Monday, June 01, 2015

A couple (well 3) reviews

Yesterday I read Angel City Blues, the second David Stalin book by Jeff Edwards.  I read the first book last year and enjoyed it even though parts of it were somewhat dated, but the author explained that the novel had originally been written many years ago and only recently released.  At the time I thought the first novel was a decent enough book so I downloaded the second and just never got around to reading it.  Fixed that yesterday.

Angel City Blues picks up a few months after the first novel ended.  Stalin is still recovering emotionally from the events of Dome City Blues but he has accepted a case investigating the disappearance of a powerful Senators daughter.  A case that everyone wants him off of (see where this is going)

The story itself is OK but every cyberpunk trope in existence is thrown into the story.  Orbital Megacorps, Japanese Gangsters, Rogue AIs, Bodymods, etc.  Also the story was fairly predictable. All of this may also have been true in the first book, but that one just felt fresher and more original. All that said however its still a pretty good story and worth the price on the Kindle at least. This could easily be developed into a series with a little tightening up around the edges (says the guy who has never written anything longer than some poorly structured paragraphs).  On a scale of 1 to 5 I would give this a solid 3.5.

Second one, Halt and Catch Fire.  Not much to say here.  The show picks up where last season ended. Cameron has formed a company, Joe has gone on a spiritual journey, Gordon is coking out and driving Cardiff Electric into the ground.  But, it's only the first episode and already the storyline seems more polished and more interesting.  I wasn't planning on watching this season but I think I have changed my mind.

Finally, Mr. Robot.  I watched the advanced release of the pilot this evening after burning out my brain on Risk Management stuff.  Basically as near as I can tell its a technothriller set around a secret war between an anarchist group of hackers and a secret cabal that controls the world.  Let me tell you subtlety is not this shows strong suit.  Apple and Steve Jobs get called out.  The global megacorp they are trying to take down is called Evil Corp and the Christian Slater character spouts Occupy talking points word for word.  This show definitely wears it's sympathies on it's sleeve.  It also contains some shout out to Lulzsec, Anonymous and Wikileaks so everyone should be happy.

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