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Archive for January, 2011

Lessons from The Dark Tower #1

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

You are going to use deus ex machina. Face it. Then, give it a cool name like ‘ka’ or destiny and have your characters openly discuss it.

Then, make it look like it’s all going to hell.

Categories: Lessons

Review: Raise The Titanic!

January 18, 2011 1 comment

Raise The Titanic! (Dirk Pitt, #4)Raise The Titanic! by Clive Cussler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of my brother-in-laws gave this to me for Christmas. It’s one of his favorites from his favorite author.

This novel is classic Dirk Pitt. There are exotic locales to explore, authority figures in desperate need of telling off, women in need of bedding, Soviet agents in need of killing, murderers to be caught, and archeological artifacts to be recovered. Only one man can handle all of these tasks (James Bond was not so good at the artifact recovering), Dirk Pitt.

This was written before we even knew the location of the Titanic, so Cussler had to guess with quite a bit of what he wrote. He got some things wrong, we now know, but that doesn’t stop it from being a gripping tale.

Anyone who enjoys Indiana Jones, James Bond, or other action adventure tales will likely enjoy this book. The thing that sets Cussler’s writing apart is his attention to detail, and that shines through here, too.

View all my reviews

Categories: Fiction

Trail of the Spanish Bit

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

I got this book as a Christmas gift from my father-in-law; it’s one of his favorite series, and he wanted to share it with me. (Every book I review for the next couple of months is one I got for Christmas).
It isn’t high minded stuff; it’s the novel version of a spaghetti western. With that it mind, I liked it for what it was. It was fast paced, and Coldsmith did a good job of painting in broad strokes what life might have been like in the early 17th century for Native Americans. The book’s protagonist is a Spaniard who is separated from his group, and falls in with a peaceful tribe. He introduces them to the horse and slowly works his way into their society.
My main problem with the novel was that Coldsmith used a few words or phrases that struck me as anachronistic. One Indian has a ‘trademark grin’. He does such a good job with his language otherwise, that the times he used odd modern phrases were particularly jarring.
It’s a fast read, and part of a fairly long series. If one is interested in turn of the (17th) century American West, this book serves that need well.

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