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review 2015-01-27 01:14
The Breach
The Breach - Patrick Lee

I've just finished The Breach by Patrick Lee and I loved it. 


The book doesn't fit neatly into any one genre.   At it's core it is a fast paced action/adventure with very strong thriller elements wrapped up in an original science fiction plot.


Comparing it to television/movies, the closest would be: Bourne trilogy meets X-files meets 24.


The action scenes are extremely visceral.  It is a violent read without being gratuitous.  The characters are complex, which is fairly uncommon when it comes to the action/adventure genre, and the storyline is the most original I have read since 'Search for the Buried Bomber'.


I love a fast-paced action-thriller with and intelligent plot with incredible twists and the Breach has them all.


One thing to remember... The Breach is the first book of a three-book overarching story, but I can assure you, you will want to read the second book as soon as you finish this.


4 out of 5 stars which for me means this book is a must read for fans of this genre-fusion.

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text 2015-01-13 20:32
Reading progress update: I've read 117 out of 409 pages.
Shadow and Claw - Gene Wolfe
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review 2015-01-08 15:56
Wizard / John Varley
Wizard - John Varley

Wizard...returns us to the awesome interior of Gaea, the world-sized alien first encountered in Varley's monumental bestseeler, Titan.

Gaea's discoverer, Cirocco "Rocky" Jones, is now herself an inhabitant, plotting wizardry in the remote highlands between two of Gaea's brains. Gaea is old, perhaps dying. Wearily, she assures her usefulness to Earth by performing tawdry miracles.

Enter two pilgrims: Chris'fer, late of San Fransisco. And from the Coven on the dark side of the moon, Robin, small, nine-fingered, female with snake...


Probably around 3.5 stars, but rounded up to 4.

Wizard picks up where Titan left off in its exploration of the nature of sexuality. Gone are the frequent references to other works of science fiction, although the Greek mythology links are of course maintained. This novel is unusual in that the majority of its main characters are women, with earth-guy Chris thrown in as the token male to be used to contrast everything with. Also introduced in this second book is Robin, a young woman from an all-female space colony (known as The Coven). And yes, it is that kind of coven—women looking to establish their own matriarchal society, free of the influence of men, who are envisioned by the women of the Coven as bogeymen. It was slightly predictable that Chris & Robin would be thrown together on Gaea so that we could watch them work out their prejudices with each other.

This is very much a quest tale—both Chris and Robin have genetic anomalies that are disrupting their lives in major ways and they have come to Gaea to see if they can be healed. An audience with the Goddess reveals that there’s no such thing as a free lunch (Robert Heinlein would be pleased) and that the two must get out into the world of Gaea and be heroic if they expect any assistance. Their need to go do something is helped along when Cirocco (the Wizard of the title) and Gaby (one of the main characters from the first volume) offer to take them along on a long trip around the edges of Gaea, along with 4 of the centaur-folk known as Titanides. The reader is never allowed to forget that the Titanides have a very complex sexual life which they are absolutely pragmatic about—none of the human hang-ups concerning this essential part of life—and some of them (including one of the travel party) sometimes become enamoured of humans. Chris gets to be the lucky (?) recipient of this attention as well.

It definitely passes the Bechdel test—there are more than two women (humans), who talk to each other about many things besides men. Despite this, our lesbian witch, Robin, does take one shot at the heterosexual side of the street. Token guy, Chris, gets pushed into leadership in several places where he is just not qualified—a nod perhaps to our society where, in hospitals, people ask for (male) unqualified interns when well-qualified female doctors are on the scene. By and large, it is a feminist novel—however, Varley makes everything hinge on Chris in a way that, to my way of thinking, gives him undue influence, especially in sexual terms. Thankfully, he actually realizes it in several places in the book, making me like him better for it.

There’s lots of action and danger as the travelers make their way around Gaea, which kept me reading just to see what happened. I realize that sexuality was being explored, but it really did seem to keep taking over everyone’s attention when they probably would have been better off looking for the next cliff/predator/large unfriendly body of water. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and will definitely read the last book in the trilogy.  

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review 2014-11-08 22:40
"Being someone else isn't liberating. It's EXHAUSTING."
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal - G. Willow Wilson,Adrian Alphona



I am a DC girl, through and through, I just am, I find I don't care for most of Marvel's superheroes and they're just too goofy.  I like my comics to read a little more seriously.  Of course goofy isn't always a bad thing - like in this reboot of Ms. Marvel.


The point of that little tirade up there being: I am a DC girl, but a few days after this trade came out, I started hearing that the new Ms. Marvel was a Muslim American woman.  So, I more or less sprinted to Comic Relief (my local comic shop), and was told they had sold their last copy less than an hour before I arrived.  Gorramit, I had still been at work an hour previous.



I finally got the call that my ordered copy had arrived.  I got home and sucked it down in a half hour.  The characters are vivid, real, hilarious, and lovable.  The family is true to any American family with strong cultural ties.  The girl is a confused teen caught in the throes of growing up and accepting herself.


This isn't a superhero story, so much as a story of a girl coming to terms with herself and her culture and her history and learning who she is within those confines as well as without.  This is the story of a teenage girl accepting herself.  This is a coming of age story if I ever did read one, and I cannot fucking wait for the next installment.

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review 2014-05-24 17:09
Dear Book 3, What the fuck?
The Nine Lives of Chloe King: The Fallen; The Stolen; The Chosen - Liz Braswell

Dear modern guilty pleasure YA books, why does the third book always suck?  Seriously.  What the fuck is up with that?


Okay, so first of all a brief summary.  Chloe is a "typical" (we'll come back to this) teenager who finds out her biological mother and she herself is a cat person known as the Mai.  Tada!  Told you it would be brief.


So, while book 1 and 2 were full of entertainment value.  I had to regularly pretend that Chloe was 18 or 20.  There was just waaaaay too much sex for me to be comfortable reading it in a "she's 16," sort of way.  It was sort of pedophiliac in a few scenes, the one outside a club still makes me cringe just thinking about it.  I know 16 year olds have a lot of hormones and most of them (so it seems) are not virgins, but goddamn, I don't need to read about it in graphic detail.  I'm 27 - it made me uncomfortable and I'm regularly a horny fuck. I'm no prude, I swear.  Sex is part of life, and therefore should be a part of literature, but goddamn, this just made me squirm and not in a fun way.


And the third book.  Can we just say anti-climactic?  It built and built and built and built until it broke ... and then it just ended.

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