Thursday, May 15, 2008

Belated Book Bits

No, I haven't totally slacked off on my reading . . . just on my reporting of my reading. And, I had this all typed up and ready to go for Written Word Wednesday yesterday when Blogger decided to go kablooey and not even save my text to draft, let alone publish. So, here's my tardy book reviews.

The Born Queen: Book 4 of Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone by Greg Keyes: Have to admit, while I loved the first few books in this series, the last volume was a bit of a letdown. I think the biggest factor in my disappointment was that two of the main characters are pretty much either possessed or driven mad with mystic power through the bulk of the book, rendering their personalities virtually unrecognizable. One of them I didn't care for all that much to begin with, so it wasn't a horrible deal (although she did become even more annoying once the power-madness set in), but the other was one of my two favorite characters, and to see his personality subsumed by that of the Black Jester took a lot of my enjoyment away; of course, your mileage may vary. I also felt like Keyes tried to wrap up way too much in way too short a span of pages; the whole volume felt rushed, which seems unnecessary since the 3rd volume struck many as overly padded.

Blaze by Richard Bachman (foreword by Stephen King): Entertaining thriller that was originally written by King during his Bachman phase, but which was never published at the time, only to be pulled out and polished up last year after King had so much fun writing the semi-noir The Colorado Kid. The plot follows Blaze --a two-bit crook whose brains have been addled even since his drunk father shoved him down the stairs as a kid -- as he tries to pull off a kidnapping originally planned by his recently deceased partner . . . a deceased partner who still appears from time to time to put in his two cents as to Blaze's chances of success. Not going to go down as one of my favorite King novels, but probably is one of the strongest of the Bachman books, and is an entertaining read.