2000.05


Twilight: This is not the Suze we know and love

Twilight by Meg Cabot

Twilight (2006) is the sixth novel in Meg Cabot’s MEDIATOR series. The first five books are Shadowland, Ninth Key, Reunion, Darkest Hour, and Haunted. I’ll assume you’ve read them (though, as I explain below, I think you could have skipped Haunted).

Twilight continues in the vein of Read More

Haunted: More teenage drama than plot

Haunted by Meg Cabot

Haunted (2003) is the fifth novel in Meg Cabot’s MEDIATOR series. You’ll want to read the previous books first: Shadowland, Ninth Key, Reunion, and Darkest Hour.

In my review of Darkest Hour I said that the series was getting more complex after we meet a guy named Paul (super rich and super hot, of course) who is also a mediator but ... Read More

The Prefect: Complex detective procedural set among orbitals

The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds

The Prefect is the fifth Alastair Reynolds book I’ve read in his REVELATION SPACE series, though it is a stand-alone and set earlier in chronology than the other books. By the time of the main trilogy Revelation Space (2000), Redemption Ark (2002), and Absolution Gap (2003), the Glitter Band of 10,000 orbitals has already been destroyed by the corrosive Melding Plague, so we see only its wrecked aftermath. With such tantalizing hints, it is only natural that readers would want to see more of the... Read More

Absolution Gap: Overlong, tedious and frustrating conclusion

Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds

Absolution Gap (2003) is the third book in Alastair ReynoldsREVELATION SPACE series of large-canvas hard SF in which post-human factions battle each other and implacable machines bent on exterminating sentient life. The series has elements of Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix, Frank Herbert’s Dune, Arthur C. Clarke’s Read More

Warrior: It’s Dynasty with swords and magic

Warrior by Jennifer Fallon

Warrior is the second installment in Jennifer Fallon’s WOLFBLADE trilogy, a prequel to her DEMON CHILD trilogy. Both trilogies make up the HYTHRUN CHRONICLES. In the first book, Wolfblade, which you’ll definitely want to read before picking up Warrior, we were introduced to Marla Wolfblade, sister to Lernen Wolfblade, the High Prince of Hythria. When we first met Marla, she was a bubble-headed blonde teenager dreaming of marrying a handsome warlord. At the end of the very long (600 pages, 25 hours in audio format) story, Marla had become a cynical and savvy politician and the most powerful woman in Hythria, thanks to her dwarf slave and a series of unfortunate politically-motivated disasters including adultery, betrayals, kidnappings, and assassinations.

Warrior... Read More

Death Masks: A strong entry in the Dresden series

Death Masks by Jim Butcher

With Death Masks, the fifth Dresden Files novel, Jim Butcher returns to Chicago-noir. Harry Dresden, that city’s only advertising wizard, is simultaneously challenged to a duel by a duke of the vampiric Red Court and hired by the Vatican to find the missing Shroud of Turin.

The search for the Shroud leads to a headless, handless corpse that died of plagues, several plagues, carried by magically amplified germs. It also introduces Harry to the remaining two Knights of the Sword, Shiro and Sanya. Like Harry’s friend Michael Carpenter, they wield swords given to them by an angel, and they fight for justice and mercy.

On the duel front, Harry runs into his old girlfriend Susan, who has gone through some changes of her own. She warns Harry that the Red Court vampires do not want the duel to happen because it will end the war between the Re... Read More

Seer of Sevenwaters: Lovely writing, haunting magic, sweet romance

Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

Quiet, intuitive Sibeal has always known she was destined to become a druid. Just when she is on the verge of completing her training, however, her mentor Ciaran bids her spend a summer on Inis Eala, where two of her sisters live and where her cousin Johnny runs a warriors’ school. When a Viking ship is wrecked on Inis Eala’s shores, the resulting events change Sibeal’s life and the lives of everyone on Inis Eala.

There are three survivors of the wreck of Freyja: Knut, a sturdy Norseman who quickly wins friends on the island; Svala, Knut’s wife, who does not speak and behaves most strangely; and Felix, a young scholar with amnesia, whose elusive memories harbor a deadly secret. Sibeal helps nurse Felix back to health and finds herself drawn to him, and for the first time in her life she questions her spiritual vocation.

One can always depend upon a Jul... Read More