Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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Legacy: Shut up, Fawn.

Legacy by Lois McMaster Bujold

It sincerely hurts me to give Lois McMaster Bujold the “DNF,” but I didn’t get very far into The Sharing Knife: Legacy before giving up. It tried it on audio, with the same reader who read Beguilement (see above).

The first scene was a sex scene: Dag (who’s 55 years old) and Fawn (who’s 19) on their wedding night. I rolled my eyes through most of it, and when Fawn started chatting about her family’s propensity to produce twins and other unsuitable topics for a wedding night scene (this is during the act,


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Lord of the Isles: Not bad, but not engrossing enough

Lord of the Isles by David Drake

David Drake has a considerable reputation as a science-fiction writer, but Lord of the Isles was my first introduction to his work. To be frank, it is not a good introduction.

Lord of the Isles begins in the tried-and-tested high fantasy tradition — ancient events outlined in the prologue, cut to the present on a bucolic location, unexceptional adolescent male character introduced, and on you go. The island of Haft in the Isles of the title is then shocked by the appearance of a ship from the past.


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Kushiel’s Justice: Disappointing installment in an excellent series

Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey

Compared to Kushiel’s Scion, Phèdre and Joscelin return for a much larger portion of this book and they are as awesome as ever. They add excitement and helped me through much of the slog that was the first 300-odd pages. Yes, that’s right. Though previous Kushiel books have been long and probably could have withstood some cutting easily, I never minded the extra. With both Scion and Justice, that extra could have been done without.


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The Devil Inside: Got an overdue notice

The Devil Inside by Jenna Black

I checked out The Devil Inside from the library, read the first few chapters, and then ended up simply forgetting to pick the book up again. Eventually I got an overdue notice from the library, which often results in my either renewing the book or hurrying up and reading it before returning it. Instead, I simply took The Devil Inside back to the library without regret. It took me a while to put my finger on why I lost interest,


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Queen of Dragon: Not bothering with the next one

Queen of Dragons by Shana Abe

So here we are in the third book. The plot has something to do with the mysterious Drakon princess, Maricara, who was introduced in The Dream Thief and Kimba the White Lion — I mean, Kimber, the son of Kit and Rue from The Smoke Thief. There’s something to do with someone murdering Drakon, I think, but frankly I didn’t make it far enough to find out. Which is kind of sad, actually, because if the reader isn’t sure of what’s going on by page 70 or so,


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Divine by Mistake: Flunked the Finish-able Book Test

Divine by Mistake by P.C. Cast

I was not able to finish Divine by Mistake. It flunked the Finish-able Book Test, which means that if I put it down for a couple of days and find no desire to pick it back up, I don’t bother wasting my time.

Shannon, a schoolteacher from Oklahoma, gets zapped by magic into the mythical world of Partholon, where she ends up worshipped as a priestess, married to an attractive shapeshifter, and embroiled in a war with the truly nasty and evil Fomorians.


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Domes of Fire: Wasting my time

Domes of Fire by David Eddings

I could not bring myself to finish Domes of Fire. I stopped somewhere towards the end and thought “why am I wasting my time?” This book is another repeat of the Eddings “gather a group of characters and send them on a long journey” formula, and I just could not do it again.

I can’t give a synopsis, because I didn’t finish it, but I don’t really need to. The plot is the same as everything else that Eddings had written up to the time that this series was done.


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The Charmed Sphere: Asaro’s SF is much better

The Charmed Sphere by Catherine Asaro

This is not going to be pretty, but then, neither was the reading experience.

I’m filled with dread right within the second paragraph, when Catherine Asaro for some reason feels the need to inform me that apple yellow is Chime’s favorite color. This dread is not soothed as the scene carries on, full of Chime’s rather juvenile observations. She sounds more like she’s five rather than almost eighteen, and I’m just not happy.

Neither am I pleased with her male opposite, a prince and heir to the throne of the realm,


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The Compass Rose: Poorly written romance-fantasy

The Compass Rose by Gail Dayton

I simply could not finish Gail Dayton’s The Compass Rose (and have already donated it to my public library). It begins adequately and has decent world-building, but about halfway in (once the strong-yet-unremarkable protagonist, Kallista, and company start toward the capital city) it sinks into a nauseating quagmire of romantic pseudo-plots and issues. The scenes are poorly paced, and for no apparent reason (other than weak attempts at creating tension), chapters begin and end in the middle of the same scene.


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The Sword of Shannara: Too derivative

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

The Sword of Shannara was a very popular book back in the 70s right after the huge success of THE LORD OF THE RINGS when everyone wanted to read more fantasy. I wasn’t old enough to read it back then, so I came to it much later. I read part of the first book and, knowing how popular it had been, and feeling like it was a classic, I was prepared to enjoy it. About half way through I gave it to my ten year old son.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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    Words fail. I can't imagine what else might offend you. Great series, bizarre and ridiculous review. Especially the 'Nazi sympathizer'…

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