Sunday, May 31, 2015

emergency content: i, part 1

I transcribed some of my circa-2002-2004 hand-written reviews in January, knowing there would be a month when even the 2-post goal would be a challenge.  Good job to me for planning ahead!

Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer.  This is a pretty basic alien-conspiracy plot, certainly not a new idea.  The characters were fairly well-developed, though, so it wasn't too bad.
What I dislike about this author's aliens is that I find them all very unrealistic.  They're generally well thought out, but they don't work real well-- they are too alien to pull off without a visual aid.
The other thing about this author that bothers me is that he likes to introduce a new character and immediately follow that with a general physical description (i.e., "said Kathy, a slim 40-something with severe blue eyes and bouncy brown hair, short").  How lame.

The Illiad of Homer by Homer; translated by I.A. Richards.  I missed the rhyme and feel I experienced with the Odyssey (translated by Robert Fitzgerald) but this translation was a very quick read and almost painfully simple to understand, I thought, but I know many enjoyed this version. Since it's so easy, plus it's shortened, is probably why it was chosen for this class.

In Pursuit of the Green Lion by Judith Markle Riley.  The story was good.  So I am sorry to say, this book is crap.  The plot was pretty good.  Everything else, though was terribly weak.  The author switched repeated between first and third person, neither being a style she was very strong in.  The characters were fairly good, believable, but lacking the background that explained them, which I would say was the chief problem in the book-- people acted, things happened, but for little or no apparent reason.  They lacked depth and history.

Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.  I think that this book, taken by itself, is tons of fun: the writing is very good, if a little heavy on the fragments; the characters are funny and believable, if a trifle inconsistent; the plot moves along nicely.
Reading it in the wake of the TV series, however, isn't very fun.  There are, on the one hand, too many inconsistencies between the book and the episodes (things that contradict), and, on the other hand, too many similarities (countless pages aren't much more than a word-for-word recounting of entire episodes).  So, not so hot.

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