Sunday, September 03, 2006

Not totally random

Hominids, by Robert J. Sawyer. I had read this book before, several years ago, but liked the story enough to read it again. There is alot of sciency, brain-boxy type stuff, but it is mostly well explained and doesn't slow the story down. I had forgotten some of the author's more annoying habits, the most vexing of which looks like this:
Something exciting is happening in the story, and the author wants to drag it out a little bit and increase the tension, but rather than using good writing tools, he uses his terrible idea...
And then...
And then...
And then...
annoys the crap out of the reader.
There are two other books following this one, but the first one is still good to read on its own.

The Big Over Easy, by Jasper Fforde. This is the first book in a new series based on something that happened in an earlier book by the same author, The Well of Lost Plots. This one is not as good, mostly because the characters are not as intriguing, I think.
I enjoy reading stories based on fairy tales or other traditional stories. It can be hard to find good versions, since so many are the same. There are a handful by Mercedes Lackey, though, which are good. I don't like her series, of which there are several, both which she has written by herself and co-authored. She has written so many books (a total of 71 available at NPL) that, after a while, she recycles her own ideas. An author should stop before that point. Her fairy tale remakes: The Fairy Godmother, The Serpent's Shadow, The Black Swan, Firebird, and The Fire Rose, among possible others. I did enjoy her Elvenborn series, with Andre Norton.

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