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February 2005: Book Reviews

This is an archive of my shorter book reviews and notes, which historically have been posted over at the 50 Book Challenge on LiveJournal, but which I’m starting to move over here. I’m posting them with altered date-stamps, but they might show up in my LiveJournal cross-post anyway. Bear with me, please.

Note: Many of these books also have full reviews available in the book review podcast (RSS).


Software, by Rudy Rucker

This is a local author whose book cover blurbs liken him to Phillip K. Dick. Um…. well, let’s just say that, it should be a written law for sci fi authors that, when one is trying to shift a social paradigm, “let’s start a religion/cult/sect” is neither believable nor effective, and really turns the story into mush.


A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3), by George R.R. Martin

I love these books, seriously. People keep telling me “oh, those are great, as long as you don’t mind your favorite character being killed off mercilessly by the most insignificant people…” Well, I have to say that this impression is false. Yeah, the good guys lose. A lot. But if you are paying attention, not ONE of the major characters gets killed off gratuitously. Every major character dies for a reason, if you’re paying attention to what’s happening (and even if you’re not– I’m reading these as audiobooks and even I can keep track of who’s killing whom). Granted, most of the time the reason is “because he was betrayed.” But still– it’s a reason.


It’s an audiobook, about 8 hours long, and…. slow going at first, but it picks up in the second half of the novel. I won’t say it’s my favorite book of the year, but it had some moments. Thing is, you have to sit through about 2 hours of angsty teenager whining before the good stuff starts.


A political satire that I picked up while researching for my NaNoNovel for 2004. Cute, fun, not exactly side-splitting funny, but fun. I think my grandfather would have enjoyed this one– he was always such a skeptic.


It took me less than 24 hours to read this lovely novel, and I enjoyed every minute of it. If I were to compare it to Neverwhere, I’d say it goes faster and is a lot less dark, but it has that same Gaiman-esque feel to it, for certain.


One of her earlier Hainish novels, and another example of her exile/return archetypes that she works with often.


I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, read it this weekend in a cabin in the woods,and liked it so much, I had to mail it to my sister, who played the Tin Woodman in her fifth grade play!


Reminded me of American Beauty. This book had that feel to it– middle aged men acting like jerks around women young enough to be their daughters. Did I mention I don’t particularly like protagonists I can’t sympathize with? I read it in one evening, so I guess I’m glad it was a fast read, since it wasn’t that good.

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