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Nancy McClure has commented on (9) products.

The Siren Depths: The Third Book of the Raksura (Books of the Raksura) by Martha Wells
The Siren Depths: The Third Book of the Raksura (Books of the Raksura)

Nancy McClure, November 4, 2014

This is a good book, but I didn't enjoy it as wildly as I did the first two in the series. Nonetheless, a book by the amazingly imaginative Martha Wells is not to be missed.

This book brings back characters from the first two, and it dives deep into the insecurities of the protagonist in a way I found slightly unconvincing. Perhaps my slight disappointment is the emphasis on two aspects of fantasy I've never enjoyed: (a) politics, and (b) a big mystical ending.
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The Bones of Paris: A Novel of Suspense by Laurie R. King
The Bones of Paris: A Novel of Suspense

Nancy McClure, November 24, 2013

King gets her groove back! A new lead character and terrific atmosphere in a very well-written book are enough to make me forget the disappointment of her recent books (the Mary Russell stories, which had turned into bad Indiana Jones adventures).

Time and place are a major character here: 1929 Paris was crammed with hectic partying by Americans who were Johnny-come-lately to the arts and literature scene. And there were plenty of Europeans who would never recover from the wounds of the Great War and more recent anarchist unrest.

Surrealist artists, willing to use horror effects, confuse the trail of a killer. Our damaged hero, a tough guy who still has streaks of romanticism, stubbornly fights to get answers. Probably the first tough guy detective I've every cared so much about!

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Redshirts 1st Edition by John Scalzi
Redshirts 1st Edition

Nancy McClure, January 15, 2013

Delightful to read. It has both characters to care about and meta-commentary on the world of creating speculative fiction. Not just for Star Trek fans (I never liked its statism) but it helps if you've experienced some SF stories in some media.
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Reamde by Neal Stephenson

Nancy McClure, February 25, 2012

This book is a very conventional thriller, and really disappointing for those of us who liked some of Stephenson's recent and highly original books. Those books had a new idea on every page, where this one has an old cliche on every page.

Like an 80s cold war thriller by Alistair MacLean, "Reamde" has British Intelligence, people from the KGB, trained assassins, survivalists, millionaires in armed retreats, planes and boats and lots of guns. It does have a few plot devices that depend on terrorism, the net, and lots of kinds of data storage (but no new ways of thinking about those things). And it's a slow read, taking about twice as many pages to tell its story than are needed.

"Reamde" has one good idea: exploiting gold farming in a MMPRPG. Maddeningly, the idea completely disappears after being used to launch the central hostage taking. There are NO consequences (legal, practical, moral) for the character Reamde, who blackmails thousands for real money via the online game. He simply joins all the others running around, chased by baddies. I hate to see an imaginative writer wasting his time on this crap.

If you want to read a ripping good yarn with gold farming, better developed characters characters, and a much better sense of the global village right now, go read "For the Win" by Cory Doctorow.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics by John Pollack
The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics

Nancy McClure, January 18, 2012

This is not another collection of puns, but a discussion of wordplay's history and philosophy. "The Pun Also Rises" goes down easy, with light yet thoughtful writing. The author defines "pun" more broadly than I would, which is all to the good in this case. Touching on cognitive psychology, rhetoric, competition, hip-hop and more, this book makes a great read for any thoughtful lover of wordplay.
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