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review 2018-06-01 11:32
Exile by Glynn Stewart
Exile - Glynn Stewart

NOTE:  I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.  This review is my honest opinion of the book.

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From the blurb:

"A shackled Earth, ruled by an unstoppable tyrant
An exiled son, and a one-way trip across the galaxy
A perfect world, their last hope for survival

Vice Admiral Isaac Gallant is the heir apparent to the First Admiral, the dictator of the Confederacy of Humanity. Unwilling to let his mother’s tyranny stand, he joins the rebellion and leads his ships into war against the might of his own nation.

Betrayal and failure, however, see Isaac Gallant and his allies captured. Rather than execute her only son, the First Admiral instead decides to exile them, flinging four million dissidents and rebels through a one-shot wormhole to the other end of the galaxy.

There, Isaac finds himself forced to keep order and peace as they seek out a new home without becoming the very dictator he fought against—and when that new home turns out to be too perfect to be true, he and his fellow exiles must decide how hard they are prepared to fight for paradise…against the very people who built it.
"

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Glynn Stewart has written a science fiction novel that has almost everything - space battles, a decent plot, indepth characters, strange new species, politicking, rebellion, civilization building, adventuring and new worlds.

 

The writing style is direct and makes the reader feel they are in the midst of the adventure.  The main characters have depth, though a few of the more minor characters could have done with more personality.  Even the aliens have their own fully-fleshed personality and oddities.  I also haven't enjoyed a space battle this much in ages. The pacing was just right - fast but not rushed or too bogged down - especially for short book like this.  I have no idea if the author is planning sequels or not, but this novel can be read as a standalone.  This novel would also make a great movie or TV series.  This story makes for a fun and exciting read, with tense, nail-biting moments. 

 

 

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review 2018-03-25 22:30
A Girl in Exile: Requiem for Linda B -- Surreal life under dictatorship
A Girl in Exile: Requiem for Linda B. - Ismail Kadaré,John Hodgson

A wild ride - originally published in Albanian in 2009. Set right before the demonstrations that would signal the fall of communism in Albania, but still firmly within the grasp of dictatorship and its bureaucracy, playwright Rudian Stefa meets a lovely young woman at a book signing after a performance of his play in the capital city of Tirana.

 

The young woman, Migena, asks for a signature "for her friend, Linda B." Rudian thinks she's asking for herself, but also finds her quite attractive and they begin an affair. The book opens as things start to tumble. Rudian's upcoming play is held up by the Artistic Board who is concerned about whether socialist realism can include ghosts, he's had a fight with Migena, and he gets called to the Party headquarters for questioning. There he learns that Linda B has committed suicide. His book and signature are in her possession, and she's written consistently about him in her diaries.

 

So begins a twisty tale of Rudian's fear, creative impulses, anger and all sorts of other things. Can he trust Migena (whose name is an anagram for enigma?) What does she have to do with Linda B? If Linda was obsessed by him, is it his fault that she committed suicide? What about the state, who has exiled Linda's entire family, relegating young Linda to a life much different from the one Migena has embarked upon. And is Migena trustworthy? Can you trust anyone when the state is watching every move you make? Can you blame anyone when the State is actually the one in control? What is worse - death, or a life you do not actually control? Is that even a life? Most of all, can you actually create when every line or stroke of a pen will be scrutinized for its political purity?

He could not tell from where he had to seek permission, if permission were necessary for every discovery or innovation in art.


I wasn't sure I liked this book, if I understood what was happening, or even IF anything was happening until about 100 pages into the total of under 200. But when it came together, it did so with force, and everything fell into place like a jigsaw puzzle where you finally see the whole picture.

 

This is a philosophical meditation, a big story set among just a few people that gives us a glimpse of the absurdity, fear and confusion living under this regime could cause. Everyone from Hamlet to Orpheus to Zelda Fitzgerald shows up and helps tell the tale of regular-yet-extraordinary people trying to get through life with strings pulling them from just out of sight.

 

I'm not as talented as Ismail Kadare, so I'll just say this is certainly an impactful and worthwhile read.

 

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review 2018-03-12 14:21
Exile / R.A. Salvatore
Exile - R.A. Salvatore

Hostile in ways that a surface-dweller could never know, the tunnel-mazes of the Underdark challenge all who tread there. Among these souls are Drizzt Do’Urden and his magical cat, Guenhwyvar. Exiled from his drow homeland, Drizzt must fight for a new home in the boundless labyrinth. Meanwhile, he must watch for signs of pursuit—for the dark elves are not a forgiving race.

 

The books in this series have the virtue of being quick & easy to read, perfect for a Friday evening after a long work week. This is book two of Drizzt’s back story—wherein he lives by himself in the tunnels of the Underdark until he can’t take the solitude anymore and seeks companionship with mixed results.

As one of my cousins pointed out to me, Salvatore writes great fight scenes and they are very much on display in this installment. In fact, the book is basically a series of fights, stitched together with a very little bit of plot. I will also give Salvatore credit for inventing some great Underdark creatures and cultures for Drizzt to fight with.

Book number 274 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

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url 2018-01-26 20:29
Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, A Through F
Thieves' World - Robert Lynn Asprin,Lynn Abbey,John Brunner,Poul Anderson,Andrew J. Offutt,Joe Haldeman,Marion Zimmer Bradley,Christine DeWees
A Woman of the Iron People - Eleanor Arnason
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler
Red Moon and Black Mountain - Joy Chant
The Vampire Tapestry - Suzy McKee Charnas
Gate of Ivrel - C.J. Cherryh
Moongather - Jo Clayton
The Door Into Fire - Diane Duane
Born to Exile - Phyllis Eisenstein
Light Raid - Connie Willis,Cynthia Felice

In the 70's, I mostly got to read school library books, my aunt's endless Harlequin subscriptions and yard sale finds.  So, several of these are authors I haven't read:

 

I have all the Diadem novels by Jo Clayton (most are so yellowed and brittle -- some I had to get used in pre-Amazon and pre-eBay online searches so came that way and some were mine).  I've been putting off finishing because hard for my old lady eyes to read.

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url 2018-01-25 21:59
Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, A Through F
Thieves' World - Robert Lynn Asprin,Lynn Abbey,John Brunner,Poul Anderson,Andrew J. Offutt,Joe Haldeman,Marion Zimmer Bradley,Christine DeWees
A Woman of the Iron People - Eleanor Arnason
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler
Red Moon and Black Mountain - Joy Chant
The Vampire Tapestry - Suzy McKee Charnas
Gate of Ivrel - C.J. Cherryh
Moongather - Jo Clayton
The Door Into Fire - Diane Duane
Born to Exile - Phyllis Eisenstein
Light Raid - Connie Willis,Cynthia Felice

The link goes to TOR.com article from their recent email newsletter with more details on books/authors.  In the 70's, I mostly got to read school library books, my aunt's endless Harlequin subscriptions and yard sale finds.  So, several of these are authors I haven't read:

 

 

I have all the Diadem novels by Jo Clayton (most are so yellowed and brittle -- some I had to get used in pre-Amazon and pre-eBay online searches so came that way and some were mine).  I've been putting off finishing because hard for my old lady eyes to read.

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