Lucien21 Books 2016

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Lucien21
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Lucien21 Books 2016

Postby Lucien21 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:09 am

New year, New goal. Slimmed it down from 30 to 25 in the hopes of getting closer this year.

January
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February
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March
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April

Nada

May
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June
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July

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August

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September

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Oct-Nov

Nada

December

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Last edited by Lucien21 on Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:11 am, edited 30 times in total.
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2016

Postby Lucien21 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:56 am

Star Wars: Aftermath - Chuck Wendig

Journey to The Force Awakens.

The second Death Star is destroyed. The Emperor and his powerful enforcer, Darth Vader, are rumored to be dead. The Galactic Empire is in chaos.

Across the galaxy, some systems celebrate, while in others Imperial factions tighten their grip. Optimism and fear reign side by side.

And while the Rebel Alliance engages the fractured forces of the Empire, a lone Rebel scout uncovers a secret Imperial meeting


So it is fairly well know that when Disney bought the Star Wars licence they reset the universe to include the movies and not a lot else. The Expanded Universe of books etc were relegated to a seperate universe called "Legends". While there was a lot of decent books in the origional canon, unfortunatly for Chuck Wendig, the post Jedi novel series commonly known as the Thrawn Trilogy is pretty much revered by the fan base.

So how does Chuck fill that new hole to fit into the new timeline leading up to the new movie.

Badly is my answer. While the new movie itself is excellent, this novel is a disapointment. It attempts to create a bunch of new characters, underdogs who find themselves in the right places as the Empire attempts to regroup after the death of the Emperor. Wedge Antilles on a routine patrol is captured by the Empire on a remote planet and as such is rarely in the book, the main characters are a ex-rebel pilot returing home to get her son, the son and his battle droid (Mr.Bones), a bounty hunter and an ex Empire soldier who band together in unlikly circumstances to fight back againt the occupying force and disrupt their secret meeting.

The problems with this book are multiple. The characters are just not interesting, the book is disjointed in that it occassionally has some of the main characters in the novel for about 10 pages and then they disappear, there are interludes to characters and moments around the universe that don't add anyhting, and the whole thing is written in the present tense. Classic sentances like "The TIE wibbles and wobbles through the air, careening drunkenly across the Myrrann rooftops - it zigzags herkily-jerkily out of sight." make it difficult to read without banging your head on the wall.

The book is the first in a trilogy and I supect a lot of what is in this book which felt pointless is actually there to drop breadcrumbs for other projects. It felt like a badly written novel that was hampered with setting up a universe, but forgot to service it's own story.

Sad Face.
2/5
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 2016

Postby draclvr » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:59 am

Obviously, this is one I will avoid. Too bad.
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2016

Postby Jude » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:38 pm

Subscribed, as usual. :)
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2016

Postby Lucien21 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:57 am

Jude wrote:Subscribed, as usual. :)


Thanks you. Ill try not to bore you.

Preview incase you don't see it on my Goodreads page, next up and currently reading is Jim Butchers' new book The Aeronaut's Windlass (book one in a new steampunk series from the Harry Dresden author).
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—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2016

Postby LadyKestrel » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:48 am

I'll be keeping an eye on the new Butcher one. I'm hoping the start of a new series doesn't mean the end of Harry.
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2016

Postby Lucien21 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:09 am

LadyKestrel wrote:I'll be keeping an eye on the new Butcher one. I'm hoping the start of a new series doesn't mean the end of Harry.


Don't worry "Peace Talks" Dresden #16 is out in the summer, he has always said the there will be 20 novels and then an Armageddon final trilogy so Harry will be around for a while yet.
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 2016

Postby LadyKestrel » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:09 pm

Ah, that's good to know. I read Skin Game right at the end of 2014, so I'm looking forward to the next one.
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2016

Postby Lucien21 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:43 pm

The Aeronaut's Windlass - Jim Butcher

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…


So Jim Butcher has taken a small break from his hughly successful Harry Dresden novels to start a new series. He has done this before in 2004-2009 he alternated Dresden Novels with a Fantasy series called Cedex Alera (1-6), which was fairly successful. So while he still has about eight Dresden novel planned, The Aeronaut's Winlass is rumoured to be a nine book series it doesn't seem too much of a stretch for him to alternate again.

I must say that, based on the first novel, nine books would be something to look forward to as I devoured this book in three days. Butcher is great at characters and he has packed this with a bunch of decent ones you want to come back to. Maybe they are not all original, but interesting at least. There is the arrogant, hotheaded Heiress to one of the main houses, the disgraced ship captain and his crew, the Warriorclass guardsman , the pair of mad magician types and a butchers daughter and her cat.

Of course, Butcher puts a bit of spin on some of these characters, for instance the magic system is pretty unique and mad, the Cats are intelligent and have their own language and society (even if they are a bunch of d*!ks most of the time) and the warrior class have extra abilities.

The world building is pretty decent as he establishes that the surface of the planet is shrouded in mist and everyone lives in these giant spires where the nobility live near the top and each spire is like a seperate country and distrustful of each other. He establishes the conflict between spires. The ships and the battles are well described and fun to read as is the more personal ground battles that occur. Amongst all this present strife he also hints at and establishes that there is a greater theat coming that will link all the books together.

Overall I found Book one to be very good, with a rollicking good story, decent characters and a world I hope to revisit soon. Roll on book two.

4/5
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Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.
—Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 91, Verses 1–2
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2016

Postby Lucien21 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:20 pm

Saturn Run - John Sanford, Ctein

The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do.

A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.

The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins—an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond. What happens is nothing like you expect—and everything you could want from one of the world’s greatest masters of suspense.


This is pretty much a hard science book, they spend more time on the mechanics and realities of spaceflight than on the actual characters. I was fascinated by the concept of the book and being a sucker for all things space I found the realistic and detailed descriptions of the journey to Saturn to be very good.

However as a novel there was rarely any suspense with only a couple of incidents that promised danger for the crew. It all seemed to go off far too well for my liking. There are a lot of characters in the novel and while some are fleshed out, apart from maybe one or two, most are lost in the shuffle.

Overall it seems a slow and scientific read in which not a lot happens. Good science, not so great story.

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 2016

Postby Lucien21 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:51 pm

Without Fail - Lee Child

Book Six in the "gonna catch up with the Jack Reacher novels" series.

Previous books I was ambivulant about. Decent popcorn stuff, too many coincidences, basically predictable but fun reads.

This time around I got right into the plot (Basically someone wants to kill the VP of the US and he helps an ex-girlfriends of his brother try to catch them) and was enjoying it more than usual. The characters were better drawn, the twists and turns were fun to read.

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 2016

Postby Lucien21 » Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:51 pm

Ink and Bone - Rachael Caine

A dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…


I really enjoyed this book. A world where libraries rule the world and electronic books are free to access, however owning paper books are illegal. Rare volumes are hunted stored and protected by the libraries. Alexandria rules with an iron fist which means smuggling and book burners are rebels in a war of power, manipulation and control of knowledge./

A group of kids are sent to the great library to earn a placement in the librarian ranks. Each for different reasons and each get caught up in the libraries web of secrecy and control.

Even though it is a book about teenagers in an academy situation, it aint Harry Potter. There are some harrowing scenes of war in it.

It's a book about books, a book about the move to electronic media rather than paper and how some people cling to the old way. I read it on my Kindle and felt strangly guilty.

I'm looking forward to book Two (Paper and Fire).

4.5/5
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 2016

Postby LadyKestrel » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:47 pm

This sounds like one I'd really like, Lucien. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Lucien21 Books 2016

Postby Lucien21 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:28 am

Leviathan Wakes - James S A Corey

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 first read this novel and greatly enjoyed it back in 2011/12. It was nominated for a Hugo and other awards when it was released and has now grown into a 9 book series of which Five have been published (books six due in August). It has also spawned a recent 10 episode TV show on SYFY called "The Expanse", season 1 of which is based on Leviathan Wakes.

I decided a reread along side the TV show would be a good idea.

It was an interesting experience and highlighted to me the differences that are needed for adaptions to work on different mediums. There are numerous changes for the TV show while it maintains the general plot, it moves characters around in the timeline and tweaks things to work better in the faster pace of TV storytelling. However, it was nice getting the slower paced, but more detailed plot lines of the novel.

The book itself is a great space opera novel set in the solar system where there are ongoing tensions between the workers in the asteroid belt (Belters) and the two main planets in the system (Earth and Mars). The story is split between two main characters Holden and Miller.

Holden is an officer on board an ice freighter going between Saturn and The Belt when his ship encounters another ship in distress, when they stop tragedy strikes and draws him and a few crew members into a conspiracy that plunges the system into near all out war.

Miller is a detective on Ceres who is dealing with the fallout from the Holden situation and searching for a missing heiress. Both stories lead to them working together to try and stop all out war and find out who is behind everything.

Re reading the book I can see where my enthusiam for a new Space Opera at the time may have caused me to be more generous to the book than was necessary. I can now see that even though I still think the book is very good it's not perfect. I can now see where some of the sections are unnecessarily, especially when the two main characters come together and basically retell to each other what we just read. I can see that Holdens character is a bit too idealistic and at 560 pages I can see it was maybe a tad too long.

However it paints a realistic picture of the future of space travel, the different factions are well played out, the plot and characters are generally very good and keep you reading to the end. The worldbuilding is excellent, enough to keep you coming back for books two (I still have three to five to read) and generally the mixture of crime novel and Space Opera is an interesting mix.

I was glad I re-read it.

4/5

PS If you havn't managed to catch it, I would recommend the TV series. As I said it plays a bit loose with the plot, but all the main scenes are there and I think it makes the story more accessible and exciting TV. The multi language of the belters and the significance of the OPA in the show might make it harder to get into the plot for non fans of the books, but Thomas Jane does ok as Miller and the rest of the cast are pretty decent. - Worth Watching.
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 2016

Postby Diat60 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:38 am

Thanks for the great review, Lucien. I've got this one on my Kobo but haven't read it yet.

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