1. chris keating: tekgrrl. a j menden.

    1. verdict: ---
    2. review:

      "this book is fucking awful." this is another train station book store
      find. evidently a waste of paper if ever there was one. i don't have
      much to write down about this book, the synopsis was garbled and
      bizarre, and he really hated this book.

  2. chris ege: in great waters. kit whitfield.

    1. verdict: meh.
    2. review:

      this is a mermaid book. no shit. you might think this is playing off
      the current trend of romantic vampires, romantic werewolves, etc., but
      it's not. it's just basically straight political fantasy. so it's the
      16th century or whatever, it's england, and for the past several
      hundred years the monarchies of europe have all been these
      mermen. (who knew?) they appear in venice in the 8th century and,
      uh... one demands to be there king. (josh finds the book very soft,
      and likes the typeface.) so the story is told from the point of view
      of two half-deepsman bastards, and it begins to sounds quite
      tedious. chris confirms that it is indeed tedious. there's a lot of
      stuff about growing up under water and moving to the land, and there's
      a lot of stuff about cultural differences. "it had good parts and bad
      parts, i wouldn't recommend it, but it wasn't tekgrrl."

  3. chad: contagious. scott sigler.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      "i liked this better than the first one." wow, this is great. in the
      last book, the football dude killed his best friend and cut his own
      dick off, but they saved him. in this book, he's the hero who's
      leading the cia and the military (!) around and doing all this
      stuff. this is is "a lot more like 24 than the last one," it's really
      tightly plotted, i guess, and he tells us all about it, some
      5-year-old girl who "becomes the mother brain", i dunno, i'm losing
      track again. the action climaxes in detroit. i guess they had to nuke
      it. it seems like this guy is into some pretty bad stuff, and it turns
      chad off. a credit to chad's moral stature, if you ask me.

  4. marko: the name of the wind. patrick rothfuss.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      this is a really, really good book. "when people speak, they speak the
      way real people speak. that doesn't happen in most of the books i
      read." we've reviewed this book a few times, so i dunno, not much new
      to say. but people really seem to like this book. (josh: what was your
      favorite scene? marko: i think... learning to play the lute. josh:
      that's the part that made me cry.)

  5. adam: black man. richard morgan.

    1. verdict: meh.
    2. review:

      this is the same book as "thirteen", which marko reviewed awhile
      back. this guy seems rather obsessed with genetics, and more
      specifically macho stuff. "basically, it's jason bourne done with
      genetics, rather than with brainwashing." spends way too much time
      talking about gender relations and women's place in the world, and
      it's pretty offensive. and of course the main character is
      black. anyway, adam found it pretty distasteful. it was enjoyable, and
      pretty well done, but he can't really say he liked it either.

  6. interlude.

    jeff regales us with tales of his recent reading. lots of alastair
    reynolds, name of the wind, elric, abercrombie. sounds like he's been
    busy and enjoying his selections. it's nice to have jeff with us once

  7. matt: transition. iain banks.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      chad read it and reviewed it last time. i liked it, too. recommended.

  8. josh: peacekeeper. laura e reeve.

    1. verdict: meh
    2. review:

      this book is straight to mass-market, $6.99 at borders. another debut
      novel, from an ex-air force officer. he has mixed feelings about this
      book. he thinks it was probably pretty bad. all the scenes that he
      figures were supposed to be important just kind of went by without him
      caring too much. the writing sounds pretty awful. but, he says, it was
      a page-turner. he thinks it was bad, but... "i'm not convinced i won't
      buy the next one."

  9. chris ege: the windup girl. paolo baigalupi.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      set in the unspecified future, maybe a few hundred years, in
      thailand. man has depleted pretty much all our resources, and there
      has been a series of catastrophes with the food supply. there's a
      story, but it isn't as important as the world. chris was skeptical of
      the premise, but he really liked this book. recommended.

  10. marko: best served cold. joe abercrombie.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      much better than the trilogy. he liked the fact that it's a revenge
      story, he liked the fact that the person seeking revenge gets sick of
      the whole thing halfway through. nobody gets redeemed. it felt like
      the world was much bigger than these few characters, which was good.

  11. paul: last argument of kings. joe abercrombie.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      via email: Last Argument of Kings was a very good finish to the First
      Law, though I didn't realize it until very near the end. For a couple
      hundred pages there I thought Abercrombie might be going soft on me
      and was getting a little irritated. Bayaz was getting set up to be the
      typical fantasy messiah for a couple books there, and though it seemed
      clear enough that he had another agenda in the first book, that kinda
      got pushed away in the second. Then he crushes Jezal's will utterly,
      sticking with the corruption of power theme, and I was cheered
      tremendously by that dark turn. Also, even though Terez is nasty and
      unsympathetic, what Glokta does to her at the end is unconscionable.

  12. paul: light. m john harrison.

    1. verdict: -
    2. review:

      via email: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. chad disagrees.

  13. that's all, folks.