Posts in category 'books'
Review: The MagiciansReview of The Magicians (The Magicians #1.0) by Lev Grossman (9780670020553)★★★(https://b-ark.ca/SGUw_c)
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he's secretly fascinated with a series of children's fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .
The book is slow to start and it often feels as though Grossman is going through the motions. But the driving second half more than makes up for it. And with choice quotes like:
“Look, who’s the talking bear here?” Quentin snapped. “Is it you? Are you the talking fucking bear? All right. So shut the fuck up.”
The meta-fiction is downright entertaining.
Some might find the book needlessly angsty, and there’s some merit to that complaint. But its an interesting alternative look at what it would mean to discover a magical world embedded in our own.
Review: YouReview of You by Austin Grossman (9780316198554)★★★★(https://b-ark.ca/2_W8Oe)
When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, his strangest and most gifted friend, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit.
As the company's revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a software glitch, Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears -- and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line.
“You”’s biggest problem is simply that it came after Ready Player One, and so everyone presumes that, just because they both deal with video games, they must be similar.
They’re not. At all.
Ready Player One is exactly what I suspect most people would expect of a video game novel: fast paced, fun, full of action and suspense. That it’ll get made into a movie I have no doubt.Continue reading...
Review: Carpe JugulumReview of Carpe Jugulum (Discworld #23.0) by Terry Pratchett (9780613277617)★★★★★(https://b-ark.ca/gKWiYy)
When Uberwald's undead population, the Magpyrs, begins to invade Lancre, a priest forges an tentative allience with the local witches to prevent the kingdom from being overrun.
Granny Weatherwax is one of those characters that, prior to this point, I would describe as a quiet mystery. Old, crotchety, wise, powerful, and wickedly intelligent, her role in her coven was always important but never a centerpiece, at least in my mind, and she was never a character toward which I would ascribe feelings of sympathy.
But in this book we see Pratchett really explore what makes Granny Granny, and in doing so, shows us why he loves her character so much. Like Captain Vimes, Granny is a creature of honour and duty, willing to do those things others can’t or won’t do because they are necessary. But as we’ve seen Vimes, here we see Granny bending beneath the weight of that duty, and in those moments we see the humanity and vulnerability of a character who seems so unbreakable.
To me, this book stacks up with Guards! Guards! as one of Pratchett’s best… I’m a guy who loves relating to great characters, and this book delivers in spades.
Review: Leviathan WakesReview of Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1.0) by James S. A. Corey (9780316129084)★★★★(https://b-ark.ca/u2ACAS)
Humanity has colonized the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond - but the stars are still out of our reach.
Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for - and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.
Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.
Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations - and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.
I wanna give half stars! This book didn’t totally blow my mind (like, say, The Road), but it was a really solid space opera. 4.5.