Dy's Take

May 14, 2012

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman

Filed under: Alternate History,Thriller,YA — Dy @ 10:31

(28) The Klaatu Diskos #1

I read, and thoroughly enjoyed, Hautman’s “Godless“* years ago, and picked this up in passing when I took my girl to the library one day. It was dark (not for the younger crowd; think 14 and up, despite the youth of the protagonist) and interesting and I can’t wait for the rest of the series to make it all make sense. It came to enough of a conclusion that I didn’t feel cheated, as sometimes happens at the end of a series novel, but left lots of room for more answers in the next book.

*Yes, that’s an Amazon link. No, it’s not an affiliate link.

May 13, 2012

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Filed under: Alternate History,Book Club — Dy @ 20:22

(27)

I didn’t have very high expectations for this one — my feelings about King’s work are not strong, and I’m not a conspiracy theory fan, so I went into it with low expectations cuz my book club made me do it.

And was pleasantly surprised. The character development was awesome, and, despite the lack of happy ending, I thought the ending fit the story.

January 6, 2011

Ignition City, Volume 1 by Warren Ellis

Filed under: Alternate History,graphic novel,Sci-Fi — Dy @ 21:54

(4)

I’ve decided, after reading a couple of his books today, that I like Warren Ellis’ stuff.  It’s dark, and grim, but it’s also smart and thought-provoking.  ‘Scuse me while I go search the library database for more of his work…

This was an intro into a new world, same as No Hero, though not the same world. This was more steam-punk meets UFOs with a dash of Firefly. A good book and while crude, in some places — these are graphic novels, emphasis on the first word, NOT Archie comics — the gross factor was far lower than in the other 2 GNs I read today.

4/5

August 20, 2009

Black Ships by Jo Graham

Filed under: Alternate History,LitFic — Dy @ 08:17

( 61 )

Okay, I admit it. I never read “The Aenid”.

After reading “Black Ships” I think I may have to read the story that inspired the story. Oddly enough though, based on the author’s notes, while Virgil’s tale may be the first recorded version of the story of Troy’s survivors in the aftermath of the Trojan War, Graham’s is more historically accurate (though still fiction).

I really enjoyed this and never ran into a moment or a line that brought me out of the story.  Highly recommended!

I had a lot of trouble categorizing this book, so feel free to disagree with my choices—and tell me why, I’m starting to think I’m talking to myself here!

September 7, 2008

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

Filed under: Alternate History,Book Club,YA — Dy @ 23:05

( 69 )

His Dark Materials, Book 1

I get upset when people condemn a book without bothering to read. Someone in my book club, which is an offshoot of my local online mom’s group, posted the standard “Pullman is an atheist and this is gonna take our kids on a one way ride to Hell!” email that was circulating in the weeks before the film version of the Golden Compass came out.  I’m in a children’s writers group and the topic was pretty thoroughly dissected there, with links to in-depth articles on both the author and the series, so I felt pretty confident in saying the Internet-panic email was hogwash.

But, I wanted to make a point.  So, waaay back in January I chose this book for our online discussion bookm, so that people would be a little more openminded, I hope, before forwarding inflammatory comments that lead to book banning and burning.

Now that I’ve said all that, I made a horrible mistake with this book.  I *gasp* watched the movie first. My 7yo wanted to see it, and I’m one of ~those~ moms, which means I had to watch it first.  I didn’t find the material objectionable in a conceptual way, but the whole lower jaw of the ice bear flying at the screen (thank goodness it wasn’t 3D!) made me say NO to letting her watch it.

Unfortunately, watching the movie affected how I viewed the book.  The book was, as almost always, better, but having the movie in my head made it easier for me to get into the book and through parts that several friends mentioned were hard to get into.  I knew what was ahead, and pushed through.

Here’s where I make my big confession.  I ama  shallow reader. I may occasionally dig below the surface, but not too often.  I’m not interested in the Miltonian influence in this book, or the paradigm of church vs. science. I read a book with an eleven-year old girl as the heroine and enjoyed it as an adventure story.

My overall impression of this book was DARK.  There’s a reason it’s called “His Dark Materials.” There are no true, pure heroes in this story, with the possible exception of Iornek Bearnison — and he’s a drunk when we meet him.

The characters were pretty shallow, outside of Lyra.  Some of that read as a child’s perspective of people around her, and some as lazy characterization.

More later, probably, as I delve into the discussion questions with my group.

February 11, 2008

The Dark River by John Twelve Hawks

Filed under: Alternate History,Fantasy — Dy @ 22:40

(7) (4th Realm Trilogy,Vol2)

February 8, 2008

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

Filed under: Alternate History,Fantasy — Dy @ 22:39

(6)

This was a re-read. The library finally got a copy of the sequel and I wanted a refresher. Not ~quite~ as good as I remembered, but damn fine nonetheless.

July 11, 2007

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Filed under: Alternate History,Book Club,Sci-Fi — Dy @ 14:29

This was a re-read for me, for my book club and I enjoyed it almost as much the second time around. Not ~quite~ as much because I remembered a bit of the ‘twist’ from my last read, but still a good, fun, smart read.

June 13, 2007

For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison

Filed under: Alternate History,Mystery — Dy @ 14:10

(a Rachel Morgan/Hollows novel)

I wish I could write this series, I really do.  A wonderful, skewed view of our world, characters with emotional depth, a plot full of surprises and hidden delights.  Damn.  I really wish I wrote this world.

June 11, 2007

Petty Treason by Madeleine E. Robins

Filed under: Alternate History,Historical Fiction,Mystery — Dy @ 14:06

(Sarah Tolerance #2)

Soooo Good!  I got all the way through it without knowing who did it or why, a rarity for me.

June 3, 2007

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

Filed under: Alternate History — Dy @ 14:05

(Southern Vampire #7)

June 2, 2007

Point of Honour by Madeleine E. Robins

Filed under: Alternate History,Historical Fiction,Mystery — Dy @ 09:54

(a Sarah Tolerance mystery)

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family must, soon or late, descend to whoredom.”

That captivating sentence begins a richly patterned ride through a skewed bit of history and introduces a heroine that, by the end of the book, is one of my new favorites. I love the fact that the MC looks at her situation so dead-on accurately and is realistic about the perils that a woman alone in that era faced.

Off to read the next Sarah Tolerance novel, though I may parse it, knowing I shall likely have to wait a while for another.

March 14, 2007

Mistral’s Kiss by Laurell K Hamilton

Filed under: Alternate History — Dy @ 11:16

(Meredith Gentry Book 5)

Kinda like a train wreck, you hate that you slow down to look, but you do it anyway.

In all fairness, there was a little more not-all-about-the-sex action in this one. Don’t get me wrong, I think sex is a good thing, and am pretty open-minded about it,which you have to be to read LKH and not get wigged. I just, well, I’ve been reading her since before she was famous and she’s writes a great story. It’s just that these days, particularly in this series, she is taking a one-novel story and telling it in, oh, five, to-date and fluffing it with sex. I’m kind of looking forward to when she finally finishes the series so I can read the whole story at once and skim the sex parts. I like sex, I even enjoy reading it sometimes, but, dadnabbit, the balance of sex-story has gone way past 50-50 in favor of sex in this series and its a shame, because I think there is a pretty good story hiding under there.

January 18, 2007

Fall of Knight by Peter David

Filed under: Alternate History,Fantasy — Dy @ 13:11

Ah… I love Peter David.  If you’ve never read his “Apropos” series you should.  The modern Arthur series, of which this is the conclusion, is fun, too, especially if you are, like me, an Arthuriana buff.

December 30, 2006

Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton

Filed under: Alternate History,Fantasy,Horror,Short Stories — Dy @ 13:22

I really liked this collection. I got to see skills and worlds Hamilton created that I’d never had a glimpse of before. Happily, I got to see some quality storytelling and worldcrafting (yea, I totally made that word up!) without the more-sex-than-story issue that has plagued the Merry Gentry series (from book 1) and all the recent Anita Blake books.

Go, check this out. Have fun.

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