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

Books that I read in June

Books that I read in June:

20. Ennis, Garth. Gone to Texas (Preacher, vol. 1) (198 p.)

21. Ennis, Garth. To the End of the World (Preacher, vol. 2) (244 p.)

22. Ennis, Garth. Proud Americans (Preacher, vol. 3) (229 p.)

23. Sayers, Dorothy L. Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey) (252 p.)

24. Harrison, Harry. The Stainless Steel Rat (126 p.)

25. Harrison, Harry. The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge (149 p.)

26. Harrison, Harry. The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (159 p.)

27. Moon, Elizabeth. Once a Hero (Esmay Suiza series) (400 p.)

28. Moon, Elizabeth. Rules of Engagement (Esmay Suiza series) (393 p.)

29. Ennis, Garth. Ancient History (Preacher, vol. 4) (221 p.)

June total: 2,371 pages
2016 YTD total: 7,923 pages

Preacher and The Stainless Steel Rat are re-reads. One is now a TV series, and the other one should be (or a series of movies).

Preacher is filled with graphicly vile characters and acts, which is part of its appeal. However, the storytelling & art are the best parts. Of these four, I liked the first volume & the first story of the fourth volume the best.

The Stainless Steel Rat series is at its best when it has a story to tell with a hefty dollop of humor & over-the-top action rather than mostly humorous action with a veneer of story--you can usually tell the difference, at least where Harrison's books are concerned, by the amount of characterization that goes into anyone other than the main character. The first has to set up the the character of James Bolivar DiGriz and the world, and so has a lot of that. The second picks up where the first left off, but adds something to the formula that is something of a rarity in series fiction-- a stable marriage, with a spouse who is as able (or more so) than the protagonist. The third starts off by destroying the universe and runs straight into a time-paradox loop. The first two are excellent, the third is merely good.

My first exposure to Lord Peter Wimsey was the amazing mystery The Nine Tailors, so I decided to try reading some of Sayers' other novels with the same character; this is the first. The two are quite different in setting & tone, but Sayers can definitely weave a good tale either way. Of the two, The Nine Tailors is by far the better, while Whose Body? is still quite good in its own right.

I picked up Once a Hero thinking it was book one of a series. Turns out it's actually book 4, but is the first of a story arc. It starts in media res, referring back to prior events as made me think there had to be a previous book... and there is, except these particular events all take place off-screen, which is frustrating. Otherwise, Once a Hero and Rules of Engagement are well-written, and similar enough to the early Honor Harrington books that if you like one series, chances are you'll like the other, too. Though that comes with a major caveat for Rules of Engagement, which prominently features a fundamentalist religious sect somewhat loosely derived in a somewhat exaggerated form from late 19th century Texan Mormon splinter groups, complete with kidnapping, imprisoning, and impregnating women to keep their colony going, and generally treating all females as lowest-class servants. Lots of potential triggers in that book, enough that it comes with a disclaimer forward, but Moon is definitely writing on all cylinders in both of these, and has important analogies she wants to to make about, among other things, the role of women in society.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: books, reviews

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