Saturday, May 08, 2010

I finished Cauldron by Jack McDevitt last week, but forgot to post about it due to work being nutz.

Cauldron continues the story of Priscilla Hutchins that started in The Engines of God.   Hutchins has gone full circle from starting out as a exploring starship pilot, to managing an academy of pilots, to retiring and fundraising and then back to pilot. 

Cauldron does a lot to resolve mysteries that have been raised in earlier McDevitt books, including that of the Omega Clouds that are the scourge of civilizations throughout the galaxy.  As such, it doesn't feel like most of his other books, which thrive on unexplained mysteries and the emptiness of space.

I finished Faith and Fire by James Swallow a few days ago.

Set in the same Warhammer 40K universe as this book,  Faith and Fire is better written.  The action scenes are clearer, the characters are better written and the plot fits together more easily. 

These novels all have to walk a fine line, since the side of evil is over the top evil while the side of good is a fascist, oppressive and grotesque theocracy.  The obvious way to maneuver around this is to have one of the powerful good characters turn out to be the real villain.  I guess that could be considered a spoiler, but only if you weren't paying attention, since the suspicious nature of this character is obvious from the start.

Overall, a decent novel, but one that only caters to a very specialized taste.  

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I just finished The Wheel of Darkness by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. 

I've read a few of the Preston/Child's books - Relic, Reliquary and The Cabinet of Curiosities.  They are all techno-thrillers to one degree or another, usually overlapping with serial killers and some kind of mysticism.

This one is no exception, as a dangerous object is stolen from a Tibetan monastery and the killer escapes on a new ocean liner, followed by FBI agent Pendergast.  Pendergast has moved from being an odd minor character, to being the focus of their novels, of which The Wheel of Darkness is on the tail end. 

Nothing unexpected here, but an OK read given that.