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Mollarom's books

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Seveneves (EBook, 2016, The Borough Press) 4 stars

When a catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb, it triggers a feverish …

Review of 'Seveneves' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Best book I've read all year. If you like Andy Weir (The Martian, Hail Mary), you'll love this. I'll never look at the moon the same way again. I only wish the book didn't lose its sense of urgency in Act 3, but there was a lot of ground to cover.

The Old Man (Hardcover, 2017, The Mysterious Press) 4 stars

To all appearances, Dan Chase is a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big mutts …

Review of 'The Old Man' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A three star book I'm bumping to four stars for its single-minded commitment to telling the story of a character with only one thing on his mind. The Old Man is very much like its protagonist. It's lean, fast, ready to change settings at a moment's notice, and has few real commitments. Now I'm ready to watch the show.

Matt Wagner's Grendel Tales Omnibus Volume 1 (Paperback, 2017, Dark Horse Books) 2 stars

Review of "Matt Wagner's Grendel Tales Omnibus Volume 1" on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

For better or for worse, Grendel was the comic I really latched on to as an adolescent. Hunter Rose, Christine Spar, Eppy, Orion Asante, I was there for all of them. Grendel Tales, however... It's a little all over the place. Grendel has been a... "Spirit" is perhaps the best word, but not in the spectre or ghost kind of way .. that chose its avatars carefully. In the post-Asante era, "Grendel" is a title that might as well be applied to anyone who can kill anyone without consequence. A license to kill, in a way. So you'll meet several Grendels in these stories, and many of them don't deserve the title in the spirit of the earlier works. The very word "Grendel" becomes diluted to mean anything.

City on Fire (Hardcover, 2021, William Morrow) 4 stars

Review of 'City on Fire' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I don't think I've ever read a mob fiction novel, and City on Fire isn't making me want to read another. If it wasn't a retelling of The Iliad, I probably would have abandoned the book for the casual racist remarks of the characters. And I get it, it's a war between an Italian crime family and an Irish crime family in the late 80s, there's going to be racism, but I was still uneasy reading it. But it being based on the Iliad made a little side game out of drawing parallels between the poem and this novel. Some of it was a little too on the nose. The Trojan Horse, for instance. Emphasis on the horse.

Horns (2010, William Morrow) 4 stars

Joe Hill has been hailed as "a major player in 21st-century fantastic fiction" (Washington Post); …

Review of 'Horns' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Superb. The book starts with a narrative hook that is devilishly entertaining. What if people couldn't help but admit their worst impulses? It's like this sinful candy, and it keeps the reader coming back for more, waiting to see what the next person will admit. Once you're hooked, then there's context, a coming of age tale that ends with a brutal crime. And then, with the context firmly established... it's time for the Devil to get his due.

Revision: Knocked it down from four to three stars based solely on the movie. The film is absolutely terrible. I felt the same way about the film Annihilation, but the difference with that is that the film Annihilation took very, very little from the book, so I could safely hate the film and still love the book. With the film Horns, yes, there were major differences between it and the book, but …

At the mountains of madness (2005, Modern Library) 4 stars

Introduction by China MievilleLong acknowledged as a master of nightmarish visions, H. P. Lovecraft established …

Review of 'At the mountains of madness' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

"Lovecraftian" is an adjective associated with several pieces of media that I enjoy. I decided to go straight to the source and read a little Lovecraft.

I won't make that mistake again.

Mountains of Madness is terrible. A glacial (hah)! start, a hint of action, and then a long investigation that basically goes nowhere.

"The greatest fear is that of the unknown." While this is true, here it is maddeningly frustrating. The narrator repeatedly expresses reservations about whether he should reveal the terrible things he's seen, yet when he actually does, there's little to be terrified of. The narrator is almost never in actual danger throughout the entire book. He is just following the trail of terrible things.

Lovecraftian prose leads much to be desired. I've played through Darkest Dungeon a few times and really enjoy the writing there... "You remember our venerable house, opulent and imperial, gazing proudly from …

The Inheritance Games (2020, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) 4 stars

Review of 'The Inheritance Games' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I hate it when I get a book and think "is this a YA novel?" only to get to the end and see that, yes, the author is known for writing YA novels.

So I'm not the target audience here. I found it to be very manga-ish. A young woman catapulted into a different life, confronted by a series of characters that are almost caricatures. The cowboy, the nerd, the heir, the mysterious one. Add a little Mean Girls, throw in a pile of regret. The puzzles weren't as puzzling as I expected, and just generally it wasn't my thing. But it's a YA novel and these novels aren't my thing, so there you go.

Beastie Boys Book (2018) 5 stars

Review of 'Beastie Boys Book' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

How the B-boys made with the freak-freak. 10/10. Five stars. Palme d'or. Give this book all the awards.

Did I love the Beasties before I read this book? Absolutely. Was I a savant of the band? Not at all. Did I learn a lot about the Beasties from this book? Absolutely. Has my love for the Beasties been increased from reading this book? Undoubtedly.

The Core (2017) 3 stars

"New York Times bestselling author Peter V. Brett brings one of the most imaginative fantasy …

Review of 'The Core' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Over the course of the previous four books, Mr. Brett has introduced a cast of dozens of characters. Some have come and gone, their role in the greater story seemingly done. In The Core, they all come back. While it's good to get caught up and see them back in action, I feel that with the cast so dramatically increased, the detail that marked the previous books was lost in The Core. There are at least seven plot lines going on here, and bouncing back and forth between them left me wondering exactly what was happening when.

Still, I don't want to say this book didn't bring the saga to a satisfying conclusion. It was great seeing mighty heroes rise from humble beginnings. A farmer's son. A daughter living in the shadow of her imposing, abusive mother. The daughter of a basket weaver. An orphan raised by a drunken bard. …

The Paradox Hotel (Hardcover, 2022, Ballantine Books) 3 stars

January Cole’s job just got a whole lot harder.

Not that running security at the …

Review of 'Paradox Hotel' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Good story. It's not as timey-wimey as Man in the Empty Suit, but there's a bunch of memorable characters, including some who are instantly recognizable from their real-life counterparts.