Posts that have been categorized as: "Books We Don’t Like"

Review

Soleri

Posted: May 31, 2018 by Jane Funk in Books We Don't Like Meta: Michael Johnston, Epic Fantasy
Soleri

One of my favorite things about reading a book is reaching that point where you just can’t put it down. It’s always magical to feel immersed in another world. Some books draw you in right away. Others can be a slow burn, but the wait feels worth it when you go from “I’m enjoying this book” to “talk to me in approximately 150 pages.” And then, there are the books that just never take off. Michael Johnston’s SOLERI (Amazon), despite its interesting premise, is one of those.
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Review

Tomorrow’s Kin

Posted: April 26, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Nancy Kress, Science Fiction
Tomorrow’s Kin

A while ago, I had a dearth of books sitting on my shelf for which I was foaming at the mouth to read. Several times I walked by the stacks and asked myself which of those various offerings I would dive into next. After several attempts, I just started grabbing books at random, and decided to choose the one that I thought had the best potential based on the first two pages of story. This is usually about all it takes for me to decide whether I’m going to be able to like a book or not. Like there’s a base-minimum amount of goodness that my inner reader is willing to accept, and after about two pages I can just tell. After parsing through a dozen or so of the possibilities, I whittled my choices down to this single book. It was even science fiction, which is always a good thing in my opinion because I feel like I need to read more science fiction. Problem is, I need to read science fiction that’s better than this.
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Review

The Last Harvest

Posted: August 3, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Kim Liggett, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
The Last Harvest

As I’m sitting down to write this review, I’m reminded of a card game that my oldest child taught us one night. It’s very similar to Uno, only played with a deck of face cards, and there are a whole lot of rules that the “director” of the game gets to make up. The rest of the players then spend the rest of the game trying to figure out what those rules are by watching the director abide by them and then trying to decipher what the rule governing the director’s actions might be. And then obviously duplicate all of them in such a way as to win the game before the director does. It is a wholly frustrating and ridiculous game, and I’ve forever banned it from being played at my house if I have to be involved. What can I say? I guess I just like knowing what the rules are when I get involved in something. That goes doubly for my reading experiences.
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Review

The Empty Ones

Posted: July 13, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Robert Brockway, Urban Fantasy
The Empty Ones

So I was reading a book with my daughter the other day and she skipped half a line, mid-sentence. There were two “ands” in a single line and she went from one “and” to the other “and” without a beat. Just kept reading without realizing what she’d done. So, I called her on it. “How in the heck do you even do something like that?” I wondered aloud. We both had a good laugh over it. It was only considerably later that I realized while reading the book for this review I felt EXACTLY like I had when my daughter had skipped half the line while reading: like I was missing a ton of story that should have been there, but just wasn’t. No surprise on the rating then, eh? Yeah. This one was kind of a rough go. Okay, maybe not kind of.
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Review

Humanity 2.0

Humanity 2.0

This one comes as yet another in a long line of short-story anthologies that have fallen into my lap. Most of the others up to this point have been fantastical (urban, heroic, horrific), but this one instead is of the science-fictiony variety. More specifically, it tries to deal with how humanity might change when, not if, interstellar travel becomes possible. Was hoping for some goodness out of this bunch of stories. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much.
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Review

Jonesbridge

Posted: March 25, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: M.E. Parker, Science Fiction
Jonesbridge

Bad writing. We all know it’s out there, and unfortunately the odds are that eventually it will end up landing in our lap. When it happens in a book I’m reviewing I have one of two options: can the read, or mention the fact in my review. I really don’t feel like I can do anything else. Sometimes it baffles me how certain levels of writing can make it through the publication gamut. I mean, I expected to find some as I strolled through the SPFBO, and I did, but some of it was also quite good. But when a book has gone through a publication house, it seems to me that there should be some base-minimum level of goodness that applies because if the book doesn’t sell any copies, the publishers don’t make any money. Although, a good friend of mine had her books picked up by a small publication house and she got just about zero editing help. So. What can one really expect?
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Review

Rise of the Automated Aristocrats

Rise of the Automated Aristocrats

It was with a high level of excitement and healthy dose of trepidation that I dove into this book. Another Burton and Swinburne novel for me! But alas, it was the last of its kind. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first read that this would be the end of this amazing series. I’ve had so much fun reading this one, with each story building upon the previous one, and taking me further into the brilliantly detailed chaos of Hodder’s genius. The back of the book promised an explosive conclusion to the Spring-Heeled Jack series, and although I only wanted more! more! more! I still found myself curious how the tale I began a scant five years ago would resolve itself in the end.
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Review

The Leopard

Posted: October 16, 2015 by mtbikemom in Books We Don't Like Meta: K.V. Johansen, Fantasy
The Leopard

I wanted to like this book, was ready to love it after reading the intriguing prologue, but the rest of THE LEOPARD (Amazon) did not hold up to its early, fleeting promise. What a mess.
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Review

Corsair

Posted: September 11, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: James L. Cambias, Science Fiction
Corsair

Recently, the dynamic duo of James S. A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) did a Q&A over at reddit. One of the questions that came up along the way was one that I thought was pretty astute and went something along the lines of this: In your books, why are there so many manned spacecraft and a surprising dearth of unmanned, likely more cost-effective, drones doing work in space? Their response was simple: bots are boring, humans are interesting. The story told in this book tries to take a somewhat opposite tack to that and tells a “science fiction” story where all of the space stuff is handled by bots, with the humans acting in the background. And how does it all turn out? Let’s just say that our boys from the Expanse series know what they’re talking about.
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Review

The Silver Ships

Posted: August 21, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Don't Like Meta: S.H. Jucha, Science Fiction
The Silver Ships

Seven hundred years ago humans took to the stars after Earth’s resources could no longer support the population. The colonist ships headed to different systems and lost communication with each other. Until one fateful day when tug captain Alex Racine discovers a derelict ship of unknown origin. He quickly learns that the ship is run by an AI, that some of the crew are in stasis… and that it came from a completely different system from his own. The superior technology fascinates him and he assumes it must be alien, until the crew are awakened by the AI computer and he discovers that they are descendants from another Earth colony ship.

And that the reason their ship was damaged and many of their crew dead is because aliens had attacked them.
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