Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cross Fire - James Patterson

Cross Fire is another Alex Cross novel.  This time Kyle Craig is back and hiding in plain sight.  The action is tense and keeps you glued to the book right to the end.  You have to wonder though, if Alex had just shot Kyle Craig one of the many times he could have done so in previous books and this one, how many lives would he have saved?  And once again there were threads that were orthogonal to the plot, served to complicate the story, and were never tied off.  In spite of that, highly recommended.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pathfinder - Orson Scott Card

Pathfinder is a novel that makes you think hard at times. If you like time travel and time manipulation this book will pop your skull. The main character is Rigg, the son of a trapper from way up river. His special ability is to see the paths that animals have taken. This makes him very handy for trapping, but that's just the beginning of what his ability lets him do. This is obviously the first in what I hope is a long series of books about the planet Garden and it's amazing inhabitants. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

I first read The Hobbit 45 years ago. It became my favorite book then and has maintained that standing ever since. Bilbo, Gandalf, and the 13 dwarfs took my imagination for an adventure that has stayed with me my whole life. I've read this book half a dozen time. I've got multiple paperback and hardback versions gathering dust somewhere on a shelf. Now I have it on my kindle to read and reread some more. Very very highly recommended.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

The Road is a depressing take on post-apocalypse America.  I suppose a book on post-apocalypse anything has to fight not to be depressing, but McCarthy didn't even struggle.  A father and son pair are traveling in a land where nothing appears to be alive but humans, and most of them are bent on killing and eating any other humans they find.  The book never says what caused the apocalypse.  It involved fire, since there is ash everywhere, and it appears there was a catastrophic climate change as a result.  That isn't relevant to the story since the focus is the present and the hazards the main characters have to avoid on their trip to the ocean and what they hope is a warmer climate.  There are some flashbacks involving the mother, but they're depressing too.  I should have know better than to read something that won a Pulitzer prize.  Not recommended.

The Realm Shift - James Somers

The Realm Shift was a good idea with poor follow through.  I like the plot of the book and the characters were somewhat interesting but the writing was spotty at best.  When the writing is so bad that you notice that aspect of the book instead of what the author is trying to say then it's time to move on.  I finished this book because I wanted to see how it came out.  I knew it was a trilogy but hoped there would be some kind of partial conclusion to the first book.  No such luck.  I won't be reading the other two.  Too bad because the concept was interesting.  Not recommended.

Lessons from Armed America - Kathy Jackson, Mark Walters

Lessons from Armed America has useful information for anyone who plans to, or is already, carrying a pistol for self defense. I enjoyed the true stories and the analysis. If I had it to do over again I'd by the paper version instead of the kindle version though. The kindle version was formatted so poorly that I almost gave up at one point. It was atrocious. This is a good book with very useful information, but it was very difficult to read on my kindle. Not the kindle's fault. It's the person who did a half-assed attempt to convert what they had to kindle format. Highly recommend in dead tree format.