Tag Archives: book review

Book Review: Agatha H and the Airship City by Phil & Kaja Foglio

This is the written novelization of the first two volumes of the Girl Genius graphic novels. In other words, if you are already a fan, there is nothing new here, at least not technically. But I still recommend reading it, and not just from a “completist” perspective.

There are things that can be done in a traditional novel that can not be accomplished in a graphic novel (and vice versa), including some deeper character introspection.

This was a fun, fast read, and I hope that Phil & Kaja Foglio are able to do more novelizations of the Girl Genius stories.


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Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This is the most basic of stories, a family drama, told from the point of view of the most biased observer- the family dog. It is a really well done story, and the short sentences and chapters make it a very quick read, a nice way to spend a rainy Seattle afternoon.

My only issue with the book (and this may be a “me” issue, as I seem to have it often) is the final chapter, which was more of an epilogue. It was too much a perfect dream ending to a book that had been very based in reality.


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Book Review: The Dragon Waiting by John M Ford

I love John M Ford’s writing. He has a distinctive style, especially in his earlier novels, of telling stories from multiple people’s viewpoints. He takes each individual’s story and wraps the whole narrative together, often skipping large amounts of time and leaving the reader to piece together what happened.

This can be a very successful and rewarding (for the reader) style. Not so much in The Dragon Waiting. I had a hard time figuring out some of the background or understanding why I cared about the outcome. Not one I’ll be recommending (unlike The Last Hot Time which is fabulous).


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Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I would like to be as talented as Neil Gaiman. Is that too much to ask? Writing wise, it seems the man’s talent knows no bounds. He can write dark and gritty, very adult, adventure, and even win the Newberry Medal for children’s books. It really doesn’t seem fair.

But at least I can read what he writes, and I’ll take that as compensation. The Graveyard Book is a story of the fantastical that children of all ages can relate to, a true coming of age tale filled with friends and family, a few secrets, and even some bad guys.


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Book Review: Soul of a Dog by Jon Katz

If I’m going to read a book about dogs, I most likely want to read a Jon Katz book. I’ve read other books and even enjoyed them. I read James Herriot growing up and still enjoy returning to his book, Dog Stories. But the truth is, for a look at dogs in our modern world, Jon Katz is the best.

Soul of a Dog explores the philosophical and religious answers to the question- “Do animals have souls?”, but depends mostly on the every day observances of a man who loves his animals as much as any pet owner out there.


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Book Review: With the Lightnings by David Drake

With the Lightnings is the first book in David Drake’s RCN Saga. I love Drake because he can write just about anything- military sci-fi (Hammer’s Slammers), fantasy (Lords of the Isles), and space opera (RCN Saga). The space opera is my favorite, though I enjoy them all. He is one of those male authors who can write strong female characters I like and identify with.

I’ve read many of the RCN books, but its nice to go back to the beginning every now and then and remember how it all started. Still loving Adele and Daniel, so its all good.

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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Authors & Books, David Drake, RCN Saga


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Book Review: Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock

Behold the Man is not your typical Michael Moorcock book in that it is not part of his Eternal Champion world at all. Instead, it is set in this world- well, a this world in which time travel is possible (because you need a time travel paradox). But like most of his books, his hero is more anti-hero, not exactly the type of person you want to hang around with.

If you are religious and do not enjoy having your beliefs challenged, this is not a book for you. While it may not be heresy, it is most certainly blasphemy.


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Just Finished Reading: Green Diamonds by Daniel W Kelley (3)

The individual characters in Green Diamonds are very well drawn, and with one exception, their individual motivations are clear and understandable. You care about the characters the way you are meant to care about them, and the individual endings are, for the most part, quite satisfactory.

The only ending I had a problem with was Steve’s. I thought I understood his motivation, but his final scene fell outside that motivation, and I do not think I was given enough information to understand why.

I also would have liked more information about Izael and Soraya’s ending, but it was emotionally satisfying.


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Just Finished Reading: Green Diamonds by Daniel W Kelley (2)

I may be harsher on Daniel than I would be on an author I don’t know. This book is as good or better than a lot of stuff being put out by the publishing houses right now, but as someone who has critiqued parts of this novel before, I see areas that could be improved, that could have benefited from professional editing.

There are sections in the beginning that really could have used tightening. And over 2/3 of the book is individual character set up. There is very little development of the relationships that end up driving the book’s conclusion.


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Just Finished Reading: Green Diamonds by Daniel W Kelley (1)

Let’s start with the disclaimer. I know Daniel Kelley. I was a fellow student and TA in a writing class where Daniel was working on this book. I love his writing, his lush descriptions and well drawn characters. Given that, I really, really wish he had not gone the self-publishing route. Daniel is talented enough that if he had given the process the time a patience it needs, he could have had a publishing house behind him, with a chance to make a real name for himself. In addition, the lamination is already coming off the cover of the book.


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