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May

21

Review: Servant of the Shard

By pcurd

Servant of the Shard
Servant of the Shard by R.A. Salvatore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I stopped reading the Drizzt books somewhere around this title – but I couldn’t remember where. I did not remember all that was described in the blurb so I dived in – it rapidly became clear I had read it before, but decided to stick with it to give me a reminder.

The story does not focus on the “Fellowship of th…”, sorry, the “Companions of the Hall” but rather on two of the villains – Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle (view spoiler) – from earlier books in the series. They still play villains, of sorts, in an honour-amongst-thieves sort of way which never quite convinces you to like them but does at least let you sympathise with their problems in life. Many of the supporting characters are compelling – unusual for the series – and the world is richer because of it. There are fewer fights, and more politics, than I expected in an R. A. Salvatore story with a plot that required following (some, at any rate). It’s not really a good place to jump into the story of Drizzt but I think I remembered enough of the previous stories that I didn’t suffer because of it.

This book also acts as a backdoor pilot for the Sellswords series (the remainder being written several years later) so I intend to dive down that rabbit hole for a little while before coming back to the Drizzt series. Entreri has always been a favourite of mine and I’m interested to see how Salvatore turns him into a “hero” – although undoubtedly, as an anti-hero.

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May

15

Review: Abaddon’s Gate

By pcurd

Abaddon's Gate
Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was not expecting the story to get so much better. The Expanse series has been good up to now, but not exceptional. The TV conversion seemed strong and I wanted to get far ahead in the books before watching more of it – but I lost my enthusiasm in January after finishing the somewhat disappointing Caliban’s War (it’s still a good story, I gave it 4 stars!) which I didn’t feel had taken the story forward as much as I’d expected.

Abaddon’s Gate seems to meander around and about the story rather than dive in, but it’s necessary and the pay off is worth it. The authors manage to weave all those loose parts back into a thread which hammers home in the last section of the book – and it’s glorious. The characters fit together cohesively and believably, and the authors make you genuinely feel for them. (view spoiler)

I don’t think the book has much for new readers who don’t know the characters and the story but as a continuation of the saga it’s an excellent read.

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May

15

Review: Damia’s Children

By pcurd

Damia's Children
Damia’s Children by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve gone back to reading the Tower and Hive series, a staple of my childhood, after maybe a decade. I’ve probably read all of these books at least 3 times before but I had forgotten most of the plot lines which is making this an enjoyable “first read” again.

McCaffrey is at her sexist, dubious best in this series. The Talent parents “leaning” on their children to help their minds develop properly always felt fishy to me and it’s no better now than it was when I last read them. I can see her point, these children are dangerous after all, but it’s quite hard to read at times. Every character is a caricature and whilst it makes for quick, light reading – it’s not very meaty!

(view spoiler)

A fun read, but not your true Sci Fi!

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May

2

Review: Resurrection, Inc.

By pcurd

Resurrection, Inc.
Resurrection, Inc. by Kevin J. Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s a typical Kevin J. Anderson story. The characters in the book are in a universe where people play on each other’s fears, and this is expressed in a way that plays on the reader’s fears.

The story revolves around the concept of a Servant – a resurrected corpse that is essentially programmed for servitude. Most of the technology is laughable (they don’t even have mobile phones in this future) but it was written in 1984 so that is hardly surprising. The Internet derivative is actually quite interesting, it has developed into something recognisable as a network of computers but seems to be more like AOL – a section for news, a section for local information, and loads of databases you can search.

(view spoiler)

Overall a reasonably fun read, and short, but not something I’m keen to recommend.

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