Monthly Archives: September 2018

Review of Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3), by Martha Wells

I borrowed a copy of Martha Wells’ Rogue Protocol from the library. I previously reviewed the previous books, All Systems Red and Artificial Condition.

Description:
SciFi’s favorite antisocial A.I. is again on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah’s SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.

Review:
I’m still loving Murderbot, the sarcasm and social anxiety works so very well. My complaint here is that the series is starting to feel like a serial, instead of stand-alone novellas. This book references past events and people a lot more than previous ones. Other reviewers complained about this series being broken up from the beginning. But, knowing Tor specializes in novella length works, I understood it and still considered each book a separate entity. This seems to be fading as the series goes on and that makes me sad because I really HATE serializations. That said, I want more and more of Murderbot please.

Review of The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert

I borrowed an audio copy of Melissa Albert‘s The Hazel Wood through Overdrive.

Description from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Review:
I actually checked this out from the library thinking it was something else. Once I realized my mistake I was wary to start it; I’ve just been so jaded with YA books lately. But I’m happy to report this isn’t an angst-ridden, soppy mess. There’s no real romance and Alice moves through the story of her own volition. I did think it lagged a bit at times and she conveniently hooked up with the one person who knew everything she needed to learn and could/would fund her. But all in all I enjoyed it. There’s some appreciable diversity in the cast a happily ever after grounded in realistic struggles. I don’t regret listening to the story and I thought Rebecca Soler did a fine job with the narration.

Review of The Wrong Dead Guy (Another Coop Heist #2), by Richard Kadrey

I borrowed an audio copy of The Wrong Dead Guy, by Richard Kadrey, through Hoopla. I chose it because I also happen to have a physical copy of it sitting on my shelf. I figured, if I wasn’t going to get round to reading it anytime soon, I might as well listen to it. Two birds, one stone and all that.

Description from Goodreads:
In this fast paced sequel to The Everything Box—the second entry in Richard Kadrey’s comedic supernatural series—chaos ensues when Coop and the team at DOPS steal a not- quite-dead and very lovesick ancient Egyptian mummy wielding some terrifying magic

Coop, a master thief sort of gone legit, saved the world from an ancient doomsday device—heroism that earned him a gig working for the Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome top secret government agency that polices the odd and strange. Now Woolrich, Coop’s boss at the DOPS, has Coop breaking into a traveling antiquities show to steal a sarcophagus containing the mummy of a powerful Egyptian wizard named Harkhuf. With the help of his pals Morty, Giselle, and a professor that’s half-cat, half-robotic octopus, Coop pulls off the heist without a hitch.

It’s not Coop’s fault that when DOPS opened the sarcophagus they didn’t find the mummy they were expecting. Well, it was the right mummy, but it wasn’t exactly dead—and now it’s escaped, using a type of magic the organization hasn’t encountered before. Being a boss, Woolrich blames his underling for the screw up and wants Coop to find the missing Harkhuf and make it right, pronto.

Digging into Harkhuf’s history, Coop thinks the mummy is hunting for an ancient magical manuscript that will help him bring his old lover back to life.

Which wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t a warrior sorceress hell-bent on conquering the world with her undead armies.

Coop would very much like to run from the oncoming chaos. It’s one thing to steal a mummy, but another to have to deal with head-hunting bureaucrats, down-on-their luck fortune tellers, undead mailroom clerks, and a rather unimpressed elephant. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere to run. If he wants the madness to stop, he’s going to have to suck it up and play hero one more time. But if Coop manages to save the world AGAIN, he’s definitely going to want a lot of answers. And a raise.

Review:
I thought this was ok. It was funny (as it was meant to be), but it felt like it went overboard into slapstick, almost stupid-funny. And stupid-funny isn’t really my cup of tea.

Also, I didn’t realize was a sequel when I picked the book up. I was able to follow it just fine—it basically stands alone—with the exception of any sort of character introductions. Maybe I’d have been more invested in them if I hadn’t had to figure out things like Jizelle being Coop’s girlfriend on my own. But honestly probably not. They were too busy being pithy to be relatable.

All in all, I’d call this a middle of the road read for me. I liked it well enough, but didn’t love it. Oliver Wyman did a fine job with the narration though.