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ginnyk "ginnyk" (Glenside, PA United States)

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Ill Wind: Book One of the Weather Warden
Ill Wind: Book One of the Weather Warden
by Rachel Caine
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.89
67 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars One to buy and keep, May 21 2004
Fantastic - really! A great book, a great read, a real page-turner - one of those books where I rush to the end of a page to see what will happen on the next page. The premise is made believable (weather is caused by evil somethings, djinni can be sources of power to magicians - including weather wardens), a secret coven (?) of weather wardens, housed at the UN Building, really save the world - almost daily.
This author makes her world and premises believable, her characters human (even the djinni), and the dilemmas truly frightening. As twists in the plot reveal new information and new factors they fit in nicely - no deus ex machina for this author. Lots of adventure, lots of risk, many moments of humor along the way, and a happy and tricky ending which I won't reveal.
I will be watching eagerly for the next book in this series and will buy it on the spot.

Devlin's Luck: Book I of The Sword of Change
Devlin's Luck: Book I of The Sword of Change
by Patricia Bray
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.86
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and (deceptively) different Swords & Sorcerers, Aug. 20 2002
I've been reading SF and fantasy/swords & sorcery for about 50 years, and welcome new and good authors. This is such a writer. The initial premise, of the "Chosen One", seems "formula" at first but plays out in unusual ways. The exploration of Devlin's reasons for seeking to become the Chosen One, scattered throughout the book, are an insight into a character with an overactive conscience (but not self-righteous) and with what one might consider good character traits that can be a handicap to him as he carries out the role and tasks of the Chosen One. The events through which he begins to return this role to its former high value are real page-turners, as you explore the internal and external political factions and factors and the ways in which events play out.
The supporting characters, including the villains, are distinct and not cardboard cutout characters, with their own lives, motives, and generally with real personalities. I'd like to get to know some of them, and am eager to find out how they develop - especially the originally weak and hapless king who, at the end of this volume, seems to have the possibility of developing strength and purpose.
I found this an excellent "first" book, except that it is not a first book. I was surprised to learn that the author has published a couple of Regency Romances, and we all know how difficult it is to change genres and how few do it successfully. Ms. Bray has, I think, written an excellent "first" in this swords & sorcery story, which deserves to be successful, and I look forward eagerly to the next volume.

(I add, because it is important to me, that I never felt compelled to reach for a blue pencil. Ms. Bray's writing skills are excellent. Her plot flows well and with consistency, never leaving me saying "but I thought you said earlier that ....". If you read enough bad or mediocre stories, you will understand just how important this is.)

Seven Brothers 01 Prince Of Shadow
Seven Brothers 01 Prince Of Shadow
by Curt Benjamin
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from CDN$ 2.36

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful debut - well worth reading, May 9 2002
I was thoroughly delighted by Curt Benjamin's debut. This is an author I will watch for in the future, especially for the continuation of the story begun so well in The Prince of Shadows. Having read science fiction and fantasy for almost 50 years, I approach new authors with a mix of anticipation and scepticism. I was continuously pleased and never disappointed by Mr. Benjamin.
His plot, well laid out with interesting and very unexpected twists and turns, appears to have very loosely used Chinese mythology and history as a springboard to a world which includes magic, dragons, warlords, an emperor, a nomad enemy group, and many other interesting characters and groups. His characters are well developed and his hero and companions likeable well rounded, believable and likeable, with even his hero and deities having weaknesses as well as strengths, and a sense of humor. His descriptions of surroundings set the scene for the action very clearly and efficiently, giving a good picture of "where" you are without being tedious, and with nice touches to make each setting a part of a "real" world.
I raced through this story, turning each page to eagerly learn what would happen next, and finished it feeling well satisfied. Llesho, in his mission to find and rescue his brothers and free his homeland, encounters interesting and exciting adventures, setbacks and triumphs, with companions bringing their own distinct personalities, strengths and weaknesses to enliven the plot.
This is a keeper, and a book to re-read. Now that I know how it ends, I want to go back and see what nuances and hints of what is to come that I missed in my excitement to see what happens on the next page.

Leaping To The Stars: Book Three in the Starsiders Trilogy
Leaping To The Stars: Book Three in the Starsiders Trilogy
by David Gerrold
Edition: Hardcover
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The three books in this series are excellent, April 7 2002
These are excellent books - Jumping Off the Planet, Bouncing Off the Moon, and Leaping to the Stars, especially for adolescents and teens. Having read SF for 50 years I found them to be well written, well plotted, believable and interesting - in some ways reminiscent of Heinlein's best juveniles but with more "human" characters (always Heinlein's weakness). With a 13 year old story teller/protagonist, the series touches on such topics as artificial intelligence, sentience, "who am I", good/evil, the purpose/role of government, and economics. It starts with a believable future Earth (nearing apocolyptic status) scenario, the science is believable and fairly well, if lightly, explained. Lots of adventures, dilemmas, rescues, and some romance. And interesting to see how an originally disfunctional family learns to become functional and a family. A "coming of age" tone for the protagonist as he discovers "who am I". Worth reading, and if you want to introduce an adolescent or teenager to SF, this is a good series to start with.
If you are a parent thinking about these books for your child, note that there is a homosexual relationship in the series. I don't find this a problem, but you might.

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