Thursday, June 29, 2023

Review: Titan's Day

Titan's Day (The Carter Archives #2)Titan's Day by Dan Stout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The follow up to Titanshade delivers the same engaging characters and setting. It's a unique mash-up of genres: part noir, part detective, part fantasy, part sci-fi. Stout's world building is subtle and interesting. The world is just familiar enough so as not to require lengthy exposition, but alien enough to make it interesting and novel. Readers of Michael Connelly's Bosch will see a lot of Bosch in Carter: the commitment to the murder victim; the belief that everybody counts, even in the face of an uncaring and sometimes corrupt bureaucracies.

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Sunday, June 18, 2023

Review: Robert B. Parker's Blood Feud

Robert B. Parker's Blood Feud (Sunny Randall, #7)Robert B. Parker's Blood Feud by Mike Lupica
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the Sunny Randall series and how Parker explored how the "machismo" code that Spenser lived by could be applied to a woman. I was a skeptical about Lupica taking over, but I think he did a competent job. There are definitely things that off; things that remind you that this isn't Parker. The depth of insight, the clarity of the prose, and quick wit are not quite to even a mediocre Parker level. But I enjoyed the book and the story; it was nice to live again with the regular cast of characters from the Spenser-verse.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Review: Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy

Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy (Book III: Lesser Evil)Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Of the three books in the Ascendancy trilogy, I liked this one the best. It brings to conclusion many of the various themes and plot lines of the earlier books. It doesn’t get as deep into the family/palace intrigue that the first did (which I didn’t care as much for). There is more focus on Thrawn and his allies and how they resolve the crisis that has been growing since the first book. I really like the way this triology raises the question about how different peoples interact with, use, and relate to the Force. It also sets up more of how and why Thawn ends in in the Empire, though I find there still is something of a disconnect for me. Thrawn is so competent, so intelligent, and really basically good, it can be a bit incongruent that he allies himself with the Empire (even if it is for the ulterior motive of serving the Ascendancy). It’ll be interesting to see the Thrawn we get in the Ahsoka series and if that helps to shed some more light on this.

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