Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Report #53 - Back Story by Robert B Parker

Sue recently went on a book reading rampage, first reading every Spenser novel, in order, then reading every Janet Evanovich novel.

Now she's starting on the Jesse Stone novels. I thought I would read the book where he first appeared. (according to Wikipedia).

Spenser is hired to find the killer of a woman who died 28 years in the past.

He uncovers more than his client is willing to learn and continues his investigation after he is asked to stop. Spenser, with the help of Hawk, soon find the murder to be buried in layers of cover-ups.

I always love the humour and larger-than-life confidence in Parker's characters and the dialogue is perfect. Nobody wrote dialogue like Parker.

A very entertaining book.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Book Report #52 - Firestar by Michael Flynn

This book was first published in 1996, set mostly in the opening years of the 21st century, it suffered a bit from being dated. Some of the technology that we take for granted today was absent from the book. That kind of thing is never a deal-breaker in fiction; it was just something I noticed.

There is a lot of very good reviews of the book on the Amazon website and ill direct you there:

Amazon.ca reviews

For my part I found the book a bit disappointing only in that it lacked in the gee-wiz technology factor. This book was firmly locked in the "here and now" of technology. I guess I was hoping to see more advancement in space commerce than was shown in the book.

You have to remember that I was born in the mid-60's and grew up with the Apollo program, so I come at this topic with great sadness at the opportunities lost in my lifetime. And that's the hook of the book, our main character Mariesa van Huyten is a captain of industry who nearly single-handily takes on the project of getting humanity back into space, permanently.

Flynn turned over every rock imaginable in such a project. I thought it would be a simple book centring around the engineering of it and that there would be some kind of adventure thrown in that would justify the whole endeavor.

What I got was a book that neatly walks the line between science fiction and literary fiction. There is political interference, corporate spying, social impact, emotional drama, family conflict, betrayals, perseverance and some technological speculation.

It was a very thoughtful, insightful and thorough book. It was, for me, a challenge to get through; it came in at 885 pages and is only the first book in a series of four. (Thank God each succeeding book gets shorter!) Anybody who reads this blog knows I have a 350 page theoretical limit to novels. It took some effort, on my part, to keep picking it up but, once I was about, oddly enough, 350 pages in, I found the rhythm of it and found myself reading at every opportunity.

I loved the book, in the end, and I look forward to the second volume; Rogue Star.