually Cerebus, who is a cloud of a hundred ghost dogs. Persephone's real love (not Hades) is the Russian firebird. Does one of the guys in the adventuring party really just have the superpower of Being Cheerful? I kept expecting the plot, which started out Interestingly Mysterious, to eventually resolve into clarity, but it resolved instead into more of a muddle. Still, not actually a fantasy book, so I shouldn't expect coherent weird shit, right? But even the angst, which is well and truly out the ears, is to a large part motivated by people being utter noodleheads. There's the one guy full of "I am the only one who can understand this, do not ask me to explain, for I and only I could understand, so shut up all of you", and the rest of his adventuring party who stake out variations on "you're not the only one who can understand things nyah nyah nyah and since you won't talk to us we're going to force you to do the thing you say is wrong." Regardless of who is actually right, I just wanted to smack them all. One and a half stars. The ghosts weren't bad, and the cover is quite pretty.

The Stepsister Scheme (by Jim C. Hines)
This was much like Never After in terms of women's empowerment - and even a same-sex Kiss Of True Love to break a curse - but played reasonably straight (and kind of original-version dark, in parts) instead of campy spoof. Not very deep, but fun. You know, I think this book fails the reverse Bechdel test, too. Three and a half stars.

Mirabile (by Janet Kagan)
Well, I don't think the embedded-DNA-in-other-creatures makes a lot of sense, but it's light-hearted fun (Kangaroo rexes!). It's the kind of book that's really a set of linked short stories (often set in a bar, but not this time!), each of them with its own mini-puzzle that the main character has to figure out. I did wonder why the word for an ecologist/geneticist is a "jason", but that puzzle it never answered for me. Three stars, no complaints.

Neptune Crossing, Strange Attractors: The Chaos Chronicles (by Jeffrey Carver)
The author is an ex-MIT person who still has his account, and had to reset his password a while ago. He asked if my username was from the character in his book. No, not for a book written in 1995, but I did have to read it at that point. Alas, I found the first one a little slow-moving (and, after just having read The Stepsister Scheme, I was more aware than usual that there was just one female character and she was just a nummy for the main character to be sad about having to give up), and gave up partly through the second one. Nothing horrible or rant-worthy, just not quite for me.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
From: desireearmfeldt Date: June 2nd, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is The Stepsister Scheme borrowable? If so, may I borrow it? :)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: June 2nd, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have borrowed it from Rose, so I should officially check first. :)
mathhobbit From: mathhobbit Date: June 2nd, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I liked Mirabile too; I found the embedded-DNA premise to be more believable than some, but that may be because I don't know much about DNA.

I think I once knew why they used the term Jason. If you lend me the book I'll try to figure it out!
marcusmarcusrc From: marcusmarcusrc Date: June 2nd, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
The sequel to Stepsister Scheme is fairly fun too, in the same kind of way (but with pirates!) - Mermaid's Madness or something like that?
4 comments or Leave a comment