Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Halo: The Flood

Okay, so I read a book based on an Xbox game.  And I've also read Contact Harvest in the same series.  But guess what?  They're actually pretty decent.  Okay, so there's not that much character development, save for the Master Chief and the AI Cortana which are developed somewhat (although most of the characters mentioned get a kind of brief personality).  But it's very exciting.  If you like Matthew Reilly, you'll probably like these--they're basically non-stop action thrillers with a lot of fighting aliens.  And I mean a lot.  The whole book is basically a single campaign.

If you've ever seen the Halo games, I have to say they do seem to match with the books.  From the book, you can kinda tell that there's only one major character (ie the Master Chief) and that it's a fighting game.  But I don't know that there's anything hugely wrong with that.  It's a good book to sit and read when you just want a bit of entertainment, aren't too bothered about the characters, and would like to enjoy a well thought through alien culture as the enemy and some pretty impressive action scenes.  I guess the fact that it's based on a game has given it advantages on the world-building side.

If you want a book that doesn't require much thought and is just a fast-paced, enjoyable read, this is for you.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

10th Anniversary

I'm not sure why I read this.  And when I started, I thought my post would go something along the lines of 'I'm not sure why I bothered even trying to read this, it was rubbish'.  But actually, this brings the Women's Murder Club back to being a great series.  So if you read 1-4, skip a lot (don't worry about missing stuff, there's nothing majorly interesting, just a long drawn out side plot involving complicated romances) and carry on with 10, you'll probably think this is great.

I decided, since I ordered it before Varsity messed me around (I was going to write book reviews for them, after agreeing, they then abruptly decided they didn't actually want me to do that after all), and since I wasn't entirely sure how to cancel ordering the book from the library, that I'd better read it.  And, um, it was pretty good.  Not fantastic, but pretty good.  My main criticism is that the story started breaking up towards the end.  There were too many plot threads, and some of them felt like they'd been thrown in and then James Patterson decided he didn't actually like those threads but couldn't be bothered to remove them and so finished it off abruptly.  Lindsay's boss going out with Yuki, for example.  Lindsay goes 'wait, he's married', which could have caused some really interesting stuff.  But then the boss, when confronted, says 'oh, we've been separated for about a year, I'm just waiting for the divorce to come through' and it's all fine.  Might as well not have been there, in my opinion.

Lindsay and Joe finally get married (how long did that take?!) and Cindy is going out with Lindsay's partner (as in cop partner).  Relationships look a little messy to be honest, but I guess it keeps the characters smaller in number.  Also, not to sound a complete pessimist (and I don't think I'm really spoiling anything), but the story ends with Lindsay pregnant.  I highly doubt the baby is going to survive, but that's just me.  Also, I wonder why we never meet Claire's husband...

So yeh, that was 10th Anniversary.  It's probably worth a read if you see it around.  Don't get too excited, it's not brilliant, but the characters are good--Lindsay's a favourite character of mine since I've followed the series pretty much from the start--and there's several interesting crimes/murders woven together.