Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shadow Pavilion Reviewed and other Stuff

My latest review, The Shadow Pavilion by Liz Williams, went up at SFFWorld yesterday. Although I enjoyed the first two Detective Chen books (Snake Agent and The Demon and the City), this one didn’t work so well for me. I don’t know if it was I who couldn’t connect with the book as well as I did with the previous novels in this series or if the book just wasn’t as good as the others. As I say in my review, I found some elements, particularly the plot to be somewhat of a rehash, but I also really liked how Williams continues to flesh out the cosmology of the world.

In other news, two books I recently reviewed are now on bookshelves, both physical and virtual, as of today. John Scalzi’s Zoe’s Tale and Tobias Buckell’s Sly Mongoose.

Over the weekend, while sunning in my pool with Mrs. Blog o’ Stuff, I finished up Caine Black Knife. Wow. Stover again turned out a great novel, and at this point my favorite book of the year. It was a great novel in many respects, but I’ll go into two right now: (1) It was all Caine all the time and that just can’t be a bad thing on any world and (2) Stover sort of reinvented his writing style for this book. Not that the previous two novels were overly bulky (they were bigger books), but his style here was more pared down and in some respects, reminded me of some of Roger Zelazny’s novels and writing. I’ll save a lot of my thoughts for the review I’m writing, which will take awhile to craft. Suffice to say, I loved the book and like most of Stover's novels, this one left me wanting more.

Mrs. Blog o’ Stuff and I caught Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Friday afternoon. (Gotta love the summer hours work schedule). I enjoyed it more than Episodes I & II, despite completely realizing it was a bit more for kids and basically an advertisement for the upcoming Clone Wars animated series. If Lucas wants to make another few million dollars in licensing, all he needs to do is make and market a Rotta the Hutlett plushie. Anyway, maybe the reason I enjoyed it is because I knew it was just a glorified commercial and wasn’t expecting too much. Still, for a $6 matinee, it wasn’t a bad way to pass along 100 minutes in the summer.

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