Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

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Books that I read in August

Books that I read in August:

50. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov (940 p.)

51. Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Survivors (238 p.)

52. Larson, Glen A. & Robert Thurston. The Cylon Death Machine (Battlestar Galactica 2) (250 p.)

53. Pullman, Philip. Lyra's Oxford (49 p.)

54. Sakai, Stan. Red Scorpion (Usagi Yojimbo, bk. 28) (189 p.)

55. Baum, L. Frank. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (Oz, v. 4) (226 p.)

August total: 1,892 pages
2014 YTD total: 13,877 pages

TBK actually took me two months to read, but that's mostly just because of sheer length and a lack of available time--I found the book itself surprisingly readable and not nearly the depressing slog I was a little worried it would be. The story itself is, on its surface, a murder mystery, but the real point to it seems to be an examination of life in late 1800s semi-rural Russia, and the effect this particular sequence of events has on the members of this family. The first half or so of the book is pretty much all set-up, and the last half leads us through the ensuing trainwreck in almost excruciating detail. Definitely recommended.

The Survivors is apparently a sequel, but it reads well enough without having read the first book. It made for a much lighter alternative to TBK. It's basically about a small team, half of whom are humans, the other half are hyperintelligent humanoid dinosaurs, who are sent to a planet with a culture roughly in the Iron Age to find out what happened to the scientific observation crew who'd been stationed there, as well as to the first team that was sent there. It's an okay, light sci-fi adventure that hits its marks well enough, but unless you're already into sci-fi and are looking for something else to read, it's probably not going to grab you.

Speaking of hitting one's marks, Battlestar Galactica 2 is a novelization from the original run of the show, and it definitely reads like it. It's a decent story despite all that, though, perhaps largely because it focuses on and is mostly told through the viewpoint of new characters created for the story.

Lyra's Oxford is a short story that ties into the His Dark Materials series, that comes with a map and some reproduced ephemera (postcards, ship schedules, etc.) that I'm guessing probably tie into the beginning of The Golden Compass (since they're utterly unrelated to the main story here), but I couldn't be bothered to check. I enjoyed the story well enough, though, and recommend it to anyone who's read at least The Golden Compass if not the entire series.

What is there to say about Usagi Yojimbo that hasn't already been said? It's good stuff, and even with that as a given, this is overall one of the better volumes. Highly recommended.

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is all about the journey (and those on it), not really where the characters end up. Dorothy, the Wizard, and some friends fall through a crack in the ground opened up by an earthquake, and find themselves floating down into the first of several underground fairy realms they end up visiting, eventually ending up in Oz by virtue of a deus ex machina from left field. Personally, I got a big kick out of the trial of Eureka the kitten (towards the end of the book), as--while it also serves as a lampoon of the justice system--it excellently sums up a cat's attitude towards pretty much everyone else around it. It's also interesting to see people come to Oz who then don't perfectly fit in with the nearly-perfect world, and instead ask to be sent home and stay there. I don't think it's quite as good as the first three, but it's still a really good read, and I definitely recommend it.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: books, reviews

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