Friday, March 07, 2008

Today, I finished re-reading The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett, one of his six novels, and one of two to feature his nameless detective - the "Continental Op".

I've always admired The Dain Curse for it's twisted plot, as the Continental Op starts out investigating a simple diamond theft and then gets pulled into family mysteries and a number of murders. It's not as good as the first, and much, much bloodier and hard-boiled, Continental Op book Red Harvest, but if you want to see the start of the modern private detective genre, you can't go wrong with Hammett.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Over the weekend, I finished Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold.

This is the 2nd book of three set in the same world as The Curse of Chalion. I wrote about the third book, The Hallowed Hunt, here. Paladin of Souls is a sequel to The Curse of Chalion, but not a direct continuation. It functions as a stand alone novel with different main characters while still continuing the story from the first novel.

It's quite a good book but overrated. I liked the first book in the series better but this one won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel and the Locus Awards for best fantasy novel in the year it came out. I've read all of the Hugo nominees for that year and I would probably have put this book 3rd or 4th out of that list.

Bujold has an ability to create compelling characters that makes all of her books enjoyable but I didn't find anything particularly noteworthy or outstanding in this particular one.