Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A review of Somewhither by John C. Wright

I give this book five stars (on Amazon) only because I'm not allowed to give it ten stars. This book has everything. If you like adventure, you will like this book. If you like horror, you will like this book. If you like fantasy, if you like science fiction, you will like this book. If you like romance, there's even some of that around the 80% mark. There is Wizard of Oz. There is Star Trek. There is mythology, language, physics, theology, and magic. Think of a word, it's probably somewhere in the book. Well, maybe not everything. I don't remember any Aztecs. They'll likely be in the next book.

At any rate, what the book is mostly full of is love: love of goodness, family, home, Earth, freedom, and truth. The main character, Ilya, is so delightful that whenever he thought about his mother (whose disappearance turns out not to be from death) I would think about how I would love to add him to my already adorable set of sons. If you like Odd Thomas, you will like Ilya. Like Odd, Ilya does a lot of thinking, ranging from the mundane to the deep to the hilarious to the bizarre. I laughed a lot. I cringed a lot.

Even thought the novel is crammed with riches, it is not a blob or a mess. All the details are polished and pointed. What the book does not have is an ending. Now I have to wait for the next book. That's irritating in one way, and comforting in another. I will have another chance to read about Ilya.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

a review of Shatterworld, by Denise Ellyson

:Shatterworld is a YA, Faith based, Sci-fi which was a great read outside my normal taste. I’ve not read a lot of YA but I enjoyed it. It was a cross between the 100 TV show and Divergent the movie with a pinch of Exodus. I loved the story of a twelve year old straining at trying to be what her family needs and what she desires. The Faith cult that pushes her to fit into their mold and the way she see God work in her to help save their colony. This is a great faith based read without being preachy. I didn’t feel like the beliefs expressed were to initiate me but to show where the internal struggles came from. I really enjoyed it. If I had any critics its that I want to know more.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review of Amish Zombies From Space by Kerry Nietz

Kerry Nietz did it again. He took a horror trope and turned in into a science fiction premise that works while simultaneously talking about how people cope with change, community, and family. I did not get the book for free, I paid full price and feel like I got a good deal. In some ways, this is not great literature, in that the writing is not lyrical by any means, which a five star book must usually have for me to rate it so highly, but the story-telling is clear and intelligent. I would have preferred more technical details of how this all works, but Nietz wisely neglected to write a manual to please me, and chose to tell a rollicking tale that at the end made me cry and will please everybody who likes stories of endurance, family, and the big questions of life. I can't look at the cover because it's so icky, but I have grown to trust the author despite his choice of shlocky titles and the occasional unsettling art. This book can be easily read as a stand-alone, though reading the previous Amish Vampires from Space will surely help. There is an indication at the end that there be a sequel to AZfS, and if there is I will buy it. I just hope I won't take so long to get around to it, as I did this, because, you know, zombies, yuck. If you haven't read any of his previous books, such as A Star Curiously Singing, I would like to recommend his other books as well. Do yourself a favor and read at least samples of his novels and see if you would like to go for his rides.