Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 May Reading List

Warriors (vol. 1) by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin – Not quite what I was expecting. The only story I really liked was Joe Haldeman’s “Forever Bound”. Maybe I’ll give Haldeman another try after the disappointment that was “Camouflage”. 3/5 stars

Quantico by Greg Bear – I didn’t like it. It’s marketed as a sci fi novel, but it feels more like a procedural cop TV show. The sci fi element appears only towards the end. I’m not even sure it’s that sci fi anymore and the book wasn’t written that long ago. 3/5 stars

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare – What I liked about this series was that Jace’s character used to be so much fun. In this 4th book though, not so much. Also, not much seems to be happening. There are only a few key scenes that stuck in my mind. From what I remember, there used to be more action, twists and turns in the previous books. And given the way it ends, I’m glad I waited a whole year before reading it so I could read the next book right after it. 3/5 stars

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare – I found it more interesting than City of Fallen Angels, too bad the word count is blown up by love scenes every other couple of pages. Why we need to be told about every character’s make out session, or what they’re wearing at any given moment, is beyond me. At least everything ends well, except for poor Alec. And what did Magnus do to be banned from Peru? Huh?! 3/5 stars

The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi – I recognized the same voice as in The Windup Girl, though this being written using first person POV it felt less distant. 3/5 stars

An Afternoon with Beer and Fairies by Liviu Radu – A delightful read. And the title and cover art are also great. Now I must get the other books in the series! 4/5 stars

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi – Well written, no doubt about it, but not for me. Dunno, I just didn’t care for that world. On the other hand, dystopian YA is not really my thing so… 3/5 stars

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi – I’m really glad I didn’t give up on Bacigalupi after the last book read. I only picked this one up because the synopsis said it featured Tool and Tool was my favorite character from Ship Breaker. Dystopian YA sells, and this is well set in the trend started by The Hunger Games, but it’s also ten times better written than The Hunger Games. It was such a nice surprise and I got fully captivated by the story which doesn’t often happen to me. I’m a little puzzled by who the target audience is supposed to be for this book. While as a writer I admired Bacigalupi’s skills, as an adult I didn’t enjoy reading about kids killing kids. I don’t think I’d like my kid to read something like this and be left feeling the way I did by the end. Actually, the ending was a little rushed, you didn’t get to fully enjoy the relief of escaping and we were left with the dread from before that. 4/5 stars

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson – After 100 pages of world building and basically no plot, I got bored with it. It felt like being inside a Second Life game and that’s just not interesting enough for me. I might or might not return to it.

The Chronolits by Robert Charles Wilson – To me it felt like an early draft of Spin. And I wasn’t crazy about Spin, I found it too stuffy… On the other hand, I liked Axis, but I really didn’t care for Vortex. So I guess I’m not your typical reader and Mr. Wilson’s work is not quite fit for me. 3/5 stars

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