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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-01-17 07:36
War Robot-Manning Persons, Fighting Dukes, and Bioengineered Religious Soldiers — A Review of The Warriors Anthology Edited by G. R. R. Martin
Warriors - George R. R. Martin (Editor), Gardner Dozois (Editor)

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on January 17, 2018.

 

 

The King of Norway by Cecelia Holland

 

3 Stars

A Viking adventure with all the gore and blood that you could ask for. If only I could have been made to care for the characters…

 

Forever Bound by Joe Haldeman

 

3 Stars

Soldiers learning to maneuver robots in the war have to do as part of a hive mind. Pretty soon, real life cannot compare with the virtual one that they lead with the other members of the hive.

 

The Triumph by Megan Lindholm/Robin Hobb

 

 

4 Stars

A retelling of the myth of Marcus Atilius Regulus, a Roman Consul. In the story, he is tortured by Carthaginians before his death. Everything in the story is actually setting up the reader for the way he dies.

 

Clean Slate by Lawrence Block

 

3 Stars

An abused child grows up into a sociopath. You can guess what happens next!

 

And Ministers of Grace by Tad Williams

 

3 Stars

It isn’t that bioengineered soldiers haven’t been done before. Here though the author makes it all about religion.

 

Soldierin’ by Joe R. Lansdale

 

4 Stars

A black man joins the army in the eradication of Native Americans. The story remains localized and makes no claims about the big picture.

 

Dirae by Peter S. Beagle

 

3 Stars

A coma patient becomes an avenging spirit with a special soft place in her heart for kids.

 

The Custom of the Army by Diana Gabaldon

 

4 Stars

I have been wondering if I would like Gabaldon’s writing and I wonder no more. This story is based on a skirmish between the French and English soldiers on Canadian soil.

 

Seven Years from Home by Naomi Novik

 

4 Stars

Nature and “people” come together in this story to save the land. I liked this one because plants featured in it.

 

The Eagle and the Rabbit by Steven Saylor

 

3 Stars

POVs change as we see Carthage fall and a Roman general plays mind games with the Carthaginians he will be selling off to slavery.

 

The Pit by James Clemens/James Rollins

 

4 Stars

Canine gladiators and sibling love made this story one of my faves!

 

Out of the Dark by David Weber

 

4 Stars

An alien race tries to take over the planet and humans band together to stop that from happening. They also have help from the unlikeliest of sources.

 

 

The Girls from Avenger by Carrie Vaughn

 

3 Stars

Women have faced discrimination whenever they have dared to step into a profession. Flying planes during a war isn’t any different.

 

Ancient Ways by S. M. Stirling

 

 

4 Stars

A mercenary is hired to rescue a princess who didn’t really need to be rescued. The princess was a pleasant surprise.

 

Ninieslando by Howard Waldrop

 

3 Stars

A utopian dream to unite the world while a war goes on outside. Didn’t take too long for it to unravel.

 

Recidivist by Gardner Dozois

 

4 Stars

AIs rule the world. Humans don’t stand a chance against them yet they won’t give up fighting back or remembering how life used to be.

 

 

My Name is Legion by David Morrell

 

3 Stars

Sometimes, the enemy on the other side of the border is your friend. In this story, soldiers who trained together are forced to fight against each other when France daren’t go against Germany.

 

Defenders of the Frontier by Robert Silverberg

 

3 Stars

Soldiers have been manning an entry point into their empire for years now. No reinforcements have arrived for some time. The absence of enemies starts to make them think. Does the empire they have been defending even exist anymore?

 

The Scroll by David Ball

 

3 Stars

A bully of an emperor keeps an architect alive just to torture him. The ending was a letdown.

 

The Mystery Knight: A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin

 

3 Stars

A tale of Egg, the squire who isn’t a squire, and the knight he serves.

 

I’d say, you won’t be missing much if you didn’t read this anthology. But that’s just me…

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text 2017-12-28 19:18
On Sale: 80% off (mostly under $1.50 Kindle Monthly Deals) Science Fiction
Across a Billion Years - Robert Silverberg
The Dispatcher - John Scalzi
The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch
Cast in Chaos - Michelle Sagara,Michelle Sagara West
Blood Kissed - Keri Arthur
Bannerless (The Bannerless Saga) - Carrie Vaughn
A Fall of Moondust (Arthur C. Clarke Collection) - Arthur C. Clarke
Fortress of Ice - C.J. Cherryh

36 SF genre books; highlighted above are just ones by authors I recognize.

 

Blood Kissed (The Lizzie Grace Series Book 1) - Keri Arthur  is likely to be more Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy than Science Fiction genre.

 

Fortress of Ice - C.J. Cherryh is a truly excellent series.

 

On sale in he SF section of kindle monthly deals (special offer that showed on my kindle device) .

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-24 21:00
Kitty’s Big Trouble
Kitty's Big Trouble - Carrie Vaughn
Kitty Norville, Book 9

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continuation of a series.

The Characters:

Kitty Norville:
Ben O’Farrell:
Cormac/Amelia, Sun, Anastasia:

The Story:

This title is misleading, Kitty is always in trouble but with so much going on I see why the author kept it simple. This story was anything but simple. With monsters and relics and gods and centuries old vampires. Oh and pack members that are now magically inclined. There is an excellent setup for the next book which I look forward to getting my hands on.

Marguerite Gavin deserves a shout out because her portrayal of Kitty and company is unbeatable. I think a great amount of my love for this series is due to her.

Writing: Intricate and slightly overwhelming, like I like it.
Forward Motion: Excellent,not a moment of lull. Seriously the characters have to be exhausted.
Overall Interest: Great. I actually listened to the last 45 minutes at work this morning.
Length of Reading Time: Good
Re-read-ability: No.

The Random Thoughts:

I kinda hope we get to see Sun again. I really liked his character.

I just had a thought: Is the title related to/a play on Big Trouble in Little China? I’ve never seen the film so I am clueless.

The Score Card:

description

4 Stars
 
 
 
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review 2017-05-22 19:18
"Kitty Saves The World - Kitty Norville #14 - last in the series
Kitty Saves the World - Carrie Vaughn

"Kitty Saves The World", the last Kitty Norville book, reflects my experience of the series as a whole, strong on good guys, albeit sometimes flawed and haunted good guys, but weak on really evil villains who are a terrifying threat to the world.

 

Still, if you enjoyed the first thirteen books, the lack of palpable evil will neither surprise nor disappoint you.

 

The book read like a fond farewell, bringing back some of my favourite characters, having Kitty give another great performance on "The Midnight Hour", showing Kitty and Ben as a strong and loving couple and finally resolving the conflict with Roman so that Kitty can indeed, save the world.

 

I liked Kitty in this book. She continued to be strong and brave and witty, even when deeply afraid, but she was also willing to lead and to accept her right to take the help offered by her friends.

 

The resolution with Roman was clever, original and plausible, within the context of the series. It was drama rather than melodrama. I enjoyed it partly because it felt like something that Carrie Vaughn had been carefully leading up to for some time, rather than a "how am I gonna end this so I don't have to write any more of them?" ending.

 

It seems to me that Carrie Vaughn has never quite known what to do with the pack that Kitty and Ben lead. She had one book, after Kitty took over, where the pack dynamics were important but mostly, Kitty's pack have been passive elements in the story. Sadly, this remained true for the final book, although there was a good explanation for it.

 

I ended the book and the series very glad to have spent time with Kitty and watched her grow from a frightened victim of terrible abuse into a strong and compassionate leader who inspired loyalty and created hope.

 

I think the final book honored Kitty and her readers by staying true to the spirit of the series and by bringing many story arcs to satisfying conclusions without closing everything off so neatly that it became too "happily ever after".

 

I'm sure the Kitty books are over but I have a suspicion that Carrie Vaughn isn't quite done with Cormac yet. Which is a very fine way to end a series.

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review 2017-05-11 01:08
Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn
Martians Abroad: A novel - Carrie Vaughn

Book, it’s not you, it’s me. Actually, to be honest...some of it is you.

 

This book initially annoyed me with its conflation of mass and weight, but it was mostly just a boring new-kid-at-school young adult novel (or children's book, maybe). Most of the book is pretty dull, with the main character, Polly, acting like a bit of an idiot, and when things actually start to happen, the book just becomes unbelievable.

 

This book’s setting is a future science fiction world where there are some colonies on Mars and elsewhere in the solar system. Polly’s mother decides to send Polly and her “twin” brother Charles to a school on Earth called Galileo and they have to acclimatize to the stresses of Earth’s gravity as well as the snotty attitudes of the Earth kids. Because they're Martians. Then some stuff happens and it gets just a little too ridiculous.

 

I’d probably have liked it more if I had read it as a kid but the plot still seems silly so I doubt I would have thought it a great book even back then.

 

In case anyone’s wondering, I didn’t read this for booklikes-opoly because it’s a library book that is due back this week and I started it before I could legally roll again.

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