Friday, August 17, 2018

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nice mystery where a river is the setting for murder and suicide.

I had some trouble keeping track of the POV characters, but that is my fault, not the book's.


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Monday, July 30, 2018

James Bond - License Renewed

License Renewed (John Gardner's Bond, #1)License Renewed by John  Gardner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The eighties weren't that cool and this generic Bond outing proves it.

Don't get me wrong; the story is an OK Bond flick, with a monologuing madman bent on world destruction / domination, an indestructible henchman and a lot of brand name-dropping.

Trying to get on with the times, Q is now female (but in typical 80's male chauvinism,) made fun of with a "Qute" nickname, Bond drives a Saab -with a digital dashboard no less (Back to the Future or Knight Rider?), and he still smokes, albeit custom-made low tar cigarettes.

With several fan-services and easter eggs referring to Ian Fleming's originals, this is an OK read for the James Bond fan.


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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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