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Book Blog

February 26, 2023

Barbary (Review)

his reads like a YA SciFi (and if I got it wrong, well, I’ll apologize and note that the writing is smooth and simple). It’s just a  tidy little space opera from 1986, a story  of a girl (Barbary) who was orphaned when her mother died ages ago in a space station high over Earth. However, it seems like some of her mother’s friends would like to adapt her and send for her. But getting to the space station is not easy, especially when you are smuggling a cat onboard. I kinda suspected that this was what was in her […]
February 19, 2023

Fighting for the Crown (Review)

ezus! Ark Royal XVII. Who’d have thought that those five books I picked up at that used bookstore in Norfolk would have resulted in this, hundreds of dollars and pages, all to get through the several interstellar wars humanity has faced. So you’ll remember the two characters from the last book, Captains Hammond and Campbell of the Lion and the Unicorn, night and day, thoughtful and bold, and seemingly totally unable to work with one another. Well, in this book, humanity is faced with a desperate situation – the virus which controls four races (that we know of) is building […]
February 12, 2023

Alien Chronicles: The Golden One (Review)

as over at the local bookshop, getting ready for (of all things) a Zen class (long story). Of course, the danger of loitering in a bookstore is you end up buying books. I always nose the scifi section and found this three-book set, The Alien Chronicles. Now, my internal alarms went off – it’s produced by Lucasfilms back in 1998. Now, people who know me know I’ve soured on the whole StarWars thing. “Rebels been rebels, since I don’t know when,” as Don said. That whole franchised has been milked until its udders have fallen off. It’s a Disney thing […]
February 5, 2023

The Courts of Chaos (Review)

nd here it is, the conclusion to the original Amber series, written in the 1970s, read by me in the early 1980s, carted about from place to place by me for forty years and eventually reread. The end! So, we have the world (bigger, reality itself) falling apart, an evil brother revealed and on the loose, and hero Corwin riding hard to reach the Courts of Chaos (basically, the Castle at the End of the Universe) to save things. Very exciting and very interesting. Of course, these days some readers might think of Corwin as “woke” (in that he attempts […]
January 29, 2023

The Lion and the Unicorn (Review)

o yes, I’ll bet you are thinking this will be another Nine Princes in Amber reviews with a title like this.No, I’m back to reading the Ark Royal series, where the humans (as of this book, the fifteenth of the series) are fighting a virus that has the human fleet against the wall, and seemingly will not stop until all of humanity are its wretched, brainless slaves. And this book is probably one of the best of the lot, since the original Ark Royal. In seeking new weapons systems, the designer on Earth have come up with an interesting idea. […]
January 23, 2023

The Hand of Oberon (Review)

don’t think I’m a very good reviewer at times. Like now, when I have to check the wiki page for The Hand of Oberon, the fourth book of the Amber series. I read about a part where (near the end) the evil guy uses his jewel to freeze a second-class good guy, but the guy’s hand (artificial) reaches up and strangles the crap out of the villain. And even through the baddy teleports out of danger, the heroes decide that somehow, someone set things up so that the bad guy would get close to this good guy (and with a […]
January 15, 2023

The Dumbest Generation (Review)

here is a bit of irony here. I’d picked up Mark Bauerlein’s bestseller at a neighborhood used bookshop. It had gone into the to-read pile. Then something triggered it to be read, namely a train-club get-together at a local restaurant. There , one of the young members (seventeen years old or so) told me in blunt who-cares fashion, “I don’t read. Haven’t read a single book other than one’s I’ve been made to read. And those I skimmed.” Which depressed me – we talked a little about it, with him questioning the total value of it. And even though he […]
January 1, 2023

Sign of the Unicorn (Review)

ook Three of the Nine Princes in Amber was a pretty interesting continuation. Corwin, now holding the throne of Amber, tries to figure out where this shadow road leads to that is dumping all sorts of dark creatures into his realm. Another one of his brothers is killed and if it isn’t apparent that we are heading towards a whodunit, it becomes clear when the entire group (brothers and sisters, both) stage a rescue to get another brother back from a shadow-world prison. While they do get him and pull him back into Amber, someone slips a knife into his […]
December 25, 2022

The End of All Things (Review)

ell, Scalzi wrapped up the Old Man’s War series with a satisfying conclusion. What more can I say? We went into this with the the alien confederation, the Conclave, and the humans represented by the Colonial Union (the Earth, pissed off at being a sole supplier of soldiers and colonists, forms a weak yet dangerous third party to this anger-triangle). The universe is now soaked in gasoline  and the mysterious group, the Equilibrium, is trying to light it on fire and bring everyone down. Sorta sounds like the world today. So we start on a disturbing note – we know […]
December 18, 2022

The Human Division (Review)

‘ll admit that I was sorta meh about the first book of the second series of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. After all, Zoe’s Tale told things from a slightly different perspective, true, but it really didn’t add that much to the storyline. in this, I went off and read other things so that I’d get back into that Scalzi-mood. So when I picked up Book Two, The Human Division, I wasn’t sure what I’d get. First off, the title is cute. I thought it would be about some sort of military formation of humans, right? Well, it wasn’t, […]