report on recommended reading

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Wed Aug 7 14:25:41 EDT 2002

Hi All

I have been reading through a lot of the recommendations that have come up 
on the list in the last few months (esp the Nebula recommendations), and I 
thought since we were a bit quiet, that I might report back on my impressions.

Dark Cities Underground - this was quite readable, but I found it 
annoyingly similar to Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, and not nearly as good, 
mythologically-wise speaking. I have read one other book by Goldstein, and 
it also was okay but not great. There is something about her writing that 
is frustrating, as if she doesn't quite reach her potential.

Catherine Asaro - about half way through the series now, and I loved the 
book about Quis (The Last Hawk). What a fantastically interesting idea - 
the dice game that operates as collective consciousness. The others are 
keeping me reading, but they aren't as interesting conceptually. I am 
getting a bit tired of the heavy load of "scientific" explanations which 
appear to be cut and pasted Babysitter Club style from one book to the 
next. I am also a little impatient with the way the author is packaged - 
why is it soooo important that she is a physicist, and why if her 
scientific qualifications are paramount, is there a picture of her looking 
like a Romance author inside the back cover?

Has anyone read the new McKillip - Ombria in Shadow? I feel like she is 
getting dangerously close to self-parody. Further comments can be 
forthcoming if anyone wants to discuss it.

Passage by Connie Willis was a compelling read, but why do I always feel 
like I would never reread her books when I have finished them? I have been 
trying to quantify the problem, but I don't seem to be able to be more 
specific. Books I love I would read over and over.

Declare by Tim Powers was brilliant - I normally wouldn't read this kind of 
book without a push (don't like thrillers), but it was very well done indeed.

I read some Jack McDevitt, enjoyed the archaeology ones, but the stupidity 
of his plots got to me. In that book where the planets are about to 
collide, and like 25 people are killed trying to save 3 people, the whole 
premise was so dumb. It wasn't believable that people kept putting 
themselves into peril. Planet's about to explode, but we'll just pop down 
there in our only vehicle to take some photos. Yep, I'm there.

These are all my nitpicks really, because I enjoyed all the books.


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