FSFH Book Review

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Abnett, Dan
Adams, Douglas
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Allen, Roger MacBride
Allie, Scott
Allston, Aaron
Anderson, Kevin J.
Barclay, James
Barnes, Steven
Baum, L. Frank
Bear, Greg
Bendis, Brian Michael
Bischoff, David
Bisson, Terry
Blackman, Haden
Bova, Ben
Bowen, Carl
Brooks, Terry
Canavan, Trudi
Card, Orson Scott
Chadwick, Paul
Clarke, Arthur C.
Clarke, Susanna
Clemens, James
Collins, Paul
Crichton, Michael
Crispin, A. C.
Cunningham, Elaine
Daley, Brian
David, Peter
DeMatteis, J. M.
Denning, Troy
Dick, Philip K.
Dickens, Charles
Dietz, William C.
Dixon, Chuck
Donaldson, Stephen
Eddings, David
Edginton, Ian
Elrod, P. N.
Erikson, Steven
Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
Goodwin, Archie
Graham, Mitchell
Grant, Alan
Green, Jonathan
Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
Hagberg, David
Hambly, Barbara
Hamilton, Laurell K.
Hand, Elizabeth
Harras, Bob
Harrison, Mick
Heinlein, Robert A.
Herbert, Frank
Herbert, James
Hine, David
Hobb, Robin
Howard, Robert E.
Jacques, Brian
James, Charlie Hamilton
Jenkins, Paul
Jeter, K. W.
Johns, Geoff
Jones, J. V.
Jordan, Robert
Jurgens, Dan
Karpyshyn, Drew
Kennedy, Mike
Kerr, Katharine
Keyes, Greg
King, Stephen
King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
Kube-McDowell, Michael P.
Lawhead, Stephen
Layman, John
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Lewis, C. S.
Lieberman, A. J.
Loeb, Jeph
Lorey, Dean
Lowder, James
Luceno, James
Lumley, Brian
Macan, Darko
Manning, Russ
Martin, George R. R.
Marz, Ron
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McIntosh, Neil
McIntyre, Vonda
Michelinie, David
Millar, Mark
Miller, John Jackson
Miller, Karen
Milligan, Peter
Moench, Doug
Moesta, Rebecca
Moore, Alan
Nicholls, Stan
Nicieza, Fabian
Nylund, Eric
O'Neil, Dennis
Ostrander, John
Paolini, Christopher
Perry, S. D.
Perry, Steve
Pratchett, Terry
Pullman, Philip
Quinn, David
Reaves, Michael
Reed, A. W.
Reed, Brian
Rice, Anne
Richardson, Nancy
Roberts, Adam
Rowe, Matthew
Rowling, J. K.
Rubio, Kevin
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Salvatore, R.A.
Shelley, Mary
Shultz, Mark
Simone, Gail
Simonson, Louise
Simonson, Walter
Smith, L. Neil
Spurrier, Simon
Stackpole, Michael A.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stewart, Sean
Stoker, Bram
Stover, Matthew
Straczynski, J. Michael
Stradley, Randy
Strnad, Jan
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Traviss, Karen
Truman, Tim
Turtledove, Harry
Tyers, Kathy
van Belkom, Edo
Veitch, Tom
Wagner, John
Watson, Jude
Whitman, John
Williams, Sean
Williams, Tad
Williams, Walter Jon
Windham, Ryder
Wolverton, Dave
Woodring, Jim
Wurts, Janny
Yeovil, Jack
Zahn, Timothy
Collaborations A - F
Collaborations G - M
Collaborations N - R
Collaborations S
Collaborations T - Z
Anthologies A - R
Anthologies S
Anthologies T - Z
Still to come
Reviewing Literature

Collaborations Titles N to R

Here you'll find books by two or more collaborating authors (I didn't know how else to include them!).

Onslaught 4: Eye Of The Storm
(Graphic Novel with art by Ian Churchill, Scott Hanna, Angel Medina, Robin Riggs and Art Thibert)
The fourth book in the Onslaught saga, focusing on Cable and the Incredible Hulk.  This book roughly divides into two halves.  In the first, Cable and Storm battle the Hulk as they attempt to break Onslaughts mental control of the behemoth.  This is all action as the two mutants try increasingly desperate measures to defeat their attacker.  Perhaps the most interesting element of this half of the book is that the Hulk's various personalities are all featured; the intelligent Hulk, the vicious grey Hulk and, best of all, the savage Hulk.  The second half of the book tells the Hulk and Cable's respective (and separate) stories in the build up to the final battle with Onslaught.  The impatient Hulk decides to lead a premature attack on Onslaught, joined by Hawkeye, Falcon, Vision and Crystal.  However, their enemy's mental powers supply them with visions that show the spectre of their deaths and reveal the Hulk's disregard for the safety of his allies.  Meanwhile, Cable is approached by his archnemesis, Apocalypse, with a plan to deny Onslaught access to Franklin Richards' reality changing powers.  It's great to see two enemies, who clearly hate one another, being forced into alliance by an enemy like Onslaught.  Naturally, Apocalypse plans a betrayal, but Cable and the Invisible Woman are one step ahead of him.  Although this book doesn't advance the overall Onslaught story very much, it's great to see how the turmoil affects such major characters as the Hulk and Cable.  It also contains a line which sums up the tragedy of Xavier's fall; 'And now...what's left of the dream?  Or any who followed the dreamer?'
4 out of 5
Onslaught 5: The Front Line
by Howard Mackie, Tom DeFalco & John Ostrander
(Graphic Novel with art by  Jeff Matsuda, Al Milgrom, Mark Bagley, Larry Mahlstedt, Josh Hood, Derek Fisher, Tom Lyle, Robert Jones, John Romita Jr. and Al Williamson)
The fifth book of the Onslaught saga.  Perhaps, technically, this book should be under 'anthologies' as it tells separate tales of X-Factor, Spiderman, Green Goblin and Punisher, but it has the overarching story of Onsalught's Sentinels invading Manhattan, so I've included it here.  The book begins with X-Factor battling Fatale, Post, Random and Havoc, only to learn that they are a distraction whilst an army of Sentinels (giant mutant-hunting robots, if you didn't know) powers up and launches.  The main battle against Onslaught goes on elsewhere (covered in the other books of the series), but here we get to see some of New York's solo heroes battling against the Sentinels which have been reprogrammed to kill all super-humans.  Peter Parker has to risk the use of his intermittent powers in order to help Ben Reilly, the current Spiderman.  The Green Goblin tries to cope with his own fears and inadequacies in order to continue a hopeless battle.  Meanwhile, when the S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier is shot down by the Sentinels, the Punisher steps in to protect the survivors from murderous looters.  This book serves to illustrate how the war against Onslaught affects the lives of all of Marvel's heroes, not just those destined to participate in the final battle.  Basically, it boils down to this; Spiderman - good, Punisher - good, Sentinels - good, this book - great!
5 out of 5
Onslaught 6: Pyrrhic Victory
by Mark Waid, Scott Lobdell & Tom DeFalco
(Graphic Novel with art by Mike Deodato, Tom Palmer, Andy Kubert, Art Thibert, Carlos Pacheco, Bob Wiacek, Madureira, Tim Townsend, Dell, V. Russel, Milgrom, Adam Kubert, Joe Bennett, Dan Green and Jesse Delperdang)
The conclusion of the Onslaught series.  This should have been the greatest graphic novel I've ever read, but unfortunately the entire experience of reading it was ruined.  The problem is that the comics which make up the book haven't been arranged in chronological order, meaning that chapter 4 actually takes place after chapter 5 and chapter 2 happens after both of them.  The upshot of this is that rather than reading as a continuous coherent story, you're constantly bewildered by the order of events as they chapter you're reading references past events which you won't read until the chapter after next!  What's most annoying about all this is that it's so ridiculously unnecessary.  If they'd just got someone to proof read the book before printing it, it would've been simple to put it right.  If, however, you can get past this major annoyance, you should love this book.  The war against Onslaught reaches a crescendo as the Avengers battle Post and Holocaust, the Fantastic Four confront manifestations of their oldest foes and the X-Men free Charles Xavier from Onslaught's control.  Everything comes together in the final chapter as the assembled heroes of the Marvel Universe (not to mention Magneto and Doctor Doom) take the fight to Onslaught himself.  The ending is exciting, inspiring and tragic.  So, the screw up with the order of the stories makes me want to give the book a 3, but the quality of those stories makes me want to give it a 5.  So, let's split the difference.
4 out of 5
Polgara The Sorceress
by David & Leigh Eddings
A feminine perspective of the history of the Belgariad and the Mallorean beginning at the time of the recapture of the Orb from Terak.  This book differs from it's counterpart, 'Belgarath the Sorcerer', in that it's main focuses are love and politics, rather than events and people (although it does of course have plenty of that too).  The Eddings writing style is as readable and engrossing as ever, really giving you a feel for the events mentioned and the subtle ways in which Polgara's perceptions of events differ from Belgarath's makes for very interesting reading.  However, this book has the problem of standing in the shadow of it's counterpart.  The repetition of events I can live with, but Polgara herself is a much less likeable character than Belgarath and it detracts from a book written in first person when you can't actually stand that person.  Polgara is irritable, arrogant and is a lot less funny than the Eddings' seem to think.  She has none of Belgarath joie de vive and lots of that particular brand of crankiness found only in women.  Perhaps a woman would enjoy this book more than a man, but being the latter I can only guess.  Finally, I'd like to warn you about the endless and interminable repetition.  Whenever sex (an integral part of love and making families, let's not forget) comes into the story the authors puts in the phrase 'I'll leave it at that, shall I' or perhaps 'I don't need to say more do I' which is frankly irritatingly coy.  I'm not looking for a graphic sex scene, but to glaze over the subject with a platitude is condescending.  The next annoying repetition comes in the form of 'I got you that time didn't I Old Wolf' which occurs time and time again.  As a reader I understood the first time that the story is told as if the other characters would read it, so I didn't need these little reminders being jabbed into my eyes all the time.  Finally, in the repetition stakes there is the fact that whenever someone says something even mildly vague or cryptic in the story, one of the other characters always says 'I didn't quite catch that' (or similar words) so that all can be explained.  As a literary device I think you can only get away with it once or twice before it begins to suggest a lack of imagination.  Generally this book is okay, but for the love of God read 'Belgarath the Sorcerer' before or instead of this one.
3 out of 5
'Kail, the Rivan Warder, objected strenuously when King Belgarion told him that he and his queen planned to make the journey to the northern end of the Vale of Aldur unattended, but Garion uncharacteristically put his foot down.'

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
I'm guessing around 17 kilos, depending on whether the woodchuck works out or not.

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