Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

March 17, 2007

Books I read that I liked or didn’t like

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 5:01 PM

As most of you know, I love reading and read a lot of books. Over the past few days I have been reading a lot of books so I thought I should share some of my thoughts about them.

I finally finished reading the entire Darkover series by Marion Zimmer Bradley in order which made some of novels more interesting. Pity there aren’t more of them. However they are the only novels by her that I liked. In most of her other books the stories come off as a bit stilted and heavy handed. Another problem I faced was that the novels don’t have any official chronology which makes if difficult for those who want to read the books in order. Oh I know that the books are mostly standalone and can be read in any order but its more fun reading the books in chronological order. I did the same with the Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey and found the books to be much more enjoyable that way.

Another author I like is Patricia Briggs and I just finished reading her book “Blood Bound“, it was an interesting read. Basically its part two of a series about a car mechanic who can shapeshift into a coyote and how she deals with problems a vampire sorcerer causes in her life. The book is sharp and witty, somewhat like the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine or really early Anita Blake novels. Hopefully the next books in the series will be as good and not devolve into mindless romance novels that replace a good story with lots of sex and romance (Anita Blake Vampire hunter is a good example of such a series)

Patricia Wrede is a new author I found thanks to Amazon lists that suggest additional books based on the books you are currently viewing. This lady can write. Her Enchanted Forest Series is a series that takes the standard princesses and dragons line and changes it to something new and unique. The princesses in the novel is bored with being a princesses and decides to walk upto a cave full of dragons and insists that they take her prisoner and let her work for them. Then when the expected knights and princes come to rescue them she tells them that she doesn’t want to be rescued as she is happy living with a dragon. Read the book, you will like it if you like humor and prefer to read books where the characters have a brain. Her name has been moved to the list of authors whose works I egarly wait for.

The latest book I read is “Sir Apropos Of Nothing” by Peter David. This book is off the hook, It looks at the roles of the hero, sidekick, and villain turns them on the head. In the book the sidekick (Apropos) decides that he doesn’t like his lot in life so he decides to change events to make his life easier and to make him look better. A lot of his actions are not noble as he is a self centered person that doesn’t care two hoots about others but in spite of all this the book is funny and a good read. Going to read the second book in this series next and if I like it then I guess I will have to add another author to my list of must read authors.

Not all of the books I read recently were good though :(, one of them was especially disappointing because I like the author a lot. I am talking about “A Deeper Blue” by John Ringo. I got my hands on the Advance Readers Copy of the book from Baen Book’s Webscription Ebooks and was really excited to read it. This is the 5th book in the ‘Ghost’ series and I really liked the earlier books. The author really knows how to depict war and troop movements and since I like military fiction I like his books a lot. Unfortunately in this book he decided to get on a hobby horse and basically make it look like that all problems that the US/world is facing now is due to Muslim terrorists.

At first when I started reading I was like whatever, this is a novel the author has the right to take some liberties with the world his characters move in. This was after I read this statement in the book:

“Every major terrorist attack on your people has been by Islamic males between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five. Paying particular attention to such people simply makes sense. When a person that looks Islamic comes through the Keldara region you can be sure that we take a closer look. What is that thing about if it walks like a duck?”

The book then proceeded to get worse and worse… Every time they had to catch a terrorist they would look at the Arabic male and sure enough thats the terrorist. The second problem was that the book didn’t really seem to have a plot, all it did was point out how easy it was to attack the US and that the best way to stop it is to stop the Muslim males.

It got so bad that I actually stopped reading it before I got to the end and believe me it takes a lot for me to stop reading a book that I am almost through with. (I had another 3 chapters to go through).

I guess the author is human and has human failings but I had expected better. The book was the worst book I have read in a while.

Ah well this is all for now. Will write more later.

– Suramya

PS: Incase you are wondering, all the books mentioned above are fantasy/SciFi or Military fiction.

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