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Jennifer Kendzior
a West Virginian
a West Virginian

Jennifer's posts

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Tim Powers is one of my favorite authors, largely for his ability to mix historical fact with supernatural fiction in ways that seem as real as reality. I enjoyed his Last Call series, and stand-alone works such as The Drawing of the Dark and On Stranger Tides are equally worth the read. Declare, however, is something a bit different.

More than half of Declare is a straight Cold War thriller, with spies and signals intelligence and double agents and secret missions to East Germany. The rest is some amazing conjecture based on the actual life of the famous spy Kim Philby. If I were to say any more it would spoil a great many surprises. Suffice to say that there may be things out there that can be made aware of human presence and even the edges of their awareness carry as much power as lightning.

Verdict: If you ever thought that the X-Files was cool and you ever enjoyed a Cold War spy book then this mash-up will make you very happy.

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Finally finished Stieg Larsson's series today. This was an acceptable and fairly entertaining read but I still don't see what all the fuss is about. Sure, they're good books, but the only people who will be impressed by them are people who don't read much in the genre.

Maybe it's just me. I often react this way to best sellers. Harry Potter was fine, but nothing to get excited about. The Da Vinci Code was like Umberto Eco on cocaine. It, at least, deserved readers, if not acclaim. I'm kind of loath to start The Hunger Games for just this reason.

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I've been on a hard-boiled detective/sci-fi/fantasy trend in my reading for a while. It's an odd genre that sort of fights back against the thinly disguised porn of most "urban fantasy". This book is one of the very best of the lot so far. It's right up there with China Miéville's The City and the City. There's not much I can say about it other than that the main character is a robot and that it is seriously hard-boiled. There's even a dame (see cover).

Verdict: Read it if you love Dashiell Hammett and science fiction.

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This book came highly recommended (my Dad liked it) but it was actually the recent excitement about the upcoming movie that finally got me to read it. It wasn't bad but I can't see what all the fuss is about.

Perhaps the character Lisbeth Salander is the draw. I couldn't say. To someone who has read any cyberpunk science fiction she is a familiar character type. I guess my Dad probably wouldn't recognize her but I certainly do and so should most of the crowd that is so excited about the movie.

It's a pretty straight crime thriller with nothing other than its Swedish setting to differentiate it from a number of other, similar books. Now , that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it. I happen to like straight crime books, but, had I come to this book knowing nothing about it I might have given up on it before it really got going.

I'll read the other two in the series because that's what I do.

Verdict: Read if you're bored and don't want too much action with your adventure.

I love the Lucille Ball Google doodle. Even better than the Calder mobile.
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