I love James Ellroy’s writing…most of the time. With White Jazz, he went too far into incoherence, but LA Confidential is still on of my favorite books of all time. But one of the things I hate in genre fiction is the prequel (and not just because of George Lucas). With a prequel (especially in crime fiction), you start losing people who’s lives you can threaten. You know that Dudley Smith won’t be severely injured or killed because he’s still around in the future. You also know the future of the characters. The book starts being more of a spot-the-reference game than a story. So it was with these worries that I started reading James Ellroy’s latest LA novel Perfidia.
Ian Tregillis is an interesting writer. His ideas are clearly not the product of a sane mind. I enjoyed his first book, Bitter Seeds (my review), but wasn’t happy with the additional books in that trilogy. Then he comes along with Something More Than Night. The book advertises itself as a supernatural, noir mystery with a main character who influenced by Sam Spade. And the mystery? Who killed the Angel Gabriel? With a plot like that, there was nothing that could stop me from reading it. And I loved it. Let’s check it out.
I’ve been in a bit of a book rut. Nothing I’ve read for the past two months made me want to review it (although I might muster up a review of the Stainless Steel Rat books). But then I started reading Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinni. To find a novel that is so wonderful that I want to shout it from the rooftops is what makes me want to review books. The book is a wonderful look at New York in the early 1900s with its Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. The look at two magical souls that are lost and alone while trying to survive in the this time is just amazing. I can’t recommend it enough. So let’s take a look at what the book’s about.
The Hobbit movies have a real chance to be longer than a reading of the Hobbit would take. I went to go see the second of the movies, The Desolation of Smaug, this past weekend. Not only does it show almost everything that’s in the book, it brings in a significant number of scenes that aren’t even hinted at in the book, mostly with Gandalf when he leaves the party. Overall it’s a decent movie that tries to hard to be more than it is. Let’s check it out.
While at the library, I pulled out Paul Melko’s The Broken Universe. I started reading it and it seemed familiar and new at the same time. So, I went and looked around and quickly realized that the book was the sequel to The Walls of the Universe. A book which I had read a few years ago. From what I remember, the original book was an interesting take on a kid having a universal transporter (Family Guy’s Stewie used a similar device in a couple of episodes). This sequel picks up soon after the events that ended the first book and ends on a cliffhanger which will (I assume) lead to another book. Let’s take a look.
Robert Charles Wilson’s Burning Paradise is a story about what happens if a paranoid’s worst nightmare came true. It’s a well written tale with some decent characters, but I had a hard time accepting the premise and that just sank the book for me. Labelled as hard science fiction, the main concept seemed so fantasy that it was hard for me to take the book seriously. Let’s check out what went wrong.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years of Doctor Who. For me, it’s only been 3+ years. I’m a late comer to the Doctor. I started with Steven Moffat and Matt Smith. It’s not that I hadn’t heard of Doctor Who before, but I just hadn’t started watching. But when I heard that they were starting with a new showrunner and a newly regenerated Doctor, it seemed like the perfect jumping on point. And I’ve been a fan ever since. Using Netflix, I’ve been slowly (very slowly) making my way through the 9th and 10th Doctors and am finding myself becoming more aware of the Doctor’s history. This is how I found myself sitting on the couch this past Saturday and watching the 50th anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor. Let’s see what happened. Spoilers Ahoy!