Saturday, August 30, 2008

Armageddon's Children

After two years of waiting, I have finally read Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks. Armageddon's Children is the first book in Brooks' Genesis of Shannara series. As I said in my last post, I have owned the book for almost two years, and I refused to read it until the final book in the trilogy was out. Now that The Gypsy Morph is out, I can read the whole story uninterrupted.

The reason I hoarded both Armageddon's Children and The Elves of Cintra until The Gypsy Morph was released is that the last trilogy that I read of Brooks' was also released over a period of two years; when I opened Straken and started reading, I couldn't believe that I had no clue who the first character that I encountered was! Prior to that moment, I was certain that, even with the time in between reading Tanequil and Straken, I remembered the story well enough to proceed. After that moment, I vowed that I wouldn't let that happen again; I would wait until all the books of any new trilogies were released before reading them. (This is much like I said I would do for the Harry Potter series if and when I ever decide to read it).

Armageddon's Children is the first in a series of books in which Brooks bridges his Word and Void series with his Shannara series. Armageddon's Children opens in disaster: the world and future that Knight of the Word John Ross was trying to prevent in the Word and Void has happened. War has destroyed civilization as we know it. The land, water and air lie poisoned. Mutants have evolved out of people as a result of the poisons. Those people unaffected by the poisons, for the most part, live in walled complexes, trying desperately to cling to life as it once was. Demons, the Void's servants who have evolved out of humans, and their armies of once men ravage the countryside, attacking the complexes and killing most while enslaving others. Those enslaved are brought to slave camps to live out a horrible existence at the hands of the demons and once men.

It is here that we find Logan Tom, one of the last Knights of the Word. Logan is given the task of finding the Gypsy Morph, the one born to Nest Freemark nearly a century earlier. The Morph is said to be humanity's last chance at survival. There is a larger disaster coming, and the Morph is the only one able to lead a handful of survivors, not all of them human, to a place of safety where they can survive. Logan is tasked with protecting the Morph so that it may complete its task.

Half way across the country is Angel Perez, herself another Knight of the Word, given the task of finding and helping a people born of legend. For with them lies the Ellcrys, which must be protected at all costs.

Armageddon's Children offers a terrifyingly bleak view of what nuclear war would do to life as we know it. Yet it also offers a view of the hope and determination that is the foundation of the human spirit. Even at the verge of total annihilation there are those who refuse to give up hope, fighting for survival, fighting for the future, fighting for love.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Gypsy Morph is Here!!!!

I wandered into one of my local bookstores yesterday and I couldn't believe it: the final book in Terry Brooks' Genesis of Shannara trilogy was there! It was out several days before it was due to be released according to Brooks' site (August 26/08). I'm just excited because now I can finally read Armageddon's Children, the first book in the Genesis trilogy. I've been hoarding it until book 3 was released.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Library Break: Worldwired

Well, here it is: the end of the Jenny Casey trilogy. Worldwired is about the aftermath of Scardown: what happens after the Toronto disaster and the starship Calgary going down. The alien Benefactors are here, but strangely silent. The UN is looking into the Toronto disaster. And Jenny Casey and her friends are still stuck in the middle of everthing.
I have to say that I liked Hammered and Scardown better than Worldwired. I think that Worldwired had too much going on with so many different characters that it wasn't able to follow Jenny Casey as much as I would've liked. But it was still a good story that was definitely worth reading. Elizabeth Bear did a great job with the whole trilogy! There were many great characters, and even though not all of them made it, it was great to know their stories. And I still like it that Jenny Casey's parts were written in first person.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Elizabeth Bear's Website

Oh, in case anyone is interested, here is Elizabeth Bear's website:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Library Break: Scardown

As I had to wait a few days until I got Scardown, book 2 in Elizabeth Bear's Jenny Casey trilogy, I thought I would read something else. I got through one chapter, but then I couldn't keep going; I NEEDED to know what happened next, and I didn't want Scardown to come in and then have to wait to read it until I was finished another book. So I waited. And it was worth the wait!
I just finished Scardown a few minutes ago, and it was great! Scardown picks up right where Hammered left off. It was a little bit all over the place at first, but by the middle of the book, I needed to know what happened next and didn't dream of putting it down! (Although I had to as I worked all day today).
Many of the characters from Hammered return in Scardown and the story of Jenny Casey is expanded upon. But as political intrigues expand and explode, it becomes clearer and clearer that Scardown is about much more than Jenny Casey's life, but is about a world crisis that is rapidly drawing nearer. Scardown was an excellent read and I can't wait to (momentarily) start Worldwired!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Library Break: Hammered

Hammered by Elizabeth Bear was one of four books that were recommended to me from the library recently. After reading The Weekend Man, I needed something that was faster paced and had interesting characters and dialogue. I actually decided to read this book first because of the cover quote by Mike Resnick: "Very exciting...very impressive debut." And I absolutely have to agree! Although it wasn't possible, I didn't want to put the book down! (And I am hopefully going to have the other two in the trilogy by the middle of this week!)
Hammered tells the story of Jenny Casey, formerly Master Warrant Officer of the Canadian army. Casey survived the army although lost her legs and her left hand in service. She was the only person to successfully adapt to her metal limbs, but now, thirty five years later, they are slowly killing her.
Hammered was full of many other interesting characters, from Razorface, the Connecticut warlord with a face full of metal, to Richard, the only successfully sentient AI. It was a masterpiece that remained glued to my hand all night until I was able to finish it a few minutes ago, leaving me aching to know what happens next!

Library Breaks

I have decided that I will be writing a review of all the books I read on here; this will include library books. All of the books that I review on here from the library will have "Library Break" in the post title. I am saying this now because I currently have a bunch of novels from the library, and am getting a few more this week. (Yes, I managed to stay out of the bookstores, but I cannot stay away from the temptation that work affords me!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Weekend Man

I started The Weekend Man by Richard B. Wright before I went to camp over the weekend. I've had it for quite awhile, having purchased it from the used book sale at work (the library) a few years ago. Reading the back, the book appealed to me; it is about a guy, Wes Wakeham, who is trying to figure out what he wants from life. I thought that that pretty much describes me at the moment, so I would give it a shot.
Well, I had to brute force my way through this book. The only reason I kept reading was that I wanted to see how it ended. It turns out that I really didn't care. The book buries you under mounds and mounds of description. There was barely any dialogue; what was present felt like it was thrown in because the author had to. The back of the book describes Wes as"a decent man with an ironic sense of humour." I found that I truly didn't care about or for him. He might be decent to those around him, but he generally wasn't very charitable to those around him in his own thoughts. (And of course, the reader gets to hear all about Wes Wakeham's thoughts on everything).
Save your money. Save your time. Don't bother with this one.