Stargate Archives

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

 

Equal Rites (Discworld, #3)Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Granny Weatherwax, what more needs to be said for one of the cornerstones of the Discworld who makes her first appearance in Equal Rites. Granted she's not quite the Granny (or Mistress if you will) that we come to know but all the elements are there. The story begins with the death of a Wizard who bequeaths his Staff and power to the eighth child of an eighth son which should have been a male child but wasn't and this causes some complications further down the line. Young Eskarina Smith is taken under the wing of Granny to be taught Witchcraft but the girls innate gifts and the Staffs "help" means it will never be enough. So the decision is made to take Esk to Unseen University (Granny claims to know it's location but she wouldn't be where she was if she ever admitted ignorance of anything). Naturally the two of them have a few obstacles to overcome and it's no surprise when Esk and Granny are separated only to eventually meet again in Ankh-Morpork. Esk learns a painful lesson in how the Discworld works and more specifically the world of the wizards but Granny long ago learnt how to get what she wanted and this serves Esk well as she interacts with the domestic staff of the University as well as the latest initiate "Simon" who is a bit of a prodigy but alas has drawn the attention of the denizens of the Dungeon Dimensions...
Equal Rites is the first of the novels to really reflect how Terry writes in the years to come, there is still a long way to go but it's impossible not to rate the novel highly and is a very entertaining and easy read.

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Sunday, 1 May 2022

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

 

The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Light Fantastic is the second novel in the Discworld series and is a straight sequel to The Colour Of Magic so there is more Rincewind and Twoflower with a healthy does of Cohen The Barbarian with the recently "not" rescued Bethan a young woman who never considered liniment as being in her near future. As the Disc drifts into chaos thanks to the ever growing star in the sky even the Unseen University is not immune, the search for Rincewind and the missing Spell is an opportunity for a Wizard with ambitions and the nerve to act so Trymon tempts fate to control the Octavo and claim the eighth spell. Naturally we get adventures and near death experiences thanks to Rincewind and Twoflower but in this novel there is more rigidity as the main plot drives them forward towards the revelation about the mysterious star and why the Octavo was "left" behind in the first place.
The novel took me a little longer to read than I expected, it's not long but I didn't immediately pick up the kindle when I had a few minutes. It maybe I had reached the end of the Rincewind/Twoflower show or as mentioned before I rate the latter novels so highly the earlier ones suffer in comparison. Over all though the story holds up and Cohen was a delight and if you have not seen "Troll Bridge" by Snowgum Films (it's on youtube) then I highly recommend that addition to the lore.


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Saturday, 9 April 2022

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

 

The Colour of MagicThe Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've been a long time fan of Discworld and Terry Pratchett and my journey began with Guards! Guards! many many years ago so while I have read the entire series more than once my reading has been biased towards the later novels. That said after listening to the podcast "The Compleat Discography" I've developed a hankering to read all the novels once more.
So here we are with The Colour Magic in which we are invited to take a journey with the "failed" wizard Rincewind and the discs first tourist "Twoflower" as they flee Ankh-Morpork (soon after the first fire insurance policy is sold) and become the unwitting pawns of Fate and The Lady. Naturally numerous close calls with Death occur (much to his annoyance) and they meet many an interesting individual (a few of which do not want to kill them) as well as learning much about Dragons and what number should not be said when standing in a certain temple. Ultimately being fished out at the discs edge by the water troll Tethis and learning about the Circumfence is not the boon they thought it might and once again the two adventures boldly go....
The Colour of Magic was a fun read but pales when compared to what Terry delivered in the years after thanks to his growth as a writer and as no doubt a human, elements that are feel dated or out of place to the modern reader have to be accepted as well that was then but again we know every aspect improves. Rincewind and Twoflower are great characters who work well together and of course lets not forget the Luggage whose loyalty will cause chaos where ever it goes.
Roll on The Light Fantastic.

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Empire Reborn by Jay Allan

 

Empire Reborn (Blood on the Stars Book 18)Empire Reborn by Jay Allan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An endless battle for survival has almost brought the Confederation to it's knees, joined by former enemies the Alliance technology has leapt forwards but never decisively, the battle remains focused within the hearts of the men and women who refuse to give up in defence of the people and worlds who cherish freedom. There comes to a time though when the fleets have been battered and options removed, this is that time as the powerful Highborn armada readies to meet the remnants of the Alliance but even with little or no hope the Battleships, Fighters, Cruisers of the Alliance and all the souls aboard face down the invaders.
Well it's been a long road as they say with the 18th and final novel released and now read, I can't say the series didn't need wrapping up but Jay managed to pull a rabbit out the hat so to speak, in hindsight it makes perfect sense with a little perspective massaging but the conclusion to this series was mostly satisfying. There really is little point in recommending this novel in a standalone context but if you are looking for a long running series in the military scifi genre then here you go, a completed narrative with spin offs that is both entertaining and creative in showing us a humanity living far in the future but one we can still recognise and relate too.


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Sunday, 27 February 2022

Starship Invasion by Darcy Troy Paulin

 

Starship Invasion (Lost Colony Uprising Book 2)Starship Invasion by Darcy Troy Paulin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Long lost answers to questions that have plagued the humans of Grailliyn begin to be answered but the price is high as an alien intelligence strikes quickly and ruthlessly. The Great Evil (GE) has found a people that have ignored the warning in the message the propagates the Darkwave and dared to us the FTL capabilities it allows, well by ignored we mean pressed buttons they were not sure did what. Regardless the people of Grailliyn and the inhabitants of the generation ship will have to work together to fight the genocidal invasion and buy time to find someplace safe for what could be the only humans left in the galaxy.
The second novel in the Lost Colony Uprising series introduced a how new group of central characters and the youngsters fight for survival is inspiring amongst the carnage of the invasion. Snow and Max continue their exploration and have their own almost insurmountable tasks to achieve and the two main areas of interest (Grailliyn and Mega) weave around eachother in a well paced and entertaining way. Roll on the third novel "Starship Overlords".

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Sunday, 20 February 2022

Starship Relic by Darcy Troy Paulin

 

Starship Relic (Lost Colony Uprising Book 1)Starship Relic by Darcy Troy Paulin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The planet Grailliyn is the home of a human society who know they did not evolve there but have no real answers to where they come from or how they came to be on this demanding world. They do have all manner of media which tells of Earth and movies that survived whatever happened are still very popular even if the experiences on film have no direct relation to the people that live on Graillyn. A tradition arose where young people as their last act before adulthood take a survey, this was intended to be a journey to seek out answers from across the globe to who and how the people came to be, this however is often not now the case, a few weeks on a warm beach qualifies.
However a young man named Max has travelled to the Far North and trained his own "crab" sled and ventures into wilderness armed with his long lost (assumed dead) patents journals and a clue that they found something wonderous. It's safe to say that what Max found changed the path of his life forever and set in motion a domino effect which will change how everyone looks at themselves, this world and their future.
Starship Relic was a fun and entertaining read, I like the scifi elements which merged into a well designed world which housed this portion of humanity and I've gone straight into reading the second novel, says it all really.



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Saturday, 22 January 2022

For Death or Freedom by Daniel Arenson

 

For Death or Freedom (Starship Freedom Book 4)For Death or Freedom by Daniel Arenson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here we are with the fourth book in the series as we follow the continuing adventures of the Starship Freedom and her crew in the wake of humanities first contact with an alien race. The Rah invasion fleet had been chased from the solar system leaving incredible devastation in its wake. However the aliens continue to raid the planets, moon, settlements and ships thanks to the ability to use the "portals" their method of FTL propulsion. Thankfully reverse engineering Rah ships has allowed humanity to partially emulate the portal technology in a very crude fashion and with hints that there is a race out there who defeated the Rah's the Starship Freedom along with a few support vessels jumps a thousand light years to the Aeolia system in search of help but find that the Rah's have been busy and all the skill and luck will be required if any of them are to return home.
For Death of Freedom once again delivered some good quality space opera, new ships/crews were most welcome and the expansion of the "theatre" to include new star systems opens up the story to an almost limitless extent. Looking forward to the fifth book.

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Sunday, 9 January 2022

Fallout by Craig Alanson

 

Fallout (Expeditionary Force #13)Fallout by Craig Alanson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Always a delight to get a new novel in the Expeditionary Force series, there is no such thing as too much Joe and Skippy although times have changed and as the narrative has grown and become more complex the "fun" of the earlier novels has been tempered with consequences and issues for the characters. That is not to say I didn't totally enjoy this addition to the series as the Earth and the Merry Band of Pirates realise far too late that the Senior Species have thousands of years of experience in manipulating "lesser" races and a deal that even allows humanity to survive may simply not be on the table. Things get even more complex for Joe and Skippy when pressure from all sides has resulted in counting the costs of what at the time seemed sensible risks to take but when faced with a force that seems to be wiping out Maxohlx and Rindhalu fleets all bets are off and no risk is too great not only to save humanity but perhaps the entire galactic population.
As always love Craig's take on AI weaponry and the Jeraptha are an inspired race so looking forward to the next novel in the series due later in the year.

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