Star Crossed: Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill

A good book, fun and fast reading. The world is relentlessly narrow– there aren’t a lot of extraneous characters. This gives the book a slightly cramped feel– the only classes mentioned are English and writing for the school newspaper; the only teachers mentioned are English and writing, etc.

I liked it, and wouldn’t mind reading the other books in the series. They seem right up Jennifer’s alley as good YA fiction with a strong female lead.

One significant flaw: for some reason they moved the “in character” glossary to the beginning of the book, before the story starts. It made me wonder if I’d joined in mid-series, since it also details the astrological signs of everyone. It’s dry reading, spoilery, and gets in the way. If they reprint, I’d strongly suggest that it get moved to the rear or eliminated altogether. (Though I freely admit that I’m not their target audience.)

A Mighty Fortress by David Weber

This is the fourth book in the series. It’s a bad place to join the series– it really benefits from the development that took place over the three previous books. In many ways, this book is the lull between storms– it’s a bit of a calmer period, after the end of the war in the previous book.

The naval development is a… less energetic plot after the time and pressure of the previous books. At the end, it picks back up with a ferocious engagement– but it’s sharp, and there’s no reflection or recovery time at the end. I hope that makes for a sharp strong beginning to the next book.

By Heresies Distressed by David Weber

This was a great book. It started a little vaguely for me, mostly because it had been more than a year since I read the previous safehold books. It came back quickly, and proved enjoyable again. I read it very quickly; I got sucked in.

The book is kind of a muddle– it starts in the middle of an invasion (without the buildup– that was in the last book) and muddles through a year. This wouldn’t be good as a stand alone book, but is a worthy continuation of the series. I have the next book and will leap into it right after this.

Elegy Beach by Steven Boyett

A good sequel to Ariel, introducing several interesting characters. The story centers around Fred and Yan, a couple of teenage boys with a flair for magic.

The setting is post-change, but 40 years after the change, not 10. The world has eased into an understanding of the new rules. The huge depopulation was better explained, and the world continued developing along interesting lines. Our hero, Fred, is on the verge of a huge breakthrough…

It’s a good story– a solid setting, a likeable hero, a villain who is crazy but not too crazy… plus interesting family relationships and more.

The Thousandfold Thought by Scott Bakker

The Thousandfold Thought is the third book in the Prince of Nothing series by Scott Bakker. I thought it would be the concluding book in the series, but the ending is left open. The book’s a solid advancement of the series; we get to meet papa Mo├źnghus, find out that he’s been behind everything– but that doesn’t sour it all.

The book does a good job of bringing several threads to an end. It looks like he left the world alone for several years (real time and in the world) before beginning a sequel trilogy last year. The first book is The Judging Eye, which I may check out.