Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Kahn)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, James Kahn, 1984

Not as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but then the movie wasn't as good either. It was better than the typical movie-to-book treatment, but just below the Raiders benchmark.
Fun to read, but some parts didn't translate well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"B" is for Burglar (Grafton)

B is for Burglar, Sue Grafton, 1985

I've listened to several Kinsey Milhone books, but this (I believe) is the first one I've read (and it isn't one of the ones that I've listened to).
About average for the series and a good read. Nothing spectacular in the way of a mystery novel, but they'd be a good basis for a movie-of-the-week series for sweeps months.
(My wife didn't find it to be anything special. Her sister, on the other hand, has read most, or all, of the books available at the library.)

I like the series. I've picked more of them up since then.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Games for the Super-Intelligent, (Fixx)

Games for the Super-Intelligent, James F. Fixx, 1982

Picked it up in the 80s. Not a read, but a re-read, mostly for the barometer and roast beef stories. It has a lot of old puzzles, including a few that I didn't figure out and an IQ test (Mensa test?) that I filled out partially, and I could see how wrong I'd been.
Fun to read. Time to recycle it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Western King (Marston)

The Western King, Ann Marston 1996.

I knew that this was book two in a trilogy when I picked it up. Bought it anyway.
Loved it.
The story takes place 20 years after the first volume and doesn't require that you know anything about book one. This story spans several years and flows well. It's not like, "Here's one afternoon's events, and here's another afternoon five years later." It's a well-thought-out tale of three brothers -- one a Prince, one destined to be King, and a younger twin who will have three sons, according to a prophecy -- their father, who is the Regent, and the rest of their family.
The try to unite their island against an enemy that has occupied a portion of land for 20+ years, even as the raider's home territory -- indeed, the entire continent -- is falling before a darker evil.
Half of the prophecies are fulfilled before the end of this book. Others deal with the future and should be resolved in the final volume.
Great book at a great price. I stayed up late reading extra chapters.
This book makes up for the crap I bought at the same time at the same price.
I may have to look for the other two books.

I eventually used the Public Library system to track down the other five books in the two trilogies. These reviews will show up eventually, but I was disappointed to learn that the story didn't have any closure at the end of book three and I had to find three more books.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Batman (Gardner)

Batman, Craig Shaw Gardner, 1989

A promising prologue, but then it fell apart. Little more than what passed the screen hit the pages. Harvey Dent got a few mentions, but no more action or appearances. The narrative was uneven -- at times, dark and cynical; others, too sarcastic. And not just when the Joker was in the scene. The narrator's voice blended with the characters' thoughts too freely.
Could've been so much better.
Quick read. (Day and a half, maybe)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Starcruiser Shenandoah: Squadron Alert (Green)

Starcruiser Shenandoah: Squadron Alert, Roland J. Green, 1989

a book from the used book store (a trade-in). I grabbed it for a change of pace -- I haven't read any military SF that I recall. I didn't realize that I'd picked up the first book of a proposed trilogy. As such, a lot of time was spent introducing a lot of characters that I'd later confuse with one another (despite the handy, but incomplete, roster in the front of the book), and the book moved slower than an old steam freighter despite a promising start.
Didn't do enough or have enough story to cover a full book rather than a third of a trilogy.
Didn't suck though.

Apparently, there have been six books, not just a trilogy. I've seen sequels at the library, but since I don't remember the first book all that well, there's little point in reading farther.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Star Trek: TNG: Unification (Taylor)

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification, Jeri Taylor,
story by Rick Berman and Michael Piller

Adaptation of two-part TNG episode. About standard for a novelization; mediocre for a book. You could see the scene fades and cuts. Some dialogue could've been cut and replaced with description or exposition.
Or they could have just told the damn story!
Quick read even though I've only seen a portion of part two (and none of part one) on TV.
Recycled it.

And by "recycled", I believe I mean that literally. It didn't go back to the used bookshop to exchange for another. It went out with the newspapers.