|Quick book reviews
||[Sep. 24th, 2009|09:26 pm]
#70: The Golden Ratio by Mario Livio
I was expecting a bunch of stuff I knew, and a few tidbits I didn't, out of this book. In fact, a lot of it was new material, not least because Livio spends a third to a half of the book debunking a lot of the conventional wisdom about the Golden Ratio appearing basically everywhere in ancient and modern art and architecture. A good read, not too heavy on the math in the main text, but with plenty of crunchy proofs in the appendices.
#71-72: Top Ten and Top Ten: The Forty-Niners by Alan Moore et al
A couple graphic novels about a police precinct in a city full of supers. Definitely a fun read, with a few shared thematic elements from Watchmen but a completely different tone. Looking forward to picking up some more volumes of this one.
#73: Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover
A recommendation from shardavarius. The world-building seemed a bit clumsy to start, but once the plot got going it sucked me in hard. It makes for very compelling reading to realize that you actually have no idea how the hell the protagonist is going to do what he needs to do, and stamping "HEROES DIE" on the cover of the book certainly doesn't lessen the suspense. And I actually found myself regularly sympathizing with the "villain" as well...
...I thought there was another book I finished recently, but maybe not.
Suggestion: Get the two Top Ten series books (Vol. 1 and 2) and you could get the Smax one. But the one without any input from Moore, the five years later one? I suggest that one be given a pass. Not that I've read it, but the reviews suggest it's rather heavy handed, to say the least.
Alan Moore is the real deal. I enjoyed most of his other works, too.
Thanks for the heads-up. I'm pretty distrustful of someone else coming in and trying to fill in for Alan Moore, of all people.
Apparently Smax is pretty hard to find, though. Amazon's third-party sellers have it for something like $60.
I'm so glad you read Heroes Die. I've been a fan of it since I was a sophomore in high school. It's seriously one of my favorite books ever. Bar none. I reread it on an annual to biannual basis.
It also has a sequel. :D
It's called Blade of Tyshalle, it is ALSO one of my favorite books ever, and I ALSO reread it on an annual to biannual basis. It takes everything that is awesome about Heroes Die and expands it even more. You get to know Ma'El'Koth even better, you see a lot more of the caste-driven future world, and you learn about the origins of Caine--who is, if you can believe it, even more badass in this book than he was in Heroes Die.
Check it out. :)
Yes, I have plans to read that too! It's out of print physically, and apparently copies are going for $20-$80 online, depending on the condition. However! It's also available on the Kindle. So as soon as I can borrow my wife's Kindle, I'll be reading that.
(Oddly, the third book, Caine Black Knife, is still in print.)
I am looking forward to learning more about Ma'elKoth, though.
OMFG THERE'S A THIRD ONE!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
*goes to amazon.com to buy it NOW*
*after several minutes, gradually recovers composure*
I have Blade of Tyshalle, so if you'd like to read it on actual pages, I'd be happy to lend it to you. Or you could try paperbackswap.com, see if someone closer to you might have a copy.
Thanks for the info. :D
I had a sneaking suspicion that you didn't know that, since I figure you would've mentioned it if you did know. :D
I hope you enjoy!
Sadly, paperbackswap.com - what a fantastic idea! - doesn't have any. I think, on balance, getting it on the Kindle will be easier than trying to arrange a cross-country booklending. But thanks for the offer!
In this vein, I would highly recommend Joe Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and Last Argument of Kings). It's the most unconventional fantasy series I've ever read - the author delights in turning tropes and cliches on their heads. Also, Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, though we're still waiting for the last two of that trilogy...