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review 2018-11-19 06:00
The Lost World and Other Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Lost World and Other Stories - Arthur Conan Doyle

An entertianing collection of all the Professor Challenger stories. The Lost World was the best story in the collection.

 

DESCRIPTION:

"These lively, varied and thought-provoking science-fiction stories (from the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells) are linked by their imposing central character, the pugnaciously adventurous and outrageous Professor Challenger.

The Lost World (forebear of Jurassic Park) vividly depicts a perilous region in which the explorers confront creatures from the prehistoric era. The Poison Belt presents an eerie doomsday scenario, while 'The Disintegration Machine' satirically comments on scientific cynicism. In 'When the World Screamed', the planet responds violently to an experimental incursion. The strangest item is The Land of Mist, which seeks to reconcile science with spiritualism.
"

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review 2018-11-19 03:08
The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett
The Last Hero - Terry Pratchett,Paul Kidby

Series: Discworld #27

 

The prose felt a lot rougher than is usual for a Discworld book, and although I found it interesting, I wasn't sure how I'd rate it. It just felt so superficial. The way everything was wrapped up in the end was cute, though, so I'm giving it three stars.

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review 2018-11-18 23:16
Much better than the third one
Valentine's Rising - E.E. Knight

I was pleasantly surprised with this book after the drivel that was number three. I’m not sure if it was because Valentine decide to finally grow up and get a pair or circumstances in the novel made him this way (likely the latter) but it made for very good reading. There were some very important choices Valentine had to  make for himself and his crew; some of them extremely difficult and the way he dealt with the aftermath was good. It was nice to finally see him being part of a team instead of a one man army and doing everything himself.

 

Again the supporting characters are what made this book going for me (still on the anti-Valentine train for now) they had their distinct personalities and they weren’t flat or meant to just be part of the plot. They each had their part to play whether small or big and it made the plot better and rounded out. I have a soft spot for Ahn-Kha and Styachowski I like them both for their strengths and although they were ‘quiet’ they played substantially in the plot. (More so Styachowski than Ahn-Kha).

 

The plot was good albeit it slowed down to a crawl at the end. It was getting to be too much and by that time, I was already wanting to close the book. There’s plenty of action so that does not disappoint. There were some parts where I came close to closing it because of Valentine’s idiotic behavior, but otherwise, this was much better than the third.

 

This one was enough to redeem itself so I will carry on and read the next. I hope it continues this way.

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review 2018-11-18 23:15
Legends: Tales from the Eternal Archives #1
Legends (Tales from the Eternal Archives, Book 1) - Jane Lindskold,Robert J. Harris,Margaret Weis,Robyn Fielder,Robin Crew,Deborah Turner Harris,Peter Schweighofer,Kevin Stein,Dennis L. McKiernan,Matthew Stover,Janet Pack,Brian M. Thomsen,Kristine Kathryn Rusch,Kristin Schwengel,John Helfer,Gary A. Braunbe

The short story anthology Legends edited by Margaret Weis, the first collection of the Tales from the Eternal Archives, contains almost twenty stories of near above average quality loosing connected to one another through a mystical library, titular Eternal Archives.  Although the majority of the nineteen stories were fantasy, historical fiction and science fiction were also featured.

 

The two best stories of the collection were “Wisdom” by Richard Lee Byers, which was followed an alternate interpretation of The Iliad and The Odyssey as Odysseus ventures to save the world from chaos.  The second was “Silver Tread, Hammer Ring” by Gary A. Braunbeck features an alternate world in which mythical and folkloric figures exist side-by-side as John Henry faces down a steam drill run by a minotaur.  Other excellent stories were the two opening stories, “Why There Are White Tigers” by Jane M. Lindskold and “The Theft of Destiny” by Josepha Sherman, as well many more such as “The Last Suitor”, “King’s Quest”, “Ninety-Four”, “Precursor”, and “Dearest Kitty”.

 

The two worst stories of the collection were “The Wind at Tres Castillos” by Robyn Fielder which featured historical individuals who didn’t interact with one another at the titular location and the fantastical elements just didn’t make sense creating a waste of paper.  The second worst story was “Final Conquest” by Dennis L. McKiernan, while short this story featuring Genghis Khan was a headscratcher though a nicely written one.  Although overall not bad, the preface and short introductions loosely linked all the stories with the mystical library between worlds though some were better than others.

 

The nineteen stories that make up Legends feature—more than not—very good short stories across fantasy, historical fiction, and science fiction.  Yet like all anthologies, it is a mixed bag of quality but only a few stories were completely subpar thus presenting the reader with a lot of good reading.

 

Individual Story Ratings

Why There Are White Tigers by Jane M. Lindskold (4/5)

The Theft of Destiny by Josepha Sherman (4/5)

Final Conquest by Dennis L. McKiernan (2/5)

The Wisdom of Solomon by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (2.5/5)

Bast’s Talon by Janet Pack (3/5)

Wisdom by Richard Lee Byers (5/5)

The Last Suitor by Kristin Schwengal (4/5)

Two-Fisted Tales of St. Nick by Kevin T. Stein and Robert Weinberg (3/5)

King’s Quest by Mickey Zucker Reichert (4/5)

Silver Thread, Hammer Ring by Gary A. Braunbeck (4.5/5)

Memnon Revived by Peter Schweighofer (2.5/5)

The Ballad of Jesse James by Margaret Weis (2.5/5)

Legends by Ed Gorman (3.5/5)

The Wind at Tres Castillos by Robyn Fielder (1.5/5)

Ninety-Four by Jean Rabe (4/5)

Hunters Hunted by John Helfers (3.5/5)

Precursor by Matthew Woodring Stover (4/5)

“Dearest Kitty” by Brian M. Thomsen (4/5)

Last Kingdom by Deborah Turner Harris and Robert J. Harris (3.5/5)

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review 2018-11-18 22:41
The Gunslinger by Stephen King (audiobook)
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower I) - Stephen King,George Guidall

Series: The Dark Tower #1

 

I think this is a popular series but this first book really didn't work for me. It started to go downhill when the Gunslinger gets together with Alice. I'm not particularly intrigued by the mystery of the tower and the man in black seemed to just be spouting gobblygook when he was talking about the mysteries of the universe. I also definitely wasn't impressed that the last standoff consisted of sitting around the campfire and chatting. The writing and characterization felt sloppy and the fantasy setting didn't strike me as all that original, especially with the blatant misogyny slathered all over the place. I won't be continuing this series. I should note that the narration for the audiobook was pretty good, however.

 

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12 % (This is where things started going downhill)

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