The Last Dragonlord

The Last Dragonlord
Dragonlord #1
Joanne Bertin
Fantasy
4 Stars
DTB, 471 Pages

a world where there are dragons, humans and a very few, rare DragonLords, humans who share a body with a dragonsoul and have great abilities. Follows the adventures of a dragonlord who finds his soultwin and is embroiled in the machinations of a kingdom in turmoil. Very well written, enjoyable and enough depth to make it feel meaty and satisfying.

Inherit the Stars

Inherit the Stars
James Hogan
SF
3 Stars
Epub, 203 Pages

a muddle of humanity from earth, from another planet and some aliens from the same planet. This was written back in ’78, probably considered hard scifi then. I was actually entertained

Old hard scifi. Actually kept my interest even with no fighting, no action and no non-cerebral plot.

The Radiant Warrior

The Radiant Warrior
Conrad Stargard #3
Leo Frankowski
Fantasy
1 Star
DTB, 281 Pages

Conrad is now ready to start building his army.

I think Frankowski writes complete and utter trash and this book doesn’t do a thing to change my mind.

And yet here I am, having read 3 books into the series. I am disturbed at that ๐Ÿ™‚

The Misplaced Legion

The Misplaced Legion
Videssos Cycle #1
Harry Turtledove
Fantasy
4 Stars
Epub, 288 Pages

a roman legion in Gaul ends up on another world through magic. They become mercenaries for the Vidession Empire. Enjoyed this very much. Magic and Roman legion tactics, a cool combo. The problem is that I had a very badly formatted copy. Whoever had scanned this did it as one solid block of text. No paragraph breaks, no indents, nothing. Calibre split it up into 4 xhtml chunks, but my reader had to chug through each whole section whenever turning a page and man, it killed my battery and the flow of the story. Am seriously thinking about working on it with Sigil and making a nice epub copy. Will see.

Fantastic! Not once did things ever drag and I found myself just speeding along this tightly written book. I’ve read some Turtledove’s alternate history and found them full of excruciating detail that bored me out of my skull [I’m not a history buff, so I wasn’t the intended audience] but nothing like that occurred here.

Highly recommended.

Mutation

Mutation
Robin Cook
Thriller
2 Stars
DTB, 367

A throw away read. I read this back in either junior high or highschool and thought it was wicked cool.
Now, it is blase. Pedestrian writing, caricaturization[if that is even a word] that wasn’t intended to be caricaturization, and a totally shallow plot make this a complete throw away read. Still enjoyed it, just not nearly as much.

a scientist mucks about with genes and his son turns out to be a super genius, with no conscience. Son and father die and the mother is left to destroy the final baby that was a dry run experiment. I read this back in highschool and thought it was wicked cool. Now, it seems almost blase. The whole premise that super intelligence squeezes out emotions just rings false in my ears. A throw away read, but I do want to read at least 1 more of Cook’s books before I say anything about the author overall.

The Gambler

The Gambler
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Classic
3 Stars
Epub, 130 Pages

a shorter story about a russian teacher who ends up addicted to gambling and throwing his life away. Ends with him basically saying “I’ll give up gambling, tomorrow.” Very confusing at the onset with trying to figure out who is who and what is going on. A good introduction to Dostoyevsky’s style but without the weight of some of his tomes.

The Force Unleashed II

The Force Unleashed II
Star Wars
Sean Williams
1 Star
Epub, 295 Pages

a blase sequel. Starkiller is either resurrected or successfully cloned [even though it is stated, and shown in other novels, that Jedi clones never turn out ok.] Thankfully there was enough stuff happening that the stupid characters didn’t get in the way. Ends with Starkiller and his lady friend running off. It doesn’t make sense, so powerful a force user unsensed by the Emperor and not completely hunted down by Vader. The story was weak, Starkiller is an extremely 2d character and while there are cameos of future greats, they come across as the sops to fans that their appearance really is. Books like this are what will destroy the Star Wars line.

The High Tech Knight

The High Tech Knight
Conrad Stargard #2
Leo Frankowski
Fantasy
2 Stars
DTB, 247 Pages

Conrad kills a bunch of knights who had a group of children slaves. This gets him in hot water and he has to fight a duel with a champion, the very knight he had a run in with when he got to Old Poland back in the first book. Frankowski is an idiot. Conrad still has the right to bed women, but Frankowski portrays it as ok with Conrad’s lover, because “Fair’s fair”. Just continues to show his sexism and engineering genes. And yet it is still a fun read once your eyes stop rolling.

I think all the ideas and thoughts of this series can be described by the following: [paraphrase]
“2 virgins a night? That was just asking too much from a man. Maybe one a week”

Frankowski is a sexist engineer who probably has never gotten laid, hence the focus on nubile young women who throw themselves at the main character and the pages upon pages of detail about the wonderful inventions Conrad has created in Old World Poland.

That being said, once you’re done rolling your eyes, skipping pages of boring mechanical detail and generally wondering what the author was thinking, this is a passable book. Enough to pass the time at lunchtime for a week or so. Not worth a reread and I’m not even sure I’ll be reading anymore. but don’t hold me to that…

Tunnels of Blood

Tunnels of Blood
Cirque Du Freak #3
Darren Shan
Fantasy
4 Stars
Epub, 139 Pages

Darren finds out more about his mentors past and about how the Vampire Society is setup. There is a splinter faction called the Vampaneze who kill when they feed. One goes rogue in the city Mr Crepsley grew up in, so he goes with Darren to take him out.

I am still being impressed by this series. While aimed at the Young Adult crowd, this book is written well enough to give them something to hold other books up to.

The writing itself is tight and clean, the story flows well, the characters are interesting [without having pages upon pages of selfish self-introspection] and the villains are slowly introduced so as to create a feel of “Villainy and Scum” in the background.

I’m not a big vamp fan, but this I would recommend to the Harry Potter group, mainly to show them that a good story CAN be told in a book that isn’t the size of the Bible.