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Old 04-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #13036
Synamon
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I finished 1222 by Anne Holt, which I posted about here earlier. It did plod along a bit and the resolution was too pat for me, but the setting and the unusual characters more than made up for those shortcomings. It lost out to Gone by Mo Hayder for the Best Novel Edgar over the weekend.

The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam
by Chris McEwan was next for me. Quick read with an author/thief as the main character. Not terribly realistic, but there were enough possible suspects to keep me guessing for a while. Lawrence Block's Burglar capers are favourites of mine and I prefer them to this new series.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:49 PM   #13037
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About two thirds of the way through the first Repairman Jack novel (The Tomb). Thoroughly enjoying it; at this rate I'm going to end up buying the other dozen or so
I love Repairman Jack! Go Jack! The Legacies (written 14 years later) continues the story. I think these two were my absolute favorites, although The Tomb was the best of the two, I think. It may have been because I loved Jack's character. I have the rest of the series, but haven't finished the last of them. I may need to revisit these.

I've a few books started, but haven't settled on which on is grabbing my attention. I may have to search through my TBR pile for something else.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:58 PM   #13038
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Kate Shugak Series by Dana Stabenow

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I've just finished reading book 10, The God of the Hive, which was actually a second installment of the story line begun in book 9, The Language of Bees. It sure didn't disappoint!!

I've just now read the 1st chapter of the latest book in the series, book 11, The Pirate King (2011 release) and I was both disappointed, (really, Mary Russell with the tin ear involved in a Gilbert & Sullivan production!!!) and at the same time, intrigued. I'll just bet that my disappointment will be alleviated before long. Onward!

I've just finished reading the most recently published book in the Mary Russell series, book 11, The Pirate King and it, like the rest of the books in this series, was a good read. There's a 12th book in the series that's being released this September, called Garment of Shadows. I look forward to it.

So I've just starting to read book 6 in Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series (always a good read), Blood Will Tell.


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Old 04-28-2012, 10:57 PM   #13039
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Those are her first two novels. I don't think Adversary was written first, but I think it was written more quickly.
The Mysterious Affair At Styles was the fist book she wrote but The Secret Adversary is the first Tommy and Tuppence book.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:45 PM   #13040
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Field of Dishonor (HH 4) by David Weber. its interesting but man is it slow going.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:13 AM   #13041
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I started last night to re-read The Two Towers - J.R.R Tolkien and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson.

I'm 10 percent through The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Last edited by AlexGrama; 04-29-2012 at 04:13 AM. Reason: LOL. Stieg Larsson is John Steinbeck.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:34 AM   #13042
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F&SF March/April 2012 by Spilogale authors.
Two short stories I particularly enjoyed were "The Tortoise Grows Elate", mainly for the Jane Austen references, and "The Queen and the Cambion", a nice take on Queen Victoria and Merlin. None of the other stories really grabbed me at all, although none were dreadful. (Well, "The Man Who Murdered Mozart" was irritating.)

An average issue.

Next: Black Star Rising by Frederick Pohl.

I'm sure I've read this before, but I only remember one character, not the plot!
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:56 AM   #13043
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Reading the eARC of Dragon Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. This hit the Baenebooks site yesterday, and I downloaded it directly to Kindle Keyboard, over 3g since I was sitting waiting for the ferry and had finished my Audible book (Scholoar by L. E. Modesitt Jr.)

Dragon Ship is a direct continuation of Ghost Ship and it has already grabbed me and interfered with sleep. I expect to finish it today. Highly recommended if you've been following the Theo Watley arc of the Liaden Universe.

Scholar is set in the same universe as the Imager series, but is a completely different story arc and pre-dates the events of Imager by some undefined amount of time. Read by William Dufries, this is an excellent series that is very well read. The amount of time spent talking about the "Nameless" is still a bit too much, but that's one reason these make perfect Audible books. Somehow that becomes easier to ignore in an audiobook. Overall, I still very much enjoy the series, and I look forward with anticipation to the next one in this part of the story arc. Due out next month, I believe.

Finally, for an Audible book, I started reading 1632 by Eric Flint. This is an excellent book, highly recommended, with a fascinating alternate universe/history that is very fully fleshed and consistent. I've read it as a Baen Free Library book and it's now available as an Audible book, so time to re-read it.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:13 PM   #13044
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Just Finished:

- The Rook by Daniel O'Malley - I can't say enough good things about this book. It grabbed my attention from the first page and didn't let go until I'd finished all 441 pages. It's a slightly more adult version of Harry Potter, X-Men, and Ghostbusters, with some Bourne Identity and Memento thrown in for good measure. The main character, Myfanwy (rhymes with Tiffany) Thomas, finds herself in a London park surrounded by dead bodies wearing latex gloves, covered in bruises and cuts with two black eyes, holding a letter that reads, "Dear You: the body you are wearing used to be mine." She remembers nothing but very soon discovers both that someone is trying to kill her and that she possesses supernatural powers.

Eventually she discovers she is a high-ranking official in a British supernatural government agency, and one of her coworkers ordered the attack on her. She's got to figure out who it was, while discovering her powers and her job simultaneously without letting on that she has no idea who she is.

The book is fantastic and I hope there are more to come. I also want a movie version of this book right now.

Currently Reading:

- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (second time) (42%)

- Moby-Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville (24%)

- Skeleton Crew by Stephen King (35%) [on hold]
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:30 PM   #13045
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Just finished a very odd book - The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith. It started out quite creepily well - as the story of an IR (information retrieval) specialist .... aka expert in torture .... for hire. I was hoping for some character development/explication, but the story turned into a sort of "redemption of the outlaw" tale when he decides to rescue a boy rather than torture him for information. The book then descended into some rather far-fetched chase scenarios and a totally unbelievable ending.

Some great original characters, including the "hero" Geiger were introduced, but Smith let the chase scenes overtake the story and its players.

With a better editor, this could have been an intriguing read.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:09 AM   #13046
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Finished quite a number of things recently. Most relevant to mention at the same time:

3 books in The Chronicles of Lucifer Jones series by Mike Resnick were offered free/discounted this month as science fiction/fantasy backlist republisher Phoenix Pick Press' April Free eBook of the Month with tie-in deal (still going for the next day). I basically bought the 2 sequels for $1.99 each based on previous experience with Resnick's work, since I hadn't read any of these before this.

Fun comedic satirical adventure spoofs. Each book thus far has thoroughly unrepentant con-man preacher Lucifer Jones (hoping to get enough money to establish his Tabernacle) bouncing from country to country on 3 different continents thus far (1 continent per book), and getting booted from them for generally swindling and law-breaking along the way. Lots of mock-pastiches of familiar classics such as Tarzan (especially hilarious), Sherlock Holmes, Prisoner of Zenda, Shangri-La, Fu Manchu, Charlie Chan, etc.

Medium recommend if you think you might like this sort of thing. Funny overall, but some writing tics make the stories a bit repetitive at points. However, each chapter presents a reasonably standalone story which you can read in small doses, and Our Anti-Hero doesn't always come out on top, and in fact gets his well-deserved comeuppance several times.

Also I'll warn that since these are retro-historical adventure spoofs set in the 20s-30s colonial period, there's some stereotyping colonialist attitudes used in the first-person narrative, if you think you might be bothered by such. No actual slurs, though. And it mocks the Europeans as benighted heathens as well.

Another sci-fi spoof that I finished was my first title out of the bottomless KDP Select freebie slushpile, Farthest Space: The Wrath of Jan by Ellen Fisher, who is a Bantam-published romance author, which was a parody mildly erotic f/m romance based on Star Trek, with a Captain Kirk/Zapp Brannigan from Futurama analogue, and a repressed genderflipped Spock from the "Canvul" planet of hardcore partygoers.

Lots of fun. This had a basic plot setup of an old disgruntled adversary hijacking the starship and stranding the Captain, First Officer, and AI ship's computer on a mostly-deserted planet, where they have to work together to figure out a way to thwart the hijacker's plans, and incidentally work out their long-simmering Unresolved Sexual Tension.

Plenty of good-natured poking at the narrative conventions of the Original Star Trek series, plus some jokes from Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and various other sfnal sources. And while the protagonists did eventually break down and have hawt sexyfuntimes together as expected, a good chunk of the book was actually devoted to the hijacker-plan-thwarting and logistical problem-solving, interspersed with their destined-couples' bickering about their interpersonal situation.

Medium recommend if you're in the mood for sfnal spoof mildly-erotic f/m romances. I quite liked this and the author sells it for 99 cents, which seems fairly reasonable for a decently-written novella-length work by an established backlist author.

And speaking of erotic not-really-romance spoofs of classic genre fiction, read my 2nd KDP Select freebie which seems to be the gender-flipped porno parody version of the old-school "Biggles" series of aviation adventure tales.

Alas, Jiggles and the Test Pilot, by Mary Tales, helpfully subtitled "the erotic adventures of a lady aviator and her chums" was one of those cases of gazing into the abyss that is the aforementioned bottomless KDP Select freebie slushpile of Sturgeon's Law-mandated 90% crap. Although this probably only falls into the 40th percentile of crap.

This initially had a promising sort of setup, but was immediately marred by poor formatting and choppy sentence construction and punctuation from the get-go. Aside from that, the short story is reasonably coherent for an plain old erotic sex romp, but the writing simply isn't very good (though considerably above that of other dedicated porntastic erotica listings I've seen the hover-over blurbs for when scanning eReader IQ, which says sad things about the state of English language education for persons for whom I presume it is their first language).

There was also a certain amount of contrivance in getting the characters to engage in their 4-way partner-switching mini-orgy, which I kind of appreciate the author thought she had to provide some sort of quasi-reasonable excuse for 30s English upper-middle-class types to display mutual attraction and accompanying shedding of inhibition sufficient to engage in* rather than everyone just dropping trou at the drop of the hat.

But personally, if I were going to chase a cow out of a pasture so someone could emergency-land their circling plane, I would spare the minute or so to put my clothes back on, or at least a pair of sturdy boots, because you don't want to know what those cows have been doing in that pasture and what if it steps on your foot?

Anyway, despite its flaws I did kind of like this (but then I like stuff with retro-30s aviation and aviatrixes in general, even without the hypothetical porno parody inducement), and I'm mildly intrigued by a follow-up tale which apparently involves an archaeological adventure as the basis for its sexcapades.

But there's no way I'd pay any price above "free" to morbid-curiosity-read it unless the author seriously cleans up their work, so to speak, because deep in my heart, I know that I myself could write a considerably better, or at least more structurally coherent and properly-punctuated porno parody erotic adventure of a lady aviator and her chums, and I'd only charge 99 cents to boot.

Can't recommend, though I do give the author props for a reasonable depiction of varying bisexual attraction to both men and women in all the characters involved, which sadly, does not often happen in better-written and officially-marketed erotic romances. And it was kind of fun in places†.

* I will refrain from making a No Sex Please, We're British joke if you lie back and think of England.

† Not tingly places, mind you.

Last edited by ATDrake; 04-30-2012 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Change tense because I've certainly read them now.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:46 AM   #13047
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re-reading The Long Walk. its the only stephen king book i like. it was brought up in another forum and i got the urge to read it again.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:53 AM   #13048
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TNext: Black Star Rising by Frederick Pohl.
A reasonably promising start, but fades in the middle and then stops after one main plot point gets resolved. Not his best.

I suspect that the reason I didn't remember it is that (apart from one character) is just isn't very memorable.

Next: Beyond Heaven's River by Greg Bear.

From my May 2011 mass buy at Fictionwise.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:48 AM   #13049
DrNefario
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I finished Foundation and Empire. I didn't think very much of it. It certainly didn't keep me up at night.

Back onto the second half of A Dance with Dragons, now, I think, and then it's probably time for something that's not SF or fantasy.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:59 AM   #13050
Stitchawl
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I finished Foundation and Empire. I didn't think very much of it. It certainly didn't keep me up at night.
Did you read 'Foundation' before you read 'Foundation and Empire?' The one you read is in the middle of the trilogy and really requires knowledge of what went on in the first book. When read in order, it's thrilling read. Please read the first book now, and you will have a very different opinion about the second. The third obviously will fall right into place. As it is, you came in in the middle of the movie...

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