2019 - Majkia's Reading - Part 1
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1. Brilliance - Marcus Sakey - 3.5* 🎵
2. The Wrong Stars - Tim Pratt - 3.5* - ebook
3. Deadhouse Landing - Ian C. Esslemont - 🎵
4. Hunting Party - Elizabeth Moon - 3.5* - ebook
5. The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larrson - 4.0 - 🎵 (Simon Vance)
6. Artificial Condition - Martha Wells - 🎵 (John Banks)
>6 Bookmarque: Feel free to snag them! I have no idea where I got them originally.
1 Brilliance - Marcus Sakey
An Alt History which deals with children being born with advanced mental traits, and the societal consequences as those children grow, and more and more of the population becomes so gifted.
A thriller, nicely written, with a plot that moves the story right along. Characters you can care about and cheer for, with a few twists I did not see coming.
Following...and have a splendid reading year. Looking forward to multiple bullets...
Happy new year! I hope it is a good one for you in books and in real life.
Added my three beliefs for reading to the first post:
Three things I strongly believe in: The Pearl rule, the Bechdel test, and the Oxford comma.
2. The Wrong Stars - Tim Pratt Series: Axion #1
Interesting sci fi with a strange alien race the humans call Liars. When the survivor of a goldilocks ship turns up unexpectedly with a piece of alien tech that could change life forever, things start to go badly wrong.
Quite well written, a plot that moves things along nicely, likeable characters, and distinctly inscrutable tech and aliens.
>1 majkia: >19 suitable1: >20 majkia: >22 quondame: (whew, what a row of referrers!) I'm in two minds - I enjoyed Hunting Party well enough to continue to read all the Serrano stories, and then to go on to read Vatta's War.
I did like Vatta's War better, but both was enjoyable reads. Felt a bit light-weight, though, and thinking about it I think maybe that was because they were a bit formulaic.
I have Vatta's War lined up for rereading, though, so it can't be that bad :)
I really enjoyed Vatta's War series. So far Hunting Party - I'm not very far in - reminds me of that, the characters are similar with a similar set up - no longer in the military.
My thoughts on Vatta's War series was that it was the most realistic depiction of women in the military I've yet read. Having been there myself for 20 years, I have a bit of experience with it. ;)
That part I enjoyed, and I have no issues with the authenticity, at all. It's more how similar the stories and characters are, and the predictability of the relationships - things like that.
All in all I liked both series, Vatta's War enough to reread but not enough to pick up the newly published sequels - mainly for fear of getting the original story spoiled - and would recommend at least Vatta's War to anyone who's into space opera or military sf.
>25 Busifer: Yes. I knew you weren't critiquing that. Most older sci fi seems to me, to follow a lot more conventions of the genre than the newer stuff. I blame the publishers.
>26 majkia: I didn't think so, I just wanted to clarify myself :-) And I very much agree with you on publishers and convention. It is like they thought that no one would buy a book if it wasn't very much like all other books that previously been successfully published.
I for one very much enjoy the present-day variety of sf, at least as long as I feel that the author has been subject to some editing. But I feel that has gotten better as well. There was a time in the 00's when every book seemed to be at least 500 pages, many of which held a lot of superfluous stuff.
The mark of a real good author of olden times was, to me, that they could tell a compelling story in under 200 pages. There was a time recently when 200 pages hadn't even got the story started...
I'm enjoying the comments on Hunting Party, the Serrano series, and Vatta's War in this thread. I've enjoyed all those books, and I was planning a reread of Vatta's War once I finish some library books. I was surprised to see that Busifer was doing the same. I may go on to reread the Serrano series once I'm done with Vatta's War.
I preferred the Serrano series over Vatta's War. I cared for the Serrano characters much more.
On the reread of Vatta's War I might chose to do a listen this time around. A long time ago I got Trading in Danger from Audible, and I have some credits to spare, too.
If I instead chose to read my paper editions it will be later on in the year, as I've some other books lined up first: I have accumulated quite the TBR pile while awaiting for my reading spirit to rise it's head and want to prioritise getting through some of them before I start to reread golden oldies :)
3. Deadhouse Landing - Ian C. Esslemont Series: Path to Ascendancy #2
Throughout the Malazan series, I moaned about how little of Dancer and even Kellanved we saw. So when Esslemont came out with this prequel series I was ready to grab it up. And I'm delighted I did. The two of them together are hilarious, and seeing them grow up together and Dancer's constant frustration with his little mage friend makes me grin.
I listened to the audiobook read by John Banks who did a terrific job.
Eager for the next book.
We've been having the kitchen redone and it is nearly finished. Folks have asked for pictures so here it is, at least as it is today. Just a few more things to do and then I can actually use it! New sink, new cooktop and vent, new countertops and backsplash. Cabinets were re-pickled.
Lovely! I love that the bird collection is on glass shelves for better viewing. What a great idea! Very pretty color combination, it rather puts me in mind of marsh grass or beach at sunrise, probably because of the birdies. :) Seems relaxing.
There are a lot more shorebirds up there. Once the rest of the counter gets cleaned off I'll take a photo of the rest of it. Thanks for the comments. I'm really pleased with how it came out.
Happy New Year, majkia! Your new kitchen looks amazing. May 2019 bring you many wonderful books and meals!
4. Hunting Party -Elizabeth Moon Series: Heris Serrano #1
I really enjoyed her series Vatta's War, so was looking forward to reading this. She's really good at depicting women in the military, and does a great job of getting the types of thinking that is required of anyone in charge of other people and their health and well being.
Hunting Party didn't disappoint in this regard. This is an older woman in this series, where the heroine in Vatta's War was young and new to the experiences. This time, this woman is seasoned and unhappy about having resigned her commission and missing all that went with it.
I enjoyed the characters and the different settings, although I confess I learned more about fox hunting that I really ever expected to, but as there was quite a bit of character development going on with it, I didn't mind all that much.
The younger characters were annoying at first but definitely grew through the adventures they endured.
If you like military sci fi, give this a try. It's quite different from most of the genre but all the better for that.
5. The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larrson - Series: Millennium Trilogy #2
I listened to the audiobook read by Simon Vance.
Tricksy, with lots of diversionary tactics, these books keep you reading and wondering just how things can possibly turn out well. The main character, Lisbeth, is a troubled young woman who has no idea how to back down. You come at her and she comes right back at you with all her strength, intelligence and ability.
Characters are interesting, flawed and complex. They interact in surprising ways and the plot is hard to predict.
Really enjoyed it and hope to read the last of the trilogy soon.
>45 majkia: I enjoyed the trilogy very much. The Swedish film of the first book is very good. I found the film sequels lacked something. I have only seen the trailer for the American film and I cannot see it adding anything to the experience other than some loud music with heavy beats to tell the viewers they are supposed to feel tense and scared.
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