Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: mini-reviews of Trigger Warning, Colours in the Steel, Jingo, and The Voyage of the Basilisk

Trigger Warning is Neil Gaiman's third collection of short fiction featuring his most recent work from the last few years.  It's a bit of a mix of both shorter and longer stories as well as poetry.  Gaiman himself says he usually prefers collections that more similar in theme and structure and I have to say I agree with him.  The poems were fine, but I had some trouble getting into the shorter stories.  The longer ones were better, maybe because Gaiman spent more time laying the groundwork for the story. 

Rating: 7/10.

I'm a pretty big fan of K.J. Parker, but had never gotten around to reading the author's debut novel, Colours in the Steel.  It's a pretty decent fantasy, though it does have some of the weaknesses of other debut novels.  The plot is a little light, like the story doesn't quite know where it's going.  Parker also hasn't quite fleshed out their style yet either.  On the other hand, the author's wry sense of humor is definitely present, as is the various commentary on human nature.  It's quite a decent debut novel and I will be reading the rest of the books in the trilogy soon.

Rating: 7.5/10.

I picked up Jingo not long Pratchett's passing.  I hadn't read any of his books for a little while so I felt it was time again to continue with Discworld.  This one is a satire on war.  It's a pretty good book, though it feels like it tries to do too much starting with a mystery for the Night's Watch, which then segues into the war.  Probably just a little too much plot for one book.  Anyway, on to the next! 

Rating: 7.5/10.

Voyage of the Basilisk is the third book in Marie Brennan's Lady Trent series.  This one follows the narrator as she makes a trip around the world to study dragons in various exotic locales.  In this book, we see many new locations and new types of dragons, though perhaps it feels a little too similar to the previous books.  If you've read the first two in the series, then you know how this is going to go; studying dragons and adventures followed by another important contribution to the political background situation.  It just starting to feel a little too repetitious at this point, and depending on your point of view that may or may not be a bad thing.   

Rating: 8/10.

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