Monday, April 02, 2018

Signal to Noise - by Silvia Moreno-García

Signal to NoiseSignal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in Mexico city and alternating between 1988 -when teenage misfit Meche and two best friends discover they can do magic with vinyl records- and 2009 -when they are reunited at the funeral for Meche's dad.
With magic involved it does not go well. Weaving a plethora of music references -from Timbiriche to Nina Simone and Duncan Dhu- with witchcraft, I found this a refreshing story.

I enjoyed that the protagonist Meche, is not a nice person. Although she seems grown-up in the 2009 portion, she still carries around a huge chip on her shoulders from when she last saw her friends.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

V for Vendetta

V for VendettaV for Vendetta by Alan Moore
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

An underwhelming "masterpiece of modern story-telling"

I wouldn't call this a graphic novel. It is more like a book with tons of dialogue punctuated with not very good pictures.

The artwork is so bland, most of the time I can't tell who's who, with the exception of the titular character.

In my opinion, this is one of the rare cases where the movie improved on the book.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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