Review: Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card

Rating: 5 out of 5

I am not sure what I expected after ‘Ender’s Game’ which was a relatively fast paced novel. This one took a different tack and we ended up with a rather slow-paced mystery which I still thoroughly enjoyed throughout its intellectual considerations. There was a more depth in this book, and the “us and them” discussions were brilliant throughout.  Continue reading “Review: Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card”

Review: Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

Rating: 5 out of 5

The question of children — and what they see in their worlds — is an important one, and I believe one which merits plenty of discussion. Mr Card has given us his view in this book, and this states that children do understand a lot more than the generic adult gives them credit for. And by “understand” I also include the way that their world view is structured in this novel.  Continue reading “Review: Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card”

Review: Allegiance (Star Wars), Timothy Zahn

Rating: 4 out of 5

Mr Zahn’s entries into the now-Legends universe were always welcome; perhaps the main reason for this was that his characters were more varied, or, of course, it could have simply been that the action was enjoyable enough. What this book concerns itself, however, is naivete and morality. I would say this dialogue takes place on both sides, those of the Rebellion and the Empire, but that is not really so. Unlike some other authors who have written in this universe and time, Mr Zahn’s Rebellion is pretty clean (this time round).  Continue reading “Review: Allegiance (Star Wars), Timothy Zahn”

Review: Odysseus Ascendant, Evan Currie

Rating: 4 out of 5

Evan Currie is really giving empires a bad name — I wonder what they ever did to him? Too much of the social aspect on these novels now seems to be a bit too “perfect” if this makes sense. If the social conduct of this foreign power was a bit different, if the hierarchies worked a bit different, if there was a clear underlying motive to what they are doing…

I did enjoy it — but that’s more due to the amount of innovation and enterprising solutions which get presented, though I was not a fan of that last and final one. What was impressive was how good a tactician some of the people in it were, and therefore how thoroughly thought out some of the action starting with Books 3 and 4 has actually been. This was an aspect which increased my estimation of the author.

Lastly, every book that passes makes it look as if there could be twenty more — although Mr Currie also indicated in which direction this series is going and who is the “real” antagonist, which is a fact that is probably quite obvious to the reader but not to the people in the actual novel. We’ll see how true this course is — or, at least, I will, because despite some of the negatives above I will read the next one as well.

Review: Odysseus Awakening, Evan Currie

Rating: 4 out of 5

The series’ sixth installment continues much as before although with a slight change to the previous narrative structure (only one conflict here though it lasts for the duration of the book). The (often dark) humour of the previous episodes continues here much as it did elsewhere, but I am in general less happy with this one — mostly because these novels really play out as a more complex level after the previous one, and so on in an endless series. If you took this to the logical conclusion, this might never end.  Continue reading “Review: Odysseus Awakening, Evan Currie”

Review: Warrior King, Evan Currie

Rating: 4 out of 5

I recently noticed that Books 6 and 7 of this series were out, so I wanted to refamiliarise myself with the previous volume and then jump to those two. Reading it again, I think I am drawing the same conclusions as I did the last time round: This is not the best book ever written, nor is it even a close second — what it is, however, is thoroughly enjoyable entertainment. Continue reading “Review: Warrior King, Evan Currie”

Review: ‘Dangerous Women’, George R.R. Martin

Dangerous WomenDangerous Women by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to say, rating a collection is tough as it can obviously be very variable in quality. I found this here — a few of the stories were breathtaking in their intensity and beauty while others (the majority, regrettably) not nearly as interesting. For personal reasons, I found the stories which touched on the historic aspect a bit more thrilling but in general the variety was commendable. Continue reading “Review: ‘Dangerous Women’, George R.R. Martin”

‘Stargate SG-1’ and ‘Stargate Atlantis’

Having just recently watched the full Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, I cannot emphasise enough how good I think these series are. There are plenty of weak episodes but to keep the overall story and characters so good over a total of 15 seasons is a remarkable achievement.

This time I revisited plenty of episodes I barely remembered which was a very welcome distraction. There are some episodes which I have seen dozens of times, but especially SG-1’s season 10 and the later seasons of Atlantis are less well known to me.

What did irk me this time round was the weird nature of the moral compass of John Sheppard. Also, looking at the decisions the frontline teams make in general there are plenty of doubtful ideas that come through their minds. In some ways, it all feels very conceited, but I guess that is because it is. What can one do… The good episodes are still good.

This overall took me a lot longer than half a year, I would think, and was only helped along by the virtue of dinners that extend into the late evening. I was rarely enthralled enough to divert my full attention to the series, but that is perhaps what it’s really good at: some scenes are mindblowing and others are good background. Just like life.

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