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2010 Book Review

September 9, 2010

22. Changes by Jim Butcher

This book hits the ground running on page one and never lets up. Even down to the very last page it is full of twists, turns, life changeling revelations, and the ever popular “oh holy fuck” explosions. If you have never read any of the previous Dresden Files books, this is not the place to start. If there is a single book in the previous 12 which is not called out somehow in this one, I can’t think of it. Sadly, there is no necromancied dinosaur. It’s hard to top that, admittedly, but Jim Butcher sure as hell throws everything else at you in the attempt. An excellent book, and if the next book doesn’t come out on the promised release date, I may hurt someone.

23. Mission of Honor by David Weber

Part of my delay in updating this list is that it took me so damn long to get through this book. I love the mythos, I love the characters, I love the political wrangling and the battles. But there have been a lot of strategy heavy books this year, and I’m getting a little burned out.

In discussing this book with a friend, he asked if it included more battles than the previous few novels. And I am sad to say that I think it actually has fewer. Which helped with the strategy burnout, but I really wanted to see a confrontation between the two groups that Weber was leading up to at the end, and was really disappointed to not get it. It ended at a good place, but it felt as if the Big Climactic Event happened in the middle of the book, and everything else was just one long drawn out dénouement.

A7 and A8. The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn, by Robert Jordan

Instead of reading about Honor Harrington, I spent a lot of time listening to the Wheel of Time books instead. I probably look less weird walking across campus, since I’m listening to my phone instead of reading a book.

Based on the book I’m currently listening to, these are probably the last books in which the female main characters do mostly sensible things for mostly sensible reasons. Also, I am tempted to go back through and count the instances of “naked female” verses the instances of “naked male.” Thus far the instances of naked female mostly involve trials of worth or offers of sex, while instances of naked male involve men startled out of their beds for battle.

A9. The Narrows, by Michael Connelly

I’m pretty sure I’ve read this book before, but unfortunately, while I enjoy Michael Connelly’s books in reading them, I tend to blank them out when I’m done.

The Narrows is not a mystery novel with any real surprises. Connelly tends to bring the antagonist’s view point into the story early on in order to create tension, and while that makes for some interesting storytelling, it doesn’t make for a real page turner. This book is especially guilty of this, as Connelly makes it quite clear right from the start exactly who the antagonist is, leaving most of the “mystery” in what really should have been a minor subplot. It also occasionally frustrated me that while I could picture the locations the characters were moving through quite easily, it was as if the characters themselves were hard angled silhouettes moving through the set dressing. All outlines, but little detail. Not a bad book, but Connelly has certainly done better.

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