Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

July 26, 2013

Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress

Filed under: Series,Writing — Tags: — Randolph @ 7:00 pm

Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress

This book is aimed at writers, although I found it helpful for recognizing techniques and style in writing as well. Its focus is on characterization, developing characters, their actions and emotions, expressing feelings, and making it consistent. It looks at different genres and how characters can fit in, and it explores characterization and different narrator viewpoints.

Through it all, Nancy includes good examples and has exercises at the end of each chapter to help the reader explore what she has been explaining.

The book works very well for writers and writer want-to-bes, but readers will find a lot of value as well.

July 15, 2013

The Uplift War by David Brin

Filed under: Science Fiction,Series — Tags: — Randolph @ 7:07 am

The Uplift War by David Brin

This is the third book in David Brin’s Uplift series. In this book, a Human-Chimp outpost faces invasion by a superior species, the Gubru. The Gubru are after the location of a lost battle fleet found by a dolphin ship (book 2). After discovering that the dolphin ship is lost to the humans, they try to salvage their invasion to find some gain. Their efforts are hampered by a Tymbrimi ambassador and his daughter.

The fight takes a bit of an underground war flair, the Gubru are an occupational force. Some of the Chimps play a major role, as David Brin uses the events to explore their social structure. He shows us some interesting personalities in these chimpanzees.

The book also explores the Tymbrimi, one of the Humans few allies in the galactic confederation of bizarre species. The Tymbrimi have an odd culture that places great value in practical jokes. They use this skill in support of the Human position in the occupation.

Generally, the book is good, but not strong. It should be read as part of the series, but would probably not stand well on its own.

July 6, 2013

The Leper’s Bell by Peter Tremayne

Filed under: Mystery,Series — Tags: — Randolph @ 6:20 pm

The Leper's Bell by Peter Tremayne

This is a mystery set in 7th century Ireland. Sister Fidelma is dálaigh, an advocate for the law of Ireland. The nurse for her child was killed and the child is missing. It looks like a ransom, but things in mysteries are rarely as they first seem. This investigation leads down several paths with some good twists.

Overall, the mystery is well told and well thought out. The climax is very traditional, where Sister Fidelma gathers all the suspects together and walks us through the clues. And the results are solid.

Peter Tremayne presents a very good picture of ancient Ireland. He often uses ancient terms, but is good about explaining their meaning. The culture and practices suggest that he has a thorough knowledge of ancient Ireland, he even includes a brief historical note and a pronunciation guide.

There is also a useful list of characters and their roles at the beginning of the book. Since this was my first book of the series, I found it very useful.

Overall, the book is a pleasant and easy read, as long as you don’t have to actually solve it. My one complaint is that the gaelic terms are difficult to read and do slow down the reading. The pronunciation guide is at the end and may have worked better at the beginning, or at least let the reader know it’s there. I guess I don’t read ahead in my mysteries.

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