Lucien21 Books 2015

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Lucien21
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Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Lucien21 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:16 am

January

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Last edited by Lucien21 on Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:35 am, edited 20 times in total.
Being human totally sucks most of the time.
Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Lucien21 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:49 am

The Peripheral - William Gibson

The father of Cyberpunk is back with his first future novel since 1999.
Set in not one but two futures. The first, not far off from our own present day, takes place in a Winter's Bone-ish world where the only industries still surviving are lightly evolved versions of Walmart and the meth trade. The second future is set further along in time, after a series of not-quite-cataclysmic events that have killed most of the world's population, leaving behind a monarchic class of gangsters, performance artists, and publicists in an otherwise deserted London. Like many Gibson books, The Peripheral is basically a noirish murder mystery wearing a cyberpunk leather jacket and, after an uncharacteristically dense first one hundred pages, a super enjoyable read—though perhaps less so when you consider just how accurate Gibson can be when he's thinking about what might come next. Because according to The Peripheral, what is coming next is, to borrow Gibson's phrase again, well…f****d.
..Zach Baron

It's a dense book that throws concepts at you hard and fast without a huge amount of explaination (this comes slowly as you keep reading) It deals in Mutliple timelines, Quantum Tunnelling, assassins in invisibility “squidsuits”, a disabled guy roaring around on a hefty motorised trike which sprouts a mechanical scorpion’s tail and ceramic robots called Michikoids which – in combat mode – suddenly “sprout multiple spider-eyes and muzzle slits”.

Flynn Fisher is the main character, she was a game tester who now works in a 3D printing shop, who accepts a job from her ex-haptic driven marine brother to enter a new "game" and pilot a security drone. Unknown to her this "Game" is actually happening in the future, or one potential future. Witnessing a crime she gets dragged into a cross time murder investigation.

The book moves along at a decent pace with short 2-3 page chapters that alternates between the timelines. Unfortunatly this means that the characters are fairly flat and undefined apart from Flynn. The concepts are lofty and well realised and Gibson paints another depressing bleak future.

While I enjoyed the book there were a couple of problems that stops it short of being Neuromancer good. There are too many characters loosly drawn, there are some plot points hinted at that dont seem to go anywhere and worse of all the ending is way too twee and doesn't fit with the tone set at the beginning of the book.
Being human totally sucks most of the time.
Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby LadyKestrel » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:43 pm

Thanks for the heads up on this one, Lucien. I like Gibson and will add this one to my list.

I'm going to make the thread sticky for you.

By the way, have you heard anything more about Nick Harkaway since he wrote The Gone-Away World? I was hoping he'd come up with something new soon as that was a novel that still sticks in my mind.
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Lucien21 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:10 am

LadyKestrel wrote:By the way, have you heard anything more about Nick Harkaway since he wrote The Gone-Away World? I was hoping he'd come up with something new soon as that was a novel that still sticks in my mind.


Quick Google search turned up a couple of interesting titbits

* Nick Harkaway is John Le Carre's son.

* He has two other novels http://www.nickharkaway.com/books/
Being human totally sucks most of the time.
Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby LadyKestrel » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:50 pm

Ah! That is interesting about him being LeCarre's son. The writing is in the genes, I guess. I've been meaning to do a search on him but kept forgetting. Thanks for the link.
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Lucien21 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:14 pm

Red Rising - Pierce Brown

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.


The latest YA novel tipped to be the next big thing. It has already been optioned for the movies so expect this to be the next Hunger games.

That is probably a good analogy as the book has many similarities to the Hunger Games. Instead of Areas being held down and used as Slave labour for rich and powerful the classes are given colours. Red being the lowest and Gold the high and mighty.

Based around a Roman type civilizations Darrow is inducted into an Enders Game style command school where the students are placed in competition against each other to sort out who are potential leaders etc. The main game is a Command and Conquer style war game where each group has to survive with nothing, find and defend a castle, gain upgrades and favours from the leaders by defeating other groups with the last group standing being the winner.

The book is well written with a bunch of decent characters that will have you and Darrow wondering who the enemies are as he becomes more ingrained in the Gold life.

I enjoyed it immensely.

The 2nd of the Trilogy has just been released in Hardback (Golden Son)
Being human totally sucks most of the time.
Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Lucien21 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:11 pm

Half a King - Joe Abercrombie

“I swore an oath to be avenged on the killers of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy...


Joe Abercrombie is know for his Heroic Fantasy novels, a band of misfits and a fight they cannot win against overwhealming odds. Books full of great Characters and battle scenes that are amongst the best in fantasy. Usually very gritty and graphic in it's death scenes.

For his latest three book series he has, like a lot of Fantasy authors, decided to try the YA market with a book aimed at a younger audience than he is used to.

He has kept the framework of his adult stuff with a series of great oddball characters. While the books are shorter and less graphic than his usual fare the book is not lesser for that.

While there is nothing particularly new in the world or the plot of the book. It gripped me from the start and was read over a couple of days. The Dialogue flowed well, keeping the book moving at a decent pace. The world was vivid and well drawn, the characters are interesting and you get swept up in the whole plot as it twists and turns to an ending that may not be the one you imagine.

It's a whole lot of fun.

5/5

The sequel "Half the World" is set in the same world, but with a different main character and plot.
Being human totally sucks most of the time.
Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Lucien21 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:30 am

Running Blind - Lee Child

Across the country women are being murdered by a killer who leaves no evidence, no fatal wounds, no signs of struggle, and no clues to a motive. They are, truly, perfect crimes. In fact, the only thing that links the victims is the man they all knew: Jack Reacher.


Jack Reacher #4 (15 to go) sees Jack getting caught up with the FBI and a serial murder case that crosses over with his old military career and threatens both his freedom and the life/career of his girlfriend Jodie.

His books so far have been decent Popcorn novels, light, fluffy and easy to swallow, but this one was an improvement on the previous novels. I enjoyed the mystery, but it ended up being easy to guess the killer.

3/5
Being human totally sucks most of the time.
Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Rosaboobie » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:06 am

I just bought this book yesterday :cool:
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby draclvr » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:21 am

Hubby and I have read all of the Jack Reacher books and have loved them. I like your description of them, Lucien21 - it's spot on!
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Lucien21 » Thu May 21, 2015 10:10 am

Half a World - Joe Abercrombie

Sometimes a girl is touched by Mother War.

Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named a murderer by the very man who trained her to kill.

Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior.

She finds herself caught up in the schemes of Father Yarvi, Gettland’s deeply cunning minister. Crossing half the world to find allies against the ruthless High King, she learns harsh lessons of blood and deceit.

Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon.

Beside her on the journey is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill, a failure in his eyes and hers, but with one chance at redemption.

And weapons are made for one purpose.

Will Thorn forever be a pawn in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path?


The 2nd book in the series sees Yarvi, now a High Minister, take a rag tag bunch of warriors and two youngsters half way round the world on a dangerous mission to gain allies against the upcoming war with the High King. THorn and Brand are the main characters in the 2nd book with Yarvi pulling the strings from the shadows. Along the way they may encounter battles, trials of strenght and character and become forged as warriors, Heroes that songs are sung about.

It was a bit strange to switch characters mid series, but never the less the book was immensly enjoyable. Abercrombie paints a world on the brink of disaster with a lot of colourful characters and great action.

5/5
Being human totally sucks most of the time.
Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Kickaha » Sat May 23, 2015 12:59 pm

Thanks Lucien! I'm always interested in finding new authors, and I'll add Abercrombie to my list!
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Lucien21 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:41 pm

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson has written some of my favourite books in Science Fiction. (Snow Crash, Diamond Age, Cryptonomincon) His books can be HUGE in ideas as well as form. Most of his books are hefty 900 plus pages and a dense with scientific ideas and wonder.

Well he starts his latest book by blowing up the moon. Sending the inhabitants of Earth in a desperate fight for survival.

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.


The first 600 odd pages deals with the race for survival. The moon initially settles into an orbit round Earth, but it is quickly worked out that collissions between moon parts are going to increase and shift orbit, soon enough a heavy rain of rock will cleanse the planet of life. A small group of people are sent to the International Space Station with supplies and a genetic database of animals and humans, while a small group of hastily built "Arklets" are programmed to float near around the station. Can humanity survive the politics of who survives and who remains, Can it pull together to save the entire race, Can we survive in space for the period of time it would take Earth to recover, Could we surive the debris in space as it falls earthwards, can they pull together in the aftermath and have enough fuel to reach one of hte bigger moon pieces and colonise it.

All questions that are answered in the first 600 pages.

The last 300 pages are an epilogue as it jumps 5000 years into the future to see how it worked out and what would they do when Earth was ready to reclaim.

So a book of two halfs or at least 2/3rds 1/3rd if that makes sense. The biggest part of the book is excellent as Neal knocks the science out the park as he describes the intricicies and problems of trying to survive on the space station. He revels in the science of space flight, Asteroid mechanics, food production in space, terraforming etc etc. Considering he came up with this novel while working on a science project it's not surprising that the science is prominent.

Characters are not his forte so while he has a small bunch of characters that he puts through hell, they are good at using their scientific skills to solve the problems that arise while fighting the grief of losing an entire planet. When it comes to the politics of leadership and the tendancies of human survival his is less successful. It is functional, but not great.

The last part of the book seems like a different book as it deals with the descendant of some of the original characters and the terraforming of Earth.

If it had finished at the end of the first part I think I would have given it a better score however it was still a great books just not one of Stephenson better efforts.

3.5/5
Being human totally sucks most of the time.
Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Lucien21 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:33 am

Finders Keepers - Stephen King

“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.


Second in King's crime thriller trilogy about a retired cop Bill Hodges. While this is a better story than Mr Mercades it still never really hits the highs of King's horror novels. It claims to be his best book about writers and their fans since Misery. Truth of the matter is that it isn't in the same league.

My issue is that there is no surprises in the book. The identity of the killer is known from the start of the book, his motivations and obsessive nature are explained during the opening robbery scenes. So when Pete finds the treasure it is fairly obvious how the book is going to play out. They are two trains heading for a collision, but then about half way through the book they introduce Hodges and his team and try to weave in them solving a mystery that for the readers doesn't exist. It makes no sense.

There are also too many coincidences for my liking, Pete living in Morris's old house, love of the same writer, the father a victim from Mr Mercedes etc

It's a wasted opportunity. Well written, decent characters, but without mystery the thrills are just not there.

3/5
Being human totally sucks most of the time.
Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2015

Postby Diat60 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:27 am

Finders Keepers - my sentiments exactly. A long way from the excellence of The Stand!

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