Star wars literature is in as bit of a quandary at the moment. See anything set in the time frame after Return of the Jedi is now what they call a “Legacy” story meaning its no longer canon as the new trilogy will overwrite that. Fortunately for me i haven’t read anything set after Jedi. I’ve mainly read old republic and clone wars era stuff
It is an interesting insight into how things came to be for episode 4 A New Hope, i really did like the whole Vader / Tarkin relationship. Vader having worked with Tarkin back when he was still Anakin but of course not telling Tarkin that, as Vaders identiy is a secret and Tarkin wary of their working relationship begins to suspect Vader is in fact Anakin. it was a good but brief read and a nice return into the star wars universe for me as always James Luceno does a fantastic job of engaging the reader with his storytelling, i look forward to James’s next outing into the Star Wars universe hopefully with a bit more page length…..
When i first saw this book it was back when i was going through a Bigfoot craze i had watched several movies, most of them horror and seen a few documentaries about the mythical Bigfoot. Now i’m not a believer in Bigfoot or the yeti but i find the idea of the unknown quite intriguing. So when i read the blurb describing the climbers being stalked up a mountain i thought this might be good. Having never read anything by this author i grabbed the book solely based on my preconceptions from reading the blurb
The Story goes. its 1924 and George Mallory and Sandy Irvine have disappeared (yes its based on a true historical event) in their Everest summit attempt. The following year 3 climbers set out on a rescue / recover mission to find them. Funded by the Lady Bromley who lost her son the same year on the mountain, they set out to discover what happened. The team is joined by the cousin of the missing Bromley man and a team of sherpas. But as they climb the mountain they find they are being pursued…..
The book does take a very long time to set itself up. the blurb suggests the story is in fact about the being pursued up the mountain but that doesn’t start till like page 500, all of the beginning of the book is set aside for discussion on climbing equipment and what the men will use, interviews with witnesses to try and gather information on where exactly were the missing men last seen. I found this part very hard to go through. The the sudden introduction of some NAZIS got my attention. however it continued to be just discussion and alleged plot building.
Finally we get to the good part, when our climbers discover they are being pursued. Boy was this part of the book well written, i just couldn’t put the book down i had to know what was happening, as the camps below them kept being destroyed and they had to climb higher and higher you could feel the tension and fear rising.
Aside from the very long set up of this book the back half was quite an enjoyable read, oh and did i mention NAZIS. that really captured my attention when they joined the story. Needless to say the second half of this book was a great read filled with mystery, drama and suspense never knew what was going to happened after they climbed the next ledge. i will have to keep an eye out for more works by Dan simmons
I First read Gavin Menzies maybe about 10 years ago, the book was his bestseller 1421 in which he details his theory that Chinese Admiral Zheng He, visited the Americas prior to European explorer Christopher Columbus. Not only that but that he also visited Australia before it was said to exist by Europeans. I was hooked this book was so exciting. So naturally many years later when i heard he had another book 1434 which extends his previous theory to say the Chinese Admiral also visited Europe. I just had to get it.
in 1421 Menzies wrote the book informally, as a series of vignettes of his travels around the globe examining the “evidence” for his hypothesis. The book is filled with a lot of speculation as he tries to answer the main question of “on some early European world maps, it appear that someone had charted and surveyed lands supposedly unknown to Europeans. who could have charted and surveyed these lands before they were discovered”
in 1434 Menzies claims that in 1434 Chinese delegations reached Italy and brought books and globes that, launched the Renaissance. He claims that a letter written in 1474 by Toscanelli and found amongst the private papers of Columbus indicates that an earlier Chinese ambassador had direct correspondence with Pope Eugene IV in Rome. Menzies then claims that materials from the Chinese Book of Agriculture, the Nong Shu, published in 1313 by the Yuan dynasty scholar-official Wang-Zhen were copied by European scholars and provided direct inspiration for the illustrations of mechanical devices which are attributed to the Italian Renaissance titans of Taccola and Leonardo da Vinci
His first book was filled with alot more (in my opinion) evidence. He visited ship wreck sites, archaeological digs where Chinese artifacts were found. DNA analysis. But this second book seems to be more conjecture and assumptions.
That being said it is still an interesting read and while of course its just a theory it does give you some food for thought and does show how the scientific community doesn’t like outsiders telling them whats going on. I enjoyed this book quite a bit from an education point of view. regardless of its truth or not this plus the previous book of 1421 are must read for anyone interested in the era of early explorers and the age of discovery
I am a bad reader, i judge and choose books based on their covers allot of the time. Obviously there are issues with this approach, mainly i might miss out on some good stories because of one lame cover. If a cover looks lovey dovey it has zero chance of being picked up. Granted i don’t always choose books this way but for the most part when in a physical book store i do. Needless to say had i not been a Clive Cussler fan anyway seeing the opera house exploding on this cover would definitely made me pick it up. Much to my dismay i later discovered the opera house does not explode but just has a speedboat crash into its stairs
Now this book is the 11th book in the Kurt Austen series which means we are at the point where we need to have just a little bit of a suspension of belief and just accept the fact that 11 times these characters have been involved with megalomaniacs trying to take over the world. Ok so maybe i exaggerated that last part, they aren’t all megalomaniacs for instance this one is about a scientist seeking revenge and causing earthquakes against the countries that wronged him and killed his family but that kinda falls into the megalomaniac category in my opinion
Clive keeps up to date with the latest discoveries and scientific advancements and using them in many of his stories, for this one the key part of its plot if the concept of zero point energy. While not exactly a new concept it has been around for awhile now it is interesting to see him link this with some historical aspects aswell
For me i love the adventure genre, im just a big kid at heart and that’s why i keep reading these stories. but as i said before the story on its own is fantastic but when you look at the fact this is now the 11th time these characters have been in the wrong place at the wrong time it becomes a bit of a stretch of the imagination….