Of the making of books there is no end.
Overmuch study maketh men mad.


If you're curious about my approach to "reviews," you might want to read this. If you're curious about me, I have a Website, and a blog about things Medieval and Celtic. I read a lot. I suppose you could say I am a professional reader; I have a Ph.D. in English from UCLA, with an emphasis on things Celtic, and literature before 1832. I serve as Webmaster and Managing Editor for The Green Man Review and volunteer as an Admin for Absolute Write.


My most recent books are about doing stuff with the iPad. Most of the books I review here are books I purchased, a family member purchased, or that I borrowed from a library. When a publisher or author provides a book or an e-arc or an ARC, I will state that in the review. I am not paid to review the books on this site. (I do occasionally serve as an outside reviewer for scholarly books being considered for publication by academic or scholarly presses).


I like ebooks. I like making ebooks. I like reading ebooks. I object, violently, to text dumps and poorly made ebooks, and will so note in reviews of books that have been badly produced by a publisher who thinks exporting a file from InDesign is all it takes. In general, I am not soliciting books for review. Please do not send me review books as attachments without conferring with me first, since your attachment will be automatically deleted by my server. I am no longer willing to review self-published books, unless you're an author I've previously reviewed, or you are publishing a backlist of previously commercially published books. You can contact me here.


If you purchase something after following an affiliate link on this site, I will receive a percentage of the price. This is my FTC disclosure, in case you wondered. In other words, I'm a mercenary hack.


C. J. Cherryh Gene Wars Books

ICover of C. J. Cherrhy's Hammerfall read both of these books (Hammerfall 2001) and Forge of Heaven (2004) when they came out, and hadn't really thought of them since. I didn't dislike either, but remember that large sections of Hammerfall were a bit of a slog at the time, because Cherryh so very feelingly described the environmental conditions faced by the characters. 


I noticed both books are available as ebooks via the public library and Overdrive, so have just re-read them both, back to back. 


First, reading them back to back is understandably much better than reading them three years apart; such is the nature of publishing. 


The basic plot line is that there are two factions at war, one of which heavily relies on genetic modification and nano tech biological symbiotes, and that faction earns the enmity of an a species that doesn't deal with aliens except via extermination. Caught in the middle is a small human colony, existing on a world after the aliens dropped a catastrophic planet-killer on the planet. A third party attempts to intercede on behalf of the human remnant population. Politics, cultural change, biology—all are important. 


These are interesting, complicated books, both like Cherryh, and a bit different.  I say that mentally thinking of a number of Cherryh's books I'd put in a category of good but different: Wave Without a Shore, Voyager in Night, especially).


I've been reading Cherryh since Mr. Kilpatrick the Latin teacher loaned me the serialized version of Faded Sun: Kesrith from Galaxy magazine. Her books shaped me-the-adult in ways that are profound.


I'm so very very glad she's still writing.

Currently reading

In Search of the Irish Dreamtime: Archaeology and Early Irish Literature
J.P. Mallory