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April 2008 Archives

April 2, 2008

High Stakes



High Stakes, by Erin McCarthy

This is the first of the Vegas Vampires series by Erin McCarthy.

First off... this is another one that I started reading before I realized it was a "romance" book and once I've started a book it has to be spectacularly bad to get me to stop reading it. So I did my standard "skim the crap parts" and just read the actual story parts.

I just don't understand the hormonal stuff. I have absolutely no frame of reference for that and I just don't get characters who give in to their urges and all that. It seems so unbelievable to me. Do normal people ever really feel like that? Are they ever so completely driven to distraction by someone else's body? That honestly never happens to me. I have to be told to look at someone before I'll notice if they're cute/hot/whatever.

I want to know what's wrong with all of them! Why on earth are they behaving that way? Do they really have that little control of themselves? See what I mean? No frame of reference. I have zero ability to understand this stuff. It just confuses me.

However, between the skimming and it not being a very long book in the first place and a very easy reading one at that I read this in a day.

On to the actual plot...

First off, the vamp rules: they can be in the sun but it wears them out, they only drink blood, but almost always from blood banks not from "live donors", they have some telepathic/compelling abilities, and can fly. They get stronger as they get older... I think that's most of it. They also have a democratic government system and the main dude is the current Vampire President. (the term of office is 40 years)

The main female character is mortal and trying to get her sister away from the crazy rich guy (who is Mr. Pres but she doesn't know that at first) and ends up falling for him. Someone is trying to kill him and he's in the midst of a re-election campaign so she starts off as a political girlfriend since it'll look good to his constituents to have a mortal girlfriend.

Good grief, there really isn't much in the way of plot. They don't even find out who's trying to kill him by the end of the book (the reader knows, the characters don't). Of course she gets attacked near the end and the only way to save her is to do the obvious. And since it's cheesy romance land she's his "chosen one" so they end up getting married after knowing each other for all of two weeks.

edited August 2008 to add: This falls under example 1 in the Romance Disclaimer

April 5, 2008

Rules of Conflict



Rules of Conflict, by Kristine Smith

Second book in the Jani Kilian series by Kristine Smith...

First off, a ton of the questions I had after reading the first book were indeed answered in this one. A lot of the back story is fleshed out and there's more of an explaination of what exactly happened to Jani.

By shortly into the book she isn't hiding any more, but because of what happened in the past she thinks she should be in a ton more trouble than she is. There's multiple people pulling the strings on that one, some trying to help her and some trying to help themselves by getting her out of the way.

The poor woman keeps having major health issues (again, related to the past stuff).

Other important things... Nema conives to get her recognized by another leader (I think it's the leader of the secular stuff for his species, where he's the religious leader) and that's somehow part of his master plan.

There's a lot of people pulling her in every which direction for their own reasons and not a whole heck of a lot of concern for what she wants. Which is obviously frustrating for her!

The albino character (Shroud) fascinates me. The way he's described is really interesting. That he knows he looks different to "normal" people and uses it to his advantage in whatever ways he can.

The "augie" concept is really interesting too. That there's these soldiers and retired soldiers that aren't completely in control of their own minds and reactions. They have to basically reset the augmentation stuff (it's called a "takedown" in the books) every so often or the person goes nuts. But there's such a loss of control involved in that.

April 7, 2008

Bit the Jackpot



Bit the Jackpot, by Erin McCarthy

Second in the Vegas Vamps series by Erin McCarthy...

I'm not going to rehash my romance issues from the first book, just assume that everything I said there is still true. I'm just going to do a little plot business...

This one is more about Seamus the campaign manager and the woman he turns near the beginning of the book. They do finally figure out what's going on with someone trying to kill Mr. Pres so that gets dealt with.

And that's all I have to say about that!

edited August 2008 to add: This falls under example 1 in the Romance Disclaimer

April 8, 2008

Gimp



Gimp, by Mark Zupan

Auto-biography by Mark Zupan...

If you've seen the documentary Murderball, this is the auto-biography of one of the main guys in the movie. If you haven't seen it... go rent it! It's really good!

Anyway, the book is about his life from childhood on up. It goes through 2004ish I think. Through the events of the documentary at least and just a bit past that.

April 9, 2008

Hammered



Hammered, by Elizabeth Bear

First in the Wetwired/Jenny Casey series by Elizabeth Bear...

I've already started the second one in this series and it picks up pretty much exactly where this one leaves off. I'm curious if the three books (I think there's just three in the series, but I'm not positive, I haven't looked it up) were written together and then published as seperate books since they would have been a massive brick of a thing all together.

It's set about 50 years in the future and a large portion of it is in Canada and there's little French bits thrown in here and there which I quite enjoyed. Most of it isn't translated (you can kind of get the gist from context and so far it hasn't been anything terribly important) and I'm enjoying figuring it out and seeing how much of it I can get without looking up any words. As an aside.. I have no idea what I did with my French-English dictionary or my 501 French Verbs book! They were both falling apart, but they still worked and I wouldn't have tossed them. My German-French dictionary I have, but that isn't very helpful since my German is pitiful, my French at least doesn't completely suck!

Anyway! Governments have gotten in bed with corporations for money reasons. (more than now, and more overtly) The U.S. is rather messed up and Canada is competing with China to get a new space/starship technology working first.

There's a number of different people/stories happening simultaneously and they do all eventually come together, but it takes a bit. Most of it is in 3rd person, but one of the storylines (the one with the main character) is in 1st person.

There's also interesting stuff going on with the concept of artificial intelligence. If one is created and becomes self-aware does it then have rights? Or is it still just a thing and you can do whatever you want with it?

So, main character has been trying to stay away from the Canadian military for the past decade or so but has been found and they want her to come back and pilot this starship that they're building. There's something about the way she's adapted to having cybernetic prosthesis and implants that makes them think she'll be able to do this when no one else has. There seems to be a lot going on behind the scenes (and having started the second book now, that's continuing and we're learning more about motivations and all of that fun stuff)

April 13, 2008

Scardown



Scardown, by Elizabeth Bear

Second in the Wetwired/Jenny Casey series by Elizabeth Bear...

This picks up pretty much right after the first one ends.

We get to find out a lot more about the Chinese program which is set up quite a bit differently than the Canadian one. There's more of an obvious sacrifice involved for their pilots because of how the nano-enhancement stuff is done and how it affects them.

The AI gets a lot more involved in what's going on too. He's really interesting, and I liked that he started to be more involved instead of just being this voice in a couple people's heads.

There's also some really sad stuff partway through involving something the Chinese do to try to thwart the Canadians and then what our main characters have to do to try to prevent/mitigate the damage done.

I'm liking this series quite a bit, I've started something else as my next book, but I'll probably read the third in this series fairly soon. I want to know what happens with the new arrivals!

April 16, 2008

Nightlife



Nightlife, by Rob Thurman

First in a series by Rob Thurman... I've seen it labeled both as the Cal Leandros series and the Nightlife series. It falls into that contemporary/urban fantasy genre.

So yeah, one of the characters is half human, half Auphe/Grendel/monster, and there's werewolves and a vampire and Robin Goodfellow (ya know, from A Midsummer Night's Dream?) but mostly I think it's about these two brothers and how much they love each other. They really only have each other and they're both desperate not to lose the other. It's a really sweet relationship.

Basic plot stuff so I remember the book... the Auphe want to go back to a time before there were so many humans, but they can't do that on their own and of course their plans involve our protagonists.

April 18, 2008

Moonshine



Moonshine, by Rob Thurman

Second in the Cal Leandros/Nightlife series by Rob Thurman...

So now the guys have a couple more people in their lives that they care about, and they think they bad guys that have been stalking them since Cal was born are all gone so they think they can settle down a bit and try to have a "normal" life. Of course this doesn't go well, but you knew that already.

One of their new friends disappears and they end up having to find a specific object in order to get her back. And there's all kinds of interesting "people" along the way.

April 21, 2008

Madhouse



Madhouse, by Rob Thurman

Third in the Cal Leandros/Nightlife series by Rob Thurman...

First off, it is not nice to end a book on a cliff-hanger when the next book in the series isn't out yet! Not nice at all!

The basics... this crazy canibal monster has come back to life and the guys have to stop him. Meanwhile someone is trying to kill Robin for reasons unknown.

There's a lot of interesting internal stuff going on with Cal in this one. He's finally becoming attached to people other than his brother and he doesn't know how to deal with that, how to deal with caring for other people and worrying about them. And of course he's still trying to figure out what it means for him to be half-Auphe. Does using those abilities make him closer to them? Less human? Or is it just using what he has?

On a totally shallow note, I really want Niko to get his braid from the first book back. I know, hair takes a long time to get that long, but it was such a neat detail. I really liked it, and I miss it.

April 26, 2008

Bled Dry



Bled Dry, by Erin McCarthy

3rd in Vegas Vamps series by Erin McCarthy...

Clearly I have issues, I don't particularly like the romance nonsense in this series and yet I keep reading it. Oh well.

This one focuses on Brittany and Corbin (the Frenchman) and their baby, and all the political ramifications of said baby.

edited August 2008 to add: This falls under example 1 in the Romance Disclaimer

April 27, 2008

Sucker Bet



Sucker Bet, by Erin McCarthy

Fourth in the Vegas Vamps series by Erin McCarthy...

Again... I have issues... but I think this is the last one available (at least right now, no idea if there's more planned) so I should be able to stay in genres I enjoy more than this one.

This one is mostly about Gwenna (sister of Mr. Pres) and Nate (mortal cop) and the two of them meeting and falling madly in love within days and all that ridiculousness. There's also some business with a "slayer e-mail ring".

edited August 2008 to add: This falls under example 1 in the Romance Disclaimer

April 29, 2008

Damia's Children



Damia's Children, by Anne McCaffrey

Third in the Talent/Hive series by Anne McCaffrey... and yes, this is a re-read. There's something very atractive to me about this series so I tend to go back to it.

This one follows some of Damia and Afra's kids as they start to have their own lives and jobs and figure out what they want to do with themselves (within the restraints of being Primes of course).

The Mrdini are a big part of the series from here on out, the eldest of the kids is sent to be Tower Prime on their home world. The boys join the Navy to help hunting down the Hive spheres, and there's the capture of the queen.

And that's the important stuff! I've said before how much I enjoy this series so I think that's it for this one!

About April 2008

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

March 2008 is the previous archive.

May 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.