Holly I. (Pooka) - Reviews

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A College of Magics
A College of Magics
Author: Caroline Stevermer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 74
Review Date: 10/6/2008
Helpful Score: 4


Faris Nallaneen is sent to a magical finishing school, expecting to hate every minute until she can go home again. But she discovers the joy of learning and the delight of friendship. There is plenty of adventure, but I have read the book several times for the joy she shares in growing and learning.
This is NOT just a book for 9-12 year olds.


A Fish Caught in Time : The Search for the Coelacanth
Review Date: 6/18/2008
Helpful Score: 1


This is a remarkable book.

In 1938 an impossible, gigantic fish was caught off South Africa. It was necessary to get the attention of a scientist qualified to study it, and to preserve it until it could be dissected.

This is the story of the discovery of the coelacanth. It brings to life the time and place and excitement of one of the greatest scientific finds of all time. All of the people involved are here, not just the scientist who published it.


Frostwing (The Dragonrealm)
Frostwing (The Dragonrealm)
Author: Richard A. Knaak
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 6/29/2008


This is not part of the Dragonrealm series, despite the title.

Grigori Nicolau has been kept alive for hundreds of years by a gargoyle that comes to him in "dreams", who periodically removes some of his memories. Grigori does not remember his origins, and does not know why the gargoyle is torturing him. Then he moves to Chicago and discovers that the gargoyle is real, and associated with a house that calls to people with steel-blue eyes like his. They enter the house and never come out.
This is a complex and fascinating novel, where the story of Grigori, the gargoyle, and the house are slowly revealed.


The Godmother's Web (Godmother, Bk 3)
The Godmother's Web (Godmother, Bk 3)
Author: Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 6/23/2008
Helpful Score: 2


If you like Tony Hillerman and fantasy, you will LOVE this book. There are stories told by "grandmother", who is one of first people. And it mixes in with the Hopi/Navajo politics... and it's enormous fun besides.

You don't need to read the other Godmother books for this; it has some references to the people, but it's a stand-alone story.


How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays
Review Date: 7/15/2008
Helpful Score: 1


This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. There about 40 short essays and they are all over the map.
For instance, "How to Travel with a Salmon" deals with being given a fresh salmon when on a business trip. He puts it in the hotel refrigerator, gets charged for all the booze that he took out; and the maid takes the salmon out and refills with new booze. This repeats for 2 more days.
Some of the other essays include "How to eat ice cream" and "How to recognize a porn movie".

"Eco's assembled essays are impishly witty and ingeniously irreverent" (Atlantic Monthly)

"The perfect choice for a literate view of the small frustrations of the world" (Dallas Morning News)


Mindblast (Space Cops)
Mindblast (Space Cops)
Author: Diane Duane, Peter Morwood
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 12/21/2008


Interplanetary crime series, with lots of action and plenty of fun. This is an overlooked treat from Diane Duane and Peter Morwood.

It features a brain/brawn team:
Joss is brilliant, he specializes in computers but can also do biochemistry, rock analysis... and he has a quote from an old movie for any occasion
Evan is enormous, he wears an armor suit that carries beamers, pellet guns, grenades (but they took away his personal nuke)... he is from Wales, and has quotes from his granny.

Space Cops are sent anywhere in the solar system to figure out crimes and get rid of the problem. This generally requires bar fights. Of course, their boss Lucretia is unhappy with the expense accounts.

There are three books in the series: Mindblast, Kill Station, and High Moon. Each book is an independent adventure.

Highly recommended! I'd be keeping the series if I weren't moving.


The Practice Effect
The Practice Effect
Author: David Brin
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 11/8/2008


I really like this book. It's not as well known as Brin's other books, but this is fun as well as well as philosophically interesting. The way science fiction used to be!


The Shape-Changer's Wife
The Shape-Changer's Wife
Author: Sharon Shinn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 10/6/2008


This is the review from Peter Beagle (The Last Unicorn). I couldn't have said it nearly as well:
"Sharon Shinn strikes me as the most promising and original writer to come along since Robin McKinley... Her deceptively low-keyed, marvelously straightforward storytelling is a delight and a comfort to discover"


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