Richard D. - Reviews

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1812: The Rivers of War (Trail of Glory, Bk 1)
1812: The Rivers of War (Trail of Glory, Bk 1)
Author: Eric Flint
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 1/29/2007


Detailed alternate history taking place during the War of 1812.


1901
1901
Author: Robert Conroy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 33
Review Date: 3/1/2006
Helpful Score: 1


I am a big fan of alternate histories, and the concept here is a good one, if a little more far-fetched than most in the genre. The execution of the story leaves a bit to be desired and I found the author's characterizations weak.


The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, Bk 1)
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, Bk 1)
Author: Laurie R. King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 234
Review Date: 6/7/2006


First of a series about Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell, a much younger woman invented by the author who becomes involved with the famous detective. (She is his equal in deductive intelligence, which makes for some interesting stories and equally interesting dialogue.)


Black Ships
Black Ships
Author: Jo Graham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 1/7/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I'm a sucker for historical fiction, and I've read a lot of it, some very good and some atrocious, so I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. This book also takes place in a time and place (Trojan-war aftermath in the Mediterranean) that I haven't read much about, so I was a little hesitant, not being a huge fan of classical mythology. To my very pleasant surprise I found this both extremely well written and a great story to boot. The author, who I definitely want to read more of, did a great job of making accessible the lives of these long-ago people who had a very different view of the world than we do.


The Blood-Dimmed Tide
The Blood-Dimmed Tide
Author: Rennie Airth
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 11/19/2007


A chilling detective novel about a sexual psychopath in post-WWI England. Very well written but the subject matter may not be for everyone.


The Book of Eleanor : A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
The Book of Eleanor : A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Author: Pamela Kaufman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 45
Review Date: 6/7/2006
Helpful Score: 3


I really enjoyed this. I've read a number of books with Eleanor as a main character, and this one has a genuinely different take on her. Well written, too.


The Border Book
The Border Book
Author: Marina Fitch
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 6/7/2006


A very unusual offering in the fantasy genre, focusing on a very up-to-date issue: Hispanic immigrants crossing the southern US border.


The Color of Distance
The Color of Distance
Author: Amy Thomson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 10/2/2008
Helpful Score: 3


This is a really good hard-sci fi first contact story. The book is well written, the characters are well drawn and sympathetic, and the aliens are enough alien to be intriguing and enough like us that we can empathize with them. A very ecological theme runs through the book.

There is a sequel to this book that takes place on Earth (this one takes place on the aliens' world). The sequel is not nearly as good as this is, I think.


The Companions
The Companions
Author: Sheri S. Tepper
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 50
Review Date: 3/1/2006


Fairly typical Sheri Tepper. Not her best, which means better than a lot of other authors could do. She does seem to use a hammer to drive home her moral message where a lighter touch might do.


Cretaceous Sea
Cretaceous Sea
Author: Will Hubbell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 3/1/2006


Not bad if you like time travel and/or dinosaur stories.


The Devil's Arithmetic
The Devil's Arithmetic
Author: Jane Yolen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 67
Review Date: 7/17/2008
Helpful Score: 1


I haven't read the book but there's a very good film based on it also.


A Discovery of Witches (All Souls, Bk 1)
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls, Bk 1)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 175
Review Date: 11/19/2014


Is this series flawed? Yes. Are the characters occasionally annoying? Yes. Was I able to put it down before I finished? No, and that's the only metric that really matters for me. The story really grabbed me, the world of witches, vampires and "daemons" seemed really fresh (amazing given the overexposure of the paranormal in recent years), and (best of all) it wasn't unrelentingly dark.


The Genesis Secret
The Genesis Secret
Author: Tom Knox
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 10/3/2012
Helpful Score: 1


The Genesis Secret is an intense and engaging read. It's a little disturbing that the best-drawn character is the psycho killer. The other characters are mostly fill-in-the blank. Definitely a plot-driven book. Be warned that there are scenes of intense gory violence and mind-boggling cruelty.


Hyperion (Hyperion, Bk 1)
Hyperion (Hyperion, Bk 1)
Author: Dan Simmons
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 263
Review Date: 12/2/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This is the opening volume in what I consider one of the top 5 SF series ever written (I guess I would rank Dune as the top SF series). The writing is superior, characters well drawn, and the plotting excellent. Written for adults (in the good sense of that word). These books are on my keeper shelf - have read the whole series twice already and will do so again!


In Trouble Again : A Journey Between Orinoco and the Amazon (Vintage Departures)
Review Date: 8/8/2006


Good true-life travel adventure.


Jack of Kinrowan : Jack the Giant-Killer and Drink Down the Moon
Jack of Kinrowan : Jack the Giant-Killer and Drink Down the Moon
Author: Charles de Lint
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 3/1/2006
Helpful Score: 1


I generally love de Lint's offbeat urban fantasy tales and this is no exception. The bonus here is that this book is really two novellas under one roof, both featuring the same main characters.


Kingdom Of The Grail
Kingdom Of The Grail
Author: Judith Tarr
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 3/15/2006
Helpful Score: 1


Very good and unusual sword & sorcery romance. It intersects in unusual ways with a number of different mythological streams.


Lady of the Forest (Robin Hood, Bk 1)
Lady of the Forest (Robin Hood, Bk 1)
Author: Jennifer Roberson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 4/7/2006
Helpful Score: 3


Lady of the Forest is a quite interesting take on the Robin Hood legend, from the point of view of "Maid Marian". It's a bit "too long in the middle" but otherwise very well written.


Life of Pi
Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3362
Review Date: 7/31/2006


A very original story, well told.


The Long Walk Home
The Long Walk Home
Author: Will North
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 8/24/2011


Having read both this and the author's later book "Water Stone Heart" it's easy to see that "The Long Walk Home" was his first effort. While a good story, it's not nearly as good at Water Stone Heart (in my opinion). The story seems rather contrived in places; WSH has a better flow to it. Having said this, however, I can still recommend TLWH. The characters were good and the author made me care about them, which make up for a lot of shortcomings.


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