Speculative Fiction Books Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and the rest! http://www.lunch.com/specfic <![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by thorjanke]]> this is my favourite dystopia]]> http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-680-1010101-215929.html http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-680-1010101-215929.html Fri, 2 Dec 2011 01:30:37 +0000 <![CDATA[ Will give the reader something to think about]]>
At approximately 10:20 PM on May 5, all 6 billion people on Earth get a blinding headache for a second-and-a-half. In that instant, everyone gets another person implanted in their brain; different thoughts, different memories. Person A gets Person B's thoughts and memories, and Person B gets Person A's thoughts and memories. There is no rhyme or reason about who gets whom.

Alastair is a transit worker from Chicago who exchanges memories with John McCorely, the head of the Aryan Brotherhood, and currently an inmate in the Pelican Bay Supermax prison. His wife, Valerie, starts speaking Chinese, and their two-year-old daughter suddenly speaks German. Alastair knows that McCorely will not let anyone live who knows his "secrets," so he feels that his only alternative is to leave his family behind and head for parts unknown.

Cindy is able to leave her abusive husband with "help" from a member of the Swiss National Police. Niven is a Manhattan ad executive on the verge of a Great Ad Idea, until Ming, a blind railway worker from China, is planted in his brain. Susan is a senior scientist with the National Institutes of Health, part of the group trying to figure out just what happened; her Other is a shaman from South America. A playboy from Abu Dhabi travels to India to rescue his Other, a young boy trapped in the world of human slavery. There are some tense moments at a Long Island middle school. The other of one of the teachers is a man from North Korea who goes to great lengths to find, or buy, enough food to keep his family alive for one more day. The Other of one of the students is an official from the North Korean government who really wants that person's name.

What happens in a world where there are no more secrets? There are huge amounts of cancellations of bank and credit card accounts. Now that someone else knows your account numbers and passwords, what is to prevent them from taking advantage? Phone lines are jammed for days, as people attempt to call their Others.

This one is very much worth reading. It takes one thing, or one event, and turns it on its side to see what will happen. It's very plausible, the characters feel like real peopleand it will give the reader something to consider.  ]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Cinco_de_Mayo-549-1618610-211220-Will_give_the_reader_something_to_think_about.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Cinco_de_Mayo-549-1618610-211220-Will_give_the_reader_something_to_think_about.html Sun, 7 Aug 2011 01:11:07 +0000
<![CDATA[ In the 60s everyone wanted to "grok."]]>  

In retrospect, Robert A. Heinlein's STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND seems quaintly sub-adult in its message, not much of a story, a very average "didactic" novel. In its decade, be it admitted, the turbulent 1960s and early 1970s, STRANGER was on everyone's lips. Even today, in 2011, it is selling more strongly than probably 90% of the books still in print. What was its astonishing appeal 30 and 40 years ago? What gives it staying power, even if fading?

 

From what I gather, it was kids in 7th grade and higher and college students sophomore or younger who were initially most represented among those turned on by STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND. The novel "liberated" them, taught them to "think for themselves." Today those same people may vaguely recall STRANGER as a seminal book in their growing up but forget the reasons why it moved them. Historians of American culture build careers by probing cultural phenomena such as STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, comic books, anime, the noir and other fashions in writing as providing insights into what nowadays seems an increasingly ancient American -- largely juvenile -- mind set.

An American raised as a Martian on Mars by Martians is brought back in young adulthood to Earth by a follow-on expedition to the earlier one of which young Valentine Michael "Mike" Smith is the only survivor. Mentally, physically and emotionally, Smith is less cross-culturally prepared to become a mainstream human among humans than is a Peace Corps volunteer for coping with baboons in the outback of Burkina Faso.

As the Mars expedition's sole survivor and heir of wealthy parents, Smith has claims to colossal wealth, which crooked politicians wish to deny him. He also has no experience of other earth people, especially earth women. 

In the remainder of STRANGER IN STRANGE LAND Smith first demonstrates alien skills such as "grokking" persons and objects, i. e., cognitively reaching their inner cores through empathetic attention paying. Mars is a dry planet and water is rare. When a nurse brings him a glass of water, Smith is bound to her through Martian water-sharing ritual. He then begins consciously to share with and teach to earth men his skills, attitudes and values. Mike taps into latent human critical abilities, making Martian values so appealing as to inspire previous non-noticers of what they have been doing all their lives to overthrow traditional values such as walking around clothed rather than nude, having sex monogamously and without guilt. Smith teaches that generally doing what one jolly well pleases is good. This culminates in Smith's new-fangled religion. the Church of All The Worlds.

In the 60s STRANGER introduced young people to systematic noticing what they were doing and then asking "why."  They grokked. They proclaimed themselves "only an egg" and assured their chums that "You are God." They solemnly shared water with one another. Socrates had done a suprerficially similar but more philosophical thing with the youth of Athens and paid for it with his life. So in the end would Mike Smith, consciously sacrificing himself to a mob with an eye to toughening up his followers to face a vague threat from Martian Ancients. For those ancients would surely do unspecified bad things to earth people once they started paying the disgusting earthlings more heed.

The book is clumsily written, abounds with cliches, postures and rhetorical strutting, one dimensional characters and is of interest primarily to literary historians. Readers would do better to tackle some Socratic dialogs of Plato or a handful tales of C.S. Lewis, take up Rudyard Kipling's JUST SO STORIES or even the Mars tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Ray Bradbury. Far, far better, in my opinion, might they do.  -OOO-

 

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-549-1543565-210975-In_the_60s_everyone_wanted_to_grok_.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-549-1543565-210975-In_the_60s_everyone_wanted_to_grok_.html Sun, 31 Jul 2011 20:11:35 +0000
<![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by Scotoma]]> http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-680-1010101-202153.html http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-680-1010101-202153.html Wed, 23 Feb 2011 16:10:54 +0000 <![CDATA[Stranger in a Strange Land Quick Tip by Crotchetyoldfan]]> I've only read this book oh, about 30 times - but I've been slacking of late;  I don't think I've re-read in the past five years or so.

For someone not familiar with Heinlein or his works, this novel is one of the must-reads for any SF fan who wants to seriously acquire the label.  It's considered to be a major contributor to 60's counter-culture and provides some interesting insights into our own society]]>
http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-680-1543565-202141.html http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-680-1543565-202141.html Wed, 23 Feb 2011 11:25:22 +0000
<![CDATA[ Thoughtspeaking Truth to Power]]>
1984 remains George Orwell's greatest legacy, a fact shared by Roberto Bolano's novel 2666; both books with a four-digit number as the title, both written frantically by authors who knew they were dying, both profound in their exploration of human cruelty, both lifting the veil of propaganda and rhetoric to get to the Truth underneath.

I try to re-read 1984 every few years or so, so as never to forget Orwell's powerful message (We Must Not Let This Future Come To Pass), and to rekindle the tingling literary joy I experienced when I was first exposed to the book in my last year of high school. The clandestine budding romance between Winston and Julia; the ever-present terror evoked by the telescreens and the Thought Police; the Party's final solution of engineering humanity out of every human being; the hope and optimism that lives in Winston's heart, which is then crushed by O'Brien in the Ministry of Love's Room 101, and which returns, oddly enough, in the form of the book's appendix on Newspeak.

Totalitarianism is still very much a reality around the world, with civil liberties always under attack, and so it's important to keep the nightmare world of Oceania and Airstrip One alive in the mind. One must be ever vigilant for signs of the watchful eyes of the Thought Police in CCTV cameras and internet wiretapping, of the destruction of language advocated by the devolution into contextless acronyms and SMS-speak, of the censorious invasion into our very minds by authoritarian and corporate influence.

1984 can only be described as a tragedy. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy loses self. With the final lines, Winston Smith gloriously professes his love for Big Brother and thereby takes the final step in becoming an unperson, but his suffering and rebellion serve as inspiration for us all to never take our lives and freedom for granted. Orwell's literary sacrifice of his most human protagonist remains one of the greatest contributions to the world of letters and to the continuing species of humanity.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-549-1010101-202129-Thoughtspeaking_Truth_to_Power.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-549-1010101-202129-Thoughtspeaking_Truth_to_Power.html Wed, 23 Feb 2011 04:05:24 +0000
<![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by Jvstin]]> http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-680-1010101-201767.html http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-680-1010101-201767.html Sat, 19 Feb 2011 23:31:43 +0000 <![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by Robin_Shantz]]> http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-680-1010101-201732.html http://www.lunch.com/SFSignal/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-680-1010101-201732.html Sat, 19 Feb 2011 09:53:31 +0000 <![CDATA[ never really pulls itself together into a cohesive book]]>
Meghan does find magic on her birthday, but it's nothing like the stories talked about.

Instead of romance and happily ever after, Meghan finds her four-year-old half-brother replaced by a changling from the Nevernever. With the help of a very familiar fey, Meghan will have to venture into the treacherous world of fairyland to rescue her brother. Her mission will take her to the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. It will challenge everything she thought she knew about magic, fairies, and her own past. If Meghan can survive the Nevernever she might be able to save her brother, but there's no escaping the truth in The Iron King (2010) by Julie Kagawa.

The Iron King is the first book in Kagawa's The Iron Fey series.* It joins the ranks of many paranormal romances released for teens, not only by Harlequin Teen.** The blurb from the back of the book is filled with massively huge spoilers. You have been warned.

Kagawa's premise here is really interesting. She blends elements of urban fantasy, traditional fairy lore, and even steampunk in an original way with a lot of potential for a great story with truly exciting characters. But for all that promise, The Iron King never really pulls itself together into a cohesive book.

The story is interesting and will have a lot of appeal for anyone who loves paranormal romances*** and fairies. But, for some readers, the flaws will outweigh the appeal.

Meghan narrates the story in the first person and her voice is very erratic. It's also very repetitive with whole phrases being used verbatim again and again in the story. The descriptions seem to have too many adjectives to qualify things instead of just showing them to the reader.

Meghan herself is also very inconsistent. One minute she is completely believing everything she hears about fairies, the next she doubts the efficacy of fairy glamour. She is constantly told to be careful and follow certain rules and she constantly ignores them. She often contradicts her previous opinions throughout the story.****

The plot and Kagawa's depiction of fairyland is almost enough to let Meghan's inconsistency slide (the landscape of the Nevernever is one of the strongest aspects of the story). Almost. Until you get to the romance aspect of this story.

The Iron King is really thin on romance (like it doesn't come up until halfway through the story thin) and, once again, inconsistent. Meghan's supposed love interest is one dimensional and unconvincing. She keeps talking about how beautiful and sexy he is, but at a certain point you (or me anyway) begin to wonder who Megan is really trying to convince.

That isn't to say The Iron King won't have its fans. Indeed, it already does; this might be the only negative review you see out in the blogosphere. Inconsistencies and annoying aspects aside, The Iron King is reminiscent of Twilight and will find a lot of fans in readers looking for somewhere to go now that they've finished with Bella and Edward.

*I think this is a trilogy but it also might be a longer series and the third book is the only one in the works right now (the first two are already out).

**They published The Iron King if that wasn't clear.

***I'm starting to think I don't and actually just like the more traditional fantasy/urban fantasy tropes. But that's me.

****She also does an old fashioned about face as the story progresses. In the beginning of the novel, Meghan bemoans being poor, saying: "I wish we weren't so poor, I know pig farming isn't the most glamorous of jobs, but you'd think Mom could afford to buy me at least one pair of nice jeans" (page 11). Later, on page 141, Meghan completely contradicts her earlier frustration saying: "My whole life, I had worn ratty jeans and T-shirts. My family was poor and couldn't afford designer clothes and name brands. Rather then bemoan the fact that I never got nice things, I flaunted my grunginess and sneered at the shallow rich girls who spent hours in the bathroom perfecting their makeup." So that sneering would be everywhere except for on page 11 then?

Possible Pairings: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, War For the Oaks by Emma Bull, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by C. S. Lewis, Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Wings by Aprilynne Pike, A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, The New Policeman by Kate Thompson, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Iron_King-549-1565799-193643-never_really_pulls_itself_together_into_a_cohesive.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Iron_King-549-1565799-193643-never_really_pulls_itself_together_into_a_cohesive.html Sat, 13 Nov 2010 00:59:35 +0000
<![CDATA[The Roar Quick Tip by PoseySessions]]> http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Roar-549-1534395-193300.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Roar-549-1534395-193300.html Sun, 7 Nov 2010 01:36:47 +0000 <![CDATA[When You Reach Me Quick Tip by PoseySessions]]> http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-When_You_Reach_Me-549-1591110-193299.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-When_You_Reach_Me-549-1591110-193299.html Sun, 7 Nov 2010 01:31:56 +0000 <![CDATA[Stranger in a Strange Land Quick Tip by PoseySessions]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-74-1543565-193277.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-74-1543565-193277.html Sat, 6 Nov 2010 20:16:59 +0000 <![CDATA[Gathering Blue Quick Tip by PoseySessions]]> http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Gathering_Blue-549-1547906-193271.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Gathering_Blue-549-1547906-193271.html Sat, 6 Nov 2010 17:57:20 +0000 <![CDATA[The Giver Quick Tip by PoseySessions]]> http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-549-1391287-193269.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-549-1391287-193269.html Sat, 6 Nov 2010 17:54:47 +0000 <![CDATA[Elantris Quick Tip by PoseySessions]]> http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Elantris-549-1602197-193266.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Elantris-549-1602197-193266.html Sat, 6 Nov 2010 17:41:27 +0000 <![CDATA[Grass (Sheri S. Tepper book) Quick Tip by PoseySessions]]> http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Grass_Sheri_S_Tepper_book_-549-1380397-193264.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Grass_Sheri_S_Tepper_book_-549-1380397-193264.html Sat, 6 Nov 2010 17:39:48 +0000 <![CDATA[Matched Quick Tip by PoseySessions]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Matched-74-1566073-193221.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Matched-74-1566073-193221.html Sat, 6 Nov 2010 00:50:44 +0000 <![CDATA[ Started good, but ended bad]]>
The characters were varied, and they had their strengths and weaknesses and their emotional ups and downs. Even the "bad" kids had good reasons for their actions. I mainly kept reading because I wanted to know what was going on, but I also liked how Thomas, Minho, and Newt played off each other. Thomas had a needed fresh perspective and heroic selflessness, but he wouldn't have succeeded without Newt's insistence on order and Minho's discipline.

However, I didn't like the ending. At all. The story started out as brave, determined kids working together to outwit the evil adults who put them in the maze. But near the end, we're told the very sick reason that they were put there (though the reasoning seemed illogical). The adults were deliberately trying to break the kids by taking away their hope. They wanted the kids to give up and die, and they were deliberately killing off all but a "top" few. The ending was very violent and bloody. Two main characters were killed, one of them likely to be a favorite of the reader (though I liked them both). Also, Thomas started off caring and noble and ended up broken and hate-filled. Things don't get better, they get worse. Not my kind of book.

I also didn't find the climatic maze battle exciting. Thomas was supposed to be focused on doing his part and doing it as quickly as possible since it would end the killing that was going on. Instead he took in every little bloody detail of the killing going on. There was no need to spend so much time on it. I felt frustrated and angry at Thomas and Teresa instead of worried about them. By the end, I felt like throwing the book at a wall.

There was a very minor amount of explicit bad language and a lot of totally made-up bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this novel.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Maze_Runner_Maze_Runner_Trilogy_Hardback_Hardcover_-549-1493797-192883-Started_good_but_ended_bad.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Maze_Runner_Maze_Runner_Trilogy_Hardback_Hardcover_-549-1493797-192883-Started_good_but_ended_bad.html Sat, 30 Oct 2010 16:22:22 +0000
<![CDATA[The Chrysalids Quick Tip by cpw1952]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Chrysalids-1655082-190080.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Chrysalids-1655082-190080.html Fri, 15 Oct 2010 16:55:22 +0000 <![CDATA[ A perennial soft sci-fi classic!]]> "Tribulation", a punishment visited by God upon the "old people" for their sins.

Genetic variations and mutations, now commonplace (no doubt as a result of higher worldwide radiation levels), are seen as evil. "Deviant" crops and animals are burnt. Humans with even the most minor mutations from their highest religious ideal, a physical norm which the community calls God's "True Image", are labeled as blasphemies and are killed outright or banished to eke out their future existence in a wildly savage outlying area called "The Fringes".

When the community discovers that David and Rosalind together with a small group of other young people have developed the ability to communicate telepathically, they are forced to flee for their lives. They are re-united with their friend Sophie, earlier banished to the Fringes for the disgusting aberration of having six toes instead of the normal five. David's younger sister, Petra, able to communicate her thoughts with a power and at a distance far beyond any of the other children discovers the presence of others like them in a distant community who mount a campaign to rescue the children from their persecutors.

In "The Chrysalids", John Wyndham has mounted a vicious attack on religious fundamentalism, bigotry, intolerance and narrow-mindedness. Analytical readers will be mindful of the irony in the closing chapters as it is clear that the more advanced community is as repressive and intolerant as the community from which the children fled. Wyndham leaves us with the unresolved open question as to whether Man's evolution into a new species will perforce require the extinction of the remaining members of the previous species.

Wyndham's characters, his easy-going unforced and completely natural dialogue, his heartwarming portrayal of children at play, a mother's grief-stricken tragedy as she tries to protect her children from religious attack, and the faltering growth of love between young men and women will all remind classic science fiction fans of the pastoral easy reading style of Clifford D Simak, another giant of the genre.

If you've yet to savour "The Chrysalids", a perennial front runner in the field of soft science fiction, I can't think of a better time than right now. Highly recommended indeed.

Paul Weiss]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Chrysalids-549-1655082-190079-A_perennial_soft_sci_fi_classic_.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Chrysalids-549-1655082-190079-A_perennial_soft_sci_fi_classic_.html Fri, 15 Oct 2010 16:53:30 +0000
<![CDATA[The City of Ember Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> http://www.lunch.com/pararomance/reviews/book/UserReview-The_City_of_Ember-566-1388821-185488.html http://www.lunch.com/pararomance/reviews/book/UserReview-The_City_of_Ember-566-1388821-185488.html Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:34:01 +0000 <![CDATA[Stranger in a Strange Land Quick Tip by abhaille]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-74-1543565-179402.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-74-1543565-179402.html Fri, 8 Oct 2010 01:52:20 +0000 <![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by ssjakira1]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-177516.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-177516.html Wed, 6 Oct 2010 04:25:11 +0000 <![CDATA[Stranger in a Strange Land Quick Tip by fatherz]]> http://www.lunch.com/forbidden_planet/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-121-1543565-174518.html http://www.lunch.com/forbidden_planet/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-121-1543565-174518.html Tue, 5 Oct 2010 16:32:22 +0000 <![CDATA[Ursula K. Le Guin Quick Tip by SheilaDeeth]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/writer/UserReview-Ursula_K_Le_Guin-74-1469547-169395.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/writer/UserReview-Ursula_K_Le_Guin-74-1469547-169395.html Wed, 29 Sep 2010 18:33:25 +0000 <![CDATA[Stranger in a Strange Land Quick Tip by SheilaDeeth]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-74-1543565-169278.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-74-1543565-169278.html Wed, 29 Sep 2010 18:22:57 +0000 <![CDATA[Ursula K. Le Guin Quick Tip by benshlomo]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/writer/UserReview-Ursula_K_Le_Guin-74-1469547-165520.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/writer/UserReview-Ursula_K_Le_Guin-74-1469547-165520.html Fri, 24 Sep 2010 04:15:57 +0000 <![CDATA[ Truly stellar world building and fun supporting characters couldn't save this story with its wimpy romance and dull plotting.]]>
In MOB RULES the good is really good (amazingly creative world building and a feisty fun sidekick), but by comparison, the bad is really bad (a slow storyline that never picks up speed).

The main storyline in which magical mob enforcer, Domino, is trying to avoid a gang war while chasing down a nasty killer who skins and crucifies his victims in order to drain them of their magic sounds a lot more interesting then it is on paper. And that's not because Haley is a bad writer, he's not, but his pacing leaves a lot to be desired. The whole mystery could have been solved in three chapters but instead it drags on for fifteen.

I actually found myself getting mad that this very cool world building was wasted on a story that just meandered through this fascinating alternate L.A. in which Domino's familiar is Mr. Clean trapped in her TV, she contacts the dead through a Facebook type site, graffiti tagging can tap into juice (aka magic), and spells for everything from counteracting nicotine to all matter of cosmetic enhancements are triggered by famous quotes.

The other bright spots in MOB RULES were the scenes between Domino and a mischievous eight inch tall naked piskie named Honey. Honey felt like an import from a Stephanie Plum novel with lots of quick and quirky dialogue like this scene where Honey begrudgingly offers to teach Domino how to control her magic:

I laughed. "No offense, Honey, but you're eight inches tall. And you have a sword." I noticed the sword was missing. "Where do you hide that thing, anyway?"
"It's a secret."

Overall, the truly stellar world building and fun supporting characters couldn't save this story with its wimpy romance and dull plotting. There is a prequel in the anthology Harvest Moon coming out October 1, 2010, and the sequel called Skeleton Crew due out sometime in 2011 but I can't see myself picking up either.

Sexual Content: References to sex. A scene of mild sensuality.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Mob_Rules-549-1595863-164995-Truly_stellar_world_building_and_fun_supporting.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Mob_Rules-549-1595863-164995-Truly_stellar_world_building_and_fun_supporting.html Wed, 22 Sep 2010 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ If you are going to read anything by Heinlin...make this the one.]]> This was the first book by Robert Heinlein that I read and from reading the first paragraph I was sucked into the genius that is this author.

Heinlein's books are thought provoking, enigmatic and sometimes a bit wacky. They make you think then turn everything upside down and shake it around. Stranger in a Strange Land was a roller coaster of new discoveries and to this day remains one of my favorite books of all time.

Heinlein's writing is larger than life and will sit with you for years after reading this...until of course you read it again. 

I would recommend this book to science fiction fans.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-549-1543565-160671-If_you_are_going_to_read_anything_by.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land-549-1543565-160671-If_you_are_going_to_read_anything_by.html Sat, 18 Sep 2010 03:35:54 +0000
<![CDATA[ Great SciFi Read...]]>
REVIEW: A world shaking event. Simultaneously across the globe excruciating pain that lasts a matter of seconds and then instant relief, almost bliss, as if your mind has completely reset. Then the memories slowly flood in, but these memories don't belong to you. A man in Chicago suddenly has recollections of murder and life within the Aryan Brotherhood. A third grader can speak fluent Korean, an ad exec in New York experiences life as a blind railroad worker in China, a rich playboy in Abu Dhabi learns what it is like to be a Indian slave...

Phones begin to ring as people's Others begin calling, because they know everything about them. They know phone numbers, bank accounts, personal details...everything. There is nothing hidden, nothing left behind. And no one has an answer as to why this happened.

The idea behind this science fiction number was very interesting. How weird would it be to trade memories with someone? Learn every single possible memory in someone's head. On top of the interesting idea behind the story, the character development was very well laid out. There were a lot of them though, which overwhelmed me a bit, especially at the end when even more were introduced. I think the amount of characters could have been nipped down a bit, while the story could have been expanded. Each one of these characters could have been their own book, expanded, examined and scrutinized. I felt at times the book was overly condensed and skimmed over at times. I wanted so much more!

Worth the read though and I can't wait to read more from this author.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Scifi fans should enjoy, but the scifi element was not overwhelming. More on the lines of a Michael Crichton novel. Nothing lewd or overly violent to scare away younger readers.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Cinco_de_Mayo-549-1618610-160534-Great_SciFi_Read_.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Cinco_de_Mayo-549-1618610-160534-Great_SciFi_Read_.html Tue, 14 Sep 2010 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by JP_Rocky_Raccoon]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-137159.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-137159.html Thu, 26 Aug 2010 04:29:37 +0000 <![CDATA[ Enthralling and powerful]]>  
The Society tells her this is just a rare computer malfunction, and Cassia knows she should be happy--Xander is her best friend, and there isn't anyone else she would want to be Matched with. But things are changing, and now Cassia isn't so certain about her life. She is intrigued by Ky and his past, and by the events that formed the Society. But her curiosity will come at a price, and as Cassia learns more, she will be forced to make a decision that could cost her everything she values.
 
Matched is a spectacular debut. Condie's world is detailed and comprehensive, leaving little of mundane tasks and processes for the reader to wonder about, though Condie keeps you on edge by building little mysteries into many elements of the story and asking many small, yet probing questions. (For example, what is the purpose of the third pill everyone is required to carry at all times? How far does the Society stretch?) Readers who are fans of dystopian novels may even recognize tidbits of The GiverBrave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 in Matched, but despite that, Condie's novel is truly in a league of its own. 
 
Cassia is a perfect narrator: she's smart, curious, and observant, and she can think things through, but most importantly, she’s just a normal teenager. The evolution of her thinking, from trust and complacency in the Society, to determination in discovering truth and answers, is the most remarkable and entertaining aspect of the novel. Before he dies, Cassia's grandfather imparts a basic and powerful lesson to her: it is all right to wonder, the main propulsion of the plot. And Cassia does just that, through many strange occurrences and tiny bits of forbidden poetry she discovers, until she is able to see the Society for what it is and, for the first time in her life, form her own opinions and decisions. 
 
Blurring definitive lines between right and wrong and good and bad, Matched is an unparalleled and spellbinding read that is as beautiful and enthralling as it is powerful and galvanizing.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/d/UserReview-Matched-549-1566073-115994-Enthralling_and_powerful.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/d/UserReview-Matched-549-1566073-115994-Enthralling_and_powerful.html Fri, 20 Aug 2010 01:17:28 +0000
<![CDATA[The Giver Quick Tip by EowynUlysses]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-106486.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-106486.html Fri, 13 Aug 2010 00:48:02 +0000 <![CDATA[The Giver Quick Tip by Joe_Kawano]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-100565.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-100565.html Sun, 8 Aug 2010 19:35:03 +0000 <![CDATA[Graceling Quick Tip by MysticCowboy]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Graceling-74-1380003-90384.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Graceling-74-1380003-90384.html Fri, 6 Aug 2010 01:13:11 +0000 <![CDATA[Graceling Quick Tip by ClareOm]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Graceling-74-1380003-84153.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-Graceling-74-1380003-84153.html Wed, 4 Aug 2010 19:12:28 +0000 <![CDATA[The Giver Quick Tip by ohhaykfrankk]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-81808.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-81808.html Tue, 3 Aug 2010 01:30:10 +0000 <![CDATA[ a gritty and glorious true urban fantasy. I defy you to put this book down after the first chapter.]]>
ROSEMARY AND RUE, which gets its title from Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale, is a gritty and glorious true urban fantasy. I defy you to put this book down after the first chapter.

The world building in ROSEMARY AND RUE is among the best I've ever read in an urban fantasy. The world of the Faerie is as dangerous and beautiful as a glass rose. In the human world, unbeknownst to us, Kelpies lurk in dark alleys, Pixies wage wars over grocery store turfs, and bridge trolls drive taxis. Full blooded Faeries have always derided the Changelings with their mixed human and Faerie blood, and forced them to survive the cruel and ruthless life on the fringes of both worlds.

The writing is also beautifully textured. Seanan masterfully brings her world to life by giving her readers a completely sensory experience. The signature scents of magic unique to the one who cast it, the feel of acidic iron slicing through faerie flesh, the sound of dawn cracking apart the illusions of the previous night. You will believe you are in ROSEMARY AND RUE rather then just reading it.

My only complaint is the nature of some of the relationships in ROSEMARY AND RUE. Toby grew up in a place called Home, a kind of Dickens-esque refuge for Changelings that is run by another, more powerful Changeling. The relationship that they had was seriously twisted and abusive. It didn't make sense to me that Toby would harbor any lingering feelings for him.

Overall, ROSEMARY AND RUE shocked me with how good it was. Toby is an excellent damaged yet strong heroine in the vein of Kate Daniels, the urban and fantasy elements are given equal importance in Seanan's Faerie/San Francisco setting. There promises to be more revelations about Toby in the subsequent books in this series. A Local Habitation is available now, and An Artificial Light, the third October Daye novel will be released on September 7, 2010.

Sexual Content: References to sex. References to prostitution. References to sexual abuse.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Rosemary_and_Rue_October_Daye_Book_1_-549-1595922-165015-a_gritty_and_glorious_true_urban_fantasy_I_defy.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Rosemary_and_Rue_October_Daye_Book_1_-549-1595922-165015-a_gritty_and_glorious_true_urban_fantasy_I_defy.html Sat, 31 Jul 2010 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Hauntingly Possible]]> Before I read 1984 I had heard so much hype, I'd seen the Apple commercial from the 80s, and I'd read countless other books that were described with the words "it's like 1984". None of those things prepared me for how haunting and eye opening this book is. I will probably never look at a TV the same as before. Instead, I will always be wondering if someone is watching me back. If you haven't read this book then I highly recommend that you do.

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http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-549-1010101-67040-Hauntingly_Possible.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-549-1010101-67040-Hauntingly_Possible.html Mon, 19 Jul 2010 06:25:35 +0000
<![CDATA[The Giver Quick Tip by wordlover]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-66759.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-66759.html Sat, 17 Jul 2010 15:09:42 +0000 <![CDATA[ One of my favorite books of all time]]> This a wonderful read for anyone. I've read it a number of times and everyone I've recommended it to has given me great feedback. I love Atwood's chilling futuristic tales. The Handmaid's Tale has just enough of a realistic aspect that at times you believe this is where our future could be headed. Her characters often live a rich life within themselves that cannot be outwardly expressed in the environment in which they find themselves forced to live. There is always a glimmer of hope, however slight, that is always kept alive in the story. Its definitely a page turner that is hard to put down and stays with you for a long time afterward.
 

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http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Handmaid_s_Tale-549-1529733-66713-One_of_my_favorite_books_of_all_time.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Handmaid_s_Tale-549-1529733-66713-One_of_my_favorite_books_of_all_time.html Sat, 17 Jul 2010 02:30:29 +0000
<![CDATA[The Giver Quick Tip by NiceMarmot]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-66557.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-66557.html Fri, 16 Jul 2010 01:44:40 +0000 <![CDATA[The Giver Quick Tip by iamstepha]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-66452.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-66452.html Thu, 15 Jul 2010 18:42:31 +0000 <![CDATA[ Excellent reading]]> This was a fascinating book. It brings together archeology, psychology, and future technology in one mind wrenching work. The characters are deep and well developed. The character's motives are all very different and complimentary without falling into common stereotypes. There is an undercurrent of dark humor. The story is unique. It is well written and will leave you begging for more. If you have any interest in hidden histories, ancient religions, psychology, or just like gritty renderings of the future you will like this book. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. This story contains a good deal of violence, a little bit of sexual content, but nothing horrible. I wouldn't recommend it for children but any reasonably mature reader should not have a problem with it.

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http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Snow_Crash-549-1379563-66077-Excellent_reading.html http://www.lunch.com/specfic/reviews/book/UserReview-Snow_Crash-549-1379563-66077-Excellent_reading.html Wed, 14 Jul 2010 02:37:26 +0000
<![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by Shannie]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-66066.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-66066.html Tue, 13 Jul 2010 23:53:02 +0000 <![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by donna_r]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-65946.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-65946.html Tue, 13 Jul 2010 20:59:39 +0000 <![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by SirNate]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-65835.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-65835.html Tue, 13 Jul 2010 17:21:58 +0000 <![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by melanielise]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-65599.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-65599.html Mon, 12 Jul 2010 20:56:21 +0000 <![CDATA[The Giver Quick Tip by graceface]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-65510.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-The_Giver-74-1391287-65510.html Mon, 12 Jul 2010 19:30:14 +0000 <![CDATA[1984 (novel) Quick Tip by JosephDavis]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-65400.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/UserReview-1984_novel_-74-1010101-65400.html Mon, 12 Jul 2010 17:58:24 +0000