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review 2017-04-29 02:55
Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
Use of Weapons - Iain M. Banks

Series: Culture #3


Well that was disappointing. I was tempted to give it 3 stars overall while reading (before I got to the end) since although the present-day chapters were fairly interesting, the past chapters were duller and sometimes maudlin. Then I got to the “twist” at the end and was disappointed by it. I had caught the references to it earlier and was hoping I was wrong but… nope. If it weren’t Banks, I’d probably drop my rating lower, but I guess I’ll keep it at two stars.


The present-day chapters follow Cheradine Zakalwe as he’s recruited by Diziet Sma (I like her first name) to convince this old political to come out of retirement to put off a war. Zakalwe’s skill is winning wars, basically, so the “past” chapters show various scenes from his past, some of them boring and some of them brutal. These interleaved chapters make up the book. There’s also a drone called Skaffen-Amtiskaw who starts off as a bit of a jerk but becomes more interesting as the book goes along. Sma doesn’t have much of a personality, unfortunately, despite her cool name.


I read this for the Water Works square in booklikes-opoly since there’s water on the cover. It turns out that it’s a grounded battleship in front of a city on the cover and it seems like it was grounded in drydock in a shipyard so there would be water around it somewhere, so I think the stuff that looks like water is water. Hopefully that clears up some confusing elements of the cover (while opening a whole new can of worms as far as confusing context goes). Anyway, the book is 411 pages, so that’s another $5 for my bank, bringing my total to $48.

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text 2017-04-28 22:08
Reading progress update: I've read 277 out of 411 pages.
Use of Weapons - Iain M. Banks

Learn woodwork; metalwork; they will not make you a carpenter or a blacksmith any more than mastering writing will make you a clerk.

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review 2017-04-28 18:00
People of the Sun by Jason Parent
People of the Sun - Jason Parent

People of the Sun is a science fiction tale with heart!


Have you ever wondered how the world would react if we ever made "first contact" (to borrow from Star Trek, that's right, I'm a Trekkie), with an alien race? As Dave Matthews asks in his song Time Bomb, "If Martians fell from the sky, what would that do to God? Would we put the weapons down, or aim them up at the sky?" This book has its own way of answering that question.


When we imagine aliens, we might think of little green men, or ET or perhaps "gray men." However we might think of them, we do seem to think of them as all alike. This book addresses the likely fact that they are NOT all the same, that each of them has a personality just as we do. What happens if some of them are good and some are not? Everything becomes that much more complicated, doesn't it?


I'm not going further into the plot because the synopsis and several other reviews already do that. I will say that this book made me think of our likely response,(as a nation), and what I came up with was not pretty. It gets exponentially worse when I think of our response as a WORLD, with all of our different governments, with great and petty leaders alike.


I think Mr. Parent's take on all this was realistic and it caused me to think about all of these issues and more. Even though this was mainly a science-fiction novel, it had elements of horror. It was also well written. A good story entertains, has complex characters and it makes you think. People of the Sun has all that and as such I recommend it!


*Thanks to the author for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it. Further, I consider this author to be a friend, but this did not affect the content of my review.*

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review 2017-04-28 17:31
Rebel Kato (Shifters of the Primus #1) by Elyssa Ebbott Review
Rebel Kato (Shifters of the Primus Book 1) - Elyssa Ebbott

He takes what he wants. And he wants me.

When we run out of fuel hundreds of light years from Earth, our only hope is a nearby planet. There’s just one problem: it’s home to the most savage aliens in the galaxy.

But when the Primus warriors board our ship, they haven’t come to take all of us. Their prince just wants me. And if he doesn’t choose me as his mate, he’s going to kill everyone I’ve ever known.

Kato’s a deadly alpha shifter with shimmering golden skin and a tendency to leave bodies in his wake. He’s dangerous and has an ego as big as his golden spear. But does he just want a few nights of passion, or a woman to call his princess?

When murderous factions try to keep us apart, I will have more to worry about than just surviving the irresistible prince’s touch. I will have to choose between the danger of being beside him or the certain death that awaits outside his protection.

He has protected me so far. But when his king demands my death, will my prince rebel to save me?





The world was interesting. Trees growing up more than a mile from a watery bottom. But we get no real details of how this world works.


Everything makes no sense. Motivation. Whatever. Actual love story. Nah.


There is a base here but the book is too frantic to develop anything I want to spend time with in the end. 

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review 2017-04-28 13:06
Nettes Space-Adventure mit Luft nach oben

Rezension: In Ageless Sleep von Arden Ellis
Mal ist eine Spionin mit ordentlich Pessimismus in den Knochen. Wer in den unwirtlichen Reaches aufwächst hat allerdings auch selten viel zu lachen. Ihre neueste Mission lautet ein Kryo-Schiff zu kapern und die darauf schlafende Tochter des Königs der Sovereigns zum Treffpunkt ihrer Auftraggeber zu bringen. Eine so einfache Aufgabe. Doch als die Lebenserhaltung der Kryostasekammern eine Fehlfunktion hat, ist ausgerechnet die Geisel die einzige Person, die das Problem beheben kann und so weckt Mal die ebenso schlaue wie hübsche Aurora auf.


Her footsteps down the hallway slowed. She knew exactly where she was on the ship, massive as it was. The thing was built like a castle, its base housing the ships guts and brains and heart, and of course, the engines.



In Ageless Sleep wirkte auf den ersten Blick wie eine Art Neuerzählung von Sleeping Beauty (Dornröschen) mit futuristischem Science Fiction Setting. Und tatsächlich gibt es hier und da Anspielungen darauf, wie etwa den Namen der Figur Aurora, die schlafende Prinzessin der Sovereigns. Einer ihrer Bodyguards wird auch als Ritter bzw. Knight bezeichnet, sonst will sich die Brücke zum Märchen aber nicht so recht bilden. Es könnte daran liegen, dass diese Kurzgeschichte eben einfach etwas zu kurz ist, um groß Atmosphäre aufbauen zu können.


Die Geschichte ist aber zumindest als Weltraumabenteuer nett. So richtig begeistern konnte sie mich leider nicht, obwohl ich das Thema Kryostase und Weltraum sehr interessant finde. In Ageless Sleep war mir aber insgesamt ein bisschen zu steril. Einerseits wird die Welt und der Konflikt zwischen den Reaches und den Sovereigns nur oberflächlich angedeutet, so dass ich darüber gar nichts sagen mag, weil sonst direkt alles gesagt ist. Andererseits tut sich auch auf menschlicher Ebene nicht viel. Mal hätte durchaus das Zeug ein spannender Charakter zu sein. Sie ist aus gutem Grund eine Misanthropin, hat ein kaputtes Knie dank schlechter Gravitationserzeuger und scheint aufgrund der schlechten Lebensqualität auf ihrer Heimatwelt ein wenig kränklich mutiert zu sein. Das ganze Gegenteil ihrer schönen und gesunden Gefangenen Aurora aka. Rory.


In Ageless Sleep wird als SciFi-Romance geführt, ich konnte aber nicht viel davon erkennen. Das Verhältnis zwischen Mal und Rory und wie es sich entwickelt, erschien mir unrealistisch. Rory befindet sich eben die ganze Zeit in Stase und Mal taut sie alle 24 Stunden nur für ein paar Minuten, später auch Stunden auf, damit sie einen Code eingeben kann. Das geht wohl über Wochen so und irgendwo während diesen kurzen Wachmomenten soll sich die Romanze gebildet haben. Sehe ich nicht, vor allem nicht aus Rorys Sicht, die jedes mal aufs Neue zurück in Stase geschickt wird.


Insgesamt ist In Ageless Sleep eine kurzweilige und nette Geschichte die mir aber zu oberflächlich gehalten war. Ich hätte mir eine umfangreichere Ausarbeitung gewünscht, sowohl was die Figuren als auch den Weltenbau angeht. Die Geschichte fühlte sich mehr wie ein Entwurf denn eine fertige Geschichte an.

Source: moyasbuchgewimmel.de/rezensionen/titel/i/in-ageless-sleep
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