Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Jul 22 11:07:14 EDT 1991

Raymond's Reviews #122

May catch-up. Reviews marked CCO are by guest reviewer Cathy Olanich.

%T Shadow Leader
%A Tara K. Harper
%I Del Rey
%D May 1991
%O paperback, US$5.95
%P 324
%G 0-345-37163-1

This book is a sequel to Wolfwalker (RR#58). The previous book confounded my expectations by rising above its cliches (female warrior/healer with telepathic wolf companion). This one confounds them in a different way --- by being better written and plotted than its prequel. The zest of the writing and the careful, SFnal worldbuilding pay off once again. Have fun with it.

%T Bone Dance
%A Emma Bull
%I Ace
%D May 1991
%O paperback, 278 pp, US$4.50
%G 0-441-57457-2

Imagine reading a post-Holocaust novel that feels like a cyberpunk novel. Imagine further that this novel involves high-tech body snatchers whose plots are foiled by a pagan voodoo ritual. That is what Emma Bull's latest novel, "Bone Dance," is like. Bull describes the surviving battered ruins of a high-tech, high communication culture with uncompromisingly gritty prose, and etches the moral dilemmas encountered by her protagonist, Sparrow, with keen psychological insight and poetic sensitivity. The book's only flaw, if indeed it is one, is the oddly unfinished quality of the ending. Is Bull attempting to imitate the asymmetry of real life -- or merely leaving room for a sequel? We'll have to wait and see. [CCO]

%T The Exile Kiss
%A George Alec Effinger
%I Doubleday
%D May 1991
%O paperback, 265 pp, US$11.00
%G 0-385-41424-2

Two volumes and one Hugo later, Effinger resumes the continuing adventures of Marid Audran in "The Exile Kiss." Laudably, Audran finally seems to be learning to face his problems without technological or pharmaceutical assistance, and Effinger's writing style remains diverting. However, the book as a whole lacks the depth and tension of the previous volumes, and its conclusion, in which Audran foils an attempt to frame him and Friedlander Bey for a murder they did not perpetrate, is too facile to be plausible. [CCO]

%T Deepwater Dreams
%A Sydney J. Van Scyoc
%I Avon
%D May 1991
%O paperback, US$$4.95
%P 249
%G 0-380-76003-7

Yes, you can judge this book by its cover --- yet another misfit-saves-the-world novel for adolescent girls. Decent writing, boring plot, utterly predictable ending. Yawn. Well, at least it's not actively bad...

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Jul 22 11:07:14 EDT 1991

Eric S. Raymond <esr@snark.thyrsus.com>