triadruid: Roland Deschain from the Dark Tower novel "The Gunslinger", looking at a raven sitting on a skull on the ground. (gunslinger)
[personal profile] triadruid
Legend: bold means I've read it already, Italics means I'm working on it. * means I've read it before. Previously read books/reviews are in the 'read lists' tag.

  1. S.M. Stirling, On The Oceans of Eternity (6.5, rambling but overall decent conclusion to the time-travel story. I had predicted quite a while earlier which Bronze Age resident was going to be crucial to the win, however... and you would too. Unfortunately the author felt a need to leave loose ends for a possible sequel, which I won't bother with)
  2. S.M. Stirling, T2: Future War (5, we go from B to C to E in this by-the-numbers conclusion to the trilogy. Everything is sketched out with no real depth, in order to get from Judgment Day to Time Travel Day)
  3. Elizabeth Bear, Hammered (7, solid proto-Bear tendencies in here but the writing and editing are rough. Enjoyable story but a little hard to track all of the POV-shifts)
  4. Elizabeth Bear, Scardown (7, a little broader scope and a LOT bigger ending. Definitely still seeing the echoes of Bear-to-come, but she seems to have hit her stride better. Somehow overall it didn't hit me as hard though... first one seemed more personal)
  5. Elizabeth Bear, Worldwired (7, The AI is the best thing in this series, definitely. He/it is the star of the final book in the trilogy, though everybody gets some good face time)
  6. Mike Lancaster, Human.4 (8, clever YA story about alienation and alien upgrades)
  7. Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven* (8.5, this one fares well in the re-read, especially with how much was set up for getting knocked down later)
  8. Hal Duncan, Vellum (8.75, I think my head just exploded, but in a good way. Intricate non-linear story about mythology, angels, the nature of reality, chakras, ... and an smartaleck Irish pacifist incarnation of Prometheus. Did not give it a 9 only because it gets a shade too clever with itself at times, and the final ending seemed tacked on)
  9. Hal Duncan, Ink (9, slightly simpler structure in a vigorous sequel to Vellum; more angels, more snark, more reality-breaking. Duncan does a good job of rewarding the reader for figuring things out early, while catching slower readers up later with exposition when necessary)
  10. Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (7.25, definitely better at explaining things than the movie, but that's not high praise. Collins does a good job of writing teenagers, but the world is still weirdly unreal/not-fleshed-out)
  11. Various, The Dresden Files RPG (8, the worldbuilding stuff is top-notch and applicable to many game systems, and the book overall has a good 'voice' that is comparable to the novels (I wouldn't be surprised if Jim Butcher wrote a lot of the sidebar text. Does a better job of explaining FATE than, say, Spirit of the Century, but the magic system seems wildly overcomplicated and tacked-on)
  12. Benjamin Baugh, Monsters and Other Childish Things RPG (8.5 or 6, the actual game and the parts of the book written about the game are fantastic, with wry humor and overall good explanations. However the final third of the 'Completely Monstrous Edition' is taken up with generic "how to do RPGs" advice that really feels like padding)
  13. DC Adventures RPG (6, overly complicated mash-up of d20 and Wild Talents in a disorganized and poorly indexed hardcover. Damage is just blended into the list of Powers? No page numbers for the infrequent cross-references? If they'd spent as much time on editing as they did on illustration this would be rated much higher)
  14. Margaret Weis Productions, Marvel Heroic RPG (7.5, much better organized and, after a single playtest, seems to flow much more smoothly than DC's RPG. Balance is not really a thing they worry about, though, and neither is the ability to make much in the way of original characters)
  15. Arc Dream Publishing, Wild Talents RPG* (7, this game is so frustrating! the ideas are great, the flexibility is amazing, the writing overall is quite solid...and the powers are so complicated to build that it's nearly impossible. I think the mechanics are better utilized in Monsters and Other Childish Things, to be honest, where they've been vastly streamlined)
  16. Rob Thurman, Basilisk (7, some good ideas buried in a too-trite story; fast-paced though)
  17. Kate Griffin, A Madness of Angels (6, some good magical ideas but the story itself is both confusing and simple at the same time. I started giving her more credit once discovering she is originally a 14-year-old YA author under a pseudonym)
  18. Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (8 for dialogue, 5 for everything else; I can see why this was Wilde's only novel. His plays are great and his idea here is good, but the writing is...wooden when it's not spoken)
  19. H. G. Wells, The Time Machine (7.5, the writing style is stilted to modern ears but conveys a solid story, if Eurocentric and hopelessly sexist)
  20. Robert Jordan, Lord of Chaos* (8, this one actually drags a bit more in the middle than I thought, but that could be because it took us months to read out loud; Dumai's Wells actually goes faster than I remembered, only a few pages here with more in ACoS)
  21. Elizabeth Shoemaker Sampat, They Became Flesh (8, brief but intriguing RPG about God, Humanity, and Fallen Angels; marred by some copyediting errors and at least two unclear rules, but that's solvable)
  22. Brandon Sanderson, The Alloy of Law (6, interesting latter-day return to the world of Mistborn, but the story makes no real sense and the powers don't seem as interesting. The characterization makes it worth reading though, mostly)
  23. Steven Brust, To Reign in Hell (7, odd attempt to recast the War in Heaven in quasi-sci-fi terms, with the familiar rebel angels also being merely duped protagonists in an escalating series of misunderstandings. you know how this one is going to end way too early, unfortunately, and I never really bought the conceit of a single, normal, rogue angel causing all this strife, nor why he did it in the first place)
  24. Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time (7.5, endearing and familiar, but much shorter than I remember from my childhood. Still, this a very clear and tightly-written book, unlike much of YA literature today)
  25. Brandon Sanderson, Legion (5, very underdeveloped novella about a man who utilizes the 'expertise' of his multiple personalities to succeed in the world; despite its brief 88 pages it still manages to leave at least two unsatisfying plot hooks dangling, and the end comes WAY too fast and abrupt)
  26. Stephen King, The Wind Through the Keyhole (7.5, good return to Mid-World with some great details and characters, but King seemed a little rusty and the patois seemed forced at times)
  27. Robert Jordan, A Crown of Swords* (7, the true beginning of Crazy Times and Even More Sexism, yay? Some good parts but this is where the story really starts to drag...)
  28. Robert Jordan, The Path of Daggers* (7.5, much better than I remembered on the first readthrough [this is the only book I've skipped in previous rereads], but still ends on a flat note)
  29. Robert Jordan, Winter's Heart* (8, good pacing returns for the most part, but this does signal the start of One Thousand Years Of Needless Succession Drama And Pregnancy Whinging)
  30. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion* (7, pacing is an issue of course, but so is the repetitive and redundant naming and the obvious attempts to wedge contradictory versions of the myth into one narrative... all of that said, I still love the scope and depth of this pseudohistory)
  31. Robert Jordan, Crossroads of Twilight* (6, Nothing Happens for a very long time. I know he had to catch up the other plotlines with what happened in WH, but daaayum this could have used an editor/different approach)
  32. Jim Butcher, Cold Days (8.5, I really liked most of this, though there was some stylistic whiplash after the 'experiment' of different pacing in Ghost Story. Kudos for ratcheting up the danger/playerlevel without making it completely absurd and pointless, though)
  33. Stephen King et al, The Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria (6, neither plot-advancing nor particularly artfully presented; too much exposition and not enough doing. The art seemed very lifeless overall, and I don't just mean the undead)
  34. Justina Robson, Keeping It Real (5, unsatisfying mish-mash of EBear's Jenny Casey, Mercedes Lackey's rock-n-roll elves, and Laurel K. Hamilton's obsession with plotsex; going to take a miss on the rest of the series)
  35. Robert Jordan, Knife of Dreams* (8.5, authorial mortality has its motivational aspects; the pace really picks up here, lots happens, and yet the book is well-written)
  36. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, The Gathering Storm* (9 for plot, 7 for writing, 4 for copyediting)

  37. Pat O'Neill, From The Bottom Up: The History of the Irish in Kansas City (some good bits in here, but it reads like a book of newspaper clippings (which it largely is [being from KCStar's book imprint], so that works out)
  38. Steven Gould, 7th Sigma (solidly entertaining so far, but very similar to his other Magic Boy books)
  39. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, Towers of Midnight* (almost done! this book improved on the reread)
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