Friday, June 29, 2012

2012 June Reading List

Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein – First impression was that the title was misleading. Then, the main character is not someone meant to draw you in. Third, it must have been a weak year when this book won the Hugo. This being said, and since it’s a rather short book, it was enjoyable enough not to be a total waste of time. 3/5 stars

Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein – I gave up after reading half of it. YA is no fun without a little bit of romance, and for a YA it has too much technical details that only serve to make the plot drag. Honestly, after reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy, this was such a bore. 2/5 stars

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie – I remember I wasn't too impressed with the first book from the First Law trilogy. It was too bloody and the story too disjointed for my taste. So I was reluctant to continue with the second book. Until I started reading it. I must say it makes a huge difference if you read it in English! The story flows so much better, I almost didn't mind the gore and the mud. :) The only problem I had was remembering who everyone was. Glokta is a star! 4/5 stars

Caliban's War by James S. A. Corey – My impressions are the same as for the first book in the Expanse series. I'm so glad the second book didn't disappoint even if it rehashed some of the previous plot. By far one of the most enjoyable reads in a long time. 4/5 stars

The Last Argument of the Kings by Joe Abercrombie – After all the excitement brought by book 2 of The First Law trilogy, this was a bit of a let down. Two thirds of the book were mostly about fighting and the battle scenes were incredibly long, so long that I found myself leafing through the book which I rarely do. Plus, two kings were pulled out of nowhere and Jazal was back to being annoying more often than not. Abercrombie saved face with me by giving Glokta a happy ending, I didn't think he'd dare, but other than that there wasn't much to be thrilled about. 4/5 stars

Redshirts by John Scalzi – It took me about four chapters to figure out the story doesn't take itself seriously and neither should I. After that, it became a light and reasonably enjoyable read. Half way in, it occurred to me that it was getting too long and this would work much better as a novella. There's way too much chatting, almost zero introspection, and not enough description. By the end, I still had no idea how these characters looked like. They're like faceless cardboard figures, anyone could have said those lines. I never thought I'd complain about too much dialog and lack of description. *facepalm* It seems to me that Scalzi didn't really know how to end this story. He cut it short abruptly and then went on adding three codas the book could have easily gone without. They don't add much to the main story and they feel disjointed because of the chosen narrative voice and writing style. As a whole, it felt like the writer had more fan writing it than the average reader would have reading it. I get it that Scalzi can afford to make experiments, but he better not do it on my time. Compared to Fuzzy Nation, Redshirt was a big disappointment. 3/5 stars

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