At its heart, The Last Wish is a series of monster stories. The first book in Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series (which CD Projekt RED’s video games are based on), it’s not so much a novel as a line-up of short stories that depict Geralt of Rivia taking on monster-hunting contracts. It feels like reading dark fairy tales, similar to The Bloody Chamber, and the reason is that the monsters aren’t all crazed animals or mythical beasts — they are usually regular men, women, and children who have been cursed.
I read the book a few years ago, when I first got into The Witcher video game series. After hearing that the series is going to be made into a Netflix show, I got onto a Witcher kick and decided to re-read The Last Wish and then continue with the novels that follow. I purchased the audiobook, which is excellent, although I think I prefer reading rather than listening to this series due to the depth of the conversations and world-building. This is a book full of details you don’t want to miss.
Continue reading Getting to Know the Witcher in “The Last Wish”
Lately I’ve been listening to the audiobooks of J.D. Robb’s In Death series. (That’s Nora Roberts, in fact.) It’s a science fiction romance series that’s actually more murder mystery than anything. The main character is Eve Dallas, a homicide detective who falls in love with a billionaire industrialist (or something like that) named Roarke. He also happens to be Irish.
While I wouldn’t recommend this series to just anyone — you need to enjoy romance, and expect entertainment rather than a windstorm of stellar writing — there are quite a few things that are keeping me hooked on it. It’s the perfect series to keep my mind occupied (yet unburdened!) while I’m on my commute every day. And I finish about a book a week; the last one I listened to was the fourth in the series.
The most charming aspect of the series is its depiction of the near future: the 2050’s. These books were written back in the 1990’s, so we’re already a lot closer to this future. But the author’s predictions can sometimes be fascinating — or totally off-the-mark. It makes for an interesting world, anyway!
Here are a few of the author’s predictions…
Continue reading The Future is Weird in J.D. Robb’s “In Death” Series
Sci-fi romance books are a guilty pleasure of mine. And with the holidays approaching, that means downtime and airplane rides — so lots of time to catch up on guilty pleasure fiction. I’m always a sucker for romance in my stories anyway (and you know how I feel about BioWare romances), so having some romantic moments and steamy scenes in a science fiction book just makes the story so much more entertaining for me.
Having read quite a few of these books, I have a few I’d recommend for the holidays. They’re all fun, easy reads for your time off or travel. Some are better for their sci-fi worldbuilding — others for their smut factor. I’ll rate both so you can figure out which you’d prefer. =)
A couple of years ago, my blogger friend Sam Leung recommended a science fiction novel to me called Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan. (This author also wrote the video game Crysis 2 and some comics, including Black Widow stories!) You can read Sam’s review of the book here on Robo♥beat. =)
Anyway, I read Altered Carbon, liked it, and put it away. I never went on to read the rest of the series.
But lately I’ve been looking for a new sci-fi series to read, and I heard Netflix is making an Altered Carbon show. It’s still very early to know what the Netflix version will be like, but it piqued my interest enough for me to pick up the novel and re-read it.
I’m liking it even more this time around. It’s one of the best sci-fi novels I’ve ever read. But at the same time, there are a lot of things about the book that rub me the wrong way, and they’re more noticeable as I get older and my opinions become stronger. All this has inspired me to write a review!
Continue reading The Future of Chemistry in “Altered Carbon”