Books – March 2009

March. Ahh March. I read a bit. Mostly to fall asleep and exhaust myself that month, but I did read a few books, and enjoyed them. Let’s see what we’ve got here. A lot of Science Fiction it seems.

Foundation and Empire – Issac Asimov – Continuing down the Foundation Trilogy track, this one is good, and brings a strong story line throughout the book, but it’s not as “fun” as the first. I really enjoy the antagonist through the book, the Mule, who throws all the plans of The Foundation, into flux, but the protagonists are a tad annoying and that doesn’t help the book at all. Still, I love the series, and the last book in the trilogy does it well. Maybe I’ll read that later this year on a Goodwill pickup or something. I’ve read them before, but it never hurts to go back to enjoyable popcorn books at times.

Mars – Ben Bova – This, along with the other Ben Bova book below, was given to me by a friend who recommended Bova highly. It’s less a typical SciFi book, with aliens and laser blasters, but more of a fiction book that takes current science and projects a story into the future. It’s about the first manned mission to Mars, and the crew of people sent there. It was good, but there is something about Bova’s writing I can’t put my finger on. It’s enjoyable, but I finished the book feeling that something was still lacking in the end. Still it was a good diversion.

Lies of Locke Lamorra – Scott Lynch – Recommended through the same place I discovered Erikson, here’s a story of a band of con artists and the elaborate stunts they pull off against a backdrop of a city under turmoil. Quite enjoyable, with many times you are left in the dark as to how they’ll pull off their next stunt, but by the end of the book the amazing cleverness of the lead starts to wear thin as he avoids yet another deathly situation through his quick thinking. I enjoyed it enough to get the sequel, which I read in April, but I wouldn’t put it on my must read list for friends who are looking for a new book or series to read. That says a lot there.

Orion – Ben Bova – Ah, Bova is back with a story of a man sent back in time to try and stop a mysterious opponent who’s traveling forwards in time at different key points in humanity’s past. Good? For a quick summer read maybe, but in the end I found it very disappointing. I read up on it later and found out there were two sequels to it as well, but I know those will not be part of my reading this year. It’s got a fun little gimmick to get the story started, but I just didn’t feel that it really delivered. It just left no taste, good or bad, after I was finished, when usually I’ll at least have a reaction either way. Nothing to really recommend it.

So March had a few books, and April and May have a few more. Actually I’m finding this enjoyable. I realize now that I don’t always read good books, but in the end it doesn’t matter. It’s still reading, and while I may begrudge the Dan Brown’s of the world, I also know that more than anything he’s got millions of people reading who don’t normally. I’ll take people enjoying a book any day. Glad that they can join me and many others in the comfort of a book, be it good or bad.

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