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sunpig

sunpig

Currently reading

Blackbirds
Chuck Wendig
Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 05
Hiromu Arakawa
Debt: The First 5,000 Years
David Graeber
Who Owns the Future?
Jaron Lanier
Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts
Andrew Robinson
Impulse - Steven Gould

A very different kind of book than its predecessors _Jumper_ and _Reflex_. The protagonist is Cent, daughter of David and Millie, and it's the story of how she deals with her ability to jump, in the context of an American High School. (I'm not a fan of the American High School as a setting.) The threat level is much lower than in the first two books, and it doesn't ask any big questions about the potentially world-shaking impact of the emergence of jumping. It's small-scale; it's cozy. It's a pleasant addition to the series, but it doesn't make me want to thrust it into people's faces like the first two.

Reflex - Steven Gould Loved it. Darker & more intense than Jumper; just as fast-paced and thrilling.
Jumper  - Steven Gould Brilliant SF story, blending Davy Rice's exploration of his teleporting powers with the emotional fallout of his escape from an abusive father.

It was also fascinating to read from a historical perspective of our attitudes towards terrorism and the NSA. The book was published in 1993, and Davy ends up dealing with terrorism in the form of airplane and ship hijackings. The film of the book, released in 2008 (well into the 21st century War on Terror), pointedly does not; it invents a completely different adversary for Davy to deal with. Finally, there's the NSA. Even in 1993, the book treats them as a shadowy force, above the law, that will stop at little to achieve its objectivess.

And on top of it all, it's just a cracking good page-turner of a thriller.
The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss Sufficiently enjoyable, but it doesn't go anywhere. The story arc is literally circular: Kvothe ends up right where he started, and he isn't changed by his journey. He gains skills and knowledge, but he doesn't learn any lessons. Many things happen, but none of them matter. 1000 pages of candyfloss.
Saga, Volume 2 - Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughan Beautiful and amazing just like the first volume.
Saga, Volume 1 - Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughan Beautiful art, clever & quirky storytelling. Brilliant all round.
Hawkeye, Vol. 2: Little Hits - Matt Fraction, David Aja, Francesco Francavilla, Steve Lieber, Jesse Hamm, Matt Hollingsworth Just as gorgeous as the first book. Story feels a bit less connected, though - leaves more ends dangling.
The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss Starts slow, but the first few chapters are just setup for the real story (which then also starts slow). By page 100 or so I was fully hooked, though, and it keeps getting better all the way through.
Neptune's Brood - Charles Stross I was close to abandoning this for the first two thirds, but then it gets better. The book is split into two halves: the first half alternates between dull and silly, and does little other than get the main character to the planet where the story happens; the second half finally goes about actually telling the story. And "telling" is the key phrase here, because the plot (a two thousand year-old banking fraud playing out its final act) is so complex that it requires dozens of pages of exposition, and constant reminders in the rest of the narrative about what's actually happening.

The science-ficitonal ideas of interstellar banking and fraud woven into the story are fascinating and timely, but book is too poorly structured to make the ideas really come to life.
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation - Michael Pollan A lot of good bits, but a lot of repetition and too many spiritual/metaphysical digressions along the way.
Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon - Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido The first three chapters (issues 1-3) in this volume are amazing - I love David Aja's art, and Matt Fraction's stories are engagingly non-superheroic. The rest of the stories are merely good in comparison. I'll be getting the next collection when it arrives.
Abaddon's Gate - James S.A. Corey Very disappointing final volume after the momentum built up in he second book. I found the science-fictional payoff mundane when I had been expecting majestic. The action felt monotonous and drawn-out, and I failed to make any emotional connection with two of the three new viewpoint characters (Anna and Clarissa).
Caliban's War - James S.A. Corey The story is fully up to speed now. Some good new characters, and lots of action.
Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey Takes a couple of hundred pages to really get moving, but then it turns into a fast and fun ride. A bit Peter F. Hamilton-ish, but with far fewer main characters. Have bought the next book in the series already.
Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch Feels like a mid-season episode of a favourite TV show. Comfortable & familiar, but doesn't affect the big picture much (except in a few pages right at the end).
Kingdom of the Wicked - Derek Landy Goes on a bit long.