Monday, April 12, 2021

Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries, #6)Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Socially distancing Muderbot? Check
Despairing about other's security systems? Check
Murder?

Oh, wait, our murder bot is SOLVING A MURDER that she didn't actually commit. Ah. Check.


This novella is quite in line with the previous ones. Light loner humor, mystery, and comp-talk. This is definitely for fans of the rest of the series, but I should mention that there's nothing really new about it. I admit I liked the full-length novel more, (and the timeline suggests that this novella comes before that).



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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Dungeon Robotics (Book 8): DelveDungeon Robotics (Book 8): Delve by Matthew Peed
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This being one of those 'what you see is what you get' kind of book series, I should mention that it's a specialty item. It's on the lower end of the LitRPG spectrum, devoting itself to godlike actions and fights that are more in line with Dragonball Z by way of cybernetics in an otherwise magic-dominated world.

Cool idea, often fun in the action and okay in the characterizations (if not particularly brilliant), the series has a lot of faults but being fun makes up for a lot of it.

This later book is rather scaling back on the uber over-the-top stuff and the limits of our god-like dungeon core MC are finally coming to the fore. Of course, it's not really all that fair, having been limited by another *literal* deus ex machina, but all told, it was kinda expected.

All in all, though, I rather wish it was more polished. That more care had been taken with the characters. Otherwise, it's really a Deus-Stu kind of tale.

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Dungeon Robotics (Book 7): CollapseDungeon Robotics (Book 7): Collapse by Matthew Peed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Still enjoyable, overall, with a sudden decision to go space odyssey while the minions take care of the home-front. Not bad, mind you, and it gets fairly amusing as it goes hard-SF and even a bit doctor strange, but what else would you expect when your MC is a GOD. Or, you know, a fairly high-tiered godlike entity of LitRPG dungeon core fame.

Overpowered? Yes, of course, but now we're finally getting some slight course corrections. A few knockdowns. After all, we can't let these upstart kids run ramshod across the universe. :)

My one complaint?

We don't really spend enough time on all the diverse cast of minions/minor deities/or high leveled mortals trying to get crap done. We flit between them a bit too much to really get into them.

Otherwise, if you're just looking for some beastly high-level throwdowns and godlike s**t, then you're probably looking in the right place with these novels. It's good for what it is.

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Dungeon Robotics (Book 6): ConflictDungeon Robotics (Book 6): Conflict by Matthew Peed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Truly, reading these is scratching that itch that desires totally overpowered battles on epic grand scales, as told from the PoV of a god.

Of course, this is still LitRPG but it has dropped most of those roots except for the brief times when the massively overpowered dungeon core makes new "children" who will wreak more havoc on undead, celestials, demons or when he expands his territory and takes more and more of the populations under his fatherly wing.

You know, like a god. And he tests himself against ever stronger beings.

I admit I like the huge scope and the quick pace. It is, more and more obviously, like playing a video game. And yes, I'm waiting for a chorus to sing out, "no duh!!".

It's almost mindless fun.


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Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, #6)The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One book at a time, always getting more and more invested.

Of course, by this point, I feel like I'm falling down a mountain of smut *see the definition in these novels* and the lives of Rachel, Jenks, and Ivy are submerging themselves in my aura. Am I cursed with a good story?

Yes. Yes, I think I am.

Of course, being hounded by an outlaw demon is wildly entertaining. So is Rachel's mom. Why not have a fling, girl? lol

And then there are a bunch of whammy reveals, deals with devils, and a little trip in the Ever After to make this particular novel a truly great ride.

In all, this is one of the best UFs out there. Certainly one of the most fun, and on this re-read, I simply can't change my mind about it. :)





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Friday, April 9, 2021

For a Few Demons More (The Hollows, #5)For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ahhh, Harrison.

I'm returning to the Hollows on my great re-reading adventure feeling absolutely trepidatious while reading this, book 5, knowing full well what was to come.

But, once again, I'm lulled into a sense of grand not-so-insecure security despite all the little hints here and there that things are NOT going as planned, that powerful eyes are upon her.

And then there is the wonderful murder investigation and how Rachel's all wrapped up in it.

This time, I got to analyze all the hints and the foreshadowing, the hail-mary's and the emotional bombardment from another viewpoint, and let me just say: it's still hard-hitting. So many big things come to pass, it left me breathless.

If I recall correctly, this was approximately the point in my first reading of the series where I huffed and puffed and called myself a real fan. It's the writing. Fast, fun, and then the stakes are sooo bloody good.





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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Hummingbird SalamanderHummingbird Salamander by Jeff VanderMeer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interestingly enough, Vandermeer also writes a smart mystery. He's not just a Weird writer. Borne, Annihilation, even his early shroomy novels were heady and imaginative and always able to make us question, question, question.

This more traditional mystery, haunted by ecoterrorism, low-grade security personnel work, and family life that slowly crumbles away in the pollution of a life caught by claustrophobia, paranoia, shares some of the best features of his earlier work while remaining grounded in the real world.

This one is a traditional mystery. But the perception within the novel is quite lush, imaginative, and rather stomach-turning. I got the sense of huge conspiracies, being totally out of one's depth, and the start weird terror of being so... OBSESSED with a stuffed hummingbird and a stuffed salamander.

Honestly?

I liked everything up until a certain point where running was the only option. After that, I was a bit disappointed even when things turned and turned again later on. The disconnect was real. I didn't WANT to feel disconnected. But then, by that point, everything had crumbled. On purpose, mind you, but I felt just as lost. Confused. Despairing.

Good that the writer could convey that without wallowing in it, but it killed the pace of the story.

So, in the end, I'm only giving it 3.5 out of 5, but it WAS quite interesting and shocking.

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