Saturday, March 15, 2008

Update and Review Previews

I haven't put up a review in two weeks even though I have two to do. I feel like a horrible reviewer. Unfortunately, I have a big project at work due the end of next week and I knew there was no way I'd finish it on time with all my other projects if I didn't work extra, so a lot of my spare time has been going into that and I haven't had time to actually write a review (or read all that much). I'll just be glad when this month this over.

So I thought in the meantime I'd take a little break from my project and write a few brief thoughts on the books I've read recently before I get to review them. These are not reviews and my brain is pretty much mush right now, but hopefully it will at least give an idea on the books since I don't know when I'll get a chance to actually write in-depth reviews of them.

Catherine Asaro's Primary Inversion, the first book in the Skolian saga, took me about 1 1/2 days to start and finish. This space opera was very easy to get absorbed in from early in the novel, and it kept me wanting to find out what happened. It may be a bit angst-filled for some people's taste (and it had some romance, although the romance was not the entire plot or anything). It reminded me somewhat of a more connected version of C.S. Friedman's In Conquest Born with it's slightly telepathic race of empaths and empires at odds with one another. I can't wait to read the rest of the books in the Skolian Saga.

Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow was good, but a little disappointing after all I had heard about it. I had heard that the characterization was wonderful, but even though I liked the characters in the story, I felt they lacked something. I'm not sure what, though, since there were certainly a lot of gray areas and the depictions of their motives are problems were very real. There were a few elements of the story that I found hard to swallow even for science fiction - for instance, using an asteroid as a transport vessel to Alpha Centauri. The writing was ok, but nothing exceptional. The mystery of what had happened was riveting, but at times, the story dragged a little. This story was worth reading for the way it brought up interesting questions about religion and how it depicted Emilio's descent from a godly priest to a bitter man with a bad reputation.

Now I am back to fantasy and reading Melusine by Sarah Monette a little in the evenings when I have time. So far, it is very promising although I've only read the first three chapters.

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