Way back in January, now, I read Larry Correia’s Spellbound, the sequel to Hard Magic. Same great cast of characters (with a few new ones thrown in), and some more excellent pulpy exciting action scenes. I would say that this one is a better book on the whole than the last one, but is just barely missing the over-the-top spark in the villains and enemies that made the last one 1.9 bajillion out of 10. The good news about it is, though, that there is much character development and, uh, setting setups, making me eagerly anticipate what happens in the next installment of the Grimnoir Chronicles.
A roaring good time (and like I said in the Hard Magic review, John Browning is a main character!), so it still gets a most excellent rating on my completely scientific and not arbitrary at all scale of 1.2 bajillion out of 10.
I re-read John Ringo’s Military Thriller/BDSM Porn (really–it’s much more descriptive than you might be expecting) Kildar series, skipping the first one because I don’t like it, Kildar, Choosers of the Slain, Unto the Breach, and Deeper Blue. They’re a pretty quick read if you skip all of the OH JOHN RINGO NO! stuff, and pretty entertaining. You can read any of those links for more descriptions of the actual books, but for now I would just like to add that, like many of John Ringo’s series, this one starts very strong but seems to overstay it’s welcome as you progress into the last book. It just seems rushed, like it could have used another few months of brainstorming and editing to get a better story. There is still plenty to like about them, but that’s just something to be aware of.
I’d rate the series as a 7/10 for the civ builder and action parts. The sex parts, well, I guess that just depends on how you feel about such things.
And I swear the only thing longer than the list of books I need to read is the list of books I need to write a post about…
As always, I’m falling behind on both my reading and my cataloging it here. But better late than never, even if I can’t remember half of what went on in the book since I read it a month ago. So here goes: “Chasm City” by Alastair Reynolds, a nice hardish sci-fi. Two or three twisty plot lines that all come together at the end, detailing the happenings on a fleet of generation ships to colonize a planet, some of the happenings on the planet leading up to the current plot, and then the current plot, which actually takes place on a different planet that has been corrupted by some sort of virus that melds nanomachines and organic matter in grotesque and interesting ways. A nice twist of this particular universe is that there isn’t any FTL travel, so going between solar systems takes years–a bit of information that helps to connect everything in the end. Speaking of connections, each storyline is connected in ways that you get hints of as the plot progresses and build together to a fairly satisfying ending. I gather that this is set in a universe that many of Mr. Reynolds’ other books, however…
…Mr. Reynolds writes those types of books that I read, am impressed by, and love, but can never remember any of the details of the plot. I know that I read all (or at least most) of his books years ago, but for the life of me I can’t remember what goes on in them. Since I found this one sitting in my pile, and I enjoyed it again, I guess I ought to hit up the library for some of the others. And I guess that’s as good a definition of a good book as any other–one that makes you want to read another book when you are done!
7.5/10, and now I have some more books that I want to put on my list…
Well, since I got my rifle, I decided that some more usage information would be nice to go with it. So I picked up Col. Cooper’s “The Art of the Rifle,” which is widely recommended as the top resource for rifle shooting. It is short, yet full of information on all aspects of the subject–techniques, philosophy, and stories. In Cooper’s own words, most of the book can be summed up with these two points:
1. If you can get closer, get closer.
2. If you can get steadier, get steadier.
As my new year’s resolutions mostly involve finding the equipment and locations to wring out my rifle at longer and longer ranges, I fully expect to be paging through this book for the rest of the year, and the years to come. But I started 2012 off right.
I rate the book a good 8/10–it could have had a little bit more in-depth information, and it focused nearly exclusively on bolt action rifles.