Tales from the Gryphon/ archives/ 2008/

Tales from the Gryphon

Archives for 2008/01

Manoj's hackergotchi
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Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Across the nightingale floor

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Across the nightingale floor

I came across this series by Lian Hearn on a trip to DC. It was billed as Shogun meets Lord of the rings, and it certainly started off well. However, it lacks the breadth of either one of the epics it is trying to emulate, though it does succeed in providing an entertaining enough tale.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Back from DC

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Back from DC

Both Judy and I managed to make it to DC for the annual company Christmas dinner, held this year at the tail end of January, since we could not otherwise arrange for a common meeting time. We spent Friday driving around Sterling, VA, looking at houses for sale -- and deciding that the lots they sat on were too cramped for our tastes, having lived out in the country for so long as we have. Had authentic Dim Sum for lunch.

The party was a success, since someone had brought along a inflatable play jungle for the kids, and food was interesting and the conversation fantastic. Judy left on Sunday; I had to recycle the rental car and the hotel room, since after I had set u0p the trip it turned out that I had to stay back longer in DC for business. I ended up returning on the 31st; and every single one of these three plane flights was delayed or cancelled.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Dragon Avenger

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Dragon Avenger

The second dragon book from E. E. Knight. Auron's sister Wistala, whom he considered to be less capable, and who, in his opinion, had to be protected, turns out to have not died, and indeed, gone to greater lengths than her brother. This is a better set of books than the vampire Earth set.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Dragon Champion

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Dragon Champion

Given how much I am enjoying the vampire Earth series from E. E. Knight, I thought I would check out the Age of Fire series from the same author. This is deliciously different -- rarely have I read a book about dragons from the perspective of the dragon! This books opens the dilemma of the temptation of the tasty, pesky humanoids, and yet how dangerous it is to eat them with abandon.

Unlike the humans in vampire earth, the dragon protagonist has no trouble forming and developing relationships, and it is a very satisfying journey, after all.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Dragon Outcast

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Dragon Outcast

The last of the dragon books from E. E. Knight. And about the least of the litter: the crippled, outcast bronze -- too insignificant to have been named. And yet, the one to go furthest of the litter. I wish the lives of the litter mates intersected a bit when they were grown -- but they might as well have been on different planets. But I suppose that leaves room for future tales.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Grass for his pillow

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Grass for his pillow

A continuation of the tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn. In this, our hero strikes off for his own, shrugging off the dictates of the others in his life, for the first time acting as an individual. While not nearly as good as it was hyped out to be, it is not a bad tale.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Rebel Fay

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Rebel Fay

The Rebel Fay is the latest installment of the Noble Dead series by Barb & J. C. Hendee, and stands head and shoulder above the Vampire earth stuff I have been recently reading when it comes to character development, plot intricacy, and believable back story.

Written from the view point of a spirit creature, the Fay, currently constrained into the body of a dog, this brings our friends into the lands of the Elves, and we learn a bit more about the rationale for why the Dhampir was created. Can't wait for the next book to come out.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Tai-Pan

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Tai-Pan

And old favorite from James Clavell. I have lost track of how often I have read this book -- often enough, certainly, that certain chapters are ingrained in my head. I saw a movie with the same name recently -- and it was not really all that close to the book; but I can not really blame the director. If you have not yet read Tai-Pan, you should.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Tale of the Thunderbolt

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Tale of the Thunderbolt

Back to the Vampire Earth series by E. E. Knight. After an mildly interesting start, the book turns decidedly soporific, It is a travelogue for a Caribbean trip that Valentine takes, with a few mildly intriguing variations. I think that a non-loner role for Valentine does not work.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: The Golden Compass

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

The Golden Compass

Since there has been so much uproar caused by the movie, I decided I would have a look at the trilogy -- though I generally have not been much into Philip Pullman, since I have found his books usually too simplistic and childlike -- which makes sense, I suppose, since they are not really targeted to adults.

It is a pity that I never ran across these when I was still a child, since they are much better written than the Narnia chronicles. I quite think that Lyra is a well drawn character, though she behaves in ways unfathomable to me, but perhaps this is because she is a girl and perhaps it is because I have never seen my daemon.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: The Golden Gate

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

The Golden Gate

Yet another of Alistair Maclean screenplays pretending to be a book. Set mostly on the Golden Gate bridge, it would have made a spectacular movie. Clever plot hooks, but a almost non-existent plot line; but still, better than some action movies from that era. Chalk another one up to guilty pleasures.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: The way to dusty death

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

The way to dusty death

This is one of the books that Alistair Maclean wrote when he thought he was writing screenplays, not books -- very visual action, inscrutable and inhuman protagonists, improbable or missing plots, and quite entertaining in a brainless kind of way. Yup, guilty pleasures.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Valentine's Exile

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Valentine's Exile

As anticipated, the shakeup that drives Valentine away from a stable mid-level military career occurs, he is accused, court-martialed, and drummed out of the service, and goes on on a road trip, though thankfully this is no travelogue, like the thunderbolt book was. Some new things were learned, and maybe there will be some character development after all.

Manoj

Thursday 31 January
2008
Link: Valentine's Rising

Posted early Thursday morning, January 31st, 2008

Valentine's Rising

Ah, thank goodness. The quality of the story begins to improve; though never rising to the level of the first two books. Valentine leads his rag tag crew to rise up against the bad guys that have overrun the safe haven. However, Valentine is still getting too entrenched in the system; and that rarely works well for the kind of tales that jell for this character.

Manoj


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