Tag Archives: 2

The Rise of the Iron Moon

The Rise of the Iron Moon is Stephen Hunt’s third adventure set in the world of Jackals. The novel is an unequivocal mess, destroying most of what Hunt had built in the previous two novels. Another dual thread narrative exposes the inability of Hunt to balance his stories creating inevitable peaks and valleys in the enjoyability. At times interesting and other times a horrible slog, the book sacrifices most of the compelling characters to create an incoherent, disjointed and lunatic plot.

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The Man Who Went Up in Smoke

The second detective novel by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo featuring Martin Beck as the lead, The Man Who Went Up in Smoke, lacks the charm of the first novel. Even attempts to contextualize the book, written in 1966, offer few positives to take away. Where Roseanna featured a wider array of characters and a better crime narrative, the sequel focuses too much on Beck’s introspective and uses a grating twist to solve the case.

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Dragonquest

The second novel set in Anne McCaffrey’s world of Pern, titled Dragonquest, is a more complex and developed novel than it’s predecessor Dragonflight. Featuring the returning main characters F’lar and Lessa, a better cast of secondary personalities helps prop up the bland and too perfect protagonists.  With secondary tales enveloped in the larger storyline, McCaffrey allows her story to wander in ways that make it feel less constrained than the first novel.

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Dragonflight

The omnibus edition of Anne McCaffrey’s first three Pern novels that I’ve included a picture of is seven years my elder meaning it was published in 1978. I came across it some time ago, nearly a decade, at a used book fair and enjoyed it enough to purchase the better part of the subsequent series. It is a fantasy genre novel of a previous generation far removed from modern day epic fantasy novelists like Steven Erikson, George R. R. Martin or Robert Jordan.

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Mainspring

Jay Lake’s Mainspring is a book that is better liked in faded memories than in the moment of reading it.  A clumsily characterized protagonist and a meandering plot are further confounded by a rather bizarre love story.  The book is the first in Jay Lake’s Clockworth Earth series and the subsequent novels are, on balance, the better novels. There are redeeming aspects to Lake’s world-building but it is overshadowed by the book’s flaws.

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