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March 2008 Archives

March 6, 2008

The Ship Errant



The Ship Errant, by Jody Lynn Nye

And back to the Ship series we go! This one is by Jody Lynn Nye, but it's part of Anne McCaffery's Ship series. It's the sequel to The Ship Who Won which Nye co-wrote. And it ends up being one of the very very few books on my shelf at home that aren't shelved according to author!

Being a sequel this continues the story with Cari and Keff. And they have a major fight with an administrator dude which causes all kinds of problems. He thinks she's unstable and crosses all kinds of lines to prove it whether it's true or not.

The Frogs get to go back to their home planet and meet their people.

There's also a whole other species (the Griffins) introduced, but it takes a while to figure out who exactly they are and how they fit in with everything going on with our main characters. One of the people working with the Griffins has a very interesting story that caught me off guard again even though I have read the book before. It's been quite some time and I'd forgotten what her connection was to the Central Worlds.

And of course there's the very wonderful redemption of Cari against the scavangers and stupid administrator dude.

March 7, 2008

Smoke and Shadows



Smoke and Shadows, by Tanya Huff

This is the first of the "Smoke and" series by Tanya Huff. I know there's three books in it at the moment, but I'm not sure if it's meant to be a trilogy or if it'll have more books eventually. They go after the Blood Books, but they're mostly about Henry and Tony. Although for my tastes there's too much Tony and not enough Henry. But I adore Henry so that's not really a surprise.

The two of them are still living in Vancouver after moving there with Vicki (Vicki of course being long gone by now) and Tony is working as a PA for a TV studio, on a vampire show.

Plot stuff... there's something coming through from another universe and hiding in shadows. Tony, Henry, and the local wizard have to figure out how to stop the shadows and close the gate that's letting them through in the first place.

And I'm finding I don't have a heck of a lot to say about this one. I liked it, but it didn't quite grab me like the Blood Books did.

March 8, 2008

Dark Thirst



Dark Thirst, by Sara Reinke

This one is by Sara Reinke and yes, it's another vampire book.

However, this one was in the romance section so I normally wouldn't have picked it up at all, but it intrigued me because the vampire is deaf.

But, since it's a "romance" it has all that ridiculous over-written sex scene nonsense that does less than nothing for me. I ended up skimming all those parts waiting for it to get back to the story. It's not that I don't want any romance/sex/whatever in my books, but I don't need, or want, to read about it in excruciating detail.

That issue aside... the story itself was really interesting. There's this teenage vamp who was severely hurt when he was a child before he was able to heal so he ends up deaf and unable to speak. However, this shouldn't have been too much of a problem because these vamps have telepathic ability and he can talk to his family that way except that he's not allowed.

And just to push all of my buttons, they don't let the kid learn ASL until he's at least 8 or 9, and none of his family learn it. They require him to write everything down instead. That royally pisses me off when it happens in real life and it gets me just as rilled when it's in a book. I just do not understand how parents can refuse to communicate with their children. How do you go through life being unable to tell your kid you love them? Grrr!!

I'll get off my soapbox now...

The vamp rules are a little different than the norm, they can eat regular food, but they need blood too. It helps them heal faster if they get hurt, that kind of thing. And sunlight isn't an issue. This specific family is raised with the idea that feeding equals killing.

So, our main character is in his upper teens and he hates what his family is, he thinks they're monsters (and I have to agree with him on that one) but he clearly isn't so it seems to be that they're raised to be that way, not that they have to be. He doesn't want to live like them so he runs away and goes looking for the man that was his tutor when he was younger. And finds his sister instead.

The family doesn't want to let him go and they come hunting for him, and he ends up learning a lot more about who he is and what he's actually capable of doing. Which things are part of who he is and which things are just what he's always been told.

I liked the story itself a lot, she did a lot of interesting things that aren't normally part of vampire stories. I just wish the graphic crap hadn't been there.

edited August 2008 to add: this falls somewhere between examples 2 & 3 in the Romance Disclaimer

March 12, 2008

Dearly Devoted Dexter



Dearly Devoted Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay

This is the second Dexter book by Jeff Lindsay.

Well! The second season of the show was rather a departure from the second book! About the only similarity is that Doakes is following Dexter around and not letting him do his thing. Other than that... majorly different!

This one was a lot darker than the first book. Which, considering the subject matter, is saying something. There's a bad guy running around doing truly horrible things to people, but he leaves them alive (but completely ruined and insane) when he's done with them. And somehow Doakes' past is involved.

Dexter does some serious bonding with the kids, which I like. His whole "I'm not human" thing kind of falls apart when kids are involved. Of course this isn't normal bonding, since this is Dexter, but that kind of goes with the territory.

March 14, 2008

Damia



Damia, by Anne McCaffrey

This is the second book in the Hive/Talent series by Anne McCaffrey, and yes I've read this one a number of times.

It retells most of The Rowan but from Afra's perspective so you get to learn all kinds of interesting things about what was going on at the time. And how many things didn't quite happen the way the Rowan thinks they did. It continues the story past the end of the first book and has the starting of the Gwyn-Raven clan.

It's very much about Afra growing up and then taking care of Rowan; stepping aside when Jeff shows up and finally finding a family of his own. Even if he does have to wait an awfully long time for the right woman to come along!

This is also where we first meet the Mrdinis, but they aren't a big part of this book, they're a much bigger part in later books though.

March 19, 2008

Code of Conduct



Code of Conduct, by Kristine Smith

The first book of the Jani Killiam series by Kristine Smith. And it's a new author and series for me.

The whole time I was reading this I had the feeling that there's this incredibly rich backstory going on, but it's just hinted at and never completely revealed. Bits and pieces keep coming to light throughout the book. I'm assuming that more will be learned in later books, I'm certainly hoping so because there's just enough there to thoroughly intrigue me!

I want to know who these people are and how they're all connected, how they ended up where they are now. And what exactly was done to Jani? It's obviously more than just the "augie", but it's never completely explained.

The book is sci-fi, but it's more on the political intrigue side than my typical fare. There's spooks (former spooks?) aliens that like to play games, illegal medical experiments... all kinds of good stuff.

By the end I understood what was going on, mostly, in the present. But there's this undercurrent of past events that are very much not resolved. And the past is clearly very intertwined with what's going on throughout the book so I really want to know what happened!

The alien language fascinates me. It sounds like it's a combination of a spoken and gestural language, each part having different information. It's much more transparent than "human" languages, without the subtext and multiple meanings.

March 20, 2008

Moon Called



Moon Called, by Patricia Briggs

The first of the Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs...

This is a new author/series for me. The main character is a "walker" i.e. she can turn into a coyote any time she feels like it, and she was raised by werewolves (she's also half-Indian which is very much related to the walking thing). But she tries to stay out of the business of the pack as much as they'll let her.

In a departure from the norm for this genre, some of the supernatural creatures were forced to "come out" a while back so the world in general knows about the "fae" but not about the were or the vampires or any other creatures just yet. (fae being things like fairies and nymphs, but a good helping of not so nice things too) A lot of them have chosen, or been forced depending on how you look at it, to live on reservations away from the general public. It's an interesting dynamic, there's still a LOT of secrecy, but a lot more out in the open than is normal in these kind of books.

One of the local fae had been a mechanic before he was forced to out himself, and he sold her his shop when that happened. So she has a kind of mentor who is centuries old, she's been claimed by the local werewolf pack Alpha as his, and she takes care of the cars of the vampires in the area because she can't afford to pay them protection money.

The plot involves a newly-turned were who shows up starving at her shop and once he's taken in by the local Alpha things rapidly go downhill. There's kidnappings and murder and our protagonist has to figure it all out.

I liked it a lot. The characters are all very rich and there was obviously a lot of thought put into the various rules for the different groups and their histories, how they interact with humans. Since the were are who Mercy tends to be with, and that's how she was raised, there's a ton of discussion about the importance of body language and dominant/submissive behavior. I found it really interesting and I wonder how much of it people do, we just aren't really aware of it.

March 22, 2008

Blood Bound



Blood Bound, by Patricia Briggs

The second in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs...

The main plot issues are more to do with the vampires this time than the werewolves, but the were are still a very important part of it since Mercy is a member of the pack even though she isn't were herself. And they've joined the fae in being "outed" since the end of the first book. They aren't all out though, they're being very careful and only introducing some of their member at a time so as not to completely freak out the public.

Plot stuff... Stephan (vampire, but a friend) asks for a favor in return for one given in the first book. He needs Mercy to be a witness while he meets with a vamp traveling through the area because he doesn't trust his own memory (with, it turns out, good cause). The rest of the book involves everyone having to deal with that vamp and the havoc he wreaks.

There's a sequence I really liked part-way through with Mercy and Samuel when he's stuck in were form and they have to pretend he's a ginormous dog to a cop. And then the conversation they have afterwards about sticking their heads out the window while in their animal forms... it's just such a fun idea! If you could turn into a canine of some sort wouldn't you want to do that just to see what all the fuss is about?

March 23, 2008

Iron Kissed



Iron Kissed, by Patricia Briggs

This is the third book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

The main plot issue in this one involves the fae; the vamps aren't really in evidence at all except as something Mercy worries about because of events in the second book. There's been a series of murders on one of the fae reservations and they think that Mercy will be able to see through whatever magic is protecting the murderer and help them find whomever it is.

There's a lot in this one about the policing of people who can't really be bound by "human" laws. How do you punish someone who can't really be held captive and is essentially immortal? Do the humans let them take care of their own in whatever way they think is necessary? Or do they insist on following the law of the land? If your leaders tell you to sacrifice yourself for the good of your people... do you do it? Even if you're innocent?

There's also some incredibly tough stuff near the end between Adam, Mercy, and Ben. It explains a lot about why Ben is the way he is and that there is a good person inside he's just completely buried it. But oh man did I cry through that part! Both for Ben and for what Mercy went through.

March 24, 2008

SCE: Some Assembly Required



SCE: Some Assembly Required, by

This is the third SCE anthology and has ebooks numbers 9-12.

I've read this before in December of '05... but I neglected to put in anything about which stories are in it!

So this time around I will. This has the outpost full of holes, the monsters through the gate, a mining colony that needs their equipment, and a computer that's trying to teach.

The last story (the one with the computer) has some really sweet stuff with Carol (cultural specialist) at the end.

And now I've written enough to remember which stories these were (hopefully!)

March 28, 2008

Dead To Me



Dead To Me, by Anton Strout

This is by Anton Strout.

The word that kept popping into my head while I read this was "silly". I have no idea if that was intended or not!

The main character has the ability to touch an object and see what's happened around it in the past, which makes normal relationships difficult 'cuz he keeps ending up knowing more than he ought. He works for a secret government group that takes care of the paranormal goings on in NYC. The department names are all ridiculous, there's the "Things that go bump in the night division", the "fraternal order of goodness"... they're all just kinda goofy. It's this weird combination of government bureaucracy and psychics and ghosts.

Plot-wise... a ghost shows up and needs help but doesn't remember anything about who she is. So our hero has to figure out how to help her and finds an evil organization along the way. And it's just as weird as the one he works for, all office workers and red tape and clipboards. It's silly!

March 31, 2008

A Hymn Before Battle



A Hymn Before Battle, by John Ringo

This is the first book by John Ringo that I've read, and it's the first of the Posleen series.

He's one of the Baen sci-fi guys and since I like both Weber and Flint I figured it was about time I give Ringo a try!

The book is set in 2001/2002 so it has a more familiar feel than a lot of sci-fi since it's set more "now". It's full of current military alphabet soup stuff which can be hard to follow. I'm assuming if you're from that world and know what all the ranks and jargon mean it's easier! The story itself makes sense, it just sometimes takes me a bit to figure out who the people are and who's reporting to whom.

The basic plot is that there's these very non-violent aliens who are being attacked by another group of aliens who are not non-violent at all. They can't defend themselves and since Earth is in the path of the bad guys they ask Earth for help, both to save the aliens and to save Earth since it'll be over-run as well.

There was one little thing I noticed that I'm hoping pays off in future books! There's a word that the Posleen use that is extremely similar to a word one of the main characters' AID uses. It made me think that there's another group working behind the scenes of both groups of aliens but I could be reading too much into it, we'll see!

About March 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Sunidesus Reads in March 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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