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review 2017-03-25 03:23
Review: The Science of Discworld II: The Globe (Discworld Book 35 of 50ish)
The Globe: The Science of Discworld II: A Novel - Terry Pratchett,Jack Cohen,Ian Stewart

My reaction to the second Science of Discworld book is similar to my reaction to the first.  As before, the book alternates between short, fictional chapters that tell a Discworld story and longer chapters that discuss real-world (mostly) science. 

 

I enjoyed the fictional chapters.  The story was pretty entertaining, but it made up the smaller portion of the book.  The science parts, as with the first book, focus heavily on theory and origin topics whereas I would have preferred a heavier emphasis on more practical topics.  No doubt other people prefer it exactly the way it is.  There were definitely parts that interested me, and parts that made me chuckle, but there were also a lot of parts that induced yawns.

 

I also found it rather repetitive.  At least a couple things were repeated from the first book, and there were some themes that the authors went on about over and over.  Religion seems to be a particularly favorite topic.  Even though I agree with most of their points about religion, they really overdid it, especially when considering it was also discussed quite a bit in the first book.  To totally misuse a metaphor, I wanted them to stop preaching to the choir and spend more time on actual science.  And, for people who don’t belong to this particular choir, I can imagine they would be even more annoyed.  Trust me, repeating something over and over isn’t influential; it’s just irritating.

 

Skimming through some reviews over on Goodreads, I don’t see many people who had a similar reaction, so maybe it just boils down to me being the wrong audience for this set of books.  In any case, I plan to skip the last two science books.

 

In the header, I’ve changed my series book count from “53ish” to “50ish”.  This accounts for the two Science books I don’t plan to read, plus another book I had on my list that I realized isn’t actually a Discworld story and wasn’t written by Pratchett: Mrs. Bradshaw’s Handbook.  It didn’t look terribly interesting to me, so I scratched it off the list also.

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review 2017-03-25 00:19
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Discworld #28)
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Discworld, #28) - Terry Pratchett

The piped piper comes to a town in Uberwald, but finds that he’s late to the show that features cats, rats, and stupid-looking kids talking to one another.  The twenty-eighth and first young adult entry of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents finds the residents—new and old, human and nonhuman—town of Bad Blintz figuring out the fine line between real life and a story.  The aim to bring the same Pratchett humor that adults love to a younger audience is on target.

 

A mixed troupe of “rat piper” con-artists arrive just outside the town of Bad Blintz lead by a streetwise tomcat, who a clan of talking rats and a stupid-looking kid named Keith on the streets of Ankh-Morpork.  But everyone is getting fed up with just going around and doing the same old thing, the rats want to find a home to build their society and the kid would like to play more music.  Maurice is just interest in money and hiding the guilty for how he gained the ability to speak, but he found more than he’s bargaining for in Bad Blintz because something weird is going on even his talkative rat associate find disturbing.  Soon the troupe find out that they have stumbled into a long running conspiratorial plan hatched from a surprising source.

 

As always, Pratchett connects his humor around a well-known fairy tale or story then completely turns it on its head when the same circumstances happen on Discworld even as the characters fight their own preconceptions when comparing “stories” to “real life”.  The fact that he ably brought his unique style to a young adult market without losing any of the punch from the jokes makes this a very good book.  Although some of the sections of the book were somewhat familiar to a long-time Pratchett reader does take a little away from the book, it doesn’t necessarily ruin the book for first time readers.

 

Terry Pratchett’s first Discworld foray into the young adult genre is classic Pratchett through targeted at a younger audience.  I found it as funny as the rest of his series, but some of the plot points were simpler than his usual work for obvious reasons.  However this minor fact doesn’t ruin a very good book.

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text 2017-03-18 19:32
Lords and Ladies - progress 10/374 pg
Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14) - Terry Pratchett

"This was octarine grass country. Good growing country, especially for corn. And here was a field of it, waving gently between the hedges. Not a big field. Not a remarkable one, really. I was just a field with corn in it, except of course during the winter, when there were just pigeons and crows in it."

 

I'm not sure why I find Pratchett's writing so funny. But I do, and this book is off to a good start. 

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review 2017-03-04 19:12
Review: Thief of Time (Discworld Book 31 of 53ish)
Thief of Time (Discworld, #26) - Terry Pratchett

Thief of Time is the fifth and final(!) book in the Death subseries of Discworld.  I’ve always been a little iffy on this subseries, but I think this was my favorite of the five books.  The general story is that an Auditor has commissioned a clockmaker, Jeremy, to make a special clock.  What the Auditor doesn’t tell Jeremy is that this clock will supposedly have the power to stop time, bringing an end, or at least a permanent pause, to the Discworld. 

 

Death didn’t actually get that much page time in this book.  Maybe that’s partly why I enjoyed it.  I like Death in small doses, when he’s being funny or clever or profound, but he starts to grate on my nerves in larger doses.  This was especially true in the first three books where he essentially shirked his responsibilities and let other people take up the slack for him.  Meanwhile, he went off and had what would be considered a mid-life crisis if he were a human.  Happily, Death has seemed better-grounded in these last two books, so I’ve started enjoying his character more.

 

In this book, we finally get a chance to learn more about the Auditors.  Unsurprisingly, Susan shows up again.  I enjoyed most of her sections, especially the ones at the beginning.  I also really liked the characters of Lu-Tze and Lobsang who take up a large portion of the story.  They’re mostly just your stereotypical well-respected and mysterious monk with his exceptionally clever but impatient apprentice, at least at first, but they were fun characters.  The master/apprentice portrayal is a common plot device in fantasy, but it’s one that I tend to enjoy. 

 

I expected this book to earn 4 stars up until maybe the last 25% or so, at which point I started to lose interest in the story.  Somehow the climatic events were the most boring parts to me, I think because it went too far into “random chaos” territory at times.  In the end, I decided on a rating of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 on Goodreads.

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review 2017-02-15 07:15
Quick Reading Updates, Book Bingo, & Musings on Writing
Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction - John Byrne,Mike Mignola

 

I finished Hellboy Vol. 1 Seed of Destruction & loved every bit of it. I would have loved it even more, if there was more Liz to go around. The artwork is so beautiful but what do I know because I haven’t read more than ten graphic novels/comics in my life.

However, that is all about to change!

 

Currently Eyeing.jpg

 

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Another graphic novel that I am loving because look how pretty!

 

Almost done with Asimov’s Science Fiction: Hugo & Nebula Award Winning Stories, which is the book that got me thinking. At the moment, I am engrossed in one of the stories featured in it, Barnacle Bill the Spacer, by Lucius Shepard. It is so unabashedly geeky and based on barnacles that I had to stop and think. It includes chunks about Barnacle biology & yet I am loving it. It reminds me of my 5k-word long short story, The Better to See You With. Not being able to publish it so far, I have been thinking if its the science that is preventing its acceptance. Shepard’s story has given me hope. Now all I have to worry about is that it might not get published because it is a sucky story. Phew!

Book Bingo continues with my girls from work. We already finished one round of reading & rolled the dice a second time. Check out the categories that we included in that super-bad picture below:

 

1

 

My teammate & I have complete our book for O i.e. New to You Author & are now looking for a book that will fit the requirements for N i.e. Non-Human Character. So far, I am looking at these three:

 

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