Sunday, February 28, 2010

Star Trek: Voyager: Equinox by Diane Carey

Star Trek: Voyager: Equinox
Diane Carey
1999, Pocket Books, New York

Voyager receives a distress signal from another Starfleet vessel. When they investigate, they discover the Equinox, a science ship which was also transported to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker and whose crew have been using different means to make their way home.

It's a shame that such an excellent story was spoiled by awful writing. I've never liked Diane Carey and she doesn't fail to disappoint in this novel. This book is supposed to be set in the Voyager universe, but reads more like The Original Series with good old-fashioned sexism and a bit of casual racism to boot.

The writing style is also atrocious. Here is an example of a bad sentence from page 121: 'Sniggering doubts entered her star system.' It's about Janeway arguing a point with Chakotay, but even in context it makes little sense. And there are editing errors which aren't the fault of the author but I see whoever read my copy has fixed some of them!

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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
1902, 2006, Headline, London

When a wealthy land owner is found dead of a heart attack, his heir suspects the death is part of a family curse - a supernatural dog. He hires Sherlock Holmes to investigate the death and to find the truth about the hound which has haunted his family for generations.

My first Sherlock Holmes and I quite enjoyed it. It has a rather modern writing style and the detective techniques are readily identifiable within a context of modern police stories. And the mystery kept me guessing.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hover Car Racer by Matthew Reilly

Hover Car Racer
Matthew Reilly
2004, Pan Macmillan, Sydney

Set in the not-too-distant future, a young hover car racer named Jason Chaser has the opportunity to study racing at the prestigious International Racing School and from there could move on to professional racing.

This was a pretty nifty story. Reilly for young people. I liked that it had little moral-of-the-story and life lessons in it. Plus some killer action and sports! I can't believe I actually enjoyed reading a novel which is basically a sports novel. Ticked all the boxes on this one Mr. Reilly.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

Dolores Claiborne
Stephen King
1992, 1993, Hodder and Stoughton, London

A sixty-five year old woman from Long Tall Island walks into the police station and states that she killed her husband thirty years ago. She then goes on to tell her tale in her own way.

This was an interesting book in the way it was written and how it all came together. Not exactly horror, but thrilling nonetheless. The characters were incredibly well fleshed out and I feel like I know them.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild
Jon Krakauer
1996, Anchor Books, New York

True story of a young American man who gave up his possessions and money to hitch-hike to Alaska to spend time alone in the wilderness. His decomposed remains were found in an abandoned bus four months later.

I had seen the movie based on McCandless' life a little while ago, so it was interesting to read the book. It's a heart-breaking story - some may call McCandless naive and selfish, but that shouldn't take away from the tragedy. Nor should it deny the legitimacy of the beauty that he discovered.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The 5 Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly

The 5 Greatest Warriors
Matthew Reilly
2010, Simon & Schuster, New York

Continuation of the story The Six Sacred Stones in which Jack West Jr. and his team fight to save the earth from destruction by using an ancient machine with parts scattered all over the world.

Everything that's great about Matthew Reilly is in this book. Action every step of the way - continually bigger and more hair-raising than what came before. Of course, I'm now suffering from adjective-overload, but that's a small price to pay for such a great ride.

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