In the Company of Ogres

In the Company of Ogres

I just finished a new novel by A. Lee Martinez titled In the Company of Ogres. In one of my not so typical (at least since having kids) undertakings, I finished this book in one day. Martinez follows in the Robert Aspin Myth Adventures style of fantasy writing by combing extreme absurdity, whimsical comedy, complete stupidity, and a protagonist who keeps getting himself killed, but can never seem to stay dead.

The story revolves around Never Dead Ned, a particularly boring, unenthusiastic, and seemingly average solider with no ambitions who just got transferred from the accounting department in the Brute’s Legion to become the company commander of the Ogre Company. What follows is good work that mixes humor, folly, military daring, and some truly wild characters in to pretty good tale.

I would definitely say that is worth the read. 3.5 out 5 stars.


SciFi Makes Summer Fun

Thanks to the SciFi channel and their practice of releasing new episodes for their shows (especially StarGate – SG1 and StarGate Atlantis). We finally have some TV fun during the summer months. I have also recorded but have yet to watch their new show Eureka. I plan to get to that sometime next week.

The Legends of Dune

The Butlerian Jihad (Legends of Dune, Book 1)I recently finished listening to all three books in The Legends of Dune, a prequel to the Dune series. It actually took a long time to listen to these books (almost 4 months). Not only are they exceeding long, but they are extremely heavy. By that I mean, that the prose is thick, the stories complex, and they tend to plod along (sometimes at an extremely slow pace). At times I just wanted to chuck the whole lot and start something else, but I kept going. The performance was by Scott Brick, who did a very good reading the material.

The Machine Crusade (Legends of Dune, Book 2)This series takes place 10,000 years before the start of the original Dune book. It tells the stories of how the humans escaped from under the rule of the robots and it tells how each of the houses came into being and sets the stage for the things that happen way in the future. It also explains how the different guilds (Spacing Guild, Bene Gesserit, Mentats) came into being. The problem with this series is that it cuts between each of these stories lines in an unending cycle. Earth, Arrakis, on a space ship, the free human world, and then it repeats and repeats. I got tired of hoping from one thing to another.

The Battle of Corrin (Legends of Dune, Book 3)Overall, I enjoyed the series, but it was nothing like the original books. While some authors really benefit by using more words (saying in 10 words what others might say with just 1). These guys are not in that class. What took them 3 books and over 2000 pages (assuming that you actually read them), could have and should have been said in half that many. If you are really into the Dune series, then you’ll want to read them for completeness, but with everything else going against them I give them just 2 out 5 stars.

The Uplift War

The Uplift War (The Uplift Saga, Book 3)

The Uplift War by David Brin is a great piece of classic science fiction. I just finished listening to this fantastic book and would recommend it to everyone. 4.5 stars.

The Uplift War is the third book in Brin’s awarding series, but unlike some series you can definately read them out of order. Some books are ment to be read and others are ment to be listened. I strongly recommend that you listen to this one. Brin uses a lot of “alien” words in this books. They are words that when reading I never try to pronouce, but when heard they really bring a great character to the story.

I had a hard time “putting this down”. It always seemed that just as I was arriving at my destination there was some climatic event just getting ready to occur. I can’t tell how many times I would have to sit in the car for 5 minutes to hear what came next.

One of the central themes revolves around that concept of Biological Uplift which the Wikipedia link explains it very well.

I know this not much of a detailed review, if you want those you can stop over at Amazon, but in any case, I will be adding this book to must read list.