Friday, September 18, 2009

Gale Force

Gale Force by Rachel Caine is the seventh book in her Weather Warden series. At the beginning of the book Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin is on vacation with her
lover, David. Their fun is cut short when an earthquake hits Florida. After a bit of searching Jo discovers the earthquake was caused by an "antimatter spear" pushed deep into the earth. Yes you read that right. I said antimatter spear. Oh and as a nice twist David, and all the other Djinn can't see it. They suspect the humans have finally gone crazy.

Thing really start to heat up when David asks Jo to marry him and she says yes. Things start happening with greater frequency and power. Let me tell you, you don't want to be in a bridal shop where Jo is trying on dresses. There a lots of people who think this union is a very bad idea. Most of them would not think killing Jo would be an extreme course of action.

I've only read a couple of the Weather Warden books. If Gale Force had been the first book I'd picked up I probably wouldn't read any more of the series. This book seems to have been written in a hurry. There's just not enough to fill a book. To make thing worse the book ends before the story does. I suspect Jo and David will win in the end but I don't know if I want to read another antimatter book to find out how.

Having said that there were some amusing bits. Some of the things Wardens and Djinn can do are interesting. Those two things aren't enough to make me think this is a good book. I got really tired of it about halfway through. Jo and David are likable characters. This storyline doesn't let you get too interested in them. They're too busy fending off the next attack to really shine.

Buy Gale Force (Weather Warden, Book 7)

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Vampire Shrink Trailer

Dark Harvest Book Trailer


Eric is a vampire with short term memory loss from being embalmed. He blacks out on a regular basis. When he comes to there's always somebody dead lying around him. Staked by J.F. Lewis begins with Eric realizing that he's just torn the head off another vampire. He doesn't know why he did it or even who the vampire was. The one thing he knows is that it's almost sunrise. On the way to his 64 Mustang he's attacked by a werewolf. Eric kills him and goes home for the day where his lover finally breaks him down and he "changes" her. Upon waking, Eric learns that the werewolf he killed was the son of the local pack leader. Of course the pack is howling for revenge. Not only that but his girlfriend just isn't interesting any more.

There are a lot of typical things for a vampire novel: Eric owns a strip club with his best friend. They feed off willing strippers. The werewolves live way outside town. They are unreasonable. His lover has hurt feelings when Eric doesn't want to be with her now that she's turned.

There are also atypical things for a vampire novel: Eric's short term memory loss and blackouts. The werewolves are "holy rollers" who think vampires are an abomination. There are also a couple of characters whose nature is not fully explained. They're not human, vampire or werewolf.

The plot is predictable. I figured out what was going on halfway through the book and had to wait for Eric to figure it out at the end. The character, Eric, was the only thing that kept me reading. If he wasn't so interesting I'd have tossed the book when I figured the plot out. Eric's made adjustments to compensate his bad memory but he has no idea what's going on during his black outs. He remembers getting very angry....

I'm not sure I would read a whole series of novels with Eric as the main character. There would have to be some new characters who were just as interesting to keep me coming back. As it is Staked was a fun read.

Buy Staked

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Manifold: Time

I'm going to say this right off: time travel makes my head ache. There's not a lot of actual time travel in Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter. There is however, a lot of talking about time travel and the science behind it. I don't usually like "hard science" science fiction. I prefer stories that have character development instead of quantum foam. While there is a lot of exposition where one character tells another about some scientific thingmahooeydewey or whatsit in Manifold: Time there is also character development.

The three main characters are brilliant man-child Reid Malenfant, his ex-wife and anchor to reality Emma Stoney, and Cornelius Taine who has close ties to some rather questionable people. Taine convinces Malenfant that the world will end in 200 years. He wants to look for a message sent from the future that will stop whatever apocalypse is on the way.

There's a subplot about "blue children" who are super intelligent and build particle accelerators with toys and bits of scrap metal. Many adults are frightened and the children are soon rounded up and put in "schools" where they start working together to build even stranger things that the adults don't understand. Fearing that the children are a signal about the end of the world many adults start killing children. One group even gets nuked.

There's also another subplot (sub-subplot?)about intelligent squid but if you want to know you'll just have to read the book.

There were points in the book that I wanted to just skip over the physics but if I had I probably wouldn't understand the rest of the novel. It was slow reading for a while but I will probably read the next two books in this series. I guess that means I liked it.

Buy Manifold: Time