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Peter F. Hamilton
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Feenzorn (Die dunklen Fälle des Harry Dresden, #4) - Jim Butcher, Jürgen Langowski forgot to mark it as currently reading. german translation gets better over the course of the books. now on to book 5 :D
Sturmnacht (Die dunklen Fälle des Harry Dresden, #1) - Jim Butcher, Jürgen Langowski re-read for the umpteenth time. I love this series. German translation is better than I expected. Now on to book 2 because can't read the first one without reading the rest.
The Curse of Chalion - Lois McMaster Bujold Sometimes you read a book and while reading have all kinds of ideas for what to say in your review but then you're finished and find yourself staring at the blank review space with no clue how to begin. Curse of Chalion is different from other fantasy novels. We don't have the young, orphaned hero being thrust into the middle of events but Caz instead, an old (not really but for medieval times ancient xD ), broken man who seems to grow "younger" over the course of the story. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't grow younger physically but mentally. Before he came back to Chalion he had given up on everything. On himself, on life, and all he was hoping for was a warm spot by the fire in the kitchen to spend the rest of his days. Thankfully, Bujold doesn't let him. He kicks him through the door so he can take his first steps towards a new life, and it was absolutely wonderful to watch his transformation to a witty, wise and strong man, who with the love and care of and for others overcomes his past experiences that had left him broken. Curse of Chalion is a wonderful change of pace from your regular fantasy novel. Characters you have come to love don't just die. Loose ends actually get tied up in the end. And yes, the ending is happy. Very refreshing.
Libriomancer - Jim C. Hines The Dresden Files have opened my mind up to a genre I've never read before: Urban Fantasy. And I don't know how many times I have reread the entire series. Ben Aaronovitch and his Peter Grant series came next and just made me love the genre even more. Jim C. Hines is the kind of guy who always has some great blog posts about thing...be it the debacle over at SFWA or the fact that most book covers portray women in ridiculous clothes and poses. He's the kind of guy you wanna support no matter what. Good thing he also writes books, and good ones at that. I'm an Urban Fantasy noob and I honestly don't know much about this genre other than the two authors listed above. So I cannot say if we have seen things before, if something is new and revolutionary or just something that has been done already. And honestly, I don't care. If I like a book, I like it. And Isaac Vainio being a librarian who can actually use books to do magic, and who has a fire-spider named Smudge, is just a concept that I really, really like. I've seen other reviews that pointed out how Lena is the ultimate geek dream come true: geek hero gets the girl and her girlfriend... hrm, I must admit that this was kind of weird but on the other hand I'll just see where this is going in the next book. Libriomancer is full of references, and pretty smart. And I'm the kind of person who loves pop-culture, book, geek-whatever references in books. So, this may not be a real review but me rambling on about how much I loved this book but then again, I DID love the book, and there's not more to say than that.

Just a Geek

Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise - Wil Wheaton Wil Wheaton is the kind of guy that makes you want to be a better person. Wheaton's Law is followed by all his fans, and when the Humble Ebook Bundle was up for sale I jumped at the chance to grab it. Just A Geek is a very honest book, and while a lot of time has passed since its release, it was great to read about Wil's struggle finding his own way of life. I have to admit that when I first watched TNG I hated Wesley Crusher. In fact, I hated all kids who were able to be on scifi shows while I wasn't. Since then I have done a couple of rewatches of all Star Trek shows, and being an adult now myself, my hate for the character Wesley somehow got lost along the way. Granted, I'm not even an actor, and far from being even a mediocre writer, but I love scifi with a passion. This book has driven home the point that actors are human beings too which is easy to forget when you see them in movies or tv-shows, associating your own feelings with the character they are portraying rather than acknowlediging their ability to play someone entirely different. I watched Stand By Me many times because River Phoenix was the first actor I actually had a real crush on - okay, Dirk Benedict as Starbuck was my real first crush, but River was the first closer to my own age. I even remember how devastated I was when he ODed and died. And how I blamed Keanu Reeves of all people for his death because of stupid rumours circling around saying that he had hooked up River with the cocktail that eventually killed him. It's a good thing I've grown up a lot since then. I remember that many many years ago, before the publication of Just A Geek, I sat at my computer wondering what the hell had become of Wesley Crusher. So I looked him up and found his blog, and I have been following his blog on and off since then. Nowadays, with Twitter, Facebook & Co. it's much easier to keep up with what people are doing, and I am very happy to see that Wil has turned things around for himself. I loved him in The Guilt, Eureka, and as Evil Wil Wheaaattttoonnnn in Big Bang Theory. He seems to be a very down to earth guy, a decent human being, and frankly, the world needs more of such individuals. So, don't be a dick, and read Just A Geek. Thanks, Wil, you're awesome.
Starbridge - A.C. Crispin One thing I love about discovering new books (or old ones for that matter) is that once in a while there are real gems among them. Starbridge is one of those. It has a kickass heroine, more than one spaceship, a first contact between humanity and aliens, and romance. Now, I am not one for romance in books at all unless it's not the main part of the story and done well. Mahree is a believably written 17year old girl who grows immensely throughout the whole story. Sure, she starts out complaining about her being ordinary but this soon changes. And yes, she does get the guy but hell, she says no when he proposes to her instead of falling into his arms swooning over him and saying yes. Even their struggle with their relationship is written in a way that most normal people can relate to. Yes, that was a swipe at those who think Edward's and Bella's relationship is great. I hate Twiligt, so sue me. Starbridge though was a great and fun read. Though it didn't have much action in it, it has a lot of interpersonal conflict, interspecies struggles, and the first contacts are done in a really believable way. While a lot of it reminded me of the utopian universe of StarTrek, I liked the idea that the curiosity for other species was portrayed for both sides. And I liked that aliens weren't simply humans with blue skin and antennas on their heads. The diversity of alien life forms Crispin wove into her story is absolutely amazing. I loved this book and I will definitely read more of this author, and the rest of this series :)
A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin yadda yadda yadda, overuse of the words "wench" and "seed" and the phrase "they're wishing for a good raping".

Whispers Under Ground

Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch I loved this book. I love how the characters develop. I love how things are just so "normal" for the author; that it's no big deal if a character is white, black, male, female, straight, gay....I wish more authors were able to write like this. I love how Lesley is part of the team again. I love how the things that have happened to her in the first book required for her to take some time to get over them but then come right back in. I love that she isn't being victimized but is trying to get back on her feet as best as she can. I love the dry sense of humour. I could ramble on and on but I think I can't make it any clearer: i loved this book. And I can't wait for the next one to come out. It's already pre-ordered.
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin Contains spoilers, consider yourself warned. A meme on Tumblr made its round the other day, depicting Eddard Stark sitting on the throne, titled "A Series of Unfortunate Events". Personally, I'd call A Game of Thrones a series of bad decisions. I did enjoy reading the book to a degree but it says a lot when my favorite characters are the tomboy, the fat kid and the imp. I had no sympathy for Eddard or Catelyn Stark. I think we are supposed to like both what with them being all honorable and good. But being honorable didn't get them anywhere. Their decisions started the war, and cost Eddard his life. Their marriage has been arranged, and nothing can sell me their "love" as love because all it is is that both have gotten used to the fact that they have to be with someone they don't love because it's required, and they are both glad they hadn't gotten it any worse. That's not love people. There are characters I outright despised. Joffrey being one of them who is so evil for no real reason. At least none that I could see. There is no explanation as to why he would be so cruel. Martin makes it pretty clear that Joffrey is a sadist of the worst kind yet where this stems from is a mystery to me. Maybe it's supposed to be based on the fact that he his the child of his mother and his uncle or that his conniving mother has been manipulating him ("All who are't us are enemies" yeah, yeah, whatever) but Martin does emphasize over and over again that all mothers in this book love their kids, and this includes Cersei Lannister who loves her children. So, maybe I'm getting this wrong, but if a mother loved her kids she wouldn't try to raise them into cold, heartless little twits, who make bad decisions simply because they are now king (and which brings up the next bad decision: Killing Eddard Stark and losing a strong hand in this "game of thrones".)Then there is Cersei Lannister, queen, and manipulative and scheming beyond measure. Oh, and sleeping with her own brother. Her twin brother no less with the argumentation that their love for each other is greater than anything because they've shared a womb. I suppose many twins in this world would have to say a thing or two about that. You never had Fred and George Weasley go all love-dovey on each other because they're twins. In fact, both actors have more than once spoken against twincest. But moving on...King Robert. A whoring, drinking pig. Makes you wonder who has been ruling the seven kingdoms for the past 15 years. I feel that the reader is supposed to like him because he is this guy who loved Lyanna so much but her death broke him and all he could do was live his life until he died because there was nothing else important in it. And who had to marry Cersei the conniving, treacherous monster. Poor guy, really...not! I had no sympathy for him whatsoever. And his death was ... well, he died. End of his story. Sansa Stark, oh god. What an airhead. Seriously? She���s living in her own dreams the entire book, and it takes the death of her father to open her eyes. Yuck! Vicerys Targaryen, the megalomaniac who thinks he's the dragon and the rightful ruler of the seven kingdoms, and who had somehow managed to convince Khal Drogo to support him with an army. Wait, wut? Honestly, I don't know what he was doing in that story other than rant, rave, abuse his own sister, and dream of being a ruler. He was annoying, and from the first moment he showed up in the story I wanted him dead. Sometimes you get what you wish for. But this brings me to his sister Dany. I mean, really, Mr. Martin, what were you thinking? The only GOOD thing about her storyline is that she is in fact the last dragon, and that this role didn't fall to another male character. But honestly, that's all. Everything else about her storyline is Dany being raped over and over again by her husband, whom she comes to love because you know, that's what we are being told over and over again in this book: women love their rapists, but only if they are married to them. Yeah, again, no! I guess that's probably another good thing about Cersei Lannister: she doesn't love Robert. We are not tricked into thinking that she loves him. But with all other marriages that's what we are supposed to believe. And that goes for Dany's 'relationship' with Drogo as well. She is 13 when she marries him. He rapes her. Oh wait, she actually said "Yes" in their wedding night so that doesn't make it rape, does it? Anyway, he rapes her. He "takes his pleasure", "he had finished" and so on. There is not one PART in this book that speaks of their physical relationship as being consentual, tender and loving. We're supposed to believe that but Khal Drogo doesn't love her. He's happy he's got a pretty khaleesi now. He's happy she LEARNS how to pleasure him so that their nights are more than just a doggy style action where he finds his release. But yeah, again, that's not love, people. Of course, she loses her unborn child. Of course, she loses Khal Drogo because he is being a jerk about not having his own wounds treated properly... I did mention that this was a series of bad choices, didn't I? Jon Snow: oh man, the noble hero, or anti-hero. I'm not really sure. If he was female, he'd be labelled a Mary-Sue because gods, could he be any more perfect? It's so boring. Even his flaws suck, and are unbelievable. And of course, he is honorable. *yawn* But the Nightwatch storyline is the thing that really interested me in this book. And I am very curious where it will go. And the dragons were cool. My favorite characters as mentioned before are Tyrion, Sam and Arya. They seem to be the voice of reason, always saying out loud the things everyone is thinking, often enough saying the things I've been wanting to shout at the characters myself. The whole Dothraki-storyline was another overused trope: darkskinned people can't be anything other than barbaric warriors. Yeah, no. All in all I think I will continue with this series but right now I have other books that require my immediate attention. Still, I cannot share the hype and fascination for this book. It's okay, it's not bad, but there is better. I also don't really read fantasy. I prefer scifi, and the only fantasy books I have read are Tolkien's works and Harry Potter. I can't say A Game of Thrones is this kind of fantasy or that kind of fantasy, and I honestly don't care. I read it, and now I'm moving on.
Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2012 - Emily C. Skaftun;Jeffery Scott Sims;Adam Israel;Ash Krafton;M. Bennardo;S.R. Algernon;Gary Cuba;Christos Callow Jr. This one was a short and quick read. It starts off right away. "The Application of the Scientific Method to Family Management: Informal Observations and Conclusions" was my absolute favorite. It reminded me a lot of Morticia Adams, and I found it to be very-well written and hilarious. Again, a very enjoyable read.
Prophets of the Ghost Ants - Clark Thomas Carlton Well, that was interesting. I'm not sure if a story like this has been written before. If it has, I certainly haven't read it. And it's rare to find something so new and really innovative. Clark Thomas Carlton has created a rich world and amazingly well-written characters. A world far in the future where humans are the size of insects, living among them. And rarely do you find a book where the writing is so well-executed, the characters so believable, deep and well-developed. Definitely a book I am very happy to have found.
Storm Front - Jim Butcher This was a reread. and finally I have time to review it. I consider myself a huge Dresden Files fan so I am probably (most likely) heavily biased. Storm Front is Jim Butcher's first novel and compared to the later books in the series I think that it shows. On the other hand, Jim Butcher himself said that he only wrote it to prove that he can't write. Funny enough the writing itself isn't bad at all. Not as good as it is in the later books but not bad either. The story though hit all my right spots. We meet Harry Dresden for the first time, wizard and PI in modern day Chicago. He occasionally works as a consultant for the Chicago PD in all things supernatural. That's where we meet Karrin Murphy, a 5 foot and some change blond cop, who does Aikido and has worked hard to move up in a still mostly by men dominated work environment. I must admit that I often chuckled to myself rereading this book. Knowing the characters so well and their relationship to each other as well as their roles in the later books, it is kinda funny to be reminded how it all started. Anyway, I don't want to spoil too much. Harry has to find a missing husband, help Murphy solve a black magic double murder and avoid Gentleman Johnny Marcone, the local mob boss all the while trying to fit in a date with Susan Rodriguez, a reporter for the Arcane magazine. And in his free time he is brewing potions with Bob the skull or bribes the little folk of Faerie with daily pizza deliveries. So clearly not your every-day PI but definitely fun to read. PS: Yes, Harry is a chauvinist. He admits that he loves to treat women nicely, that he holds open the door for them, that he feels the need to protect them...I honestly don't see what's wrong with this. He isn't saying that they cannot do the tough stuff. But if you take offense in such things I recommend you move on to other books. If you like characters that have flaws, are so stubborn that you sometimes just want to slap them, or that don't change just to be politically correct, then you'll probably like the characters in this book. And if you at least liked this book a little, try to read the others too because there's a huge group of characters that you haven't even met yet. And since I have a tendency to lose my train of thought, I'll stop rambling now. :D
The Dark Ship - L.M. Sherwin I received a free copy of The Dark Ship in exchange for an honest review. The synopsis made me curious about the story. A young girl on a space ship (labelled scifi, so...) finding a mysterious mirror that seems to have a dark aura about it. Well, at least that's what I expected from it. (here is what it said: Lyra has always felt too plain and uninteresting to be a part of her parents' social sphere, the upper class of Juneau One. Now, they expect her to act like a proper lady at one of the moon's most prestigious girls' schools: St. Xavier's. On the voyage to the dreaded school, Lyra discovers an enchanted mirror in the lower decks of the ship. Whenever she looks at it, her reflection appears beautiful, mysterious, and otherworldly. Something about the glass draws her in; time, thought, and emotion fly past when she gazes into its depths. Could there be something dangerous about this simple golden mirror? Does some sinister force lurk within, drawing her into its clutches? Find out in this thrilling novella by L.M. Sherwin!)What I got was a bit different, though, and I honestly cannot say that I was content with that. First of all, the writing is really good (choice of words, use of language, etc.)But: There was nothing sinister lurking about the mirror, nothing dangerous. It was simply a gateway to a house owned by a guy named Silvanus who was tired of being alone and therefore made the only logical decision, an 800 year old creature would do: he lured teenagers through the mirror into his home so he would have company. He even gave them a part of himself which made them love him so much they would never leave him. And conveniently the teenagers all get an adult body. So there is Daniel, who is 17 - mentally at least - because he came there when he was 14 which was 3 years ago. And we don't learn anything about the other two people in the house - Strata and Macall, they are just there, and that's about all I can say about them. Of course, Lyra is happy to be in her new home. After all, her parents never spent time with her, and she wasn't happy in her old life anyway.Sadly, the story lacked any real action or suspense. It felt rushed in parts. Years go by but I can't really say how many, and what the characters have been doing during this time. Nor did any of them show any development or change in their personality. Silvanus didn't really seem to be spending time with his "family", so for his being so lonely, I would have expected more than this man brooding in his room/office/working space over schematics of ...things. Add a few things borrowed from other books, maybe it was some sort of hommage, I'm not sure, but we do have a school house that is hidden by a spell by some sort of veil that appears as a forest and makes you remember something urgent as soon as you get too close (Hogwarts, is that you?), a man who splits his soul himself to live forever procreate, and a mirror of Erised that makes the time fly by while you lose yourself in it. Overall, I don't think I would have finished the story if the writing hadn't been good. The writing is the reason this story doesn't get only 2 stars, but 3 instead. I do believe the author has a talent there, and I'm sure her hard work will pay off eventually. Unfortunately, this novellette didn't keep what it promised.
The Jacobs Project: In Search of Pinocchio (Symbiosis Introduction) - Samuel J.M. King Wow. Short, quick read but left me wanting more. Will definitely have to check out the rest of this series. Well-written with interesting characters it has sparked my interest, and made me turn the pages. Mankind finally creates self-aware AIs. And what does mankind use them for? Personal fantasies. It's sickening actually how close I think this is to reality, and what mankind would do IF....Definitely up my alley. Must read more. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
De Novo Syndrome - David Mark Brown, Jim Buckner Did you ever get the feeling that the book you picked up was part of a bigger thing of which you have missed almost everything because you feel confused while you read it? This is what happened to me with the De Novo Syndrome. I felt like I was missing something: some part of information, a few pieces of the puzzle. While the story is engaging and the characters are well-written, I did find myself confused way more than I would have liked. During many conversations it wasn't clear right away who said what. Or maybe I was just being dense. The writing itself was not bad, but I must admit that it used way too many participles for my taste. I felt, that this was overdone a bit. Other than that, I did enjoy the story.Btw, the cover of the book reminded me of my two favorite things: a young Luke Skywalker (at first glance, I mean look at him!), and Jim Butcher's Dresden Files (same font, and similarity in name).
Act I: Tinder and Tear (Empire Zero, #1) - Bert Barling A surprisingly good first book. Interesting world-building, very interesting use of the classic fantasy races, good mix of genres. It took a while for me to get used to the writing style (sometimes very descriptive, sometimes confusing) as if the author was trying which worked best for him. The way the characters talk to each other was very different at the beginning (for example when Castor meets Doc, his way to talk became very similar to Doc's). Also I noticed at least one chapter that wasn't listed in the table of contents (Brother 3 isn't listed). There are also quite a number of typos in this edition, and I think a good editor can help make this book even better. Overall, I did enjoy this book, and I might be checking out the next one in the series when it comes out.