Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Edi's Spotlight: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

The third time travel book review in a row. This is a special one for me because I never read a book by author Connie Willis before. My interest in her books started with the the blurb of Blackout (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0345519832]. TIME TRAVEL !!!!

As this is not the review of Blackout you need to follow this link in case you want to read the blurb of Blackout.

In the blurb is mentioned that Blackout is not her first time travel novel. It did not take long to find out her first time travel book: The highly acclaimed Doomsday Book (1992) [ISBN-13: 978-0553562736]. I could not withstand to buy a copy which I read for this review.
Of course there are a lot of reviews available. For a first impression I recommend to have a look at Goodreads. And here is my take.

England 2048. Time travel has become reality. Due to get more information about England in 1348 on the brink of the Black Plague Kivrin Engle, a young, female historian, travels back in time. But something goes wrong.
The story splits into two main threads. In present time we follow the desperate tries of her tutor and friend Professor Dunworthy to get Kivrin back home are clouded by a crisis. And of course we follow Kivrin and her struggle for survival in a world she seems to know so well from her studies ...

It is always an inner fight for me how much I tell about the story of a book. I tend to tell less than other reviewers. In this case I think every additional takes away a part of the fascination.

Indeed the Doomsday Book is far beyond to be a high octane action adventure time travel. It is the strong and emotional study about human nature or to be precise about what makes us human regardless the time we are living. Faith, love, hate, trust, hope, friendship are timeless in their archetype.

Imagine a stage separated by a wall. On each side a play is performed. At first sight both plays appear different. As different as our imagination of England in 2048 and in 1348. And as similar as human beings can be. Aroused by incidents which again appear different but look similar at their roots. And all is connected by one person ....

There are no extraordinary heroes in common sense. But there are extraordinary characters in sense of humanity. The more human they appear the more you are involved in their life. A life full of emotions, ups and downs and unforeseen events. All the characters with their ideas, hope and reality, the depiction of life in England (either in 2048 or in 1348), the idea and execution of time travel is beautifully and remarkably mixed/combined/interwoven by Connie Willis. There is nothing without sense. It finally leads the reader to questions like

Why are we convinced to such an extent to know everything about the past - especially medieval time?
Why are we convinced to such an extent to live in a better world than people in the past?

Questions which you can't answer instantly. Fortunately Connie Willis leaves you with the insight that humanity, human life on earth depends on more than purely universal constants. Can you imagine human beings without faith, love, hope and inquisitiveness?

I must say I have been impressed and touched by the Doomsday Book.
I'm no writer. I'm just a reader. A reader who tried to express in humble words his sympathy for an extraordinary book.
You want to read about humanity implemented in a brilliant time travel story? You want to be emotionally touched? You want share life with characters who could be your dear and near ones?
You want more than good entertainment?

Then read the timeless gem of a novel:
Doomsday Book

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: RAMMSTEIN 2011 USA/CAN/MEX

As a big fan of Rammstein I cannot resist to post the following news for all Rammstein fans in USA, Canada and Mexico:


RAMMSTEIN RETURN TO NORTH AMERICA!
SOLD OUT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ONE-OFF TO BE FOLLOWED BY 13-DATE MAY 2011 TOUR THROUGH THE US, CANADA AND MEXICO

In the wake of a December 11, 2010 Madison Square Garden one-off that sold out in 30 minutes and was described by The New York Times as "the kind of spectacle that has made Rammstein an arena and festival headliner across Europe," RAMMSTEIN will return to North America for their first tour of the continent in 10 years.

Rammstein will play 13 headlining arena dates beginning May 5 at the Izod Center in New York (East Rutherford) and making stops in Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Edmonton, Seattle, San Francisco (Oakland), Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Mexico City and Guadalajara before concluding May 31 at the Auditorio Banamex in Monterrey, MEX.

Tickets for all shows are now on sale:
May 05 New York (East Rutherford) NJ (USA) - Izod Center
May 07 Montreal QC (CAN) - Bell Centre
May 08 Toronto ON (CAN) - Air Canada Centre
May 10 Chicago IL (USA) - Allstate Arena
May 13 Edmonton MB (CAN) - Rexall Place
May 15 Seattle WA (USA) - Tacoma Dome
May 18 San Francisco (Oakland) CA (USA) - Oracle Arena
May 20 Los Angeles CA (USA) - The Forum
May 21 Las Vegas NV (USA) - Thomas & Mack Center
May 26 Mexico City (MEX) - Sports Palace
May 27 Mexico City (MEX) - Sports Palace
May 29 Guadalajara (MEX) - Arena VFG
May 31 Monterrey (MEX) - Auditorio Banamex


LAUNCHING US RAMMSTEIN SHOP!

All Rammstein fans from the United States and Canada are now invited to visit the new US RAMMSTEIN-SHOP! We have been looking into how to lower the shipping costs and delivery times and are very happy to finally open the doors to the new shop.


[Source]

Hopefully you get a ticket. FINGERS CROSSED !!!
I have been lucky to see Rammstein in 2009 in Frankfurt. Awesome and unforgettable.

And this is an impression of what you can expect:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Edi's Spotlight: TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code by Alex Scarrow

What kind of review do expect when it will be about the third book in a series? I think it should deliver what you can expect without giving away too much from the predecessors. Even all the books follow the same scheme (to be honest that is no criticism) the review should show the uniqueness of the book within the series. Let's see what I deliver with my review of TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code (February 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141333489] by Alex Scarrow.

"In 1993 British computer hacker Adam Lewis finds his name in a coded manuscript that is almost one thousand years old. How did Adam's name get in there ...and why? Confronted by Adam in 2001, the TimeRiders travel back to Sherwood Forest in 1193 to discover the origins of the ancient message. But when a strange hooded man appears interested in the same thing, they begin to wonder what terrible threat this cryptic link from the past holds for the future..." [Source]
Most of the time I try to deliver my own summary/blurb of a book. In case of TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code I decided to post the official one because I think it fits for the story itself. But for newcomer it is necessary to give basic information about the TimeRiders. Fortunately you get these information on the back of the book.
"LIAM O'CONNOR should have died at sea in 1912.
MADDY CARTER should have died on a plane in 2010.
SAL VIKRAM should have died in a fire in 2026.
But all three have been given a second chance - to work for an agency that no one knows exists. Its purpose: to prevent time travel destroying history ..."
Their headquarter is in a time bubble located in New York 2001. The bubble spans only two days (10th and 11th September) and is repeated again and again. And there are support units (a kind of robot). Even after the third book we do not know much about the agency...

I don't want to bore you with a long and detailed analysis of TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code.
Instead I prefer to tell you what I liked/disliked.

To be honest I do not have any real complaints. I know there will be six more books in the series. So it will take time to get more information about the agency and the role of Sal Vikram.

What I really liked is that the story was more complex. Writing and reading about time travel can lead to knots in your brain. The whole story is a great mix real existing mysteries like the famous Voynich manuscript, myths like the Holy Grail, historical legends like the hooded man in Sherwood Forest, the excellent described computer nerd Adam and all the time travel inventions including the ominous agency by the author. Alex Scarrow weaves an intriguing web which you can't escape. All this is enriched with the careful development of the characters including the support unit. And not to forget there is a lot of action. Like TimeRiders: Day of the Predator the
TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code ends with a bang which leaves you with a ton of questions about past, present, future of time travel, the agency, the main characters, the people we met during the story. Finally there is one thing you can learn. Every secret has its own time of revelation.

You look for intelligent entertainment which delivers history, time travel, mysteries, action, technology, myths, developing characters, a secret read thread and plots which are getting more and more complex then there is no way out to read the refreshing and fascinating TimeRiders series

I liked TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code a bit more than TimeRiders: Day of the Predator. But the first one is still my favorite.

The series continues in August 2011 with TimeRiders: The Eternal War. Next stop is the American Civil War ...

And this is the promising cover:

Of course I ordered a copy in advance!

You want to know more about the series?
Then read my review of TimeRiders (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0141326924] the first book in a new series (planned nine Books!!) by Alex Scarrow and my review of the second book in the TimeRiders series: TimeRiders: Day of the Predator (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0141326931] by Alex Scarrow. And of course visit the offical TimeRiders site.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1112

Hello and welcome to issue #12 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
I know I'm a bit crazy. I really like my blog even it maybe does not look like. Beside all the pressure, stress and long working days I manage somehow to read books but there is not much time and power left for reviews which are fundamental for a book blog. And the cold I caught is not helpful. Nevertheless I found some topics worth sharing with you.

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Blog content, reading progress
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received this week
  2. A special and unique THANK YOU
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. A bit more than simply copy and paste
  2. Confusing publishers - Update
  3. Japan - Appeal
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Sucker Punch
  2. Your Highness
  3. Captain America: The First Avenger
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Fatigue quotes....

The Lighthouse

Reading slowed down a lot last week. I barely managed to read 492 pages which is jut two pages above my target. And additionally I stopped reading a book which does not happen that often. Beside that I received some good news related to books. I still fight with writing my promised reviews. I spent time on the internet only every second day. That makes it ambitious to write a post like this one.
The reviews of following books are still in progress:
- Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
- TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code by Alex Scarrow

This week I finished one book and stopped reading another one.

I finished the ARC of The Falling Machine (May 2011)[ISBN-13: 978-1616143756] by Andrew P. Mayer.
My first impression on GOODREADS:
" I read an ARC and as the book will be published in May you have to wait for my full review until May. But of course I would like to share with you my first impressions.
The Society of Steam is the next steampunk series I definitely will follow.
It seems there is a kind of trend to use New York instead of London as setting for steampunk novels. I just remember Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing and Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann. These three novels have more in common than one thinks at first sight.
Superheroes, a lot of action, New York and steam. They are all most entertaining.
The specific of The Falling Machine is the development of a female heroine in a misogynistic society and an extraordinary automaton.
The end is totally surprising because it is a mix of cliffhanger and partial solution. There is only one way out: Read the next book.
Like Gods of Manhattan it is too short.
All in all a well done debut novel. "



Last week I wrote about the ARC of The Unremembered (hc, US, 12th April 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0765325716] by Peter Orullian:
"What is my impression after 50 pages (which are in fact only 34 pages because the numbering of the ARC starts with page 17) ? It is good and it is promising but so far I have not been blown away."
These 34 pages contain the prologue and the first chapter. This week I read the following twelve chapters. And then I gave up. Why?
I wrote on Goodreads:
" After a long time it happened again that I did not finish a book.

I know there is some hype around THE UNREMEMBERED and Tor is pushing it a lot.

I stopped reading after 98 pages.

I remember when I read the blurb for the first time. I decided that I did not want to read this book. So I did not make it to my list. Then I received an ARC from Tor and I still did not want to read it. Finally my wife convinced me to give THE UNREMEMBERED a try and I did. I should have trusted my first impression ...

It started promising with the prologue but then ...
- I never got any connection to one of the characters
- I did not find the rhythm of the book
- I felt separated from the story
- The style of the author was not my cup of tea

We can't love every book. "


Every book I start to read gets a 50 page chance to convince me to continue reading. In case of The Unremembered I nearly doubled. Maybe it will be getting better after 200 or 300 pages.
But with all the unread books I own I'm not willing to read so many pages until I maybe start to like a book.


Instead of The Unremembered I started to read Thirteen Years Later (pb, this edition 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0553819595] by Jasper Kent which is the second book in the Danilov Quintet.
"The Danilov Quintet is a series of five novels spanning Russian history from the French invasion of 1812 to the revolutions of 1917. The books recount the adventures of Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov and his descendants and their battle with a monstrous creature of Russian legend - the voordalak." [Source]
So far I read 80 pages and the story continues convincing on a high level.

Furthermore I put my nose into another steampunk book which I won in a giveaway last year. So far I'm 46 pages in The Horns of Ruin ( pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1616142469] by Tim Akers.
"Eva Forge is the last paladin of a dead God. Morgan, God of battle and champion of the Fraterdom, was assassinated by his jealous brother, Amon. Over time, the Cult of Morgan has been surpassed by other gods, his blessings ignored in favor of brighter technologies and more mechanical miracles. Eva was the last child dedicated to the Cult of Morgan, forsaken by her parents and forgotten by her family. Now she watches as her new family, her Cult, crumbles all around her.
When a series of kidnappings and murders makes it clear that someone is trying to hasten the death of the Cult of Morgan, Eva must seek out unexpected allies and unwelcome answers in the city of Ash. But will she be able to save the city from a growing conspiracy, one that reaches back to her childhood, even back to the murder of her god?" [Source]
This a very interesting mix of steampunk, magic and fast paced adventure. I like that the main character is female. Eva Forge is extraordinary ...


Beside that I'm
- 245 pages in First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain
Kristen Britain does not disappoint her readers. This is epic fantasy with magic and a strong heroine.

- 164 pages in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
What shall I say? It is simply brilliant. I must admit that there is one character whom I see now in a completely different light: Tyrion Lannister




Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

There are two new books on my shelf. I need to be more specific. They are new to me but the have been published fir the first time several years ago.

The first one is the third book in the simply brilliant A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin: A Storm of Swords [ISBN-13: 978-0553573428]
Thank you to Tor/Forge.com for sending me a copy of The Tomb (pb, this issue 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0765327406] by F Paul Wilson.
"Ingram Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn't deal with electronic appliances--he fixes "situations" for people, often putting himself in deadly danger. His latest project is recovering a stolen necklace, which carries with it an ancient curse that may unleash a horde of Bengali demons. Jack is used to danger, but this time Gia's daughter Vicky is threatened. Can jack overcome the curse of the yellow necklace and bring Vicky safely back home?" [Source]
So far I never read a book by F Paul Wilson. But I know he wrote a lot of books.


Like most of you I also wait for books. Don't worry that will be no rant about long awaited books!
Unbelievably it is true that there are series where I have read and reviewed all books released so far. I read about series where I stay in contact with the authors. And these are authors who take care on their readers and reviewers. Both series await the publishing of the third book.
Both authors contacted me within last week in order to check whether I received a reviewer copy or not. Unfortunately I did not. Without hesitation both authors organized that I will receive the copies within next week. Are you nosy? Any idea of whom I'm talking about? I think the hints are too meager.

My honest thank you goes to Robert V.S. Redick who is the author the epic and stunning Chathrand Voyage series.
The third book in the Chathrand Voyage series is less than a month away:
The River of Shadows!!!
On the left you see the UK cover and on the right the US cover.

US version will be published on
19th April 2011 with ISBN-13:
978-0345523822
UK version will follow on
21st April with ISBN-13:
978-0575081840

I can't wait to read how the story will continue. In case you want to read the blurb follow this link. I recommend to read the first two books before:
The Red Wolf Conspiracy (read my review) and
The Rats and the Ruling Sea (read my review).


My honest thank you goes to Alex Bledsoe who is the author of the superb blend of noir and fantasy series Eddie LaCrosse Mystery. I can't wait to put my nose into the third adventure of Eddie LaCrosse. Dark Jenny [ISBN-13: 978-0765327437] will be published end of March 2011. That means it is nearly impossible for me to read and review it until then.
"Freelance Sword Jockey Eddie LaCrosse is in the wrong place at the wrong time while conducting a undercover investigation on the island kingdom of Grand Bruan. When a poisoned apple kills a member of the Queens personal guard, Eddie becomes the prime suspect in the murder. He must do do some fast talking to keep his head attached to his shoulders. Trying to clear his name and find the real killer, Eddie becomes embroiled in a nasty political scandal. Someone is trying to ruin Queen Jennifer, and they don't care who they kill on the way." [Source]
I recommend to read the first two books in the series before. I read and reviewed
The Sword-Edged Blonde, (read my review) and

Burn Me Deadly, (read my review)


Of course I will read and review the books as soon as I get them. I know I have a review backlog. This backlog includes one book which I promised to review.
Stephen Zimmer, herewith I promise to review Dream of Legends directly after my outstanding two time travel reviews!


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

Where do I get all the stuff from which I post. I read blogs, check sites, read newsletters, follow people on Twitter and Facebook, stay in contact with authors and more.
With a weekly post I can't deliver the latest news in time and that is not my aim. I present you stuff which first of all I like and where I think it could be interesting for you. So it happens again and again that I write about things which you maybe have seen before on several other blogs.
To be honest what I do not do is a plain copy and paste. I always try to say it in my own words and I try to add own content. Today I want to show you two examples.

On Friday, March 25th 2011, Adam released following post over at The Wertzone: Cover art for David Chandler's ANCIENT BLADES TRILOGY which aroused my interest and I think which would be also interesting for you. But I do not want to adorn myself with borrowed plumes.
Therefore I kindly ask you to read Adam's post first before you continue to read my post .....
.....
.....
.....
Finished reading?

Fine. Of course I could have copied and pasted Adam's post and then redesign it. Instead I chose this way to share the information with you. But I have to add some more information. As I'm really interested in this new series I started to check advanced order conditions over at amazon.de. At first I have been confused because I did not understand why two editions of each book should be published in the same month. My first explanation was that these are the UK and US editions (You need to know that amazon.de mostly offers UK and US edition of a book). And yes indeed, there will be two editions: UK paperback (pb) and US mass market paperback (mmpb). Beside the slightly different publishing date and the different covers there is one more main difference between the two editions: THE PRICE!
The mmpb are cheaper than the pb (in UK £ 3.00; in DE 4.00 EURO). That leads me to the question am I willing to pay 4.00 EURO more for the cover and a 19 days earlier delivery.
I must say NO! Therefore I will go for the US mmpb edition.
In case you order your books at amazon.com, you have no choice because amazon.com does not offer the UK paperback!!
Anyhow I can't let you go without links to each book:
Den of Thieves, A Thief in the Night, Honour Among Thieves

Since I read The Ten Thousand and Monarchies of God series by Paul Kearney I'm a big fan of his books. I was a bit sad when I found out that his Sea Beggars series has never been finished due to problems with the publisher. I remember that I asked Paul Kearney if there will be hope that we get the whole series published by another publisher. He replied that there is hope and time will tell.
You may understand that I have been more than happy when I read Adam's post Paul Kearney's SEA-BEGGAR series to be completed. The two previous published books plus the final third volume will be published in one omnibus. For details please read Adam's post.


Last week I posted about the different publishing dates of UK and German edition of Prince of Thorns (hc, UK, 4th August 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0007423293] and Prinz der Dunkelheit (pb, UK, 9th May)[ISBN-13: 978-3453528253] by Mark Lawrence.
I could not believe that the German edition will be published before the UK edition. Therefore I sent a mail to German publisher Heyne and I received an answer. Heyne confirmed that German edition will be published on 9th May 2011!! Therefore I ordered a copy of the German edition in advance. That means after a long time I will read a book in German. My plan is to write the review in German and in English. In case I can get a reviewer copy of the UK edition I will write a special review where I will compare the two editions. We will see ....

"Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful new epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging.
Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse. From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him. Mark Lawrence's debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne." [Source]

Of course I follow the news about Japan. But I think there are far more better sources where you can get information from than my blog. And of course there are a lot of opportunities where you can donate for the people in Japan. So why I mention this topic?

Because I think it is worth to share word about what blogger Amanda Rutter (of Floor to Ceiling Books), author Louis Morgan, Solaris editor Jenni Hill, blogger Ro Smith and writer Alasdair Stuart have done with the launch of the 'Genre for Japan' appeal:

"From 28th March 2011, we will be auctioning special, rare and unique items donated by people who love genre just as much as you do: trust us – you don’t just want these things. You need

them. You do. What are they? You’ll just have to wait and see…

All proceeds from the auctions will go to the Japan Tsunami Appeal run by the British Red Cross. In the interests of transparency, we will be posting full details on a separate page on the site as we progress." [Source]


It is no secret that I'm a big fan of the PAX BRITANNIA steampunk series by Jonathan Green. That is the reason why I present you Jonathan's Genre for Japan contribution.


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

In the past weeks I mentioned again and again Sucker Punch. I was really looking forward to see the film. Now more and more reviews are popping up. So far I did not fin a positive one. It seems the trailers promise more than one finally gets.

Dear readers, did anyone of you see Sucker Punch? In case of yes please let me know what you think about it. I'm totally indecisive whether to see Sucker Punch or not.


I think the humor of Your Highness is not everyone's taste. I definitely like it.....
<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=us&from=sp&fg=shareEmbed&vid=741da3f6-e99d-421b-b537-bdbf45a87a9c&src=FLCP:sharebar:embed" target="_new" title="Exclusive: 'Your Highness' Trailer (Mature Audiences)">Video: Exclusive: 'Your Highness' Trailer (Mature Audiences)</a>.

More and more comic film adaption find their way to the big screen. I did not read the comic but the Captain America: The First Avenger looks promising ... And I like Tommy Lee Jones .....



The last trailer for today does not need any additional information. I liked the previous movies and I'm sure I will like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide too .....



That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

Sorry, today only a few quotes because I'm so tired. What do we need? Optimism ...

"The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum.
Havelock Ellis, English sexual psychologist (1859 - 1939)

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell, US essayist & novelist (1879 - 1958)

"The reason we all like to think so well of others is that we are all afraid for ourselves. The basis of optimism is sheer terror.
Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 - 1900)

"Many an optimist has become rich by buying out a pessimist.
Robert G. Allen

"An optimist is the human personification of spring.
Susan J. Bissonette

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Edi's Spotlight: TimeRiders: Day of the Predator by Alex Scarrow

On October 15th 2010 I posted my review of TimeRiders (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0141326924] the first book in a new series (planned nine Books!!) by Alex Scarrow and liked it a lot. There was no doubt that I will continue to read the TimeRiders series.

Today I deliver you my review of the second book in the series: TimeRiders: Day of the Predator (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0141326931] by Alex Scarrow.
It is up to you whether you want to read the official blurb or my humble overview.
The cover shows some hints like the three main characters, dinosaurs and the Twin Towers.
TimeRiders: Day of the Predator is the sequel of the incredible story of three teens who got the choice either to die or to work for a secret agency. Meet
- Saleena "Sal" Vikram (13) who should have died in a fire in 2026
- Madeleine "Maddy" Carter (18) who should have died on a plane in 2010
- Liam O'Connor (16) who should have died on board the Titanic in 1912

Their headquarter is in a time bubble located in New York 2001. The bubble spans only two days (10th and 11th September) and is repeated again and again.
Sal, Maddy and Liam still have a lot to learn. And when you learn you make mistakes like poor Maddy. She send Liam and a couple of students back in time. the group strand in a dangerous time sixty-five million years in the past - DINOSAURS!!
How can the group survive and return to the time they belong to without destroying history?
How will the new support unit Becks - the name is a short version of Rebecca - act? How can Sal and Maddy support Liam and the group? What is the the secret of "Pandora"? And who is in the lead of the agency? A lot of questions. TimeRiders: Day of the Predator delivers answers but not to all of them. Quite the contrary!

I found it a bit difficult to review TimeRiders: Day of the Predator. In principle I could repeat what I wrote about TimeRiders. There will be in sum nine books and I expect that they all will follow the same structure. Someone will change the time line and it is up to Sal, Maddy and Liam to fix the problem. In order to solve the problem it is up to Liam and a support unit to travel in time. They will be supported by Sal and Maddy who remain in the time bubble. The books will be divided into many most short chapters. And there will be a table with time lines at the end of each book.
Don't get me wrong. This is no criticism. I think it is good to know what you can expect on the formal site of the books.

The challenge for author Alex Scarrow will be to deliver a fascinating story including interesting time travels to times we may know more or less. Beside that the development of the main characters Sal, Maddy, Liam and the different support unit will have a great impact. And for readers like me it is important to get two new questions for one answer. I love books in series which end with either a cliffhanger or a bang.

I think dinosaurs are still a hot topic. Therefore I can understand why Alex Scarrow chose a time travel sixty-five million years into the past. I appreciated that he avoided to make T. rex to the secret star of the book. He has had another clever idea.
The whole story shows clearly the development of the characters. This development has an impact of the outcome of the story. And with the introduction of other characters - will there be a new team member? - who interact with the team leads to a new scope.

Alex Scarrow continues the series on a high level. I must admit that I liked the first book a little bit more.

Do you like time travel, history, action, mystery, technology, developing characters, fast-paced story telling and imagination? You look for an entertaining time travel novel?
Then I recommend to read TimeRiders: Day of the Predator.
I also recommend to read the previous books too because you will definitely miss a great story, the development of the main characters and most important you will miss some of the secrets.


The series will continue with TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code (February 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141333489]
"In 1993 British computer hacker Adam Lewis finds his name in a coded manuscript that is almost one thousand years old. How did Adam's name get in there ...and why? Confronted by Adam in 2001, the TimeRiders travel back to Sherwood Forest in 1193 to discover the origins of the ancient message. But when a strange hooded man appears interested in the same thing, they begin to wonder what terrible threat this cryptic link from the past holds for the future..." [Source]
You will get the review until the end of March 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1111

Hello and welcome to issue #11 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
You ma have noticed that I use four digits for the numbering in the post title. First two digits show the year and the following two digits show the issue. 1111 is something that we call in Germany a Schnapszahl. The official translation would be multidigit number with all digits identical. But that is not the meaning of Schnapszahl. Schnaps is the German word for schnapps and Zahl is the German word for digit. Germans use the word Schnapszahl for numbers like 1111.
I think you can imagine why. If not take a pen and paper. The write down 11 and start to drink schnapps. As soon as you see 1111 instead of 11 you have a Schnapszahl.
Anyhow it is not necessary to drink schnapps before you read the Weekend Wave.

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Blog content, reading progress
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received this week
  2. More Victorianna or another series I lost track of
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. March Author Round Table
  2. Confusing publishers
  3. The last but one in a series is no Easter egg
  4. Impressive postcards from the future
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. The Trench
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms The Words of the Houses ....

The Lighthouse

What a week! It was something like expect the unexpected. I spent more time as expected at work which had an direct impact on my internet activities and on writing reviews. I know I promised you three reviews until end of March. Fortunately I did not promise you precise dates. That means I still have the opportunity to keep my promise to present you the reviews of
- Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
- TimeRiders: Day of the Predator by Alex Scarrow
- TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code by Alex Scarrow

Don't ask me me how I managed it to read 642 pages last week! I could not believe it when I summed up my daily figures. Yes, I have a sheet of paper where I note my daily reading progress.

I finished two books which are now part of my list of unwritten reviews.
- Dream of Legends by Stephen Zimmer
I wrote on Goodreads:
"What a book!
A moderate beginning followed by a middle part where I thought I will get lost in information. I read a lot of pages twice or thrice because I was afraid to miss something. I changed my reading habit a bit after an email exchange with author Stephen Zimmer. The end of the book (the last quarter) turned to be like the first book in the series which I liked a lot.
After the promising end I look forward to read book three in the series. "

- Dreams of Steam, anthology engineered by Kimberly Richardson
I wrote on Goodreads:
"Surprise, surprise. I read the whole book. Unusual? In this case yes because it contains short stories. I must admit that I struggled to read short stories in the past.
But this collection convinced me. There are two stories in form of poems which I think are good but not my cup of tea.
All in all refreshing and entertaining views in to the world of steam.

My reading menu for the next week(s):

I'm
- 141 pages in First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain
Only a small progress compared to last week. I spent a lot of time to finish the two books mentioned above.

- 127 pages in the ARC of The Falling Machine (May 2011)[ISBN-13: 978-1616143756] by Andrew P. Mayer.
Steampunk, super heroes, a female heroine and an extraordinary automaton. I fell in love with the book from the first page. I'm sure to finish it within next week.

- 51 pages in the ARC of The Unremembered (hc, US, 12th April 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0765325716] by Peter Orullian
You may have noticed that there is some hype around this book. Tor is promoting it.
I recommend to visit the official Peter Orullian website which delivers a lot of information.
And some minutes ago I discovered a brand new interview with Peter Orullian over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.
What is my impression after 50 pages (which are in fact only 34 pages because the numbering of the ARC starts with page 17) ? It is good and it is promising but so far I have not been blown away.

I started to read - it is indeed a reread - a book which belongs to my all time favorites. And whether I want or not I compare these two books.

- 108 pages in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
What shall I say? It is simply brilliant.
There are many, many people who started to reread A Song of Ice and Fire. And there will be also many people reading it for the first time.
Anyhow if you do not want to read it alone, I recommend to read
Hopefully Someone Knows the Lyrics: Announcing a New Blog Series on Tor.com by Leigh Butler

Never heard about A Song of Ice and Fire? Then watch following video:



Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

In sum I received no book this week. Good-bye!

No, no! Instead I like to talk about a series I lost track of. In 2007 author Stephen Hunt started his Jackelian series with The Court of the Air (2007)[ISBN-13: 978-0007232185].
"A hugely engaging adventure set in a Victorian-style world - a fantastical version of Dickens - that will appeal to fans of Susanna Clarke and Philip Pullman.
Two orphans are more than they seem. And one megalomaniac will stop at nothing to find them...
When Molly Templar witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel she has just been apprenticed to, her first instinct is to return to the poorhouse where she grew up. But there she finds her fellow orphans butchered, and it slowly dawns on her that she was in fact the real target of the attack.
For Molly carries a secret deep in her blood, a secret that marks her out for destruction by enemies of the state. Soon Molly will find herself battling a grave threat to civilization which draws on an ancient power thought to have been quelled millennia ago.
Oliver Brooks has led a sheltered life in the home of his merchant uncle. But when he is framed for his only relative's murder he is forced to flee for his life. He is accompanied by Harry Stave, an agent of the Court of the Air - a shadowy organization independent of the government that acts as the final judiciary of the land, ensuring that order prevails.
Chased across the country, Oliver finds himself in the company of thieves, outlaws and spies, and gradually learns more about the secret that has blighted his life, but which may also offer him the power to avert the coming catastrophe.
Their enemies are ruthless and myriad, but Molly and Oliver are joined by indomitable friends in this endlessly inventive tale full of drama, intrigue and adventure." [Source]

I read the book in September 2008 and wrote on Goodreads:
Two kids of magic, a lot of blood, a lot of politics, steam driven machines, no black and white scheme. No read for a rainy Saturday afternoon.
I'm impressed and I will definitely read the sequels.


The series continued with The Kingdom beyond the Waves (2008)[ISBN-13: 978-0007232215].
"Professor Amelia Harsh is obsessed with finding the lost civilization of Camlantis, a legendary city from pre-history that is said to have conquered hunger, war and disease with the creation of a perfect pacifist society.
But when she returns home to Jackals from her latest archaeological misadventure she finds that the university council has stripped her of her position in retaliation for her heretical research.
Without official funding, Amelia has no choice but to accept the offer of patronage from the man she blames for her father's bankruptcy and suicide, the fiercely intelligent Abraham Quest. He has found evidence that suggests the Camlantean ruins are buried under one of the sea-like lakes that dot the murderous jungles of Liongeli.
Amelia undertakes an expedition deep into the dark heart of the jungle, blackmailing her old friend Commodore Black into ferrying her across the huge river of the Shedarkshe in his ancient u-boat.
With an untrustworthy crew of freed convicts, Quest's force of fiercesome female mercenaries on board and a lunatic steamman safari hunter acting as their guide, Amelia's luck seems to be going from bad to worse. And she's as yet unaware that her quest for the perfect society is about to bring her own world to the brink of destruction..." [Source]

I read the book in June 2009. I want to write a review but I never did. Shame on me!

But of course I bought a copy of The Rise of the Iron Moon (2009)[ISBN-13: 978-0007232239] which is the third book in the series.
"How can one plucky orphan girl save the world from destruction?
Born into captivity as a product of the Royal Breeding House, lonely orphan Purity Drake suddenly finds herself on the run with a foreign vagrant after accidentally killing one of her guards. Her mysterious rescuer claims to have escaped from terrible forces who mean to enslave the Kingdom of Jackals, just as they conquered his own nation.
Purity doubts his story, until reports begin to filter through from Jackals' neighbours of the murderous Army of Shadows, marching across the continent and sweeping all before them.But there's more to Purity Drake than meets the eye.
And as Jackals girds itself for war against an army of near-indestructible beasts serving an ancient evil with a terrible secret, it soon becomes clear that the Kingdom's only hope is a strange little orphan girl and the last, desperate plan of an escaped slave from a land, far, far away... " [Source]
The copy of the book sits somewhere on my shelf - unread. I think that is a problem when books wander from the front of the shelf to the back of the shelf due to the fact that new books always stand in front.

In the meantime the paperback edition of book four Secrets of the Fire Sea (2011)[ISBN-13: 978-0007289660] is available.
"A tale of high adventure and derring-do set in the same Victorian-style world as the acclaimed The Court of the Air and The Rise of the Iron Moon.
The isolated island of Jago is the only place Hannah Conquest has ever known as home. Encircled by the magma ocean of the Fire Sea, it was once the last bastion of freedom when the world struggled under the tyranny of the Chimecan Empire during the age-long winter of the cold-time.
But now this once-shining jewel of civilization faces an uncertain future as its inhabitants emigrate to greener climes, leaving the basalt plains and raging steam storms far behind them. For Hannah and her few friends, the streets of the island's last occupied underground city form a vast, near-deserted playground. But Hannah's carefree existence comes to an abrupt halt when her guardian, Archbishop Alice Gray, is brutally murdered in her own cathedral.
Someone desperately wants to suppress a secret kept by the archbishop, and if the attempts on Hannah's own life are any indication, the killer believes that Alice passed the knowledge of it onto her ward before her saintly head was separated from her neck.
But it soon becomes clear that there is more at stake than the life of one orphan. A deadly power struggle is brewing on Jago, involving rival factions in the senate and the island's most powerful trading partner. And it's beginning to look as if the deaths of Hannah's archaeologist parents shortly after her birth were very far from accidental.
Soon the race is on for Hannah and her friends to unravel a chain of hidden riddles and follow them back to their source to save not just her own life, but her island home itself." [Source]
I added the book to my to buy list.


And now I found out that book five Jack Cludie [ISBN-13: 978-0007289646] will be published in July 2011. As I normally don't buy hardcover I have to wait until 2012.
"A tale of high adventure and derring-do set in the same Victorian-style world as the acclaimed The Court of the Air and The Secrets of the Fire Sea.
Thanks to his father's gambling debts, young Jack Keats finds himself on the streets and trying to survive as a pickpocket, desperate to graft enough coins to keep him and his two younger brothers fed. Following a daring bank robbery gone badly awry, Jack narrowly escapes the scaffold, only to be pressed into Royal Aerostatical Navy. Assigned to the most useless airship in the fleet, serving under a captain who is most probably mad, Jack seems to be bound for almost certain death in the far-away deserts of Cassarabia.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Omar ibn Barir, the slave of a rich merchant lord finds his life turned upside down when his master's religious sect is banned. Unexpectedly freed, he survives the destruction of his home to enter into the service of the Caliph's military forces -- just as war is brewing. Two very similar young men prepare to face each other across a senseless field of war. But is Omar the enemy, or is Jack's true nemesis the sickness at the heart of the Caliph's court?
A cult that hides the deadly secret to the origins of the gas being used to float Cassarabia's new aerial navy. If Jack and his shipmates can discover what Cassarabia's aggressive new regime is trying to conceal, he might survive the most horrific of wars and clear his family's name. If not!"[Source]
Maybe this is a series for you. This definitely no lightweight. For all books except book five sample chapters are available. Just follow the [Source] links.


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

Last week I forgot to mention the March Author Round Table over at Pyr-o-mania.
Sam Sykes ( Black Halo), M.D. Lachlan (Wolfsangel) and Mark Hodder (The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, don't miss my review) answered following questions:
"-How much planning do you do before you write?
-Do you find stories begin more from a character, a setting, or something else?
-How is writing a second book different than writing a first book?
-What are some of your favorite genre tropes? How do you use them or subvert them in your own work?
-Seen any good movies lately?" [Source]
I found the answers worth reading, even I did not read a book by M.D. Lachlan and Sam Sykes so far.

Sometimes I find publishers confusing.....
Author Mark Lawrence left a comment on issue #10 of the Weekend Wave. His debut novel
Prince of Thorns (hc, UK, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0007423293] has not been published yet.
"Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful new epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging.
Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse. From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him. Mark Lawrence's debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne." [Source]

Due to info on Mark's site it will be published in August 2011 in several countries. For me it is a bit unusual to see that a book will be published in several languages at the same time. The German edition Prinz der Dunkelheit [ISBN-13: 978-3453528253]will be published by Heyne.
And now we come to the interesting question: Can we trust publisher?
HarperCollins UK shows the 4th August 2011 as the publishing date.
Heyne shows the 9th May 2011 as the publishing date for the German edition. and to my surprise it will be a paperback for 13 Euro. That is exactly 5.99 Euro cheaper than the UK hard cover.

To be honest when this is true, I will definitely buy the German edition instead of the UK edition.
So far I'm not convinced. Therefore I sent a mail to German publisher Heyne. I will keep you informed.


One month to go until Easter, which means in Germany a long weekend from Friday to Monday.
And also one month to go until the publishing date of the third and last but one book in a epic fantasy series. I talk about the epic and stunning Chathrand Voyage series by Robert V.S. Redick.
It all began with The Red Wolf Conspiracy (read my review).
It continued with The Rats and the Ruling Sea (read my review).

And the third and last but one book in the Chathrand Voyage series is only a month away.
I can't wait to read The River of Shadows!!!
On the left you see the UK cover and on the right the US cover.

US version will be published on
19th April 2011 with ISBN-13:
978-0345523822
UK version will follow on
21st April with ISBN-13:
978-0575081840

As promised Robert V.S. Redick delivered two audio recordings.
Both files are uploaded to filedropper where you can download them for free.

The first one is a short version. It contains the beginning of The River of Shadows read by Robert V.S. Redick. Of course the passage read is spoiler free. In order to download the short version

The second one is longer AND contains spoilers! Let me explain why. This version includes a special ten minute recap of The Red Wolf Conspiracy and The Rats and the Ruling Sea. Of course this can't be done without spoilers. The longer version is especially for those people who read both books some time ago and now need a reminder without rereading the books.
In order to download the long version FOLLOW THIS LINK

There will be more goodies until the release date. I will keep you informed. In the meantime I recommend to read the whole series. The Red Wolf Conspiracy and The Rats and the Ruling Sea are available in paperback.


Once a while I recommend posts over at WebUrbanist. There you can find really impressive pictures and articles. I do not want to talk much about today's recommendation because the pictures speak for themselves. Have a look and think about


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

I admit I wait for the visual orgy named Sucker Punch. Today I show you the animated short film The Trenches:

This has a taste of steampunk ....

That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

Today neither quotes nor proverbs. I'm impressed by the rereading of A Game of Thrones. Therefore I decided to present you today the words of the houses ...


"Ours is the Fury
House Baratheon

"Winter Is Coming
House Stark

"Hear Me Roar!
House Lannister

"As High As Honor
House Arryn

"Family, Duty, Honor
House Tully

"Growing Strong
House Tyrell

"We Do Not Sow
House Greyjoy

"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
House Martell

"Fire and Blood
House Targaryen
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