redbyrd_sgfic (redbyrd_sgfic) wrote,

The Lighter Side of Books- the Paperback Side of the Force

An idle evening at home, so a good time to post my backlog of reviews.  I feel badly that I can't say anything more useful about the SG-1 stuff without spoiling it.  Pretty much the Fandemonium folks are doing a decent job- these read like good solid gen fanfic.   For the most part, I just wish there'd been a bit more offworld villainy and less Kinsey, Simmons and NID.    I think this catches me up on all the SG-1 stuff- next up, one of the Atlantis ones, which I found in a local Borders and scooped up (by way of encouraging them, if nothing else!).

Without further ado-

The Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
This is another excellent Pratchett romp through the tropes of fiction and cinema.  For example, if you see a bunch of thugs encounter a monk—an elderly unarmed monk—quite alone in a remote location, wouldn't you know exactly what was about to happen?  (The monks like to promote these tales- it makes traveling around the Discworld a lot less exciting for them.)  While it will never displace the Vimes books in my affections, this was a thoroughly delightful diversion—the perfect way to spend a little free time.  (This was a re-read.)
Eric by Terry Pratchett
I can't actually remember if I'd read this before.  Regardless- it's typical early Pratchett, a humorous journey through the classic fantasy elements.  Enjoyable, but not yet displaying underlying serious themes that make some of his later books so brilliant.
Stargate SG-1:  Survival of the Fittest by Sabine C. Bauer
As usual- recommended only for fans of the show.   This was definitely above average for the Fandemonium series of SG-1 novels.  A follow-on for Desperate Measures, it draws heavily on canon, featuring a return appearance by a recurring Goa'uld villain and various other elements drawn from the series- and then implemented in an original action-filled plot.   The NID appearance here is integral to the plot, not a throwaway, and quite plausible in context.   Very nicely done.
California Demon by Julie Kenner
This is the sequel to the earlier-reviewed Carpe Demon.  It has many of the same charms as the first but little new material to keep the joke going.   It was enjoyable enough as light fluffy fantasy, but I'll probably think twice (and check the library) before sampling the forthcoming third in the series.

Stargate SG-1:  Alliances by Karen Miller
As usual- recommended only for fans of the show.   Another fun read for those looking for tie-ins.  I have to critique the editors a bit, however, because having read several of these in succession, many of them use either Kinsey, the NID or both as part of the motivation of the plot.  This one would have worked fine without it- in fact it's barely mentioned.  I'd have liked to see the editors noting a commonality of theme across several books and trying for a little more variety.   Nonetheless, an enjoyable read, with some especially nice appearances by some familiar faces among the Tok'ra.

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
This is so well known it hardly needs reviewing.   But I read most of my Christie in the late seventies and early eighties, and wound up missing most of the Hercule Poirot stories, because at that age, I found the them too talky, and some of the more adult bits went over my head. 

So, reading it now as an adult, I find it an interesting puzzle, and a tour-de-force in terms of conveying the entirety of the characterization and plot though dialogue.  Deservedly a classic.
Stargate SG-1: A Matter of Honor by Sally Malcolm
Stargate SG-1: The Cost of Honor by Sally Malcolm

As usual- recommended only for fans of the show. I read A Matter of Honor when I first picked it up, but reread it before going on to the second book. I thought the first book was a bit grim, but it lightened somewhat in the second part. An enjoyable read- It could have used some more foreshadowing some of the developments in the second part, and I'd have liked to see more of one of the key secondary characters, but it was still fun.

Child of the Grove by Tanya Huff
This was on my bookshelf so I must have read it at some point, but when I pulled a duplicate off the shelf I found that I couldn't remember a thing about it.  Rereading, I found good reason.  It wasn't terrible, but it was structurally rather weak.  The title character doesn't show up until halfway through the book.   The character who anchors the first half of the book completely disappears.  The villain- one of the few characters who actually exists in both halves- has little face time.    In general,  this has only embryonic hints of the storytelling craft that makes her later works so engaging.

Tags: books
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