GoodReads Reviews

Here are reviews of a few of the books I’ve read or re-read lately.


Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Given the ongoing TV series, I thought I’d re-read this classic series. Now I don’t think I’ll continue beyond this book. It is an interesting work, but has not aged well. I got tires of the “you read the scene but you didn’t get all the important information in that scene until later.” It may work for murder-mysteries, but it grows tiring in a book about political machinations. The book’s episodic nature fits the time it was written in, and I believe the component parts may be have been first published in magazines. Another sign of it’s age: There is but one named female character and she’s in only two scenes. I much preferred some of his other works such as Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

It’s light, not his most immersive work. I found it a bit too shallow and cliched. There were too many meme references and not enough character development. Scalzi says in his essay at the end that writing it was cathartic and just part of getting past the pandemic. If you’re not a diehard Scalzi fan, you can skip this one.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

My God, this man could write. I love the way he takes an aphorism and twists new meaning out of this. I feel like Thief of Time was written when he was at his perfect balance of whit, whimsy and social awareness. It captures the growth in his writing and the new direction he was approaching. It may be the last book that has footnotes, for example. Susan touches on a lot of ideas that he’d explore further with Tiffany Aching. Not everything lands, Lu-Tze’s role is unfulfilling, for one. And I feel like Myria/Unity had a greater story arc waiting to be told.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

EXIT STRATEGY (Murderbot Diariess #4)

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

These novellas are light reading, and as such good for lying in bed at night. But the technique of not telling you something or glossing over something until after it is apparent is getting tiring. Especially when other in-story facts are repeated ad nauseam. I bought the first four stories. I’ll read all four, but won’t be going further. This one has some closure to it, and that’s a good place to stop.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

A satisfying and rich read, with incredible world-building. The story is more character-driven than plot-driven, which is to say not a lot happens, and much that does, happens off-page. While I enjoyed it, there were a few spots where I considered not finishing. Character names are confusing and overly burdensome to one who reads late at night in bed. I often could not recall who a character was until they were a bit into their scenes. Some plot points came out of left field without enough build up. That the young characters were wise at avoiding the pitfalls of power while the older characters were not may have been an intentional theme, but it also made the characters less relatable, making me less emotionally invested in the story.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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