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Seven books? Huh. - Qualified Perceptions
Seven books? Huh.
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
This was another one of those books Amazon really thought I should read. There's the whole subgenre of sexy-vampires and sexy-werewolves, as typified by Anita Blake; this is a perfectly reasonable example of the werewolf side of the genre. (Are there sexy-frankenstein's-monster books? I don't think I've seen any). The heroine is spunky and competent and the plot ticks along in high gear. I'm not as fond of the genre as I could be, but this is a good solid example of it. Better plot and much less sex than the disappointing Aisling Grey books I didn't bother to review. Three and a half stars.

Murder with Mirrors, Tragedy in Three Acts by Agatha Christie
I'm working on collecting the Christies I don't have, though I'm sure I've read them all by now. There just aren't authors who write puzzle-games like this any more; it's all about the detective's inner angst and love plots and so on. Which have their place too, but sometimes you just want to go through and marvel at the craft instead of the art. On the other hand, more modern authors don't use the phrase "nigger in the woodpile" either, which will make most readers hurriedly turn the page. I like Miss Marple better than I used to (I used to prefer Poirot), but this is a stronger Marple and a weaker Poirot from the canon. (Like Asimov, I would think I wouldn't have to tell people to read or not read Agatha Christie. But really, just read one or two if you haven't. They're in a class of their own.)

The Miocene Arrow and Eyes of the Calculor by Sean McMullen.
The second and third in the Greatwinter Trilogy, they're much like the first one. The romances are better - if seriously twisted - and the scale a little more personal, though still set against Vast Epicness. I think the second book actually works the best of the three, as the characters are such that driving them with their personal plots makes more sense. (Taking over the world because you're pissed your lover cheated on you strikes me as sillier, and anyone powerful enough to be making competent decisions at that level ought to have stopped making sex their primary motivator). There's still a few "what the heck?" character moments (Velesti in particular); more airplanes and fewer trains. Four stars, and I have the set now if anyone wants to borrow them.

Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino
A book of stories, or fables, translated from Italian. And very odd stories. The one that takes place before the Big Bang. The one that has to do with one atom of hydrogen being created every 250 million years to maintain a steady state density. And the one about moon milk. Three inhabited, hydrogen-fusing stars. I keep meaning to foist it off on mjperson... anyway, it's up for grabs, and will otherwise go on the swap list.

Through Violet Eyes by Steven Woodworth
Well-blurbed by people like Greg Bear, and with a nicely evocative cover, I was (as often seems to be the case) hoping for better. The book is aiming for part Minority Report, part Silence of the Lambs. (I suppose, doesn't *everyone* in the thriller genre aim for Silence of the Lambs?) Sadly, it doesn't hit the science fiction / fantasy genre well enough (you can't just tweak one major world variable and leave it at that - if summoning the ghosts of the dead back for criminal trials is commonplace, then "kill the witness because they would recognize you" is not a logical motive for someone well-familiar with the system), and doesn't have the either charisma or the tension for a good psychopath thriller. It's more like, well, a mediocre action movie - the characters dash from city to city, see some sights and have one Major Event happen there. And they sleep together, because, well, they're the main characters. The mystery is solved mostly due to drive-by plot devices dropping clues - though the red herrings are competently done. It could have been a much better book if there had been maybe fifty more interspersed pages bulking up the world and how the Psi Corps Afterlife Communications Corps fit in. Two and a half stars.


11 comments or Leave a comment
dpolicar From: dpolicar Date: October 18th, 2006 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Humph! You simply don't appreciate Calvino. I'd take it, except I own it.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: October 18th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, three stars isn't *bad* in my scale. But yeah, I think it's a little more surreal than my tastes run to.
From: desireearmfeldt Date: October 18th, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Same is probably true for me, but I'm intrigued enough to take it off your hands if it's going begging... :)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: October 18th, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay, it's all yours. :)
From: tirinian Date: October 18th, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like what Christie I've read (no where near all of it), but I've always preferred Miss Marple to Poirot. He's just always struck me as too stuck on himself.
From: desireearmfeldt Date: October 18th, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
And his verbal tics and eccentricities are rather more pronounced, making him easier to get tired of. (She says, not having really read either since she was young enough that that sort of thing didn't bother her... I didn't mind it in Lloyd Alexander, either, which my mother refused to read aloud to me because the verbal tics drove her nuts. :))
mijven From: mijven Date: October 18th, 2006 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yippee! I needed a few reading recommendations. (I figure after two weeks of having only my book club book underfoot, and failing to get past chapter 5, I should abandon this quest!) Twisted romance and sexy werewolves work for me!

/me plots next trip to library.

BTW I keep meaning to ask... was this Part II Sorcery & Cecilia book you sent the one I already had and I um... loaned to you without remembering having done so? Or are you loaning it to me? Or did it just hop in some wrapping paper all on it's own and end up at my house that way? My brain just isn't what it used to be, and I can't recreate a situation that explains the book's existence (as welcome as that existence is.)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: October 18th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was a present! Even if maybe it was a present of a book you already had, in which case you're allowed to pass it along. :)
mijven From: mijven Date: October 18th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

a-HA! Well, THANK YOU! And of course I don't already have a copy! Obviously my brain is playing its usual tricks on me! (Or at least, if there already exists a theoretical copy, I am unaware of where it is.)

kirisutogomen From: kirisutogomen Date: October 19th, 2006 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)
(Taking over the world because you're pissed your lover cheated on you strikes me as sillier, and anyone powerful enough to be making competent decisions at that level ought to have stopped making sex their primary motivator).
It doesn't happen often, but every now and then you say something that makes it clear that you're a girl. That is a totally acceptable reason for taking over the world.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: October 19th, 2006 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee. :)
Well, perhaps I object to it being a girl who was motivated to take over the world because of her lover, then.
11 comments or Leave a comment