21 July 2009


Posted by Dirk under: books .

I’m way behind on writing about books so instead of writing individual posts I’m just gonna combine a buncha quickie ‘reviews’.

Saturn’s Children – Charles Stross   A future where humans have become extinct but our sentient machines live on.  An android originally designed as a companion for men is down on her luck and agrees to transport something for some shady characters.  Things aren’t as they seem and it all gets complicated.

A fair amount of sex considering there aren’t any actual humans in it.

The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan – Ben Macintyre  The story of Josiah Harlan, an American Quaker who went to Afghanistan, seeking his fortune, and had some pretty amazing adventures.   If you like history and odd characters, check this one out.

The Blonde – Duane Swierczynski  A fast paced action story about a guy who meets a woman in a bar who tells him she’s poisoned him and if he wants to live, he needs to go with her.  Fun and quick read.

Prador Moon: A Novel of the Polity – Neal Asher  I’m surpised Neal Asher isn’t better known in America.  All of his Polity Universe books that I’ve read I’ve enjoyed quite a bit.  This one is set early in the timeline of his future history and concerns the first contact between the Polity and the nasty alien Prador.  The Prador are classic science fiction space alien monsters.  Lots of violence and action in this one.  I dug it.

Hitler’s Peace – Phillip Kerr  I read Kerr’s Berlin Noir trilogy a while back and really enjoyed it.  This book didn’t hit me the same way, but it was still an enjoyable read.  Basically an historical spy novel about a secret meeting during WWII between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill in Tehran.

Brass Man – Neal Asher  Another Polity book by Asher.  A sequel of sorts to two previous Asher books, only one of which I’ve read.  Features Polity super agent Ian Cormac, running around trying to save the Polity from some nastiness.  Again, lots of action and violence.  If you like SF, check out some of Asher’s books.

 Legends -Robert Littell  A mystery/spy novel about a retired CIA agent who was famous for his ability to get into cover identies (legends), to the point that he’s no longer sure which one is really him.  He’s working as a private eye when the book starts and in traditional private eye fashion, a beatiful dame comes into his life and leads him into trouble when she wants him to find her sister’s missing husband.  Not a bad book, but not really great either.

13 Bullets – David Wellington  A U.S. Marshall killed the last vampire in America some 20 years earlier, but now  they seem to be back.  He gets help from a Pennsylvania State Trooper and they proceed to hunt down this new infestation of blood suckers.   A decent vampire action book.  Looks like he’s written a few more with the same characters that I will put on my ‘look for’ list.

Sahara – Clive Cussler  Cussler is one of those guys that’s sold a gazillion books but I’ve never read anything of his.  The movie based on this book was amusing so I picked the book up cheap.  It’s not that good.  If you like that CSI style of expository dialogue,  then you might dig it.  Seemed a lot different from what I remembered of the movie, too.

Drakon – S.M. Stirling  One of several books in Stirling’s alternate history series based on an empire based out of South Africa that takes over the world.  This book is set in a time  after the Draka have superior technology than what we currently have and one of them is accidently sent through a worm hole or something into ‘earth prime’, a world based more on actual history, where the Draka never developed.  The lone Draka agent proceeds to attempt to conquer the world so she can muster the resources to contact her version of reality.  I don’t actually thing Stirling is that great of a writer, but he does have a knack for getting me to read a book.

Lemons Never Lie – Richard Stark  Sort of a one off ‘Parker’ novel, in that it the main character is a guy that Parker works with sometimes, but Parker isn’t actually in it.  It’s still a Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) novel so it’s a great read and you should check it out.  I’ve heard that all the Parker novels are going to be reprinted soon, so hopefully I can read the rest of em eventually.

Dirty Money – Richard Stark I think this was the last Parker novel that Westlake wrote.  Other reviews seem to indicate it’s not one of the better books in the series, but I think that’s like saying a .45 doesn’t have the stopping power of a .50 caliber Desert Eagle.  They both still get the job done and this book is better than 90% of the crime/action books out there.

The Bookman’s Wake – John Dunning  A mystery with an ex-cop turned book seller who gets involved with some old murders and new crimes involving an eccentric book creator/publisher.  I liked it.

Valentine’s Rising – E.E. Knight  The 4th book in The Vampire Earth series.  Again, not great, but it’s something kinda fun to read.  If you read the first in the series and liked it, you’ll probably like this one too.

The Strain – Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan The first book in a trilogy.  A plane lands in New York and everybody on it is dead.  Guess, what?  Vampires, bitch!  I liked it and look forward to the rest of the books in the trilogy.

I think that about catches me up.  I might have missed a few though..

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