Quick Book Reviews

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I’ve been busy and haven’t had a chance to post any in-depth book reviews, so I wanted to post a few quick ones while I still remember what I read so far this year.

[amazon_link id=”0765354705″]Halo: Ghosts of Onyx[/amazon_link] By Eric Nylund
I remember reading this around the end of last year. I did enjoy the other Halo series, but I remember not really liking this book as much as the others in this series.

[amazon_link id=”0345520726″]Mass Effect: Retribution[/amazon_link] by Drew Karpyshyn
I was lucky to pick this book up at Comic Con 2010 and get it autographed by Drew Karpyshyn. I’m a big fan of the Mass Effect novels, games, and comics. I did enjoy this book and I was happy to see Captain David Anderson back in a novel. This book felt quite a bit different from the other two Mass Effect novels, but it was still a good read. I enjoyed the introduction of the new assassin character and information about the Illusive Man and Omega. I felt that ME2 didn’t have enough missions and detail to Omega and I hope they add more to the space station in the next game scheduled for 2012 release.

[amazon_link id=”0307346617″]World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War[/amazon_link] by Max Brooks
I also bought this book at Comic Con 2010. I had never been a fan of zombie movies, novels, or games, but I decided to pick this book up. It took a while to draw me into the story. The first several stories didn’t really lure me into the setting or back story and it felt like I was reading one of those NPR stories where they just interview some random guy on the street. However, around the 1/3 mark I started to really enjoy the format and stories. The novel format is also quite different than other novels. The book is a collection of first hand accounts of what happened during the zombie outbreak and war told by it’s survivors to a researcher working for the UN. He travels the globe conducting interviews for a report after the war has ended. It’s a very unique way of storytelling and for a first-time zombie reader (myself), I think it worked well and I believe there’s a movie based on this book coming around 2014 with Brad Pitt.

[amazon_link id=”0060850523″]Brave New World[/amazon_link] by Aldous Huxley
Several months ago, I figured that since I enjoy science fiction so much, I should really go back and read the sci-fiction classics. I picked up Brave New World from a local used book store for a few dollars and read it during a business trip. The book was written in 1932 and is considered one of sci-fic classics and must-reads for all sci-fi fans. The book also felt somewhat shorter than usual novels. For a book that’s almost 80 years old, I think it still reads fine. I can see how it might have been considered controversial or surprising to readers in the 1930s. Overall, I think it’s a good book. A movie is schedule for released sometime in 2011-2012 staring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Ridley Scott. There’s been a few movies and TV shows already made based on this book and many dystopian settings draw influence from this book.
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Halo: First Strike (Book Review)

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The third book in the Halo series is title “[amazon_link id=”0345467817″]First Strike[/amazon_link].” Eric Nylund, author of the first Halo book “[amazon_link id=”0345451325″]The Fall of Reach[/amazon_link]” returns to finish some of the unresolved plots from the first book. The book takes place between Halo 1 and Halo 2 video games.

The novel also provides the Halo gamer with insights into how Master Chief returned to earth after Halo: Combat Evolved (Halo 1) and how the Covenant discovered the location of earth.
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Star Wars Padawan Training Available in July 2009

I just discovered this unique and interesting toy via Scott Adams (Dilbert Blog). Well, it’s not so much a toy as it is just a cool device.

Wearing a custom built device that slips on your head, you can use your brain waves to move a sphere vertically in a container. There’s no wires and no interaction via control pads or buttons. The wireless headset reads your brain activity, similar to an EEG medical test, to translate the brain waves to physical activity.

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Halo: The Flood (Book Review)

The second book in the Halo series is titled “[amazon_link id=”0345459210″]The Flood[/amazon_link]” The book is written by William C. Dietz who’s background of serving in the US Navy as medic might have helped him with the characters and background stories.

This book is a novelization of the first Halo video game (Halo: Combat Evolved). I never got a chance to play the first Halo game, so the events of the game were unfamiliar to me. For most other Halo fans, they’ve probably played the game and remember quite a few events of this book.

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Halo: The Fall of Reach (Book Review)

I wasn’t too familiar with the Halo series until last year when I played Halo for the first time. I knew it was a FPS (first person shooter) and knew that it involved running around and shooting aliens, much like most other FPS games. Since FPS games weren’t my speciality, I had never spent much time playing or reading about Halo.

After I purchased Halo III, I was able to complete the game and learn a little more about the Halo setting. The game was fun and a bit challenging at times. However, since I don’t have a XBOX Gold membership I wasn’t able to play online versus other players – who probably would have easily killed me anyway.

A few months after playing the game, I noticed the Halo book series at a local bookstore. I thought it might be interesting, but I didn’t think about the book series until almost a year later. After bringing only one book to read on my flight, I had finished it and needed a new book for my return flight. So I picked up the first book of the Halo series ([amazon_link id=”0345451325″]Halo: The Fall of Reach[/amazon_link]) by Eric Nylund. The book is just over 7 years old.

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