Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Brief Review: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Blackbirds (Miriam Black, #1)Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was my first foray into a Chuck Wendig book after a year or two reading his blog (which I am a big fan of). I really wanted to like this book, but it left me a bit cold. The protagonist, Miriam is way too fond of awkward similes, she is overly crass (to the point where she's trying to find a new way to say fuck rather than concern herself with the very real danger she is in), and she seems either brilliant or moronic depending on what the plot requires. Oh yeah, and she can see when you're going to die by touching your skin, which is a fine plot device, I suppose...

That said, the villains were actually a breath of fresh air, I felt they were more multi-faceted than Miriam herself, and to be honest, I would have preferred to read a book about them. If you're going to read Blackbirds, really dig into those three characters.

All in all, a mediocre first outing for the pen-monkey, but because I love Wendig and his can-do attitude, I'll probably read the rest of this series at some point.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Brief Reviews: The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis

The Man Who Fell to Earth The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Despite his grand plans of saving his species from a dying planet (and possibly the human race from themselves). Our protagonist, the alien named T.J. Newton, slowly discovers that human beings are themselves a corrupting influence. It seems like Tevis was treading new sci-fi ground when he wrote this (especially by making the alien mundane and the humans the real aliens) and I enjoyed his grasp of descriptive language. I truly saw 1980s Earth as a strange land, as Newton would have.

It is a book that makes you ponder the universe a bit, but in the end, I think it gives humanity and booze a little too much credit. Though, to be fair, who knows how Anthean physiology works? Certainly not me.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Brief Reviews: Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress

Beggars in Spain: The Original Hugo & Nebula Winning NovellaBeggars in Spain: The Original Hugo & Nebula Winning Novella by Nancy Kress
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in the near future where biological engineering has created a small section of society who does not need to sleep, Beggars in Spain is a great study in the hierarchy of knowledge. While the people of the story themselves sometimes feel a bit stilted, this novella asks important questions about how we view ourselves, especially in light of our own (self-induced) evolution.

Edited to Add: I hate this cover, the woman with crazy green eye shadow conjures a 1970s pastiche of 1950s sci-fi.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I'm Working on It

Here is proof that I have circled something and written a note. If that doesn't constitute working on a novel, then I don't know what does.