Friday, December 1, 2017

Ed'd Mini Book Review: Deamon by Daniel Suarez

While I was searching around for some books similar to "Ready Player One", Daniel Suarez's "Daemon" popped up in a couple of places so I decide take a gander. Seeing that it was more of a techno-thriller than a pop culture homage type, intrigued me and in having a taste for something a little different, I decided to give it a shot.

Cutting to the chase, I dug it. The story follows a couple of different characters but at its core, it focuses on the death of global tech magnate who, seemingly, is still pulling the strings on a complicated world wide scheme from beyond the grave. Now this scheme, or better yet we should call it a conspiracy, involves assassinations, booby trapped housed, embezzlement, fraud and all sorts of illegal maneuvering. The question is, to what cause. Additionally, these schemes are carried out by the Daemon, a computer program that was created by the tech giant before his death. Is the Daemon real or did he fake his death? Who is pulling the strings? Why are the characters chosen to carry out the Daemon's plans? All questions that drive the plot and make you want to read on.

Involved are some interesting characters with secrets of their own. Are they already working for the Daemon or are they just tying to hide something from their past? See, more questions. Beyond the questions, there are some pretty sweet action pieces, one involving a booby trapped house, which was like the movie Saw on steroids, and another huge section near the end of the book which involved an all out assault on a secure facility and a massive car chase.

Action, intrigue, conspiracy and questions about in "Daemon". A fun read, that at first I had some issues getting in to and can slow at times but picks up and delivers.

My Grade: B+

LL


Monday, November 6, 2017

Ethics in the Information Age: An Ongoing Topic

My ComputerImage by aLii_ via Flickr
Hello again and I know it's been a long time since my last post but I was on break here at the library but now I am back and ready to go.

While I was off, I caught wind of something that got me thinking about Ethics and Information. We now live in a world where information is at our fingertips, ready and accessible in a flash. Works well for someone like me in the Information Science business (yes, my degree even says 'Information Science' on it) as we can find the answers, or at least where to find the answers, to all sorts of questions that our patrons are looking for.

The problem that routinely arises is that the quick and ease of the spread of information can also lead the rapid spread of disinformation. What got me thinking of this was Glenn Beck 1990 and if you don't know what that is, Google it.

What are the ethical boundaries in this new information age? Who sets those boundaries? Who teaches our young about ethics and what is and isn't ethical in the rapid world of informational transmission that we now find ourselves?

TV, radio, the interwebs, we have it all at our disposal. Do we use it the right way or do we let it lead us down a dark road (and who determines 'the right way' anyway). I don't have the answer just yet but I'm working on it. But hey, what did you expect, I am just a rookie librarian.
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Ed'd Mini Book Review: The Hellsblood Bride (Mookie Pearl Book #2)

More Mookie, yes please. That's how I left off my book review of the first Mookie Pearl book, "The Blue Blazes". We do get more Mookie, but we get a lot of Nora Pearl as well, which isn't such a bad thing. Ok, maybe it's a little bit of a bad thing since we want MORE MOOKIE!

But I digress.

"The Helssblood Bride" is not really a Mookie book, it is a Mookie and Nora book. That's not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing. I started to see that Mookie is more of a one trick pony, one that I had hopes to grow into something a bit more than what was on the surface. Nora, on the other hand, is the much more interesting character, the one with the proverbial character arc.

In this installment, we find that Nora is trapped in the Underworld and Mookie is desperate to try and find a way to free her. So desperate, he falls into being who he is and neglects to visit her in person while he is tracking down every avenue to free her. With this neglect, comes the inevitable feeling from Nora that he has slipped into old habits and she hatches a scheme to get herself out.

Along the ride are some familiar faces, on both Mookie's and Nora's adventure. While the book jumps back and forth between them both, it works to balance out the story. Now, I wasn't all that pleased with how the book ended though it was a bold move. From what I have gleaned from some online comments, I am not sure Wendig will write the follow-up which is a shame as the story begs for another chapter. Solid but not as good as "The Blue Blazes".

My Grade: B/B-

LL


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Updates

Some updates on the upcoming posts. I've finished the second Mookie Pearl book and will be working on that review shortly. I saw that the new Dan Brown book is out so I am starting on that one. Maybe I'll squeeze in a review of "Daemon" in between.

That's all I got.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ed's Mini Book Review - Armada by Ernest Cline

I really should do a review of "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline as it was one of my favorite reads of the past few years. I read it last year so I am not so sure how the review would end up since I don't have the best memory to remember some of the little details. Oh, right, this is a review for "Armada", Cline's follow-up to "Ready Player One", so I should talk about that a bit, huh?

I am a little torn on this one. It is basically a modern version of "The Last Starfighter" (an 80's classic film if I do say so myself) and the book does acknowledge this. So, it's a bit of a re-hash/rip off on one end but the update, using MMO's instead of an arcade game, and of course, all of the 80's references are sweet. Speaking of the 80's stuff, it seemed a bit forced and a little of a stretch to have them be an integral part of the story but if you're a sucker for all things 80's like I am, you get past that weak point.

Bottom line, is if you liked "Ready Player One", you'll like "Armada" though it is a step down. If you've not read "Ready Player One", go do that. If you're not inclined to but love the idea of an 80's nostalgia, MMO inspired, sci-fi coming of age story, then you might want to give "Armada" a shot.

My Grade: B-

LL


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ed'd Mini Book Review: The Blue Blazes (Mookie Pearl Book #1)

Hot off the heels of the latest Sandman Slim novel, the LL was jonesing for more. So I pop into the Google, "books like Sandman Slim". Out of the Google pops a book about some cat named Mookie Pearl, a book called "The Blue Blazes".

"The Blue Blazes" is a mix of a mob book with the "urban fantasy", supernatural thing that is all the rage nowadays. Ok maybe it's died down a bit but still, you know what I mean. Front and center is mob leg-breaker, Mookie Pearl. But, you see, Mookie isn't just your run of the mill leg-breaker, no siree. He takes care of the Underworld's underworld. The place beneath New York City where the demonic, supernatural underworld creeps into our world and what that world has to offer ours is The Blue Blazes. It's a drug mined from the dangerous depths beneath our world that is not only addicting but it makes you aware of the denizens beneath in their true form. It gives you the sight, which most would think is a drug induced hallucination, but those in the know can see the creatures from the Great Below that have come up to live in the city. And, that's what Mookie does and is good at, dealing with that world and all that it entails.

Half way through the book, I was clamoring for a Mookie Pear/Joe Pitt team up (For those that don't know Joe Pitt, I mentioned those books a while back.). Both set in NY, deal with the supernatural and both have a penchant for solving things with their fists. C'mon, it's a no-brainer.

What I really like about Mookie is that he's a blunt instrument. He's not your wise cracking, smart alec, fast-talking, scoundrel of a hero. No, he is who he is and he knows who he is. He's not the smartest and he's not funny, though that is not to say that the book is devoid of humor. He's a different hero, one that you don't see that often as the focus of a book.

"The Blue Blazes" is a fun ride, one that starts off with a toe in the water of the supernatural but then gets pretty deep into it. It didn't matter one bit if it did or didn't for me, and I know some like that sort of thing and some don't like too much of it, I was just along the ride for Mookie. I think you'll connect with him that way too and that's the hallmark of a great character.

More Mookie? Yes, please.

My Grade" A-

LL