Jax C. (Destructa) - Reviews

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Anderson PSI Division: Red Shadows (Anderson Psi Division)
Anderson PSI Division: Red Shadows (Anderson Psi Division)
Author: Mitchell Scanlon
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 4/10/2010


This second Judge Anderson novel is even better than the first. A new serial killer stalks the Mega-City, and he's not making it easy to track him down. His DNA isn't in the database, he only strikes when surveillance cameras are offline, and somehow he gets victims to stand obediently while he cuts their throats. Even worse, he's only the pawn of an even more ruthless Psi criminal. It will take the Psi, Med, and Tek Judge divisions all working together to solve the mystery and end the slaughter.


Anderson PSI Division: Sins of the Father (Anderson Psi Division)
Anderson PSI Division: Sins of the Father (Anderson Psi Division)
Author: Mitchell Scanlon
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/16/2010


The third and final Judge Anderson novel is the best of the short-lived series. It has the most memorable characters and the most haunting resonance. The angle of Anderson having to evaluate a rookie Psi Judge on the case could have been expanded, but it might have distracted from the main plotline. Overall, this is more than just another novel of crime in the Mega-City, or another demon chase with the kickass Psi Judges. It also strikes close to our place and time with chilling immediacy.


Apocalypse Wow
Apocalypse Wow
Author: James Finn Garner
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 1/10/2008


I laughed my pants off! Garner's best, hands down, though his Politically Correct Bedtime Stories CD-ROM is also not to be missed.


Baphomet's Meteor
Baphomet's Meteor
Author: Pierre Barbet
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/30/2007
Helpful Score: 1


This is an interesting little trip for Crusade buffs. The story skips around between characters without getting really attached to any, but two randy brothers, squires to their chivalrous older brother, are good for a laugh. The Templars are as shocked and terrified of the "demonic" power they unleash as are their unlucky enemies. Must they conquer the whole world for Baphomet?


BEHOLD THE STARS
BEHOLD THE STARS
Author: KEN BULMER
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 4/1/2007


On far-flung worlds throughout the galaxy, Man is gearing up for war with the conquering Gershmi. But the war may be lost before it even starts, because someone or something is brainwashing Earth soldiers into non-aggressive pacifists. David Ward thinks the key is in the matter transmitters that men use to travel to distant planets in the blink of an eye. Who masterminded this plan? Ward had better find out, because the Gershmi fleet is on its way!


The Black Tower (The Dungeon, Vol. 1)
The Black Tower (The Dungeon, Vol. 1)
Author: Philip Jose Farmer, Richard A. Lupoff
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 2/13/2009
Helpful Score: 3


I enjoyed this one very much--an other-dimensional adventure drawing inspiration from Haggard, Burroughs, and Lovecraft among others. Clive, a 19th century Baron's second son, treks into Africa in search of his missing twin. He is suddenly transported the the vast realm of the Dungeon, where he meets strange creatures and humans who are almost as far beyond his comprehension. Beings from many planets and time periods are trapped in the Dungeon: petty tyrants carving out a portion of the Dungeon for themselves, some who despair of ever returning home, others who live unaware of their plight, and the few like our hero Clive and his companions who are quest-bound to escape. The result is rip-roaring, Clive's party careens from danger to danger, discovery after discovery, stimulating the reader's spirit of adventure on every page.
The writing style is not without its occasional flaws and fumbles, but all told this is one of the most enthralling books I've read in recent months and I've put the other volumes on my wishlist immediately.


Born with Teeth: A Memoir
Born with Teeth: A Memoir
Author: Kate Mulgrew
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 11/11/2016


Kate Mulgrew certainly has had an interesting life, and she's quite candid about the ups and downs of her Iowa upbringing, tumultuous romances and acting career. I very rarely read memoirs or listen to audiobooks - I was motivated to seek this one out after hearing Mulgrew speak live at a Star Trek convention and watching YouTube videos of other Trek talks she's given. It was primarily her Trek role that interested me but I just love her voice and her eloquent way with words. Not a whole lot about Trek here, though she gives almost play-by-play about winning the role. Interesting fact: her mother was close friends with the Kennedys.


Captain Blood
Captain Blood
Author: Michael Blodgett
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 2/23/2008


Named after the Sabatini hero of the same name, this "Captain" is a rich LA playboy with a terrifying capacity for violence against perceived exploiters and aggressors. Like American Psycho, turned loose with a vendetta in drug- and alcohol-drenched Southern California, diving into stranger and stranger sexual escapades along the way. Michael Blodgett immerses the reader completely in his protagonist's warped worldview.


Carson of Venus
Carson of Venus
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 3/30/2007


Cover by Frank Frazetta! The whole Venus series is an epic thrill ride. As fantastic as we know life on Venus is today, the people and places Carson encounters seem plausible and logical. It is interesting to note that Burroughs lampoons Earth's own Nazis with Carson's dim-witted fascist foes, the Zanis. This was first published in 1937, when the Reich was firmly in power in Germany but before the invasions, before the world feared them. Where was Carson when we needed him?


Cats: How to Take Care of Them and Understand Them (Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)
Review Date: 4/1/2007


Perfect for the new cat owner. Plenty of color photos throughout.


The Changeling
The Changeling
Author: A. E. van Vogt
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 9/23/2007


From the back cover:
The world was coming to an end...but only the toti-potents knew it. They were the instruments of the alien invaders.
Once they had been ordinary men. But when the invaders from space took possession of their bodies, they became immortal and perpetually young; able to read minds and predict and change the future; possessors of weapons infinitely more powerful than any Earth had ever known. And they began to hate men.
But because, outwardly, they still looked and acted like everybody else, there was no way to tell who they were--until they attacked!


Conan the Warrior
Conan the Warrior
Author: Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague de Camp
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/30/2007


Another blood-soaked Frazetta cover graces this volume of the mightiest tales ever told. Red Nails is my favorite of the bunch, an atmospheric, apocalyptic tale of violent death in the dark. Can even Conan come out of such a place alive?


Copper Beech
Copper Beech
Author: Ariadne Thompson
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 4/28/2007


Copper Beech is an picturesque old-money neighborhood in New York, complete with its own country club--and overrun with desperate housewives! The "unbelievable affair" alluded to on the cover is only the focal point for exploring the petty jealousies, adultery, and class-conscious oneupmanship behind the facades of Copper Beech's mansions. Hamilton, the main character, is forced to examine his own role in his wife Willa's betrayal and what went wrong with his previous marriage to free-spirited Louisa. Can he even comprehend how close-minded and unloving he has been all his life, molded that way by parents who substituted pride for love and image for character? It's a scandalous, emotional journey through the callous carousing and quiet despair of people who think they have everything.


The Creature from Beyond Infinity
The Creature from Beyond Infinity
Author: Henry Kuttner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/15/2007


A Frank Frazetta cover graces this bizarre tale that spans millennia of human existence, and far beyond. This "creature" is a plague, transforming humans into...well, I won't spoil the story. But there are aliens, Atlanteans, and atomic death rays involved. Bold and fast-paced, from the classic era before space flight and nuclear energy were reality!


Descent of Angels (Horus Heresy)
Descent of Angels (Horus Heresy)
Author: Mitchell Scanlon
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 1/27/2014


This book got a lot of flak upon release, mainly for 2 reasons: Half of it takes place on Caliban before Imperial contact, and therefore the book doesn't "advance" the Horus Heresy plotline by much at all. As for #1, I wish there were books like this for all the primarchs. It's a chance to see a world isolated from Terra for an aeon, and how that world shapes one of the few dozen most influential figures in human (future) history. The story of Zahariel and friends as they become Knights of the Order shows some aspects of the larger narrative in a different context--tantalizingly familiar, with some of the flavor of Warhammer fantasy. When the Imperium comes to Caliban, you can see what conflicts even a peaceful "compliance" stir up through the eyes of the natives. As for #2, this is a bitter fanboy complaint. Guess what, the Heresy series is a huge cash cow and there are likely to be around 50 novels in total! Some stories are more background and character study, others are more Major Fluff Battle play-by-play (Ultramarines were all "dakka dakka" then Word Bearers were like "FOOM!").


Eaten Alive (Star Wars: Galaxy of Fear, Book 1)
Eaten Alive (Star Wars: Galaxy of Fear, Book 1)
Author: John Whitman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/18/2007
Helpful Score: 3


These "Goosebumps"-type books were a great addition to the Star Wars Universe! Older readers are unlikely to be terrified, but the writing is great. Most of the Star Wars books for "young readers" are of a high standard, and not always predictable. This particular entry guest-stars some very familiar faces, soon after the destruction of the Death Star. You'll enjoy the main characters too, a brother and sister from Alderaan--and seeing their story develop over the course of the series.


Escape On Venus
Escape On Venus
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/30/2007


Another "un-putdownable" entry in the Venus series. Dray Prescot remains my favorite "planetary romance", but Burroughs books like this make it a tough call!


The Eternal Savage
The Eternal Savage
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/30/2007


One of Burroughs' stranger adventures, incorporating reincarnation and heartbreaking solitude. For their love, Nu and Nat-ul (Victoria) defy tens of thousands of years, the power of the mighty quaking earth, modern man's prejudice and the innumerable dangers of the Stone Age. Also a Tarzan tie-in.


Ex Libris : Confessions of a Common Reader
Ex Libris : Confessions of a Common Reader
Author: Anne Fadiman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 44
Review Date: 4/9/2007
Helpful Score: 5


Nonfiction.
If you are a lover of literature, a bibliophile, or a word worm, then Anne Fadiman will be your friend. Read about the pleasure of reading and book collecting with a famous writer from a family of famous writers. Funny and familiar.


The Far Call
The Far Call
Author: Gordon R. Dickson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/6/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I was kind of yawning my way through the first half of this book, but the action really picked up at around page 210. Prior to that, far too much of the characters' navel-gazing interior monologues. Only a freelance spy character kept me interested. Once the crisis hit, I couldn't put it down.


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