Read Recently — September

Prophets: Apotheosis: book one by S. Andrew swann

I’ve had some good experiences with Swann in the past, so I decided to give this, the first volume of a new, SF, series, a try.

Problem is, it takes about 100 pages before anything happens, and another hundred before there’s anything interesting. Should I mention that it’s only 300-and-a-bit pages long? How about that throughout I didn’t care about any of the characters?

Pros, it tries to be epic in scope and, given the size of the book, succeeds fairly well.

Really, that’s the only pro. Not recommended.

Deathwish by Rob Thurman

The latest adventures of Cal Leandros and his brother Niko finds our heroes caught up in family problems; this time in addition to their own there is the arrival of the daughter of Niko’s vampire lover, Promise, who brings with her a south-american hunter who wants her dead.

I had two problems with this one: the first was the arrival of an old enemy I was immediately wishing would just go away (more than that would be spoilerous), and the second was the decision to split the narrative between Cal and Niko in alternating chapters. Thurman makes both work, however, and a writer who can take things I dislike that much and make them strengths is someone I can feel safe to recomend highly.

Brass Man by Neal Asher

Back when I first encountered Asher in Gridlinked, I actually had two favourite characters: Ian Cormac and the confused, psychotic golem known as Mr. Crane. Apparantly I wasn’t the only one, as both of them are back in this volume. However, this isn’t just a sequel to that volume; it’s also a sequel to another book I haven’t read yet. That makes this a difficult read in some ways, but as it went along I had no trouble catching up.

In addition to the present, the book also gives us flashbacks that explain how Mr. Crane got to be where and what he is now, and what he’s trying to do about it.

Polity politics gets complex in this one, and we get a cliffhanger ending that leaves me wondering where I should go next with this series: onward to the next one to find out what happens next, or back to find out what set this one up? Decisions, decisions. The rest of my life should be nothing worse than deciding between two probably good books.

Recommended.

The Truth About Canada: some important, some astonishing, and some truly appalling things all Canadians should know about our country Mel Hurtig

Usually, when you get a title like that, the book is being written by a pro-US conservative (or Conservative) who wants to tell you how Canada fails to measure up to the States, but Hurtig is a patriot (publisher of the Canadian Encyclopaedia) and left-winger, so I was inclined to trust him. And you know, there was very little in here that surprised me, though I don’t usually consider myself to be particularely politically alert.

So I don’t know whether to recommend this or not. Canadians might find it interesting, but I expect my friends are more aware than I am and would probably not need to read it. And of course, Americans probably won’t get any of it, nor need to.

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