Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pile-O-Books

I've fallen way behind on the book reviews (reviews in general actually - but the movie and TV shows don't physically pile up on my desk). So here's some catch up by way of a more capsule format:

Light - M. John Harrison
Ok, I will admit it, I bought this book because it has a cat on the cover. The graphic is clean and interesting and the copy on the back says something about self-aware, intelligent spacecraft and so I thought I'd give it a go. It trys to be this sort of epic scale story of humanity reaching for the stars. I guess it succeeds, but in the end I cared very little for any of the people, really didn't understand why they were doing what they did, and then to boot the worlds they moved in were fairly unengaging. There was sex and violence that didn't so much contribute, really much that seemed just for the sake of itself. It's an ok summer read, but there are lots of those.

The Cylons' Secret - Craig Shaw Gardner
I figured I'd give a Battlestar novel a chance. I've liked most of the Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who books I've read. This one makes it self out to be in the universe of the current TV series. If it is, it is only on deep, deep background. The only common characters are Tigh and Adama, and the story takes place prior to Adama getting his first command. So that was fairly disappointing. Overall the story is ok, a tale of a cut off research station where humans and mech Cylons have learned to live together and then the fallout of their being discovered once again. Again, fairly solid summer reading, but truthfully nothing to blog the whole internet about.

Bloodlines- Karen Travis/Betrayal - Aaron Allston
These two pretty much hang together. Yes, Val, I am one of those people with these books. These are the first two of the "Legacy of the Force" series. We're 40 years post A New Hope here. The storys center around Jacen Solo (that's Han and Leia's older son for those without a scorecard). These don't have the depth of the Thrawn books, and they don't have the pace of the X-Wing stories, but they stand on their own and are faithful and respectful to the rest of the panopticon. There's a bunch of good stuff surrounding Boba Fett's family and people. Fett is a great character, and 99% of that is from what was written after the movies. Probably the hardest thing to grasp in these books are that Luke, Mara, Han, & Leia are now in their late 50's. Try as I might, I just can't picture them that old - and based on some of the physical things they do I think the author's might have the same issue.

Allegiance - Timothy Zahn
I have really thoroughly enjoyed each Timothy Zahn Star Wars novel. That is true of this one as well, all though I had some trouble getting on board with the basic premise. This book is pre-Battle of Yavin, during the Empire. At some point someone must have been involved in a conversation where they came up with the idea that the stormtroopers weren't evil, it was the emperor. So some of the troopers must have been stand up guys. This book is about a group of stormies who desert and become vigilante do-gooders. Just a real high diameter pill to swallow at the outset, but if you can supend your disbelief into siding with stormtroopers then this book will impress. (I never had any problem liking Thrawn, Pealleon, older and younger Fel, and Mara - even Fett. I wonder why I can't really picture white hatted stormtroopers.)

High Profile & Spare Change - Robert Parker
Someone once said of Iasaac Asimov's prolific publishing: "that's not writing, that's typing!" I wonder what they would say about Robert Parker. I think he has four novels coming out this year. Take that JK, Parker coulda wrapped up Harry Potter in two years. This is a Jesse Stone and a Sonny Randal. But really they're all Spensers, just cop Spenser and chick Spenser, and that's fine with me. I think maybe Parker has gotten the investigative process down almost too well. They always say that its really just dogged and waiting. Sometimes reading these books you get the feeling the crime is just a wall falling over in slow motion. Also, I think this is more in the recent books than the earlier ones but it seems like the "who" is always fairly clear pretty early. The books have become more about being able to prove it, or finding out the "why." Since Parker started writing Sonny Randal I have been waiting for the Grand Unifying Parker Book, for the story with Spenser, Jesse, and Sonny - not to mention Quirk, Belson, Joe Broz, Ritchie, Susan, Rita, Hawk, Spike, Healy and the rest of the regulars. Jesse and Sonny get together in High Profile and I was thrilled. So much so that when they talk about the disposition of that affair in Spare Change I was sad all over again. Both books are a good read, solid Parker.

1 comment:

Blake said...

> Probably the hardest
> thing to grasp in these
> books are that Luke, Mara,
> Han, & Leia are now in
> their late 50's. Try as I
> might, I just can't picture
> them that old - and based
> on some of the physical
> things they do I think the
> author's might have the
> same issue.

Age never really makes much of a difference when it comes to Star Wars. After all, Dooku wasn't exactly a spring chicken when he was leaping about fighting Obi-Wan and Anakin.