Book Reviews, Reviews

Letters From a Stoic by Seneca

★★★★

When enough people whose opinions you’re interested in tell you to read something, you should probably do it. That was the thought that finally got me to read Seneca’s Letters. I’ve been reading Tim Ferriss’ books and blog for a long time, and he talks about Seneca a great deal. Ryan Holiday, who partially inspired my challenge to read and review 52 books this year also recommends Seneca. Antifragile, a book I just read last month discusses Seneca, and as I recall, it was also mentioned in Thinking, Fast and Slow – a book I read last year that had a big impact on me. As you can see, I was bound to get to Seneca sooner or later.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

With Silent Screams by Steve McHugh (Hellequin 3)

★★★★★

I just read the Hellequin 2.5 short story 6 weeks ago. Even though this was a full novel, there isn’t much I can say about this book that is any different from the short story. I like the main character, and they way magic works in that world. It’s no Dresden Files, but it’s a suitable filler until the next one gets published. I did have a realization when reading this most recent one though: Steve Mchugh really needs a copy editor. If he has one, he needs a better one.

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Book Reviews, Reviews

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

★ ★ ★ ★

Managing expectations is difficult. Because I enjoyed Name of the Wind so much, when I finished it I dove right into Wise Man’s Fear. I think now that that was a mistake. There was very little chance I would have enjoyed the book as much as the first in the series. That said, I still like Wise Man’s Fear quite a bit, but it definitely had its faults.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

There are very few negative things to say about The Name of the Wind, so I’ll start there. I found the structure of the book to be very confusing at the start. I was 1/4 to 1/3 of the way through it before I came to grips with how the story would progress. And even then, it was because I was discussing the book to someone who had already read it and the second book in the trilogy (the third has not yet been published). It’s much more obvious to me now that the stuff happening in the Waystone Inn is basically just filler, and that the heart of the book is the story in a story; the story the inn-keeper is telling. This book is filled with stories within the story. Sometimes even stories within the stories within the book’s story. Confused? So was I. After understanding that the flashbacks are the real meat and potatoes, and that the majority of the book revolved around this, it was much easier to keep track of what was going on. It’s easy to see now that the inn-keeper is telling his tale to Chronicler and that it will take three days’ time – hence The Name of the Wind being Day One of The Kingkiller Chronicles.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs by David C. Unger

★★★★★

I really wanted to like this book, from the moment I read the title and added it to my reading list. I am very interested in politics/political philosophy, history, and my country’s complete lack of regard for the principles on which it was founded. This book is right in my wheelhouse. It’s preaching to the converted. And yet even I didn’t find it convincing. It’s pretty hard to write a book so poorly that you unsell people who were already sold on your ideas.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

Freedom™ by Daniel Suarez

★★★★

Since Freedom™ is a sequel, it’s hard to talk about it without first talking about the first book: Daemon. Daemon is the kind of book that hits right in my wheelhouse. It’s full of action and violence, but it’s also smart, very well thought out, semi-feasible sci-fi. Daemon is a fantastic book, and one I recommend to any nerds looking for a fun read. When I think of my favorite science fiction in terms of the technology it introduces, Daemon ranks among other favorites like Altered Carbon, Snow Crash, and Neuromancer (which I just recently read and reviewed). In fact, Daemon is at least part of the inspiration for this short story I wrote not long after I finished reading it. If you haven’t read Daemon, read it at your first opportunity. If you have, read Freedom™
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