The Mahou Blog

November 11, 2007

The Last Guardian by David Gemmell

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 6:39 pm

This was surprisingly excellent. When the cover has a man with a gun fighting a raptor, you know they know what they are doing, and this delivered.
The story covers survival in a post apocolypic wild west style world, with time travel, magic and gun fights.
Gemmell was an excellent writer, able to deliver good ideas, believable characters, suspense and action in spades.
Will be looking to read more from him.

9.5/10

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September 24, 2007

The Shishi – Dov Silverman

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 10:13 pm

This was a surprise – the story doesn’t match the gaudy samurai on the
cover.
Fictionalizing the story of John Mung, who helped open Japan up after
it’s period of closure to the world. The combination of historical fact
and exciting thriller fiction is well judged and it avoids becoming too
set in Japanese etiquette or too westernised characterisation.
The ending and kite fight were a little drawn out, and Udo’s heel turn
at the end was a mistake in my opinion as it made him too ruthless, but all in
all, this was a great read.
9/10

September 2, 2007

First Blood – David Morrell

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 9:01 am

Not what I was expecting – an average manhunt story with poor cookie cutter characters with ridiculous motives.
From what I recall, the film plot is superior, dropping much of the baggage.

6/10

Jem by Frederick Pohl

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 8:57 am

Colonisation of a planet by several people from an earth divided by resources.

Slow starting, feels like it’s building for something, but the ending is a real let down, jumping to the future without tying up the plot.
The ultra capitalism with the native species and their extinction was very good ideaswise though.

7/10

August 3, 2007

Jackal Secret Wars of Carlos the Jackal

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 9:30 pm

Good biography of the Jackal, although not enough of the decadence and immorality is focused upon, which would make better reading.

8/10

The Difference Engine

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 9:28 pm

Great steampunk novel, with several interlocking stories fitting together.
The only problem is that it finishes with a series of articles, leaving the actual ending unclear – what did Sam Houston have to do with the box, how did it get to Lady Ada and what happens to the cards.

8.5/10

July 8, 2007

Beyond Lies the Wub – Philip K. Dick

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 12:20 am

Great collection of early PKD sci fi. Not every one is a winner but more good ideas in one collection then most writers come up with in a career.
Best stories:
Paycheck – using time travel to see into the future and grab what you need.
The Variable Man – over reliance on technology superceded by natural skill and ability.
The Skull – more time travel paradox.
Piper in the woods – silly tale of men becoming plants.
The Infinites – evolution fable – beware the hampsters!
Meddler – more time travel screw ups.
Prize Ship – is the future bigger?
King of the Elves – PKD can write fantasy too.

10/10

June 22, 2007

Diary

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 8:56 pm

Mildly disappointing, as it feels like a typical Chuck Palahniuk book instead of him innovating his style, but typical Chuck Palahniuk is still an enjoyabel read.
The end reveal is not that exciting, but the middle portion of the book is very enjoyable.
8/10

The Lost World

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 8:55 pm

Was unsure how Conan Doyle would stand up, but this was great and almost up to Rice Burrough’s Land That Time Forgot. The science is fun and writing style is exactly as Alan Moore wrote League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
The science and racial stereotypes may be a little off, but the action is fast paced and involving.
9/10

June 2, 2007

The Mummy

Filed under: book review — mahou @ 5:21 pm

Good schlocky horror from Anne Rice before she went fat and crazy.
Her morals are a bit strange, but it’s readable and the plot moves along nicely.
8/10

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