Friday, February 01, 2008

Last night I finished Making Money, the latest Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett.

Pratchett likes to introduce new characters every few novels and then use them as the main character for a number of books. For example, there are the Rincewind books, the Death books, the Sam Vimes/City Watch books, etc.

Making Magic is the second book to feature Moist von Lipwig, the ex-crook who became head of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office in Going Postal. This book has him getting involved in the banking system and the inevitable shenanigans that follow.

It's a pretty good book - Lipwig is an interesting character and interacts well with some of Pratchett's other standard characters, particularly Lord Vetinari. Some parts of the book felt sloppier and less clearly written than other Discworld novels. I'm not sure if that is actually the case or if I'm just projecting because I know that Pratchett has been recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I finished Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston yesterday.

Tyrannosaur Canyon is a pretty run of the mill thriller. It has a few science fictiony elements but it's mainly stock characters - an evil ex-con, an ambitious professor and a resourceful hero.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yesterday, I finished Devices and Desires by K.J. Parker, the first book in a fantasy trilogy.

The interesting thing about this fantasy trilogy is that while the main setting is a fairly standard pastoral/medieval country, the plot of the book has to do with the clash between that country and another country that is more industrialized, more similar to a late Renaissance city or even early Industrial Revolution city, but without gunpowder. This gives enough of a twist to the story to make it a little more interesting than a standard fantasy. The characters are well written as well.

Like many fantasy books, it does give to much credit to the medieval lifestyle, and the medieval nobility, compared to an industrial lifestyle. The industrial city is quite an exaggeration, with rigid guilds and rules that dominate all of city life, but it's still an interesting twist and overall, well handled.