Book Reviews

I’ve been traveling way too much this year already and it’s only February. The bad news is that my heavy travel schedule is set to continue for a couple more months before it calms down again. The good news is that I’ve been reading some great books that have been a lot of fun.

First, I have to give props to Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. This books was a blast to read. It tells the story of Elphaba, the infamous green witch of Oz, and how she came to be so imfamous. I won’t spoil the story except to say that you’ll want to watch the “Wizard of Oz” all over again and with a very different eye. You’ll also lose a half-week of work in a desparate compulsion to finish the novel.

Second, as a video game fanatic, I finally took the plunge into game fiction and decided to read the Halo trilogy of stories based on the eponymous XBox video games. The first and last of the books, Halo: The Fall of Reach and Halo: First Strike, respectively, were written by Eric Nylund. These two books were fun and fast science-fiction with interesting and multi-dimensional characters backed by a compelling story line with plenty of unforseeable twists to keep you entertained.

The second book of the series, Halo: Flood, was written by William C. Dietz and it sucked. Well, ‘sucked’ may be too strong a term here. But where the other books focused on characters and story, Halo: Flood focused on action scenes. You can only take so much of the main character (Master Chief Spartan-117, in case you were wondering) tossing a grenade, reloading, and sidestepping. A new Halo title by Nylund (pictured here) is set to ship for April and I’m looking forward to reading that one too.

Finally, I just finished one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, The Stupidest Angel, by Christopher Moore. The story is definitely not for the underaged crowd considering it features wacky characters, supernatural twists, gross violence, and old-people sex. But it has some of the funniest turns of phrase and verbal imagery I’ve ever encountered. Whereas “Wicked” is witty and drew a smile to my face many times, “The Stupidest Angel” is outright hilarious, forcing me to laugh so hard and long that tears ran down my face – in public. I can tell you I had no loss of on-lookers wondering whether I was totally batsh-t crazy. I’m now a dyed-in-the-wool Chris Moore fan and plan to get all the rest of his books as soon as the ol’ budget allows.

I encourage you to consider at least adding “The Stupidest Angel” to your reading list. You’ll be very glad you did.



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