2003.06


Soarer’s Choice: Satisfactorily concludes the second COREAN trilogy

Soarer’s Choice by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

The second trilogy in L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s COREAN CHRONICLES closes with Soarer’s Choice. While this book is better than the previous novel, Cadmian’s Choice, that’s mostly because (1) It closes out this overly-long trilogy and (2) It gives the background that helps explain the world Alucius lives in in the first three COREAN CHRONICLES books, LegaciesDarknesses, and Scepters. (The story of that first trilogy occurs generations after the events in the second trilogy, Alector’s Choice, Cadmian’s Choice and Soarer’s Choice).

Mykel and Dainyl continue to be noble and upright and, consequently, continue to be promoted up their respective ... Read More

Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth: Visit the Nightside of the future

Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth by Simon R. Green

In Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth, the sixth novel in Simon R. Green’s NIGHTSIDE series, John Taylor and Suzie Shooter have just returned from the past where they discovered the origin of John’s mother, Lilith, and witnessed the birth of the Nightside. Now that they’re back in the present, they are determined to stop Lilith from destroying what she created and remaking the Nightside in her own image.

First they must rescue John’s secretary, Cathy, who has been kidnapped. Then John wants to raise an army that they hope can stop Lilith, but he’s haunted by visions of a future where he has destroyed the Nightside and his friends, so he decides to travel forward in time to get some answers. Perhaps if he knows the future, he can change it.

Besides the future, the other interesting places John visits include the cellar of Strangefellows, Rotten Row, ... Read More

The System of the World: The end of an excellent series

The System of the World by Neal Stephenson

The System of the World combines the final three “novels” — Solomon’s Gold, Currency, and The System of the World — of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. The novel’s title refers to the third volume of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica.

Most people remember Isaac Newton today because of the Principia Mathematica. In it, Newton explains the universal law of gravitation and the laws of motion. However, by the end of Newton’s life, he devoted his time to theology, alchemy, and running the British Mint. Readers that missed Isaac Newton’s presence in The Confusion will be happy to see him back, and more dramatically back than ever. He has transformed from an odd but brilliant scientist into... Read More

Superior Saturday: The pieces are in place for the final battle

Superior Saturday by Garth Nix

The longest week of Arthur Penhaligon's life is drawing to a close in this, the penultimate installment in Garth Nix's The Keys to the Kingdom seven book series. Although he has managed to win five Keys from the immortal Trustees that rule over the House (the epicentre of the universe) and free five parts of the Will (the embodiment of the legislation left behind by the mysterious Architect) he still has the two most dangerous challenges left to defeat: the powerful Superior Saturday and the enigmatic Lord Sunday.

As in all the books, Arthur must free the next part of the Will and wrest the Key from the Trustee, but Nix's skill as a storyteller keeps this formula from getting stale. By this stage, the situation is dire and things just keep getting worse for our intrepid hero. The terrible Nothing is swallowing up the lower portions of t... Read More

The Nixie’s Song: A new trilogy in the Spiderwick world

The Nixie's Song by Holly Black

After the five-part The Spiderwick Chronicles ended with a promise that there would be more to follow in the Spiderwick world, it was only a matter of time before there was another installment in the series. Now we pick up in the first book of a proposed trilogy that features a new set of children (two step-siblings) and a different location (the mangrove swamps of Florida as opposed to the old world charm of New England), but with plenty of new faerie lore incorporated into the story. As always, writer and illustrator manage to capture the essence of old faerie-lore, in which the creatures are both beautiful and dangerous, with a set of obscure rules surrounding them that need to be followed if one wishes to keep safe.

Nick Vargas is a plump eleven-year old who is not at... Read More