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Omer Belsky (Haifa, Israel)
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Tilting the Balance (Worldwar, Book Two)
Tilting the Balance (Worldwar, Book Two)
by Harry Turtledove
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
67 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, this reader stops here, Dec 10 1999
I've read, and reviewed, Worldwar: In The Balance. The first book was interesting and a good read, if also flawed. Alas, the second is a huge disappointment.
Pretty much all that was wrong with the first book is wrong with the second one as well. Very important is that NOTHING happends. Except for one 'big' event, that is supposed to be shocking even though it was refered to a million times, the situation remains pretty much the same as it was in the first book.
Everything is very repetitive. We have millions of battle scenes, which get old quickliy. We get needless descriptions of sex, we get a really bad soap Opera sub plot( more on that later), and we get endless alien bitching about hwo "Chaotic" humans are. It was OK the first book, but now it's terrible.
The worst thing, are the characters. now we have no less then three ex baseball players as heroes. Compare that to soldiers(2), scientists(1), resistance fighters(1-2), pilots(2) politicians(1)... way too much baseball.
But the worst thing, and the very reason I stop reading this series despite all the good things I said about it in my review of the first book, is Sam Yeager. I just can't stand him. He's simply the worst, most annoying charicature of a character, the brainless brawn that saves the day and gets the girl. I hate his character so much it alone would have been enough to make me desert almost anybook, no matter how good.
Fortunately or unfortunately, this isn't a great book in the first place.

Ender's Shadow
Ender's Shadow
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.17
67 used & new from CDN$ 0.60

2.0 out of 5 stars Ender's Game II: Bean's Game, Nov. 25 1999
This review is from: Ender's Shadow (Hardcover)
A writer writes a book, the book happens to be one of the best science fiction books of all times, and makes the big money. The author writes sequels, different but original, which are between good and terrible and which also bring in money, but not as much as the first book.
So what does the author do? what would you do?
Orson Scott Card wrote Ender's Game again.
Not that the idea, telling the Ender story from Bean's point of view isn't interesting. The problem is, Orson Scott Card rewrote everything.
The result is that Bean is our new hero. he's the Nouveau Ender. Smarter then Ender, in fact. It feels like one of the comedies in which you have to take two people through the same place, without them meeting each other, only it's ain funny. It's like trying to sneak an Elephant through the City hall. It doesn't work, and it diminishes not only Ender's game, but also ENDER. But then, in the last two Ender tales, he had to fight tax colloectors and was bored to death by his wife. what can you expect?
There are good things in this book, too. The scenes without Ender are good, and finally getting an explanation for some action by Petra is almost worth the wait. I've been waiting for that answer for like 6 years.
BTW, if someone here hadn't read Ender's Game but did read Ender's shadow, please email me, I would like to talk to you.
anyone else feel free, too

In the Balance (Worldwar, Book One)
In the Balance (Worldwar, Book One)
by Harry Turtledove
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
73 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Really cool concept, overall good, but flawed, Nov. 18 1999
I've heard about Turtledove for a while, but this is the first of his books I've read.
Overall reaction - it was good, well written, I liked the characters(especially Jager and Russie) and the man defnetly knows his history.
BUT...
There are lots of little things.
The alien society, for example, is written in such a 'tailored' way it's a litte annoying. To be able enough to cross light years they have to be really powerful, but in order to lose to the humans they have to be very restricted. Turtledove's alien society answers these craterias well, but does it perhaps too neatly. there's a great deal of tension lost because it seems like the aliens are the underdogs.
And while the cast IS interesting, we could have avoided some of the clische's - all the americans are great(they are), all Nazies who play a significent roles are not racist and non fascists, etc, etc.
There are also far to many inside Science Fiction jokes, which makes it harder to suspend disbelief - comments like "Alien invasions are not the same as they are in 'Amazing Stories'" may be realistic, but they make it hard to take the story seriously.
Also it was sometimes too slow, we didn't get enough of the Strategy( as oppose to the tactics) and gthe ending wasn't a really succesful Cliffhanger.
Still, I enjoyed the book's many positive traits, and I would recommand it to anyone.

Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
114 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rediculously dumb boredom, Sept. 29 1999
A few messages back, you can read a great post by someone who think no book can be boring. Well, obviously he was overwhelmed by the simplicity and made-belief wisdom of this very boring book. and it is boring. extreamly boring. Painfully boring. And it's stupid, too. The message is blunt ' Killing is bad. BAD. BAAAAADDDD.' like, DUH.
Read Catch22, read For Whom The Bell Tolls, read A Picture of Durian Grey. BUT unless you're a masochist, don't read this.

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
by George R.R. Martin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.79
88 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Time to Stand, Sept. 1 1999
OK. This is were I react. The writer before me is certainly losing it, as well, as the woman who bitched about not havng stron female characters.
Martin created the most incredible cast of characters, male and female, to have ever apeared in a fantasy book. Catelyn is a stron female character, and so is Dany,and Arya. Someone who doesn't think they are probably will consider Pilar from 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' a weak female character.
As for likeable characters, it's true that a few likeable character die, but that's life. You have plenty of cool heros left, most notably Tyrion Lannister. If you feel bad about characters sying, Martin has done his work properly.
As for childlish, well it's true that about half of the character sare children, so they act childlish. Like DUH. But there are lots of grown ups, and they never act childlishly. Catelyn and Tyrion's battle of wits, Ned's search for Robert Arryn's murderers, Jon Snow learning about loyalty - all are simbols of growth and greatness.

Rise of Endymion
Rise of Endymion
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
67 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever, Sept. 1 1999
For some reason, all great science fiction writers can't stop themselves from adding more and more to their greatest creation. Since I believe most of the people here have read some of these, here goes: Asimov's Foundation Triology still holds as the very best of science fiction ever written, in my not so humble opinion. However, All the sequels, with the possible exception of Prologue to Foundation, were ****.
Frank Herbert's Dune - I tried to read a sequel, but couldn't.
Dauglas Adams's Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy , as great as it was, added multiple of unnecessary books too tire even Ford Prefect enthusiasts.
and perhaps the most relevant, ORson Scott Card created Ender's Game, and a reasonable sequel, Speaker for the Dead, only to ruin them by two more barely readable books.
Given the repartoir, Simmons's work was the best of the bunch. Hion and Fohion are amoung the greatest books ever written, sci-fi or no sci-fi. And the Endymion books?
Well, Endymion was alright. It was two hundred pages too long, but still had lots od cool scenes, even if it was kinde'standard.
RoEion was much more ambitious, and for the most part, better. RoEion had enough good characters, smart moments great lines, and action, to make up for it and retain it's ground a relatively worthy part of the Hyperion Cantos. Had it not been for the great two Hion books, Eion and RoEion would have been considered very good science fiction. The only problem is how they pale in comparison to the first too.

Ender's Game
Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.26
60 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars I wouldn't have written this but..., July 31 1999
This review is from: Ender's Game (Paperback)
I just read atozser@gte.net review and I can't stop laughing. BattleField Earth is a deep book? Deeper then Ender's Game? are you mad? To summerise the message of Battlefield: Earth: ' knowing anything about your subject matter isn't necessary, and no one can win against the all-good hero'

Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
114 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars The guy before me got it ALMOST right, July 7 1999
Impossible to read even once.
Lessons this book teaches us: "You are not superiour to other people, do not kill other people, God is the answer to all your problems"
Good. now let's go after some teletabbies.

Catch-22
Catch-22
by Joseph Heller
Edition: Paperback
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Response to a less then stellar reader, July 7 1999
This review is from: Catch-22 (Paperback)
1) the military is evil, (2) any person in the military is an idiot, and (3) any person who mocks the military is heroic
No, the book doesn;t say this at all. what it does talk about is, amoung others, the stupidity of war and the ballance between indeviduality and duty.
Don't foget, the heor of the novel is a Captain in the AF. He flys 70 fight missions. It's not a book against the military, it's a book against power freaks.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
For Whom the Bell Tolls
by Ernest Hemingway
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.44
66 used & new from CDN$ 0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars No Man is an Illand intire of it selfe, June 26 1999
I got the book because of a recommandation and because of the cool quote. I've read The Old Man and The Sea in High School and hated it. But Form Whom The Bell Tolls is brilliant.
What impreses me about the book is how Hemingway manages to come up with a tightly written action tale, with deep philosophycal ideas and a great romance.
I've read alot, and For Whom The Bel Tolls is my second favorite book...
you can't afford missing it

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