Snow again

Jan. 5th, 2010 09:56 pm
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We have fresh snow round these parts - this is preferable to the partially melted then refrozen slush that we'd had earlier, although since the snow has simply settled on the ice, the surafces are still pretty much as treacherous as they were before, but it at least looks prettier :-)

The first book of 2010 proved to be Rachel Caine's Carpe Corpus, book VI of the Morganville Vampires series, and whereas the earlier instalments pretty much finished on consecutive cliffhangers, this one at least feels like it has an ending proper

I say 'feels like', because book VII is out now, and I'm assuming that it's probably going to kick off a new(ish) story arc, since I think most of the plot threads from the tale to date have been, if not exactly resolved, at least touched on in part VI.

They're fun reads (much moreso than Twiglet), although I felt that Book II was a little off-pace, and Book VI, whilst it had its moments, didn't quite gel for me; I felt that we had less of an image of who Claire is, again. On the other hand, certain aspects did work pretty well (Oliver is nicely done, even if he doesn't get enough screen time, and I do like Myrnin, who, as I'm sure I've said before, I'm sure must be Merlin).

So yeah, pretty good series, although I'd say that the Sook is a lot more fun for mature readers... still waiting on the next instalment from Bon Temps, which we've been promised this year. Rest assured; the moment that's published, it's mine :D
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Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris )
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I'm realising that whilst my recollections of instalments I and II of Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn were pretty good, I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off-base with Book III. There's so much that I have absolutely no recollection of I'm beginning to wonder if I actually did read the thing the first time around.

Well, no, I'm not, because I distinctly remember my total Ione/Tranquility!love for their escape, and I remember the machinations of B7 back on Earth and that stuff. But the bit where Joshua's negotiating with the zero-g seahorses had completely slipped my mind.

Still enjoying it, but these are thick books, so a proper review will have to wait a little while longer.

In other book news, I caved, and the hardback Sookie, Dead and Gone arrived in today's post. Guess I'm reading that next :D
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MSN had this article about how these floating cities could be the solution to forced adaptation to rising sea-levels as a consequence of climate change:

floating city

I think they're pretty, certainly, although oddly they put me more in mind of the Arcologies of Old Earth rather than Pernik et al of Atlantis. If that sentence made no sense whatsoever, get thee to thy Peter F Hamilton pronto (Night's Dawn Trilogy).

Getting back to the floating metropli, though, it's all sadly impractical: the cities themselves are each designed to accommodate 50,000 people. The resource cost of construction looks as though it would be massive, which suggests that these floating conurbations are probably going to end up as pseudo-gated communities for the super-wealthy. That said, I'd be tempted.

For a slightly more realistic accommodation scenario, here's Tetris being played with Berlin apartment blocks.

In other news, I've finished S1 of True Blood.True Blood S1 )
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Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris )
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Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris )
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Club Dead by Charlaine Harris )
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Second book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, and we move away from Bon Temps, Louisiana to Dallas, Texas, where Sookie's telepathic powers are required to help a different vampire clan locate a missing member.

This book opens the stage up a little more: in the first instalment, we were pretty much confined to Sookie's home town, and even getting Bill to Dallas proves an operation itself (sunlight 'n all that).

We also meet some humans who are somewhat less than overjoyed to have discovered that there are vampires living in their midst: The Fellowship of the Sun are one such group - they have a repentant vampire who wishes to 'meet the dawn' to atone for his sins, and they're turning it into a big media event, but they also use this vampire to entrap Sookie's contact's missing clan member, so as to offer the faithful a two-for-one burning deal.

You start to discern how the vamps are organised. In Sookie's town, Eric is higher than Bill in the stratification - Eric's older, and I think that's how seniority is determined. Meanwhile, over in Dallas, it's Stan who's the clan leader (and he has a *lot* of vamps to hand).

Then, since vamps are real, and since we learned that shapeshifters were real in the first instalment, we get to discover that Dallas also has an established were-community. Well, actually, there are shapeshifters and Werewolves proper, who guard their name quite jealously. However, unlike the vamps, who've embraced public living since the Japanese invented synthetic, drinkable blood, the other beasts are trying to keep under the radar, watching how the public take to the vamps (lots of people are unsure) before deciding whether or not to step into the limelight themselves.

And then there's a murder plot that bookends the main story; one of Sookie's colleagues gets killed, and the discovery of whodunnit takes basically the whole book.

Sookie goes through a whole lot of pain in this one - I s'pose it's fortuitous for her that her boyfriend is a vamp, and thus has healing blood and that stuff, but... well, it's still hard on her.

I like the books, though... next up is Club Dead.
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This is all [personal profile] glittertine's fault :-P

I picked up Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris yesterday - Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in Louisiana, who happens to be telepathic, works for a bar-owner who has his own special ability, and starts dating a vampire... The basic tale is one of a serial killer on the loose - suspicion initially falls on Sookie's beau, and then on her brother, and it's an interesting ride to the conclusion.

Actually, as we neared the end of the book, I was counting pages and wondering exactly how it was all going to be resolved, and dreading the prospect of finding to be continued... tacked on to the final paragraph. But no, there's a conclusion, and oddly enough, it doesn't feel that rushed.

Much of it is sorta reminiscent of Tate Hallaway's Tall Dark and Dead, but it has slightly different emphases. [personal profile] glittertine has suggested that the backstory in these books (it's the first in a series) starts to kick in after a few instalments. I think we already get the hint that there's more going on that meets the eye as this tale unfolds, and it does feel as though there's going to be a Bill/Sookie/Sam triangle unfolding a little later.

The cover on my edition proudly sports a sticker declaring the book to be the deliciously addictive new series True Blood as seen on FX as well as a printed sub-heading that it's now the HBO original series True Blood. So sadly there's no way of pretending that I jumped on this bandwagon before it got famous.</uncool moment> ;-P

Anyway, 'twas fun, and I think I now need to read the next one :-)

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