Redshirts

Jun. 10th, 2012 01:39 am
theladysnarkydame: (special snowflake!)
So I picked up a new book today! One of the perks of working in a bookstore -- when I suddenly remember that there's a book out there that sounds pretty good, I have a decent chance of being able to find it right away. :D


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I've never read Scalzi before -- I will now, because Redshirts was pretty awesome, in a couple of ways, and also the dude's pretty entertaining on twitter.

This one's a quick read (I read about half of it while I was still at work, and finished the rest over dinner), but there's enough going on in it that I'll need to read it again soon, slower.

I don't really do proper book reviews, for the same reason that I don't really try to explain the plots of things I'm writing to friends or family -- I suck at it. And also I don't personally care that much about spoilers and am not that sensitive as to what constitutes a spoiler, necessarily, so I'm always nervous that I'll inadvertently give something away that someone who hasn't read it would rather not know.

So instead, I'll say this: whether you were a fan of Star Trek or not, if you like a little (or a lot) of storytelling meta in your stories, but you don't want to sacrifice believable, sympathetic characters for it? Read this. It's a lot of fun, and I expect it might be more so on a second read. It wouldn't hurt if you were also a fan of MST3K, I think, though there aren't any direct parallels there.
theladysnarkydame: (Frank's legs!)
You might like Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus books.  It's not the most original concept, but it's different enough to be interesting, and I quite liked most of the characters -- even some of the villains.

You can definitely see the similarities to the Dresden books, but the system of magic is totally different.  The main character is most definitely not the powerhouse Dresden is -- he is, by necessity,  more about timing and finesse than fireballs and raw force -- but they both have dark pasts and trust issues, and they both know the value of being able to run away very fast.  There's quite a bit of nice h/c, too, though so far the series lacks a little of the chaotic ridiculousness of the Dresden Files.  That might change as the series goes on, you never know.

I'm tempted to say that it's a bit like Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant books, just for the wizards-in-London thing, but they aren't really that much alike.  Again, the system of magic is totally different, and Grant's police background makes for a very different feel to the way the books unfold.  And honestly, I think the way London itself is such a big part of Aaronovitch's books gives them a grounded feel that Jacka's doesn't have. 

Honestly, the Peter Grant books are better, hands down, for several reasons, and you should totally read them if you haven't already -- but I enjoyed Fated (the first Alex Verus book) and plan on picking up the second one very soon (maybe tomorrow, if I go down to the Plaza).  So try them too!  Especially if you like the Dresden Files.

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