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.