Apr. 20th, 2011

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Title: Mother of Winter
Author: Barbara Hambly
Series: Darwath, book 4
Genre: High fantasy with alternate worlds stuff (though here it only manifests in that the two main characters are originally from SoCal).
Setting: The magical kingdom of Darwath, where an ice age is in progress and the war with the Dark nearly destroyed civilization.
Reason for Reading: I enjoyed the first three books when I read them.
Finished In: Weeks, mostly because it was packed in a box and I couldn't find it when I wanted to pick it up again.
Pages: 323
Copyright Date: 1996
Cover: A woman holding a bowl. Blue lines of light emanate from it. She has blue filigree tattoos on her arms and bald head.
First line: "In the moonstone dawn, the lone rider dismounted at the top of the steps, passed through the black square open eye where the doors would one day be, and halted on the edge of the shadowed abyss."
Themes: Evolution, mutation, betrayal, religious intolerance, food, and a few more things I won't mention for spoilers.
Best part: The villain/problem in this book I actually found much more compelling than I did the Dark. Creepier and also easier to understand.
Worst part: At several points and with some of the problems the characters faced, I found myself wondering "Why don't they go back to California, which they are able to do, and get the stuff they need and come back with it?"
Imaginary Theme Song: Hey, ho, nobody home.
Grade: C
Recommended for: Fans of the series will want to see what happens to Gil and Rudy after their last adventure.
Related Reads: The Coming of the Dark by the same author.
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Title: When the Tide Rises
Author: David Drake
Series: RCN (that's Republic of Cinnabar Navy to you wogs!*) book 6
Genre: Space opera
Setting: The Bagarian cluster, a troubled outpost of the Republic of Cinnabar.
Reason for Reading: These books are like reassuring candy to me. I'd like to collect the whole series.
Finished In: Days.
Pages: 486, plus an excerpt from In the Stormy Red Sky.
Copyright Date: 2008. Sadly, I am catching up to Drake - I can read them much faster than he can write them.
Cover: Adele and Daniel at the console. The tilt suggests the craft they are in is plummeting to earth.
First line: "Commander Daniel Leary sipped whiskey from a glass with the Quenzer monogram as he surveyed his fellow guests; he held his lips in a neutral smile."
Epigraph: "When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark / And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark / But when the tide rises and sharks are around / His voice has a timid and tremulous sound." - Lewis Carroll
Themes: Spaceships, space navy, alcohol, espionage, loyalty, love triangles.
Best part: I enjoyed the introduction of new character Rene Cazelet.
Worst part: The books are starting to blur together a bit, which is likely my fault for reading them too close together.
Imaginary Theme Song: A bawdy vaudeville tune.
Grade: C
Recommended for: Fans of the series, who would read it anyway.
Related Reads: With the Lightnings, first book in the series. Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

*"Wogs" is a word that gets used a lot in the book for planetary colonials, non-citizens of any race. I'd never use it in real life.

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