Thursday, April 30, 2009

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J. K. Rowling

Didn't thrill me as much as the others. The "one year per book" rule was a little strained as was the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Could've been shorter.

It was still a good story and better than a lot of stuff I'd been reading, and it did move the series along, but it was a little bit of a letdown after the third book.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Star Trek TNG: Dyson Sphere (Pellegrino, Zebrowski)

Star Trek TNG: Dyson Sphere, Charles Pellegrino, George Zebrowski

Liked the use of the Horta, didn't like the story or the ending. Lots of possibilities wiped out quickly.

Thought it would be good, but I didn't particularly care for it. Like the use of Hortas, hated the story and the ending.

The story also ended long before I thought it was going to because there was a science essay at the end about Dyson spheres. Ringworld is wasn't.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Prime Evil (Gallagher)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Prime Evil, Diana G. Gallagher

I don't even remember it.

I debated leaving this one out because there isn't a review of it.
Then I realized that for some people, those five words are a very powerful review.
In fairness to Ms. Gallagher, the review obviously wasn't written as promptly as most of the others, but I should've remembered something a few weeks later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Holes (Sachar)

Holes, Louis Sachar, 1998

Read it in two days. It was almost a novelization of the movie. (I saw that first.) Good adapatation to film.
Fun little story.

Saw the movie, so I read the book. I'll rank it as the best movie adaptation of a kids book that I've seen. Enjoyed the book, and appreciated that there was a little more to some of the characters in the book.

This is either a "kids" book or a "young adult" book. I've recently found out there are different sections in the library but sometimes a book from one section at one branch of the library is in the other at a different branch. This recently happened to me.

I also just labeled it "fiction" because it isn't really "fantasy" although there almost seems to be some magical or supernatural element holding it together (rather than just amazing co-incidence).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Western King (Marston) -- reread

The Western King, Ann Marston

Even more fun the second time around.
The next generation continues the story years later. And there is another generation coming.
Third book is on reserve.

I had to reread it after reading part I. Still as good on the second read-through. Better, because I had part I as an intro this time.

This is still one of my favorite fantasy books, and it was better for having read the preceding book.

Update: There was a review in my log book. My computer log doesn't have the same sequence for some reason. One of them was out of order.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kingmaker's Sword (Marston)

Kingmaker's Sword, Ann Marston

Excellent. I'm glad I reserved it from the library. I'm rereading the Western King right after it. I have a few Harry Potter books to read before I reserve part 3.

First part of a trilogy I stumbled across a few years back. I found book 1 in the library. Great book, and it didn't matter that I know how some of it would turn out
because I had read book 2.

A great fantasy tale. The story is completely told in one book, but the overarching theme spans generations (and books). It explained a few things that I had to take for granted when I had read The Western King.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Destiny's Road (Niven)

Destiny's Road, Larry Niven

Excellent worldbuiling. Hard SF. Quick read.

Enjoyed it, very much. A world-building travelogue with a story wrapped around it so that you don't realize that you have a world-building travelogue. (That's the way to do it.)

This was made quicker by the fact that it was a summer reading book, so I had more time. Someone afterward told me that he borrowed heavily from his "Known Space" books, but I haven't read those, so if he did, it didn't bother me.

It had a good story, and he was able to give a tour of the world he built along the way that made sense in the story.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling

Excellent. She keeps expanding on the characters without betraying or retconning anything we already knew.

Probably my favorite one to date (though subject to change). I was totally taken in by this one, waiting for something so fricking obvious to happen and then have an alternate, which I didn't suspect, happen.

The second entry came from a file on an old hard drive, not from my log.

Of the series, this was probably my favorite standalone book. It was better than Goblet of Fire, and the final three books were more of a continuous narrative working toward the climatic battle.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Babylon 5: In the Beginning (David)

Babylon 5: In the Beginning, Peter David, based on a teleplay by J. Michael Straczynski.

Very good. Not like the last novelization I read. (I haven't seen the TV movie.)

Peter David did an excellent job on this book. It read nothing like a script. It read like a story. I appreciate that. As for the story, it tied in a lot that I already knew about the Babylon 5 universe from watching the series. Good job.

Mostly Harmless (Adams)

Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams

Mostly crap.
A couple of good pages.

It was sad how bad this book was. The Hitchhiker's series declined steadily with each book and struck dirt with this one.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Unnatural Selection (Golden, Holder)

Unnatural Selection, Christopher Golden, Nancy Holder

Another Buffy book that had to do with faeries and Anya before she started dating Xander, by the author of Ghost Roads. They even referenced it. Not half bad.

some "Buffy" book about Faeries by the author of Ghost Roads (another Buffy book I read a couple of years back). Actually, it was a good thing that I had read Ghost Roads because the author makes a lot of Buffy references, most of which I think
I caught, from the show. When she tossed in a Ghost Roads character reference, I was thrown at first. (hey, that's non-canon stuff!)

The second entry came from a file on an old hard drive, not from my log.

Another brief entry. So brief that I forgot to write down the title. I had to look it up from the description, but I recognized it when I saw it.

Edit: found a second review that I had written. I still hadn't written the title of the book.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Congo (Crichton)

Congo, Crichton, 1980

Good book. Worth reading.
Library sale book.

From this entry (and the next one), I'm surmising that this was during a period where I either misplaced my log book or I just didn't have time to write anything down. When I finally did, it was a brief entry.

Basically, scientists have a smart gorilla (like Koko) who can communicate somewhat with humans. For whatever reason (I don't remember exactly what), they wind up taking the gorilla, along with a team, to the Congo. Drama ensues.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Halloween Rain (Golden, Holder)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Halloween Rain, Golden, Holder, 1997

An episode of the show which I hadn't seen. Killer scarecrow that comes alive during the rains on Halloween. Samhain can see through the eyes of any pumpkin and move if it's on a scarecrow.
Quick read. Should've been quicker.
Mind candy.

There's a line that I left out that says, "Cute line about coupe....", except that I can't read my own handwriting, nor remember what the cute line was actually about.

I'm also not sure if this was actually an episode, or if it was my belief at the time that it was based on one particular episode and not based on the characters from the series. Ultimately, it was forgettable.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers, J. R. R. Tolkien

Finished months after I saw the movie.

I guess nothing else needed to be said?
Tolkien isn't the easiest thing to read, but I did enjoy the book, especially because so much more happens in this book than happens in the movie. Changes were obviously made for cinematic storytelling.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Executive Orders (Clancy)

Executive Orders, Tom Clancy, 1998

Ryan's the president and the other countries are taking advantage. Fun to read (although I listened to the book on tape a couple of years ago), but the end was a hard read because it was a long simulation of a wargame. The mountain men subplot went nowhere. Literally.

For such a HUGE book, I don't remember why I wrote such a small review. But some memories about reading it:

I picked it up at a library sale. It was the LARGE PRINT edition. Of a TOM CLANCY book. I was lucky I was able to lift the darned thing.

My wife was amused watching me read this monstrosity in bed ... moreso when I was tired and the thing started tipping over.

And I photocopied the pages about the spleen and mailed it to some friends. Private joke.

This one could've been a good movie, but Harrison Ford already made Air Force One. It would've been confusing as to which character he was playing. Plus, the ebola virus got overdone in Hollywood really fast.