Reading This and That

I read a ton. I read when I am travelling, which is once or twice a month. I read at night time. I read on the weekends. I read during work breaks. Now I've decided to blog about the interesting things I've read.

Renegade X (Rise and Trials)

I was looking for some good superhero fiction and the two-part series "Rise of Renegade X" and "Trials of Renegade X" sounded good and got some good reviews.


I liked Rise quite well.  There were some disbelief stretching - if everyone has a perfect-information-mark that indicates whether they are a superhero or super villain, why wouldn't we just arrest every super villain?  But the story itself was still very good and the characters were done very well.  There was just enough teenage angst but not too much to overpower the story.  And the realization by Renegade X of just who he is or could be was well done.  I give this book 4 stars.


Trials, on the other hand, was hard to get through.  I want to cheer for my heroes (which is why I never really liked Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever) and this book made it hard to do so.  WAY too much teenage angst and the sudden change of Renegade and his girlfriend to be so promiscuous was also over the top.  This book seemed to be a step back in trying to appeal to young adults but I think it went too far.  If only Renegade told one person one thing at any step of the way, all of the story problems might have disappear (which is also my complaint about the Harry Potter books!).  Three stars for this one and I am leery of any sequels - I'd have to read reviews before jumping in sight unseen.

Redshirts by John Scalzi

I had never read any of John Scalzi before so I was coming to this work quite fresh.  The blurb for the book sounded wonderful - one of my favourite scenes from Galaxy Quest is when the one guy realizes he's wearing a red shirt.  There is also a Canadian comedy troupe that does a Star Trek spoof and the funniest line is "I'm the expendable crew member sir!".


Therefore reading a book where the people walking the hallways of the space ship start to realize that they are the redshirts sounded like a great book.


And I was not disappointed.  The writing was great and the humour in the crew members disappearing whenever a major character started to show up never failed to crack me up.  The three Codas were a wonderful ending to the book.  I gave it 4-1/2 stars just because the characters' ability to convince everyone that they were from a parallel universe was a bit too easy, i.e. it stretched the disbelief requirements just a bit too much.

Currently reading

Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera
Fred Plotkin, Placido Domingo
One Year Gone
Rebecca Dessertine