Rory C. (thehawk) - Reviews

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The Adamantine Palace: The Memory of Flames, Book I
The Adamantine Palace: The Memory of Flames, Book I
Author: Stephen Deas
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/5/2012


Great story with plenty of WTF just happened. I liked a lot of the characters. Villains are devious and smart but of course flawed.. The good guys are mostly good but not real good and have plenty of flaws. Even the Protagonist is quite flawed. Took me a day to read once I started it. Looking forward to more.


A Betrayal in Winter (Long Price Quartet, Bk 2)
A Betrayal in Winter (Long Price Quartet, Bk 2)
Author: Daniel Abraham
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 2/24/2011


I like this series a good deal. You don't have to read each book in sequence but it probably helps some with characters who have a past with each other. The main characters are fully developed. Lots of intrigue and who is doing what to whom and why. Some information is known up front and some has to be gleaned as you read. Plenty of twists and turns along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed this second installment of "The Long Price War".
The series has a very oriental flavor to it.


The Blood Knight (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Bk 3)
The Blood Knight (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Bk 3)
Author: Greg Keyes
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 31
Review Date: 2/24/2011


I hope you have read books 1 and 2. We come to know some folks much better; and the truth is not always good. While it is good versus evil, you still have to figure out who is which. The motivations can cross lines here and lying to achieve one's end is not uncommon.
Still fun.


The Bone Parade
The Bone Parade
Author: Mark Nykanen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 37
Review Date: 5/15/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Like the best of Michael Slade this story takes you on a dark ride into the mind of a psycho. An artist whose sculptures of people in pain and terror are extremely realistic. How does he do it? If you like gruesome and grisly I think there is enough of it in here for you. Surprise! surprise! suprise!


The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Bk 1)
The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Bk 1)
Author: Greg Keyes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 74
Review Date: 2/24/2011


Character driven with a good story line. It moves along well without bogging down in the "how do I stretch this to 4 volumes" trap. A good mix of characters, some of whom are not all they seem and several other surprises along the way. You will want to read all 4 books. Briar King, Blood Knight, Charnel Prince and Born Queen.


Building Harlequin's Moon
Building Harlequin's Moon
Author: Larry Niven, Brenda Cooper
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 41
Review Date: 3/14/2011


Typical Larry Niven novel with authority issues. Colonists, councils, High Councils and a colony created to produce labor. Well written and enjoyable. Main characterts are Gabriel a Terraforming Engineer and Rachel, a child of the new, temporary colony.


The Charnel Prince (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 2)
The Charnel Prince (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 2)
Author: Greg Keyes
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 2/24/2011


Assuming you have read "The Briar King" the story continues with the surviving characters from book 1 and a few new ones. The plot begins to thicken and some people reveal which side they are on. But who is playing whom? A good read.


Corvus (Macht, Bk 2)
Corvus (Macht, Bk 2)
Author: Paul Kearney
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 10/27/2011


Once again Kearney uses history as his underpinning but treats us to a different version. If you have read "The Ten Thousand" by Kearney this is a great sequel placed some 20+ years later. There is no need to read the first book to enjoy the second. It is built upon but is not dependent upon the first book.
If you haven't read any of Kearney's works this is a story of the Macht. Think "The 300" with Gerard Butler, think Phalanxes of Hoplites facing each other.
Characters are the strong point. Battle scenes are gritty, ferocious and full of the sights and smeels of hand to hand combat. If you like Joe Abercrombie, you'll like this.


Cowl
Cowl
Author: Neal Asher
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 12/14/2011


If you like Time Travel stories this one may fill the bill. The plot is somewhat convoluted and the science is not detailed but if you accept the basic premise there is plenty to hold your interest. Asher's characters are put through hell on their journey which is typical of his stories. This is not my favorite book by him. I really preferred The Skinner and Gridlocked both to this one. Still, a good read.


A Darkness Forged in Fire (Iron Elves, Bk 1)
A Darkness Forged in Fire (Iron Elves, Bk 1)
Author: Chris Evans
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 4/26/2010


The story is character rather than plot driven. The "good" characters are more well defined than the evil ones they face. We don't get to understand the Evil Queen's motives very well. Her henchmen and allies are undeveloped. It is obviously a vehicle for introducing the main characters of the trilogy(?). The Napoleonic flavor is a nice touch and the battles well described. Parts of the story are ingenious and parts are cliche. The writer and the trilogy (or whatever it ends up) has potential. A good read but not special enough to make me rush out to find book 2. I will keep an eye out for it though and read it when I get a chance. I'd like to see if the writer and his story progress to the next level.


Debatable Space
Debatable Space
Author: Philip Palmer
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 9/26/2011


A good read. Not "hard sci fi" but still enjoyable. Fast paced with good characters and some surprises. The plot is a bit trickier than first presented.
The hero is a bit like Capt Jack Sparrow in that "it will alll turn out in the end": but not by sheer luck.


The Devil's Eye (Alex Benedict, Bk 4)
The Devil's Eye (Alex Benedict, Bk 4)
Author: Jack McDevitt
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 11/30/2011


McDevitt is a favorite of mine. His novels include great story lines as well as interesting characters. You don't have to read the Alex Benedict novels in order. They are self standing.
Benedict is a cross between Indiana Jones and Columbo with maybe a pinch of Mike Hammer.
An enjoyable read without having to work your way through it.


The Engineer Reconditioned (Cosmos)
The Engineer Reconditioned (Cosmos)
Author: Neal Asher
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 6/22/2012


If you like Asher this is another good read. A buffet of short stories which are not directly connected. A few "Owner" stories, some "Spatterjay" and a "Cowl". Asher does not soft pedal anythimg. Gritty, violent but intriguing.
A good read.


Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Review Date: 12/2/2010
Helpful Score: 1


If you want to know the who, what and why behind the invasion of Iraq then read (listen) to this book. Informative and knowledgeable. Relatively unbiased account of the events leading up to the major change in policy and strategy that resulted in a push to eliminate Saddam. A critique rather than a criticism of the planning for the war and the expected but unrealized results.


Foxtrot Ridge: A Battle Remembered
Foxtrot Ridge: A Battle Remembered
Author: Mark W. Woodruff
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 9/16/2014


A very good read. Very quick read as well. No fluff in this book. The author was a participant himself but does not focus on his own involvement. The book clearly shows how little each individual knows of what went on around them. Caught up in their own life and death struggle, events mere yards away took place without their realization. It is only in the aftermath that the pieces can be fit together and a clear picture can take shape.


Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue
Review Date: 1/20/2014


Very good read. A dramatic account of a little known WWII episode with some insight into why it occurred. Authors are well informed and have used many interviews to ground the narrative. Of interest for Naval and general WWII fans.


Hawkwood's Voyage (The Monarchies of God, Book 1)
Hawkwood's Voyage (The Monarchies of God, Book 1)
Author: Paul Kearney
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 4/4/2011


Kearney has taken the great events of the latter 15th Century and turned them into a tale of exploration, intrigue, war and betrayals worthy of the timeframe in which they are set. Mix in a little magic along with an unknown source of power and a few mysteries against the backdrop of the Inquisition and there you have it. Book 2 is in the mail to me and I await it eagerly.


The Heretic Kings (The Monarchies of God, Book 2)
The Heretic Kings (The Monarchies of God, Book 2)
Author: Paul Kearney
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 4/29/2011


History mixed with fiction mixed with a little magic. The great events of the 15th century are used as backdrop in a sometimes not so fictional world. A good read with most of the characters of book one continuing. Their circumstances, however, have for the most part changed; some for the better and others not. A fun read.


Hilldiggers (Polity, Bk 2)
Hilldiggers (Polity, Bk 2)
Author: Neal Asher
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 6/26/2014


If you are familiar with Asher this is another good read. If you are not you are in for a treat. He creates aliens out of scattered humanity. Adaptations and mutations occur on the fringes of settled space and this is where he tends to operate. His AIs (artificial Intelligences) have some familiar and some startling human characteristics. This is not Hal or the droids from Silent Running. There is violence at times, especially between those who deem each other alien despite common roots. The violence is both personal and catastrophic on an epic scale. Reminiscent of early Christopher Rowley (e.g. Vang, the military form).


House of Reeds (In the Time of the Sixth Sun, Bk 2)
House of Reeds (In the Time of the Sixth Sun, Bk 2)
Author: Thomas Harlan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 2/28/2012


This is a great follow up to "The Wastelands of Flint". New characters added while some are lost. A high energy page turner. Main characters are well fleshed out with a solid supporting cast.
Fully entertains while leaving enough plot threads to create anticipation for the next adventures for our hero(ine)s.
I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next book, "Land of the Dead".
Two big thumbs up!


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