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Books of March, 06

April 1, 2006

During March I finished off six books — well, that is to say, I completed five books and gave up on a sixth. The books were:

  • Thud by Terry Pratchett
  • Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
  • Fast Forward by Judy Mercer
  • Casual Rex by Eric Garcia
  • Fearless Jones by Walter Mosley
  • Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen

Thud by Terry Pratchett – what can you say? At the very least, it’s another Pratchett Discworld book. I mean, if you’re addicted, it isn’t like you can skip even one of the weaker books, so you’re going to read it. And if it’s one of the better ones, then you will just enjoy it that much more. That said, I’d probably peg this as one of the weaker ones but was still a fun Pratchett read.

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire – I read Wicked – the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West a month or two ago and it didn’t really excite me all that much. A neat idea, but the book didn’t pull it off in my opinion (though that opinion was disagreed with by quite a lot of folks). So I wasn’t really excited about Son of a Witch, but since I was down to just a couple of choices and at the time I wasn’t in the mood for The Assassins, the conclusion to Oliver North’s trilogy, I went with Son of a Witch. The principle character, Liir, seemed to wander from place to place for no apparent reason. About two-thirds of the way through I realized I was continuing to read this book for no apparent reason as well. I didn’t care about the characters anymore – hadn’t cared much to start with. I guess it was supposed to be a “coming of age” sort of thing, following an apathetic character through a particularly boring part of his life written without wit, humor, or any human interest. Since I had spent the BAM gift card from SWMBO’s Mom and had some books around I wanted to read, it seemed foolish to keep plodding through. So about two weeks of hit and miss reading into it, without even flipping to the back to see what happened I left Liir to plod along on his on and picked another book to read.

Fast Forward by Judy Mercer – Not bad. This was a “woke up with amnesia” book with a slight twist. A nice idea that Mercer developed fairly well, even though the glaring spotlight of an obvious conclusion to the main plot line introduced in the first page or two of the book was left for a sequel. Don’t get me wrong, the first phase of the obvious was shown, but the details behind it were left for later. I’ll probably eventually buy the next one (haven’t looked for it yet, but I assume there is one), but I did feel let down that the obvious conclusion being hinted at for the entire book was only scratched at the end of Fast Forward. With some books these days, it seems so much effort goes into trying to get you to buy the next one that they don’t keep you happy enough with this one to bother.

Casual Rex by Eric Garcia – This is your typical detective story about a couple of hard-nosed guys who have partnered together to form a private eye firm . . . well, typical except the detectives are dinosaurs. In Garcia’s world, the dinosaurs have survived but have adapted by hiding in the world of humans (whom they look on as particularly vile). Once you’re past the dinosaur twist, the book has to hold together as a private eye story, and it does okay but it isn’t really anything special. And the fact that humans are pretty much all trash gets old (our hero considers even having dinner with a human to be disgusting). Since I bought Casual Rex as part of a double-novel book, I’ll probably eventually read the sequel in the book, Anonymous Rex (though Anonymous Rex actually came out first, withCasual Rex being published later, but being published as a prequel to the first). Anonymous Rex will have to be a level above this one if I’m going to be tempted to buy another.

Fearless Jones Walter Mosley – Set in Los Angeles of the 50’s, Paris Minton is a black small business owner working to mind his own business. But trouble falls in his lap in the form of Elana Love, and so Paris relies on his fearless friend, Fearless Jones, to help bail him out. It was an interesting read from the beginning and I’ll probably check out some of Mosley’s other work based on this book. Picked this book up via my Paperback Book Swap membership.

Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen – First published back in the mid-eighties, Tourist Season follows former reporter turned private eye Brian Keyes as he tries to stop the Las Noches de Diciembre terrorist group who are trying to run the tourists out of Miami. A pretty good book, and I may keep an eye out for other Hiaasen books.

Currently reading Greenthieves, an SF detective novel by Alan Dean Foster, published back in 1994. It was also acquired through my Paperback Book Swap membership.

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