Thursday, October 05, 2006

Book Review

It’s book review time again (er, finally).

(Insert loud huzzahs and fanfare.)


(Insert sound of crickets chirping.)

Anyway, I’ve got a semi-decent crop of stuff to talk about starting with “The Privilege of the Sword” by Ellen Kushner. I picked this up thinking it held an intriguing mix of Jane Austen-esqueness along with sword-fighting and a mad duke. These are some of my favorite things (well, not the mad duke part, but you get the idea). And while it does have those, and is actually interesting and well-written, I’m just bored to death with the whole homosexual politics thing. It’s not new or shocking or even interesting in this day and age and I get so damned tired of strong female characters who “suddenly” discover their homosexuality. I mean, really, at this point, what would be new and interesting would be a female sword fighter (or fire fighter, or policewoman, etc.) who ISN’T gay. I’m over it. It’s also possible that my enjoyment and understanding of this book was affected by the fact that it’s a sequel to a previous book called “Swordspoint” which I haven’t read and which may provide greater insight into the characters. Cool cover art, though.

I moved on to “I See You” by Holly Lisle. This book features a female paramedic who, surprisingly, is not gay. In fact, she leaps into bed with the hero mere moments after meeting him and yeah, I know it’s a romance/thriller crossover, but come on, people! I’ve never bought this whole “instant mystical attraction so powerful that it cannot be denied” thing. It’s just stupid. Despite that fact, this book might’ve been pretty good had it not been a complete and total re-do of Lisle’s earlier book, “Midnight Rain,” which was much more cleverly done. At least in that version, I didn’t figure out the main plot twist during the intro.

Next comes “Webmage” by Kelly McCullough. This book is a bit newbie-ish, but still provides a fun-filled romp through a world that’s an interesting mish-mash of computer technology, Greek mythology and sorcery. I suspect that it would’ve been even more entertaining if I had even the remotest knowledge of computer programming. While the author seems overly concerned with proving just how closely he (and yes, it’s a “he” – if you can’t tell from the sex scenes, check out the bio at the end of the book) paid attention in his Mythology and Folklore 101 class. He does this by constantly tossing about bits of obscure Greek myths so brush up on your Mount Olympus Tales, folks. It is interesting to see these characters brought to life in this particular universe, though. The book is funny and action-packed and I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the author’s next novel.

Then it was time to “get my shallow on” by checking out the latest installment of Mary Janice Davidson’s “Undead” series. Betsy Taylor is back in all her blond bimbo, shoe-obsessed, vampire queen glory in “Undead and Unpopular.” Not much has changed since the last book. She’s still planning her wedding, her baby brother is still colicky, and she still has “issues” with her housemates and her fiancé, Eric Sinclair. Although the book is fun, it’s my least favorite of the series so far because it doesn’t have much in the way of plot. The question of why there’s suddenly a zombie in the attic is never resolved (the better to make us all shell out for the next book, I’m sure) and the other main issue, the visiting vampire delegation from Europe, resolves itself off-stage without any input from any of the main characters. When the book ends, you’re sort of left with a “that’s it?” feeling as you search through the final pages to see if you’ve perhaps missed a few…hundred. I say wait for the paperback edition on this one.

Last, but not least, is “Firestorm,” the latest from Rachel Caine’s “Weather Warden” series. Always well done, these books are a fun, action-filled ride with the main character, Joanne Baldwin, constantly getting in deeper and deeper er…well, you know, just deeper. This time she’s up against Mother Nature herself and, as the famous commercial once claimed, it’s not nice to piss off Mother Nature. Okay, okay, the commercial said “fool” but I figure the theory still holds. On top of that, the Djinn have gone nutso, Joanne’s sister is in the hands of a sociopathic wingnut by the name of Eamon, demons and natural disasters are busting out all over and the Wardens are getting their butts kicked in every corner of the globe. The resolution was a little too quick and I also wonder who you get as guest-star villain after you’ve already had Mother Nature in the role. That’s kind of a hard act to follow. However, you definitely won’t be bored. This one also has cool cover art. Next installment of the series is due out July, 2007. This is kind of a long time to wait. *Pout*

Have a good weekend everyone!


P.S. Oh, and Sparkle? That comment about the earrings? Subtle, very subtle (not). I haven’t forgotten! In fact, headed to a bead show this weekend and will keep an eye out for fun things to add to your focal beads. Oh, and earring hooks…I need earring hooks. Sorta hard to make earrings without ‘em!

P.P.S. I’ve been asked on a date! Now, where DID I put those red stilettos…


Kaos Siberians said...

So? How'd the date go? Did you find the red shoes? And did they do the trick? Some of us with no life have to live vicariously through our friends!

Silver Parrot said...

Date went well and a second date has been requested. I wore my new Levi's 505 straight leg jeans (hey, I can wear straight legs - who knew?) and a wine/ivory silk blouse and my brown high-heeled boots. I found the red shoes, but decided they were a little intense for a first date. Besides, if I'd needed to make a quick getaway (hey, you never know how these things will turn out), they would've been a major impediment.