Chindi

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3 1/2 Stars

This here’s a decent science fiction story. It’s a little slow at times, but it has an engaging setting and a decent plot. I don’t think, however, that a non-sci-fi fan would enjoy. It’s about space-faring humans, way in the future, who stumble across some intriguing remnants of older space-faring civilizations. There follows great adventure and intriguing mystery.

This is the first book I read in a series of novels written by Jack McDevitt.  They are not story-dependent upon eachother, but they do involve a lot of the same characters and take place around the same time (24th century).  I am enjoying the series, from which I have read two more books since Chindi, and I expect to read more of them in the future.

ben

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Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  

The Anansi Boys

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5 Stars

Neil Gaiman is everywhere!  I just picked up Good Omens, a classic collaboration he did with Terry Pratchett (I haven’t read it yet, but soon).  I recently saw a delightful movie called Stardust, which was adapted from a Neil Gaiman book.  And now this.  I actually “read” this audio book about a month ago while I was packing/unpacking (unfortunately the book was too distractingly good for me to get much work done while listening to it), but I haven’t had time until now to catch up on my book reviews.

This my second audio book, but the first one where I felt the media actually added something special.  Previously I considered audio books to simply be a lazy man’s way of reading, but in this case the reader, Lenny Henry, does a fantastic job.  His timing and cadence are perfect for delivering the humor of the novel, whether he is doing the voice for a stodgy British middle manager or an elderly Caribbean witch lady.  This will be the first audio book to live on my bookshelf.

I am sure the paper book is good too.  The story is chalk full of humor, with healthy doses of adventure and magical realism thrown in as well, and the character are amazing.   I look forward to reading a bunch of other Neil Gaiman books in the future.

ben

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 11:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Knock Three Times!

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2 1/2 Stars

I do enjoy children’s fiction, and I must say that, given the choice, I will always pick a good classic children’s story over almost anything else. (Unless, of course, the new Odd Thomas is coming out…in which case I’m totally reading that. May 20th baby!).

I got this book on MP3 with my new MP3 player for Christmas, and have spent the last several weeks listening to it during my commute to work and school. It is the story of a brother and sister who receive a grey, pumpkin-shaped pin cushin for their birthday. During the full moon, the cushin comes to life and leads them on an adventure into the Possible World, through the large tree in their garden. There, they meet many intersting characters as they attempt to track the pumpkin down and end its reign of terror.

The story was quaint, and reminded me of The Phantom Toll Booth with its tendency to preach about life. However, it wasn’t nearly as good as Toll Booth, and had a hard times coming to terms with itself. Was it a cute teaching book meant to educate young ones about life’s problems? Or what it a fantasy meant to simply entertain? The story never quite chose a path, which left it wanting. There also seemed to be areas that could have done with more explination or description–it’s almost as if an editor went a little crazy, telling the author she couldn’t put too many descriptives in or she’d lose her target audience. I hate when adults underestimate children.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, and looked forward to my 8 minute commute everyday. If you’re looking for a quick read, or know someone who wants to get into fantasy-type literature, this is a good story to start with.

–Adrienne

Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment