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More books February 2, 2010

Posted by thejinx in books.
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Sun of Suns, Karl Schroeder – Another Tor.com promotional ebook, this tells a story of politics, intrigue, and treasure hunting on a sealed-in gaseous planet with almost no gravity, where man-made suns equal freedom and power.

While this book boasted a refreshingly unique backdrop, the setting was really all this story had going for it.  The rest of it wasn’t bad, but none of the characters was really gripping and the character-related surprises/plot points – e.g. revelations, deaths – seemed for the most part haphazardly thrown in.  I found the tension wanting and the story only just enough to carry it along.  None of it was weak enough to lose me, as I did read it through, but looking for at very least a compelling story, it didn’t shine.

That said, the original setting was well depicted; the way gravity is a precious commodity reserved for rotating ships or stations and its effect on the various parts of what make up the planet were explored satisfactorily, and the use of all three dimensions in action scenes well thought out.  It’s not enough to sell the novel on its own, but it was an interesting read.

The Mirror Prince, Violette Malan – I found this on the clearance rack at my local big-box bookstore and I cannot walk away from a $2 book.  This tells the story of a college professor in Toronto whose life is turned upside down when he learns he is an exiled prince from the land of the Sidhe – faeries – and who is being hunted for the talismans he protected in his past life.

Had I read this as an ebook with no inside cover blurb, I might have looked at this book differently.  As it were, the blurb didn’t really sell the book properly, as what it described was not what it was really about, which was the impending war between two factions of the Sidhe – a term which wasn’t even mentioned in at least the last 2/3 of the book.  It starts off as regular-joe-goes-into-a-fantasy-world, but quickly transitions into standard fantasy, and for reasons I can’t quite define, I couldn’t really get into the fantasy part of this book.  It was as though someone who doesn’t normally write fantasy was giving it a shot.  The setting didn’t really draw me in and I wasn’t overly interested in the characters.  Also, while its presence in the setting seemed natural enough, the use of Capitalized Words for titles/terms/emphasis was a bit overdone.  It didn’t have quite enough of a fairy tale quality to it to count as that, but it wasn’t fleshed out enough to make good standard fantasy.  Again, it wasn’t a bad book, and I certainly don’t begrudge the price tag.  But, it’s not an immediate recommend.



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