Posts in category 'books'

  • Review: Morning Star

    Review of Morning Star (Red Rising #3.0) by Pierce Brown (9780345539847)★★★

    While this is the last book in the Red Rising series, this is actually an attempted review of the whole thing since I was too last to post about the previous instalments…

    (https://b-ark.ca/E0IyoE)

    Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

    Finally, the time has come.

    But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

    Disclaimer: I have to admit I did not keep any notes during the reading of this series, so a lot of my recollections are gonna be vague and non-specific. Frankly, this review is mostly for me so I remember roughly how I felt having completed this series if ever I look back and wonder about it.

    Red Rising. I don’t know about you, dear reader (… is there anybody out there…), but among my circle of friends, this series got no shortage of hype. One friend even put the series up there with A Song of Ice and Fire on his list of all-time favourite series. I’ve seen folks praise the world building, the plot, the characters, and of course, Darrow himself.

    But I admit it: I honestly just don’t get it.

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  • Review: Project Hail Mary

    Review of Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (9780593395561)★★★★

    As a fan of The Martian, Project Hail Mary is right up my alley: a hero in a desperate situation relying on science and ingenuity to survive. But it’s in the characters and relationships where this book excels.

    (https://b-ark.ca/wIkCWK)

    Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

    Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

    All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

    His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

    And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

    Or does he?

    I’m a huge fan of the science fiction genre, but I’ll be the first to admit that it isn’t without its flaws. I’ve been known to say that a lot of authors in the genre get a little too caught up in their big ideas and forget that characters, you know, matter! The result is there are no shortage of sci-fi books in my DNF graveyard; books with shallow, unchanging characters who exist to just move the plot along.

    I’ve not read a lot of books by Andy Weir–The Martian is the only other novel of his that I’ve tackled–but somehow Mr. Weir somehow manages to consistently escape this trap. While, in “Project Hail Mary”, science and the scientific method absolutely sit front-and-center, ultimately it’s the characters that truly shine through in this book. The result is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat story that has us cheering, hoping, and despairing as we’re shown what it truly means to be a hero.

    As an aside, I want to note that the main reason this review exists is because my wife went and publicly called me out in her review of the book! Though now I feel like I’m encouraging her to publicly shame me, given it clearly produced results…

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