|The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells
Narrated by Greg Wagland
The Many-Colored Land, by Julian May
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy Mesh (Adult)
Reason for reading: I read this book a long time ago and always intended on picking up the rest of the series. This year, I convinced my real-life book club to read it. So hopefully I’ll get to the rest of the series soon!
Synopsis: In the near future, an alien federation called the Galactic Milieu has intervened on Earth, and welcomed humans into the its fold. For most of humanity, the Milieu is a blessing. Long life, health, an ethical law system, the adventure of space travel – these are the perks that humans enjoy. But some feel confined by the rules of the Milieu and yearn for a simpler life. And some are too sociopathic to be accepted in the Milieu’s society. These people can go into Exile – they are sent back in time to the Earth’s Pliocene epoch. The Many-Colored Land follows the story of one group of exiles as they discover what lies on the other end of the time-portal. Life isn’t as simple as they expect, and they are soon swept up in a world of war and conspiracy.
My thoughts: I must have read a lot more hard-core science fiction when I was a teenager, because I don’t remember this book being as heavy as it felt this time around. All the descriptions of futuristic technologies / cultures slowed me down because I don’t read enough science fiction to be used to the terminology. It may have been slow reading for me, but I felt refreshed by the newness of the plot. This is a very complex book, with many layers of hidden foundation. Superficially, I think the characters could have used a little more development – but I’m sure they grow throughout the series. This first book in the Pliocene quartet was mainly world-building. We were introduced to the alien cultures – both the good and the bad aspects. We got a hefty background on the Pliocene epoch. And we got some hints of how these events in the Pliocene might have impacted humanity’s development millions of years later. It’s a fascinating set-up, and I’m eager to see how the rest of the series plays out. I’ve heard so many good things about it.
2012 Book 163: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
Reason for Reading: I was originally going to give it to my dad for Christmas, but it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be
2012 Book 33: Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde (2/19/2012)
Reason for Reading: Fforde February
My Review: 4/5 stars
This is the second book in the Thursday Next series, and is every bit as good as the first. In Lost in a Good Book, Thursday Next must save the world while trying to rescue her eradicated husband Landen. Fforde’s writing is humorous, making for a quick, light read. Several reviewers said this book is darker than the first, which I suppose it is, though it never would have occurred to me. It has very little violence and given the nature of Fforde’s universe everything is reversible, so what does it matter if the attacks on Thursday are a little more personal in this book? I plan on reading the rest of the series, but I think I’ll take a break and clean the puns out of my brain before I start another one. Fforde’s humor is great, but I just can’t read punny humor continuously. 🙂
2012 Book 27: Physics of the Impossible, by Michio Kaku (2/12/2012)
Reason for Reading: Because it was there
My Review: 3.5/5 stars
Physics of the impossible explores common themes in science fiction, and explains in simplified physics whether such things are possible soon, or far in the future. Kaku has an engaging writing style, and his physics is basic enough that most popular readers would be able to follow. However, I don’t think people who follow physics regularly would enjoy the simplified science. I enjoyed this book, though I have one major complaint: Kaku would give examples of science fiction phenomena from popular novels. Apparently assuming that everyone has read all of these books, he almost always tells the ending of the book. I hadn’t read several of these books and was quite annoyed since telling the end of the book did not add any merit to his own arguments. The book lost star-points because of this problem.
2012 Book 26:The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde (2/12/2012)
Reason for Reading: 12 in 12 Fforde February
My Review: 5/5 stars
SpecOps officer Thursday Next is swept away into a dangerous mystery when Jane Eyre is kidnapped. She has to literally jump into the story in order to rescue Miss Eyre. This book has hilarious British humor and word play. Its alternative universe setting is creative and fun. And I love books with so many references to literature. This book is awesome, and I can’t wait to start the second in the series. I hear they only get better.