Sunday, September 24, 2017

La Cruzada de Liberty (StarCraft, #1)La Cruzada de Liberty by Jeff Grubb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Esta es la novelización de la primera parte de la campaña Terran en el juego original.

Está narrada desde el punto de vista del reportero Mike Liberty, quien tiene que abandonar la ciudad de Tarsonis y recorrer los mundos exteriores, reportando sobre los intentos de rebelión, y una misteriosa amenaza alienígena.

Advertencia: Spoilers para el juego
Siguiendo la narrativa de las primeras misiones del juego y proporcionando backstory para personajes heroicos como Raynor y Kerrigan, así como villanos como Mengsk y Duke, se devela poco a poco la conspiración de la Confederación para utilizar a los Zerg como un arma, y el gambito de Mengsk para manipularlos junto con los Protoss para coronarse Emperador del dominio Terran.

El libro concluye con la misión donde Mengsk abandona a Kerrigan a su suerte en Tarsonis ante los Zerg, una movida que tendrá repercusiones épicas.

Siempre tengo algunas dificultades con las traducciones al castellano, ante la (para mí) chocante insistencia española de traducir términos específicos del universo StarCraft: "escalofrío" en lugar de creep, "murciélago de fuego" en lugar de firebat, "baliza" en lugar de beacon. Cuando surgen esos términos, en lugar de escucharlos en mi mente con un acento neutral, los escucho con un fuerte acento español que me saca de la lectura.

Dicho lo cual, es una lectura muy disfrutable y más si eres fanático del universo StarCraft


View all my reviews

Sunday, August 27, 2017

SpartanSpartan by Valerio Massimo Manfredi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This perhaps should have been titled Spartan - Helot as it tells the story of a Spartan boy born lame who is left to die in the forest per the Spartan custom. He is raised by a Helot shepherd, and will play a vital role in the history of both cultures.

I liked that the story goes beyond the battle of Thermopylae, expanding on usual stuff we know about Spartans.

The English translation is excellent.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 27, 2017

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The short description of this historical fantasy mashup is Horatio Hornblower with dragons.

And it works. Beautifully. Captain Will Laurence (gotta love the name) of the British Royal Navy captures a French frigate carrying a dragon egg. When it hatches unexpectedly and the newborn dragonet imprints on him, he is forced to give up his naval career to care for it and join the disreputable Aviator Corps in the fight against Napoleon.

Hornblower-like in his attitude, Laurence grows as a person as he bonds with Temeraire and learns about dragons and aerial combat.

Combat scenes are well depicted and are exciting and logical.

Besides the dragon Temeraire, there aren't other truly likeable characters, but there are funny conversations and insightful commentary from both humans and dragons. Oh, there is an absolute assh*le whom you will loathe, but I'll leave it at that.

Can't wait to start the next one.


View all my reviews

Friday, January 13, 2017

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mashup a standard Young Adult dystopian fare with a fairy tale, and you'll get Dorothy Must Die.

Amy Gumm, an outsider and loner at her Kansas high school, unwillingly travels to the Land of Oz via tornado, and finds things are not going well.

Dorothy, the heroine from the classical tale has turned evil and is draining the magic from the land, with the help of her now evil and cruel friends the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion.

Amy is recruited and eventually trained by the Evil Witches to infiltrate Dorothy's palace and assassinate her.

Along the way she will find some allies, but will also be constantly reminded everything is more than meets the eye, and no one can be trusted.

So far, pretty much what I expected. Towards the end, things got very interesting, nicely setting up the sequels in this series.

Originally I intended to read just the first one, but now I am genuinely intrigued as to what will happen next.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 02, 2017

Yiddish for PiratesYiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. In this weird, funny and sad book, Aaron, a 500 year-old parrot narrates the story of Moishe, young Jewish boy who runs away from home, becomes Aaron's companion, and together they run from the Spanish Inquisition, discover America, become pirates and look for love.

Ripe with satire and Yiddish commentary, I had trouble getting into the story, given the narrator's quirks. After a couple of chapters I internalized them, and had no problems picturing Aaron's and Moishe's story in my mind.

My only complaint is with the rather abrupt ending - Without spoiling anything I imagine it is to set up a sequel. Will look forward to it.


View all my reviews

Friday, November 25, 2016

Armada - By Ernest Cline

ArmadaArmada by Ernest Cline
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A teenage gamer discovers his favourite game is the real thing when he is called upon to help defend Earth against an alien threat bent upon our destruction.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Ready Player One, I was ready for more 80's pop culture love.

Armada continues the love letter to the 80's, throwing tons of music, movie and sci-fi references one after the other. But it feels shallow and more of the same.

Other reviewers have complained about the one dimensional characters, bad grammar and frequent deus ex machinas. These are real problems, but Armada manages to be a fun read in spite of it.

However, I hope Ernest Cline's next book is something completely removed from eighties pop culture, as he's at serious risk of self plagiarizing.



View all my reviews

Sunday, September 04, 2016

We Stand On Guard

How far would you go to get an invading enemy out of your country?

I was intrigued by the premise - A hundred years from now, the US invades Canada, ostensibly in retaliation for a drone attack on the White House, but in reality to steal Canada's water.

The story focuses on Amber, who is six years old at the time of the attack, and who has survived in the Canadian wilderness for 12 years.  She runs into a gang of undergunned and outnumbered freedom fighters who harass the invading forces.

I have come to expect only good things from SAGA writer Brian K. Vaughan, and I am happy to report he continues to deliver excellent work.

The art of Steve Skroce and Matt Hollingsworth is detailed and in-your-face.  The technology is extrapolated nicely from what is available today, and the attitudes of society and its leaders are chillingly contemporary.



Highly recommended.