Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mini-reviews #5

Apparently I read a lot faster than I review, so here notes on some long overdue books. It is a coincidence that they all fall under fantasy or science fiction genre.

Old Man's War by John Scalzi - 5/5
"John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joiced the army." -- You pretty much cannot go wrong with a book that starts like that. Once your biological clock hits 75, you are welcome to join Colonial Defence Force, organisation established in the space, investigating and encountering alien civilizations in space. The trick? You can never return to Earth. Then again, you *are* 75 years old. Time to see new places, meet new species! John Perry joins the CDF, and what ensues is hilarious story of 75+-year olds (only in a bit of a tweaked form) battling in the space with all kinds of different life forms. For example, there's a planet full of hostile goo. Yep.
A fast paced, hilariously funny militaristic space opera. Nice change to all the teenage heroes and child battle commandors.

So, the books are getting bigger, and the kids are getting older. It was decent book - nice world building as usual, some funny stuff, some teenage angst starts peeking from behind the curtain... However, I often founds myself thinking that this book feels like a bit of a filler. Though given the concept of these books there is really not much to fill? But some of it felt like really dragged out, especially the beginning. Still, all these books are still very enjoyable, I'm looking forward to the next brick.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - 3.5/5
Even though I have near zero interest towards vampire-related things, I quite liked the concept of this particular vampire story. The characters were pretty decent, Tana didn't get on my nerves and vampire Gavriel had some interesting features about him. Social media plays a great role in this world of Coldtowns, which I also found interesting.

The Curse of Europa by Brian P. Kayser - 3/5
I found this short novel in Kindle store (I don't think it's even available in physical form) and on a whim decided to give it a go. A crew of astronauts fly to one of Jupiter's moon's, Europa, to seek for signs of life on and under its icy cold surface. However, the moon Europa is supposed to have a curse, and weird things start happening... *dun dun dun*
I don't read chick lit, but I imagine if there was a time and need for something chick lit-ish, meaning nice and easy for your brain but still in some way satisfying reading experience, books like this is what I would turn to. I was happily reading away - Kayser does decent job describing the moon and the space and generally ... describing, however, as soon as a dialogue appears, things get really bad. Conversations among people in this book are really awkward, especially those between the female and male astronaut, who have a litl bit of something going on, if you know what I mean. Oh boy. It kinda felt like back in elementary school at times. However! I did enjoy the story overall and bad dialogue became a part of it in the end. Definitely a different kind of experience.

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi - 3/5
Oh, maaaan. This book. It's like an extraterrestrial explosion in your head - it's mind blowing, colourful and very exciting, only after the explosion the broken pieces lie around everywhere, and it's not that easy to pick them all up, and set them back into place. That's pretty much how I felt when reading this book. It is a very unique science fiction piece by a Finnish author with an unpronouncable (*chuckles*) name. I appreciate all the ideas Rajaniemi tried to put into this book and I tip my imaginary space helmet hat to him, because I admire adventurous authors who have courage to take risks, but maybe it just wasn't the right book at the right time for me.


  1. Snap! Same book, same time! Glad you liked The Coldest Girl in Coldtown reasonably well -- it's fun to find a good book in a genre that's not your fave.

    1. Yes - I'll definitely be a bit more open towards the vampire books from here on.

  2. I loved Goblet of Fire, but my husband would completely agree with you on feeling that book is a bit filler -- I'm glad you're still enjoying them though :)

    1. Hehe :) I definitely enjoy the books! Just number 3 has been my favourite and now I will probably rate every next book on that basis. I'm kinda feeling like starting book 5 some time really soon :)

  3. I'm torn about whether or not to pick up Coldest Girl in Coldtown - I might just get it from the library.
    Goblet of Fire isn't my favourite Harry either, Half Blood Prince is the one that I love the most.

    1. I'd go with the library, if I hadn't won this book I probably would not have bought it myself.

      So many people have been mentioning Half Blood Prince, I am quite curious! :)


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