Monday, January 2, 2012


Science Fiction and Fantasy is the focus of this review. Let me know if you have any suggestions of novels of this genre to read... Thanks!

Moon Maze Game by David Niven and Steven Barnes Four worms
Detailed storyline with diverse characters and more than one strong female, yeah! Creatively ties in H. G. Wells with current sci-fi trends. Serious Gamers will enjoy the dream of the future. Only noticed a few small logic problems and could have used a map. Would be a terrific movie.

Citadels of the Lost by Tracy Hickman Three and a half worms
Well written with lots of detail. This is the second book in a series. Good at providing the back story of the characters. Yeah, a map though the printing is tiny. Some parts of the book could have been fleshed out a bit more. Only one strong female character, more are needed. Probably best to start with the first novel.

When the Saints by Dave Duncan Three worms
Political intrigue, war, and mystical powers are the focus. The beginning chapters are profoundly perplexing but eventually the details are explained. Some sections were strong while others needed more information. Yeah, a description of the main characters and glossary were included! Needs a map and genealogical chart, though. Read the first book beforehand to reduce confusion.

The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind Two and a half worms
This is the thirteenth book written about the characters but the first that I have read. It was difficult to learn about the characters since few details were divulged. I presume that the Seeker television series was based upon the books but I didn’t watch the show. More women died than men, and no diversity was discussed. Some nice passages drowned out by droning details and all the excitement saved until the end. The final chapters could have used more detail. It is obvious that this is just the beginning of another saga.

Solaris Rising edited by Ian Whates Two and a half worms
I usually avoid short stories because a character becomes interesting and it’s the end. However, I decided to peruse this volume in hopes of finding authors with amenable writing styles. Several of the stories were so-so or just plain unreadable but I did locate a few gems. Sweet Spots by Paul di Pillipo was delightful with a surprise at the end; Shall I Tell You the Problem with Time Travel? by Adam Roberts starts out rather convoluted but ties together well; Rock Day by Stephen Baxter is clever; and, Mooncakes by Mike Resnick and Laurie Tom is painfully sweet and well written. I shall seek out volumes by these authors to review.

Foundation by Mercedes Lackey (first in the Collegium series) Two and a half worms
Extensive description of the main character’s wretched life was well done. Editor should have reduced redundancies. The magical powers were never explained and the excitement was left until the end of the book. Triad of youngsters reminded me of another series of books but I just can’t remember the name (Ha-Ha). Decided to read this first book to prepare for the second. Good that they included a timeline as a reference to the other books that she has authored.

Intrigues by Mercedes Lackey (second in the Collegium series) Two worms
Very little character development in the first half of the book. Good examination of the main character’s inner life after the games ended. Stunned by the concluding violent act. These books are well suited for the teenage audience except for the last bit of book two.

Science Fiction & Fantasy, as a genre, needs more females. They should be half the characters in each novel. Diversity is also lacking. Why are all the main characters beautiful and in prime physical condition? Why is war and competition always the focus? Due to the complexity of the story-line it would be advisable to include a synopsis section for serial books. Briefly describe the main characters, genealogical chart to explain family trees, map, and an executive summary of previous volumes. I think that many readers avoid sci-fi because the books can be bewildering and the violence tiring.

Most recent review was posted on December 9th, 2011.

Ride the Dragon!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

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