Cally’s War

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Let’s be honest, this book has not reviewed well over the years. However, I had a long flight, and figured I’d give it a go. It wasn’t actually all that bad, and was certainly massively better than some other share cropped books I have read. The writing is competent and the plotting reasonable. I think the biggest problem is that the start of the book would be quite shocking to some people (it certainly bothered me), and Cally’s character is so out of line with where I wanted her to be 40 years after the last book. I can see how it would be possible for her to end up like she is in this book, but it was a disappointment to me. The pretty much constant shagging is distracting from the rest of the plot too.

Overall, I am left wanting to know more about the Darhel plot, and the book did help further that story line, if only a little. I don’t regret reading the book, even though it isn’t the strongest in the series.

[isbn: 141652052X;9781416520528]

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Against the Tide

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This is the third book in the Council Wars series. This book covers the long promised invasion by New Destiny forces, as well as Megan’s continued life in the harem. This book has a theme of incompetence in command, which is quite similar to some of Ringo’s other books, such as A Hymn Before Battle and Gust Front. It is not fine literature, but it is a fun read and the characters are likeable.

[isbn: 1416520570;9781416520573]

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Emerald Sea

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This book is really a book (Emerald Sea) and a novella (In a Time of Darkness) both of which follow on from There Will Be Dragons. Emerald Sea is more self-indulgent than the previous book, and isn’t as strong as the first. It is still quite readable. In a Time of Darkness has a very awkward set of subject matter (the keeping of a harem girl against her will), which will make many readers uncomfortable, and isn’t as strong a story as either of the first two stories in this series.

[isbn: 1416509208;9781416509202]

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Being Geek

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This book by long time Apple engineering manager, as well as startup employee, Michael Lopp is a guide to how to manage geeks. That wasn’t really what I was expecting — which is sort of the inverse. I was hoping for a book about how to be a geek who has to deal with management. This book helps with that, by offering the inverse perspective, but I’d still like to see a book from my direction.

The book is well written, in a conversational and sometimes profane manner (a comment I see others make about his other book “Managing Humans”). I think that’s ok in this context, where it feels as if Michael is having a personal conversation with you the reader. An overly formal tone here would cause the content to be much more boring, and its already dry enough.

I’m not sure I agree with everything said in the book, but the first half resonated especially strongly with me.

[isbn: 9780596155407;0596155409]

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