April 19th, 2009

Books

Books...

When the Tide Rises — David Drake

Another episode in the Aubrey/Maturin inspired Leary/Mundy series. Despite my dislike for certain background details, I am enjoying these books far more than recent Honorverse books. For one thing, there is far less exposition. For another, I find it far more interesting to see what Daniel Leary can do by firing, say, two missiles at an enemy ship than Honor Harrington can do firing 60,000 or so.

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Escape from Hell — Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

The recently released sequel to Inferno. Carpenter has tried to take over Benito's mission of helping souls escape from Hell, but hasn't been very successful. The book opens with him telling his story to one of the trees in the grove of suicides, who turns out to be Sylvia Plath. He manages to free her from her treehood, and together they head for the exit at the center of Hell.

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Soul Music — Terry Pratchett

It is said that whosoever the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. In fact, whosoever the gods wish to destroy, they first hand the equivalent of a stick with a fizzing fuse and Acme Dynamite Company written on the side. It's more interesting, and doesn't take so long.

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Storm from the Shadows — David Weber

I had hopes. The Shadow of Saganami was supposed to be the first of an Honorverse series that did not involve Harrington and the interminable politics and incredibly lame soap opera surrounding her. It still had annoyances, but for the most part was mostly about action rather than talking heads. Now comes this second book, and it's almost entirely talking heads, and worse, the talking heads are just rehashing the same information over and over and over. Plus there is again the whole massive overkill syndrome (The fleet had all the latest defensive technology, but even that couldn't stop all of the 60,000 missiles now heading for it...) It's not really a sequel to SoS, although a couple of characters continue from that book, but rather it first retells the end of the last Honor Harrington book from Michelle Henke's point of view, and then spends the next 600 pages or so setting up a cliffhanger that will be resolved in the next Harrington book. (Weber's new technological twist is apparently a starfaring analog to modern submarine warfare.) Incredibly disappointing. Feh.