Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review: Quarter Share

Quarter Share, by Nathan Lowell

This book starts off sad, and the rest is all happiness. It's about a slightly above average Joe named Ishmael Wang. After he loses his mom in an air-car crash he finds himself in a real bind. His only real option is to join up with the merchant trader fleet, and the rest of the story is all about him learning about being a spacer, feeding people omelets and drinking coffee while perfecting interstellar flea market trading. All the while he's achieving new "ratings" which will let him be able to be hired for a higher paying job on pretty much any merchant vessel. This is a feel good book about space travel/trading and reminds me a bit of Midshipman Hornblower (which is referenced, briefly, in the early book) and for anyone who wants a book that will be an easy read, a quick read and an uplifting experience, this book is for you. 4/5

And no, I still don't know why I like it, it's nothing like any other book I've ever liked, something about the writing of +Nathan Lowell I makes this book so enjoyable. I don't think I'll ever find another book like this. a book that I can enjoy reading over and over again even though I know the whole story by heart. I'll be reading the next one soon, it's a bit down the list but I'll be sure to run through the entire six book series on here, and since I've read them all at least once, that should tell you something. This whole series is available on  and is free, though if you enjoy it, consider passing on what it would have cost you through audible it's worth it. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Another quick bunch of reviews of books I've read this year, (New Spring, Eye Of the World, I{,} robot, Fahrenheit 451, Starship troopers, Dune)

Let's start with Robert Jordan,

New Spring, Is a book in the series that you do not have to read, it contains some information that true fans may want to know but it is unnecessary to the already overlong series. I didn't mind it, it's not as long as some of the other books in the series and the story is ok. Though I do not like his magic system, reminds me too much of knitting. 3/5 read if you like the series and can't get enough.

Eye of the World is a great book one for the series, it establishes the main characters well and the world is introduced in it's building complexity as the book goes on. The story is great and the ending superb, and the character arcs have already made good progress even though there's still like a dozen books to go. 4/5 Not for everyone, but fantasy lovers will dig this book.

I, Robot. This novel is in standard format for Asimov, his books tend to not center around any one character, time period, or event, but around an idea. The idea in this book is better than many characters in modern fiction (See; Bella from Twilight) and it carries the story quite well, the three laws of robotics are central and a lot of troubleshooting is done, as well as the overarching theme that robots programmed with the three laws are better than most people, even though people are mostly against them, for no good reason. Not that the writing is poor or that the people are not properly inclined to dislike the robots, on the contrary the people in this novel hate the things they can't understand that also have more power than they do, just like you would imagine real people doing, because you see it all the time in real life. Stupid people. But, as usual, great Asimov. 5/5 Anyone should like this book, and everyone should have read it.

Fahrenheit 451 was an overlong nightmare of the bibliophile. This book is basically pretty words that ramble on and on and may have some sort of poetic tinge to the descriptions but I just couldn't like it as much as I wanted to. I like the ideas behind it but the over-flowery language pulled me out and I just couldn't do it. Sorry Bradbury. 2/5 for those people who like writers who take every poetic license.

Starship Troopers is a well designed book that reads like a journal of a futuristic military man who goes from high school to the military, and through officer training. It is almost like experiencing what it would be like to be in the military of this sci fi universe, the characters are all well written and the constant death of friends throughout the book is how I would imagine being a soldier during war time would be. The tech is great and I want one of those M.I. suits. The way the military is run is believable probably because Heinlein was in the military and drew strongly from his experience. 4/5 For a sci fi / military sci fi buff and pretty much anyone who wants an engaging read full of mixed emotions in all the best ways.

Dune really deserves an entire post to itself but I'm a busy guy and don't really have time, so, sorry Frank Herbert your awesome novel will have to suffer from the double obscurity of being written up on *my* blog and at the bottom of a multi review post. So, double bad luck. Anyway, this book is amazing, everything you could want in a space opera is in this and then some. The science is sound, the fantasy parts are near enough to reality so as to be indistinguishable from science or magic. The characters, motivations, plots within plots, various vistas, twists, and deaths all help to create this masterpiece called Dune. 5/5 for everyone, you heard me, everyone. No one who is worth listening to will say otherwise, also, they'd be wrong.

Well, this puts me up to 12 books so far this year and by the end of this week to be on time I would need 14. I'll probably have to settle for being at 13 by the end of this week and try to get to 16 next week to catch up. Dune really took a while to get through, not because it was hard to keep going but because I didn't want to miss a thing.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Bunch of quick reviews! 1984, 2001, Stranger in a Strange land etc...

Well I've read a lot more books than I've reviewed, so in an effort to catch up I'm going to do a bunch of quickies in one post

1984 :

Though Orwell's novel, 1984, deserves more than a quicky, i don't really have time and really you don't need a long review. This distopic novel is an anthropological experiment in a fictional future. I got about half way through the novel hoping that the "big brother" government got overthrown, after that I just wanted the main character to live through to the end of the novel. At the end was a sad revelation. Sorry, George, I betrayed YOU! 5/5 must read

Stranger In a Strange land :

Well, Heinlein I'll give you more props for the next book I read of yours; "Starship Troopers" which was far superior to this novel. Stranger in a strange land was too convoluted and impossible for me to not be pulled out by the unbelievable characters, government, laws, people, etc... It was not a waste though, it was a decent enough novel, read if you don't have anything else waiting in your bookshelf. 2/5

2001; a Space Odyssey,

Mr. Clarke blew me away with this novel. Ranging from the distant past to a potential future (year 2001?) this is an awesome read and a must for any sci fi fan 5/5!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

3/100 Neuromancer

I enjoyed the book, it was very well put together and I felt immersed in the story. The world is believable and consistent, the characters are well put together and the way the tech works in this world is intriguing. It did not go in the direction I was thinking it was going to go in, which is always a welcome surprise.

I'm keeping it quick because I'm not really into ruining this book for you, so, saddle up cowboy and read this book! I give it 4/5 stims.