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Strakul

Strakul@bookwyrm.social

Joined 4 months, 4 weeks ago

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Strakul's books

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2022 Reading Goal

41% complete! Strakul has read 5 of 12 books.

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The Three-Body Problem (Hardcover, 2014, Tor Books) 4 stars

Within the context of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a military project sends messages to alien …

The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu

5 stars

This was an excellent book. I can count it among the masterpieces of modern science fiction. The story has elements similar to that of other science fiction stories, such as Nightfall and Other Stories by Isaac Asimov, Childhood's End and Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke, and Anathem by Neal Stephenson. It is important to stress that this is a hard science fiction novel. Generally, hard sci-fi stories focus strongly on the premise of the story (the idea) rather than characters or plot, so approach the story with that in mind. While it is technically part of a trilogy, the story stands extremely well on it's own. Of course, I'll be paying attention for more translated works of Liu Cixin.

For my full review, see my blog at strakul.blogspot.com/2015/07/book-review-three-body-problem-by-liu.html

The Return of Fitzroy Angursell (Paperback, 2021, Underhill Books) 4 stars

The Return of Fitzroy Angursell by Victoria Goddard

4 stars

This was a pretty fun book. While not as impactful as The Hands of the Emperor it was still enjoyable. Fitzroy is a particularly chaotic character, in sharp contrast with the meticulous and orderly Kip. It was clear even to me that Fitzroy has changed a lot, compared to all the legends alluded to in this book and the prior. The reconciliation of his past, present, and future is a bit of a theme and plays out with his interactions with old and new friends. Goddard's knack for powerful emotional encounters is a key driver to the plot. I look forward to her upcoming book, At the Feet of the Sun, for even more adventures!

For a full review, check out my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2022/05/book-review-return-of-fitzroy-angursell.html

The Hands of the Emperor (Hardcover, 2018, Underhill Books) 5 stars

Review of 'The Hands of the Emperor' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This book was absolutely incredible. I had a hard time putting it down and kept messaging my friend as I reached certain points in the story. This was a powerful, wholesome story full of vibrant characters and subtle magic. I want to see where the story takes Kip, the Emperor, and their friends next. The characters, their growth, their relationships, and their place in the world is really what drives this story. The setting is also very intriguing with a mix of island culture and a splash of high fantasy.

For a full review, check out my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2022/04/book-review-hands-of-emperor-by.html

Elantris (2006) 4 stars

In 2005, Brandon Sanderson debuted with Elantris, an epic fantasy unlike any other then on …

Review of 'Elantris' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is a very nice, fun read. Compared to his later works, it's clear that Sanderson has grown a lot. The characters here are good, the plot decent, and the setting great, but over the years Sanderson has matured his style a lot and perfected his art. This is still nevertheless, a great read for those looking for a short dive into a fantastical world and are willing to forgive a few rough parts here and there.

For a full review, check out my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2022/03/book-review-elantris-by-brandon.html

A Desolation Called Peace (2021) 5 stars

A Desolation Called Peace is a 2021 space opera science fiction novel by Arkady Martine. …

Review of 'A Desolation Called Peace' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was a satisfying continuation to the series and I hope to see more of it, though it wraps up so well I don't know if we should expect more stories in this series. Compared to the first novel, I found it a little bit more enjoyable since it has a bit more external, overt conflict, while the A Memory of Empire was very much focused on Dzmare and the internal politics. The introduction of the alien species, and how long and difficult it was to establish communications, was cleverly done in my opinion and helps spread the tension throughout the novel. And while there is political drama in the form of the various Ministries, it's balanced with the external war against the aliens.

Check out my full review at strakul.blogspot.com/2022/02/book-review-desolation-called-peace-by.html

The Shadow Rising (Paperback, 2012, Tor Books) 4 stars

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. …

Review of 'The Shadow Rising' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is a great book in The Wheel of Time series. It picks up where The Dragon Reborn left off and sets the stage for a lot of cool things to happen with the various characters. It has a little bit of everything without focusing too much on a single group of characters, which will become increasingly hard as the cast of characters continues to grow.

Check out my full review at my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2022/01/book-review-shadow-rising-by-robert.html

Cytonic (2021, Orion Publishing Group, Limited) 4 stars

From the number one New York Times best-selling author of the Reckoners series, the Mistborn …

Review of 'Cytonic' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was a good continuation to the series. It's not as strong as the prior novels, but the secrets revealed push it up there. If you've been reading the Skyward novels then this one is a must as you get a better understanding of cytonics and learn what delvers actually are.

Check out my full review at my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2021/12/book-review-cytonic-by-brandon-sanderson.html

The Dragon Reborn (Paperback, 2012, Tor Fantasy) 4 stars

The Dragon Reborn—the leader long prophesied who will save the world, but in the saving …

Review of 'The Dragon Reborn' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Another great stepping stone in the saga of The Wheel of Time. A plot that starts slow but by the end has you breathless; characters that continue to evolve as they embrace, or try to run from, their destiny; and a setting that grows clearer and more complex, this book has it all. This was a great addition to the series and, in my mind, a sort of capstone book that wraps up the first arc of The Wheel of Time. With the Dragon Reborn fully declared, the series takes on a new direction as the enemies become clearer and the stakes higher.

Check out my blog for a full review: strakul.blogspot.com/2021/10/book-review-dragon-reborn-by-robert.html

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, Book 2) (Paperback, 1991, Tor Fantasy) 4 stars

Review of 'The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, Book 2)' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Overall, this was a good book. It's not as strong as The Eye of the World, but does a good job of continuing the story and setting up some interesting threads that we will want to see resolved in the series. The reluctant hero is a big part of this particular book, but we see some payoffs with epic scenes near the end that cement their role in the story. It is a must read for fans of The Wheel of Time as it sets the stage for more to come.

For a full review, check out my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2021/10/book-review-great-hunt-by-robert-jordan.html

The Eye of the World (1990) 4 stars

The Eye of the World is a fantasy novel by American writer Robert Jordan, the …

Review of 'The Eye of the World' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This book is where it all starts. Even at the onset, you can tell it's going to be a long ride. This book has it all, a fast-paced engaging plot that hints at a grander adventure to come; a unique cast of characters that grow and develop within the book, and for the rest of the series, too; and a setting that captures the imagination, whether it is of the magic, the cultures, or the legends of thousands of years past.

For a full review, check out my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2021/09/book-review-eye-of-world-by-robert.html

Second foundation (2004, Bantam Books) 4 stars

After years of struggle, the Foundation lay in ruins -- destroyed by the mutant mind …

Review of 'Second foundation' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Overall, this was a fun book. I don't think it's as good as the first of the Foundation novels, but it still is pretty decent in continuing the story in that universe. It gives up some of the large time spans and grandiose scale to focus instead on a bit of a mystery which gives it a fresh take compared to the others. The Second Foundation itself is quite intriguing and makes you wonder how far along their plans will actually take them.

For a full review, check out my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2021/09/book-review-second-foundation-by-isaac.html

Foundation and Empire (2004, Bantam Books) 4 stars

Led by its founding father, the great psychohistorian Hari Seldon, and taking advantage of its …

Review of 'Foundation and Empire' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is a great book if you're already in the Foundation story and it really sets the stage for the series. The two parts feel a bit disjointed, but that is only superficial. The whole premise is whether psychohistory can be changed by individual action. The first part suggests no, the second suggests yes. In addition to the interesting premise, the story is strengthened by better characters that grow and act for much longer than in the prior novel. And now the stage is set for a race to see who will reach the Second Foundation.

For a full review, check out my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2021/08/book-review-foundation-and-empire-by.html

Foundation (2004, Bantam Books) 4 stars

One of the great masterworks of science fiction, the Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are …

Review of 'Foundation' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I enjoyed re-reading Foundation and plan to continue to read the others in the series. As I've grown older I've become more appreciative of history and how it has shaped our lives, so reading about a science fiction setting where people effectively write the history they want to have is just fun.
The principles of psychohistory, the statistical study of masses of humans to predict their behavior, was fascinating and today's real-world applications of data science scratch at similar concepts. Of course, this is a science fiction book, but it nonetheless explores the what-if: what-if this psychohistory were real and could be applied on human civilization at large?

For a more in-depth review, check out my blog: strakul.blogspot.com/2021/08/book-review-foundation-by-isaac-asimov.html