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Ring of Fire IV edited by Eric Flint

Book Title: 

Ring of Fire IV

Book Author: 

Eric Flint

It is sometimes hard to give an overall rating to a book that contains shorter works by several authors. This particular book was just plain fun from beginning to end. It is true that the novels do leave things out. They have to, in order to tell the story that is intended. Still, the novels have let us know that there is a whole world affected by the Ring of Fire, It is in these shorter works, and those in the Grantville Gazette where we find the rest of that world. All together, it makes the United States of Europe seem more and more like a real place, even though we can't visit there.

Spider Woman's Daughter (Leaphorn & Chee #19) by Anne Hillerman

This book is set in Tony Hillerman's Navajo Mystery Series settings. Anne Hillerman has picked up her father's work, and made it her own. While the original heroes are in this book, it is told mostly from the perspective of Bernadette Manualito, a female officer in the Navajo Nation Police Force, and the wife of fellow officer, Jim Chee. The central mystery of the novel appears early, when Bernie (her nickname) watches a stranger shoot a close friend, unable to stop it. Who was this person? Why was the crime committed?

Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer

Oh how I wish there were more than 5 stars to give to this book! In Quantum Night, Robert J. Sawyer explores the nature of consciousness. He suggests that scientists have not only discovered the physical and quantum underpinnings of consciousness, but also know how to change them. Along the way to the thrilling ending, we are treated to discussions of quantum physics, neuroscience, and philosophy. I found this book to be very hard to put down

Just finished Gail Z. Martin's Vendetta

Book Title: 

Vendetta

Book Author: 

Gail Z. Martin

For a month or so around the holidays, I was really suffering from the blues, and couldn't seem to focus on a book.

Then came the release of Vendetta by Gail Z. Martin. Wow! What an exciting book. It took me longer than I expected to finish it, because I learned quickly that reading it near bedtime was a bad idea. After I read a chapter or two, I'd be very excited, and not able to sleep. This evening, I started to get to the climax of the novel, and I could not put it down.

Ancilary Mercy by Ann Leckie

Wow! Every bit as brilliant as the first two novels in the series. I don't know what I can say without spoilers, but if you liked the first two, this is a worthy end to the trilogy. We learn even more about all the characters, old and new. The complexities of the Radch Empire make for an exciting story, but the empire is, of course, filled with people, who all have their own agendas.

Perishables by Michael G. Williams

This was a fun book to read. It is a fresh look at several horror standards. The primary character is a vampire, but he doesn't sparkle, and is not a ladies man. He's someone who used to be human, and it shows. The book consists of three separate stories, with a recurring them. The vampire character only appears in the first and third stories, but that did not bother me at all.

I'll be looking for more from this author.

The End of All Things by John Scalzi

Book Title: 

The End of All Thing

Book Author: 

John Scalzi

This book is classic Scalzi! On the one hand, a darn good story - one that kept me reading, even when I had other things I should have been doing. But that is never all there is to a Scalzi story. He pulls you into his characters' lives, and gives them (and you) things to think about. The world in a Scalzi novel is never as simple as it seems. I know there are people who don't like that. For me, though, that kind of thing is like brain candy! The Old Man's War series has been going on for quite a while, and the history of all that happened in the earlier books plays into this story.

Liaden Universe Constellation: Volume III

I had read most of these stories before, but they all stand up well to re-readings, and it's nice to have them all in one book. I love Lee & Miller's books, and I have to say I absolutely agree that just because a character appears only on a couple of pages of a novel, that doesn't mean that character doesn't have her, or his own story.

You'll find some of those stories, here. Also some bits of a novel or two that never were. Very enjoyable from start to finish.

Of, course, this is a must for any Lee & Miller completists.

4 out of 5 stars

Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

I found this to be a delightful story. In this short work, the author tells us much more about the World of the Five Gods than we already knew, by taking us beyond the boundaries of Chalion. That world turns out to be far more politically complex. On top of that, we learn more about at least one of the Five Gods, and the story of a young man accidentally falling into a future he could never have imagined.

Pretty darn good for such a short work, but that is the sort of thing that Lois McMaster Bujold has been getting better and better at over the years.

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