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March 2011 Archives

March 31, 2011

Trouble and Her Friends

Trouble and Her Friends, by Melissa Scott

This is one of those books that I have pulled off the shelf at the library and book stores I don't know how many times and just didn't quite get around to reading. It was originally published in 1994 so I've been thinking it looked interesting since high school.

Finally got around to it and quite enjoyed it!

The imagining of how what is essentially the internet works is really cool and reminds me a bit of Hackers. Except that I always thought the Hackers world was how those kids imagined what they were doing, while in this book the people really do travel into a virtual world. Or at least their minds do. It's something that I think is really attractive, the idea that there could be a pseudo-physical representation of lines of code. That security features would be actual walls that could be breached instead of just code. It's certainly much more interesting that way!

Character-wise, there's a couple main characters and a lot of it has to do with friendship and loyalty. Reconnecting after a number of years and figuring out how to rebuild that relationship.

There's also a lot of interesting legal and government/law-enforcement stuff that I think remains very relevant. Who exactly has jurisdiction over what happens in a virtual space? What happens when countries can't or won't agree on that issue?

March 25, 2011

Half the Blood of Brooklyn

Half the Blood of Brooklyn, by Charlie Huston

Third in the Joe Pitt series by Charlie Huston.

Joe is now working for one of the clans instead of going it alone. Which is how he ends up having to deal with a war between a couple of smaller clans in New Jersey. His girlfriend is also not doing well and he ends up having to finally make a decision regarding infecting/saving her or letting her die.

For some reason this one struck me as a lot more violent and crude than the previous two. There were a number of parts where the language and events bothered me, which isn't something I remember happening in the first two books. I have no idea if the series has actually escalated or if I'm not remembering the previous books accurately.

March 23, 2011

American Gods

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

I so badly wanted to like this book. I see it being raved about constantly, it's hugely popular in sf/f circles, and it's by Neil Gaiman for crying out loud! But I just didn't. I hate it when that happens, I always feel like I've failed somehow.

Meeting all the different gods and learning all those myths was interesting. And being from Wisconsin I liked all the Midwest bits (and really need to go to House on the Rock someday), but unfortunately that's about as far as it went for me. It just never really felt like it was going anywhere. Lots and lots of back-story and exposition for all these people, but I had a hard time finding the purpose in all of it. It felt like I was waiting and waiting for the book to get going, and then it was over.

March 9, 2011

The Other Human Race

Fuzzy Sapiens (The Other Human Race), by H. Beam Piper

This is the second Fuzzy book by H. Beam Piper. The issues I had with the first one remain, which is unsurprising. But again, the story itself is good and enjoyable.

There is a bit of a paternalistic attitude towards the Fuzzies, which grates on me personally a bit, but the Fuzzies themselves seem to want to be taken care of by the big people. And there are people who want to take advantage of them so some degree of protection does seem to be necessary.

Plot stuff... Fuzzies are being kidnapped and the good guys need to figure out who's behind it and why, as well as rescuing the Fuzzies of course.

March 6, 2011

Little Fuzzy

Little Fuzzy, by H. Beam Piper

I hadn't read this before, but with John Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation coming out I wanted to read the original.

The story itself is really cute, it's fun to imagine intelligent stuffed animals. It's really easy to care about them and want things to work out for them. Also, the reactions from the corporate world in the book make complete sense, as nasty as they are.

However, it is very obviously a product of the time in which it was written. The rampant sexism is a little hard to overlook and tends to pull me out of the story. The technological anachronisms are also a bit glaring, but for some reason those don't bother me quite as much. They're still very obvious, but don't bother me as much as the sexism does.

March 4, 2011

River Marked

River Marked, by Patricia Briggs

This is the sixth in Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series.

I love this series. The characters are well done, the various relationships work and make sense to me, they end up being people I care about.

This one felt a bit different from the previous books in the series, but I think that's because it was more focused on Mercy and Adam for the majority of the book, and they were off on their honeymoon away from the rest of the pack. Much as I love the two of them, I found myself missing everyone else.

Reading this series I've really enjoyed the way the various magical groups have been explored. Each book has focused more on one specific group which I think has worked really well. This time it's finally Mercy's turn. Since she doesn't really know that much about her own origins it was quite fun to discover them along with her.

I'm personally not as familiar with most Native American legends so I found all of that really interesting. It made me want to look up the stories, particularly since there was quite a bit of teasing about which version of specific stories was told.

General plot stuff... Mercy and Adam end up spending their honeymoon near a specific river at the request of the Gray Lords. People have been dying there and they think a fae is responsible. So Mercy and Adam have to deal with that and end up getting help from Mercy's magical side of the family.

March 2, 2011

Dog Days

Dog Days, by John Levitt

This is the first in an urban fantasy series by John Levitt. It has a lot of the "normal" urban fantasy elements... people with some amount of magic ability that are unknown to the general population and they have some way of policing themselves.

The main character, Mason, has a "pet" sort-of-dog (Lou) that is somehow tied to his magical talents. The "pets" (Ifrits) are rare and something that only a few practitioners have.

We start out with someone or something trying to kill Mason. He, of course, manages to escape with help from Lou. After some investigating it turns out that another practitioner has been stealing power from others and is getting up to all kinds of mischief. Mason then has to stop him.

All in all it's a pretty decent book. Not up there with my all time favorites in the genre, but still good.

About March 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Sunidesus Reads in March 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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